"Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Through my faith alone in Him I am saved. Scripture alone is all I need to develop a personal relationship with Him.

"Religion" unnecessarily complicates things and is unbiblical."

Your undivided, unashamed, unyielding Faith in Jesus Christ as the sole mediator between God and man and your firm insistence on a personal relationship with Him is true and commendable. If only all would fearlessly proclaim that He is the only name by which men are saved! Please never abandon your zeal in this proclamation.

But consider what one such soul said after he was shocked awake and entered the Catholic Church: "most of the main objections I had against the Church consisted in that its members took Jesus' words at face value."

Indeed, this requires extreme boldness and courage, but it is clearly our only option; to assume the God-Man, Jesus Christ, meant what He said:

  • "He took bread... broke it, and said 'This is my body which is for you..."; "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in flesh is food indeed..." (Jesus meant this, and His words and the context leave no room for a merely symbolic interpretation.)

  • "... you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven..." (Here Jesus truly built His Church on Peter and gave him alone the keys. These keys and therefore also the authority were, and are, handed down. Do you believe that ended with Peter's death? You believe Jesus would have acted so superfluously as to build a Church and grant authority merely to have it end in a short few decades?)

  • " 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." (Jesus Himself sends out the Apostles in the same way that the Father sent Jesus; with authority. So much authority that they and their successors can even forgive sins. This is Confession, where at the Priest's word God completely forgives even the imperfectly repentant soul, that it need not fear judgment or be burdened by the weight of past sins any longer.)

  • (For Chapter and Verse of these passages, see here)

These truths are very hard for some to accept, and this is why Jesus was killed. He did not come to initiate a vague association of believers, each interpreting a document however he pleases. This Divine Document --the New Testament-- did not exist until long after the Church Jesus built was already flourishing.

On the contrary -- and all of His contemporaries recognized this -- Jesus' words meant a real and tangible organization (though in truth, a unified body) whose ministers had real Divinely bestowed power and whose structure would be perpetuated by the handing down of the Keys entrusted to the Rock, St. Peter.

Jesus knew full well that, down through the ages, there would be many imperfect and even downright evil ministers, but that does not for a moment change the truth of the Church He founded.

In the aptly numbered John 6:66, many followers abandoned Jesus because His teaching on the real presence in the Eucharist was so hard to accept. It is hard to accept to this day, but no less true. To balk at Christ's teachings that seem too grand and Divinely-connected to be true, is to commit the same sin that those in John 6:66 did.

There is no way around the fact: Jesus founded the Catholic Church alone. He desires you -- whoever you are -- to be a member of His Church. This Church is your home; whether or not you have ever been inside one before.

Come home.