Apologetics for the Masses #402 - Mike Gendron Response (Finale)

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Final look at Mike Gendron's response to my newsletter.


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General Comments

Hey folks,

      My book - Blue Collar Apologetics: How to Explain and Defend Catholic Teaching Using Common Sense, Simple Logic, and the Bible - is finished.  The only thing left to be done is the printing.  Because of covid-related delays, however, and shortages of printing supplies, there is currently about an 8-week lead time for books to be printed.   So, it should be available sometime in mid-September; although, there is an outside possibility it could come out a week or two earlier.  So, please keep that process in your prayers.

     This book will be different than any other apologetics book that's out there in a couple of ways:

1) It contains apologetics strategies, as well as the actual apologetics.  I teach the "how" of apologetics, not just the "what".  

2) At the end of each chapter, I give an example of how each of the 4 apologetics strategies taught in the book can be applied in regard to the topic of that particular chapter. 

     I'm waiting to hear from EWTN as to when pre-publication sales will be opened up.  Once I know, you will know.  By the way, I am hoping you will be willing to help me get the information about this book out there to the general public. In addition to individual Catholics using it, this is a book that can be used by Catholic schools and parishes to help teach the faith to students, to RCIA candidates, Confirmation candidates, and so on, as well as to adult parishioners.  Priests could use it to help them prepare homilies.  I'm also hoping a lot of Catholics will give it to non-Catholics to help them learn about the faith.  A lot of ways in which it can be used.


     Okay, here is the last little bit of cleanup regarding my recent exchange with Mike Gendron.  The last few issues have been devoted to an analysis of his pamphlet, Which Jesus Do You Trust? and also to his response to my analysis of his pamphlet.  Below are the last few emails that he sent me that I wanted to share with you, so that you can see for yourself how anti-Catholics respond to reasoned, logical, and scriptural arguments from Catholics.  Essentially, they don't.  Well, they respond, but not to your actual arguments, as you will see.

     So, when you get something like what I got from Gendron, in response to an email you send to a friend, or to a post you make online, or some such thing...don't let it throw you off your game.  Expect it, and deal with it as it is.  Remember, you might have an audience that is watching - especially when posting in comboxes or on Facebook - and they are seeing that you, the Catholic, are making cogent arguments, yet you're getting pathetic responses in turn from the non-Catholic.  You never know what might cause a seed to be planted, but people seeing their side make no defense, or put up a pathetic defense, can often cause someone to pause and reflect and question - which is exactly what you want to have happen.

     And, once again, feel free to forward this newsletter to both Mike and his wife Jane.  I want Mike to again see the questions I previously asked him, that he has yet to answer.  Their email addresses are: mike@proclaimingthegospel.org and jane@proclaimingthegospel.org. 

     Next issue I will finally get to my encounter with the most bizarre and vicious anti-Catholic I have ever come across.  Stay tuned for that...


Mike Gendron

     (Note: this is an email from Gendron in response to Apologetics for the Masses newsletter #399 - https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/547-apologetics-for-the-masses-399-gendron-s-response-dismantled - in which I took apart his response to my analysis of his brochure.)

     John, How can you lie so blatantly? You said in your latest [news]letter, "So, below is Gendron's response.  1) He did not respond to any of the arguments I made, or should I say to any of the evidence I presented, which clearly demonstrate that he is deliberately distorting (aka lying about) Catholic teaching in his pamphlet, Which Jesus Do You Trust?"

     Did you already forget your response to my biblical position on the eternal security of a believer or is this how you keep deceiving your readership with blatant lies? I copied my portion and your response so you can apologize for the blatant lie to me and your readers.


My Response

Me?  I'm the one lying?  Please point out the specific lie I told.

I said that you did not respond to a single one of the arguments that I made in my last newsletter that showed you are deliberately distorting, through selective quotations of the Catechism, the teaching of the Catholic Church.  Please tell me exactly how it was that you responded to those arguments. 

You are capable of realizing that the quote you cite from my newsletter, is not about "eternal security," right?


Mike Gendron

     You lied saying I did not respond to your assertions. I picked one topic of assurance and responded with God’s Word. Now admit that I did respond and you lied.


My Response

     Did you by any chance actually read my newsletter, or the email I sent you after you accused me of lying?

