Apologetics Newsletter from The Bible Christian Society. Subscribe Now!


#1

I am posting Issue #1 of a newsletter published by The Bible Christian Society. The founder, John Martignoni, is a well respected Catholic apologist. His focus is on the bible to defend our faith, and he is a tremendous speaker.

Please read the newsletter below, then go to his website www.biblechristiansociety.com and subscribe.

John is also available for speaking engagements. His website includes a calendar and contact information. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Topic: Apologetics for the Masses: Issue #1
Introduction
The purpose of this newsletter is not to just give you actual examples of apologetics discussions I have had with folks about the Catholic Faith, but to also give you the apologetics strategies and tactics behind what I say. Hopefully, you can take these strategies and tactics and apply them in your own apologetics discussions.

A little about the newsletters themselves: Discussions with any one person may take up multiple volumes of this newsletter or they may take up just one volume of the newsletter…depending upon whether or not they responded to me and how often they responded.

My goal is to publish two newsletters a month. There will be an introduction, then the “Question/Challenge” and “My Response” to the question/challenge. The “Strategies and Tactics” section will correspond to the “My Response” section. It will go paragraph by paragraph in giving you the thinking behind my response. Then there will be a short closing note.

Some of these newsletters may be long, some may be short. Initial discussions with someone tend to be broader and cover more topics, and, therefore, tend to be longer. As I continue a discussion with someone, I try to narrow the topics down, which will make for some shorter newsletters.

I hope, that if you like these newsletters, you will forward them to as many people as possible in your email lists, Catholic and non-Catholic alike and ask them to sign up themselves by going to the website… biblechristiansociety.com.

This initial volume of the newsletter covers a discussion I got into with a person who has recently left the Church. He was letting a friend of mine know why he left, and that friend forwarded the message to me, and I jumped into the fray, so to speak. It is rather long because it was one of our first exchanges and I am trying to respond fully to his questions and comments. (I copy the emails just as I receive them, so any spelling or grammatical errors are from the original.)

Question/Challenge
Email from Former Catholic:
Hi John,

Your website mentions Mary in perpetual virginity. The bible makes it clear that Jesus has one or two (maybe more) brothers. Where does the “perpetual virginity” come from?

Could you explain the Catechism to me? Why did the Magesterium need to clarify what God said? Why did it take them and the popes 600 or so pages to do so in the Catechism? Aren’t they clearly saying “Who cares what God’s word says - we can read his mind and we know what he tried to say so let us tell you”?

In five places the bible says very clearly that church leaders can be married (1 Corinthians 9:5, 1 Timothy 3:2 and 3:12, 1 Timothy 4:2-3, Titus 1:6), yet popes ignore God and say the opposite. That’s a minor topic, but it suggests the possibility of similar errors in bigger topics, like salvation. Jesus warned that things like this would happen (Matthew 7:13-27, 1 Timothy 1:3-7, 4:1-2, Mark 7:6-13, Colossians 2:8).

Where does the bible mention “mortal” sins, confession to a priest, or the existance of purgatory? With confession for example, 1 Timothy 2:5 says “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ”. Priests in confession are clearly not the mediator (as also stated in 1 John 2:1). Revelation 22:18-19 says “I warn everybody who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues, and if anyone takes words away from this book, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life.” Over 90% of religions have done this.

Remember Jesus’ talk with Nicodemus where he clearly says not once but twice that you must be “born again”? Why is “born again” not even referred to at all in the Catechism or Catholic definition of salvation?

Unlike the old days when I assumed the pope and priests knew what they were talking about, now I’ve seen way too much clear evidence that they just follow blind human tradition and a man-made religion set up to serve man’s ego. It’s as clear as simple things like:

  1. The pope letting people bow down before him.

  2. The pope took no action to fix the sex abuse scandel - that’s infallible??

  3. The whole “infallible” thing - clearly the bible says the opposite, and makes no exception for the pope.

cont’d


#2
  1. As for those who claim Peter (the rock) was the first pope and laid the groundwork for how God meant for us all to be Catholic, Peter was far from infallible, as we saw three times before the cock crowed.

