Archive for September 5, 2010

(Apologetics) John Vs Mike – 1

Posted: September 5, 2010 by CatholicJules in Apologetics

(Mike Gendron is an Ex-Catholic) (John Martignoni a Catholic Apologist)
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From the website, http://www.pro-gospel.org:

Three Common Errors of False Teachers, by Mike Gendron:

Since we are now living in the age of religious tolerance and ecumenical unity, there are some people who will immediately call this article unloving and divisive. Others will ask, “What right do you have to judge another religion?” The answer is given in Scripture. All God-fearing people are called to make right judgments, judgments that have already been established by the objective principles of God’s Word (John 7:24). There may be nothing more important than warning people who are being deceived about their eternal destiny. If we do not lovingly confront them with God’s Gospel, they may never know how to escape the eternal fire of God’s punishment. Clearly, the most unloving thing we can do is to ignore them and let them continue down the road to destruction. For this reason, I am always willing to offend people with the   offense and exclusivity of the Gospel in the hopes that God may grant some of them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2:25). Let us look at three fatal errors of false prophets and how to handle them.
False Teachers Usurp the Authority of God
The supreme authority of the Bible is established both by its divine origin and inspiration (2 Pet. 1:21). It is the infallible Word of God, and it will accomplish God’s purpose (Isaiah 55:11). It is the very foundation upon which all Christian truths rest. For followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is the final court of appeal in all matters pertaining to faith and godliness. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The divine authority of Scripture corrects and rebukes all false teaching because there is no higher authority or infallible source in which to appeal. It is the Word of God, and God cannot lie, cannot break His promise and cannot deceive.
People fall into serious error and sin when they exalt their own authority over God’s authority or when they suppress the truth of God’s Word to promote their own self-serving agendas. The Roman Catholic religion has done this by establishing its traditions and teachings to be equal in authority with Scripture (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] par. 82). In doing so, it has usurped the supreme authority of our sovereign God who alone has the right to rule and determine the eternal destinies of men. This fatal error has opened the flood gates to numerous other deadly heresies including: the preaching of another gospel, the worship of a counterfeit Jesus, the buying and selling of God’s grace through indulgences, the creation of a fictitious place called purgatory, the establishment of other mediators and praying to and for the dead. These errors are fatal because anyone who is embracing them when they take their last breath will experience eternal death.
Catholics who are being deceived by these fatal errors must be told that the world has known only one infallible teacher. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the personification of truth and every word He spoke was truth (John 14:6, 17:17). Those who are seeking the truth need to look only to Christ and His Word. The Catholic religion has become corrupt the same way Judaism became corrupt – by following the traditions of men instead of the Word of God (Mark 7:13). The Pharisees taught much truth, but by mixing it with error, they “made the word of God of no effect.” We must never forget that the Bible is what God says and religion is what man says God says.
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Mike Gendron:
Three Common Errors of False Teachers:  Since we are now living in the age of religious tolerance and ecumenical unity, there are some people who will immediately call this article unloving and divisive. Others will ask, “What right do you have to judge another religion?” The answer is given in Scripture. All God-fearing people are called to make right judgments, judgments that have already been established by the objective principles of God’s Word (John 7:24). There may be nothing more important than warning people who are being deceived about their eternal destiny. If we do not lovingly confront them with God’s Gospel, they may never know how to escape the eternal fire of God’s punishment. Clearly, the most unloving thing we can do is to ignore them and let them continue down the road to destruction. For this reason, I am always willing to offend people with the   offense and exclusivity of the Gospel in the hopes that God may grant some of them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth (2 Tim. 2: 25). Let us look at three fatal errors of false prophets and how to handle them.
John Martignoni
In essence, I agree with what he is saying in that we, as Catholic Christians, need to be concerned with the souls of all those we come across.  We need to evangelize always and everywhere.  We need to never be afraid to present  someone with the truths of Jesus Christ, even if it seems divisive to do so or causes that person or persons to get upset.  After all, truth is a very divisive thing – it scares people and it bothers people.  We need to consider that someone is going to end up either in Heaven or Hell, and we could be the one that opens the door of Heaven to them by planting a seed of truth that the Holy Spirit can then water, nourish, and make grow unto salvation.  The salvation of souls is what it is all about.
