July 2016

I know this will cause a lot of heavy breathing and stomping of feet but I think Colleen McCrum of Christendom College has written a worthy piece and made good arguments. These should be seriously considered because a lot is at stake. I could brush it all off and say, “I am almost 62 years old and in a decade or two will be with the Lord so I really don’t care that much.” But, I have four kids and twelve grandkids so I DO care and will vote to prove it.

I could also say, “I am too principled to vote for a non-Catholic who has held various positions in the past and is a bit of a wild card.” But I realize we can never have a perfect person running for president — and politics is, and always has been, the art of compromise and choosing the best options that are presented to us.

imagesNow, I don’t need a bunch of people to start huffing and puffing and writing to disagree. If you don’t like her article, fine. There are some who will disagree. We can still love each other in the Lord and be civil. I am sharing this article because my wife and I will be voting for Trump without reservation. These are 10 reasons why.

Here is my blog I posted weeks ago. It is also worth a read based on British historian Paul Johnson who argues: When Excess is a Virtue…Why America Needs Trump. I agree with him completely.

Another article with lots of details, consequences and reasons why a vote for Trump is so important: Why Voting for Trump is a Morally Good Choice. Don’t criticize until you have read this whole article. It will explain why for the sake of my grandkids we will support and vote for Trump.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holds a 'Grassroots' organizational event at Broward State College in Davie, Florida, October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Skipper - RTS2T2Y

1.) He’s not Hillary Clinton. 

We know exactly who she is, what she is, what she stands for, and can pretty well guess what she will do to our country. We can’t risk her getting into office.

If you can’t vote for Trump, vote against Hillary. The only realistic way to do this is by voting for Trump, since he is the only candidate that has a chance against her.

2.) He might pass and protect pro-life laws.

While we know for sure that Hillary will push the corrupt Planned Parenthood down our throats every chance she gets, and she will keep abortion-providing Obamacare in place, Trump is a bit of an unknown with the potential for being pro-life. That is, he claims to be pro-life, and it’s worth the leap of faith on this one. He has said, “Public funding of abortion providers is an insult to people of conscience at the least and an affront to good governance at best.”

3.) Voting for an imperfect man is not a sin. 

I have taken philosophy and theology classes since 8th grade. I mention that to lend myself some credibility, not to imply expertise in the subjects. But I studied them enough to know that neither Aquinas nor Aristotle ever said that the ruling sovereign has to be a saint. I understand that lending someone your vote is a big deal, and it is preferable to have a candidate you really believe in. Many people do really believe in Trump, and so this might not be an issue for you. But if you have reservations, I would ask you to consider that:

4.) Voting for a third-party in this presidential election = a vote for Hillary Clinton.

Recent polls have shown Trump ahead by a couple points. He has a chance in this election, so every vote counts.

I’m sympathetic to the ideals of third-party candidates, Libertarians, and Independents. It’s a democracy, anyone should be able to win. We have a rigged system right now, which only allows Republicans or Democrats to realistically win. However, the way to further these other parties is in local elections, and ongoing campaigns. Fuel the fire during the off-season, not during the presidential race! Be realists, not idealists. We have to work with what we have.

2-associate-justice-the-supreme-court-the-united-states

5.) There will likely be several Supreme Court spots opening up.

The president is in charge of appointing the Supreme Court justices. With Hilary, we know the type of person she would nominate. With Trump, we might have a chance of getting better people in.

There is a vacant seat right now. There have been rumors about Justice Thomas retiring this year. Ginsburg is already 83, and Kennedy will be turning 80. Breyer is 77. The record age for a Supreme Court Justice was 90; the average being closer to 80. We’ll probably be looking at a few new Justices this term and the next. (Don’t forget there is already discussion that Hillary could appoint Obama as a judge.)

6.) Ben Carson endorsed him.

As Carson said, “It’s not about Mr. Trump. This is about America.” Carson is a Christian and a man of character, and a week after dropping out of the race, he took the time to vouch for the character of Trump. He said, “Some people have gotten the impression that Donald Trump is this person who is not malleable, who does not have the ability to listen, and to take information in and make wise decisions. And that’s not true. He’s much more cerebral than that.”

7.) In the interest of our religious freedoms. 

The government is slowly stripping our country of religious freedom. Across the United States, crosses are being labeled as gang symbols, Catholic business owners are being pressured to provide abortion access to their employees, and believing in the beauty of marriage is becoming equivalent to hating gay people. In the past 8 years, under Obama, our country has already changed.

