Apologetics for the Masses #239

Bible Christian Society

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General Comments

Hey folks, 

Sorry for the long delay between newsletters, it's been a crazy summer.  And, I don't really have time to get a regular newsletter out to you today.  But, I did want to get something out to you so as to let you know that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth and to tell you about some exciting things that are going on with the Bible Christian Society.  So, before I get back to my Blue Collar Apologetics book that I've been sharing with you piece-by-piece, which I will do in the next newsletter, I wanted to update you on several things:

1) First, and foremost, I want to thank all of you who responded to my last "10 cents a day" appeal.  I think the Bible Christian Society is unique amongst non-profit organizations that ask for money, in that we only ask twice a year, only by email, and always ask for just 10 cents a day.  That's about as low key as you can get.  I don't like getting tons of mail and emails from folks asking for money, even if their cause is a noble one, so I try to be as minimal as possible when it comes to that.  Many of you respond with more than 10 cents a day, and many of you respond with the 10 cents a day, and some respond with less than 10 cents a day - and for all of those donations, large and small and in-between, please know that I am very, very grateful.  It is your response to those two appeals that allows me to keep the doors of the Bible Christian Society open - which, of course, allows me to keep getting the truths of the Catholic Faith out to folks all over the world, and it also helps me to feed, clothe, and house my family.  Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

2)  The main reason I got behind in getting out the newsletters is because I was spending a lot of my time over a several week period writing scripts and practicing giving the presentations over and over again, for five 30-minute episodes of a new series for EWTN television that I recently taped. The series is called: Blue Collar Apologetics (surprise!).  Basically, the five episodes are the introduction to, and then the explanation of, the four apologetics strategies that I teach folks: 1) The Ignorant Catholic; 2) How To Be Offensive (Aw-fensive) Without Being Offensive (Uh-fensive); 3) It's the PRINCIPLE of the Thing; and 4) But That's MY Interpretation!  I give a number of examples, using plain ol' common sense and a bit of Scripture, to show people how to explain and defend their faith.  I think it all came out okay.  The producer is already wanting to do more of them.  The programs are scheduled for editing in October and for air in March, if all goes well.  So, please say a prayer for these programs, that they'll pass muster with the powers-that-be at EWTN and make it to the airwaves, and hopefully give a lot of Catholics the ammunition and the confidence they need to get out there and start evangelizing.

3) For all the priests on this list, please read the following: The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, and Fr. John Trigilio, invite you to a Clergy Conference in Rome on January 5-9, 2015.  Priests from a number of English-speaking countries will be coming together for this conference.  For more information, go to this link:  http://www.ccc2015.com/

4) Okay, I had mentioned a few months back my thoughts about going on the road with an apologetics seminar that would be very interactive and would teach folks from 9 to 90 how to use apologetics to evangelize fallen-away family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and anyone else they come across.  The time I spent preparing for the EWTN TV series has helped me put something together in that regard.  So, if anyone is interested, I'll be ready to start holding this seminar beginning this Fall.  And, instead of charging individuals for attending, I thought I would just let everyone in for free (which is more in line with the general way we do things at the Bible Christian Society anyway).  So, below are my thoughts for how this would work: 

a) Ask whatever parish or group that sponsors me to cover my travel expenses, my lodging, and my food, plus a fee of only $500, rather than the original $2500 I was bandying about.

b) Allow the participants to come for free, rather than charging $50 each.  But let everyone know at the beginning that there will be a "free-will offering" taken up at the end of the seminar that they can give to, if they are willing and able, and if they feel they have benefitted from the seminar.  Also, I will ask each participant, at the end of the seminar, to consider adding the Bible Christian Society to their list of charitable organizations that they donate to during the year and ask them to prayerfully consider making a pledge to the Bible Christian Society at some point during the calendar year.  There will, however, be no requirement to do so.

c) I'm thinking some sort of introductory session on Friday night, and then a short intro on Saturday morning (for those who didn't make it Friday night) and then we go from about 9-4 with an hour or hour and a half for lunch.  Parish could provide lunch, or everyone could bring their own, or folks could go out and grab a quick bite.  Parish could also consider providing snacks and maybe water and coffee during the seminar.

