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Baptist Convert

Steve Ray

Steve is a Catholic speaker, author, pilgrimage guide, and frequent guest on EWTN. The proud father of four, Steve lives with his wife Janet in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I can still smell the green vinyl of the used couch in our living room as I knelt with my mom, with my face buried in my hands and my nose pressed into the vinyl. She had decided I was old enough — after all I was four years old. She didn't want to wait any longer. She was eager.

When I was born I was taken to the front of Joy Road Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan held aloft and dedicated to Christ. I did not receive infant baptism. The thought of baptizing an infant was repugnant. Where do you find that in the Bible? That was a surely a man-made Catholic tradition.

My parents had "found Christ" less than a year earlier. After twelve years of painful miscarriages my parents had discovered Jesus through the preaching of Billy Graham. The radio was on one morning as my mother was getting ready to go shopping. With keys in one hand and purse in the other she stopped in the kitchen before heading out the door. She heard something she's never heard before.

She heard the compelling voice of Billy Graham passionately explaining the precious blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross. It was shed for my mom to pay for her sins. It could save her from hell and insure her a place in heaven. My mom, raised without any religion, heard John 3:16 for the first time: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

She told me she fell on her knees on the kitchen floor. With tears rolling down her cheeks she "accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Savior and asked him to come into her heart."

At the same time my dad thought he had cancer and was having a nervous breakdown. He went out on the front porch one night and after looking up to the stars he pleaded, "If there is a God up there, please reveal yourself to me. I don't know if you even exist, but if you do I need your help!" He then went to bed.

The next morning he went through his normal routine and ended up at his office at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn Michigan. A friend walked up and said, "Charlie, can I tell you something?" My dad said, "Yes, of course, what is it?" The friend boldly proclaimed, "Charlie, you need Jesus Christ in your life." It had been less than twenty-four hours since the prayer of desperation.

Do you think it was a Catholic who approached my father? Unhappily it was not. Catholics too often think their faith in Christ is a "personal thing; not something you talk about." But this Baptist friend had a different opinion. The Gospel of Christ WAS something you talked about and you talked about it to as many people as you possibly could. My father prayed the "Sinner's Prayer" with his friend. Within a matter of days they were members of Joy Road Baptist Church.

On my desk sits one of my most valuable possessions. It is a black leather Scofield Reference Bible, King James Version with gold gilded pages. It is mark up to the extreme with notations, underlined verses, scribbled notes and comments. It was my father's first Bible and became one of the loves of his life. He wrote the date inside the cover — May 1954. After their dramatic conversions and much prayer I was born nine months later — December 1954 after twelve years of miscarriages. Two brothers followed.

Now we are back to the green vinyl couch in our small house on Marlowe Street. Mom thought I was old enough to accept Christ as my own personal Lord and Savior. So after some coaching and explanations in words a four year old could understand, she led me in the Sinner's Prayer. I can still remember that moment and the smell of old vinyl always brings to memory to the forefront of my mind.

Now came the task of raising these young boys to love Jesus and the Bible. It began with memorizing Bible verses. I was a rich little kid because my parents were smart. They paid me 50¢ for each Bible verse I memorized (I now do this for my grandchildren but the cost has gone up to $1.00). Mom knew a young mind was fertile and supple and could memorize easily. After all, Proverbs reminds us that if you "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (22:6).

Of course John 3:16 was the first verse we memorized. It was the heart of the Bible and the perfect summary of the mind and heart of God in his relationship to his people. We also learned to say the books of the Bible, the faster the better: "Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers...." We raced to see who could say them the fastest, keeping it under 15 seconds!

We never missed Sunday School, church, Sunday evening hymn sing, Wednesday night prayer meeting and the ever anticipated Summer Vacation Bible School. Prizes, ice cream, racing around, sticking flannel graph elephants onto Noah's ark and all kinds of other fun stuff.

My parents moved between churches. My dad would question the pastor and disagree about biblical passages and theology. We ended up attending Baptist churches, Reformed, Methodist, non-denominational, Charismatic and ultimately I ended up bouncing between an Evangelical Presbyterian and a Baptist church. It was great being a boy in a Baptist family in the 50's and early 60's.

But time marches on and interests march on as well. At fifteen years old my mind shifted to girls and motorcycles and the Beatles and other things upon which my parents frowned. The kids in our church youth group were not "cool" and I left them behind.

At seventeen, right before my 12th grade began at high school, I heard Billy Graham on the television. I always had a soft spot in my heart for God which was never calloused over by rebellion. The compelling arguments sank in deep. Then the mellow baritone voice of George Beverly Shea singing "Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me." That did it. I was out the door with tears running down my eyes. I walked down our long country driveway and I said to the Lord, "I am only seventeen years old but tonight I give my whole life to you!"

I started the 12th grade. On the first day a friend brought up a cute young girl with long blond hair. She had just moved to Michigan from Costa Mesa California. That summer she had "found Jesus" too. She had been raised nominal Presbyterian, baptized as an infant and that was about it. But she had gone to a Bible study at school and had been turned on the "new life in Christ." She was baptized by Pastor Chuck Smith in Pirates Cove in the Pacific Ocean.

For those who don't know Pastor Chuck Smith, he is the founder of Calvary Chapel which is mainly in the Southwest, but is spreading. One of their boasts is that 80% of their members are ex-Catholics. My wife was quickly caught up in the excitement.

We met at Plymouth-Canton High School in 1972. She told me that God spoke to her for the first time in her life that morning. She heard "That is the man you're going to marry." But I had other goals and they no longer involved girls. I was now dedicated to Bible study, prayer and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone. But four years later we did marry and it was the best thing I ever did. (We've now been married 35 years with four children and ten grandchildren and counting.)

