Steve Ray: The Paradigm of Catholic Apologists and Authors

Steve RayI came across the blog of Catholic apologist and author, Steve Ray, where I found this question from one of his visitors, Wade Fowler, on March 11, 2015:

“Hey Steve….came across this blog….and I find myself perplexed and out of my league. I read Crossing the Tiber, but no longer have my copy… Can you help me reconcile what this blog is saying using the ECFs.

Here is the link. Please peruse it when you have time. I am very interested in your response.

https://onefold.wordpress.com/early-church-evidence-refutes-real-presence/

Thanks and God bless.”

Steve Ray’s answer:

“Wade: These anti-Catholic websites twist the Fathers of the Church like they do the Bible. I would not waste my time reading them. I used to have time to respond in detail to them, especially on the Primacy of Peter in the See of Rome. You can see a lot of my debates here:

http://www.catholicconvert.com/resources. Look especially at Steve’s Writings then the sections on My Books and DVDs.

These guys say the Fathers referred to the Eucharist as a symbol. Yes, they did because it IS a symbol. But it is also WHAT it symbolizes. The Fathers of the Church recognized that it is a symbol AND the reality. These anti-Catholics only emphasize the former and ignore the latter.

Read my book Crossing the Tiber again, especially the last section which deals with all this in detail. Don’t be deceived by clever folks who “proof-text” the Fathers for passages that skew the intent of what the Fathers were writing and believing and practicing. The whole Church believed in the Real Presence and still does. The only ones that reject it are a small sliver of the Christian pie — the Evangelicals.”

I went to the link and read Ray’s article, “The Eucharist as Seen by the Early Church Fathers.” What do you suppose I found in that article? Big surprise; nothing but proof-texts. My article, “Early Church Evidence Refutes Real Presence,” was perplexing to Wade because for the first time he was seeing the early church in context. In the fourth paragraph I stated that many Catholics will be surprised by what they learn in the article. Wade is a perfect example of what I was talking about. He saw the context to the many quotes he had been reading on Catholic websites and was confronted with the realization that when understood in context, the early church evidence refutes the Roman Catholic doctrine of real presence.

I understand that no honest devout Catholic who loves the Roman system will change their opinion about the eucharist by reading my article. Instead what happens is that they turn to someone they trust to tell to them that the evidence I presented is not as it appears. Well, Wade did exactly that. He turned to someone who has written books on Catholic doctrine and is a perceived expert on the subject of the Eucharist and church history. So what did this expert tell him? He tells Wade that he doesn’t have time to respond to me, but what about responding to Wade? Ray evidently decided that all Wade needs is to be re-indoctrinated with catholic proof-texts, because that is the ONLY thing Ray can offer.

Ray is an ill-informed hypocrite who never gave Wade the curtesy of even perusing my article. Without any evidence he criticizes me of the very things he does himself. He relies on proof-texts, twists Scripture, and distorts the early church writings by hiding the context and manipulating the meanings and intent. In fact, Ray is the perfect example of why I wrote my article in the first place.

Ray’s article offers no insight, no context, and frankly little detectable knowledge of the subject he was writing on. Keep in mind that Ray is a well-known Catholic author and apologist. I don’t need to go through the points in his article as my article address almost all of them. However, I do want to quickly demonstrate Ray’s blatant disregard for facts using Clement’s letter to the Corinthians.

Here is a quote taken from Ray’s article where he quotes Clement:

“’In the same way, my brothers, when we offer our own Eucharist to God, each one should keep to his own degree (calling)’ (Letter of Clement to the Corinthians, 41).”

Here is the same quote from Clemet’s letter to the Corinthians directly from Philip Schaff’s translation.

“Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him.

It’s difficult to even recognize that the two quotes come from the same work. Ray knows that the word eucharist literally means to give thanks. Knowing this, he seizes the opportunity to use the word in order to influence his readers. Ray gave neither lead in commentary nor any follow-up to the quote; he simply did what all Catholic apologists do, he quote-mined. The truth is Clement never used the word, “Eucharist,” and he never even alluded to the idea of real presence. What we find from Clement is the same as what we find from other well-known early church fathers, and that is that Christian sacrifice is that of praise and the giving of thanks.

Clement quoted from Psalm 50:23 saying, “The sacrifice of praise will glorify me, and a way is there by which I will show him the salvation of God.” He goes on to say, “This is the way, beloved, in which we find our Savior, even Jesus Christ, the High Priest of all our offerings, the defender and helper of our infirmity.” (35-36)

That is about as anti-real presence as one can get. We do not find our Savior in the bread and cup of the Eucharist; we find Him in our hearts when our hearts are turned to God through faith in His word. Clement speaks of relationship with Christ who is our defender and helper, and in whom we are made righteous by faith.

