From John Martignoni
Hey folks, I want to get your opinion on something:
I am wanting to develop 3 tracts (initially, more later on) – you know, those little tri-fold ones that you can put on folks’ windshields or leave in a booth in a restaurant or such – but I haven’t yet decided which topics to start with. Any ideas?
I’ve thought about the obvious – Sola Fide and Sola Scriptura – but I’ve also thought about one entitled: “How Are We Saved”; or maybe one entitled something like: “Will the Real Church of Christ Please Stand Up,” and have it compare the Catholic Church of Christ with the Campbellite Church of Christ. Or, maybe one on the Rapture.
Again, though, I haven’t decided on anything in particular and I’m open to suggestions for topics/titles if you have them.
I am going to re-visit the last email I sent to Mike Gendron (Issue #150). In that email, I asked him 47 questions – questions that I had asked him in several of my newsletters as I dissected a couple of the articles on his website (Issues #138-#145; #147-150). Well, he never answered me. He didn’t attempt to answer even one of those questions. The reason? Well, I will postulate two reasons:
1) He really isn’t interested in honest dialogue with a Catholic who can explain and defend his faith.
2) He can’t answer the questions.
So, in this issue, I’m going to go back through those questions and show why Mike Gendron will not and cannot answer them. Again, for those who are new to this newsletter, all of these questions came from Issues #138-#145 and #147-#150, which you can find on the “Newsletter” page of our website (www.biblechristiansociety.com), so you may wish to go back and check out those issues for some background on these questions.
Questions Mike Gendron Will Not or Cannot Answer:
1) How do you know the Bible is divine in both “origin and inspiration”?
He can’t answer because he does not believe in “traditions.” If it’s not in the Bible, it ain’t worth spit, basically. But the reason we know that all of the Bible is divine in both its “origin and inspiration,” is because of Tradition.
2) Who wrote the Gospel of Mark, and how do you know – did the Bible tell you?
He can’t answer because nowhere does the Bible say who wrote the Gospel of Mark, but he can’t say he knows “because of tradition,” because he’s a sola scriptura kind of guy.
3) How do you know the writer of the Gospel of Mark was inspired by the Holy Spirit – did the Bible tell you?
He can’t answer because the Bible does not say such a thing – again, he has to rely upon tradition, tradition that he doesn’t believe in.
4) How are we to know the spirit of Truth from the spirit of error – by reading the Bible?
He would probably answer, “Yes,” but if he does so, he contradicts the Bible (1 John 4:6)
5) What is the pillar and ground of the truth – is it the Bible?
He would probably answer, “Yes,” but if he does so, he contradicts the Bible (1 Tim 3:15)
6) 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?
He can’t answer because it would stick in his craw to ever admit that the Catholic Church could even possibly be right. And, he cannot bring himself to admit, even in theory, that there could be such a thing as Sacred Tradition. But, in one of his emails to me, he said he was not infallible, so he could be wrong on anything and everything in regard to the Catholic Church.
7) Please identify the papal encyclical or the Church Council or any other official magisterial document of the Catholic Church that teaches, as you charge, that Catholics can buy and sell God’s grace?
He can’t, because it doesn’t exist.
8) If the Bible is infallible, and the world has only known, according to you, one infallible teacher, then how can the Bible be infallible if none of those who wrote the Bible were infallible?
He can’t answer because he is caught in a logical inconsistency. If Jesus is the only infallible teacher to have ever lived, then the various writers of Scripture were not infallible when they wrote Scripture, which means Scripture cannot be said to be infallible.
9) 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,” (Luke 10:16)? 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?
He can’t answer because, again, he is caught in a logical inconsistency.
10) You stated: “The Bible is what God says and religion is what man says God says.” Where does the Bible define religion in such a way (book, chapter, and verse)?
He can’t answer because nowhere does the Bible say such a thing. That is a tradition of men.
11) Does the Catholic Church teach of “the unique character of Christ’s sacrifice as the source of eternal salvation [Heb 5:9] and that “His most holy Passion on the wood of the cross merited justification for us.” Yes or no?
He can’t answer because he doesn’t believe the Catholic Church teaches any such thing, yet the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches otherwise.
12) By what authority do you teach what you teach?
He can’t answer because he can’t admit that he teaches by his own authority and no other.
13) Have you ever been ordained and, if so, can you trace the laying on of hands at your ordination back through a series of laying on of hands all the way back to the Apostles? In other words, who ordained the person who ordained you and who ordained that person and so on back for 2000 years?
He can’t answer becau se if he has been ordained, he can in no way trace the authority for the ordination back 2000 years to the Apostles.
14) Are you under authority to any church and, if so, which one?
He can’t answer because while he might admit to being under some type of authority to a particular church, the moment that pastor teaches something that Gendron doesn’t agree with, then he’s off to another church.
