Apologetics

Is Faith Alone the Basis for the Final Judgment?

by Steve Ray on October 17, 2018

Is Faith Alone the Basis for the Final Judgment?  By Steve Ray

Dear Jerry:

I had no intention of writing you again this soon but after having dinner with your brother the other day and picking up a copy of a booklet you gave him entitled Studies In Contrasts: The Doctrine of Salvation (by Herb Vander Lugt and published by the Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, MI.), I thought I’d drop you a short note.

I was not surprised, but I was again disappointed in the obvious dishonesty (or ignorance) and the unfounded assumptions of the booklet. I decided to write a short note to ask you a few questions to see if you agree with me.

First, I will be honest, I did not read the entire booklet. I first flipped to page 18. The title was Everyone / Not Everyone Will Be Judged. The first passage of Scripture quoted was John 5:28, 29, which was prominently placed in a text box at the top of the page.

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 5.48.54 PMBut first, before we look at John 5:28, 29, let’s take a look at the contrast that Herb Vander Lugt sets up. He says under the heading Explanation: “. . . we are told that all people, believers, and unbelievers [here is his contrast] will be resurrected and appear before Christ for final judgment.” He makes the opposing categories believers and unbelievers, but this is not what the Bible says.

What contrast does the Bible set up? This booklet is written by those who are supposed to be the “Bible-people” who do not interpret the Bible on the basis of “tradition” but objectively, based on the supposed perspicuousness of the Scriptures. Let’s see how honest they are, or how blinded by their tradition they are . . .

If the reader goes to the text box to read the passage of Scripture referred to, they will find this: “The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth . . . to the resurrection of life, and . . . to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28, 29. Now, what do the three periods ellipses ( . . . ) delete from the text? An ellipsis is defined as by the American Heritage Dictionary as “The omission of a word not necessary for the comprehension of a sentence.” The unwary reader might expect believers and unbelievers to be the words cut out. Am I correct? This is of course what the author expects you to read and understand. He deceives his readers.

Yet, get your Bible out and read for yourself the words of our Lord that the author “cut out” or deleted.

 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28, 29).

My question to you is this: why did he remove words to hide the meaning of what our Lord Jesus was saying? And why do you condone such actions by believing and perpetrating the material?

Why do you think Vander Lugt cut these essential words out? Was he trying to put words into our Lord Jesus’ mouth? Why did he want the readers to misunderstand what Jesus was actually saying? The author could not come up with a verse in the Bible that describes the final judgment in terms of faith vs. no faith, or belief vs. disbelief could he?

There are no verses in the Bible that discuss the Judgement in these terms. In fact, isn’t it true that every time the judgement is discussed, the basis for judgement is deeds or actions or works? One must be careful of playing with our Lord’s words and especially careful of misrepresenting His intent. He condemns the Pharisees in no uncertain terms for doing exactly that.

For the whole article, click here.

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Atheism is growing in America and around the world. But is there a good reason for its popularity? Do they know something we don’t know — or do they just not want some supreme being or a “God” to tell them what to do and not to do?

Is it reasonable to be an atheist? Which takes more faith: atheism or theism (belief in a God)?

I gave a talk a while ago called “Atheism: What You and Your Kids Need to Know.” You can purchase the MP3 of this talk here. The talk was fun and hard-hitting. In a simple way I helped the audience understand the reasons and implications for atheism and theism.

OK, you are the detective and you have clues. There are very few possible options so it is really quite easy. My 3-page chart below helps you work through the clues.

I used this chart in my talk to help people look at the clues and decide for themselves. Hope you find it helpful.  (To have this talk at your parish or conference, visit www.InviteSteve.com)

Click image to see the whole 3-page chart below.

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Today we are in Capernaum where Jesus said: “Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” I thought it appropriate that I post this challenge today.

A man sent a challenge saying “the Fathers of the Church limited the Eucharist to a symbol and therefore it is NOT the Real Presence of Christ.”

Is that true? My friend Gary Michuta answers the question.

Thanks for including me in on this conversation. Brian, there are three issues that commonly trip up non-Catholics when they read the early fathers on the Eucharist.

 The first obstacle is their inability to understand the difference between a complimentary statement and a contradictory statement. For example, the two following statements can be complementary (that is both true in the same manner and time):

1) This ball is red
2) This ball is round.

 A contradictory statement cannot be true in the same manner and at the same time. for example:

1) This ball is red
2) This ball is NOT red

 When an early father says that Eucharist is a symbol, it is not necessarily contradictory since the Eucharist can be both a symbol and the reality of Christ’s body and blood. A statement that would contradict Catholic teaching would be The Eucharist is ONLY a symbol.

 This brings up the second stumbling block. Catholic teaching on the Eucharist is much more complex than saying it is Christ’s body and blood (as you know). It is a Sacrament, which is a visible sign (symbol, type, figure) that points to an invisible reality (Christ Himself). Many non-Catholics are surprised that the Catholic Church teaches that the Eucharist is a symbol (in regards to the Sacramental species or its outward appearances). 

