October 2013

ObamaCare: It’s Not only about a Failed Website

by Steve Ray on October 31, 2013

From CatholicVote.org: (Steve Ray here: Our family had our health insurance cancelled two weeks ago. Obama lied to us all when he said we could keep our policies. Millions of families have had their policies cancelled. So this report by CatholicVote is important to understand for many reasons.)

“A few days ago, Secretary Sebelius apologized to Congress….for a malfunctioning website.

“But the problem is not just the website. The problem is Obamacare itself! Obamacare is a disaster for American families coast to coast. We don’t need a website fix. We need real healthcare reform – starting with an end to Obamacare.

“In her testimony to Congress this morning, Sebelius did her best to best minimize the problems, pledging to fix the website. But no amount of spin can change the nightmare just now beginning.

“In just over a year, a third of the Senate and the Congress will face the voters. We must keep the pressure on every elected official. We don’t want a website fix. We want real healthcare reform.

“As the country continues to debate the botched rollout, I have included 5 simple reasons to share with your family and friends why Obamacare is bad for America. Don’t be fooled. Website ‘glitches’ are just the beginning….”

Read the whole article and to the understand the five reasons ObamaCare is a disaster, click HERE.

For their follow up article “ObamaCare’s Real Problems: Three Views”, click HERE

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Mary a Mediatrix? Isn’t there just One Mediator?

by Steve Ray on October 30, 2013

The Bible says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim 2:5). Yet Catholics refer to Mary as a Mediatrix (feminine form of the word mediator).

So, isn’t that prima facie evidence that Catholics make up doctrines, worship Mary and disregard the Bible?

I was again challenged with this the other day. Interesting how the same old, same old keeps coming up no matter how many times you answer it. Interesting how these same misconceptions keep coming up as though some contentious power keeps inserting them into gullible minds. Interesting how people love to twist the rubber nose to make it obscene, grotesque, and distorted.

So here was my short response — again!

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Cross in Woods smtIn 1 Timothy 2:5 Paul recognizes that there is a huge chasm between the holy God and sinful men. Paul states that there is only one mediator that can bridge that uncrossable gorge.  How do we sinners reach a holy God across such a chasm?

God has provided the solution. He has provided the-one-and-only Mediator (1 Tim 2:5), the bridge, the stairway between heaven and earth, (John 1:51 based on the ladder seen by Jacob). This one Mediator is the God-Man Jesus Christ and he is the only one that can bridge the gap–mediate–between heaven and earth to bring reconciliation between God and men.

Thus, there is one Mediator to reconcile God and man. Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant as the writer of Hebrews informs us three times, for example: “Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb 8:6, 9:15, 12:24). No one else could have ever become such a mediator of the New Covenant.

However, after Jesus has accomplished such an act of redemption and mediatorship, he calls us to share in his ministry.

I remember my father saying to me before I joined the Catholic Church, “When you become Catholic you will pray to Mary and remember that Paul says there is only one Mediator between God and man.” I lovingly but sternly replied to my father, “Dad, never ask me to pray for you again!”

My father was shocked but understood my meaning. As soon as he asks me to pray for him — he asks me to be a mediator between him and God. I told him that to be consistent with his Protestant theology he should not ask me or anyone else to intercede for him, to be a mediator — one who stands in the middle — but he should pray directly to Jesus himself.

m74But Scripture constantly commands us to pray for one another, to intercede for our fellow humans. We are all “mini” mediators sharing in the mediatorship of Christ. And it goes the other way too. When God tells us to share the Gospel with lost sinners he is asking us to stand between himself and the sinner to share the Gospel, although he could have chosen to communicate with them directly.

Mary is not the infinite mediator, nor does she impose on the prerogatives of her Son. She, like us, intercedes for sinners and the people of God. Mediatrix is simply the feminine form of mediator. All of us share in the ministry of Christ, mediating and praying for our fellow man. In this sense, all of us are mediators and the females among us are mediatrixes.

I am frequently asked, “Where does the Bible say we should pray to dead saints?” to which I usually ask, “Where does the Bible say that saints are dead?”

Those of us, including most Protestants, believe that when a person dies in friendship with Christ they are still alive in Christ.

To prove that those who died in a state of grace were not dead, Jesus said to the Sadducees (who didn’t believe in the resurrection which is why they were “sad you see” — as my dad used to joke with us kids), “‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living” (Matt 22:32). Jesus said that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were still alive.

Those who say “Why do you Catholics pray to dead saints” need to understand that those who die in Christ are not dead. Catholics affirm that they are alive and in the presence of Christ and that they can intercede for us as much as my father or I can intercede for each other.

Mary and the saints do not answer our prayers, any more than I answer the prayers of my dad. Rather, Mary, the saints and you and I all are intercessors. We do not answer the prayers, we simply intercede with the Father through his Son Jesus.

When I take pilgrimage groups to Israel I always take them to the top of Mount Tabor where the Transfiguration took place. I always ask people how a “dead guy” like Moses could be talking to Jesus about things that are taking place on earth (Lk 9:31).

copelandWhen my father asks me to pray for him he asks me to stand in the middle — to be a mediator, an intercessor — and when God commands me to preach the gospel to the lost, he tells me to stand in the middle — to be an ambassador for Christ as Paul says,

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20).