Ray manipulated Clements letter in order to give the false impression that Clement believed in the Roman Catholic doctrine of real presence. Doing this tells me two things 1) that Ray severally lacks integrity, and 2) in general Roman Catholics are completely ignorant of both Scripture and church history. How else could we account for Ray having any degree of success in his business as an apologist and author? Hopefully Wade was able to see through Ray’s deceit. I pray that the perplexity he faced when hearing for the first time the real context of the early church writings will convict his heart and turn him to Christ our Savior and His healing word.

”Now I beseech you, brethren, to mark those that cause divisions and offenses contrary to the teaching that you learned, and turn away from them; for such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly, and through good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Rom. 16:17-18)

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184 Responses to Steve Ray: The Paradigm of Catholic Apologists and Authors

  1. Interesting the Papist doctrine says it is no longer bread. Thats why its idolatry. Worshipping and bowing to created thing as if it were God. Augustine, with his weak latin translation or a greek translation of the Hebrew knew he was not to worship the footstool, but at the footstool. Its clear in exodus that its idolatry to worship a created thing. Its why I cant call a good Catholic a brother in Christ. Tridentine doctrine forbids any Catholic from knowing he is justified by faith alone at any point in his life. So anyone trusting in Christ alone is a bad Catholic. And to those, God’s elect, Jesus has a message. Revelations 18:4 ” Come out from among her my people”

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  2. Eric W says:

    Kevin,

    If I said the cup IS the lamb of God, then they would cry idolatry. Yet, if we state it in a positive way, Paul’s question would affirm this transub of the cup.

    The cup IS a sharing in the blood of Christ.

    Compare to their transub affirmation of the bread:

    The bread IS a sharing in the body of Christ.

    Devils ! You are right in calling the elect out. This simple demonstration showed the demonic confusion at the heart of Eucharist, the god of tooth decay.

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  3. Kevin says:

    So true EW!

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  4. Kevin says:

    There is an article on the Drudge report today that says new students at Ireland’s main seminary in Belfast are being re routed to Rome because of the absolute gay culture that exists there. Bishops are worried because of the ardent use of the app grindr. Estimates have the priesthood of Rome at 60% Homosexual. It’s why Ratzinger resigned, he said the filth was intrenched. There is a main apartment across street from the Vatican that houses some 20 Cardinals. It is right above the biggest gay bar in Rome. Keep these men in our prayers. They need Christ. To be forced to live in un natural restraint against the scriptures that encourages Bishops to marry, a culture of Homosexuality is endemic. These men live isolated lives. Our hearts should break for these men who need the true gospel. K

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  5. Micah says:

    So true. Mr. Ray has no integrity whatsoever. Transubstantiation has so many holes I am reminded of a slice of swiss cheese. I mean really: After “consecration” (as they call it) by voicing the phrase, “This is my body”, we are to believe there remains neither bread nor wine. However, every fiber of our cognisant being declares Transubstantiation is a fiction!

    *** The eyes look at the wafer and report back, “It is nothing but a crust of bread”; and inside the cup, “It is still wine”.

    *** The nose unites its testimony with that of the eye.

    *** Our taste buds cry, “This certainly does not taste like flesh and blood!”

    *** Our sense of touch raises its hand and feels nothing but flatbread.

    *** Finally, the ear. Many churches, including St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, use the jingle of the “signal bell” to call attention to the “miracle” that Transubstantiation has now taken place. The ear cannot judge the claim, but it can judge the sound of the substance. That is, were we to drop the wafer on the ground, we are confident that the ear of any casual observer would conclude there was no “thud” echoing from the weight of a 33 year old man.

    Indeed, from Genesis to Revelation, the Lord constantly appeals to our senses to vividly depict His power. Virtually every miracle was meant to astonish the eyes of men and display His glory. Need it be said that miracles, by their very nature, are an appeal to our senses? Yet the “miracle” of Transubstantiation is not an appeal to the senses, nor to any principle in human nature; but is an appeal to fanaticism, violating common sense and sound reason. There exists no pattern in the Bible of the supernatural taking place where all the evidence indicated nothing supernatural had taken place. A miracle must function within the bounds of verifiable reality. But since Transubstantiation is an allegedly “invisible” miracle that cannot be seen (CCC 1348), it goes against reality and is foreign to the Text. Just think. How can we forget the ocean being split down the middle, the lame walk, the blind receive sight, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and even dry bones are changed into an army of men, all to the amazement of the onlookers (Ezekiel 37:5-10). Moreover, John the Baptist said that God could of these very stones, turn them into children of Abraham (Matt 3:9). But if He did, the stones would take on the appearance of men! The record even shows that when God turned the rivers into blood, it took on the appearance of blood and was obvious for all to see! (Psalm 78:44). Yet Catholicism wants us to believe in the optical illusion that the blood of Jesus takes on the appearance of bread and wine for no one to see.

