Apologetics for the Masses, #391 - The Doctrinal Dance (A Perfect Example)

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An email exchange with a Protestant who does everything possible to avoid answering my questions.


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General Comments

Hey folks,

     Here's the full information on how to participate - in person or online - in my Bible study on 1st and 2nd Peter that starts this Monday night (February 22nd):

     What: Combination Bible/Catechism study, with a healthy dose of apologetics thrown in, on 1st and 2nd Peter.  We'll be talking Bible, Catechism, redemption, salvation, Christian prayer, Christian living, grace, faith, the Mass, Sola Fide, Once Saved Always Saved, love, Purgatory, time, the Sacraments, sin, the Pope, and much more!  All of that from just those two short books of the Bible. You'll see how the Catechism is inextricably linked to the Bible, how the Old Testament is linked to the New Testament, how the Bible is linked to the Magisterium, and how you can use both Bible and Catechism to deepen your faith and to learn how to share your faith with others. 

     When: Mondays - February 22, March 1, 8, 15, and 22 - from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM.  We'll be covering 1st Peter the first 5 weeks.  Then we'll take two weeks off and start back with 2nd Peter after Easter.  Exact dates to be determined within the next week or so.

     Where: St. Theresa's in Leeds, in the Parish Hall.  (See below for how to participate online.)

     Online:  YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/CrimsonCatholic

                    Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BibleChristianSociety

                    Zoom:   https://quorumvc.zoom.us/j/2053971000?pwd=TnVVSnRDMGdOR3F1WkIwQjBmb1hhZz09


     This week I'm just going to give you an example of what you can expect, if you haven't already experienced it, when you run into an anti-Catholic Protestant who simply will not engage in an actual dialogue.  One who wants to preach to the poor, unsaved Catholic and tell them all about how bad the Catholic Church is and how he goes by the Bible while we go by the Catechism (i.e., the Church), etc, etc.  It's a perfect example of what I call the doctrinal dance.  When you ask a legitimate question, or have a reasoned and rational response to their questions/claims about Catholicism, that they simply can't handle, they respond with everything other than a direct, coherent, and reasoned reply to what you've said or asked. 

     The Protestant in question here, has seen some of the episodes of my TV show on the station in Houma, LA.  The one last week was on Problems With Protestantism, and that was apparently too much for him to handle.  Before that episode ended he had left 3 voicemails on our call-in line and proceeded to send me about 8 or 10 emails.  As you'll see, I answered them with short answers which led to a flurry of more emails from him and that process went on for a few more rounds.  I'm only going to talk about the first round of his emails, with my responses, this week and then I'll cover some more next week.  His emails are in italics, then my replies, and then comments from me on why I replied to him as I did.

     Oh, I'll call him "Dancer" to avoid revealing his true identity.  Ordinarily I would have no problem giving everyone his name, but he's a dentist in a very Catholic area, and if I put his real name out there, he would probably lose a whole bunch of his patients when they saw the extent of his bigotry and hatred towards the Catholic Church, and, not being a liberal, I'm not out to have someone lose any part of their livelihood.


1) Dancer

     You just said [in the program he was watching] if it’s not found in the Bible then you don’t have to believe it?? Then please tell me where in the Bible does it say that anyone other than JESUS was sinless? Where does it say mary was sinless making herself EQUAL WITH GOD ?? It doesn’t but you choose to believe the ccc. The ccc actually about 80% which contradicts the Bible you choose to believe. Saying Mary is coredeemer and comediator that is NOT FOUND IN THE BIBLE. Again teaching the insufficiency of JESUS FINISHED WORK AT THE CROSS !!!!  As for as today’s program. Read Ephesians 2:8-9. Which totally destroys your thinking where man is always looking to take some credit for the things we do , in this case taking credit for his own salvation?

     “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ ‭

     “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” ‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭


1) My Response

Dear "Dancer",

I don't think you're listening very closely to what I say in these programs.

1) Never have I said, "If it's not found in the Bible then you don't have to believe it."  What I said was something along the lines of, "The dogma of Sola Scriptura - going by the Bible alone - teaches that if it's not found in the Bible then you don't have to believe it."  So, that would apply to believers in the non-scriptural dogma of Sola Scriptura.  Catholics do not believe in Sola Scriptura because, among other reasons, it is not in the Bible.

2) How does Mary being sinless make her "EQUAL WITH GOD"?  Adam and Eve were sinless before the Fall, did that make them "EQUAL WITH GOD"?  Yes or no?

