Author Topic: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?  (Read 651 times)

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Offline albeto

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Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« on: September 20, 2011, 02:21:43 PM »
I really had a hard time with that and fortunately for me, fellow Catholics didn't talk like that.  But I'm not surrounded by Catholics and this idea of "relationship" seems to me nothing more than the kind of imaginary would-be-relationship with a childhood Teddy Bear if he had been real.  But how do theists explain this?   

Offline Omen

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2011, 02:23:09 PM »
A rhetorical device to plead their special quality above all other belief systems.

Ergo: Christianity isn't a religion! Its a relationship with Jesus Christ!
"Religious faith is the antithesis to knowledge, it is the opposition to education, and it has to act in animosity against the free exchange of ideas.  Why? Because those things are what cause harm to a religions place in society most." - Me

Offline albeto

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2011, 02:34:26 PM »
Ergo: Christianity isn't a religion! Its a relationship with Jesus Christ!

Ugh, I just heard that today. 

What possible difference could they site???

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2011, 02:38:59 PM »
Ergo: Christianity isn't a religion! Its a relationship with Jesus Christ!

Ugh, I just heard that today. 

What possible difference could they site???

It just of trying to obsfucate they will use special pleading about their faith. It is a way of seperating themselves from the negative things that can be said about organized religion. They just claim not to be a religion. They can also use the reverse to claim "no true Scottsman" in a redefinition game.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Nick

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2011, 02:57:48 PM »
As a former Catholic, I also had a hard time understanding that concept.  I also had a hard time with "born again".  Just what does that mean?  Do you have to hear voices in your head to have a personal relationship with "J"man?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2011, 03:10:47 PM »
My guess is, having a personal relationship with Jesus means that you pray to him and put him forward in your life.  And born-again probably, I'm not sure, refers to adult baptism.

Offline albeto

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2011, 04:31:24 PM »
As a former Catholic, I also had a hard time understanding that concept.  I also had a hard time with "born again".  Just what does that mean?  Do you have to hear voices in your head to have a personal relationship with "J"man?

I used to imagine my Teddy Bear had a particular voice and personality.  But he couldn't read my mind like Jesus is supposed to, unless I was specifically talking to him.  How is it I grew up from that but Jesus creeped around in my head for some time after? 

Offline albeto

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2011, 04:40:45 PM »
My guess is, having a personal relationship with Jesus means that you pray to him and put him forward in your life.  And born-again probably, I'm not sure, refers to adult baptism.

See, I'm thinking this "praying to him" is just part of the story.  I suspect the rest is, "he answers."  When I was working in a preschool I learned to keep behavior data.  I was specifically taught to write down observable behaviors, not suspected intentions or motivations.  I found myself doing this for years for my son with ABA tutoring for autism later.  In any case, the point was to record specific data, not assumptions or guesses.  Behaviors only: observable, recognizable data; something that any teacher/tutor could recognize and identify.  Christians refuse to do this with the relationship thing.  They refuse to recognize that "he answers" is a guess based on observable events like "I got chills singing with my praise music."  Well, I got chills watching Little House on the Prairie when I was pregnant and hormonal but nobody suggested it was yahweh himself talking to me through Micheal Landon. 

Offline Historicity

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2011, 05:05:10 PM »
I always imagine meeting an ordained person with the "Christianity is not a religion" and ask if he was going to reject the many tax exemptions that religion gets.

The only tax breaks for a relationship come after applying for a marriage license and getting married.

Hmmmmm.  Nuns are "brides of Christ" so I guess they're the only Catholics with a personal relationship with Jesus.

Offline Jeff7

Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2011, 05:31:20 PM »
Oh, oh, I can field this one, having been there. I'll try to describe it best I can, but it is a bit.. weird.

At least for me, it was always the fact that - at least in comparison to say, Catholics - that it was just as it sounds: some sort of.. relationship with said Jesus. While there was of course the worship and the praise and the singing, etc., he was also someone you could come to with anything and lay your problems at his feet, both as that 'God' role and something more... fatherly, friendly, personal. And (some times more than others) he would answer! ('Twas guilty as charged on that part as well, I'm afraid.)

Such a relationship was a big obstacle to my own beliefs: like removing a security blanket, of sort. God was always the one you could go to with your problems, no matter how big or small, weird or horrible. (Mind, this also involved asking forgiveness as well.)

And yes, the 'relationship, not religion!' was all about distancing what you/the church had away from things such as 'organized religion.'

Offline stuffin

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2011, 06:33:25 PM »
I always imagine meeting an ordained person with the "Christianity is not a religion" and ask if he was going to reject the many tax exemptions that religion gets.

