Apologetics

Evangelicals with Statues?

by Steve Ray on November 16, 2017

A while ago I took off running through a commercial area behind the hotel where I was staying while doing a parish mission. I discovered a nice jogging trail through the woods so I swung onto the trail and headed through the trees. Soon I came into the open to see a beautiful lake. A sign caught my eye. It had an arrow pointing to “Baptismal Pool.” I kept running.

Sure enough a little distance ahead there was an elaborate structure with seats, railings and a ramp down into the lake. It was obviously designed for full immersion baptisms (see pictures).

I was puzzled. Why a baptismal pool in a commercial park? I looked carefully at the large building to the right which appeared to be a large office building – but surprise! it was a large mega-church with a sign “Fellowship Church.”

I looked back at the baptismal pool and remembered my upbringing in modest Baptist churches. They didn’t have lakes with elaborate ramps down to the ducks and white egrets sharing the water. We had huge bathtubs behind the pulpit where people were immersed after church services – all wearing white robes and holding their noses.

But what does baptism do for these good meaning folks? According to their theology baptism does nothing – it’s not even necessary. Jesus commanded it so they do it but nothing happens. It was just an external act we did to show the world (even if it was in the privacy of our little church) that we had believed on Jesus. I know because I was raised this way and later passed on the Baptist tradition myself.

Of course evangelicals condemn Catholics as unbiblical for teaching that obeying Christ in baptism actually does something – bringing about new birth (John 3:5), washing away sins (first words Paul heard from Ananias when he hit the dust, Acts 22:16), and incorporating us into the death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:1-5).

Funny that they make such a costly structure to do something that doesn’t do anything. According to most of them – baptism is unnecessary for salvation and is merely optional since we are “saved by faith alone and not by sacraments.”

Funny that Baptists are called Baptists even though they consider baptism as unnecessary! Originally, after splitting from Martin Luther who believed baptism did something, even with infants, Baptists were originally called “Anabaptists”. “Ana” means again. Since they rejected their infant baptism as Catholics they decided they all had to be baptized again – thus “Anabaptists.” it was actually a way of demonstrating their protest against the Catholic Church (thus the title Protestant). Later they dropped the prefix “ana.”

I continued running around the next curve and stopped again. There in front of my eyes was was a big outdoor statue. I took a double-take, blinked and looked again. Yup, it was a statue! A statue of Jesus ascending to heaven!

Wait a minute? Aren’t Catholics accused of being idolaters because of statues? What is a statue doing in the garden of an

Evangelical mega-church? It brought to mind the inconsistency of Protestants, remembering my Baptist mom’s little statue of Mary and Jesus on our table at Christmas, part of the nativity scene.

If I was staying over the weekend I’d have visited this “church” just as an observer out of curiosity. I’d follow the arrow to “worship space.” I’m not sure whether I’d buy a cappuccino or an espresso to enjoy while watching the worship show entertainment. I would not want to be the only one with an empty cup holder in my theatre-style seat.

After shaking my head and wiping the sweat from my brow I ran back to the hotel to pack and fly back home after giving a Catholic Parish Mission. I prayed a quick prayer along the way – while huffing and puffing – and thanked Our Lord for His Catholic Church and for opening the eyes of one more unworthy servant.

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A Friend Meets Mormon Missionaries

by Steve Ray on November 15, 2017

Fr. Tom Smith, from a long line of Mormons back to Joseph Smith, tells why he converted to the Catholic Church. Read it HERE

A friend wrote about Mormons below:

I was doing a little shopping that day. Since I was in the neighborhood of a friend, I thought, I will stop by for a little visit. When I rang the doorbell, she came to the door and appeared unusually welcoming.

I walked in and off to my left I saw a couple of suits sitting in the living room and I’m thinking, oh boy, the Mormons are here. I was hungry and I wasn’t in a Mormon talking mood! And so I mentioned that I couldn’t stay long I was just stopping by and I was on my way to get something to eat. I didn’t know anything about Mormons; I was just trying to get out of there.

