Taken for Ride? Islam and Religious Liberty

by Steve Ray on March 28, 2017

Americans better start paying attention to the issue of Islam staking it’s claim in the USA with new mosques popping up in very unlikely places. Is Islam a religion or a political agenda or a hybrid? Crisis Magazine has given us a good article that should wake us up.

Taken for a Ride? Islam and Religious Liberty
WILLIAM KILPATRICK
Islamic Center
Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 8.46.00 PM“President Erdogan, who is rapidly turning Turkey into a Caliphate, once said that “Democracy is just the train we board to reach our destination.” Is religious liberty also a train that Islamists ride until they reach their stop?

“That’s an increasingly urgent question now that mosques are popping up all over the landscape of Europe, Canada, and the U.S. Are the mosque-builders genuinely committed to religious freedom for all, or is religious liberty merely a vehicle for increasing the power of Islam? After all, in those countries where Islam is firmly in power, there is little or no religious liberty for non-Muslims, and the liberty of Muslims themselves is severely restricted. They are not, for instance, free to leave Islam.

“What brings this to mind is a 2014 post I came across on the Becket Fund’s website about a dispute over the building of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. There was a great deal of local resistance to the mosque, which culminated in a legal battle resulting in a victory for the Muslim community. The Becket Fund, along with the Department of Justice, stepped in on the side of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro….”

For the whole article read here.

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Was Abraham Save by Faith Alone?

by Steve Ray on March 28, 2017

Today I am flying to Franciscan University of Steubenville to be the guest for Franciscan University Presents, the one-hour TV show produced by the University for EWTN. Mike Hernon hosts the program which is a round-table discussion with a guest and panelists from their Theology Department, Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Regis Martin. 

Our topic will be Abraham, Father of Faith & Works. I am looking forward to recording this show. In honor of this event today I am posting this article on Abraham, a critique I made of a book falsely claiming Abraham was saved by “faith alone.”

Was Abraham saved by Faith Alone? By Steve Ray

imgres-1You say, “Of course Abraham was saved by faith alone! Doesn’t the Bible make that perfectly clear, especially in Paul’s letters? And didn’t Luther’s German translation inform the masses that the words “faith” and “alone” belonged together like bread and butter? Abraham was saved by faith alone!”

Well, maybe he was and maybe he wasn’t, but the Bible certainly throws some question on this well-known Protestant cliché. Let’s find out how and when Abraham was really “saved.” Fundamentalist Protestants like to tell us that we are saved at “one-point-in-time when we “simply believe.” In other words mental assent to the simple gospel gives us a free passage to heaven.

imagesSince Abraham is used in the New Testament as the quintessential example of justification by faith, let’s see if we can pin-point the moment when Abraham believed? Can we locate the exact moment he was “saved”? Since this was such a momentous occasion in the history of mankind, and in the drama of salvation history, it should be clearly shown when Abraham actually believed and was reckoned as righteous. From unbelief to belief, from no faith to saving faith.

Protestants (e.g., John Ankerberg in Protestants and Catholics, Do They Now Agree? [Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publ., 1995) like to say the word “justify” as used by James really means “vindicate,” and that “vindicate” has nothing to do with salvation, but has to do with the proving of the believer’s faith—Abraham’s faith. You really should have addressed the major weakness of this perspective: it is not the faith that is being justified by works—it is the man.

images-1How can we justify this? If our theory holds true shouldn’t we read, “Was not Abraham our father’s faith justified (vindicated) by works?” making it clear that it is his faith, and not his person. Instead we read, unfortunately, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works?” This observation does not set well with our interpretation.

In your book you say that it is always the faith that is proven by works, whereas the Apostle James seems to say it is the person. We should try to figure out how James could have worded this passage more carefully so Catholics don’t get the wrong idea and misunderstand the gospel. You also say in your book (p. 37) that “Paul is writing about a person being justified before God, while James is writing about a man being justified before men. Men cannot see another person’s heart as God can.”

imgresSomehow we have to more careful in this theory, or else we end up scratching a few verses out of the story of Abraham in Genesis. Was it men who were testing Abraham’s faith? The book of Genesis says, no. It was God who was testing Abraham in Genesis 22, not men. You write that James is referring to justification before men (p. 37), because God can already see the heart. I noticed in reading James & Peter, by Harry Ironside, that he agrees with you on this point.

But the problem seems to be that it was God who was testing Abraham in Genesis, because Moses wrote, “Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham . . . ” (Gen. 22:1) Notice it was not men who were finding out what was in Abraham’s heart— whether he had true faith—it was God.