 The Council of Trent, for example, said, “This, indeed, the most Holy Eucharist has in common with the other sacraments, that is a “symbol of a sacred thing and a visible form of an invisible grace (DS 1639). It elsewhere says that Christ “offered to the Father His own body and blood under the species of bread and wine, and under the symbols of those same things gave to the apostles… so that we might partake.” (DS 1740).

The old Roman Catechism (the Catechism of the Council of Trent) speaks in the same way. When the early Fathers speak of the Eucharist in terms of its species (mode in which it is given to us), it is correct to use terms like symbols, figures, types, and the like. However, when one is speaking about the invisible reality of the Eucharist (Christ Himself) we cannot speak of it as a symbolic (see DS 1651). 

 The third stumbling block, which this author seems totally oblivious, is the fact that the early Fathers interpreted Scripture according to a four-fold sense (literal, allegorical, moral and anagogical). Protestantism recognizes only one sense of Scripture, the literal (ala the Westminster Confession, 1, 9). There were schools in the ancient Church that specialized on these different senses. Antioch was known for its literal interpretations. Alexandria was known for its allegorical interpretations.

It’s not surprising that the two examples the author gives as being most surprising to Catholics are Clement and Origen. What a shock! They both taught in Alexandria and both are known for their allegorical interpretation. The quotes he gives shows very clearly that they are not talking about the literal sense of Christ’s words, but the allegorical (or perhaps moral/spiritual sense). But this sense tells us nothing about what the Eucharist truly, literally, is.

The Eucharist is both a symbol and IS what it symbolizes. 

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Do the Sacraments Need A “Digestive Juice”?

October 13, 2018

At a recent conference, I mentioned that when we eat we need digestive juices in order to make our food do for our bodies what it was intended to do. I said sacraments are the same. The digestive juice of the sacraments is faith. A listener honestly and respectfully questioned my comments. She asked her […]

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Can Relics and Sacramentals Relay the Power of God?

October 11, 2018

Some might claim that Catholic teaching on relics and Sacramentals is unbiblical. Really? Check out these biblical passages: “So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face CLOTHS or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came […]

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Who Says the Mass is a Sacrifice?

October 9, 2018

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Responding Simply to Question about Images and the 2nd Commandment

October 8, 2018

Good day, Mr. Steve Ray! We have a concern regarding the many statues of Saints and Mama Mary and Jesus all over the Philippines. It seems the Filipinos are exaggerating with those statues and images. What is your say to this? Is this against the second commandment of God that we should not make any […]

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What is Biblical Typology? Show with Steve Ray on EWTN’s “Journey Home”

October 5, 2018
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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live Q&A for Non-Catholics

September 27, 2018

Here are the questions I answered on Catholic Answers Live. You can listen HERE. Questions are only taken from Non-Catholics: 1. I am an Anglican with respect for Apostolic Tradition. How can I apply this in the midst of Evangelical influence? 2. In Revelation 20 it mentions “a thousand year period,” what is that referring […]

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Peter & the Primacy in the New Testament

September 19, 2018

St. Peter in the New Testament What Do We Know About Him? Peter is the big rugged fisherman who became the humble servant of the servants of God. Jesus chose him from among the Twelve to be the leader and the visible head of the Church. What do we know about Peter from the New […]

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Steve Ray interviewed “Why These Catholic Converts Remain”

September 14, 2018

Leaving the Church in ‘protest’ against perceived problems isn’t a Catholic option, former Protestants explain. Interview with Judy Roberts CULTURE OF LIFE |  JAN. 7, 2018 “For Lannette Turicchi, changing churches because of a scandal or the way the pastor interpreted the Bible was part of being a Protestant. But now that she has professed faith in […]

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Response to a Challenge of Why I Rejected “Sola Scriptura”

September 12, 2018

My e-mail response: Regarding Sola Scripture: First, when Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives and before he entered the cloud he did NOT yell back down saying, “Oh by the way, don’t forget to read My Book!“ In fact, Jesus left no book called the New Testament, he never wrote anything down […]

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Was Jesus a Homosexual? Some say “Yes” and try to Prove it from the Bible!

September 10, 2018

After posting my blog entry “Jesus and Homosexuality” I received a correspondence from a Harry H. McCall, a self-proclaimed ex-reverend, on June 4, 2012. He referred me to his blog “Debunking Christianity.” His post was entitled Jesus the Homosexual: Evidence From the Gospels. It is despicable to even say or suggest this of Our Lord […]

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Why Didn’t Jesus Condemn Homosexuality?

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Steve’s extensive response to new questions in the ComBox below. For the newly revised and full article click here. IN RESPONSE TO MY BLOG JESUS IS NOT A HOMOPHOBE, ROD WROTE: Rod May 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM Steve, Your posting is remarkable! It is remarkable that, despite your attempts at convincing yourself that Jesus […]

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My Thoughts While Waiting In Line for Confession

September 2, 2018

My wife and I went to confession yesterday. The line was pretty long (which was good to see, though I hate lines :-)  As I sat and waited it struck me again that the Church is not just a loose association of like-minded followers of Jesus. It is not just “Jesus and me” as we […]

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Queenship Of the Blessed Virgin – August 22

August 22, 2018

Last week was the Feast of the Assumption of Mary and today, August 22 is the Queenship of Mary. The other day a man called to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother to Queen of […]

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