The only tax breaks for a relationship come after applying for a marriage license and getting married.

Hmmmmm.  Nuns are "brides of Christ" so I guess they're the only Catholics with a personal relationship with Jesus.

WOW, JC beat that 40 virgin tale by another religion.

On second thought, I remember the one eyed nun on the Catholic Mass channel, eeccchhhh!.
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Offline stuffin

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2011, 06:39:48 PM »
One of my co-workers is very religious. I told her I was Atheist and she raised her voice and kept talking about JC. I put forth the idea to her (politely) that JC never existed, she got louder and stronger and wouldn't let me say a word and she ended with "Jesus Lives Through Me." I never questioned her "relationship with JC" and she has since left ther job, but your post will keep me at the ready for the next one.

I guess I'll never be anything more than a heathen to her.
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
 Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.
Aristotle

Offline Hatter23

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2011, 09:26:03 AM »
One of my co-workers is very religious. I told her I was Atheist and she raised her voice and kept talking about JC. I put forth the idea to her (politely) that JC never existed, she got louder and stronger and wouldn't let me say a word and she ended with "Jesus Lives Through Me." I never questioned her "relationship with JC" and she has since left ther job, but your post will keep me at the ready for the next one.

I guess I'll never be anything more than a heathen to her.

Because the old adage of "louder" equal "More Right"
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2011, 10:34:43 AM »
Christianity has always adapted, morphed and conformed to the culture of the time, so it's no surprise that it would adopt the feel-good "relationship" concept.  How can you be against a "relationship"?

Clever.  Complete bullshit, but clever.
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Offline learnin

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2011, 01:56:53 PM »
At one time, I was a very fervent Catholic who spent quite a bit of time with apologetics (defending the faith against Protestants).   Many Protestants would ask me:  "Do you have a personal relationship with Christ?"    You see, they believed Catholicism to be a legalistic, ritualistic religion.  In a sense, they were correct.  Catholics do foster a relationship with Jesus through external signs, for example, sacraments.   Bread, Wine, Water, Laying on of hands, priests, Saints, the liturgy, etc. are all ways in which Catholics commune with Christ.   

The phrase, "personal relationship with Christ", was used, primarily, to condemn the Catholic theology of sacraments, etc.   "I don't need no visual intermediary in order to encounter Jesus....baby, he's right here with me just as much as my mommy."  Of course, it was a bunch of dung, but, it was their way of claiming some kind of upper hand. 

The fact of the matter is that,  any person who talks with someone they can't see, can claim a personal relationship with whatever, or whomever, they are conversing with.

Offline Omen

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2011, 02:06:41 PM »
The fact of the matter is that,  any person who talks with someone they can't see, can claim a personal relationship with whatever, or whomever, they are conversing with.

I particularly like that it doesn't occur to them that mindlessly listing attributes of their preferred religious belief has nothing to do with someone elses preferred religious belief.  Something TOT doesn't seem to grasp or more correctly doesn't want to grasp.
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Offline MMcNeely

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2011, 02:40:10 PM »
Oh, a question I can answer!  A relationship with JC is just really fucking weird to tell you the truth.  I was always told it was like having a relationship with any other person.  When you pray, you were talking to him, and when you read the Bible he was talking to you.  Now that I think about it, I was doing all the work.  Also, you had to follow all the special Christian rules (no smoking, no drinking, no fucking swearing, etc) and really conform to the "image of Christ."  Looking back, Jesus is the type of lover where you had to always call them, and if you didn't he would slash your tires.  And if you didn't do things the way he wanted you to you were a bad lover.  That is a very fucked up relationship!  Jeeze, I would slap my wife (not really) if she treated me like that.

I swear, the farther I remove myself from Christianity the more messed up it becomes.

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2011, 07:05:10 PM »
Generally speaking, people who claim to possess a living, interactive relationship with Christ tend to have a relationship with a Jesus Christ who thinks very much as they do, and who shares their likes, dislikes and prejudices.  (Therion Ware)
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Offline albeto

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2011, 08:58:03 PM »
Oh, a question I can answer!  A relationship with JC is just really fucking weird to tell you the truth.  I was always told it was like having a relationship with any other person.  When you pray, you were talking to him, and when you read the Bible he was talking to you.  Now that I think about it, I was doing all the work.  Also, you had to follow all the special Christian rules (no smoking, no drinking, no fucking swearing, etc) and really conform to the "image of Christ."  Looking back, Jesus is the type of lover where you had to always call them, and if you didn't he would slash your tires.  And if you didn't do things the way he wanted you to you were a bad lover.  That is a very fucked up relationship!  Jeeze, I would slap my wife (not really) if she treated me like that.

I swear, the farther I remove myself from Christianity the more messed up it becomes.

