September 2019

Death, What a Wonderful Way to Explain It

by Steve Ray on September 28, 2019

Hope you enjoy this. I found it quite nice with a ring of truth to it. When it comes my turn to die, this will be my attitude.

{ 5 comments }

We hope you enjoy these two movies of our final day with the Legatus Holy Land pilgrimage. These are a bunch of wonderful folks and we had a very blessed and exciting time together.

The first video is our early morning to carry our crosses on the way to Calvary where we had Mass. After a bit of free time to regroup we went to the Western Wall and discussed a lot about Jewish and biblical history while watching bar Mitzvahs. The afternoon was free for people to do whatever they wanted and explore and there were a lot of options they took.

In the evening we had a great dinner and we had an induction for two new members of Legatus along with lots of farewells and thanks and applause. We hope you enjoy both videos.

{ 1 comment }

“Rome vs. the Bible” vs. Reality

by Steve Ray on September 27, 2019

A friend named Poor Knight for the Lord put up a blog recently refuting a list of lies about the Catholic Faith (another refutation is here). I have copied it here for your edification. I put up a similar article a week ago and throught this would be a good supplement.

POOR KNIGHT WRITES: There are a variety of articles out with titles like “Rome vs. the Bible” which suggests that the Bible disproves the Catholic Church. 

But, what would the people who swallow this article you do if they discovered the majority of the bad things you were taught about Catholicism were incorrect and meant to deceive them? What would they think if they found out the Catholic Church really is the truth and has been teaching correctly for 2,000 years?

 The pamphlet “Rome vs the Bible” has many factual errors – some blatant and others more subtle.  In discovering these errors, will you continue to spread them, or will you correct them?

Authority

“Rome vs the Bible” (RvB) claims that “the Bible teaches Scripture has authority over the church” and cites 2Tim3:16.  RvB then claims “Catholicism teaches the Church has authority over Scriptures” and cites the Catholic Catechism (CCC) paragraphs 100 and 119.
 Reality shows Catholicism teaches that the Church is the authoritative interpreter of Scripture (85, 100, 119) by the power of the Holy Spirit (109-114) but clearly teaches “the Church is the servant of Scripture. “(86)  RvB doesn’t report accurate Catholic teaching.   Why?
 Also 2 Tim 3:16 says nothing about the church.  It merely shows the high authority, inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture , something that Catholicism teaches (101-141).  But is that the only thing that has authority according to Scripture? 
 Ask yourself: what do I believe has the authority to decide between arguing Christians? What do I believe is the pillar and foundation of truth for the Christian? What did God plan to use, from the beginning of time, to make known His entire wisdom?
 RvB would like you to believe it is The Bible alone. Reality shows, according to that Bible, it is: The Church (Mt 18:15-18; 1Tim3:15; Eph 3:10)  Also ask: How do I know what books belong in Scripture?   Scripture cannot tell you but the Church did and does.
 Salvation / Justification
 RvB implicitly denies that one can lose salvation.  RvB then derides Catholicism for believing in Mortal sin and the ability to lose salvation.
Reality shows that the Bible explicity teaches there is Mortal sin, or the “sins that lead to death” (‘death’ = ‘mortal’ in Latin)(1Jn5:17) meaning a spiritual death.  The Bible teaches that a Christian can, indeed, lose salvation through sinning. Take heed you who think you stand secure, lest you fall.  (1Cor 10:6-8; 11-12) (Rom 11:22; Gal 5:6; 2 Pet  2:20-22) RvB doesn’t address these verses.  Why not?
 RvB states “man is Justified once by faith”.  RvB then condemns Catholicism for teaching that Salvation and Justification are a process, with a one-time event to begin them, but then cooperation needed to continue progressing in them.
Reality shows the Bible says both Salvation and Justification are processes with a past completed event (Rom 8:24; Eph 2:5-8 etc), present application (1Cor1:8; 2Cor2:15; Phil 2:12), and future cooperation needed to get to heaven (Rom 5:9-10; 1Cor 3:12-15).
RvB doesn’t address the rest of these Biblical passages.  Why not?
RvB implies that faith alone is what saves someone and works will come afterward, but does not have anything to do with salvation.  RvB then claims Catholicism teaches that one can earn “their own salvation” through good works.
 Reality is Catholicism teaches that no one can earn their own salvation (2010) .  Catholicism teaches that we are justified entirely by Grace (1996).  Catholicism teaches Grace / Justification is the work of Christ’s atoning death on the Cross and by His Blood (1992).  Catholicism teaches that we must have faith in Christ to be saved (161).  Catholicism recognizes that once we have Grace, we must cooperate with God to continue walking in the Light, so that the blood of Christ continues to cleanse us (2006-2029, cf 1Jn 1:7)
RvB again does not report Catholic teaching accurately.  Why not?
 
