Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #24

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

No response from Timothy regarding my response to his email (see Issue #23). If he ever does respond, I will put that response in a future newsletter.

Some of you wrote to me to say that I should have made a mention in last week’s newsletter regarding the fourth cup of the Last Supper. Specifically, how the fourth cup is linked to Jesus’ death on the cross. Well, for those who are interested in finding out more about the link between the Passover, the Last Supper, Jesus’ death, and the Eucharist…I recommend a talk by Dr. Scott Hahn entitled, “The Fourth Cup.” It is a “must-have” for any serious Catholic. The CD version is good, but the video version is absolutely incredible. I’ve seen crowds give a standing ovation after viewing the video.

You can get the CD version at www.saintjoe.com (Saint Joseph Communications) for $7.95, or the VHS version for $24.95. You might be able to get it elsewhere for less, but I know for sure they have it at Saint Joseph’s.


In this newsletter, I’m going to give you an exchange I had with Dr. Joe Mizzi, who, I am told, lives in Malta. Dr. Mizzi runs a website (justforcatholics.org) specifically designed to bring Catholics out of the Church. Someone told me about this website, so I checked it out and found it to be full of mischaracterizations and half-truths (if not outright lies) about the Catholic Church – surprise, surprise!

So, I sent Dr. Mizzi an email asking if he was at all interested in portraying the teachings of the Catholic Church in an accurate manner. My email starts it off, his emails are in italics.


Dear Dr. Mizzi,

A friend told me about your website and asked me to check it out. I’ve
looked over a few things on it and found several problems with the
information you have on your site.

You have a habit of setting up straw man arguments against the Church,
and then knocking them down. The problem, as in any straw man argument,
is that you are arguing against things that the Church doesn’t teach.
As a Christian, I would simply ask you if you have a responsibility to
accurately represent what others believe, even if you disagree with
those beliefs? If you answer, “yes,” then I would ask you if you are
willing to change the information on your website about the Catholic
Faith, when shown that your information about, and understanding of,
particular Catholic teachings are incorrect?

Also, would you be willing to engage in an exchange of emails regarding
the biblical nature of some of these same doctrines, and the lack of
biblical support for some of the doctrines that you hold near and dear
to your heart?

I look forward to hearing from you.

God bless!

John Martignoni

Strategy: Simply mentioning to him that his website misrepresents Catholic teaching and then asking him if he, as a Christian, has a responsibility to accurately represent what the Church teaches, even if he disagrees with it. It’s pretty hard for him not to respond to this and it’s impossible for him to say that he has no such responsibility to accurately portray Church teaching.

Hi John,

Thanks for writing.

Would you kindly substantiate your allegation — where exactly did I misrepresent the official Roman Catholic teaching? A single clear example will suffice, and I would be very grateful.



Dear Joe,


1) From your website: “The believer escapes the condemnation of hell not because he is sinless or because his sins are venial or light. He is saved from the eternal punishment he deserves because the blood of Jesus Christ keeps on cleansing him from all sin. Christians do not measure the weight of sin by penance, saying a few prayers, deeds of charity and attending church. The gravity of sin is measured by the price paid for our cleansing – the precious blood of Jesus! Therefore we avoid it like plague. We have been bought with a price and our heart’s desire is to glorify the God who loved us so much.”

The clear implication is that Catholics “measure the weight of sin by penance, saying a few prayers…”, etc. This is a distortion of Catholic belief. You have a limited and very shallow understanding of Catholic teaching and you present your limited understanding as the gospel when it comes to Catholics. Also, you mention 1 John 5 on your website – about mortal vs. non-mortal sins – but then completely ignore the clear teaching of Scripture because some “expert” tells you to do so…why do you put more weight on the “expert” you quote than you do on the very clear words of Scripture?

2) From your website: “Nobody will ever be heard boasting that he succeeded to enter heaven because of his penances and sufferings.”

The clear implication is that Catholicism teaches that we will enter Heaven because of what we do. That is false.