15) Does the Bible say that just anyone can pick up a Bible and start preaching and teaching based on his own personal, fallible interpretation of the Bible?
He can’t answer because nowhere does the Bible say such a thing, yet that is exactly what Gendron does.
16) What is the “perfect offering” that is being offered in all the nations from the rising of the sun to its setting in Malachi 1:11?
He can’t answer because he has probably never thought about it, but, even more to the point, he does not believe Jesus can be offered as a sacrifice from the rising of the sun to its setting, yet Jesus is the only perfect offering ever offered to God.
17) What was the difference between Mike Gendron unsaved vs. Mike Gendron saved…was it something that Jesus did or something that Mike Gendron did (remember, Jesus’ work was finished 2000 years ago on the Cross)?
He can’t answer because he believes it was something Jesus did, but Jesus’ sacrifice was “finished” 2000 years ago, so how did Jesus do something in 1987 or 1990 or whenever Gendron got “saved”?
18) If Jesus stopped bleeding 2000 years ago, then how is it you were saved by the blood of Christ? Was Jesus sacrificed again for you?
He can’t answer, again, because he is caught in a logical inconsistency.
19) Are we to “labor for the food which endures to eternal life” or not?
He can’t answer because hi s belief in the dogma of Sola Fide says we don’t have to labor for anything regarding eternal life, yet the Bible tells us we are to labor for the food which endures to eternal life (John 6:27).
20) Are there different levels of sin?
He can’t answer because he believes all sin is the same in the eyes of God, yet 1 John 5:16–17 says there are definitely two types of sin – mortal (or deadly) and non–mortal (venial in Catholic lingo).
21) Can a person “abide” in Christ if they are not first “in” Christ?
He can’t answer because according to Gendron’s belief in the dogma of once saved always saved, once we’re in Christ we can’t ever not be in Christ. Yet, Scripture tells us that if we don’t abide in Christ, we end up in Hell (see, for example, John 15:1–6). So, not abiding in Christ gets you into Hell – according to Scripture – but once we are in Christ already, we can’t go to Hell – according to Gendron. The only way he gets out of his logical/scriptural inconsistency, is to claim that a person doesn’t have to first be in Christ to abide in Christ – which is itself a logical inconsistency.
22) If a person does not “abide” in Christ, will they be saved?
He can’t answer because the Bible says no, but his once saved always saved dogma says yes.
23) Can you name one passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that teaches about what man can do on his own apart from God (other than sin)?
He can’t because there is no such passage.
24) Is it a good work to forgive others their sins?
He can’t answer because it is obvious that forgiving others of their sins against us is indeed a good work, but in Matt 6:14–15 it tells us that this good work is necessary for our salvation – for our sins to be forgiven – but no good work is necessary for our salvation according to Gendron’s belief in the dogma of Sola Fide.
25) If we do not forgive the sins of others, can we be saved?
He can’t answer because of Matt 6:14–15 vs. Sola Fide.
26) In response to the question: “What good deed must I do to have eternal life,” Jesus answered: “Keep the Commandments.” Do you disagree with Jesus?
He can’t answer because his Sola Fide dogma doesn’t believe one must keep the Commandments in order to have eternal life; yet, he can’t disagree with Jesus.
27) Was it the Catholic Church’s teaching on Purgatory that kept you Catholic all those years?
He can’t answer because he claims to the ignorant who read the articles on his website that our teaching on Purgatory is the main thing that keeps “fearful” Catholics in the Church, yet I seriously doubt that is what kept him Catholic.<
28) If we do something that is contrary to the Word of God, to living the life of Christ, should we not feel guilty about it?
He can’t answer because he has railed against the “guilt” that Catholic teaching causes people; yet who would say we should not feel guilty when we commit a sin?
29) Do we have to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily in order to be saved (Luke 9:23)?
He can’t answer because that is indeed what the Bible says, yet he says nothing we do counts towards our salvation.
30) How exactly is it we are being “changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another,” (2 Cor 3:18). How can we be changed from one degree of glory to another?
He can’t answer because he believes we are not actually changed by God’s grace when we are saved, rather we are “covered” by the blood of Christ in a legal way – no actual change in who and what we are.
31) If Jesus’ work was finished on the Cross, then why is it a matter of degrees by which we are being transformed…why isn’t it all or nothing?
He can’t answer because he is caught in a logical inconsistency.
32) In the 4th century, what Church was it that you claim “thousands of pagans” came into?
He can’t answer because while he believes it is the Catholic Church, that would mean he has to admit the Catholic Church was the original Church which will cause him problems because Matt 16 states that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.
33) Do you wear a wedding ring and, if so, do you realize that comes from a pagan tradition?