3) As for Ephesians 2:8-10, here is my most recent newsletter that I sent out on that very topic.  I would love for you to read it and tell me where I get my arguments wrong:

https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/528-apologetics-for-the-masses-390-you-have-been-saved-by-faith-ephesians-2-8-9 <https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/528-apologetics-for-the-masses-390-you-have-been-saved-by-faith-ephesians-2-8-9>

As a Catholic, I agree 100% with the fact that were are saved by God's grace, through faith, and not by works.  100%!  But, if God has prepared certain works for each of us beforehand, that we SHOULD walk in them, as it says in Ephesians 2:10, are we still saved if we don't do those works?  Yes or no?

Answer the questions in #2 and #3, directly, and using Scripture, and then we can talk more.

In Christ,

John Martignoni


1) Comments

     In his initial email, he first makes an erroneous claim about what I said in regard to Scripture, and then he brings up 7 different topics - 1) Anyone other than Jesus being sinless, 2) Being sinless would mean Mary was equal to God, 3) 80% of the Catechism contradicts the Bible, 4) Mary as "coredeemer/comediator", 5) Catholics teach the insufficiency of Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross, 6) salvation by faith alone, and 7) Jesus as the sole mediator between God and man.  That's the shotgun approach to evangelization...if you can call it evangelization.  Or, you could say he's started the doctrinal dance - jumping to and fro amongst any number of Catholic doctrines he has issue with - before I've even entered the dance hall.

     The temptation - and I know a number of you give in to this temptation because you've sent me your email exchanges with Protestants - is to answer every single point the other guy makes. You feel like you can't let him get away with any of these false claims about the Church and you have this overwhelming desire to make him understand what the Church actually teaches as opposed to the misperceptions, misunderstandings, half-truths, and outright lies that he believes about the Church.  You think to yourself that if only he knew what the Church REALLY teaches, he wouldn't believe all that garbage.

     Do not give in to that temptation!  He doesn't give a rip about what the Church really teaches!  He is not interested in hearing what a Catholic has to say about the Catholic faith, as he has swallowed hook, line, and sinker everything every anti-Catholic has ever said about the Church.  He's not interested in truth.  He's not interested in dialogue.  He's not interested in learning about what Catholics actually believe.  He already knows everything there is to know about the Catholic Church...or so he thinks. 

     So, do not waste a lot of time on someone like this by trying to answer every little point they bring up.  No, no, no!  Not only do you waste your time and energy doing that, but you cede control of the argument to the other guy.  You need to take control of the argument.  And how do you do that?  By being offensive (aw-fensive) without being offensive (uh-fensive).  Ask questions. 

     What did I do?  I first corrected his erroneous claim about something I said, without spending a whole lot of time on it, and then I addressed one of his points on Mary being sinless - not by way of explanation, but by asking questions. One of the incredible claims Protestants make is that, if Mary was indeed sinless, as Catholics claim, then that would make her equal to God.  Uh...what about Adam and Eve?  They were sinless.  Were they equal to God by being sinless?  No!  Therefore, their claim in that regard about Mary is completely baseless as well as contradictory.  And the last thing I did was to point him to my recent newsletter on the very passage he mentioned...Eph 2:8-10...and asked him to tell me where I got it wrong and asked him if we are still saved if we don't do the works God has predestined for us to do.

      It took me all of 5 minutes, if that, to do that, but it now put me on the offensive instead of the defensive.  Plus, it gives me the chance to see if he might actually be interested in an authentic dialogue about the Catholic Faith and the Bible.  Because, if he were to answer my questions, and/or respond to that newsletter on Eph 2:8-10, then I might take him a bit more seriously and be willing to invest some time in this exchange.

     By the way, keep in mind that all of these first eight emails from him were sent to me before I even responded to the first one.  Again, the shot gun approach to apologetics/evangelization.  It is a sure sign of someone who wants you to listen to him preach, but doesn't want to hear a word you have to say.


2) Dancer

     “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”  ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭64:6.


2) My Response

I agree with that Scripture verse 100%!  Here is another one of my recent newsletters where I focused specifically on that verse and on how Protestants, like you, so horribly mistranslate it.

https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/524-apologetics-for-the-masses-387-your-works-are-like-filthy-rags-isaiah-64-6 <https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/524-apologetics-for-the-masses-387-your-works-are-like-filthy-rags-isaiah-64-6>

If you would like to respond directly, and scripturally, to the arguments I make in this newsletter, I would be happy to entertain your arguments and to respond to them.

