Sacraments & Sacramentals

Why Can’t Evangelicals See the Eucharist?

by Steve Ray on April 24, 2018

I was recently asked why Evangelicals cannot see the Eucharist and Real Presence in the Bible. This person said that when they read the Bible it seems so clear — especially John 6 where Jesus says “Unless you eat my Flesh and drink my Blood . . .” and at the Last Supper when he said, “This IS my flesh.”

“Why is it so easy to see for me,” she wrote, “while Evangelicals miss  it?”

alife-super-sunglasses-1There are a good number of explanations for this, but I tried to put it in simple terms. I responded:

“In answer to your question it all depends on what kind of glasses you are wearing. If you wear dark colored glasses you see things differently than if you wear clear or red shaded glasses. Every tradition, whether it is Catholic, Baptist, Mormon, or Lutheran has a tradition or grid through which they read and interpret the Bible. No one approaches the Bible objectively without any preconceived ideas or convictions.

“If one wears Baptist glasses and is convinced of the Baptist teaching, then they will see everything they read through their own Baptist ideas or tradition; they read their tradition into the text. Since they are told the Eucharist is only symbolic, they twist and tug to make Scripture fit their perspective.

“Also, as Evangelicals we (or at least I) was convinced the Catholic Church was wrong and we didn’t even understand what they believed or the basis for it. I also didn’t know that ALL Christians for the first 1500 years believed what Catholic’s now teach. And that even now ALL Christians around the world believe in the Real Presence except for a very small sliver of the Christian pie — the Evangelicals, Fundamentalists and a few other newly invented groups.

“The Catholic also has a tradition which has been handed down from the apostles. We can trace it with full confidence back to Jesus himself. When we read the Bible we have on our Catholic glasses which enables us to understand the Scriptures the way the apostles wrote it and the early Church understood it. We trust Scripture and the Tradition and this tradition is that which was taught by the apostles (2 Cor 11:2; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6).

Be proud, yet humble, to be Catholic!”

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So, Who Says the Mass is a Sacrifice?

by Steve Ray on April 2, 2018

2352Who Says the Mass is a Sacrifice? Well, Jimmy Swaggart says it is NOT a sacrifice and wrote:

“The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is, without question, one of the most absurd doctrines ever imposed on a trusting public…  Roman Catholic errors are inevitably human innovations that were inserted into the church during the early centuries. This teaching on the Eucharist follows this pattern.

“In the first century, as described in the New Testament, Holy Communion was a meal of fellowship eaten as a memorial to the death of Christ and a symbol of unity among Christians both with each other and with Christ.

51AxHeTDRuL._SX309_BO1,204,203,200_“In the second century it began to shift toward a ceremony, in which Christ was present in some undefined form. This was not yet the eventual Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation which was a development of the Middle Ages but it was a beginning in this unfortunate direction.

“By the third century the idea of sacrifice began to intrude, whereby Christ’s body and blood were mysteriously produced by an ordained priest for the gratification and benefit of both the living and the dead.”

Oh, really?!?! Look what the first century Christians taught.

For the whole new article I just wrote, please click HERE.

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Infant Baptism

by Steve Ray on February 10, 2018

100_1650Infant Baptism is discussed and argued about quite a bit in some circles.

I was raised Baptist and taught that Infant Baptism was a man-made tradition invented by the heretical Catholics who abandoned the Word of God to follow ill-advised tradition.

(Picture: My granddaughter Elizabeth Arabella Rose Ray is baptized.)

But not all Protestants reject Infant Baptism. My favorite theologian during my later years as an Evangelical Protestant was Dr. Francis Schaeffer. He actually wrote a booklet on Infant Baptism. Granted, they do not accept the full Catholic understanding, but they did teach and practice infant baptism. Another author that I read was R. C. Sproul.

Protestant Reformed theologian R. C. Sproul writes, “The first direct mention of infant baptism is around the middle of the second century A.D.  What is noteworthy about this reference is that it assumes infant baptism to be the universal practice of the church.  If infant baptism were not the practice of the first-century church, how and why did this departure from orthodoxy happen so fast and so pervasively?

“Not only was the spread rapid and universal, the extant literature from that time does not reflect any controversy concerning the issue. . . . Those who dispute the validity of infant baptism make it less inclusive with respect to children, despite the absence of any biblical prohibition against infant baptism” (Essential Truths of the Christian Faith, [Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1992], 228).

For my simple article on Infant Baptism, click here. For my blog on Baptism in general, click here. The whole middle section of my book Crossing the Tiber goes into the biblical and early Church teaching and practice of baptism, including that of infants.

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Multiplication of Loaves a Miracle or Just a Lesson in Sharing?

