August 2005

Beheading of John the Baptist

by Steve Ray on August 28, 2005

Feast Day of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist
Steve will discuss this event on Relevant Radio on Monday at 8:00 AM
and on
Ave Maria Radio on Monday at 9:00 AM. You can listen on-line.

(Click on the picture below for a larger image)

 

Monday we celebrate the martyrdom of John the Baptist. He was not killed for preaching the Gospel, per se, but for telling the truth about the king. He was martyred because he dared to apply God's truth to the secular government. He accused the king in public of moral corruption–of marrying his brother's wife and therefore living in adultery. Had he just preached narrowly about Jesus and baptized people he may have lived a long time. But he applied the truth of Jesus and the Gospel to the real world.

The world and the government and the media hate it when we apply the Gospel to them. It is one thing to worship in churches and in our heads, but the world wants us to keep it to ourselves and out of the public square.

It is telling that such a great prophet, greatly loved by Jesus our Lord, should die a martyr's death for speaking out against a political figure in public. This should give us insight into our own day where Christians are the only ones with a clear and sure foundation for morality and truth–as revealed by God in Scripture and in the Church. We should be prophets too, speaking out against the culture of death, immorality and relativism which has taken over our land. We should not be silent as others try to silence and intimidate us . . . and not only us but our pastors and bishops. They need to join us by raising their voices high in speaking out for the Law of God in the world.

(This picture was taken of our crew setting up to film the sequence of John's martyrdom at the foot of the Macharus Fortress in Jordan where the beheading took place. The fortress was atop the mountain behind us. The map shows the Fortress Machaerus right of the Sea of Galilee. To see this discussed on location, see our DVD “Jesus, the Word Became Flesh.“) To see this picture enlarged, visit our Photo Album, “Biblical & Historical Sites page 6. 

 

Click on the DVD to learn more or to purchase.

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JOHN MacARTHUR: MANDATED BY GOD

by Steve Ray on August 25, 2005

JOHN MacARTHUR NEEDS TO TALK WITH ROSALIND MOSS

Before she became a Catholic, staff apologist Rosalind Moss used to be a member of John MacArthur's congregation, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. He runs a ministry called Grace to You. Its motto is "Unleashing God's Truth One Verse at a Time." The unleashing is done chiefly through a widely-syndicated radio program.

In a June letter to his ministry's supporters, MacArthur wrote about John Paul II and the "amazing release of emotion" that accompanied his death. "From politicians and media pundits to Hollywood celebrities and everyday citizens, everyone had praise for John Paul II, his gentle ways and his social and political achievements as a world leader and statesman. I can understand that.

"What I cannot understand," continued MacArthur, "is the response of some Evangelicals to what matters most about the pope: his beliefs about God and the gospel. … Influential leaders embraced the deceased pope as a brother in Christ and the Catholic church as just another Christian denomination. …

"During the Reformation, countless men and women died rather than deny the biblical truths of salvation. Countless others today are giving their lives as missionaries to people lost in the darkness and guilt of Catholicism."

MacArthur goes on to write about the "damning error" that is Catholicism and notes that he has released a new 90-minute lecture called "Unmasking the Pope and the Catholic System." He says that "the church I pastor is loaded with people who were saved out of the Catholic church. … A longtime Grace to You board member and dear friend of mine is a former Catholic. He speaks with great emotion about the bondage he and his wife lived under."

How many times have we heard these claims before? "The Catholic Church is not really Christian." "Catholics believe you 'earn' your salvation through good works." "Catholicism is based on guilt, not truth." "People are in 'bondage' to Catholicism–and we need to save them."

Each Sunday 7,000 people attend MacArthur's church. This is what he tells them about an institution that was around for nineteen centuries before he was born and that is now headed by a man who shows not a hint of MacArthur's arrogance.

It is MacArthur who claims a divine commission: "I do have a mandate from God to compare what others teach to the gospel of the Bible." He says, "'Does the pope teach the gospel?' is a valid question."

Rosalind Moss left John MacArthur's church because she realized that, yes, the pope really does teach the gospel–and that John MacArthur does not.

The Grace to You ministry's letterhead has this slogan at the bottom: "The Bible Teaching of John MacArthur." Benedict XVI is more modest in his claims. His letterhead does not have at the bottom "The Bible Teaching of Benedict XVI" because the Pope is not trying to push his own agenda.

Instead, he is the custodian of what has been passed down through the centuries. His job is not to refashion the Bible in his own image but to convey to us what each of his predecessors conveyed to the people of their time.

Grace to You is built around one man. It may have many employees, but when John MacArthur dies, his ministry will die. His flock will scatter, taking with them the silly prejudices he has imbued them with.