     First of all, I did not say that you "did not respond to [my] assertions," in general.  What I said, and I will quote it exactly, is this: "1) He did not respond to any of the arguments I made, or should I say to any of the evidence I presented, which clearly demonstrate that he is deliberately distorting [aka lying about] Catholic teaching in his pamphlet, Which Jesus Do You Trust?"  You did with me, what you do with the Catholic Church, misquoted what I said and/or took it out of context.

     Second of all, what I did say about your arguments, such as they are, on absolute assurance was this: "2) Nor did he respond to my pointing out how he contradicts himself in his pamphlet, or to my argument that his "assurance" of salvation, since it is based on his fallible interpretation of Scripture, is actually no assurance at all."  Sorry, but you did not respond to that.  You responded by quoting from Scripture and you state that you are "not interpreting" those Scriptures.  Well, sorry, but you are.  See, here's the thing - I agree 100% with every single Scripture verse you quoted.  100%!!!  I disagree; however, with your fallible interpretation of those verses as meaning once saved always saved/eternal security.  Because, nowhere in any of those passages does it say "once a person believes in Jesus they can never lose their salvation," or, "once a person accepts Jesus into their heart as their personal Lord and Savior they are eternally secure in their salvation".  So, yes, you did interpret those verses and no, you did not address that particular argument.

     So, no, I told no lies.  You are the one, through your selective editing of your quotes from the Catechism, who is telling lies - lies about what the Catholic Church teaches through your deliberate distortions of Church teaching.  Why don't you re-print your Which Jesus Do You Trust? pamphlet and include the full quotes from the Catechism?  You won't do that, will you?  And why not?  Because it would put the lie to what you are selling people about the Catholic Church and that wouldn't be good for business, would it?



     This is a prime example of how someone reads something you write, and absolutely misses what you actually said because they focus on one part of what you said and ignore everything else.  Although, in Gendron's case, this shouldn't come as any surprise, seeing as how that's what he does with his Gendron Version of Catholic teaching.  He sees one part of a sentence, or paragraph, in the Catechism, and ignores everything around it to focus on that one part of what is written so that he can make it say what he wants it to say.  That's the essence of his Which Jesus Do You Trust? pamphlet. And, truth be told, this is what he also does when he reads the Bible.  He ignores a whole lot of verses, and even parts of verses, in order to get his fallible interpretation of the Bible - the Word of Gendron - which is opposed to what the Bible actually says. 

     In this instance, he focused on the first part of what I said, "He did not respond to any of the arguments I made..." and completely ignored the 2nd half of the sentence where I stated that the arguments he ignored were the ones that showed, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he was deliberately distorting Catholic teaching - through selective quotations from the Catechism - to further his own ends.  So, since he responded, albeit indirectly, to what I said about eternal security, he then proceeds to call me a liar for saying he didn't respond to my arguments, which is not what I actually said. 

     And, even after I reiterate what I said, that I never said he didn't respond at all, but that he didn't respond to my claim he was distorting Catholic teaching, what did he do?  He completely ignored me!  He read the first line of the email where I asked him how I lied, and then stopped right there.  Or, he did read the rest of the email, but he ran it through a filter in his brain which has pre-determined what I "really" said.  So, I said he didn't respond to certain arguments, but when it was run through that internal filter, it came out, "You didn't respond to any of my arguments."  That's the same filter he reads the Bible with.  So, he reads, for example, "My flesh is food indeed and My blood is drink indeed," and that gets run through the "What he really said" filter and comes out, "You must eat my symbolic flesh and drink my symbolic blood."     

     Folks, as many of you already know, dealing with people like this can be absolutely maddening.  I mean, you assume you're dealing with an intelligent person, right?  But then they say things that are just plain ol' ridiculous. Absurd.  Illogical and nonsensical. And you think to yourself, "Whaaat?"  How do you have a conversation with someone who can't pay attention to more than half of a sentence at a time?  Or who completely distorts what you said?  Well, you can't, but remember, if you have an audience, you go another round or two just so everyone who might be watching/reading can see that you are making a genuine and reasonable effort, but it will soon be obvious to all that you are beating your head against a brick wall.  And even if there is no audience, you still go another round or two until you're absolutely sure that this other person is not interested in learning the truth, is not at all open to what you have to say, and they continue to distort and/or simply dismiss out-of-hand everything you have to say.  In other words, they don't give a rip about learning what you, as a Catholics, say the Church actually teaches and why, because they have their version of Catholicism in their head, and no amount of evidence can sway them from that version. 

