I've read many Bible tracts over the years that talk about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Even when I was going to church, trying to convince myself that I believed that Jesus was Lord, I didn't understand that phrase. What does it even mean ? You're not face-to-face with Jesus. You don't carry on a back and forth conversation. I'm sure that people who are psychotic but not aware they are so have personal relationships with their hallucinated friends or angels. What does it even mean to have a personal relationship with Jesus. It seems a lot like having a personal relationship with Superman or Batman.
Interesting question. Especially since I don't think the bible ever mentions a "Personal Relationship" with Jesus. Seems like a modern woo woo christian concept.
You are right, it sounds like a one sided, dysfunctional relationship. I think it's like having an imaginary best friend.
"I think it's like having an imaginary best friend." I think you're dead on. I was listening to Terry Gross interviewing a social psychologist whose research interest was evangelical Christians one day, and, essentially, that's exactly what it is. The groups that this person studied (apologies for not being able to remember her name) Encouraged and helped members actually have internal dialogues with Jesus/God.
I, too, perceive it as being one-sided . . . Not so sure about (completely) dysfunctional. For some people, that's the only source of insight and guidance they have. I don't mean to imply that it is not dysfunctional, just not completely dysfunctional. At least it gives them something to hang on to.
I am about to wax philosophical now, so please take the rest of what I say with a grain of salt . . . Most people (at least in the US) are born into families which have some relationship with some form or another of religion. (If one is unfortunate enough to have been born below the Mason-Dixon line, substitute "Everyone" in the place of "Most people" in the preceding sentence). Unless one is willing to not accept the propaganda that comes with the socialization process, one is pretty much left with having to swallow religion in one form or another. Depending upon the specifics of the socialization process, one may end up being an authoritarian CHRISTIAN! or one may find true solace and joy in their spiritual experience. Personally, I think that people who uncritically subscribe to theistic religions deserve what they get when they reap the whirlwind, but I also think that there are many, many truly good and intensely caring people who use religion to justify their behavior. These people would be the way they are if they weren't particularly religious, but that is the framework they use to "justify" their behavior. I am sorry that they have to justify their existence that way, but I am happy that they are happy and comfortable in their lives . . .
Now, I am aware of all of the yeah, buts . . . they're valid, and they all lead to long discussions. But, as long as having an imaginary friend allows people to deal with their lives in a non-destructive way, and as long as they don't insist that I live my life by the instructions of their imaginary friends, I'm happy for them. It's the best they can do. Do I feel sorry for them? Yes. Do I wish I could help them? Yes. Do I wish them good luck? Yes . . .
It is impossible to have a personal relationship with an unidentified corpse.
Therefore a personal relationship with Jesus of Nazareth who probably existed and died 2000 years ago is impossible.
What does it even mean to have a personal relationship with Jesus ? It means that the person is deluded and has a dysfunctional mind. It could also mean schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.
I would have to agree with Napoleon. It is just a phrase that Xtians use to say they worship christ and pray to him.
I always wanted a personal relationship with Wonder Woman. She was hot! Then, much to my chagrin, I grew up. Yeshua Smeshua, Jesus Shmeejus. Other for than those, as Napoleon correctly noted, who are deluded with a dysfunctional mind, the phrase is completely devoid of any meaning whatsoever. How one goes about having a personal relationship with a cosmic Jewish zombie is beyond me. And, the depth of the mysteries of such arcana are something I have no desire to plumb.
Vin Diesel never answers my prayers. I'm beginning to think it's a one sided relationship.
At least he's real.
I think the phrase "personal relationship with Jesus" must have been coined and promoted by some stereotypical, voice-hearing, delusional preacher as a method for telling other poor saps that it's the only true pathway to god.....and, oh yeah, let me show you how it works as I pass the collection plate around.
Over time I think the phrase has basically become just another worn out meaningless buzz-word phrase in their vocabulary:
Thank you Jesus.
Love the sinner, hate the sin.
Jesus is Love.
The Lord never gives you more than you can handle.
When He closes a door, He opens another one.
I'll pray for you.
It was all part of His plan.
He spoke to me.
The fascinating thing about this putative "personal relationship" is that it's entirely possible that no two people have the same experience with this "person." In a way, it's worse than the story of the six blind men and the elephant. In theory, had the blind men traded positions, they might eventually have experienced multiple aspects of the elephant and reached a consensus regarding what that animal was about. Christians who wish to allege such a relationship only have the commonality of the bible to join their questionable "experiences." Without that book, there would be little or no agreement.
So it begs the question: can a person have such an experience or relationship INDEPENDENT of an experience of the bible? I would tend to think NOT.
You mean Jesus is two-timing someone? three-timing them? what a bad boy!
I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Its pretty dysfunctional though.
He never calls
He never writes
Sometimes it's like his not even there.
Passive aggressive bastard!