For the whole article, click here.  To learn purchase our documentary on Abraham filmed in Iraq, Turkey and Israel, click here

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Interesting Insight: Abortion, the Annunciation and the Visitation

March 24, 2017

After a talk I gave at the Cathedral in Gaylord Michigan a while ago, an insightful man named Richard Grammens and his wife Mary Jean approached me. He told me to think about the “size  and condition” of Jesus in the womb when John the Baptist recognized the Person and Personhood of Jesus in hte […]

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Trail of Blood: Do Baptists Have a Claim to the Original Church?

March 23, 2017

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many ”fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct? There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood”. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving […]

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Did St. Paul Pray for the Dead? Yes!

March 21, 2017

I posted an article I wrote about St. Paul praying for the dead HERE. But I thought you would appreciate Dave Armstrong’s recent article about the same passage with confirmation and a new set of eyes on the text and the reasons for many Protestants to reject the claim… St. Paul Prayed for Onesiphorus, Who […]

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In the 1850’s – “Pro-slavery” or “Pro-Choice”?

March 20, 2017

“Many in the 1850’s also considered themselves “pro-choice” rather than “pro-slavery”. History repeats itself…”  (Obianuju Ekeocha  Twitter@obianuju) In other words, I am personally against slavery, but I think people (or the states) should have the freedom to choose.

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Devastation of Christian Towns In Iraq by ISIS – Short Video

March 20, 2017

A visit to the Chaldean Christian town of Karemlash, 9 miles from Mosul, liberated from ISIS by Iraqi and Kurdish forces in November 2016. I sure hope and pray the world wakes up and stops this carnage. I am glad President Trump has promised – and is doing something already to end this.

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ANNOUNCING: Saints & Shrines of Italy: One of a kind Pilgrimage!

March 17, 2017

We have just finalized the plans for a new and one of a kind pilgrimage through arguably the most beautiful country in the world – Italy. We will be joined by Teresa Tomeo of Catholic Connections. It is called the Saints & Shrines of Italy and start in Milan and slowly works down through magnificent […]

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Was Joseph the Father of Jesus? Video of Going to Work with Jesus and Joseph near Nazareth!

March 17, 2017

Since March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, I thought I would share a few things on this great saint!  First, a discussion of whether it is correct to call St. Joseph the father of Jesus. Second, I recently ran from Nazareth to the worksite of these two guys and I invite you by […]

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For Those Following the Arguments Debunking of Geocentrism

March 14, 2017

Dave Palm’s latest. Please enjoy some fresh content on Geocentrism Debunked: “Getting on the Wrong Wavelength: More Basic Physics Blunders by the Geocentrists”:  Geocentrist leader Robert Sungenis answered our last slate of articles in part by insisting that by “using the parameters of modern science”, “it turns out that the Earth is the heaviest object in […]

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Restoration at Tomb of Holy Sepulchre coming to and end!

March 11, 2017

During our last five trips to Jerusalem the Tomb of Jesus in the Holy Sepulchre has been going through much needed restoration – but it sure was a hassle and and eyesore. But this month it is finally coming to completion. On our next trip in April (sold out) we will see the Tomb in […]

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Forty Frozen Martyrs – we honor them today March 10

March 9, 2017

In my talk Swimming Upstream I usually tell the story of 40 Roman soldiers who chose to freeze naked on a frozen lake in 320 AD rather than deny Jesus Christ. St. Basil, Doctor of the Church, told of the heroic martyrdom of 40 soldiers in a homily. They had been executed fifty years before […]

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The Plot Against the Pope

March 9, 2017

By Damian Thompson    March 11, 2017 in The Spectator Magazine It is no secret in Rome that several cardinal want Francis to step down On the first Saturday in February, the people of Rome awoke to find the city covered in peculiar posters depicting a scowling Pope Francis. Underneath were written the words: Ah, Francis, […]

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Eloquent Thanks for Holy Land Pilgrimage

March 9, 2017

Steve and Janet, We would like to thank you and Janet for a once in a lifetime experience in the Holy Land. From day one, this journey has been the work of God.  Our last minute addition to the trip was no accident and truly the work of God. The trip itself was well organized and […]

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Bishops Should Not Play into the Hands of Immigration Hysteria

March 9, 2017

From The Christian Review (when it was still seven countries banned): The troubling, knee-jerk reactions to the recent presidential executive order temporarily suspending the issuance of visas to nationals of seven “countries of particular concern” seem to have preempted the steady moral reasoning that characterizes the best of Catholic analysis. Unfortunately, members of the U.S. […]

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