We loved being Evangelical Protestant Christians. Janet and I made a great team with the same heart and mind. We home schooled our children, taught Bible studies, evangelized, and started our own very successful family business which grew eventually to 800 employees at one point. We had it made with a great family, wonderful Evangelical friends, a flourishing business, a love for the Bible and evangelism and a life full of joy. All our family and friends were not only Protestant, but also anti- Catholic. To ever have a member of the family "go Catholic" would have been unthinkable, an egregious betrayal of the Christian faith and the family traditions.

We taught studies on evangelization. We always had people in our home and not always Evangelicals. We welcomed into our home the Mormons and Jehovah's Witness missionaries. Atheists, New-agers and Catholics were always a target for evangelism. We knew the best arguments and Bible verses to unleash on any one of them. Catholics were usually pretty easy to pick off the tree. They didn't know the Bible and from our perspective had no idea how to get saved. They prayed to Mary instead of Jesus, got to heaven by works instead of faith, followed tradition instead of the Bible — in everything they were upside down.

Then it happened — we converted to the Catholic Church!

People ask, "What made you willing to lose everything to become Catholic?" Protestants asked, "Why leave biblical Christianity to follow the traditions of men in the Catholic Church?" Others asked (and still do) "What did you see in the Catholic Church that made you want to leave everything you knew to begin such a radical new path in life?"

My answer is, "I saw nothing in the Catholic Church to make me want to be Catholic! And the Catholics I knew were the biggest argument against the Catholic Church. Neither my wife nor I have ever set foot in a Catholic Church out of principle. We had never met a Catholic priest or religious and most unfortunately, we had never met a Catholic who could explain or defend their faith.

Our journey to the ancient Church of the first centuries began by seeing the problems within Protestantism — problems that were incurable. If they would have been corrected it would have become Catholic. Sometimes one has to realize they are very sick before they visit a doctor. Janet and I came to realize over time that something was dreadfully wrong with Protestantism. I will briefly explain the three "biggies" that hit us.

The first one was worship, the second one, interpretation of Scripture and third, morals. Let's begin with the first one first.

Janet interrupted me one Sunday on our way home from the Baptist church saying, "I can't listen to preaching anymore and call it worship. Something is missing but I don't know what it is." It was the first crack in a locked and bolted door. What was worship? Was it preaching? Charles Haddock Spurgeon, one of our favorite preachers had once said that no form of worship was higher than a good sermon. But Janet knew this was not correct. What was worship? Loud music — "pump up the volume, pump up the volume?" It seemed that Evangelicals did not know either. They were trying all kinds of new worship services to entertain and inspire.

Worship has always involved offerings and sacrifice, and I don't mean just the offering basket passed back and forth through the pews. I mean real sacrifice. Pagans, Jews, Hindus, early Christians — they all knew this. From the beginning of time people have brought a sacrifice or offering to the gods. The Jews understood and we inherited their God. The Protestants had preaching but what did the early Church have?

Janet and I have now had the privilege of visiting the oldest churches in the world. We have visited the first churches ever built in Israel, Egypt, Italy, Turkey and Greece. We've explored them all. Every one of them had something in common with all the others. As the focal point, front and center in every ancient church there is an altar! In front of that altar was a priest. An altar was always a place of sacrifice! And sacrifice was offered by a priest.

In 1 Corinthians 10 St. Paul speaks of the sacrifice of Jews, pagans and Christians. All offer a sacrifice. Where was this in my Baptist church? We had exchanged the ancient model for a new religion. No longer a priest and an altar, but now we had a preacher in front of a podium. The Catholics had the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

And to my great amazement, the very first Christians believed the same thing about the Sunday sacrifice as the Catholics did today! The disciples of the apostles referred to what we called "communion" as the very Body and Blood of Jesus, the same flesh that was nailed to the cross (see St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6, 7).

The Didache, written during the New Testament period calls the Eucharist a sacrifice and reminds the first century Christians to confess their sins (Confession) before offering their Sunday morning sacrifice (Section 14).

Much more could be said, but let's touch on the second huge problem of Protestantism. Who speaks for God? The Bible, correct? That is what I thought. But I have thousands of books on the Bible in my house. I bought them because I wanted to know what the Bible meant and how to properly interpret each page, especially some difficult passages. I realized over time that even among my close-knit circle of Evangelical Protestants we could not agree on significant issues.

Should you baptize infants? My Baptist tradition said, "Absolutely NOT!" Yet my Presbyterian wife had a certificate of infant baptism in her files. Can you lose your salvation once you are born again? Absolutely not said my particular tradition. Yet pulling other verses out of context to defend their position, other Evangelicals said, "Of course you can lose your salvation if you deny Christ and chose a life of sin.'

So, who interprets the Bible? Who is the arbiter when conflicts arise? How can I be certain? Ultimately it is up to me to decide these deep matters of theology and salvation since there is no final teacher in Protestantism. Do I have to become my own pope? This became a huge discussion.

I realized early on that the New Testament was even codified and closed as a collection of twenty-seven inspired books until the end of the fourth century. How did the early Christians know how to get saved, what to do on Sunday morning or how to please God? And it was these early Christians without a New Testament yet who were eaten by lions, burned at the stake, and beheaded in front of cheering crowds. How could they follow Christ so faithfully without the "Bible alone?"

The Bible itself never promotes "Bible alone." We realized that "sola Scriptura" was unscriptural. The early Church had the Apostolic Tradition, bishop in the apostolic succession and only later a gradually recognized and collected New Testament. And where did the authority to chose and close the canon of Scripture come from? As St. Augustine said, "I would not believe the holy Gospels if it were not for the authority of the Holy Catholic Church (Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental, 5,6).

St. Paul himself said that it was the church of the living God that was the pillar and bulwark of the truth, not the Bible (see 1 Timothy 3:15).

The third issue was no less monumental. What about morals? We had just returned from studying with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in Switzerland. Time Magazine referred to him as the missionary to the intellectual and he spoke uniquely to those searching for the truth. He was a Presbyterian minister very evangelical in the tradition of John Calvin and the Bible only and faith only persuasion.