It is kind of like the Jonah and the whale thing, God was calling me one way and I was trying to go another. No, I was not swallowed by a whale! How could I, she wouldn’t let me out of the house. She said; “I have some nice warm rolls for you!”

mormon03So anyway, now I am sitting in her living room. One Mormon was sitting on the couch and the other was sitting on the floor. I asked them who was they’re founder? They said, Joseph Smith. I asked them, when was their church founded and they told me 1830. I then asked them what happened to the church between the death of last Apostle and 1830 when your church was founded. They said that the church had apostatized and there was no true Church in all of those centuries.

This came as a surprise to me because I had never heard anyone say there was no true church lasting for centuries, up to the point of the foundation of their particular Church. I mentioned to them that it was Jesus who said, the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and THE GATES OF THE NETHER WORLD WILL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven” (Mt. 16:18-19).

If the Church had apostatized and there was no one true Church for all those centuries then the Bible was wrong. This would mean that the gates of hell did prevail against the Church and Jesus is either a liar or sadly mistaken and that I could not accept either of these scenarios. So then I asked them, what they had to say about this. The Mormon sitting on the floor looked up at the other and said; “You can answer this one!” Of course they didn’t have an answer. Afterward my friend admitted she had said a prayer that I would show up.

The point is this; there has to be ONE true Church established by Jesus Christ in every century or the gates of Hell did prevail against it, in those centuries and the Bible and Jesus are wrong.

In the Apostles Creed it says; “I believe in ONE holy catholic and Apostolic Church.” This is the same creed that is said in Catholic, Lutheran and some other Protestant Churches. But, was the Church really ONE as we say in the Apostles Creed? Or was the Church an abstract invisible reality that embraces a multitude of contradictory theologies? What does the Bible say?

Jesus said; “May they all be ONE, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. I have given them the glory you gave to me, that they may be ONE as we are ONE. With me in them and you in me, may they be so perfected in UNITY that the world will recognize that it was you who sent me and that you have loved them as you have loved me” (Jn 17:21:23).

The Apostle Paul said; “Take every care to preserve the UNITY of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is ONE Body, ONE Spirit, just as ONE hope is the goal of your calling by God. There is ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, and ONE God and Father of all, over all, through all and within all” (Eph 4:3-6).

I can believe Jesus and Paul who say the Church must be ONE or I can believe those who say the Church is a multitude of contradictory theologies. The Church was and is ONE; and it has been ONE in every generation up to the present.

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I put up a post a few days ago with a video of my talk in Ephesus about Mary being Queen of Heaven and an Intercessor for the people of God’s kingdom.

Someone wrote to object saying,

It is interesting Steve, as to what you left out in your reference to 1 Kings 2:19 , Solomon’s Mother did indeed come in to the throne room, Solomon did indeed, rise and bow and have her sit at his right hand. But the Queen Mother’s request was in fact denied, and the first person to go to the Queen Mother with his request was put to death that very day! So much for taking requests to the Queen Mother, doesn’t always work!

I responded,

Let me explain a bit. Solomon is a type of Christ yet Solomon was a sinner. Solomon’s sin does not detract from Jesus’ perfection as the quintessential king of Israel and the Universe.

Every king had a queen but it was never his wife; it was his mother. She was called giborah, great lady and Queen Mother.

Being a sinner and flawed did not detract from the fact that Solomon was a type of Christ. Neither does Bathsheba’s sin and flaws detract from her being a prefigurement of Mary. Solomon and his mother were sinners; Jesus and his mother were not. What Solomon and his mother failed to do; Jesus and his mother do perfectly.

If you use Bathsheba’s sin to diminish Mary, then you must be consistent and use Solomon’s sin to diminish Jesus. Queen mothers were flawed intercessors; the Mother of God is an intercessor without flaw.

I didn’t miss anything.

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What Does God See When He Opens His Eyes?