In Christ,

John Martignoni


2) Comments

     It just so happens his 2nd email hit on another one of the very recent topics of my newsletter.  So I referred him directly to it.  Again, if he actually reads the newsletter and responds to the arguments/questions in it, there might be hope for a productive exchange.  Now, most of you have not written a recent newsletter that you can reference, but that's one of the reasons I do what I do - so that you can reference my newsletters, or simply lift arguments/questions directly from them.  But, the point is, I'm not going to spend much time on this guy until he shows me he is open to reason and actual dialogue.  And there has been no indication of that so far.


3) Dancer

     “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:20‬

     Galatians 3:1-6, “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”


3) My Response

I agree 100% - 100%! - with Romans 3:20 and with Galatians 3:1-6.  You didn't make an argument or ask a question, so I really don't have anything to respond to.

But, I would like to ask you this: In Galatians 3:1, it says that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed - before their very eyes - as being crucified.  Can you tell me how it was that Jesus was publicly "portrayed as crucified"?  Sounds like they were looking at a crucifix, doesn't it?

In Christ,

John Martignoni


3) Comments

     Agreeing with Scripture - not his interpretation of it - and then simply asking another question.  Trying to find a question that he might actually latch onto and answer with a direct answer.


4) Dancer  

      RCC CLAIMS -Mary claims to be the arch of peace the arch is salvation the arch where Her children must enter if they wish to enter the kingdom of God? Wow. This DENIGRATES , belittle and DEFAMES JESUS !  

     “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭

     “And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,”  ‭‭Luke‬ ‭1:46-48 

     Who else needs a SAVIOR but a SINNER. Mary was crying out to her savior and considered herself to be a SERVANT, like the rest of mankind nowhere in scripture does it talk about a SINLESS VIRGIN BIRTH  


4) My Response

     Have you ever been a drug addict?  Maybe an alcoholic?  If not, would you say that Jesus saved you from being a drug addict or an alcoholic? 


4) Comments

     This is the other big bugaboo Protestants have about Mary being sinless - if she's sinless then that means, according to their theology, that she didn't need a savior, but she clearly states that she has a savior.  Their logic translates that into her not being sinless.  That's why I always ask these questions about being an alcoholic or a drug addict or any similar thing.  If they say that they have never been an alcoholic or a drug addict, then you just ask: "So, would you say Jesus saved you from being an alcoholic or a drug addict [or whatever]?"  And the answer has to be, "Yes, Jesus saved me from that."  If they say, "No, Jesus had nothing to do with me not being a drug addict," then they've just spit on God's grace.  The overall point being, you can be saved from any sin, any bad behavior, by the grace of God, before you ever fall into it.  Just so, Mary in regard to sin.  Jesus saved her from sin before she ever sinned.

     Also, notice that I pick what I want to respond to, respond to it directly and succintly, always ask a question in my response, and just leave the other stuff alone.  I don't have to respond to everything he says...that would be counter-productive.


5) Dancer

     “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:10-11‬

     NO COREDEEMER!!!!!!  

     These are the first 2 commandments yet the rcc disregards the second commandment and divided the 10 th commandment into 2 parts. Why ???  

     The FIRST commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me. “

     This is the SECOND COMMANDMENT: You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭5:7-10‬ 


5) My Response

The Catholic Church has disregarded no commandment.  I will be happy to respond to this religious slur once you have answered the questions I have sent to you in my previous emails.

In Christ,

John Martignoni


5) Comments

     And he brings up yet another topic - the doctrinal dance - by hurling yet another baseless accusation against the Catholic Church that he's learned from his anti-Catholic sources.  People, these folks do not care if they offend you, if they falsely accuse you and the Church, if they spread lies about you and the Church - they don't care.  So, I quickly let him know that his statement is false and that I would be happy to respond to it, but I have no intention of doing so until he has answered one or more of the questions that I have put to him in my previous emails  


6) Dancer

     "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  ‭‭John‬ ‭14:6‬ 

     “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

     And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.” ‭‭James‬ ‭2:10, 23‬ 


6) My Response

I agree 100% - 100%! - with John 14:6, James 2:10 and 23.  However, you made no argument nor asked any question, so there is nothing to respond to.

In Christ,

John Martignoni


6) Comments

     I agree with Scripture, as do all Catholics, 100%!  If the other guy doesn't make an argument or ask a question, don't respond as if he did.


7) Dancer

     Our salvation is a gracious gift from GOD . God chose us out of his love for us , Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin and the Holt spirit cleansed us from sin when we BELIEVED . Eternal life is a wonderful gift for those who trust in CHRIST!!!!  


7) My Response

Eternal life is indeed a wonderful gift for those who trust in Christ!  It is also a wonderful gift for those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and and honor and immortality (Romans 2:6-7).  Don't you agree?

