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Saturday, 2 July 2011

John Martignoni (the Bible Christian Society) newsletter

Introduction
This week's newsletter is a "golden oldie," of sorts. Below are 42 questions that appear in Issue #38 (see "Newsletter" page; www.biblechristiansociety.com). At that time I only had around 4000 subscribers, and now it's up to around 25,000, so I wanted to bring these questions to the attention of many of you who may have never seen them, so that you could see the essence of what I do and how I do it, and maybe use one or more of these questions in your discussions with non-Catholics.
The essence of what I do, and what I teach people to do, in explaining and defending the Faith, is to ask the other guy questions. So, here is a series of questions that I had asked this guy, Matt Johnson - a Christian Church pastor - over the course of several rounds of dialogue/debate. If the context of a particular question or questions is not immediately obvious, you can go to Issue #38 and get that context (my comments begin about half way down in that Issue).
All of these questions are designed to focus the opponent's thoughts on what it is he believes and exactly why he believes it, and to show that there are a number of inconsistencies - logical and scriptural - in his beliefs.
Now, lest you think I was simply hitting him with question after question to overwhelm him, this particular issue was nothing more than a summary of all the questions I had asked him, and which he had avoided answering, in the previous 6 rounds of our debate (Issues #32-#37). So, I simply listed in one place all of the questions that I had previously asked, to make it easy on him to find them, and told him that I would not continue with our debate until he answered those questions.
Here was a guy whom I had given more "air time" to in these newsletters than anyone else either up to that point or since, and yet, out of the tens of thousands of words that he wrote, he would not, or could not, bring himself to just give me a simple "yes" or "no," or a Bible citation to the questions I asked him. After I sent him those questions, and told him we were going no further until I got my answers, he never sent me another response, even though he had "guaranteed" me right before I sent him that newsletter that I would quit the dialogue before he did.
He did send me one email after he received these questions to say that he would indeed answer them, and that he would present me with his own list of yes-no questions, but then I never heard from him again. I think he realized that he could not answer those questions in a consistent manner and decided to just quietly withdraw from the battlefield.
And such is the all-too-frequent experience of the Catholic apologist. I know many of you have experienced instances where you were getting bombarded with hostile questions and comments about the Catholic Faith by one of more folks, maybe even over a period of years, but once you learned to start asking your own questions, all of a sudden someone is getting angry with you, calling you names, and the dialogue abruptly ends. They can't answer the questions and they can't stand Catholics who know how to ask questions.
So, again, here is a list of questions offered for your consideration, so that you can see how easy it is to come up with logical, common sense questions that will stump most of the folks you come into contact with, or so you can just use one or more of these questions directly in your conversations.
Challenge/Response/Strategy
1) Where in the Bible does it say that we should go by the Bible alone when it comes to all matters pertaining to faith and morals? Scripture verse?
2) Where in the Bible does it list the books which should be part of the Bible? Scripture verse?
3) Where in the Bible does it say that public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle? Scripture verse?
4) Do you believe the writer of the Gospel of Mark was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Yes or no?
5) If yes, where in the Bible does it say that the writer of the Gospel of Mark was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Scripture verse?
6) Do you believe the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was inspired by the Holy Spirit?
7) If yes, where in the Bible does it tell us that the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Scripture verse?
8) Where in the Bible does it tell us who the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews was? Scripture verse?
9) Is keeping someone from profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord an act of charity? Yes or no?
10) By using musical instruments in your worship services, even though you know folks in the Churches of Christ believe that musical instruments should not be used in worship services, are you being “exclusive” in your worship service? Yes or no?
11) Do you interpret the Bible? Yes or no?
12) If the answer to #11 is yes, is your interpretation infallible? Yes or no?
13) If the answer to #12 is no, then will you admit that your interpretations of the Bible could be wrong in one or more places? Yes or no?
14) If the answer to #11 is yes, then does anyone have the authority to tell you, Matt Johnson, that your interpretations of the Bible are wrong? Yes or no?
15) If the answer to #14 is yes, then who? Just one name please.
16) Do you believe that participating at the Lord’s Table in an “unworthy manner” and “profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord” would cause grave peril to someone...either physically or spiritually? Yes or no?
17) If the answer to #16 is yes, then shouldn’t pastors continually warn their congregations about participating unworthily at the Lord’s Table? Yes or no?
18) Do you believe that profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord is a serious sin? Yes or no?
19) Can those who do not have God’s approval be saved? Yes or no?
20) Did the Apostles teach different doctrines to different people? Yes or no?
21) Did the Apostles and other leaders of the early Church believe it was okay to have false doctrines within the Church? Yes or no?
22) Did the Apostles break fellowship with those who were teaching different doctrines than they were teaching? Yes or no?
23) Did Jesus and the Apostles demand conformity to the doctrines they taught? Yes or no?
24) Were the Apostles infallible in their teaching on faith and morals? Yes or no?
25) Can you be “one” with someone who believes in false doctrines? Yes or no?
26) In your church, can two walk together if they are not in agreement? Yes or no?
27) Did Jesus give his real flesh or his symbolic flesh for the life of the world? Real or symbolic?
28) Did Jesus say that the bread he would give us to eat, which, if we ate we would live for ever, was the flesh that He would give for the life of the world? Yes or no?
29) Did Jesus say that we had to eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life? Yes or no?
30) Did Jesus say that His flesh was food indeed and that His blood was drink indeed? Yes or no?
31) Do you believe the Body of Christ, the church, with Jesus as its head, can teach error in the areas of faith and morals? Yes or no?
32) If all scholars disagree as to what constitutes exegesis and eisegesis, then do you know with 100% certainty what constitutes exegesis and eisegesis? Yes or no?
33) Can God appear to you under any form He chooses? Yes or no?
34) Is the correlation I am drawing between the flesh that Jesus shall give for the life of the world and the bread that Jesus shall give us to eat, found in John 6:51? Yes or no?
35) Do we need to eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus Christ in order to have eternal life? Yes or no?
36) If the answer to #35 is yes, then can we say that His flesh does indeed profit us? Yes or no?
37) If the answer to #36 is yes, then does verse 62 of John 6 mean that it counts as nothing to eat Jesus’ flesh and to drink His blood? Yes or no?
38) Does Jesus’ flesh “count for nothing?” Yes or no?
39) Are you an authentic interpreter of Scripture? Yes or no?
40) If #39 is yes, is your interpretation of Scripture infallible? Yes or no?
41) Am I an authentic interpreter of Scripture? Yes or no?
42) If you are not an authentic interpreter of Scripture, then who is?

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