John Martignoni and "The Not-So-Nice Jesus"

Just about every time I write about a debate/dialogue that I’m having with a Protestant, I will inevitably get an email or two (or three) about the “tone” I use when speaking to the guy. I’m “mean.” I’m “not being very Christian.” I’m “not being very Christ-like.” And so on, I am told. Or, I have people tell me that it is wrong to tell others that they are wrong. Sometimes the people who say such things to me do it in a nice way, and sometimes in not such a nice way. So, I thought I would write up a general response to all of those who think I am occasionally too hard on the other guy…

Keep reading and let’s talk about it.
The Not-So-Nice Jesus

The Not-So-Nice Jesus, Part 2

Been there and done that and they didn’t even give me a tee shirt…:frowning:

I think there’s a fine line but I’ve never seen John cross it. He’s always challenging. his remarks are honest and never designed to degrade the other person.

It’s very much what he has often said about being awe-fensive without being offensive.

It can be difficult especially when the other guy isn’t playing nice to begin with, but John makes a good point about being upfront with the truth vs just being happy clappy buddies with folks whose doctrines are in error.

Remember The Spiritual Works of Mercy include things like

[LIST]
*]instructing the ignorant
*]Counseling the doubtful
*]admonishing the sinner
[/LIST]
Among other things so we need to always find our way to share the faith for the sake of the other guy’s soul.

Again…that ain’t always easy.:shrug:

There’s certainly a lot to think about in these 2 messages.

I am on the newsletter as well.

I understand his point, and I have learned a lot from John M. I also enjoy his passion for apologetics.

However, I also understand that charity is necessary.

I have heard various people claiming to have righteous anger- both Protestant and Catholic.

I feel like it is easy to claim, but sometimes harder to justify (easier said than done).

I think that John Martignoni made a lot of very good points in the original article.

But to me, the issue that I have is that admitting that our culture has a certain problem with sensitivity does not imply one can now be overly personal and sarcastic and fight with people when “debating” them. If we *know *that a person is going to be turned off by our style, we can safely assume they’re going to likewise tune us out, or just treat us like an enemy to get annoyed at. That does our cause absolutely no good.

I’d like to offer a good example of this from John’s newsletter:

… [Matt Slick’s] response to my email about the Catholic men’s conference consisted of the following: “Hmmm…But Catholicism preaches a false gospel.” matt

So, I took it upon myself to respond to his email as follows:

"Oh, goodness me! Of course it does…what was I thinking?! I meant to announce the conference I’m having with speaker Matt Slick:

Topic 1: The Gospel According to Matt Slick

Topic 2: Matt Slick Traces His Line of Authority Back to the Apostles

Topic 3: The Infallibility of Matt Slick

Topic 4: We’re still working on topic #4, but I know it’s going to be a good one…

Can I put you down for one reservation?

God bless!

John"

Now, can anyone really say that this type of humor is going to be an effective tool of evangelization? Or is it just going to alienate them? And if it does alienate them, what then? Are we to mock them for being mamby-pamby sissies who can’t take a good rib? Hm.

I think John makes a great case for very basic apologetics, but I also think it’s a good idea to go out of our way to be respectful of others, and to not give them reasons to completely ignore the case we’re making. If we come across like we’re just trying to win an internet fight, we’re not going to be effective.

no doubt about that.
It is hard to seem charitable when conversing just in written words without overusing text. The flowers overwhelm the message sometimes.
Is being plain or blunt uncharitable?

I know what you mean and I’ve had individuals use scripture to justify their aggressively rude a-C rants and tirades in their attempt to proselytize me.

Here’s one verse they have used…***[FONT=Palatino Linotype]Galatians 4:16 “Am I then become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”*** Sadly I suspect we all feel that way sometimes. It’s like, "Good grief dude, I didn’t write it, nor did I tell you to believe _____________. Why be all mad at me? I’m not the one who taught you a wrong doctrine based on a misinterpreted scripture citation? "

I’ve had people (even some Catholics) try to justify their bad attitude using the example of Jesus clearing the temple, but we know better (or we should).

I can understand how they feel because I was surprised and a bit angry when I realized how I had been misled for so many years.

Even so the only answer is to remain in a calm state of prayer and do my best to stay out of the Holy Spirit’s way. That’s all any of us can do, right?

Ephesians 4:15 says, ***"***[/FONT][FONT=Palatino Linotype]Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ"

I love John Martignoni and his apostolate and I have never seen him be mean or rude to anyone no matter how nasty they were to him in an email.
[/FONT]

I understand where John is coming from–I have been blunt from time to time, but never tried to be uncharitable. A women recently posted about her wish to continue her education. All well and good, but she included complaints, not concerns, but complaints about how her husband and children were hindrances to her plans. I pointed out her responsibility regarding her family by writing that I was sure she’d taken them into consideration, as I gently reminded her that being a wife and a mother comes first before her other plans and wishes. I think I hit a sore spot because she went ballistic, accusing me of all sorts of villainies that she thought I’d directed her way. :eek: Some people are not disposed to be reminded of their responsibilities, no matter how charitably we may put it. :shrug:

Correction is a very delicate operation for us fallen human beings. Jesus acted like a confessor–like Padre Pio, if I may liken Our Lord to a mere human being, although one who imitated his Lord so well. He told those who needed to hear the truth what they needed to hear. That it fell on deaf ears and made him the object of their hatred showed they were not disposed to hear what he had to say.

I always take the example of what Jesus told his disciples to do when he sent them out, two by two to preach and heal, during his mission to Israel–that if any would not hear them they were to shake the dust from their feet in witness against them. That is what we sometimes need to do–but we should never relish doing it or feel superior, but rather do it out of agape love and in the deepest humility, knowing that we too are only poor, miserable sinners attempting to live in God’s grace, as are all who are baptized in Christ.

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