January 7, 2018

When confronted with this at Mass a while ago I wrote a letter to the priest which became an article in Catholic Answers Magazine. Article HERE. The priest said there was no miracle when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish. All he did was teach selfish people to share and they pulled extra loaves and fish from […]

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White Bread and Shot Glass of Grape Juice: But Now I am Home!

September 16, 2017

Revet Elizabeth wrote: I grew up Catholic, left off practice of my faith, then wandered around several churches before coming back.  It just seemed like the preaching I was hearing treated the Bible like Ann Landers, and people wanted to be soothed rather than challenged.  There would be preaching and singing but no Eucharist.  It’s […]

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Pastor Bob “Preaches the Word” (Discussing A Sermon on Baptism)

June 27, 2017

Pastor Bob Preaches The Word (or does he?) By Steve Ray Josh left Sunday services full of excitement, anxious to discuss Pastor Bob’s sermon with his sister Jennifer who had recently converted to the Catholic Church. The pastor had explained how salvation was by “faith alone” and not by rituals and works. He was anxious […]

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Defending the Eucharist: Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live

June 14, 2017

This month my topic on Catholic Answers Live was “Defending the Eucharist.” You can listen here. Questions I Answered: 1. What did you believe about the Eucharist before you became Catholic? 2. What helped you understand the fullness of the teaching and why did you change? 3. The Bible also says Jesus is door, the […]

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Interesting Explanation of Baptism from Protestant Dictionary – “baptism…in itself is unimportant”

May 25, 2017

I was looking up Greek definitions of the word baptism and found this interesting “definition.” This dictionary is usually very good but I found this summary of biblical passages on baptism very intriguing and disingenuous. Take a look at this definition and think about it for yourself. Analyze it and the verses used. Notice how they […]

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Did St. Ignatius of Antioch REALLY Believe in Transubstantiation in the 1st Century?

January 10, 2017

A friend and fellow pilgrim got in a row with a friend on Facebook and asked for my help. You might enjoy the question and the answer. My friend wrote: “I have a quick apologetic question.  A Protestant Facebook page was denying the Eucharist and I pasted St Ignatius’ quote about the Eucharist, “Let us […]

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Did Jesus Contradict the Old Testament’s Prohibition on Drinking Blood?

January 7, 2017

Leonard Alt debates an anti-Catholic named Phil. He writes: I have a choice: I can listen to the Evangelicals who confuse the blood of animals, with the blood of Christ and choose not to eat the Flesh and drink the Blood of Christ, or, I can listen to Jesus who said; “Whoever eats my flesh […]

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Cross vs. Crucifix

January 6, 2017

(From a letter Steve wrote to a Evangelical Protestant who asked about the Catholic Crucifix) Dear Evangelical Friend: You display a bare cross in your home; we display the cross and the crucifix with the corpus of Christ on it. What is the difference and why? The cross is an upright post with a crossbeam […]

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The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church: Article by Steve Ray

January 2, 2017

The Eucharist and the Fathers of the Church, by Steve Ray The word “Eucharist” was used early in the Church to describe the Body and Blood of Christ under the forms of bread and wine. Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “thanks” (eucharistia), describing Christ’s actions: “And when he had given thanks, he broke […]

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Rome in the Eye of a Storm

December 13, 2016

Catholic Journalist and writer for National Catholic Register summarized the situation in Rome as the Pope refuses to respond to a growing number of voices requesting an explanation of his document Amoris Laetitia. I found it worth reading, along with the two below. Msgr. Charles Pope has written  the clearest and simplest explanation I’ve read to […]

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Petition to the Holy Father for Clarification. I Signed Today with over 800,000 other Catholics

December 4, 2016

I received and signed this petition today… On the eve of the Ordinary Synod on the Family held in Rome in October 2015, we delivered to the Holy See a “Filial Petition to His Holiness on the Future of the Family” signed by 879,451 persons, including eight cardinals and 203 archbishops and bishops, asking for […]

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1st Baptismal Font and Pulpit in Americas, Eating Ant Eggs in a Cave, Climbing Pyramids to Moon & Sun and more

December 3, 2016

An amazing day in Mexico. We renewed our baptisms in the first baptismal font ever in the Americas. We also saw the first pulpit where the gospel was first preached in the Western Hemisphere. We ate in the belly of a cave and part of our dinner was ant eggs and larva. Then we climbed […]

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Confrontation: Cardinal Burke on Amoris Laetitia Dubia: ‘Tremendous Division’ Warrants Action

November 16, 2016

Posted by Edward Pentin on Tuesday Nov 15th, 2016 at 11:25 AM In an exclusive Register interview, he elaborates about why four cardinals were impelled to seek clarity about the papal exhortation’s controversial elements. Article main image Four cardinals asked Pope Francis five dubia questions, or “doubts,” about the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy […]

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