Schaeffer encouraged Janet and I to return to America and speak out against abortion. This we did.

However, our first attempt met with dismal failure and disillusionment. The pastor told me to my face "You will NOT talk about abortion in my church. We are here to get people saved and made disciples for Christ. We have no business being involved in politics and medicine. Plus, many women in this congregation are getting abortions and I am not going to allow you to rock the boat."

Something was seriously wrong with American Evangelicalism! I knew enough from my reading of history that ALL Christian traditions from the beginning of Christianity until the beginning of the 20th century opposed not only abortion but contraceptives, calling them sin. Had God changed his mind? Who spoke for God in this matter?

It did not take a rocket scientist to realize that among the thousands of Protestant traditions and sects and churches and denominations that you could find a group to fit any idea of morals desired. Maybe someone had had an abortion and didn't want to feel guilty. They could find a church to tickle their ears. What if you were more concerned about a good music ministry than morals? No problem, the mega-church down the road might fit that customized request with no problem.

How do most Americans chose their church? The same way they chose their restaurant. At lunch time we drive down Main Street. On one side of the street is Burger King, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. How do I choose? Easy! What do I feel like today.

Now it is Sunday morning and I drive down Main Street again. On the other side of the street I find Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Mormon.... How do I choose where to go? Again it is very simple. What do I feel like this morning? Do I want good preaching or a good children's ministry? Do I want a pastor who meddles in my choices or someone who makes me feel good? Americans too often pick their church the way they pick their restaurant.

These three were not the only issues. But worship, Scripture and morals were right up there on top of the heap. We did not see any solution. I began to question the foundations for the faith altogether. Had I gone much further I am afraid a form of agnosticism might have set in.

At this very moment in our lives a long-time Evangelical friend and pastor announced to us, "Steve, my wife and I have decided to join the Catholic Church." I was stunned. I looked at my wife who also had a shocked look on her face. I immediately blurted out, "Al, that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard; you are way too smart to be a Catholic!"

My friend was Al Kresta, now a well known Catholic commentator on Catholic radio and a speaker and author. We are still best friends and I never cease thanking him for being there at the right time to rattle my cage and force me to look in a new direction.

Our first response though, was to study and prove him wrong. Janet and I decided we would mount a defense. Al knew the Bible as well as I did so to collect an array of Bible verses would prove ineffective. A better strategy had to be found. Ah, that's it! We'll go back in history to the first Christians and prove to Al that primitive and apostolic Christianity was Protestant! There were no pope-mobiles or processing Cardinals, no Vatican or Ecumenical Councils.

Surprise, surprise! We were not prepared for what we discovered. But first, why were we never encouraged to read the Fathers of the Church? We always stated, "The Fathers are not inspired; the Bible is inspired and that's all we need." But this new discovery was a real eye-opener. These first Christians lived, preached, worshiped and died before the New Testament was even in existence. They were authentic witnesses to the life, tradition and practice of the apostles themselves. They still have the apostolic voices ringing in their ears.

It was New Year's Eve 1993. Our Baptist friends had us over for two reasons: to usher in the new year and to save us from our lunacy. We had been studying the early church for months now and they saw the effect it was having upon us. They wanted to talk and talk we did. In the midst of the conversation I stood up and said, "Jim, do you realize that if you and I had seen Jesus crucified and risen from the dead we would have never read the Gospel of John?" He retorted, "Why not?" I replied, "Because it wasn't written until about 100 AD and we would have been dead long before that. Jim, how did the first Christians live and practice Christianity without the New Testament?"

On the way home I was quiet for a long time. Janet asked, "What are your thinking?" I said, "This is getting very scary; the more we argue against the Catholic Church the more I realize we are backing ourselves right in the front door!"

The next day was January 1, 1994. It was a delightful day with no phone calls or business. We had no interest in football either. At this point we were consumed with our quandary — what is the Church? What does God expect of us? Where did the Bible come from? Could the Catholic Church possibly be the Church Jesus founded and promised to build?

We had tackled all the obstacles one at a time: the Pope, Mary, purgatory, priests, confession, the Eucharist, faith alone, Bible alone and many more. It was all coming to a head. We had books open all over the living room floor. We were asking questions, reading passages aloud to each other and then ...

... I began to sob. I closed all my books and sat on the floor crying like a baby. With great concern my good wife asked, "Steve, what is wrong?" I responded through my tears, "Nothing is wrong ... I just realized, I am a Catholic!" She responded, "Oh good grief" but she said the same thing as I did less than twenty-four hours later.

I called my friend Al Kresta, remember the one I had called stupid a year earlier? I said, "Happy New Year Al. Guess what? I'm a Catholic!" Silence on the other end of the phone. "Al, are you there?" Yeah, but I don't think I heard you correctly, what did you just say?" After I explained he replied, "You are the last one I thought would ever say that! Then he asked me a question for which I was certainly not prepared.

Al asked, "Steve, tomorrow is Sunday, how would you like to go to Mass with us?" I stopped dead in my tracks. I froze. It had never dawned on my that if I would read my way into the Catholic Church I would have to some day go to a Catholic Mass!! Old sentiments die hard and I had lots of them about the Catholic Mass.

I covered the phone and quickly informed my wife of what Al had asked. She responded as cool as cucumber, "Tell him we will go but we will leave the kids at home, we want to get there late, sit in the back row and leave early." (People have jokingly told us we were real American Catholics from our first day.)

Al did not keep his promise and we ended up arriving at Mass early and we sat in the front of the church — and I was on the isle. I will never forget that morning. Tears welled up in my eyes for the second time in two days as I watched an apostolic man process up the isle. I had never seen a priest up close before and I knew exactly what he was. Janet was weeping too. We wept at every Mass for the next six years and still do.

We were received into the Catholic Church with our whole immediate family on Pentecost Sunday, May 22, 1994. We have never looked back. We are not the first to cross the Tiber, we won't be the last – we are in good company!