If that is something that sounds interesting to you, then please contact a local priest in your area and see if they would be interested in having this at their parish, and then let me know and we can start working on potential dates.

5) Okay, this week I have launched the Catechism Project.  This is a project I have had on the chalk board for years.  It's a 3-yr. project to send a Catechism of the Catholic Church to every non-Catholic pastor in the Diocese of Birmingham, along with a letter explaining why I am sending the Catechism and a reply card that the pastors can use to instigate further dialogue if they so choose.  The content of the letter is below.  I've been granted some funds specifically for this project, but I'll still need to raise some more locally to accomplish my goals.  I'm thinking it will be 4000 to 5000 Catechisms that will eventually be mailed out.  The first 500 will start going out next week.  I'll keep you updated as to the responses I receive over the coming months.  

And, what I wanted to offer to you, is that if you know of a pastor of a non-Catholic church in your area that you want to send a Catechism to, with the accompanying letter (amended to fit your locale) and reply card, and maybe a "Sacraments and the Bible" CD, let me know and I can get send them out for only $25 per pastor.  You can make the donation online, and then send me an email with the pastor's name and the church's name and address.  You can also just mail in a check with all of the necessary information.  And, you will remain anonymous to the pastor unless you request otherwise. Please pray for the success of this project - that this will make some of these pastors, particularly the anti-Catholic ones, stop and think about what they believe, and why they believe it.  And, to maybe change some of their beliefs about the Catholic Church.  

6) Finally, my family and I will be traveling to Catholic Family Land, up close to Steubenville, Ohio, the last week of July for a much-needed vacation.  I've never been there, but I've heard it is wonderful.  I'll let you know all about it after I get back.  Please keep us in your prayers as we travel...we keep all of you in our prayers daily!


Catechism Project - Letter to Pastors

Dear Pastor Smith,     

The enclosed Catechism of the Catholic Church is offered to you as a gift for your reference library.  Our goal is to mail a copy of this Catechism, which gives a clear and unambiguous presentation of the Church’s teachings on a variety of topics, to every Pastor in North Alabama in the hope of building bridges of understanding between our faith traditions.

We have found that there are a number of common misperceptions and misunderstandings among Christians about the Catholic Church and its teachings.  For example, Catholic Christians are often accused of worshipping Mary, praying to statues, re-sacrificing Jesus at each Mass, believing in a salvation by works, and of not even being Christian, among other things.  It is also often said that Catholics don’t abide by the Bible and that the Catholic Faith is opposed to what is taught in the Bible.  None of these things are accurate.  

It is because of such misperceptions and misunderstandings that we would like to present you with this Catechism of the Catholic Church.  It is our hope, should you ever have occasion to speak about the Catholic Faith from the pulpit, in a Bible study, or in your Sunday school classes, that the Catechism will be of service to you in your presentation. That it will allow you to present what Catholics believe, and why we believe it, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.  

We understand that there are some fundamental disagreements between our belief systems, so we are of course not asking you to necessarily agree with what we believe and teach, nor to even refrain from teaching about where you think Catholics are wrong. What we hope to do is to simply eliminate many of the misperceptions and misunderstandings in regard to Catholic teaching, so that if someone disagrees with what we believe, they are disagreeing with what we actually believe and not with some mistaken notion of what we believe. In that way, we hope to build greater unity within the Body of Christ. 

One thing to please note about the Catechism, which will give you an idea of how seriously the Catholic Faith takes the teachings of Holy Scripture, beginning on page 689 there is an index with 32 pages of citations from the Word of God.  This index cross references literally hundreds of Scripture passages with the corresponding Catholic beliefs as presented in the Catechism.  

If you have any questions, would like more information, or would like to engage in further discussions and possibly have a Catholic come to your place of worship for a dialogue, please contact me using the enclosed reply card.     

Sincerely in Christ,


John S. Martignoni


Bible Christian Society


The Bible Christian Society is a non-profit organization that relies solely on your support to bring the truths of the Catholic Faith to tens of thousands of people throughout the U.S. and all around the world each year.  If you would like to help us do what we do, you can donate online at: http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/donations, or send a check to: Bible Christian Society, PO Box 424, Pleasant Grove, AL  35127.  Anything you can do is greatly appreciated!

Apologetics for the Masses