  2. Your website’s Apologetics question 101-16 [from the 2-Minute Apologetics page] is just playing with words. The proper question should be "Why have Catholics elevated Mary to the level of deity, to be worshipped as is done with the Hail Mary prayer? Answer: for no biblical reason whatsoever. I hope all the questions are not misleading; 101-16 is just today’s featured question so I took a look.

Titus 3:9-10: “Avoid foolish controversies and arguments about the law, because these are useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.” I didn’t try to win you over to some man made religion like you did; I tried to win you over to God’s word. I tried, but I guess you can’t stand the truth - God’s word. It’s a shame.

Phil

My Response:
Hello Phil,
I apologize for the delay in responding, it was not for lack of wanting to exchange perspectives and discuss our differing positions. Rather, it is because of a lack of a very precious resource…time. I have a business that is, in essence, in the start-up phase of its existence. I am the only full-time employee and sometimes it just takes awhile to get to all of the emails coming in.

Anyway, having said that, I have a little bit of time to answer an email or two that are at the top of the priority list, so here goes:

cont’d


#3

Regarding Mary’s Perpetual Virginity…before I answer you specifically as to where that came from, would you do me a favor and answer a question for me. In Galatians 1:19, it identifies James as both an apostle and the Lord’s brother. And, in Mark 6:3, it mentions four of Jesus’ “brothers,” and one of them is named James. Is the James, the brother of Jesus, in Mark 6:3 and the apostle James, the brother of the Lord, in Gal 1:19, the same person?

The Catechism…if you check out the indices in the back of the Catechism, you will see a biblical index that is some 32 pages long. In other words, the Catechism refers back to the Bible many times over. It is not saying, “Who cares what God said,” it is saying, “This is what we believe and why.” Do you go to church on Sundays? If so, does the pastor of your church give a sermon each Sunday? And, is that sermon maybe 30-40 minutes long, or longer? How many Scripture passages does the average sermon reference? 4? 6? 12? In other words, in his sermon, he’s not just reading God’s Word is he? He’s explaining it. He’s talking about how to apply it to your life, isn’t he? He’s explaining what it means. Why does he do that? Shouldn’t you just pick up the Bible and read it for yourself? Why do you have to listen to what some pastor tells you about the Bible? Isn’t that just saying, “Who cares what God said, I’m listening to my pastor instead?” The Catechism is basically a series of sermons put to paper, but with a lot more scripture references than the average Protestant pastor’s Sunday sermon.

Married priests…are there any leaders in any Protestant denomination that you know of, who fulfill what Jesus said in Matthew 19:12? Do you know of any leader in any denomination who has made themself a “eunuch for the kingdom of God?” We’ve got a whole bunch of those folks in the Catholic Church. Or, do you know of any leaders in any of these denominations who follows Paul’s advice on serving God that he gives in 1 Cor 7:32-35? Or, do you know of any leader in any Protestant denomination who can say what Peter says in Mark 10:28? The Catholic Church takes to heart what Jesus said and what Paul and Peter said, and asks those who serve in leadership roles to give up everything to follow Christ so that their interests will not be divided. Why is it said that we go against the Bible in this, when clearly we do not?

Mortal sin…if I can show you a passage, in the Bible, that clearly delineates between deadly sin, or mortal sin, and non-mortal sin, would you believe Catholic teaching in this matter?

Confession to a priest…if I can show you a passage, that clearly shows that God has given men the authority to forgive sins, would you believe Catholic teaching in this matter? By the way, does the Bible anywhere say that we are to confess are sins to God and to God alone?

