November 2020

When I was a kid, the “Sinner’s Prayer” was a big deal. It was at the heart of everything we knew about Jesus and getting saved. It was almost used as an incantation.

My mom coached me to pray the Sinner’s Prayer when I was 4 years old. We knelt together in front of the green vinyl couch, and she helped me pray,

“Dear Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and the wages of sin is death. You sent your Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I ask Jesus to come into my heart. I know my sins are now all forgiven past, present and future. Thank you Jesus for saving me and assuring my entrance into heaven. Amen.”

Saul of Tarsus reciting the “Sinner’s Prayer”? I don’t think so :-)

It never dawned on me as a young man that such a prayer is never found in the Bible. Nor do we ever see anyone coach sinners to pray such a prayer. The Bible never encourages us to “ask Jesus into our heart.” And the whole idea of sins forgiven into the future with no guilt for future sins is – so unbiblical that I can’t even believe now I ever believed it.

I am grateful to my good mother for loving Jesus and wanting me to be saved. She believed what she was taught and never questioned the Baptist tradition she learned after hearing Billy Graham.

But now that I have read widely and studied these matters from Scripture and the early Church I realize there is much amiss with this Sinner’s Prayer. The Catholic Church is the fullness of the faith and explains salvation as faith in Christ, repentance and water baptism.

You never find St. Paul espousing such a prayer nor St. Peter on the day of Pentecost. My, it is good to be Catholic and cling to the rich and full teaching of the faith.

******************************

One of my old favorite Protestant writers, A. W. Tozer wrote, “I believe that a true ‘sinner’s prayer’ will gush out of anyone who is truly seeking God and is tired of being enslaved to sin. (Matthew 5:6) The very act of ‘leading someone in a prayer’ is utterly ridiculous. You will find nothing even remotely like it in the Bible, or among the writings and biographies of those in Church history. It completely savors of crowd and peer pressure tactics, and (please forgive me) brainwashing techniques. I do not believe that Jesus wants to have his disciples ‘repeat after Me,’ I believe He wants them to follow after Him!

{ 9 comments }

Want to go on a pilgrimage all around Jerusalem on foot? Back in 2011 when my knees were still strong I took off through all the holy biblical sites and documented them with videos and pictures.

The iPhone technology was not as good in 2011 as it is today, but it was an exciting 3-hour, 6.5 miles run through Jerusalem and surroundings to introduce you to the holy sites.

Join me in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, including Calvary, the Tomb, the place Judas hanged himself, Gethsemane, the place St. Stephen was stoned, top of Mount of Olives, Pool of Siloam, Western Wall, Upper Room, the tomb where Mary was buried, and a whole lot more.

This is a fun and informative, biblical and spiritual adventure running through Jerusalem. Due to limitations with YouTube, it is divided into three 8 minute videos. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Part 1 of 3: From Notre Dame Center to Mount Zion, Western Wall and Pool of Siloam…

Part 2 of 3: From Pool of Siloam to Mary’s birthplace at St. Ann’s Church…

Part 3 of 3: From Via Dolorosa, through the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, other sites and finally back to Notre Dame Center.

{ 5 comments }

Do the Sacraments Need A “Digestive Juice”?

by Steve Ray on November 27, 2020

Stomach Diagram Anatomy Elegant Stomach Anatomy Stomach Anatomy

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 friend to contact me with the questions. Below is what she wrote:

I can’t go tonight or I would ask Steve this question myself but maybe if you get a chance, could you ask him to clarify something he said about Baptism. He talked about Baptism being somehow dependent on the faith of the one being baptized. Maybe I misunderstood him? I don’t think it’s proper to speak about Baptism in “receptionist” terms but maybe I’m missing something?

My response follows:

Dear Friend:

Baptism_photo_1First, I want to say that I did mean what I said in my talk about faith required for Baptism—and the other sacraments. The two go hand-in-hand and both are necessary. I have heard said that in baptism, if one does not have faith or believe—he just gets wet. For example, would an atheist who gets baptized for a joke, have the grace of salvation conferred?

Now, with infants, faith is still expressed through the intention of the parents. Even here it is not allowed, if I remember correctly, to baptize an infant against the will—thus the absence of faith and intention—of the parents.

