“I don’t need a Church. My faith is in the person of Jesus.”

A recent assignment for a class on Catholicism…

On the basis of the New Testament, how would you answer someone who says, “I don’t need a Church. My faith is in the person of Jesus.”

With the growing controversies surrounding the Christian denominations [Catholic and Protestant alike] many people are beginning to fall into the category of the above written quotation. When asked, “Who was Jesus?” and “Why did Jesus come?” many of my peers are quick to respond with something close to: “He was the Messiah” and “He came to die for my sins so I can go to heaven.” Both of these statements are astute responses yet they are incredible lacking. To limit one’s faith solely to the person of Jesus Christ you miss His entire message.

The crucifixion and resurrection were only the beginnings of the new life that Jesus intended for the world. By giving His life he put into action the creation of the Church by his disciples/apostles. The Church is so overwhelmingly necessary to a “faithful” follower of Christ. Saint Paul wrote in his epistle to Corinth, “We are all part of one body, the body of Jesus Christ.” This body that Paul speaks of, this is the same body that began to form on the day of Pentecost. That day, Peter [and the disciples] spoke to the crowds in numerous tongues, baptized them, and encouraged them to begin living in communities “that broke bread with one another.” This is what Jesus was all about, bringing about the Kingdom of God on Earth, ushering in true egalitarianism. To live your life without the Church seems contrary.

TC Mertins