Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #195

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

Hey folks, just wanted to thank everyone for your prayers and your donations on behalf of Susie and Mark – almost $3000 came in for them and I will be buying them some Wal-Mart gift cards here in the coming week – that way they can shop for food, clothes, prescriptions, etc. all in one place. You guys are awesome! Truly the Body of Christ in action. And I was was moved by the notes that some of you sent in…and please keep Susie, in particular, in your prayers. I just received word today that she went in for a check-up with her doctor, the doctor didn’t like what he saw in the tests, called her oncologist, and he put her back in the hospital. Pray for her to have strength!

Okay, I apologize for the delay between newsletters, I think the last 3 weeks have been the busiest of my life. I’ve started back in the diaconate formation program for our diocese – prayers will be gratefully accepted for this new endeavor – I don’t know if I’m truly being called to be a deacon or not, but they asked me to come back into the program, so I don’t want to close a door in God’s face in case He is truly calling me. So, I’ll give it more time for discernment.

Also, I have started an online MA in Theology program at Holy Apostles College in Connecticut. They want me to eventually teach online apologetics courses for them and, for purposes of their accreditation or some such thing, they need me to have a Masters Degree in Theology. I have an M.B.A., and some doctoral work, but that’s in Finance, not Theology. So, I’m endeavoring to get an MA in Theology. It might kill me, but I’m going to give it the ol’ college try.


This week, we will wrap up with Mr. Bud Weber (see Issue #194; www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter). I will start with the email from him that I ended the last newsletter with, and then proceed from there.


Bud Weber
Audacity is the proper word.  You ignore a whole book along with the book or Romans to take a verse out of context because you want people to believe their salvation is not secure in spite of all the teaching in the Bible.
The Lord said, "let him who has ears to hear, let him hear".  Obviously you are too steeped in church doctrine to hear what the word of God says.
Nothing more needs to be said on the subject.  God help the people you are misleading into thinking they can not know of their salvation.
You are incorrect, sir, and damaging the lives of the people who read your column.

John Martignoni 

First of all, I noticed that you did not include the other folks on your email to me this time, so I am having to add them back to the list.  Is that because you didn’t want them to see how pathetic your response was?

I keep giving you Scripture, quote after quote, and I explain it to you using other Scripture, in context, and how do you respond?  Do you answer the questions I ask?  Do you answer my arguments with Scripture?  Do you show where my reasoning is wrong?  Do you counter my arguments with your own arguments?  No, no, no, and NO!

All you do is sit back and act like you are the final infallible arbiter of Scripture and summarily declare that I am wrong.  No reason, no argumentation, not even the decency to respond to my questions and arguments as I have to yours. Essentially, your whole method of argumentation is to simply say, "I’m right, you’re wrong, nanny nanny boo boo…"  Is that what the Holy Spirit has guided you into?  Is that how St. Paul argued with the Jews in the synagogues?  I dare say not.

I will ask Pat, Ronnie, and Ben to judge as to whether I have fairly and thoroughly responded to Bud’s comments or not and you guys can tell me if he, in turn, has responded fairly and in a Christian manner to mine.

Where do you get off, Mr. Bud Weber, infallibly declaring that your interpretation of scripture is more valid than mine?  What authority do you claim that makes your interpretation better than mine?

And, I want Pat, Ronnie, and Ben to make sure you guys take note that Bud did not even attempt to answer my questions – easy, scripturally-based questions that any infallible interpreter of Scripture, which Bud apparently thinks he is, should have no problem answering whatsoever. As I previously predicted to Pat, you would not answer my questions and you would feign indignation and withdraw from the field to avoid the embarrassment of people realizing that you, Mr. Scripture Scholar, actually cannot answer those questions.

So, here are the questions again, so that you will know that your theology does not have an answer for these questions, and I invite Pat, Ronnie, and Ben to take note that Bud will not answer these very simple questions, because he is incapable of doing so.  And, when you realize that, I hope you will also realize that you can trust nothing that comes out of his mouth when it comes to the Bible, because he knows not that about which he speaks:

1) If assurance of salvation is true, then how can one be severed from Christ by being circumcised?