For my whole response, click here.

 

{ 0 comments }

Great for Christmas: 13 Major Differences between Catholics & Protestants

November 26, 2020

Defending the Fullness of the Faith:  13 Major Differences between Catholics & Protestants By Steve Ray Set of 4 audio CDs     Click here In this exciting series, you will be given the perfect apologetic primer to better understand and defend the Catholic Faith. Stephen Ray, a former Evangelical Protestant and Bible teacher, highlights the thirteen major issues […]

Read the full article →

A Charming and Uplifting Look at our Problems and Death for this Thanksgiving

November 25, 2020

Christian Gratitude (posted on The Catholic Thing, to which I highly recommend you subscribe) Stephen P. White. WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2020 Some years ago, during a particularly dark and troubling time, an American Jew living abroad wrote to his Catholic friend in the States to commiserate: “Looking across the seas at my native land, I see that […]

Read the full article →

Delivered “500 Reasons to Be Catholic” to Luther at Wittenburg Door

November 25, 2020

I was thinking about Martin Luther and the great schism of the Western Church and thought I would share again our visit to the Castle Church in Wittenberg Germany three years ago. Janet and I took a group of hardy Catholic converts to Germany to follow the footprints of Martin Luther and the Protestant revolt […]

Read the full article →

Questions for “Bible Christians”

November 24, 2020

For a PDF printable version, click here. This list was developed to show the weakness of the Protestant “Sola Scriptura” or “Bible Alone” position. ***************************************************** 1) Where did Jesus give instructions that the Christian faith should be based exclusively on a book? 2) Other than the specific command to John to pen the Revelation, where […]

Read the full article →

Two Good Movies

November 23, 2020

Nice to slow down a few days to relax and watch a couple of recommended movies with the Christmas lights blinking. Janet and I watched two movies this week that we would recommend. First, The Ultimate Gift in which a rich would-be heir — to billions of dollars — is taught many lessons about life, […]

Read the full article →

Dear Protestant: Where Did You Get Your Bible?

November 22, 2020

From Little Catholic Bubble website Leila@LittleCatholicBubble Dear Protestant: Where did you get your New Testament? At least a couple of times every week, Protestants use New Testament verses to show me where the Catholic Church is wrong about something. I always make them take the necessary step back by asking the following: “Where did you get your […]

Read the full article →

Christmas Sale on my CatholicConvert Store

November 21, 2020

Merry CHRISTmas. This post is “sticky” for a while to stay on top. Scroll down for new blog posts. Christmas is just around the corner. Check out the books, and great gifts to better learn the Catholic Faith and to give to family or friends. The “Footprints Catholic Adventure” DVD set would be a great gift […]

Read the full article →

Mass with 2 Protestants and 1 Crucifix

November 21, 2020

A while ago we went to Mass with two Protestants.  As we walked in the door — there it was, as big as life — a CRUCIFIX with the Body of Our Lord hanging over the altar. I knew what the Protestants were thinking — I used to think the same — “CATHOLICS ARE WRONG, JESUS IS […]

Read the full article →

Are You Born Again?

November 20, 2020

I posted this for the listeners of Catholic Answers Live on Wednesday evening, March 21. I will post the audio link as soon as it is available and a list of all the questions we answered. It seems that God is kind of predictable in a way :-) since He always starts new things in the […]

Read the full article →

The Real Map of the Election as it stands today

November 19, 2020

For the whole article, map and full graphics, click HERE.

Read the full article →

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

November 19, 2020

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 →

Seems the Virus Lockdowns are about more than Health; surprise, surprise

November 17, 2020

The lockdowns are started again. I live in Michigan and our governor is up to her usual shenanigans. But the whole lockdown mentality seems not so much to be about health but about bigger goals. Tucker lays it out pretty well here and we should be alarmed. So much going on, so many issues to […]

Read the full article →

A Mother Teaches her Biden-lover Children about Socialism. Hilarious!

November 16, 2020

Teach it mama!! ???? pic.twitter.com/D6pmmnrfdr — Jen ??? (@smalltownvoice) November 3, 2020

Read the full article →