3) From your website: “Or perhaps, not knowing the grace of God, is the camel still struggling to pass through the tiny hole? The law, and your imperfect outward obedience to it, cannot achieve what God alone can do.”

The clear implication is that grace has nothing to do with Catholic belief on salvation, or that we have to obey the law perfectly in order to be saved. Both are false.

4) From your website: “Logically the implication is that His death was, by itself, not enough to pay the debt of my sins. I had to offer some sacrifice myself to be completely forgiven.”

Again, the clear implication is that Catholics rely on what we do to get us into Heaven, and Jesus plays a minor role if any. False. By the way, are you familiar with Col 1:24?

5) From your website: “So then, what is required for a person to be justified at the end, that is, to be accounted to have fully satisfied divine law, and therefore to merit eternal life? Trent answers: THEIR GOOD WORKS! Their good works fully satisfy the divine law. Their works merit eternal life.”

Again, you mis-characterize Catholic teaching. Our good works, in and of themselves, do not “fully satisfy the divine law.” Our works, in and of themselves, do not “merit eternal life.” Both characterizations of Catholic teaching are false.

This was from a brief examination of just a few of the “answers” you have posted on your site. I assume that a more thorough and rigorous examination would reveal many more examples of the same.

Now, I have two questions for you:

1) Based on your belief that the individual has no role to play in his/her own salvation, then why isn’t everyone saved? If Jesus did all that needed to be done, and there is nothing anyone can do to impact their own salvation, then why isn’t everyone saved?

2) Is whether or not we have faith, God’s sole criteria for judging us worthy of salvation?

God bless!

John Martignoni

Strategy: He asked for a single example, and I gave him five. I could have given many more. All through his website he mischaracterizes Catholic teaching…one wants to assume he is doing this out of ignorance, but…

Anyway, I give him his examples, and then I ask a couple of questions, which are designed to cause him some problems in answering. The first one is just a question from logic…if the individual has no role to play in his/her salvation, if Jesus did all that needed to be done, then why isn’t everyone saved? And, the second question simply re-words his own belief in salvation by faith alone. He has to answer, “Yes,” to the question. The problem is, though, that every passage in the New Testament that talks about judgment, has man being judged by his works, his deeds, by what he has done, or by what he hasn’t done. In other words, the answer he has to give runs contrary to what Scripture says. So, he will have a hard time answering this question, if he bothers to try.


That’s weak! Frankly, I don’t think it’s worth the time to answer.

Perhaps YOU should be reading and observing your own religion to learn what Catholicism is all about!

This will be my last letter to you.




How convenient for you (and how very Christian of you) to simply dismiss what I say with a contemptuous sneer. I did exactly as you asked – I showed you where you are misrepresenting the Catholic Faith on your website, and this is your response? I think the fact that you cannot respond even to what you consider “weak” arguments speaks volumes on the weakness of your position, not mine, and it also speaks volumes on your true intent.

I will be sharing your responses with the thousands of Catholics who read my newsletter, I’m sure they will be interested in your refusal to correspond in this matter.

You signed your email, “Sincerely.” It seems there is nothing sincere in what you are doing.

May God cause the scales to fall from your eyes.

John Martignoni

Strategy: Gee, what a surprise! He doesn’t want to talk to me. I tried to goad him into another response by mentioning that I would be including his correspondence in this newsletter, but, to no avail. I sent him one other email, but he never responded. Again, folks, things like this should encourage you to study and learn more about your Faith. It’s like I always say, folks like Joe are effective only when they come across Catholics who don’t know their Faith. When they come across Catholics who can talk back, they look for the nearest exit.

In Conclusion

Comments are always welcomed and will be read. I’m going to send this newsletter to Dr. Joe Mizzi and see if he will re-consider his non-response. If he does, I’ll let you know about it.

One more thing. I’ve been told that if you are having trouble with the margins in the email edition of this newsletter, you might be able to correct the problem by simply forwarding the email to yourself. At least, it worked for one person.

And, as always, please share this newsletter with friends, and let them know about all of the apologetics resources available for free at our website (www.biblechristiansociety.com).

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Apologetics for the Masses