Protestant/Other Christians

The Catholic Church and Her 23 Liturgical Rites

by Steve Ray on August 24, 2020

I was recently asked if there was a difference between the “Catholic Church” and the “Roman Catholic Church”. Are they the same thing? What is the correct name of our Church?

So I provided this simple answer (PDF version here).

The official name of our church is “Catholic Church”. But the Church has 23 different rites. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines a rite as “The diverse liturgical traditions in which the one catholic and apostolic faith has come to be expressed and celebrated in various cultures and lands.”

As part of this one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Catholic Church there are twenty-three individual rites which are equally valid with different liturgical traditions with different forms of liturgy, often based on cultural and language differences, but all in union with the Bishop of Rome.

Those of us in the West, are mostly members of the Latin or Roman Rite, which is named the Roman Catholic Church. There are others rites with unique names within the Catholic Church: the Maronite Catholic Church , the Greek Catholic Church, the Melkite Catholic Church, etc.

Roman Catholic Church is not the name of the whole Church, only the name of the Roman rite of the Catholic Church.

So the official name of our universal Church is “Catholic Church”. Roman Catholic Church is the Roman rite within the larger Catholic Church. But all the various liturgical rites are one and in union with Rome.

23-Catholic-Rites

This is very different than the Orthodox churches of the East which are in schism from the Catholic Church, having broken their union with Rome in 1054 A.D. They broke with the Universal Catholic Church and took a new name—Orthodox Church(es). It should be remembered that there is no such thing as “the Orthodox Church”; rather, there are Orthodox churches that are divided up along national lines. So there is the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox Church, etc. They are not in union with each other like the rites of the Catholic Church.

Here is the list of rites that are integral parts of the one, Holy, Catholic and apostolic Church:

For a more detailed history and explanation, click here.

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Bible Verses Missing in Modern Translations?
By Steve Ray       (PDF version here)

There are a lot of people today that are what we call “King James only“ Christians. They believe that the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible is the only inspired version and that modern translations are modernist. One argument for this is that there are some verses contained in the KJV which are not in recent modern versions.

The argument of KJV-only adherents only betrays their ignorance of the process of inspiration, transmission and translation. We sometimes joked that, “If the KJV was good enough for St. Paul, it is good enough for me.”

Examples of missing verses and passages are Mark 16:9–20John 5:4Acts 8:37, and 1 John 5:7.

downloadWe don’t have any of the original writings of the documents in the New Testament, only copies and copies of copies. There are thousands of fragments and manuscripts from the early centuries. The earliest is called the John Ryland fragment which contains a small portion of John 17 and 18. It is dated at AD 125 and was found in the sands of Egypt and written of papyrus.

The more ancient the manuscripts the more likely they are to be accurate to what the apostles actually wrote. And the more ancient manuscripts found to compare and analyze, the more accurate the translation will be.

The KJV was translated in 1611 by Protestant King James of England and was translated when we were still devoid of the best and most ancient manuscripts that testify to the original writings of the apostles. Over the last 400 years since the translation of the KJV there have been many newly discovered ancient and more reliable manuscripts.

Modern scholarship uses the most authoritative and trustworthy manuscripts to update the text of Scripture to make it much more accurate to what the apostles actually wrote. These manuscripts were not available during the translations of the KJV.

So, it was discovered there were some verses added by copyists over the centuries so King James had these later interpolations included in his translation.

download (1)But modern translations do not include them as part of the text, because they were not part of the original texts. But, even though modern translators know that those verses are not in the original Greek text, they still often add them in brackets with comments like: “Early mss [manuscripts] do not contain this v [verse].” This note is from the New American Standard Bible which is the translation I was raised with in my middle years along with the KJV.

Commenting on the later interpolation, the NIV footnote adds, “Some less important manuscripts [add]…”  The Catholic New American Bible, used for Mass in the US, footnotes, “Toward the end of the second century in the West and among the fourth-century Greek Fathers, an additional verse was known… This verse is missing from all early Greek manuscripts and the earliest versions, including the original Vulgate. Its vocabulary is markedly non-Johannine.”

Anybody who claims that those verses are definitely part of the original writings — and that Bibles that don’t include them are modernist and in error — only show their ignorance and the whole process of inspiration, transmission, translation and hermeneutics. For more on this check this Protestant but very good source: Why Are Newer Translations of the Bible Missing Verses?

You may also appreciate my article What Translation of the Bible Should you Use?

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Should We Evangelize Protestants?

by Steve Ray on August 10, 2020

Excellent article in The Catholic Thing by Casey Chalk affirms that we SHOULD evangelize Protestants. I have always said evangelism does not stop until all Christians are eating one meal together, in one house at one table (altar). As a convert, I understand the blindness that prevails and the need to teach all of the truth, especially to our brothers and sisters out on the rafts. Bring them home to the ship, which is the fullness of the faith.