Mike Gendron
False Teachers Usurp the Authority of God
The supreme authority of the Bible is established both by its divine origin and inspiration (2 Pet.1:21). It is the infallible Word of God, and it will accomplish God’s purpose (Isaiah 55:11). It is the very foundation upon which all Christian truths rest. For followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible is the final court of appeal in all matters pertaining to faith and godliness. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). The divine authority of Scripture corrects and rebukes all false teaching because there is no higher authority or infallible source in which to appeal. It is the Word of God, and God cannot lie, cannot break His promise and cannot deceive.
John Martignoni
I agree that the Bible is both divine in its origin and its inspiration.  But, the question I have for Mr. Gendron is this: How do you know that?  He states above that “the Bible is the final court of appeal in all matters pertaining to faith and godliness.”  Okay, given his belief on this, I would ask the simple question: Who wrote the Gospel of Mark?  Mr. Gendron would undoubtedly answer, “Mark did.”  I would then reply, “How do you know this, since nowhere does the Bible say such a thing?”  As I have often stated in my newsletters and elsewhere, the title in the Bible which reads, “The Gospel According to Mark” is not inspired Scripture.  It is put in there by the publisher.  We have no original copy of the Gospel of Mark that is signed by Mark or that is entitled, “The Gospel According to Mark.”   And, even if we had an ancient scroll that was claimed to be the original Gospel of Mark and it had a signature on it of someone named Mark…so what?  How could we know it was authentic?  How could we know which Mark?  So, if the Bible is the “final court of appeal in all matters pertaining to the faith;” yet nowhere does the Bible state that someone named Mark actually wrote the Gospel of Mark, then I again ask of Mr. Gendron: “How do you know?”
Furthermore, if you cannot tell me how you know someone named Mark actually wrote the Gospel of Mark, and which Mark it was, then how can you claim that it is an inspired work of the Holy Spirit?  Where does the Bible say that the Gospel of Mark is inspired of the Holy Spirit?  If it’s not in the Bible, then how do you know?
Notice also his wording when he says that, “The supreme authority of the Bible is established both by its divine origin and inspiration.”  Why did he not say, “The supreme authority of the Bible is established by…the Bible?”   He didn’t say it that way because the Bible cannot witness to itself.  Someone has to bear witness to it.  If one day someone discovered a scroll in a cave somewhere in Israel and this scroll stated that it was a letter from Paul to the Sardiniians, and the words in the scroll stated that it was inspired by the Holy Spirit, would that automatically make it Scripture?  Of course not!  Why, because it cannot bear witness to itself.
He quotes 2 Ptr 1:21 to establish the Bible as the supreme authority, but let’s look at what 2 Ptr 1:21 actually says: “Because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit of God.”  First of all, not all of Scripture is covered by this quote, but just “prophecy” that is found within Scripture.  So, it is not a good text to back up his claim.  Second of all, it does not say, “The Bible is the supreme authority in all matters pertaining to faith and godliness.”  That is how he interpreted this verse.
Now, I want to be clear, I believe exactly what it says in 2 Ptr 1:21, just as I believe exactly what it says in every verse of Scripture.  And I believe that God’s Word is our supreme authority.  I just wanted to give an example of how what is coming out of his mouth, or off the tips of his fingers, does not necessarily match what Scripture actually says.  His interpretations of Scripture are just that…interpretations.  And they are quite fallible interpretations at that.  Furthermore, I wanted to show that his arguments for believing what he believes about the Bible, don’t really add up.  He takes a verse that is talking about the prophecies of the Bible being of the Holy Spirit, and makes it say that the Bible as a whole is the supreme authority in matters of faith and godliness.  Sorry, but that verse just doesn’t say that.
Another question I would ask Mr. Gendron is: How does the Bible tell us we will know the spirt of Truth from the spirit of error?  Is it by reading the Bible that we know the difference?  (I’ll give you the answer, if you don’t already know it, next week, just in case he gets ahold of this issue and wants to try answering for himself.)
And, one final question that comes to mind after reading this paragraph: What is the pillar and ground of the truth according to the Bible?  Is it the Bible?  He clearly states that the Bible is the “foundation upon which all Christian truths rest,” yet the Bible (1 Tim 3:15) says that the Church is the pillar and ground of the truth.  What does a pillar do?  It holds things up.  The ground is what something is built upon.  So, who are we to believe on this…the Bible, or Mike Gendron?
Mike Gendron