We can’t risk another 8 under a similar president.

8.) He is a successful business man. 

Our economy could use some expertise in that area. I know he’s  had some bumps in the road, but there is a possibility he could bring good ideas to our economy.

9.) He hurt my feelings; I’m still voting for him. 

Many of the objections I hear, and made myself (earlier on in the race), against Trump include: he’s cocky,  he’s racist, he’s sexist, he’s a joke, he’s not smart enough. The majority of these claims come from statements he has made, not actions.

Hillary-and-Obama-pic-575x380 Obama Part III – Four more years (maybe eight!)

10.) He’s not Hillary Clinton.

As you may be able to tell, my motivation for writing this is mainly that I know some Catholics are having a hard time deciding whether or not to vote for him. He is not my ideal candidate by any stretch of the imagination. However, I think he’s decent in many ways, and ultimately better than his opposition. For me, that is enough, and I hope you will end up deciding that as well.

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How Many Churches Did Jesus Intend?

by Steve Ray on July 31, 2016

“I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father… so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me” (John 17:20-21, NLT Bible)

On the night before He died, Jesus earnestly prayed to His Father to keep all His future believers one and united. It is a must if the whole world is to believe in Him.

feature longdecker_Perugino_Christ_handing_keyes_to_st_peterThat is why Jesus established only one church in 30 AD with Peter as first Pope. Jesus said, “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16-18-19)

Division causes confusion and weakness as proven by Paul to his advantage in the First Reading. He successfully sowed confusion between the Pharisee and Sadducee sects of Judaism over their division on the theology of life after death, thus he evaded their joint wrath for teaching about Jesus Christ.

With this in mind, in 50 AD (long before the Church complied the New Testament in 400 AD), Paul emphasized to his converts the importance of the continuity of tradition to keep the Church united. “So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thessalonians. 2:15)

Even as the last Gospel (the Gospel of John) was being written between 90-110 AD, the Church was already called Catholic, meaning universal or worldwide. In 107 AD, Bishop Ignatius of Antioch wrote to the Christians in Smyrna (modern-day Izmir, Turkey), “Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” (Wikipedia Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_(term)

It is very poignant that it was in Antioch where Ignatius was Bishop, where the believers of Christ was first called Christians (Acts 11:26).

Elsewhere, we find these written confirmations in secular encyclopedias:

“St. Peter, of Bethsaida in Galilee, From Christ he received the name of Cepha, an Aramaic name which means rock .Prince of the Apostles, wCrowd-in-Saint-Peters-Square-for-John-Paul-II-Beatificationas the first pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He lived first in Antioch and then in Rome for 25 years. In 64 or 67 AD, he was martyred. St. Linus became the second pope.” (National Almanac, ©1996)

“ROMAN CATHOLICISM The largest of the Christian denominations is the Roman Catholic church. As an institution it has existed since the 1st century AD… the Roman church owes its existence to the life of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD” (Comptons Encyclopedia, ©1995)

“Roman Catholic authority rests upon a mandate that is traced to the action of Jesus Christ himself, when he invested Peter and, through Peter, his successors with the power of the keys in the church. Christ is the invisible head of his church, and by his authority the pope is the visible head.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, ©1999)

“Roman Catholicism Christian church characterized by its uniform, highly developed doctrinal and organizational structure that traces its history to the Apostles of Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, ©1999)

We Catholics are proud that our Church is the true one – AND RIGHTLY SO! And we love to hear the proof of it. But do we show the same love for her teachings? If she is the right one, do we stand with her against contraception, abortion, divorce and same-sex ‘marriage’? Do we follow her advice in choosing the morality of leaders who will run our country and help build the Kingdom of Jesus Christ?

Pentecost was when the Holy Spirit descended from the Father and the Son upon Mary and the Apostles, thus giving life to the Church. As our birthday gift to our Mother Church, let us give her and her Bridegroom Jesus Christ the gift of our obedience and unity.

From Word Today in the Philippines https://www.facebook.com/CatholicMassReflections

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Is Mormonism Christian? a Cult? a Heresy?

by Steve Ray on July 30, 2016

Mormons call themselves “Christians.” They say they believe in Jesus and the Bible and should be considered one of the many respected Christian denominations.

