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... with the corporate body, you mean?
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I don't think this is entirely correct. When I read the writings of Theresa of Avila, Therese of Lascaux, Bernard of Clarivaux, John of the Cross, and many others; they talk of a very personal relationship with Christ.
As otsukafan alluded, this has been a primary use of images of Christ throughout historic Christianity. The purpose of the crucifix or picture of Christ is to enable you to set aside the distractions of the environment and "come into Christ's presence". Even without the use of physical props, the priests and saints throughout the ages have advised us to visualize Christ for this purpose.
I suppose you're referring to the perception that non-Protestants need to have a priest or other church official serve as mediator between laity and God. However, I think this perception is wrong, and has been for most of history. It would be equally wrong to say that Protestants eliminated the personal character of the relationship simply because they banished the imagery.
Damian said:When we look at the history of the Church we see that the concept of "personal relationship" is of relatively modern development and comes out of the classical Protestant Liberalism of the post enlightenment era. It's been pick up, ironically, by the conservative Evangelical Christians mostly in north America in the last 100 years. I'm still somewhat confused as to why that is frankly? Is it the bad rep that the monergists have?
sounds alot like works based stuff to me. I have a personal relationship with God now. I don't have to wait until I climb some 'ladder of divine ascent' to have one.
Damian said:"...that "a personal relationship" is stressed as the goal rather than a foregone by product of living a Christian life."
I think that's an interesting and well stated summary.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.