The full version of Steve's conversion story can be found in his book "Crossing the Tiber: Evangelical Protestants Discover the Historic Church." It is developed further with the issue of the papacy and authority in his book "Upon this Rock: Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church." To learn more about Steve and his ongoing ministry please visit his website

If you have found this story helpful in your spiritual journey we hope you will consider sharing it. Have feedback or would like to share your story? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • Comment Link Tim Ohmes Saturday, 14 April 2012 17:28 posted by Tim Ohmes


    I left the Catholic Church due to being unable to defend Her doctrines against Protestant attacks during my youth; from Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians mainly.

    I later returned to the Church as 'my own authority' and (after having a conversion experience) began studying apologetics. I came to understand those same doctrines I had abandoned earlier from former members of those same Protestant factions that had driven me out of the Church in the first place.

    The irony of this never ceases to amaze me.

    Thank you for your work and for Scott Hahn, Al Kresta and so many others who have aided us in our conversions.

    Tim Ohmes

  • Comment Link Anthony nguyen Sunday, 22 April 2012 12:21 posted by Anthony nguyen

    Reading all these stories is so faith-affirming. I am a catholic but my faith is shaky sometimes. These testimonials increases my faith and makes it much stronger. Thank you so much and God bless us all

  • Comment Link Maria Thursday, 17 May 2012 04:02 posted by Maria

    I was raised Catholic. Never questioned the faith. My brother almost got out but I told him ... we are the oldest church, if it is not God's, it would have died but is still surviving and growing evn with all the trials.

    This is true for me:"I saw nothing in the Catholic Church to make me want to be Catholic! And the Catholics I knew were the biggest argument against the Catholic Church. Neither my wife nor I have ever set foot in a Catholic Church out of principle. We had never met a Catholic priest or religious and most unfortunately, we had never met a Catholic who could explain or defend their faith."

    I became interested with convert story because I need to know the mind set of other Christian faith and so that I will know why a lot of christian faith hates Catholics. I just really did not understand that hate thing as I never hated anybody of their beliefs.

    Very nice story ... God bless

  • Comment Link Manoling de leon Sunday, 16 September 2012 01:05 posted by Manoling de leon

    More Catholics should read your writings. I've been a catholic since I was born 80 years ago. I feel that the problems of the catholic faith are among the Catholics who are still ignorant of their faith.

  • Comment Link Craig W Wednesday, 02 January 2013 01:43 posted by Craig W

    Still not convinced. Have been raised as Protestant and eagerly reaffirmed my faith a few years back. I've been ravenous for spiritual truth as I prepare Bible lessons for my Sunday school class. I know some parts of the Catholic beliefs, and understand the connection to Peter accepting the keys to the church from Jesus. But I still don't understand the difference pointed out by Steve in his story:

    Why are you so eager to trade receiving Bible interpretations from several knowledgeable and trusted authorities for a single source of that truth? What makes him so special and inerrant?

  • Comment Link Alexander Wednesday, 15 January 2014 16:48 posted by Alexander

    Dear Steve,
    Thank you very much for your lectures. I have the very same story of my conversion to the true faith. I'm also ex-baptist. Your lecture on YouTube "By Faith Alone" had a great impact on me. Please, contact me if you like.
    PS Sorry for my English. I'm Russian

  • Comment Link Ferdinand D. Mondia Friday, 25 April 2014 07:35 posted by Ferdinand D. Mondia

    I'm Catholic because l love Jesus Christ.

  • Comment Link Frank Rodriguez Wednesday, 28 May 2014 17:18 posted by Frank Rodriguez

    Jesus tells I am the truth, and if he gave Peter the authority here on earth, the we have to obey Jesus and catholics are the only religion that follows the truth.

  • Comment Link Dee Sunday, 27 July 2014 06:14 posted by Dee

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and views with all of us online. Cradle Catholic here and boy am I ashamed because I am one of those typical Catholics who can't defend my faith against anybody. I recently started doing research and it led me to some great conversion stories which had fantastic resources. Peter Keeft, Dr. Scott Hahn, and now yours! I am so thankful for you. You and your family are true inspirations! God bless all of you.

  • Comment Link Mary Gruber Sunday, 15 February 2015 20:09 posted by Mary Gruber

    Thank you Steve! You are an inspiration to all of us. I joined the Catholic Church when I married my husband who was Catholic, my first time at Mass I felt like I had come home and never looked back. The Holy Eucharist gives me the strength for the daily challenges of life.

  • Comment Link Hector Solorzano Wednesday, 18 March 2015 17:09 posted by Hector Solorzano

    If you love Jesus then you should not be catholic. God is not there. You dont need a religion to relate to God. Read the Bible and leave the most corrupt institution on earth to this date.

  • Comment Link Benjamin Vaughan Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:41 posted by Benjamin Vaughan

    My response to Craig above: I am a Catholic, and I believe that the Pope is infallible when he speaks ex cathedra and I think on issues of faith and morals. But I don't believe that Catholics are required to believe every word that the Pope says. He is the representative of the whole body of Christ which has a sense about what is the truth (sensus fidei). You can still come across truth in Protestant circles and falsehood in Catholic circles. Keep seeking the truth.

  • Comment Link Ramon Palacios Friday, 10 April 2015 13:33 posted by Ramon Palacios

    Steve. What a great story. Thanks for your great work.

  • Comment Link R. Young Saturday, 11 April 2015 13:58 posted by R. Young

    Very Interesting reading-I also am Catholic. I wondered why so many people dislike Catholics!

  • Comment Link Rene J. Pajaron Sunday, 12 April 2015 06:50 posted by Rene J. Pajaron

    Thank you Steve,

    Thank you for sharing your journey to us fellow Catholics. I am born-Catholics; and I keep learning the vast array of information about our Church. So vast that I feel so small.