We should stop trying to evangelize Protestants, some Catholics say. “Let’s get our own house clean first, before we invite our fellow Christians in,” someone commented on a recent article of mine that presented a Catholic rejoinder to a prominent Baptist theologian. Another reader argued that, rather than trying to persuade Protestants to become Catholic, we should “help each other spread God’s love in this world that seems to be falling to pieces before our eyes.” As a convert from Protestantism, actively engaged in ecumenical dialogue, I’ve heard this kind of thinking quite frequently. And it’s dead wrong.

One common argument in favor of scrapping Catholic evangelism towards Protestants is that the Catholic Church, mired in sex-abuse and corruption scandals, liturgical abuses, heretical movements, and uneven catechesis, is such a mess that it is not, at least for the moment, a place suitable for welcoming other Christians.

There are many problems with this. For starters, when has the Church not been plagued by internal crises? In the fourth century, a majority of bishops were deceived by the Arian heresy. The medieval Church suffered under the weight of simony and a lax priesthood, as well as the Avignon Papacy and the Western Schism, culminating in three men claiming, simultaneously, to be pope. The Counter-Reformation, for all its catechetical, missionary and aesthetic glories, was still marred by corruption and heresies (Jansenism). Catholicism has never been able to escape such trials. That didn’t stop St. Martin of Tours, St. Boniface, St. Francis de Sales, St. Ignatius Loyola, or St. Teresa of Calcutta from their missionary efforts.

The “Catholics clean house” argument also undermines our own theology. Is the Eucharist the “source and summit of the Christian life,” as Lumen Gentium preaches, or not? If it is, how could we in good conscience not direct other Christians to its salvific power? Jesus Himself declared: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53) Was our Lord misrepresenting the Eucharist?

Or what of the fact that most Protestant churches allow contraception, a mortal sin? Or that Protestants have no recourse to the sacraments of penance or last rites? To claim Protestants aren’t in need of these essential parts of the Catholic faith is to implicitly suggest we don’t need them either.

For the rest of the article, click HERE.

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Who Speaks for God on Morals? Many Choose their Church Like they Choose a Restaurant

June 15, 2020

We have a “church” near our house that is making it comfortable for anyone to join no matter who they are, what they believe or what they practice. They say it is our job to accept and love, to be nice, not to judge. “Celebrate Diversity!” Celebrate Diversity is a slogan of acceptance, multiculturalism, non-judgmental […]

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Baptists at the Council of Nicea?

May 19, 2020

Written by 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 sisters up here […]

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How Many Denominations are Too Many?

May 18, 2020

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.” In the meantime, this morning I post my discussion on the […]

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Interview with Steve Ray (Jerusalem Jones)

May 7, 2020

Here is my interview on YouTube with Will Deatherage from Clarifying Catholic. We discuss my conversion story, Scripture and Tradition, the origins of my ministry, and more in 5-minute video clips. Head over to YouTube to check out the full playlist. You can also listen to the interview on Spotify.

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Eternal Security: Is Baptist Pastor Charles Stanley Right?

April 15, 2020

ETERNAL SECURITY (Once Saved-Always Saved): Analyzing a Sermon by Baptist Pastor, Charles Stanley By Steve Ray Hello Protestant Friend: Even though I have watched his show off and on over the months, I had no intention of watching Charles Stanley on television last night. It was just that I was tired after getting home and […]

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The Dark Side of Luther – by Steve Wood

March 25, 2020

The Dark Side of Luther  (View online version at Steve Woods site here)     This is the last of my newsletters responding to the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. I’m sending you some of the overlooked statements of Luther revealing his thoughts on Catholics, his claim to infallibility, and his hatred of the […]

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More and more Catholics identifying as “born-again”

March 13, 2020

This is an unsettling development in the American Catholic Church. However, we had it coming. With priestly scandals, weak-kneed bishops, liberal and leftist theology and politics — what are serious Catholics to do? The answer is to hunker down, pray and work for revival, but many are looking to the conservative, experiential, emotionally-satisfying Evangelical churches […]

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How to be Saved: Catholic vs. Protestant

February 4, 2020

Written by Mike Cousineau… Protestant & Catholic theology differ regarding salvation: The Catholic Church’s teaching regarding salvation has not changed one iota for nearly 2,000 years. Among the now over 40,000 Protestant denominations, their salvation theology has changed substantially from the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, starting in 1517. Can anyone identify some of the […]

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Protestant Pastor Discovers the Eucharist of the Early Church!

January 20, 2020

Protestant pastor Chan with a huge following is sharing his new ideas about the Eucharist and the Early Church. As a convert, I know the signs, and I would suggest he’s realizing the truth of the Catholic Church. Only 3.5 minutes; WORTH a listen. Pray for him. 

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The Protestant and his Three Huts

December 28, 2019

The Protestant’s Three Huts A Protestant was stranded all alone on an island. He begins sending smoke signals, hoping that somebody will find him. Ten years pass, and a boat is sailing by. The captain notices the smoke signals, and decides to pull into the island. When he docks, he sees three huts. The Protestant […]

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Cartoon on Protestantism and the Bible

November 21, 2019

When 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 […]

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New Convert Holds His Ground with a Street Preacher

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. […]

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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 […]

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