Protestant/Other Christians

Cartoon on Protestantism and the Bible

by Steve Ray on November 21, 2019

20140207-183446.jpgWhen I look back on my experience I find this cartoon has a ring of truth.

There were many verses of the Bible that I either didn’t realize existed (though that may seem strange) or that we just ignored. Other verses did not fit our Protestant theology so we kind of set them aside or did mental gymnastics to try and force them to fit our traditions, kind of like forcing a square peg into a round hole. We virtually cut virtually them out of the Bible in the sense that we ignored or reasoned them away.

Other verses I just read with my “Baptist glasses” on and twisted them to fit my old tradition. One person told me, “There are some verses that don’t fit my theology so I just set them on the shelf.

Looking back it makes me happier than ever to be a Catholic.

{ 14 comments }

New Convert Holds His Ground with a Street Preacher

by Steve Ray on November 17, 2019

I was so delighted to receive this e-mail that I had to reshare it with everyone! Darrell should be a model for all of us!!

Hi Steve,

Just had to share this…I was visiting San Antonio this weekend and as I walked around the riverwalk section of town, a gentleman approached me with a gospel tract. When he asked, “Are you sure you are saved?”, I thought to myself, “What would Steve say?”

After thinking for a second, I smiled and told him, “Absolutely–I’m saved the bible way!”  When he asked what I meant by my (your) response, the ensuing answer led to an hour-long conversation with me doing my best to give rock-solid (no pun intended) answers to each of his skeptical questions. I even raised some points for which he had no “packaged” answers.

This was the first time since my conversion to the Church that I’ve really engaged in apologetics and defended the faith adequately. What made it more interesting is that this guy is a fallen-away Catholic and an MD who has started a small church of his own (At one point I even suggested that he was, in a sense, a self-appointed pope!).

After we shook hands, I walked away and overheard him telling others on his mission team, “Wow, that was a very intellectual argument!” It turned out to be the highlight of my weekend.  I am so grateful for all the work that you and other notable converts have done, through your books, CDs and videos,  to get me to this point.

Safe travels, Darrell

{ 10 comments }

How Many Denominations are Too Many?

by Steve Ray on November 16, 2019

We are currently in Israel with a group of 152 excited pilgrims. I have written a paper on the scandal of demoninations. This blog is an introduction to that paper I wrote entitled “The ‘Myth’ of 33,000 Denominations and Swallowing the Holy Ghost Feathers and All.”

WorldChristianEncyclopedia.jpgIn the meantime, this morning I post my discussion on the number of denominations in the world today and how sola Scriptura has been a huge factor in causing, or at least, facilitating this scandalous situation. I’ve been accused of “spinning,” the issue of denominationalism and schisms and factions. But there ARE such things and too many as you will see.

(World Christian Encyclopedia from which Protestant and other groups outside the Catholic Church are listed and numbered in excess of 33,000 denominations. In the attached article I provide links to the pages and numbers in question.)

SheepFlock.jpg Some don’t want to admit that sola Scriptura is an unbiblical and destructive doctrine. Some ignore the fact that Jesus wants Christians to be one, with a visible unity so the world can see it and proclaim, “Ah, see the Christians? Their unity demonstrates visibly that the Father has certainly sent the Son” (John 17:22-23). The opposite then must also be true. If there are divisions and schisms the world has the right to conclude that the Father did not send the Son.

The great number of denominations and factions has done great damage to the reputation and credibility of Christianity. Whether it is 33,000 or whatever large number, it is grossly wrong. Christians ought to fix it by rallying around the shepherd Jesus appointed on the Sea of Galilee after his resurrection (where we will be today) (Jn 21:15-17; Matt 16:18-19).

“Do you love Me? Shepherd My sheep, tend My lambs.” If there is a command that the Shepherd lead, there is an implicit command for the sheep to follow and obey.

How many denominations equals more than one. Jesus wants ONE flock (John 10:16). How many does it take to cause Jesus pain?

Sheep scatter easily, I know because I have rented flocks of sheep twice in Bethlehem. And because sheep scatter easily Jesus appointed shepherds and, through apostolic succession they are still pastoring the sheep today with a flock that is larger than all other Christian schisms, sects and factions combined. It is not by chance nor accident. It is by design.

But sheep are still quite willing at times to wander away and gather in little groups outside the fold — to their own detriment. And it is no surprise why many wandering sheep have come back to the fold and many others like me — born outside the true sheepfold of the Catholic Church — have entered the fold with great joy once we discovered it.

Now, one question that comes up. Aren’t there 242 “Catholic denominations” mentioned in the Oxford Dictionary you quote? I am not sure of the actual number, but there are a good number of Catholic schisms that have broke with Rome and set up their own “popes” and continue to call themselves Catholics. So, yes, you can say there are a lot of Catholic schisms, or if you prefer, denominations, along with Orthodox, Copts and others. It is a shame on all counts.

There are also many rites loyal to Rome which some may consider different “denominations” even though in their case it would be incorrect to do so. There are groups like the Maronites, Melkites, Greek Catholics, etc. who have separate names but are all Catholic and in union with Rome.