  • Comment Link Mike Dizon Wednesday, 15 April 2015 15:27 posted by Mike Dizon


    You have an amazing story that is worth testifying about.

    But my question is, How can we prove from Matt. 16:18 or even chapter 16 in its context, that Jesus was referring to the Catholic Church when he uttered these words to Peter?

    Please enlighten me.

    God bless!

  • Comment Link Chris Thursday, 16 April 2015 01:49 posted by Chris

    I am starting to believe that it doesn't really matter at all which church is the right one or which is the wrong one.

    In revelations it talks about 7 churches and every one of them were found to have faults in god's eyes. The message was clear to all of them, repent.

    Now I have been to a couple of churches and in each one of them i have felt god's love inside of me, while a non-believe doesn't seem to feel it at all.

    I believe it comes down not to the church but to the individual.

    Do you go to church because you have to?
    Do you go to church because your scared?
    Do you go to church because its traditional?
    Do you go to church because you love god and want to worship him and thank him for everything?

    Believe in god, open your heart, love god and repent for your sins and you will feel god's love and forgiveness.

  • Comment Link Mike Friday, 01 May 2015 14:23 posted by Mike

    This message is for Chris that posted on April 16,2015. Here is an hour talk called "One Church". I hope it can help you in your discernment.

    Also, try reading Steve Ray's conversion story called "Crossing the Tiber".

  • Comment Link Gracie Friday, 14 August 2015 22:41 posted by Gracie

    I am raised Baptist/Methodist/Lakewood/Presbyterian/any other Protestant denomination my parents found after disagreeing with something wrong with the last. I would say that I have been raised Baptist because that is the majority of the churches I've been to. However, it doesn't feel right, and I want a...Church - a family. Whatever. (I really don't know how to say this, so...)

    I am sort of looking at Catholicism because I believe most of the theology - more than in others. But then there are the things like praying to Mary and to the saints and the Pope and those things Protestants always hear about the 'horrible Catholics' (which I ignorantly believed until I realised that a friend of mine was actually a Catholic and that the Spanish Inquisition was a thing of the past.... *smiles slightly*) that just seems to contradict everything the Bible says about God. Then there's the things about doing works and saying prayers to counter sin...

    My question is, how does this work? What's biblical? What's right?

  • Comment Link Giovanni Wednesday, 09 September 2015 08:22 posted by Giovanni

    @Gracie. I was born into the Catholic faith and have studied other religions from a young age. I also volunteered as a Chaplain assistant helping all the denominations while in the military. I definitely know what its like studying all the different denominations. And yes, almost all of them HATE the Catholic church. If you already have the foundations of Christianity (that Jesus is God = John 8:58 and Exodus 3:13-14, as well as John 12: 40-41 and Isaiah 6:1-10) then you wont be fooled by those false churches that deny that the Christ came in the flesh ( 2 john 1:7).

    Purgatory was NOT a creation of a Pope as some Protestants state. Even the Orthodox can see that scripture mentions a purgatory type place: and they don't listen to the Pope. Just as the word "Trinity" is not mentioned in the bible, neither is "purgatory." But we can see that such a place exists (Luke 12:58-59. Did you notice the "until" in there?) How about 1 John 5:16 ?

    For the Protestant ideals of "Salvation by Faith Alone", I have studied this and found it very false. Jesus told us to be perfect like the Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:48 and 1 Peter 1:15) Jesus also said that we will NOT get to heaven if we dont atleast try to be good people and help each other out. Again, we WILL NOT go to heaven simply by accepting Him as "Lord". Action must accomplish this. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7: 21). It is NOT by faith alone do we make it to heaven (James 2:24). When someone mentions Romans 3:28 (faith apart from works of the Law) they always always always forget the "works of the LAW" part. The LAW was circumcision, killing animals to cover sin, not eating pork, not dressing in woman's clothes if you are a guy... That stuff. But it never meant that that we should not help others out (2 John 1:5-6)

    As for Mary: I think that some (definitely not all) give too much attention and prayer to Mary. I personally dont think we should be praying to ANYONE except Christ/God. That's what the bible says. However, i can not get over Luke 2:35 “And a lance will pass through into your soul, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” The KJV places a parenthesis in the first part of this. But there IS NO parenthesis in the original Greek text. Only ONE ancient text out of a dozen has a dash here. Other bibles switch the sentences around for no reason at all. I do not know when Mary was given the ability to "thoughts of many hearts." Most importantly, I do not know why she gets to hear the thoughts. Maybe it was to fulfill Luke 1:48.

  • Comment Link Chuck Weis Wednesday, 30 September 2015 01:10 posted by Chuck Weis

    I have yet to read a convert to Catholicism who disparages their former Protestant faith. Yet every story I read by a convert from Catholicism to Protestantism is bitter, angry or disparaging of their former faith. Bishop Sheens statement about there not being 100 people who hate the Catholic church but millions who hate what they wrongly BELIEVE to be the Catholic church is so true its scary. I see so many ex catholics who are so misinformed thanks to wishy washy 70s catechesis but we can change hearts thru our witness ànd our testimony May God bless all of you who defend Christ's Church!

  • Comment Link Margaret Monday, 07 December 2015 18:39 posted by Margaret

    I am a Catholic because I was born a Catholic. Both of my parents were raised in devote Catholic homes. As a child I never really questioned my religion, I simply had faith. Outside influence caused me to question the Church when I was in my twenties. Not my core beliefs, just certain things like "limbo" and confession to the priest. Protestants like to ask, "Where is that in the Bible?" Especially my ex-catholic, Baptist husband and his family. I found it difficult to defend my faith because I couldn't recite scripture. The priest read the Holy Bible to us.
    I will not stray, I will die a Catholic and defend the Catholic Church the best way I know how, I feel it in my heart and that is all I need.
    I told my husband that Protestant derives from the word "protest". He does lay down at night with a rosary in his hand. :-) I have faith!