November 8, 2017

Since we are in Capernaum today – where Jesus said, “Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” I thought it would be appropriate to post again this popular blog post that explains the Sacrifice of the Mass. Recently we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, […]

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Mary a Mediatrix? Isn’t there just One Mediator?

November 6, 2017

The Bible says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Yet Catholics refer to Mary as a Mediatrix (feminine form of the word mediator). So, isn’t that prima facie evidence that Catholics make up doctrines, worship Mary and disregard the Bible? […]

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Did Jesus Ascend into Heaven from Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) or from Bethany (Luke 24:50)?

November 4, 2017

One of our past pilgrims wrote with an apparent contradiction in the Bible and what I had said in Israel. The wording in the two verses below is what caused the confusion. Acts 1:12  “[After the Ascension] they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.” Luke […]

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Jews as Proof of God’s Existence & Faithfulness

November 3, 2017

Winston Churchill wrote “Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.“ He is absolutely right! I have often said they are remarkable people –gifted in a […]

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All Souls, Purgatory and Dirty China

November 2, 2017

Gus Llyod’s Reflection on Purgatory Today we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. It is the day we remember all the souls in Purgatory. Purgatory can be a controversial topic, and hard to explain. So, I would like to help you with that. Following is one of the chapters of A Minute in the Church […]

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Are You Born Again?

November 1, 2017

Since we are all renewing our Baptismal Vows at the Jordan River today, thought this post from a year ago might be appropriate :-) It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the same way — with “water and the Spirit“. Consider the following: 1) The […]

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Sherlock Holmes an Idolater – Praying to People?

October 31, 2017

Last night my wife and I were watching an episode of Sherlock Holmes on TV. He has always been one of my favorite characters and I can remember reading all the stories to our kids as they grew up. On TV I think Jeremy Brett does the best portrayal and it is always a delightful […]

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What Does the Word Catholic Mean? A History of the Word “Catholic”

October 28, 2017

As a Protestant, I went to an Evangelical church that changed an important and historical word in the  Apostles Creed. Instead of the “holy, catholic Church,” we were the “holy, Christian church.” At the time, I thought nothing of it. There was certainly no evil intent, just a loathing of the Catholic Church and a […]

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Response to a Southern Baptist

October 27, 2017

I received an e-mail from a Southern Baptist and decided to take a few minutes to respond. Thought others might be edifited by it so I have posted it here without using his name. His email is contained in regular text and MY RESPONSE IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS. **************************************************** HELLO FRIEND: I WILL ANSWER BRIEFLY […]

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Mary and the Apostles are Dead! Only Jesus can Mediate for Us

October 24, 2017

 Confusion of Many Protestants Too often well-meaning Protestants get confused and accuse of things that are outright nonsense if not lies. It is usually because they never take the time to really understand what the Catholic Church actually teaches and practices. Below is a good example of a kind and well-meaning Protestant pastor who wrote […]

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A Letter to an Anti-Catholic Fundamentalist

October 22, 2017

Beware, this is a little feisty and some may be offended by my confrontation. But this man has attacked many Catholics and raised his arrogant head against the Church over and over again. So, I responded appropriately, at least I did in my opinion. Here is a portion of the beginning of a long letter […]

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Why Do We Call St. Ignatius of Antioch and others APOSTOLIC FATHERS?

October 17, 2017

Today is the feast day of one of my all time favorite heroes. HE made me Catholic. I was on Relevant Radio today talking about him and why I love this guy so much. [For my 90-minute adventure documentary on Ignatius of Antioch along with four other Apostolic Fathers, get Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. For […]

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Evangelicals Guide To Catholic View of Justification

October 14, 2017

Steve Wood was a Protestant pastor before converting to Catholicism and starting Dads.org. He has just published an excellent book “Grace & Justification: An Evangelicals Guide to Catholics Beliefs.” Steve latest newsletter summarizes some of his book and gives good insights — especially in this 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Revolt. Here is his newsletter […]

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