I write this blog and article to encourage the faithful and to defend the faith of the “one holy, Catholic and apostolic Church” and those who love the faith.

FastFoodResaurants.jpgMy paper begins: “The other day I drove through town and on one side of the street there was McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Macaroni Grill, Arby’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Big Boys and Taco Bell. 

“On the other side of the street, I saw church buildings: Presbyterian, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, Nazarene, Methodist, Reformed Baptist, Free Will Baptist, American Baptist, Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Progressive Missionary Baptist and . . . 

“We live in a consumer society and unhappily too many people choose a “church” along Main Street the same way their appetites and tastes dictate which fast food joint they go to. And just like people jump from one restaurant to another, many Christians jump from one church to another. It is often called “church hopping” from the pews, or “sheep stealing” from the pulpit.” . . .

Click here for the rest of the story :-)

{ 13 comments }

What is “Organized Religion”?

October 11, 2019

Hey Steve: while I was on a business trip I had a good conversation with my friends, one who is agnostic and the other an Evangelical.  Both of them agreed they didn’t believe in “organized religion”.  From your Protestant background is there a specific meaning to that term or is it just another way to […]

Read the full article →

Nathaniel has Converted 5 Catholics out of the Church

September 19, 2019

Nathaniel wrote:  Thanks for the 6-tips which I see is taken from your baptist upbringing. I will use it to win Catholics to Christ and out from the RC Church. It will add to the list of 5 Catholics I’ve already successfully evangelized them out of the RC Church. Keep the tips coming :) I […]

Read the full article →

Differences Between Catholic and Protestant Approaches to the Bible

September 17, 2019

“Bible Christians” (a misnomer, since Catholics are the real and original Bible Christians), based on their recently devised “Reformation” principle of sola Scriptura, study the Bible with the following premises: 1. There is no binding authority but the Bible alone; 2. There is no official binding interpretation or interpreter; each person ultimately is their own […]

Read the full article →

Should Catholics Attend Non-denominational or Ecumenical Bible Studies?

August 26, 2019

Every day, Catholics are invited by coworkers, neighbors, and even family members to “ecumenical” Bible studies. Should they go? Certainly all of us would benefit from more study of Scripture, but as someone who has been a part of a number of Protestant Bible studies—I’ve even taught them—I discourage Catholics from attending them because of […]

Read the full article →

Was Abraham Saved by Faith Alone? Are the Protestants Right?

August 25, 2019

Today (Monday) I will be on the radio with Gary Michuta at 1 PM at https://virginmostpowerfulradio.org/. Hope you can listen in. Our topic will be Abraham, Father of Faith & Works. I am looking forward to this live show. In honor of this event today I am posting this article on Abraham, a critique I made of […]

Read the full article →

Bias in Bible Translations

August 22, 2019

Translating Holy Scripture is a necessary process by which the sacred text is provided in various languages, usually rendered from the original languages. Not all translations are created equal. Some result from one scholar’s work, others the work of a committee of scholars. Some are literal while others tend toward paraphrase. Translation resembles a sliding […]

Read the full article →

Protestant Acknowledges “Five Things We Lost because of the Reformation” – one of the best I’ve read on it

August 7, 2019

This article was published by Nick Page in Premier Christianity Magazine in October 2017. He is trying to help Protestants understand that there were problems created by the Protestant movement. He explains five big loses: 1) Loss of unity, 2) Loss of monasteries, 3) Loss of silence, 4) Loss of “doing things”, and 5) Loss […]

Read the full article →

Baptist at the door, “Are you born again?” Prepare yourself to answer them!

February 21, 2019

Grilled salmon sizzled on his plate as Andy and his family sat down for dinner. No sooner had they crossed themselves to bless the food than the doorbell rang. Andrew dragged himself to answer the door while his family began eating. Two smiling faces peered in the door. “Good evening, we hope we’re not interrupting […]

Read the full article →

Cross vs. Crucifix

February 11, 2019

(A letter Steve wrote to an Evangelical friend asking for an explanation of the Crucifix) Dear Protestant Friend: You display a bare cross in your homes; we display the cross and the crucifix. What is the difference and why? The cross is an upright post with a crossbeam in the shape of a “T”. A […]

Read the full article →

Baptist in a Protestant Bookstore – Interesting Conversation

February 7, 2019

Dear Jerry: I am writing a short letter to thank you for approaching me in the bookstore yesterday to talk, and to make a few comments on our earlier discussion. As always it was fun talking with you Jerry. I always look forward to such times; they are a high point in my week. I […]

Read the full article →

Christmas – when even Protestants put up Statues!

December 20, 2018

Christmas is that magical time of year when Protestants don’t have a problem with statues of Jesus, Mary, Saints and Angels! Isn’t that lovely (and inconsistent)?

Read the full article →

“Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths

November 27, 2018

“Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths Fr. Hugh Barbour, O.Praem. Nicea, August 24, A.D. 325, 7:41 p.m. “That was powerful preaching, Brother Athanasius. Powerful! Amen! I want to invite any of you folks in the back to approach the altar here and receive the Lord into your hearts. Just come on up. We’ve got brothers and […]

Read the full article →

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

November 26, 2018

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 […]

Read the full article →