People fall into serious error and sin when they exalt their own authority over God’s authority or when they suppress the truth of God’s Word to promote their own self-serving agendas. The Roman Catholic religion has done this by establishing its traditions and teachings to be equal in authority with Scripture (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] par. 82). In doing so, it has usurped the supreme authority of our sovereign God who alone has the right to rule and determine the eternal destinies of men. This fatal error has opened the flood gates to numerous other deadly heresies including: the preaching of another gospel, the worship of a counterfeit Jesus, the buying and selling of God’s grace through indulgences, the creation of a fictitious place called purgatory, the establishment of other mediators and praying to and for the dead. These errors are fatal because anyone who is embracing them when they take their last breath will experience eternal death.
John Martignoni
This is a bit disingenous on Mr. Gendron’s part unless he is simply ignorant of the fact that we believe the Tradition of which he speaks is the teaching of Christ that was passed on to the Apostles and from the Apostles to their successors, the Bishops.  Now, he may disagree that what we call Sacred Tradition is actually the Word of God as we believe it to be, but I would ask him the question: If, for the sake of argument, Catholics are right and what we call “Sacred Tradition” is indeed the  “Apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42); and it is indeed the “Word of God” which the people “heard” from Paul (1 Thes 2:13);  and it is indeed the “traditions” which the Thessalonians were commanded by Paul to stand firm in, whether they were received by “word of mouth or by letter;” then should they not be placed on an equal footing with the written Word of God?  We are simply doing what Paul commended the Thessalonians for doing.
He then goes on to mention a number of what he calls “deadly heresies” that were introduced by the Catholic Church.  I disagree with him on all counts, because I disagree that the teachings of the Church, when properly understood (which he does not) can in no way be considered heresies, except by one who rejects the truths of Jesus Christ.  However, there is one that I disagree with him on simply because it was never a teaching of the Catholic Church, and he should know better than to falsely portray it as such.  I speak of the “buying and selling of God’s grace through indulgences.”  Never has the Church taught that one could buy or sell God’s grace.  If there were those in the Church who at one time did such a thing, then they were doing it contrary to Church teaching.  The Church has never taught that God’s grace could be bought or sold.  I defy Mr. Gendron to find the papal encyclical or the Church Council that ever presented such a thing as Catholic doctrine.  If a pastor or a deacon at Mr. Gendron’s church were to engage in adultery, would that mean that his church believed and taught that adultery was okay?  Of course not.  Yet that is essentially the logic he is using when he claims the Church taught God’s grace could be bought and sold and he is basing his claim on the shameful acts of a few people.  Since Mr. Gendron professes to be a Christian, he has the duty and the obligation to not bear false witness against others.  I wish he would fulfill his Christian duty in this matter.
Mike Gendron
Catholics who are being deceived by these fatal errors must be told that the world has known only one infallible teacher. He is the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the personification of truth and every word He spoke was truth (John 14:6, 17:17). Those who are seeking the truth need to look only to Christ and His Word. The Catholic religion has become corrupt the same way Judaism became corrupt – by following the traditions of men instead of the Word of God (Mark 7:13). The Pharisees taught much truth, but by mixing it with error, they “made the word of God of no effect.” We must never forget that the Bible is what God says and religion is what man says God says.
John Martignoni
He’s got a bit of a problem here.  On the one hand, he stated earlier that the Bible is infallible.  On the other hand, he states in this paragraph that “the world has known only one infallible teacher,” Jesus Christ.  Well, if the Bible is infallible, and the books of the Bible were written by Moses, David, Ezra, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, Jude, James, and others, then those men would have to have been infallible when they wrote their infallible writings.  If none of these men were infallible teachers, and they are the ones who wrote the books of the Bible, then how could Mr. Gendron claim the Bible is infallible?  How can fallible men write infallible books?  It seems there is a bit of a contradiction in his teaching here.
Plus, if Jesus was the one and only infallible teacher, then how could He say to the disciples He sent out that, “He who hears you hear Me, and He who rejects you rejects Me?”  If these disciples, when they taught, were teaching with the authority of Christ to the extent that the people who heard them were hearing Jesus, would they not be infallible in what they were teaching?
Another thing, if the Bible is the final authority in all matters dealing with faith and godliness, then would Mr. Gendron please give me book, chapter, and verse that states: “The Bible is what God says and religion is what man says God says.”  Where does the Bible define religion in such a way?  Also, if the Bible is what God says, then where in the Bible does it give us the list of the books that should be in the Bible?  How do we even know what the Bible is, if God does not, through the Bible, tell us which books should be in it?