     Shake the dust...

[Those emails were sent to him 6 weeks ago.  To date, no response.]


Mike Gendron

     (This email was in response to the questions I asked him in Apologetics for the Masses #400 - https://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/551-apologetics-for-the-masses-400-questions-for-mike-gendron - and my saying that he claimed "there are no conditions - whatsoever! - to one gaining eternal life".)

   John, Where did "I claim there are no conditions - whatsoever! - to one gaining eternal life."


My Response


You stated that the Catholic Jesus, and I quote from your pamphlet, "offers only conditional life".  Which means the Gendron Jesus must "offer only unconditional life," right?  "Unconditional" means...wait for it...no conditions.  Do you now wish to say there are indeed conditions for life in Jesus?  If so, what are those conditions?

In Christ,

John Martignoni



     Ya gotta love it!  The Catholic Jesus "offers only conditional life" - i.e. salvation - he says in his pamphlet.  Which means, obviously, that the Gendron Jesus offers unconditional life - i.e. salvation.  Because if there were any conditions to the life the Gendron Jesus offers, then it, too, would be "conditional life" that He was offering.  So, through the use of ordinary logic and reason, one discerns that Gendron is claiming that his Jesus offers unconditional life. 

     Yet, when I state that he, Gendron, claims there are no conditions to eternal life - i.e., unconditional - he acts as if he never said such a thing.  Then, when I nail him on it and ask him if he would like to recant and to now say that there are indeed conditions for life in Jesus and what those conditions are, what is his response?  Nothing.  It's been 4 weeks since I replied to him and I haven't heard a thing.  So, I will repeat my question, Mike: Do you now wish to say there are indeed conditions for life in Jesus?  If so, what are those conditions?

     Furthermore, I will once again ask the series of questions I previously asked of you.  Since I answered all of the questions you asked me, I thought you might want to reciprocate by answering my questions.  Most of them just require a short yes or no answer, or a Scripture verse.  Here they are, again:

1) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must repent of your sins (Luke 5:32, 15:7; Acts 11:18)...yes or no?
2) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must confess your sins (1 John 1:9)...yes or no? 
3) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must do the will of God (Matthew 7:21)...yes or no? 
4) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must forgive others of their sins against you (Matthew 6:14-15)...yes or no? 
5) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man (John 6:53)...yes or no? 
6) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must make an act of faith in God (Hebrews 11:6)...yes or no? 
7) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must be holy (Hebrews 12:14)...yes or no? 
8) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must keep the commandments (Matthew 19:16-17)...yes or no? 
9) Is it a condition of your salvation that you must love God and love others (1 John 2:9-11; Matthew 22:37-40)...yes or no?
10) If there are no conditions for your salvation (according to the Word of Gendron), then is everyone saved...yes or no?  If not, why not?
11) Will God give eternal life to the person who, by patience in well-doing, seeks for glory and honor and immortality (Rom 2:6-7)...yes or no?
12) How did Jesus answer the question, "What good deed must I do to have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16).  How would you answer that question?
13) Do you believe the writer of the Gospel of Mark was inspired by the Holy Spirit...yes or no? If, yes, why do you believe that? (In other words, whose witness are you relying on for that?)
14) 1 Timothy 2:4 says that God wants all men to be saved, so are all men saved...yes or no?  If, no, why not?
15) Can a non-believer be a branch of the vine that is Christ (John 15:1-2)...yes or no?
16) Why does Jesus tell believers to pluck out their eye or cut off their hand to avoid sin and being sent to Hell (Matthew 5:29-30), if there is nothing that believers can do to cause them to lose their salvation?
17) Was the Prodigal Son saved before he left his father's house and squandered his inheritance (Luke 15:11-32)...yes or no?
18) Since you do not, by your own admission, have the ability to infallibly interpret Scripture, could some of your beliefs about the Catholic Church, which are based on your fallible interpretations of Scripture, be wrong...yes or no?

Closing Comments

I hope everyone is having a good summer and staying healthy.  Please keep the Bible Christian Society in your prayers, we keep all of you and your loved ones in ours.  'Til next time...


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Apologetics for the Masses