    The God of the Bible has created a universe that lights up the heavens, leaving our senses awestruck. He then bids us, to a lesser degree, to take out our own flashlights and light up the senses of others: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt 5:16). Therefore, the “panoramic” element displayed in creation and miracles, leads us to conclude that the invisible marvel of Transubstantiation is positively out of character for God and is saying something about Him which is incorrect (Job 42:8).

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  6. Micah, very good.

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  7. Yes, thank you, Micah! I’ve been meaning to say that but I’ve been distracted. Very nice post!

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  8. Mark Rome says:

    And yet, Christ chose bread and wine! To think, Jesus comes in the form of bread! That’s just foolishness!
    1 Cor 1:27, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.”

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  9. Richbell Melendez says:

    En la época patrística, no existió ninguna duda sobre la presencia real en la Eucaristía, sin embargo no se tenía una definición exacta de cómo era esta presencia real (consubstanciación, la transubstanciación, etc.). Hay que tener en cuenta que el vocabulario teológico de los Padres no estaba completamente desarrollado por lo cual no podían expresar el misterio de la Eucaristía con mayor precisión. No se tenía ninguna definición teológica clara de la Eucaristía y, por supuesto, no podría tenerla porque las definiciones no estaban completas en ese momento, al igual que no podemos pedir a los Padres Pre-Nicenos una definición clara y completa de la Trinidad, tampoco podemos pedir a sacerdotes anteriores una definición eucarística clara y completa de la Eucaristía.

    En ese periodo, el misterio de la Eucaristía no estaba tan desarrollado en la mente de la Iglesia para forzar en la mente del autor una clara expresión de la Eucaristía, en términos de la transubstanciación. La Iglesia tuvo que desarrollar un lenguaje teológico para expresar el pensamiento de la Iglesia sobre diversos asuntos de fe. En el periodo patrístico se estaba empezando a expresar sus pensamientos para describir el cambio del pan y el vino en el cuerpo y la sangre de Cristo.

    Del mismo modo críticos de nuestra Fe subestiman la divinidad de Cristo, citando a los Padres antes de Nicea que aparentemente rechazaban la naturaleza de Cristo. Resulta que antes de la definición, los Padres estaban desarrollando un vocabulario teológico de como entender el misterio de la Encarnación, por lo que no es sorpresa ver algunos padres antes de Nicea aparentemente minimizando la divinidad de Cristo. Esta es la naturaleza del desarrollo. Antes de la definición, los Padres dan un panorama teológico, en un intento de explicar un misterio divino, y cómo con el tiempo el misterio se vuelve un poco más claro es definido.

    Por lo tanto, las principales objeciones a la que los protestantes recurren para negar la presencia real de Cristo en la eucaristía, no tienen mayor fuerza ya que aunque los Padres se refirieron al misterio Eucarístico como símbolo, como tipo, como representación o como imagen esto no negaba el hecho de la eucaristía como presencia real del cuerpo de Cristo en los elementos consagrados.

    El consenso unánime en la antigüedad era confesar que el Pan consagrado contiene verdaderamente el cuerpo de Cristo y la Copa, su sangre, SIN DEFINIRSE DE QUÉ MODO.

    Es por eso que el erudito en patrística Philip Schaff afirmó:

    “The doctrine of the sacrament of the Eucharist was not a subject of theological controversy and ecclesiastical action till the time of Paschasius Radbert, in the ninth century; whereas since then this feast of the Saviour’s dying love has been the innocent cause of the most bitter disputes, especially in the age of the Reformation, between Papists and Protestants, and among Lutherans, Zwinglians, and Calvinists. Hence the doctrine of the ancient church on this point lacks the clearness and definiteness which the Nicene dogma of the Trinity, the Chalcedonian Christology, and the Augustinian anthropology and soteriology acquired from the controversies preceding them. In the doctrine of baptism also we have a much better right to speak of a consensus patrum, than in the doctrine of the holy Supper.

    In general, this period, following the representatives of the mystic theory in the previous one, was already very strongly inclined toward the doctrine of transubstantiation and toward the Greek and Roman sacrifice of the mass, which are inseparable in so far as a real sacrifice requires the real presence of the victim. But the kind and mode of this presence are not yet particularly defined, and admit very different views: Christ may be conceived as really present either in and with the elements (consubstantiation, impanation), or under the illusive appearance of the changed elements (transubstantiation), or only dynamically and spiritually.”

    ( History of the Christian Church , v.3, AD 311-600, rev. 5th ed., Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, rep. 1974, orig. 1910, 492, 500, 507)

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  10. Richbell,

    Please see my post, “A Critical Response to ‘The Church Fathers on Transubstantiation.'” I think it will explain why what you are claiming is false. Your argument is exactly what I refuted in that article.

    Brian

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