The pope and infallibility…here is a perfect example of what I mean about needing a Catechism to clarify for folks what the Catholic Church teaches. You have an incorrect understanding of the Church’s teaching on infallibility. Infallibility has a very strict definition. It simply means the Pope, when teaching as the earthly head of the Church, to the entire Church, on matters of faith and morals, will be prevented from teaching error by the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t mean that the Pope cannot sin or that he cannot make mistakes. Did the Pope make mistakes regarding the sex scandal…possibly. But, did he ever teach to the whole Church that the sex scandal was an okay thing? No. Infallibility does not apply here. He’s still human. Tell me of a pastor of any church, anywhere, who doesn’t sin and who doesn’t make mistakes? The Bible does, however, very clearly point to the doctrine of infallibility. If you’re interested in finding out where, I’ll respond accordingly in my next email.

cont’d


#4

Bowing to the Pope. If a young man bows to a young woman in a formal dance setting, does that mean that he is worshipping her? People bow as a sign of respect to the Pope, as they do to the President, to kings, to queens, and other such dignitaries. Bowing, does not, in and of itself, signify worship.

Born again and the Catechism…again, you are misinformed as to Catholic teaching and to the contents of the Catechism - I think you’re listening to too many folks who are misrepresenting what Catholics believe and teach, like the folks at Reaching Catholics for Christ. Anyway, simply check out paragraphs 2790, 1257, 1262, 782, 1265, 1215, 1238; and I came up with those in just a couple of minutes, I’m sure there are more. Being born again is one of the central tenets of our Faith. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are simply misinformed or they are outright lying.

Worshipping Mary…I do not worship Mary, nor does any Catholic I know, nor does the Church teach such a thing. You honestly believe that saying the Hail Mary is worshipping Mary? If you do, then I guess you believe God worshipped Mary…because the Hail Mary is simply repeating what God said to Mary Himself. Do you believe God was worshipping Mary in Luke 1 when He said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee?” Was the Holy Spirit worshipping Mary when He inspired Elizabeth to say, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb?” And, when He also inspired her to call Mary the “mother of my Lord?” Are you not aware that by repeating the Hail Mary we are simply praying scripture?

Apologetics question 101-16…it’s really easy to say something like, “You’re playing with words,” isn’t it? But, it’s not so easy to counter the logic with an argument of your own. It’s not playing with words…I make valid points and I use logic and scripture. Give me a counter argument. Most people can’t, so they say something along the lines of what you just said.

Okay, I’ve answered pretty much everything I found in your last email…if I missed something, then let me know and I’ll address it in a future email. Now, would you answer a question or two for me, in addition to the 3 or 4 I’ve already asked? And please remember to answer those questions I’ve already asked, they are quite important.

How are we saved? Is it by faith alone?

Is God’s sole criteria for judging us worthy of salvation based on whether or not we have faith…alone?

Once a person is saved, can they lose their salvation?

cont’d


#5

Why do we have some 25,000 + Protestant denominations all over the world, many teaching doctrines that absolutely contradict one another, when they all go by the Bible alone? Isn’t the Bible easy enough for everyone to read and come to the same conclusion?

Does it matter if folks all believe the same doctrines or not?

Do you believe in the Trinity? If so, why? Does the Bible mention anything about there being one God, but 3 persons in God, each of Whom is fully God?

I hope you answer my questions and that we can continue this discussion. I stuck to the topics that you laid out, I hope you will respect me in the same manner and respond to what I have presented. I have no fear of God’s Word, and I can back up Church teaching using God’s Word much better than you can back up your current beliefs, whatever they are, using the Bible. I’m not trying to win you over to anything but the truth. By the way, the current church or denomination you now attend…what year was it founded, and by whom?

God bless!

John

cont’d


#6

John’s newsletter also details strategies and tactics he uses for dealing with all the different criticisms we Catholics face from all the diffeent points of view. Since these posts are already so long, I won’t post that here.

I strongly encourage you to go to his website at www.biblechristiansociety.com for the rest of the newsletter. He’s great. I promise. You’ll be glad you did!! :slight_smile:


#7

Great resource! I’m signing up now!!


#8

[quote=RyanL]Great resource! I’m signing up now!!
[/quote]

Me too. Thanks for the tip!


#9

Me too, thanks!

John Martignoni’s cd’s are excellent
Scylla


#10

Thanks everybody. Spread the word!!


#11

shameless bump :slight_smile:


#12

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