  • Comment Link Michael Sayers Tuesday, 02 February 2016 06:37 posted by Michael Sayers

    To those who question whether the church founded by Jesus was the Catholic Church, I would say this. Consider that, for the first 2 - 3 centuries after Jesus' life on earth there was no New Testament, so the early church had to rely on the oral traditions as handed down by the apostles (and in accordance with the instruction by Paul to hold to the traditions ie the things handed down) - which is how the Jewish faith was handed down, as books were rare and expensive things, right up until after the invention of the printing press in the 15th century.

    The early church was thus following the ways and practices of the apostles of Jesus, and those ways and practices included altars, confession of sin, declarations of the Word by a priest, prayers for the sick, the dead in purgatory and to Mary (because, as Mary is told in the Gospel of Luke, "The Lord is with thee"), followed by presentation of the body and blood of Christ to the people, as Jesus had promised and asked at the Last Supper. Psalms and hymns were also sung in thanksgiving and praise of all that God has done for us through his Son our Saviour. In other words, the early church was celebrating Mass, in almost exactly the same way as not only the Catholic but also the Orthodox churches do to this day.

    I am a convert to the Catholic church, after spending 15 years trying (unsuccessfully) to find satisfactory answers from the Church of England, the Salvation Army, the Baptist church, the United Reformed church, a Pentecostal church, the Unification Church, the Methodist church. Many of these churches seemed to think that worshipping God meant singing your heads off (a kind of competition to show just how loudly you could sing) or how "strict" you could be or by rejecting the real meaning of the sacraments, particularly that of the Eucharist, as set out by Jesus in the Gospels, despite claiming that everything in the Bible was literally true.

    Some of them leant over backwards to disprove what Jesus actually meant - and some bent over even further backwards, to prove that you could not be a Christian unless you believed that the earth and the whole universe were no more than 6,000 years old and that dinosaurs lived at the time of the Old Testament and two of them were on Noah's ark. Basically, they appeared to be making up teachings to suit the congregation - some even defended the rich keeping their money and not giving to the poor, because the rich had earnt their money and the poor were poor because they were too lazy to find work for themselves. What a contrast with Jesus teaching, particularly (but not only) as illustrated by the story of the employer who paid a day's wage to all those who worked for him, regardless of the time that they had started their working day.

    What really did it for me at almost all of these churches was their undisguised pride that they were not like "traditional" or "boring" churches, (only the C of E didn't seem to suffer from this sin). But none of them offered what I thought of as "Worship" which I have always thought of as sharing with the congregation, not only in praising God but in taking God right into every aspect of yourself and your life and only the Mass achieves that. Prayer is not the same as worship. Prayer, as Jesus says, can be done by going into your private room, whereas worship is the people together praising God, sharing Jesus among themselves and thus strengthening themselves for the task of bringing others to faith in Jesus our Saviour.

    As for Mary, she is described in the Bible as "full of grace", "blessed among women" and forever to be blessed. She is the new Ark of the New Covenant. As with the original Ark, people worshipped the God represented by its contents, not the cedar exterior, any more than Catholics "worship" Mary, the living Ark presenting to us the New Covenant, the Covenant of living flesh, living heart, Jesus - whom we do worship.

    Mary is not the new Ark? If you know your Bible, don't forget that when David saw that the Ark had been brought back, he danced for joy. When Mary went to visit Elizabeth, the infant John leaped in the womb. When the angel announced to Mary that she was to conceive Jesus, the angel said that the spirit of the Lord would overshadow her. Compare that with the Pillar of cloud over the tent containing the original Ark, indicating by lifting when the Israelites could move on in their exodus.

    I could go on. Have already gone on for longer than I thought I would.

  • Comment Link Daniel Waldron Wednesday, 03 February 2016 08:03 posted by Daniel Waldron

    also Orthodox as well.
    I do not hold hatred in my heart against the RCC, nor the Orthodox,but I believe there is a serious flaw in both systems, which enables them to want to politically dominate, and subjugate to enhance or further its ambitions. The Pope even today is a political person,very much wanting to involve himself in the matters around the world.There is nothing wrong with that,but history tells us the RCC had political ambitions that lauded over magistrates, and nations. Your history is drenched with the blood of many Jews, and non-Catholic Christians. And even now this Pope is going to make deals with the Arabs and the Jews,to divide our land, which is despised by YHWH. Adonai. History repeats itself, and the RCC is ready to make the same mistakes which might be detrimental to us all. DAN

  • Comment Link Daniel Waldron Wednesday, 03 February 2016 08:20 posted by Daniel Waldron

    It is important that I share however that I am a believer in Jesus Christ, who died for me and gave His life, that I may have the gift of eternal life in Him. Naturally I must repent and live for Him, with the Power of His Holy Spirit.
    I have been in the evangelical churches,and the fellowship is always wonderful, we have so much in common. When I was young my parents very dysfunctional at best brought my brother and I up in the Catholic Church.At 17, I found out that the Scriptures contained the knowledge I needed to become born-again and to live for Christ.Thus as I grew in Him, the life which I lived was behind me, and a new life was evident. Nothing perfect,but a life that has to be molded as clay for the Purpose of Christ. I understand conversion,but converting from one church system to another shows me that Christ has not been given the chance to reveal Himself through the power of His Spirit. "Is Christ divided?" Dan.

  • Comment Link Daniel Waldron Wednesday, 03 February 2016 08:33 posted by Daniel Waldron

    Living 30 some years as an evangelical,with Jewish roots, I cannot imagine that I must convert again to something else. Conversion for me was to Christ, my sins for His life.Again not perfect in my own flesh,but through His righteousness. I have watched for 3 years EWTN, and JOURNEY HOME, and find it often insulting, as in Christ I am H o m e, and the fellowship of believers is the church.
    I do not see among the evangelicals I know a divisive way of life, or lack of continuity in spirit. Far be it that I should seek to find another HOME as it were in a church that has for 6 centuries lauded over the lives of thousands, ruled them with an iron fist, and most of all made pogroms against the people of my heritage. By the way, many Christians who are martyred today in various countries are evangelicals,are they not HOME with their Lord? D a n.