(Opps, to the right is a Pentecostal preacher Kenneth Copeland acting as a mediator, interceding with God, standing in the middle as they pray for this man!)

I hope that helps explain why we call Mary a mediatrix and why all of us are mini-mediators sharing in the ministry of Christ — the one-and-only mediator of the New Covenant, but certainly not in any way claiming to be the one mediator of the New Covenant, nor in any way arrogating to ourselves or to Mary the unique prerogatives and ministry of Jesus.

One last thought on this matter. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding of the differences between prayer and worship. In the Catholic tradition they are very different things. In Protestantism prayer and worship are sometimes used as synonyms. Pray simply means to ask, whereas worship is to adore.

If a Catholic says he “prays to Mary” it’s perceived as worship by many Protestants, but the Catholic it simply making a request that Mary intercede for us — the same as when my dad asked me to intercede for him. In Catholicism there is a big difference between pray and worship.

DVD_Mary_01We honor, love and venerate Mary. We ask her to pray for us. But we worship God ALONE!

For more on this and other Marian topics, all filmed on location in the Holy Land, check out my documentary MARY, MOTHER OF GOD here.

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What is Real Tolerance?

by Steve Ray on October 29, 2013

This video deserves a Million views. Watch it, like it, share it.

 

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Pilgrimage Cruise Blessings, Comments and Farewells

October 27, 2013

It was a blessed time. Share the final moments.

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What City Did Paul Love the Best? Probably the Most Corrupt City in the Roman Empire.

October 26, 2013

Today we visited the city with people that Paul loved the most. He wrote four letters to them even though only two remain extant. Paul lived with these these new Christians for 18 months and cared for them above all others. What city could this be? None other than Corinth. Enjoy our video of today’s [...]

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Questions for “Bible Christians” that they can’t answer

October 26, 2013

http://www.catholic-convert.com/documents/QuestionsforBibleChristians.pdf  (David Palm is the original compiler of the insightful list.) Check out this list of Questions for “Bible Christians” that they cannot answer. I got a response in the Comments below, but thought I would post it here with my response. DAVID COMMENTED: It is refreshing to hear a Romanist admit they are not [...]

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Why Do We Call Them APOSTOLIC FATHERS?

October 25, 2013

There are Apostolic Fathers and Fathers of the Church. What is the difference? Fathers of the Church are those bishops, priests and theologians of the first eight centuries who taught and wrote and who helped define the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Apostolic Fathers fit into that catagory but they have a subcategory of their [...]

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St. Paul Spoke with Socrates, Aristotle and Plato in Athens; We Climb Mars Hill Where St. Paul Spoke

October 25, 2013

Athens was the heart of the Greek culture. Today we toured Athens and saw the city of Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. St. Paul also spoke in the same streets. He was then taken to the Areopagus to give an explanation of his “babbling” which he did brilliantly.  I gave my short talk on top of [...]

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Exiled to the Island of Patmos

October 24, 2013

Because he preached the word of God and opposed the false gods of his day, John the apostle was excited to the small Greek Island of Patmos. Today we stepped off our big ship onto small tender boats to go ashore. We had Mass outside the WHER he received the Revelation which became the last [...]

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Walking in Ephesus Where St. Paul Lived Over 2 Years

October 24, 2013

Ephesus is magnificent. I gave four talks as we moved our way thru this die. The outdoor lunch and the rug-making demonstration was frosting in the cake. Ephesus Part One Ephesus Part Two

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Queens in the Old Testament – They Were Mothers

October 24, 2013

While on the radio this morning a man called in to say my argument for the Assumption of Mary from the Old Testament was wrong. I had quoted 1 Kings 2:19 where Solomon had raised his mother to Queen of the Kingdom was the ONLY case of a mother being queen in the Old Testament. [...]

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The Throne of Satan at Pergamum

October 22, 2013

Another great day visiting two ancient sites starting at Pergamum as mentioned in Revelation 2. St. John, quoting Jesus, said they lived where the Throne of Satan is. We showed our pilgrims the place where the Altar of Zeus stood. I explained that false gods have demons behind them. Zeus was the father of all [...]

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The Exotic City of Istabul

October 22, 2013

Some were afraid to visit Turkey, Istanbul in particular. They all exclaimed, “What a surprise! Istanbul is marvelous!” And it is. Most Americans have never been in a Muslim mosque. We took them in the huge Blue Mosque for a primer on Islam. Then to the very sad Hagia Sophia that was the largest and [...]

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Walking with St. Paul thru Philippi

October 21, 2013

Another great day with perfect weather as we toured ancient Philippi and walked on the very ancient roads that Paul once journeyed. We had an outdoor Mass at the Zygatis River where St. Paul baptized his first European convert named Lydia. In the old Roman theatre I gave my talk “What Must I Do to [...]

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Exploring Thessaloniki Greece

October 20, 2013

Today we disembarked for the first time for a tour of Thessaloniki where Paul visited and to whom he wrote two epistles. After returning to the ship for a sumptuous lunch (we really suffer on these trips :-) we had the first talk in our “Seminar at Sea” series. He spoke on Five Myths about [...]

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