2) When Jesus was asked, "What good deed must I do to have eternal life," how did He answer?  How would you answer that question?

3) Can you get into Heaven if you do not forgive the sins of others – yes or no?

4) Can you give me one example in the Bible of a Christian who was saved by reading the Bible?

5) Who wrote the Gospel of Mark and how do you know?  And how do you know the Gospel of Mark is the inspired Word of God?

6) For a Christian, what is the pillar and ground of the truth…is it the Bible?

7) Are you infallible in your interpretation of the Bible – yes or no?

I found it a bit interesting that Bud started off by cc’ing some of his Bible study guys on his emails to me, but once I started to respond with questions he could not/would not answer, all of a sudden he stopped cc’ing them, so I made sure to put them back into the conversation (I’m sure they were very happy about that!).  

Again, I’m just reiterating to him that he, Mr. Scripture, keeps getting Scripture from me, yet he never responds with Scripture.  Keep an eye out for this kind of thing in your dialogues.  The guy who is supposedly the Bible Christian, will quite often not quote much Scripture.  Oh, he’ll have things to say, but it will often be mostly his opinions.  A Scripture verse here and there, but then a lot of his opinions – and I stress opinions! – on what that Scripture means.  Don’t buy into it, and don’t let him get away with it. 

Keep asking questions and keep forcing them back to the questions you have asked that have gone unanswered – which, quite often will be all of the questions you have asked.  And, a good thing to do is to summarize all of the unanswered questions at the end of any email or letter that you write.  That way those questions are staring them in the face as a reminder that they cannot answer something a Catholic is asking them about the Bible. 

Also, I tried to include his Bible study friends – tried to invite them to make up for Bud’s lack of a response – but I knew they would not want to get involved, and they haven’t.  Although, I did get an email from someone who asked if I would be open to him answering the questions I’ve posed to Bud.  I said, "Have at it!" but haven’t heard anything else from the guy – whoever he is.  If he does attempt to answer the questions, I will probably make a future newsletter out of that.

John Martignoni

Dear Bud,

The silence is deafening!  Again, your response, or lack thereof, will go out to some 30,000 Catholics all over the world.  Would St. Paul have passed up such an opportunity?  And they will get to read every single word you write – I never edit anyone…no need to.  You can’t ask for any fairer treatment then to have your own words speak for you.  Does truth fear error, or does error fear truth?  Does God fear Satan, or does Satan fear God?

So, let’s try this once again, and I would ask the other non-Catholics receiving this to please feel free to respond on your behalf:

1) If assurance of salvation is true, then how can one be severed from Christ by being circumcised? (Gal 5:4)

2) When Jesus was asked, "What good deed must I do to have eternal life," how did He answer?  (Matt 19:16)  How would you answer that question?

3) Can you get into Heaven if you do not forgive the sins of others – yes or no?

4) Can you give me one example in the Bible of a Christian who was saved by reading the Bible?

5) Who wrote the Gospel of Mark and how do you know?  And how do you know the Gospel of Mark is the inspired Word of God?

6) For a Christian, what is the pillar and ground of the truth…is it the Bible?

7) Are you infallible in your interpretation of the Bible – yes or no?


After not hearing from Bud for a few weeks, I thought I would try to entice an answer, by reminding him about the many folks he could reach with his "truth."  And, it worked, to an extent…read on.

Bud Weber
There is a very good reason for the silence.  We do not share a common denominator by which to have this discussion.
You see, I believe in Christianity – you believe in a religion – Catholicism

I believe in the inerrency of Scripture – you believe the parts of the Bible that don’t conflict with the teaching of the catholic church.
For instance – The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus told the thief on the cross, "TODAY thou shalt be with me in Paradise!"  Paul clearly tells us that, "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!"
But you believe there is a place where people go, called Purgatory.  Even though there is no mention of this in the scriptures with the exception of an obscure verse from the Maccabbees.