However, Mormons have a serious problem if they want to claim the title of “Christian”. From the earliest days of Christianity battles have raged over orthodox theology — what is it that makes a Christian? There were a good number of tenets that distinguished an orthodox Christian from a heretical group. The Fathers of the Church, the Popes and the Councils were very clear on this.

A few of the essentials of Christian doctrine were 1) the Trinity: there is one God, but God is a Trinity of three distinct co-eternal Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; 2) the Two Natures of Jesus Christ, both human and divine and the fact that He is one divine person; 3) that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity who is co-eternal with the Father and the Holy Spirit; 4) the revelation of Christ as preached by the Apostles is the final public revelation (which ended with the death of the last apostle) and there will be no further public revelation before the final coming of Jesus Christ (CCC 66, 73; and 5) and baptism for the remission of sins in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Mormon theology denials of all of the above. God is not a Trinity but an elevated, deified man who occupies a physical body. God was once a man like us and is now one god among many who go back to eternity past. He has a wife and procreates spirit children. Jesus was not God in the flesh but a creature, actually the son of a physical Father God and a Heavenly physical mother. Each Mormon man believes he too can become a god and have his own universe. They deny that the God whom we refer to as our “Heavenly Father” is eternal or infinite; rather, he physical and can only be in one place at a time.

minerva_teichertMormons believe in the Great Apostasy — the unsubstantiated belief that early Christians apostatized, fell away from and abandoned the true faith — and that true Christianity was lost for 1700 years until it was recovered in 1820 by Joseph Smith. This new revelation was written down and Mormons now accept four books as the word of God. The Bible is one of the four and the only one they consider to have corruptions and is accepted with qualifications.

(Picture: Moroni gives Joseph Smith the new revelation which begins the false teaching and heresy of Mormonism. The result was the Book of Mormon which is referred to as “the most correct of any book on earth”)

“Heresy” is defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same” (2089). It could be argued that Mormons are not baptized so the “post-baptismal” qualification eliminates them. However, Joseph Smith denied historic Christianity (Trinity, dual natures of Christ, etc.) and accepted new revelations that contradicted and denied Christian truth. His teaching was heresy.

The word “heresy” originally came from Latin hairesis meaning “choice” or “to choose.” In other words, heresy is abandoning the truth to make another or your own choice, a choice to believe something contrary to orthodox Christian doctrine.

Among Evangelical Protestants the word “cult” usually refers to a religious group claiming to be Christian but denying the essential doctrines of historical Christianity. These would include Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and other such groups that deny the essential tenets of the Trinity, divinity of Christ and the personhood of the Holy Spirit and more. Thus, the term “cult” is applied to Mormons. So, it is no surprise that while speaking to his congregation Pastor Robert Jeffers referred to Mormonism as a cult. It is certainly consistent with Evangelical teaching. He was using the word in the context it is understood in Protestant circles.

Outside of Evangelical circles the word “cult” has a wider meaning, such as a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object; a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister; a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing. A lot of groups would fit within these categories.

Screen Shot 2011-10-11 at 10.24.08 AMCatholics use the word in the wider senses. Even the devotion to a saint is often referred to — without a negative connotation — as the “cult of so-and-so.” In this wider context it means religious devotion toward a person or object, such as to the Cross, the Holy Face of Christ, the Eucharist, etc. So cult can be used either positively or negatively by Catholics, though in popular Protestant thought it is usually negative.

(Picture: Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431)

The word “cult” is somewhat subjective regarding religious groups. But the word “heretical” is less ambiguous. While one can argue whether Mormons are a cult or not, it is clear that they are a heretical group compared with the historic Catholic faith. Doctrines like those held by Mormons were called heresy without apology by the Church Fathers. They fought — often to the death as martyrs — against teachings similar to those held by Mormons.

The question of whether a Mormon would make a good president or not is a completely different discussion. For a great discussion on this matter, listen to Al Kresta’s commentary. At this point anyone would be better than the man in the White House today in my opinion. Here I only wanted to discuss the words “cult” and “heresy” in the context of Mormonism in relationship to historical, Catholic theology. Even though Mormons tend to be good moral people and there is much we can agree with them on, in this context Mormonism is definitely heretical in contrast to the Catholic faith.

Mormons are NOT Christians according to the historical and Catholic definition of Christian. Joseph Smith was not a true prophet. Mormonism is a false religion and is heretical.

