Protestant/Other Christians

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 inclusion. Some of this is great. We should welcome people, recognize and appreciate different customs, cultures, languages and traditions. We should love and accept any and every human person.

(Side note: But I guarantee that they would not not be accepting of me and my stand on Catholic and biblical morals unless I kept my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself. Those who claim to be the most liberal and tolerant and usually the most intolerant bigots of all.)

But this is also a nefarious slogan when it means we must turn our eyes for moral deviance and sinful lifestyles and conduct. We use these slogans to change society and to force everyone to accept anything. Celebrating Diversity is not just aimed at cultures and languages and peoples, it is also calculated to indiscriminately accept lifestyles and conduct that is immoral, deviant and sinful (oh, don’t those words smack of intolerance and judgmentalism??)

How do we choose our churches today? Do we ask what the God of heaven and earth requires of us? Do we ask whether Our Lord actually started a Church which still exists or whether the “church” is merely a gathering of diverse people who love (i.e. “nice”) and don’t judge each other; a “church” conformed to fit anyone’s set of principles — what the particular groups votes on to be right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable?

Americans tend to choose their churches as they choose their restaurants. On Monday afternoon we drive down Main Street and notice all the restaurants — we ask ourselves, “What do I FEEL like today?” Our stomach tells us which drive-thru to turn into.

On Sunday we drive down Main Street and see all the churches lining the street and ask ourselves the same question, “What do I FEEL like today?”

We pick a “church” that fits OUR way of thinking, acting, living, conduct. Very few choose a church based on what God has revealed and what He expects.

That is why I am a Catholic Christian. While it is not the easiest, the softest, or the one that approves of anything and everything. But it is multi-cultural and accepts all people like a hospital accepts all those who seek healing. It stands immovable in its love of the human person but not of immoral or sinful lifestyles and conduct. She won’t change her views because this is the Church Jesus founded and He is building. He doesn’t change his mind on these matters nor does He define truth based on a popular vote.

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Baptists at the Council of Nicea?

by Steve Ray on 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 who can lead you through the Sinner’s Prayer. Amen! And as this Council of Nicea comes to an end, I want to remind Brother Eusebius to bring the grape juice for tomorrow’s closing communion service . . .”

Ah yes, the Baptists at the Council of Nicea. Sound rather silly? It certainly does. And yet, there are those who claim the Church of Nicea was more Protestant in belief and practice than Catholic. I recently read an article in The Christian Research Journal, written by a Reformed Baptist apologist, who argued this very point.

No, I’m not making this up. The article, “What Really Happened at Nicea?” actually claimed the Fathers of the Council were essentially Evangelical Protestants.

As a trained patristics scholar, I always feel a great deal of sadness and frustration when I encounter shoddy historical “scholarship,” whether it be in the pages of The Watchtower, a digest of Mormon “archaeology,” or a popular and usually well-produced Evangelical Protestant apologetics journal. But this article was so error-laden, so amateurishly “researched,” and so filled with historical and theological fallacies, that I simply couldn’t let it stand without response.”

(Lower two pictures: Left is an icon of St. Athanasius; lower right: the Council of Nicea)

For the full article “‘Ancient Baptists’ and Other Myths” by Fr. Hugh Barbour, O.Praem. – click HERE.

Read more about St. Athansius, the star theologian at the Council of Nicea. Dave Armstrong’s article proves the full Catholic teaching of St.Athansius and the Council of Nicea. Click HERE.

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How Many Denominations are Too Many?

by Steve Ray on 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.”

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 :-)

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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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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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