He might actually be able to answer this one if he doesn’t wear a wedding ring. If he does wear one, though, then he cannot ever again say that the Christianization of pagan traditions is something that is contrary to God.
p>34) Do we need to be purified of all sin before we reach Heaven?
He can’t answer this because he knows that we do, but he also knows that if he says, “Yes,’ he opens the door to an argument for Purgatory.
35) Did David have to suffer punishment due to his sin even after he was forgiven of his sin? Did Moses? Did Adam?
He can’t answer because he believes there is no punishment due to sin after one has been forgiven, but David, Moses, and Adam all suffered punishment due to their sins after they had been forgiven.
36) Does love cover a multitude of sins and, if so, how so?
He can’t answer because he believes that only the blood of Christ covers sin, yet Scripture tells us that love covers a multitude of sin (1 Ptr 4:8).
37) Is it wrong for pastors to take money for preaching and offering worship services for their congregations?
He can’t answer because he has railed against Cathol ic priests receiving a small stipend for offering a Mass for the dead. So, if its wrong for a priest to receive a small stipend for saying a Mass, then how wrong must it be for a pastor to receive money for preaching and offering worship services?
38) How much money did a Catholic priest extort from you before he would say your father’s funeral Mass?
He can’t answer because he claims that Catholic priests pray upon the fears of Catholics by refusing to say a Mass for their dearly departed loved ones until they have been paid. But, did that happen to him at the funeral Mass of his father? Of course not.
39) By who or what was the canon of the Bible set?
He can’t answer because to do so means he has to go outside of Scripture for the authority that set the canon of the Bible; yet, Scripture is the sole authority according to his belief in the dogma of Sola Scriptura.
40) Exactly where is it that a man’s wo rk is “burned in fire” and they suffer loss, yet are still saved?
He can’t answer because he cannot in any way, shape, or form admit to anything at all like Purgatory. So, he claims men’s spurious works are indeed burned up as through fire, he will not say where this happens because to do so would open the door to Purgatory. He has backed himself into a corner.
41)Why does a man’s “spurious works” have to be purged by fire after a man is saved, but not his sins?
He can’t answer because, again, he has walked himself into a logical/scriptural inconsistency.
42) After a person is saved, does he have to repent of his sins and confess his sins for his sins to be forgiven?
He can’t answer because he has implied that one does not have to repent of his sins in order for them to be forgiven once one has become a Christian. Yet, it is a pretty ridiculous notion to believe that o ne does not have to repent in order to be forgiven. But, he can’t admit to this because then you are in the situation of having the possibility of a Christian sinning, not repenting of that sin, and then not having that sin forgiven, which means they can’t be saved. But, once saved always saved says that a Christian is saved no matter what.
43) If someone is saved, and they commit a venial sin after being saved, and they do not repent or confess that sin, do you contend that if they died immediately after committing that sin, they would not need to be cleansed of that sin before entering Heaven?
He can’t answer because, again, he would be opening the door to Purgatory if he answered in the negative. But, if he answered in the affirmative, then he is saying one can get into Heaven with the stain of unrepented sin on their soul – which contradicts the Bible.
44) Since you are fallible in your interpretat ions of the Bible, will you admit that you could be wrong when it comes to your teaching on Purgatory and that the Catholic Church could be right?
He can’t answer because I believe he would rather have his tongue cut out then to admit even the possibility that the Catholic Church could be right on anything.
45) Since you believe that being “perfected” (Heb 10:14) means being legally declared innocent, does that mean that in Matthew 5:48 Jesus is telling us to be “legally declared innocent as the Father is legally declared innocent?”
He can’t answer because, again, he has backed himself into the corner of logical inconsistency. He has indeed said that being “perfected” is to be legally declared innocent, but he is not going to admit that the logical conclusion of his claim about Heb 10:14 leads to Matt 5:48 meaning that God the Father is perfect because He has been legally declared innocent.
46 ) Can someone “build on the foundation which is Christ” before they have been saved?
He can’t answer because of his claims that 1 Cor 3:13–15 is talking about men’s spurious works committed before they come to Christ; yet 1 Cor 3:13–15 talks about the works of men that are built on the foundation of Christ. Another logical/scriptural inconsistency.
47) What is the exact nature of the fire that burns away the “spurious works”?
He can’t answer because to do so would be to once again open the door to a belief in Purgatory.
Don’t know what I’ll tackle next, maybe another anti-Catholic website (there’s plenty of them out there), or maybe back to my long-delayed book, or maybe some of the folks who have emailed recently slamming the Catholic Church. As I asked for ideas at the beginning of this newsletter, I’ll ask for them here at the end as well. Any preferences? (And, let me just say, if you make a suggestion and never see it in a newsletter, please remember that there are over 27,000 folks on this newsletter list, so I can tell you ahead of time that I won’t be able to make everyone happy.)
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