Last evening I made a prediction that Steve Ray would find a way to run from the documentation of his error regarding the oft-repeated false assertion that the World Christian Encyclopedia says that there are 33,000 Protestant denominations. This is a documented falsehood. It doesn’t. But Steve Ray is a fundamentalist Romanist–he still has the same mind set he had as a fundamentalist, but now he serves Rome, and just as the worst fundamentalist will refuse to accept the reality of his errors (Texe Marrs is a good example of this mindset, remember Revelation 1, 1, 1?), so too Steve Ray is loath to admit that he is simply wrong on this issue, despite the overwhelming documentation. I predicted, on the basis of his blog post, that he would attempt to spin the issue, ignore the documentation of his falsehood, and try to rally his troops with something along the lines of “James White thinks 9000 denominations is OK!” The absurdity of such a dishonest act of desperation might cause someone to chuckle, but it is the only option open to the person who thinks admission of error is tantamount to failure in the service of Rome.
Steve Ray has posted a response on the denominations issue. He has linked to it twice in this blog article. Initially, both links took you to a small graphic, not to his response. Just as I finished this article, the link changed, pointing now to a pdf of his reply. I will comment on the reply briefly below.
What he has actually posted in this blog article is more than enough to demonstrate that he is intent upon engaging in the most egregious forms of spin and smoke-and-mirrors to attempt to rescue any shred of credibility he might have as an apologist. He starts out by announcing that he is off on another pilgrimage! Bon voyage! Enjoy! But then he writes,
In the meantime, this morning I post here my response to the discussion on the number of denominations in the world today and how sola Scriptura has been a huge factor in causing, or at least, facilitating this scandalous situation. Accusing me of “spinning,” the issue, James White has already started the real spin to make it sound like denominationalism and schism and factions are just fine and to remove the onus from Protestants to stop the factions, infighting to stop the scandal.
It is dishonest at best for Ray to falsely accuse me of saying things I have never said, and adopting positions I have never endorsed, promoted, or enunciated. It is even worse that any fair review of my published works documents that I have written often in defense of a biblical view of the church and against the abuses of the church rampant today. Notice the difference between the defender of Rome and the biblical apologist: when I addressed Rays Marian assertions, I cited him, directly. When I documented his error on the 33,000 denominations, I cited him directly. Truth has that nature: it can provide documentation, evidence. When representing others, the truthful writer can quote that person, in context. Steve Ray can’t do that. Why? Because he’s peddling lies, and he is fully aware of it. This is not just a mistake on his part, he is purposefully lying to his readers. He is banking on them never checking him out, trusting him implicitly, sort of like they trust their priest, or the Pope. He knows that many of his readers are already so prejudiced, so biased, that the facts of the matter do not even enter the picture. As long as it is about James White, well, it must be true. So he doesn’t need to quote me. He can’t. He knows it. But it doesn’t matter. Fundie Romanist apologists don’t have to quote sources. “Rome is Right–Be Happy” doesn’t require a very high standard of documentation and argumentation.
So how do Romanists get around being refuted? Attack the person who refuted you. Call him a “petty pope” and liken him to a “rabid dog.” Then change the subject. Make something up like “He thinks its great for there to be division in the body of Christ!” and hope your followers are as utterly unconcerned about the truth as you are, and that they will just applaud your brilliance and move on to the next pilgrimage, buy the next DVD you crank out, order your next convert-story book, and keep the donations coming.
Ray claims I am trying to divert attention from his 30 page response. I guess that’s why I referred to an outline of how to respond to it last evening? Ironically, when I first wrote a single paragraph in response to Ray’s “logic” in defense of the Assumption and coronation of Mary, he immediately complained that people were demanding he respond right now! Of course, I never made any such demand. But, when he pastes together a response that covers half a dozen topics, co-authored as well by Gary Michuta, I am supposed to drop everything Im doing and respond in full immediately! If I do respond to him quickly, I’m ranting and raving. If I take any time, I’m trying to divert attention. Get the idea? It doesn’t matter what I say or what I do, Ray’s fundamentalist mindset will find a way to accuse me of something along the way. Will it matter when I do complete my refutation of his paper? Will he interact with any documentation of his errors? Of course not! Just as Dave Hunt’s book is still being printed with its wide-eyed promotion of the “Hebrew original of Acts 1-15” in its vain attempt to get around Acts 13:48, so too Ray will simply find himself too busy with another wonderful DVD, another pilgrimage coming up, to worry about the rantings of a “rabid dog.” Ah, the glory of Romanism.
The real irony is that anyone who is serious about interaction with me knows how often I have spoken against church hopping and church shopping. One of my most recent books is titled Pulpit Crimes, and, of course, Ray hasn’t read a word of it. He assumes anyone who opposes Rome was as ignorant of the issues as he was as a fundamentalist. He has no idea how to deal with someone such as myself, so, he refuses to do so. He creates a straw-man that looks just like him in his pre-conversion to Rome days, and demands I fit his mold. Well, once again, I see into the world of the Catholic convert, and I am repulsed. It is revolting because I hold dear something that is simply unknown in that world: a love for the truth.
Update on the provision of the actual document. As I noted above, when Ray posted his article, the “here” link went to a small graphic, not the pdf. Having now obtained the pdf, I can honestly say it is one of the most glowing examples of spin you will ever read. Steve Ray should run for office. He has the mind of a politician. Refuted on a point? Shown to be wrong? Obfuscate! Don’t provide scans of the actual page that shows the source’s listing of Protestant denominations! No, provide scans of other pages without the explanation that comes later! Good work, Steve! Downright Jesuit of you! Join this with enough smoke and mirrors about the unity of the church and you will definitely keep your most dogged supporters on your pilgrimages and buying your DVDs for sure! Of course, the person who is actually concerned about truth, and who wants to know if you will honestly admit that you have been using a number that is over 300% above even the number in your actual source, which you claim to own, now have their response: no, you will not even admit to misrepresenting documented facts! You are as infallible as your leader, it seems—and to help to cover up that little fact, make sure to accuse me of being a pope while you are at it! Always best to throw around the demeaning ad-hominem just to keep your followers happy…and distracted.
I can’t help but look at the bright side of this situation. Yes, it is always sad to see anyone sell themselves out to error and engage in this kind of gross dishonesty. But you see, the kind of person who will be influenced by this kind of outrageously facile rhetoric isn’t going to be overly impacted by what I have to say anyway. Those are not the folks I believe I am called to help. The serious minded person who truly wants to think through the issues and hear both sides cannot help but be repelled by the specter of a Steve Ray. If his behavior is representative of what it takes to be a catholic convert, he has done a great service to those who love the truth by warning them off. And the fact that other Catholic apologists who well know the truth of this matter are sitting on their hands, looking the other direction, only proves my point.