  • Comment Link Daniel Waldron Wednesday, 03 February 2016 08:44 posted by Daniel Waldron

    I do not see myself as Protestant, but as a believer, and part of a great cloud of witnesses. It is a faith that is rooted in Him who gave His life a ransom for many. The question about authority, must trouble some people, because they might be seeking for more in their experience.But the truth is that Jesus has all authority, from His Father in Glory, and through the Holy Spirit we can have this authority operating in our lives with the caution and sensible power of the Spirit.The future is what we will see as to how all of this will be revealed. You can tell me that I just believe it is Jesus and me, because I am outside your church,but the truth is I am connected with the whole body of Christ, through His Spirit. It is a powerful thing,because even Catholics who know the Spirit, are of the same mind when we fellowship with them. It is all by His Spirit. I would never forsake what Christ has given me over the years for a brief few years being part of a church that basically denies what the Lord has done to me. Thank you for your time! D A N.

  • Comment Link Daniel Waldron Saturday, 06 February 2016 07:23 posted by Daniel Waldron

    "giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light." Colossians 1:12. Michael Sayers,if you truly experienced Christ, than you must come to the same conclusions so many have had before you,still have , and will continue to have.:"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:11.
    Your trail through several denominations did not awaken you to the living Christ? Well in a way that is good,because you and I need to repent and walk in newness of life. It is sin that we deal with, not ideology.If Christ truly has set you free from your personal sins, than you are free indeed. And all that Christ has done for you should not be limited to your persuasion into a particular church or denomination,but that Christ is in you the hope of glory. You are the church, and what Christ has done for you defines His relationship with the whole body of Christ, of which you are a member of. DAN.

  • Comment Link Daisy Lopez Saturday, 06 February 2016 15:53 posted by Daisy Lopez

    Looking for a way to give and guide Catholics in my family and community I found a way to refute what others say trying to confuse me. I always pray to God to guide me and wait for his guidance. I am not currently studying the bible but the Knowledge I have gained through Catholic teachings is suficient to guide others who are willing to listen and read the bible under the guidance of the ones who have read the Bible in its original languages. Traslation has changed meanings.
    And for those who are judging the Church because of the priests that deceived his teachings, let me tell you that there are many others that have died defending the faith, martyrs, that neither you or I cannot forget. Let God alone Judge those who have done wrong. Pray for them and God will do justice, because the bible teaches us that God is almighty and love. Alert members of your family not to confide in everyone, priests or teacher or even friends. However trust the priests who have been serving your community and have given up their personal lives to preach the word of God, many of whom have vows of poverty. They have studied for over 4 years of theology and can guide you in your studies on religious issues. Let yourself be guided by the true God and those who have deceived the LORD remember
    He is all forgiveness, for Jesus gave the apostles the power to forgive our sins, if we truly repent.

  • Comment Link urfli Thursday, 17 March 2016 13:20 posted by urfli

    I"m a Baptist. I feel sorry for you returning to a Catholic church of Rome who persecuted the early Christians.

    Baptist is the real church that Jesus built.

  • Comment Link Lynn Pryor Thursday, 24 March 2016 18:17 posted by Lynn Pryor

    Why do you think that the Catholic Church persecuted the early Christians. Early Christians were Catholic, there was no other church. Early Christians were persecuted by Rome.
    The Baptist Church did not exist until at the earliest the 16th century.
    If you believe in Sola Scriptura, Bible Alone. Who put the Bible together? The Catholic Church.

  • Comment Link Tamara Thursday, 21 July 2016 19:14 posted by Tamara

    "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Acts 16:31. HIS sacrifice of HIS own perfect life is the sacrifice for our sins. HE took our sins into HIS own body, suffered for them and HE offers us HIS forgiveness. Will you accept the forgiveness HE offers? Then you will belong to Jesus because HE purchased us with HIS own blood.

  • Comment Link Julia C. Thursday, 25 August 2016 00:38 posted by Julia C.

    Jesus gave us His church, His bride. The only true church is the Catholic church (He only has one body)
    I came back to the church that gave us the Bible, I was a "Bible only" Christian, but never really thought about where did we get the Bible? If it wasn't for the Catholic church, we wouldn't have the Bible that we have today, at the very least the New Testament; since the Bishops at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage led by the Holy Spirit decided which books should be included in the Canon-which were inspired by God, The Church that Jesus gave was first, and out of that church, we got the Bible. Dan, I hope you realize it's not forsaking Christ to come home to His Church, His body. No where in the Bible does it say All we need is the Bible. Tamara, AMEN!!

  • Comment Link Joyce Thomson Friday, 30 September 2016 07:39 posted by Joyce Thomson

    SUPER..............Today I listened to Steve Ray ON Goodness T V .Iam greatly moved by the talk.Iam surrounded by non catholic friends.Now I knowHow to defend the catholic church

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  • Comment Link Vincent Sunday, 19 February 2017 10:54 posted by Vincent

    I love my catholic faith & above all I love my church which Jesus Christ blessed with his wounds & his holy blood.

  • Comment Link j mathew Sunday, 26 February 2017 10:49 posted by j mathew

    he has to say that bible says that catholic church is the real church ,so we converted to catholic or has to quote some verses from bible to substantiate his arguments .
    he failed to give at least some evidence from bible to justify his conversion.
    god forgive him

  • Comment Link Lea Tuesday, 18 April 2017 16:58 posted by Lea

    I went on this site because after listening to a couple of Baptists, I wondered WHY they hated Catholics and as you said, can quote all kinds of scripture. Then I watched a Baptist service, with the preaching, the music, the singing, free food, etc. and know what they are truly missing is the Sacrifice of the Mass. That is the core of Catholicism. Bishop Taylor, a Socialist here in AR is forcing our Churches to welcome all the Hispanics and is currently just taking over our Church. It doesn't matter to him if they are legal or illegal as he does not believe in a Border.