In Christ,

John Martignoni


7) Comments

     I agree with part, but not all of what he said, so I state specifically some of what I agree with, and then quote a related Scripture passage and ask a question directly about the passage I quote.


8) Dancer

     That’s the problem today people confuse catholicism with BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY and it does not help either that there are so many so called christian denominations this is NOT what Martin Luther was trying to do at all he was just trying to correct all the false teachings of the rcc at the time  


8) My Response

And exactly what authority did Martin Luther have to "correct" anyone's teachings?


8) Comments

     Any opportunity whatsoever to take the discussion to the question of authority.  Those were his first 8 emails, all sent before I made a single response, but then I responded to each one of them, directly and succintly.  Normally, I would have just responded to one or two of them with one or two questions in each response, and would not have responded to any of the others until he answered my questions.  However, I had this newsletter in mind and went ahead and responded to all of his emails to show you how it is almost always pointless to engage someone like this.  They do not take anything you have to say seriously and when you ask questions and when you make valid, logical, and biblically-based points, they just ignore them, as you will see in the next newsletter when I continue this "dialogue". 

     Before I end this one, though, I'm going to give you a couple of the responses from his 2nd round of emails


1. A) Dancer

(This is his response to my asking him about Adam and Eve being sinless and if we are still saved if we don't do the works God has prepared for us.  #1 above.) 


3) A true born again Christian will do good works but no amount of works can save a man. We BELIEVE IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST AT THE CROSS. WE BELIEVE IN THE CROSS So much of what Catholicism teaches is the INSUFFICIENCY OF YHE CROSS 



     It's pretty obvious from this response that he doesn't understand, or doesn't care about, the basic structure of a dialogue.  I asked a simple question about Adam and Eve - he essentially ignored it.  But, his non-response response to the question was almost all caps (except for "Mary"), which means since he is yelling it, IT HAS TO BE TRUE!  He ignored my question about not doing the works which God has set aside for us to do, and there is no indication whatsoever that he read my newsletter on that topic.  All of which, again, tells me that he isn't in the least bit interested in an honest dialogue or in knowing anything about the truth of the Catholic Faith.  He is comfortable in his prejudice and bigotry, and even outright hatred, of all things Catholic, and he doesn't want to even entertain the possibility that something he believes about Catholicism and the Bible could be wrong. 

    And I say that because the man is a dentist.  He has to have above average intelligence to have gotten through dental school, yet he decides to use none of it in his initial emails to me or in his responses to my replies.  I ask him questions, he gives me immature responses and vitriol.  This "dialogue" will go nowhere. 


2.A) Dancer

(This is his response to my asking him to read my newsletter about Isaiah 64:6 and how Protestants take that verse out of context, #2 above.) 

     It’s rather quite simple. I BELIEVE IN THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD (GRACE FAITH JESUS) and Jesus finished work at the CROSS!!!! Like Jesus said IT IS FINISHED and Father forgive them for they know not what they do) and YOU like so many of the false “religions “ out there don’t. ALL OF THE FALSE RELIGIONS out there that believe and are based on faith plus works salvation are spoken of in the book of REVELATION, the HARLOT ,THE WHORE OF BABYLON (ROME ) will be annihilated, and the prosperity gospel preachers as well. But only God know the HEART. and he will judge JUSTLY GOD bless and may the Lord have mercy on your soul. It’s hard for man to admit when they are wrong. And to find out most of what they have been taught (tradition) is a lie. The Catholic Church added the 6 OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS in the 1500’s We can’t live by the 66 books how can 6 more help or teach us anything “new “ in macabees they prayed FOR the dead zNot too the DEAD BIG DIFFERENCE nonetheless anything to do with the dead. Like Mormon baptize for the DEAD is and are DEMONIC TEACHINGS.



     Do you see anything that gives even the vaguest hint that he read my newsletter?  Any kind of direct response at all?  Of course not.  And how many more topics does he dance with...3 or 4?  And he does so with such delicacy and diplomacy and respect for me as a person, right?  I don't think so.  "Demonic teachings."  "Lord have mercy on my [poor damned] soul."  "False religion."  "The Whore of Babylon (Rome)."  Do you think someone who says these things will ever listen to a reasoned, thoughtful, logical argument or directly respond to a legitimate question?  Doubtful.  I'm not saying not to try.  But, as Jesus told the disciples when He sent them out, if they won't listen to you, shake their dust off of your sandals.  I.e., go ahead and try, but don't waste a whole lot of time on them.

Closing Comments

I hope you can join me for the Bible study this Monday evening from 6:30 - 8:00 PM.  More with Protestant Dancer next week.  Have a great week!


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Apologetics for the Masses