Reality shows the Bible teaches we are saved by Grace which no one can earn (Eph 2:8-9).  But once we are “in Christ” we are commanded to do good works (Eph 2:10).  If we disobey this command, we cannot be saved (Jn 3:36); If we rely only on faith, without good works, that faith cannot save us.  Good works complete our faith, as it did with Abraham, and therefore it was credited to him as righteousness.  Just as a body cannot be alive first and the soul comes later, faith without good works is dead. 
The only place in Scripture the phrase “Faith Alone” appears it says:  We are justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE (Ja 2:14-24). 
 We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in us (Grace) both to will (faith) and to work (good works) (Ph 2:15-16).  We must keep the Commandments to go to heaven (Mk 10:17-22)
 Reality is everywhere in Scripture where people are judged to heaven or hell, they are judged by theirworks (Rom 2:5-11; Mt 25-31-46; Rev 20:12 among many others). RvB neglects to mention any of these Bible passages.  Why not?

 Baptism

 RvB states that only the Holy Spirit regenerates people.  RvB then implies that Catholicism is opposed to this by teaching Baptism regenerates people.
Reality is that Catholicism teaches Christ empowered Baptism to bring the Holy Spirit, which is why it regenerates people (1225; 1987; 2017). Reality shows that Christ said exactly that (Jn3:5).  Reality also shows that the Bible teaches Baptism is necessary for salvation and forgives sins (1Pet 3:21-22; Act 2:38-39)
 RvB again fails to give accurate representation of Catholicism and ignores Scripture.  Why?
 Eucharist / The Lord’s Supper
 
RvB states, “the Lord’s Supper is a memorial” implying an intellectual recollection only and cites 1Cor11:24-25.  RvB then implies that the Catholic Mass is re-sacrificing Christ.
Reality shows that the word for “remembrance” (anamnesis) means making a past event present today. Also the word for “do” implies sacrifice.  Christ also said, “This IS my Body” and “This IS my Blood” not “this represents” (Lk 22:19-20; paralleled in Mk, Mt; 1Cor11:24-25).  Christ also commands us to “Eat My Flesh” and “Drink My Blood” numerous times using language that can only be interpreted literally without doing violence to the text. (Jn 6:51-56).  Paul also tells us this is a literal participation in Christ’s Body and Blood (1 Cor 10:16) and to receive without discerning Christ’s Body, is to be guilty of His literal Body and Blood i.e. of murder (1 Cor 10:27-30).
Reality is Catholicism teaches Christ’s sacrifice was Once-For-All, and the Eucharist is making that One Sacrifice present today (re-presenting) (1362-1363).
Reality also is all Christians writings from the first EIGHT CENTURIES taught the literal interpretation of Christ’s words.  One cannot find a single Christian writer who states what RvB believes about the Lord’s Supper for 800 years after Christ’s Ascension.
Reality also shows RvB’s idea of “the Lord’s Supper” was made up by men in the 16th Century.   A warning from Scripture is appropriate here: Gal 1:8.
 RvB only cites one of the dozens of paragraphs of the CCC dealing with this; only one of the Bible verses above and doesn’t tell you what those words actually mean.  Why?

Anathemas

Anathema merely means to not belong to the community.  RvB would like you to believe it means “condemned to hell.” 
 RvB’s own teachings (Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Symbolic Only Lord’s Supper, Once Saved Always Saved, the Rapture etc) were made up by men in the 16th Century or later. Protestant Historians like JMD Kelly acknowledge this.
 RvB’s own warning (Gal 1:6-9) applies to them, not to the Catholic Church whose biblical teachings have stayed consistnent for 2000 years.  One only need to read the writings of the students of the Apostles to see this is true.
 By believing – and pushing –  these brand new, non-biblical teachings RvB proves they ‘do not belong’ to the Church Christ founded.

 

 Saints / Priests

 RvB claims that Catholicism doesn’t teach that all Christians are priests and saints.
 
Reality: The Catholic Church explicitly teaches the priesthood of all believers and that all Christians are saints (priesthood: 1141; 1268; 1546 / saints: 946-962).  RvB did not bother to take 10 seconds on a internet search to find this out. Why Not?
Reality: Recognizing what Scripture tells us, Catholicism teaches  Christ also set up a ministerial priesthood by giving it much of His Authority (Lk 10:16; Jn 20:21-23 cf. 2Cor 5:18; Mt:18:18 and many others) and that the “Holy Ones” in heaven (1 Thes 3:13) (the Latin word ‘holy’ is where ‘saint’ comes from) / the souls of Just men made perfect can now, because of Christ, be address and approached (Heb 12:22-24).  Since: the Church is the Body of Christ(Col 1:18); Christ only has one Body, not multiple (1Cor 12:12); Death cannot separate us from Christ (Rom 8:37-38); and we, in Christ, are commanded to pray for one another (1Tim2:1-4), therefore those members of the Church in Heaven are praying for us, and presenting our prayers before the Throne of God (Rev 5:8).
RvB does not present the full Biblical picture and presents a completely FALSE representation of Catholic teaching.  WHY?
 Final Thoughts
RvB does NOT want to present accurate Catholic teaching, nor the full Biblical teaching on these topics. WHY?
They have believed the Traditions of Men: Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, John Smyth, John Wesley, and the tens of thousands after them.  They have not held fast to the Traditions of God, which includes Sacred Scripture, (2Thes2:15; 3:6; 1Thes3:13; 2Tim2:2; 1Cor11:2) passed on faithfully for 2000 years by the Catholic Church!
 We encourage you to read your denomination’s teaching charters / documents / confessionals and compare them to   1) History: the writings of the 1st Christians after the Apostles 2) The WHOLE Bible 3) The Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