To quote a catholic priest who wrote a pamphlet I read on Purgatory, he said, "there is nothing about Purgatory in the Bible, but we believe in Purgatory because the catholic church has always believed in Purgatory!"
Why would anyone think they could have an intelligent discussion with someone who believes that?
In order for me to believe there is a Purgatory, I would have to believe that Jesus did not die for all my sins on the cross.  He only died for some of them.   That conflicts with ALL scripture.
Sorry, we have no basis for an intelligent discussion

John Martignoni
In other words, you can’t answer my questions, so instead you attack my faith, which you are absolutely ignorant about, as your comments about Purgatory, and your previous comments, so clearly reveal, but that doesn’t bother you at all does it – the fact that you are ignorantly spreading falsehoods about someone else’s beliefs?  Is that the way a Christian who was saved by reading the Bible behaves, Bud – he deliberately spreads misperceptions, half-truths, and outright lies about other people’s beliefs?  Shame on you.

I can give you ample biblical backing for Purgatory, but the problem is, you really don’t want to know, do you?  You prefer ignorance and falsehood to knowledge and truth.

So, Jesus said to the thief on the cross, "TODAY thou shalt be with me in Paradise," and you apparently interpret Paradise as being Heaven and TODAY as being the end of that 24-hour calendar day they were in, right?  Well then, let me ask you a question about that, Mr. Infallible Interpreter of Scripture – how do you reconcile that statement of Jesus on the cross with His statement to Mary Magdalene two days later when He tells her that He has not yet ascended to the Father?  In other words, how could the thief on the cross be with Jesus in Paradise "TODAY," when two days later Jesus still hadn’t made it to Paradise?

Regarding Purgatory, the word is nowhere in the Bible.  But, the word "Trinity" is nowhere in the Bible, either, yet you believe in the Trinity don’t you?  Sorry, but there is evidence of Purgatory in the Bible, even if it is not mentioned by name.  Here’s a quick biblical question about Purgatory that you will not be able to answer: In 1 Cor 3:10-15, it talks about how every man’s work will be made manifest on "the day" – their judgment day – and that every man’s work will be tested by fire.  And that there will be some who have works that will be burned up, and they will suffer loss, as through fire, yet still be saved.  So, Mr. Infallible Interpreter of Scripture, where is it that, after a man dies, and his works are judged, that he can suffer loss as through fire, yet still be saved?  Hell?  Nope.  One suffers loss as through fire in Hell, but we both know that no one gets out of Hell.  Heaven?  Nope.  Someone who is in Heaven is indeed saved, but we both know no one suffers loss in Heaven.  So, where is it that after one dies, one could suffer loss as through fire, yet still be saved?

Ben, Pat, and Ronnie – please take note that I keep answering Bud’s slander with Bible verse after Bible verse, and how does he respond?  He attacks my faith.  Never has he once in all of these exchanges replied to one of my arguments in a direct manner.  He has simply declared himself right and me wrong, and now he declares himself to be so intelligent that he cannot have a discussion with someone like me.  Is this the kind of person that Christians should fellowship with?

Finally, I will say this to you, Bud Weber, Infallible Interpreter of Scripture, how dare you say that I do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture and that neither does the Catholic Church!  How dare you!  Do you not know that the measure you use to judge others will be used to judge you?  Or have you not yet gotten to that part of the Bible?  I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.  The Catholic Church believes in the inerrancy of Scripture.  I do not believe in some parts of Scripture and not in others…I believe in all of it.  I believe in every verse of Scripture…100%!  The problem you have with me, is that I do not necessarily believe in your fallible, private, man-made interpretation of Scripture.  I believe in Scripture, but I do not believe in Bud Weber’s interpretation of Scripture.  You believe those two things are one and the same – I do not.

And since I have proven to your fellows, and probably to you as well, that when it comes to the Bible you really are  fraud, it infuriates you.  How dare a Catholic best you in a discussion of Scripture, right?!  Ask your Scripture study friends if you have been shown to be lacking in Scripture scholarship, logic, and simple charity in these exchanges and see what they say.  I’ll bet you dare not even bring these emails up with them, do you?  And I doubt they bring them up with you for fear of embarrassing you.