  • Comment Link Rosa Wolfe Monday, 04 September 2017 09:59 posted by Rosa Wolfe

    Dear Stephen, Listened to you on Goodness TV. Very inspiring message about the family.It's great that you were instilled with the knowledge of Jesus Christ, His sacrifice and resurrection and that your parents lives were changed. The Lord wants people from every tribe and tongue and "church" to praise Him and know Him as Lord and Saviour. You are being used to bring light into the Catholic church. I love my Catholic brothers and sisters and they need to hear the truth. My husband and I (former Catholics) worship at any Bible believing church and yes, there are many things that should be done differently, reverence to the Lord is missing and also there is an absence of holiness. Music is the modern altar, I have said many times. But the other teachings of the Catholic church, I cannot agree with. the Lord will forgive me if I have not understood. No single denomination is fully right or fully wrong. The Lord above is making ready a bride for Himself and this bride will be from all churches and some not even from churches beecause He seearches out the heart and mind of people. The church we worship in doesn't hate Catholics. It is not possible for any born again true believer in the Lord to hate anyone. On the other hand, my Catholic siblings have displayed much hatred of us and I have not seen the fruit of the Holy Spirit present in their lives. Bless the work you are doing in the Catholic Church!

  • Comment Link Oliver Thursday, 25 January 2018 07:45 posted by Oliver

    I've been a Catholic for as long as I can remember because I was baptised when I was an infant. Since then and until now, I have always been a Catholic. Despite, participating in many church activities, and even became an altar boy, then proceeded to join the choirs and its music ministry, I occasionally see my faith in Him gradually tearing away...I watch it departing in front of my very eyes, I could stop it but I cant. I am 42 year old man, with wife and two kids. The ugliest thing I have ever done was to seek other God (Budha) in a hope of striking a lottery number, which is quite common in Asian countries. I wonder if Jesus ever gonna forgive me for this mortal sin.

  • Comment Link El Friday, 03 May 2019 09:19 posted by El

    There is no perfect church, even Catholics does not agree with each other. There are mature and immature Catholics and so Christians. Steve Rays' parents moved between churches because his dad would question the pastor and disagree about biblical passages and theology is that a fault of the Church or his Dad? His wife said that she can't listen to preaching anymore and call it worship, is not listening to the word of God worship? Maybe if you are merely listening and not doing then it is not. Evangelicals does not claim that only singing Loud music is worship, it is just a manner of worship (David and Israel were shouting, dancing and celebrating when they brought up the Ark of the covenant of the Lord).
    Romans 12:1-2: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship." Worship is obedience to Him and His Word.
    It is also the acknowledgment of God and all His power and glory in everything we do.

    Some member of my family are still Catholic, they have picture of Mary hanged on the wall but Jesus picture was just kept lying above their closet (they intentionally chose to hang Mary picture and not Jesus). I heard a priest last easter on TV crediting Mary not Jesus at the end of his speech.

    I love Mary the Mother of Jesus. But as a Christian and a follower of Jesus I cannot love Mary more than I love Jesus because that would become idolatry because Mary is not a God. I think Catholics should also if they claim that they are the true church. Love from a concern individual.

  • Comment Link GRACE ambassador Tuesday, 08 October 2019 18:39 posted by GRACE ambassador

    Grace And Peace my Dear Steve Ray. First things first? IF God's Word Is NOT our "Final" Authority for "faith And practice," then, man-made "tradition/religious dogma" is Also "put Onto THE SAME "LEVEL" Where "God Has MAGNIFIED HIS Word"?

    I Must Respectfully "Disagree" Please Be Very RICHLY Blessed/Encouraged!:
    *God's Preserved Word, Above ALL, And FINAL Authority For "faith and practice!"*

    1) *God's PROMISE Pertaining To HIS PRESERVED Word!:*

    *"The Words Of The LORD Are Pure Words: As silver tried in a furnace of earth,*
    *Purified Seven Times! THOU Shalt Keep Them, O LORD, THOU Shalt*
    *PRESERVE Them from this generation FOR EVER!" ( Psalm 12 : 6-7 KJB! )*
    { *God "Skipped" NO "generations"* from 1611 to 1885! }

    2) *God's Word Is ABOVE All Else!*

    *"I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy HOLY*
    *Name for Thy LovingKindness and for Thy TRUTH: for Thou*
    *Hast MAGNIFIED Thy WORD Above All Thy Name!" ( Psalm 138 : 2 KJB! )*
    { tradition/church ARE NOT "Equal/Higher" *Than God's HOLY Word!* }
    { "Recall" Lucifer's PRIDE! = "i WILL BE HIGHER than God!" Correct? }

    3) *God's WRITTEN WORD Is THE FINAL Authority!*

    *"And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to*
    *myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us*

    {should ANY of us "question, add to, subtract from, water down, Or DENY" God's Word?}

    *that no one of you be puffed up for one against another!"* {ALL "religions"?}
    *( 1 Corinthians 4 : 6 KJB! )* Amen! And AMEN!!
    More "studies" here:

    *KJB Only Is God's Preserved Word!:*


    *KJB PowerPoint Presentation!:*

    Please, ALL, Be *RICHLY Blessed In The LIVING Word And HIS WRITTEN Word!!!*

    Saint Christopher
    2nd thing is "Controversial WATER baptism" or "assurance Of salvation"?
    PS: What think ye?:
    *"Solves _ALL Confusion"?_ = NO "Other" Doctrine Than "Right Division!":*

  • Comment Link pio nono Thursday, 31 October 2019 03:43 posted by pio nono

    This comments desperately needs moderation, or to be shut down entirely. It does no good to allow Protestants to post anti-Catholic sludge with seemingly no consequences.