When Benedict XVI dies there will be another pope to succeed him, and another, and another, until the end of time. Each of them will demonstrate to those with open minds and hearts that, yes, the pope does teach the gospel.

Karl Keating E-Letter, August 23, 2005. To subscribe to Karl's E-Letter, click here.

(Steve once wrote a letter to MacArthur challenging him for his anti-catholic attititude. The letter was addressed to John Ankerburg because of a book he wrote and I sent it to MacArthur as well since he wrote a foreword for the book.)

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End of Life Issues

by Steve Ray on August 25, 2005

THINKING WITH THE CHURCH AT LIFE'S END

Each one of us will be leaving here some day. Some will leave suddenly, and others will linger for some time before taking that final journey.

To help you understand Church teaching on such things as advance directives, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide, the National Catholic Bioethics Center provides "A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions." It includes a health care proxy and an advance medical directive that are in full accord with Catholic teaching.

You can obtain the "Guide" by going to the Center's web site, http://www.ncbcenter.org, or by phoning 617-787-1900.

(Don't mind the picture, that is just Steve being wild and crazy again in a scene from the Jesus video).

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Alex & Donna Jones: The Full Story

August 22, 2005

From Detroit riots to Pentecostal preacher to Catholic deacon — the whole story is now told not only from Alex Jones' perspective but also eight exciting chapters telling Donna's story of life as a “preacher's wife” and her own journey into the Catholic Church. About three years ago I negotiated the contract between Ignatius Press and [...]

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Just Knocked on my Door

August 17, 2005

Ah, they were pretty obvious. I knew who they were before I opened the door, but I waited to let them introduce themselves by name. Then I interrupted them with a smile and said, “Ah, Jehovah's Witnesses, right?”  They smiled and said, “Yes.” I did not have time to talk with them today so I took [...]

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Judge Roberts and Playboy

August 17, 2005

Roberts and Playboy: More Unwelcome Surprises From Bush Nominee?   WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – More so than a man with passionate convictions, even be they contrary to their own, most hard and fast conservatives fear a man without apparent or firmly held convictions. And it seems that as the small bits of [...]

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Big Difference Between Catholics & Protestants – A Joke

August 11, 2005

After leaving their different Sunday services one Sunday afternoon, a little Baptist boy and a Catholic girl met while walking down a dirt road.   Since they were both going the same way, they decided that they'd walk together. The road had flooded and there was no way to get across without getting wet. "I tell you what I think I'll do," [...]

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Pool of Siloam Found

August 10, 2005

  The Pool of Siloam plays a significant part in John 9 and the story has been used to explain baptism since the earliest years of the Church. I found the report below very exciting and hope to see this new find in September. (Picture of Steve sitting in the 4th – 5th century Pool of [...]

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Bowing to Images

August 10, 2005

An excerpt from Karl Keatings Weekly E-Letter. If you don't receive it and would like to, click here and receive it for free. “Two weeks ago I wrote about Bill Jackson, head of Christians Evangelizing Catholics, and his views on divorce and remarriage. One of the other issues he examines is Catholics' attitude toward images. [...]

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Women’s Catholic Bible Study in Michigan

August 9, 2005

Catholic Scripture Study: The Gospel of John By Dr. Scott Hahn and Mark Shea 10am – Noon, Thursdays, beginning September 15, 2005 St. John Neumann Parish, 44800 Warren Road, Canton, Mi. 48187 Children's Ministry provided for children ages 2 – 6 Registration deadline: August 15 For more information: Call Sue Middlemis at 248-344-0246 Or e-mail [...]

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Listen to Steve Discussing Typology in the Old Testament

August 7, 2005

Listen to Steve on Catholic Answers Live as he discusses Typology and Making the Old Testament Come Alive. This can be heard over your computer with Real Audio.

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Steve Ray on Catholic Answers Live!

August 4, 2005

Steve will Jerry Usher on Catholic Answers Live to Make the Old Testament Come Alive! on Friday, August 5 at 6 PM EST.  Steve will discuss typology — how people, events, and things in the Old Testament prefigure and foreshadow New Testament realities. The OT is the New concealed; the NT is the Old revealed! Learn [...]

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Pope Benedict’s Top Ten Words

August 3, 2005

Benedict XVI's Top 15 "Words"Used During His First 100 Days VATICAN CITY, JULY 27, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Here are some of the most striking "words," as Benedict XVI likes to call the formulation of his thoughts, articulated during the first 100 days of his pontificate. * * * First words: "Dear brothers and sisters, after the [...]

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