My previous blogs on Mormonism:

Are Mormons Right on Total Apostasy;
When Mormons Come Knocking;
From Mormon to Catholic;
Why a Descendant of Joseph Smith became a Catholic Priest;
Steve Ray interviewed on Papal Infalliblity in the Salt Lake Tribune and Contrasted with Mormon Authority;
Is Mormonism Christian?

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Friends and Family: Our 2016 Trip to India

July 29, 2016

What wonderful folks here in Kerala India! What a joyous two weeks. Heading home on Wednesday.   … Powered by Cincopa Podcast Hosting for Business solution.Final Days in India 2016flash 16cameramake Appleheight 480dir: 100alt: 12lat: 10.290864long: 76.337622orientation 1camerasoftware 9.3.3originaldate 7/29/2016 4:13:53 PMwidth 640cameramodel iPhone 6sflash 16cameramake Appleheight 640orientation 1camerasoftware Adobe Photoshop CS4 originaldate 7/25/2016 7:49:45 […]

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“Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths

July 28, 2016

“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 […]

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Dear Protestant: Where Did You Get Your Bible?

July 26, 2016

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 […]

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Exploring the Streets around Kerala India

July 25, 2016

Hope you enjoy this little video I made of our adventures around the Divine Retreat Center as we walked out into the side streets in the town of Muringoor in Kerala India. It starts with a few minutes of my talk with the lizards on the ceiling over my head. Then we leave the retreat […]

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Catholic World Report Interviews Steve Ray about the Footprints of God DVD Series

July 25, 2016

The Joys and Challenges of Filming the Story of Salvation History July 05, 2016 CWR Staff Steve Ray, who has been working for 16 years on the ambitious “Footprints of God” series, discusses his vision, describes the difficulties, and asks for assistance as the project nears the finish line. Author and apologist Stephen Ray (CatholicConvert.com) […]

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Leaving Bangalore back to Kerala

July 24, 2016

India is really amazing country. Different areas are very different than other areas. The southern part is where most of the Christians live and it’s been wonderful in Bangalore which is a modern city where a lot of the high-tech industry centers. We are now on a Jet Airways flight heading back to Kerala for a week […]

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Catholics in Bangalore India, Great Time Shared Together

July 24, 2016

Today we had the morning off in Bangalore to catch up. This is the new Silicon Valley so I expected to have good internet here – and boy, was I glad since I had so much to catch up on. If someone in the USA gets “Bangalored” it means they lost their tech job to […]

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India Mission Trip

July 21, 2016

It took us two whole days to get here from Detroit to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Dubai, Dubai to Cochin India. We arrived at the Divine Retreat Center at 10 AM Tuesday. The Retreat Center in like a small village full of halls, chapels, dorms, paths through palm trees and outdoor shrines. This is a large […]

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Questions Steve Answered on Catholic Answers Live: Open Forum for Non-Catholics

July 19, 2016

To listen live cut and paste this into your browser http://www.catholic.com/audio-player/39606. (I am now in India with poor wi-fi and it will not let me put a hyperlink for you. For other listening options like Podcasts, click HERE. 1.  (Pentecostal)  Other churches have the spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible and speak in tongues. Why doesn’t the […]

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How Big Was Jesus in Mary’s Womb at the Visitation – and what could he do?

July 19, 2016

“How big was baby Jesus in Mary’s womb when Mary visited Elizabeth?” That is the question I asked myself while visiting the Church of the Visitation in Israel. What I learned was quite revolutionary and amazing. This is one of the best pro-life arguments from Scripture and one I’ve not heard discussed before. It also […]

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Join Us in the Holy Land over Christmas Break; only a few seats left

July 17, 2016

All our pilgrimages are filling fast, especially the Holy Land where three of the next four trips are SOLD OUT. Join us over Christmas break before that one is completely full. God bless! Click here for a personal invitation from Steve Ray, what kids have to say about our family pilgrimages, an interactive map, the […]

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Granddaughter Elizabeth Arabella Rose Ray’s First Holy Communion

July 17, 2016

What a lovely thing to see. Wish we were there but pictures will have to do. 

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No More Political Correctness: After Nice France, let’s stop the nonsense and be honest

July 16, 2016

“A terrific and important piece. If only it were heeded. But the political and media elites are immovable, and will keep repeating their empty gestures after every new jihad attack. “Immovable of themselves — they will have to be moved by free people: replaced by saner, stronger people who are willing to defend free nations […]

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