Let’s be clear who Tim Staples is, before condemning “his ilk,” shall we?
Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics at Catholic Answers. His statement on the A&O site was lifted out of context and used against Catholicism by the author on the A&O site referred to in the first post.
Obviously Jesus said what he said because he meant his words to be taken as true at some level, perhaps not literally, but seriously, which was Staples’ overall point; a point which was badly mangled at A&O.
Ultimately, I would suggest, martyrdom is precisely the result of being willing to give up one’s body - all of it - for the sake of the Kingdom.
Where the error lies, IMHO, is in presuming that merely because you give up your body you thereby “earn” the Kingdom. That is not the implication from Jesus’ words, however, because his point was: IF a body part is what prevents someone from entering the Kingdom - BECAUSE it is the cause of sin - THEN it ought to be forsaken.
However, this teaching ought to be understood beside Matthew 15:
10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” 12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.[e] And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”
It isn’t the things that enter the mouth, the eye, the ear, etc. that defile, it is what is inside - the evil intentions - that do. Clearly, cutting out an eye does nothing to stop evil intentions that are living inside a person’s will, so what would be the point of cutting out the eye, following the full meaning of Jesus’ words? There would be none. Eyes, mouths and ears are not, according to Jesus, the proximate “causes” of sin, so his suggestion to cut them out IF they are, is to be taken as hyperbole. Eyes, ears, noses, mouths don’t - under normal circumstances - CAUSE any person to sin, evil intentions do. They are what need to be “cut out.”
Ultimately, the meaning is that we need to have a surgeon’s attitude and precision towards evil, being ready to remove it cleanly because it is cancerous in nature. Surgeons are sometimes called upon to remove legs, livers, breasts and stomachs to stop cancer, but they do clearly identify the nature of the cancer before they take such drastic action. We, too, are required to understand evil and remove IT with a surgeon’s precision at its source, not just because we - falsely - think we ought to remove something extraneous because THAT extraneous action will save us.