{ 3 comments }

Fun Bible Riddles

September 26, 2019

Many gave so I could rise. I was almighty in their eyes. Many died when I was crushed. They were forced to drink my dust. What am I? ************************** Born once, die twice; Born twice; die once. What does it mean? ************************* Three times I have been divided doing what God had decided. Twice a […]

Read the full article →

Legatus Day 7: Mount of Olives & Mount Zion

September 25, 2019

Always nice to start the day with Mass in the Garden of Gethsemane surrounding the very stone where Jesus sweat drops of blood (homily here). Then up the Mount of Olives to the Church of Paternoster where Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Our Father and from where he ascended into heaven. I gave […]

Read the full article →

A Baptist Friend Asks: The Bible Says “All have sinned” so how can Mary be Immaculate?

September 25, 2019

A Southern Baptist writes: I am a Southern  Baptist who has a lot of respect for the Catholic faith. The Immaculate Conception is a hard concept for me. Does it also include the belief that Mary never sinned? How does that pass muster with Rom. 3:23 “For all have sinned and come short of the […]

Read the full article →

Legatus Day 6: Jordan Valley, Jericho, Jordan River, Dead Sea and Solemn Entry into Tomb

September 24, 2019

This is always one of the favorite days for our pilgrims. We start out with Mass at the Notre Dame Center (homily here). The Israel Museum is our next stop will review the Temple Model which is like walking around Jerusalem at the time of Christ. We also saw the Dead Sea Scrolls in the […]

Read the full article →

What Do We Mean by “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers”

September 24, 2019

Unanimous Consent of the Fathers By Steve Ray The Unanimous Consent of the Fathers (unanimem consensum Patrum) refers to the morally unanimous teaching of the Church Fathers on certain doctrines as revealed by God and interpretations of Scripture as received by the universal Church. The individual Fathers are not personally infallible, and a discrepancy by […]

Read the full article →

Legatus Day 5: All Day Bethlehem

September 24, 2019

We took our folks to the best olivewood shop in Bethlehem. It has fine quality work and an excellent selection of everything including icons, olivewood, mother of pearl, etc. We also had exclusive access into the birthplace of Christ under the Church of Nativity without waiting in line. Everyone was able to touch the very […]

Read the full article →

If There is No Infallible Teacher, What Good is an Infallible Bible?

September 23, 2019

My good friend and fellow convert, Stan Williams posed the question “What good is an infallible Bible without an infallible teacher? I RESPONDED: The NT never claims infallibly for itself or its Table of Contents. Without an authoritative Church and without the Infallible Interpreter we don’t even have an infallible book. STAN WILLIAMS WROTE: I have […]

Read the full article →

Legatus Day 4: Capernaum to Jerusalem

September 22, 2019

Today we started our day in beautiful Capernaum where Jesus spent the three years of his ministry living with Peter. We has Mass above Peter’s House (homily here). I gave my talk on Defending the Eucharist. With you in 2000 year old ancient boat from the time of Jesus and then took a real boat […]

Read the full article →

Holding Hands at Mass? Fr. John Riccardo’s 4-Minute Answer

September 22, 2019

I hate holding hands at Mass so this 4-minute video sure resonated with me….

Read the full article →

Legatus Israel Day 3: Mount of Transfiguration, Renewal of Wedding Vows in Cana, and Nazareth

September 21, 2019

Two videos today: 1) Our pilgrimage, 2) Magdalena Dinner and Talent Show. Unusually early morning so as to be the first bus to the taxi stand since the taxis need to drive us up the hair-pin turns to the top of Mount Tabor – the Mountain of the Transfiguration. We had an 8 AM Mass […]

Read the full article →

Short Primer on the Mass

September 21, 2019

A while ago a Lutheran attended Mass with me. To prepare him in advance for what he was going to experience, I put together this short “Primer on the Mass.” I hope you find it helpful and useful. Pleases share if with family and friends if you think it could help them to understand.  Click […]

Read the full article →

Legatus Holy Land Day 2: Beatitudes, Banias, Golan, Syria and the Sea Sites

September 20, 2019

Our first full day in Galilee was a hot one! But everybody was excited and ready to get on with our pilgrimage. We started with an outdoor Mass at Beatitudes (homily here) then drove north to the Lebanese border and went to Caesarea Philippi where Jesus said “You are Peter in on this rock I […]

Read the full article →

“I Was Raised Catholic, You Too?” Must Read for Catholics Who Have Left the Faith

September 20, 2019

I was raised Catholic – You too? Maybe Time to Reconsider by Mike Cousineau Christian denominations speak to knowing the Truth, and rightly so!  All Christian denominations have, at least, some truth.  For instance, every denomination is in total agreement with, “The purpose of man is to know, love & serve God.” However, with over 35,000 […]

Read the full article →