In truth, Mr. Bud Weber, Infallible Interpreter of Scripture, you are nothing more than a bully.  You are a cowardly man.  And you are not a very charitable man.  None of which speaks too well for the Church of Bud to which you belong and for which you act as Pope, Pastor, and Theologian.


Well, he answered me – in the sense that I received an email from him – but, as you can see, he really didn’t answer anything that I asked him.

Okay, I gotta tell you this – after the last newsletter, which I personally sent to Bud and to the guys in his Bible study, he sent me an email threatening me with legal action for slandering his name because I said he was anti-Catholic.  He stated, "I am not anti-Catholic, never have been."  Now, knowing that, go back and read his last email, where he basically said: You can’t have an intelligent discussion with someone who believes as Catholics believe; Catholicism isn’t Christianity; what Catholics believe contradicts the Bible; and "most Catholics, because of their beliefs in the opinions of men rather than Scripture, [do not] have ears to hear," (see that one below); and so on.  No, he’s not anti-Catholic at all. 

He also replied to me, after I sent him the last newsletter, that our belief about Mary and John the Baptist being "emaculately conceived" was contrary to the Bible – and what he thinks the "emaculate conception" means is not what we think it means.  Which confirms, in spades, my point about his ignorance of the Catholic Faith.   

Again, ordinarily, I would have cashed in my chips with Bud a long time ago, but I had an audience (Bud’s Bible study group) and I wanted to make sure they understood that Bud’s version of Catholicism is nowhere close to actual Catholicism and I wanted to challenge them to challenge Bud.  Now, back to one more response from Bud.

Bud Weber
I can answer your questions easily, but since you and I don’t share the same opinion about the inerrency of scripture, it is a waste of time.
Jesus said, "He that ears to hear, let him hear!"  I don’t think that most catholics, because of their belief in the opinions of man rather than the scripture, have ears to hear.

John Martignoni
The truth is, Mr. Bud Weber, Infallible Interpreter of Scripture, that you cannot answer me…or you would. And I know this must be very embarrassing for you, not being able to stand up to a Catholic in matters of Scripture.  This is why I called you a cowardly man and a bully.  Instead of answering me, you attack me.  Tell me, Bud, is that very Christlike of you?  Would Paul have declined my invitation to get his words in front of 30,000 people?  You are a fraud, Mr. Bud Weber, Infallible Interpreter of Scripture, a fraud.


Now, I was pretty harsh with Bud, but before anyone sends me anything about me not being nice, or that I’m being uncharitable, or I’m being mean, or something else along those lines – before you do that – please read Matt 23 and consider whether or not I was being harsher than Jesus in what He said to the scribes and Pharisees.  Because I view folks like Bud as modern day Pharisees – they claim to know much, and they tell you how wrong you are, but when you challenge their beliefs about Scripture, their interpretations of Scripture, and their beliefs about the Catholic Faith, they basically cut and run.  They will not engage in a point-by-point discussion.  They are happy to preach, not so happen to listen.  I have little tolerance for someone like that.  So, if he wants to take me to court, even though Scripture says believers should not take believers to court (oh, wait, I’m not a believer, am I?), I would welcome the opportunity to go before a judge and jury and have them determine who slandered whom in this exchange.  Considering the free speech issues, and the religious freedom issues, that would be involved, I think we might be able to get national press out of it – at least in the Catholic media.  That would be pretty nifty…

Now, there are a few more emails from Bud that I could share with you, but I think this has been more than enough for you to see how some people think and how, no matter what you do, no matter how much you try to reason with them, goad them, challenge them, get under their skin, etc., they will simply not respond to your arguments.  If you go around with someone like that 2-3 times, and they haven’t answered any of your questions, I recommend you just stop.  Tell them that you are through responding until such time as they answer your questions – and list the unanswered questions for them – and then say good-bye.  Unless, of course, you have other people in on the conversation, and they can see how you are most willing to answer questions, but you never have your questions answered.  Then I would go a few more rounds before calling it quits. 

In Conclusion

Stick a fork in it, this conversation is done! Next week I will endeavor to persevere (any Josie Wales fans out there) to get another newsletter out. Don’t know on what particular topic yet, so just stay tuned…

Have a blessed week!

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Apologetics for the Masses