I know, right!

I keep thinking of Jesus as some kind of mental life-coach that lives in your head all the time ("my faith makes me a better person" etc etc) but I think you have a much better grasp of it. 

Offline albeto

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2011, 08:59:16 PM »
At one time, I was a very fervent Catholic who spent quite a bit of time with apologetics (defending the faith against Protestants).   Many Protestants would ask me:  "Do you have a personal relationship with Christ?"    You see, they believed Catholicism to be a legalistic, ritualistic religion.  In a sense, they were correct.  Catholics do foster a relationship with Jesus through external signs, for example, sacraments.   Bread, Wine, Water, Laying on of hands, priests, Saints, the liturgy, etc. are all ways in which Catholics commune with Christ.   

The phrase, "personal relationship with Christ", was used, primarily, to condemn the Catholic theology of sacraments, etc.   "I don't need no visual intermediary in order to encounter Jesus....baby, he's right here with me just as much as my mommy."  Of course, it was a bunch of dung, but, it was their way of claiming some kind of upper hand. 

The fact of the matter is that,  any person who talks with someone they can't see, can claim a personal relationship with whatever, or whomever, they are conversing with.

Perfect.  I've spent too many hours debating theology with protestants as well and this really sums it up.  Not that I did anything like that myself, mind you.   :angel:



Offline Yellowjacket

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2011, 11:16:34 PM »

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony
"Now I want you to get out your dollars and we're gonna give money tonight to Kill a Commie for Jeezus" - Marjoe Gortner, 1972

Online Timo

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2011, 02:14:28 AM »
I have a sneaking suspicion that my pops is one of those personal relationship with Christ kind of folks.  But I'm not quite sure.  He keeps his cards pretty close to his chest, since the way in which he relates to the figure of Christ is well....personal.  For him, the whole relationship thing doesn't seem to be so much about beating people over the head with how pious he is or about how the Catholics are wrong but rather about how he was in a dark place but still felt like he had God's love.  ...but he doesn't go to church.  As a pretty public unbeliever, I go to church more than him.  Not even joking.  But I don't know.

The whole thing strikes me as an exercise in which we personify and imbue with supreme moral authority some imagined, idealized version of ourselves.  And we imagine that this person loves us and wants us to do better.  It's kind of weird but it makes a kind of sense to me.

But then again, I say this all as someone who really wasn't raised with that whole personal relationship thing.  The phrase I remember was "get right with God" but that's a whole 'nother can of worms.


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Offline fishjie

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2011, 02:39:36 AM »
<- Christian for over a decade so perhaps I can shed some light on this one.

It just means when you pray to God (who also happens to be Jesus), you talk to him like you would a close friend, sharing all your dreams, aspirations, hopes, fears, and such.     As for being born-again, I think it refers to "I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God".     For a typical born-again Christian, it refers to those who weren't deeply religious but still believed, but then became a fundamentalist.   I had a roommate who fit that bill.   He smoked pot, drank, cursed, had premarital sex, but then after becoming "born-again", stopped all that.


Offline changeling

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2011, 05:44:31 AM »
Nah, you just don't understand the holy babble like I do.
Jesus meant that you could not see the kingdom of God while you were alive, you
had to die first so you could be born again into the kingdom.

He done tol me so hissownself.
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Offline Star Stuff

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2011, 09:42:52 AM »
Next time a xtian tells you that it's ALL about a "personal relationship" with Jesus, ask them this:

"OK, if the entire point of your god becoming a man was so that we could & should have a personal relationship with him, then one would expect to find this term "personal relationship" marbled or at least peppered throughout the bible. Please show me all of those references."

You will either be met with a deer-in-the-headlights look, or hear excuses and rationalizations.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2011, 01:04:29 PM by Star Stuff »
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2011, 12:47:38 PM »


You will either be met with a deer-in-the-headlights look, or hear excuses and rationalizations.

That's the stock in trade of every Christian on any hard question.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Whateverman

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2011, 12:50:25 PM »
A rhetorical device to plead their special quality above all other belief systems.

You just saved me the 15 minutes I'd planned on spending to explain it, and you did so really well.
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Offline changeling

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Re: Can you explain a "relationship with Jesus" for me?
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2011, 12:52:31 PM »
How can people claim to have a personal relationship with him when this is how he treated his own mother and brother.

Mar 3:33 And  he answered them , saying , Who  is  my  mother , or  my  brethren ?
The level of dumb they have to sell, is only made remotely possible by the level of flocking their sheep are willing to do in the name of rewards for no thought. quote: Kin Hell

"Faith is the enemy of evidence, for when we know the truth, no faith is required." Graybeard