Biblical Exposition

What Does this Wood Carving Mean?

by Steve Ray on October 18, 2018

This was in the hospital. What does it mean?

When I went to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor Michigan the other day for a visit, I stopped by to pray at the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel. In front of the chapel was this wood carving.

I also, like all of you, sat in front of it puzzled. Who are the women; what’s in their hands? What does it mean? Then it came to me. A Catholic hospital, especially one with the word “mercy” in its name, practices the Corporal Acts of Mercy.

The six items held by the women representing the virtues or acts of mercy are taken straight from the Gospels – from Matthew 25:34-36 and are the basis for judging whether people are going to heaven or hell.

From the gospel we read: “Then the King will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; ?for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, ? I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'”

Humbling words! I think the 5th image represents flowers that are often brought to the sick in hospitals.

Scary words – because Jesus ends up saying,

Then the King will say to those at his right hand, “Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink” … Then he will say to those at his left hand, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink …”  (Matthew 25:31-46)

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Is Faith Alone the Basis for the Final Judgment?

by Steve Ray on October 17, 2018

Is Faith Alone the Basis for the Final Judgment?  By Steve Ray

Dear Jerry:

I had no intention of writing you again this soon but after having dinner with your brother the other day and picking up a copy of a booklet you gave him entitled Studies In Contrasts: The Doctrine of Salvation (by Herb Vander Lugt and published by the Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, MI.), I thought I’d drop you a short note.

I was not surprised, but I was again disappointed in the obvious dishonesty (or ignorance) and the unfounded assumptions of the booklet. I decided to write a short note to ask you a few questions to see if you agree with me.

First, I will be honest, I did not read the entire booklet. I first flipped to page 18. The title was Everyone / Not Everyone Will Be Judged. The first passage of Scripture quoted was John 5:28, 29, which was prominently placed in a text box at the top of the page.

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 5.48.54 PMBut first, before we look at John 5:28, 29, let’s take a look at the contrast that Herb Vander Lugt sets up. He says under the heading Explanation: “. . . we are told that all people, believers, and unbelievers [here is his contrast] will be resurrected and appear before Christ for final judgment.” He makes the opposing categories believers and unbelievers, but this is not what the Bible says.

What contrast does the Bible set up? This booklet is written by those who are supposed to be the “Bible-people” who do not interpret the Bible on the basis of “tradition” but objectively, based on the supposed perspicuousness of the Scriptures. Let’s see how honest they are, or how blinded by their tradition they are . . .

If the reader goes to the text box to read the passage of Scripture referred to, they will find this: “The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth . . . to the resurrection of life, and . . . to the resurrection of condemnation.” John 5:28, 29. Now, what do the three periods ellipses ( . . . ) delete from the text? An ellipsis is defined as by the American Heritage Dictionary as “The omission of a word not necessary for the comprehension of a sentence.” The unwary reader might expect believers and unbelievers to be the words cut out. Am I correct? This is of course what the author expects you to read and understand. He deceives his readers.

Yet, get your Bible out and read for yourself the words of our Lord that the author “cut out” or deleted.

 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28, 29).

My question to you is this: why did he remove words to hide the meaning of what our Lord Jesus was saying? And why do you condone such actions by believing and perpetrating the material?

Why do you think Vander Lugt cut these essential words out? Was he trying to put words into our Lord Jesus’ mouth? Why did he want the readers to misunderstand what Jesus was actually saying? The author could not come up with a verse in the Bible that describes the final judgment in terms of faith vs. no faith, or belief vs. disbelief could he?

There are no verses in the Bible that discuss the Judgement in these terms. In fact, isn’t it true that every time the judgement is discussed, the basis for judgement is deeds or actions or works? One must be careful of playing with our Lord’s words and especially careful of misrepresenting His intent. He condemns the Pharisees in no uncertain terms for doing exactly that.

For the whole article, click here.

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Peter & the Primacy in the New Testament

September 19, 2018

St. Peter in the New Testament What Do We Know About Him? Peter is the big rugged fisherman who became the humble servant of the servants of God. Jesus chose him from among the Twelve to be the leader and the visible head of the Church. What do we know about Peter from the New […]

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My Thoughts While Waiting In Line for Confession

September 2, 2018

My wife and I went to confession yesterday. The line was pretty long (which was good to see, though I hate lines :-)  As I sat and waited it struck me again that the Church is not just a loose association of like-minded followers of Jesus. It is not just “Jesus and me” as we […]

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Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven?

August 20, 2018

I am reposting this because of the huge response two years ago. Thought it would be helpful again for many people who have lost their spouse. My dad died almost eight years ago. Mom misses Dad and was discouraged about Mark 12:25 which her paraphrased Living Bible improperly rendered “will not be married” in heaven. […]

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

August 12, 2018

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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Pope Francis and Capital Punishment

August 4, 2018

Excellent article by Edward Feser in First Thing Magazine that puts Pope Francis misstep in perspective … ********************** “In a move that should surprise no one, Pope Francis has once again appeared to contradict two millennia of clear and consistent scriptural and Catholic teaching. The Vatican has announced that the Catechism of the Catholic Church will […]

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

July 29, 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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What Should Catholics Say When Accused of Worshiping Images?

July 5, 2018

From Taylor Marshall’s blog. Images “Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image.” If you look at the context of the commandment, you’ll see that it speaks to worshiping an image. This is wrong because God is invisible and without form. He is so transcendent that even His name is simply “I AM”. So […]

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Vine, Branches & Fire: Where Will You End up?

July 2, 2018

I was out cutting vines out of the trees and thought of the words of Jesus.

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The Pain of Stolen Honey – John the Baptist was a Manly Man who Teaches us Many Things

June 24, 2018

A painful price is paid when one reaches his hand into a swarm of bees to swipe some of their honey. Stingers fly and welts flare. I raised hives of bees as a boy and once I was stung 35 times in one day. Wild honey is not collected from wild bees without burning pain […]

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Mary and the Apostles are Dead! Only Jesus can Mediate for Us! Really?

June 23, 2018

 Confusion of Many Protestants Too often well-meaning Protestants get confused and accuse of things that are outright nonsense if not lies. It is usually because they never take the time to really understand what the Catholic Church actually teaches and practices. Below is a good example of a kind and well-meaning Protestant pastor who wrote […]

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Jesus Was A Jew – So What is That To You?

June 20, 2018

Jesus was a Jew… This fact may escape the casual reader of the New Testament, but it is crucial to understanding Jesus and the book written about him—the Bible. Unhappily, in 21st century America we are far removed from the land of Israel and the ancient culture and religion of Judaism followed by Jesus and […]

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Did St. Paul Pray for the Dead? Yes!

June 18, 2018

I posted an article I wrote about St. Paul praying for the dead HERE. But I thought you would appreciate Dave Armstrong’s recent article about the same passage with confirmation and a new set of eyes on the text and the reasons for many Protestants to reject the claim… St. Paul Prayed for Onesiphorus, Who […]

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Did St. Paul Pray for the Dead? Yes!

June 17, 2018

St. Paul wrote 2 Timothy shortly before his martyrdom. He spent the last days of his life in the Mammertine Prison in Rome, north of the Roman Forum. While in that prison he wrote to Timothy and says a prayer for a man dead man. “It seems apparent that St. Paul DOES pray for the dead. […]

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