Apologetics for the Masses #441 - A Facebook Conversation with a Protestant, Part 4

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How to Stump an Anti-Catholic - Facebook Conversations with Marie Taylor and friends, Part 4

General Comments

    Well, I want to thank all of you for saying prayers for my son in regard to his taking the ACT test.  Unfortunately, he fell just shy of the 30 he needed to get the full scholarships we were hoping for.  So, we'll have to be satisfied with the partial scholarships he's already been offered.  But, again, I very much appreciate all of the prayers!


     This week is going to be a pretty short newsletter because right as I sat down at noon to start putting it together, the power went out in a good bit of Pleasant Grove - where my Bible Christian Society office is - due to some really high wind gusts (60-70 mph) in a thunderstorm that passed through and which apparently knocked something down.  So, I can't get into my office computer that has some WordPerfect files of my conversations with Marie Taylor and Co., which I was going to use to put this newsletter together. 

     Thus, I'm going to go into Facebook and hunt down a short exchange I had with Ed Roper on repentance and comment on that, and then will do more next week. 


Ed Roper on Repentance (as found on the "John Martignoni and the Bible Christian Society" Facebook page).
Repentance is a consequence [of salvation].
John Martignoni
Ed, uhhmm...the Bible says repentance leads to salvation, not the other way around.  2 Cor 7:10, "For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death."
My Comments
     Okay, do you see how he made a comment and did not give a Scripture verse to back up what he said?  He didn't give a verse because there is not verse, in all of Scripture, that says, "Repentance is a consequence of salvation."  Not one.  So, whenever you see a Protestant make a statement like this, with no Scripture verse, just assume that's because there is no verse that says what he is saying.  The best thing you can do when that happens, is ask: "Where does the Bible say that?"  Which I didn't do directly here, but did in an indirect manner by quoting what the Bible actually does say.
     When you ask that question, what do you think is going to happen?  Well, you're going to get a response like the one Ed gives below, which I'll comment on in a minute.  But, when you look at all of the verses he cites below, again, not a single one of them says, "Repentance is a consequence of salvation."  So, your next step is to point that out to whoever you're talking with and ask, again: "Where does the Bible say, 'Repentance is a consequence of salvation?'" (Or whatever it is they are asserting it says.)  And make sure you use quotation marks.  (A lot of Protestants don't seem to understand what quotation marks mean.)  Because when they can't give you a verse that says exactly what they said the Bible says, which you just quoted back to them, then that is a tacit admission that they are not going by the Bible, but rather by their private, non-authoritative, fallible interpretation of the Bible.  Which is a very important point to make.  We are dealing here not with the Word of God, but with the Word of Ed. 
     And another thing, I'm going to give you a resource here that you need to be very familiar with, if you're not already.  When you get a statement from a Protestant like the one Ed gave here, go to www.biblegateway.com, put that statement, in quotes, into the search engine, and look and see if it's anywhere in the Bible.  [Note: you can use any one of a number of Bible translations they have on that website, I always use the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition, unless I am deliberately looking to see how the King James Version words a particular verse.]
     So, in this case, when I put the statement that Ed made into the search engine, in quotes, what happens?  "Sorry, we didn’t find any results for your search."  So, Ed gave me, again, not what the Bible says, but what Ed says the Bible says.  So, the next thing I did was to do a search on "repent" and then another one on "repentance".  Both times I get results from the Old and New Testaments.  I limited myself to the New Testament verses.  And, what did I find?  Again, it is exceedingly obvious that one needs to repent before one is saved, not the other way around, as Ed would have us believe.  I mean, that's just common sense.  You can't be saved unless your sins are forgiven.  And, your sins won't be forgiven unless you repent of them.  Which means, repentance comes before salvation, not after. 
     For example: Mark 1:4 says that John the Baptist came "preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins."  Repentance leads to forgiveness of sins.  Forgiveness of sins is necessary for salvation.  Therefore, repentance comes before salvation.  Then we have Luke 5:32, which absolutely destroys Ed's contention: "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."  Ed says that repentance comes after one has been saved...after you've become one of the righteous, the saved.  Yet, Jesus says, He has come to call sinners to repentance...NOT the saved, or the righteous...to repentance.  Acts 11:18, "When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, 'Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.'”  "Repentance unto life."  I.e., repentance unto salvation.  Repentance comes before salvation and leads to salvation, not as a consequence of salvation. 
     And one last verse from Scripture: Matthew 11:20, "Then he began to upbraid the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent."  This makes absolutely no sense in Ed Roper's theology.  Why not?  Because the Word of Ed says that God calls men to salvation and that once they are saved, they will then repent.  But, Jesus is getting upset with these folks in the cities where He did mighty works because they didn't repent.  But, according to the Word of Ed, God needed to save them before they could repent, and Jesus (aka God) didn't save them.  So, in essence, Jesus was upset with them...going by the logic of Ed's theology...because He didn't save them.  And, since He didn't save them, they couldn't repent.  So, if it's Jesus' fault that they didn't repent, why is He getting mad at them?!  Apparently they weren't members of Ed and Marie's circle of friends - aka "The Elect".  Which again leads one to ask, why was Jesus upset with them for not repenting if it's His fault they didn't repent?  Makes no sense whatsoever! 
     Which is yet another demonstration, of the many we've had in these newsletters over the past 20 years or so, of the scriptural absurdities and contradictions one runs into when one bases their theology on their own private, fallible interpretations of Scripture.  The reason, in this instance, that Ed runs into scriptural difficulty, is because he cannot, according to his theology, admit that repentance leads to salvation.  He absolutely cannot make that admission.  Why?  Because repentance is a work, and the Word of Ed teaches that works have absolutely nothing at all to do with one's salvation.  Sola Fide, baby!  So, because of his predetermined belief, He cannot accept the very clear Word of God which says repentance leads to salvation.  He has to make Scripture fit his belief instead of making his belief fit Scripture. 
Ed Roper
While repentance is not a work that earns salvation, repentance unto salvation does result in works. It is impossible to truly change your mind without changing your actions in some way. In the Bible, repentance results in a change in behavior. That is why John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). A person who has truly repented of sin and exercised faith in Christ will give evidence of a changed life (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:19–23; James 2:14–26).
My Comments
     I never responded to this because other people were having at him and he was getting pretty testy...which led to him being raptured from the page.  But look at what he is saying here, does it make any sense given what he has already said?  No, none!  First, note what he does - he tries to pull a fast one.  He changes the argument.  He claims "repentance is not a work that earns salvation."  Well, who said it was?  The argument is about whether repentance comes before or after salvation.  All I said, and all Scripture says, is that repentance leads to salvation.  He did not defend, at all, the notion that repentance is a result, or a "consequence," of salvation.  Instead, he switched to repentance doesn't "earn" salvation.  Then he says that "repentance unto salvation" does result in works.  So, he appropriates the quote from 2 Cor 7:10 that I had hit him with, and tries to pretend that it says what he was saying.  But it says the complete opposite of what he said.  What an absolute fraud he is! 
     And I have no basic problem with the rest of what he says here about repentance, but, again, it is not the original argument he was making.  And not a single one of those Scripture verses he cites states, or even implies, that repentance comes after salvation.  Don't let anyone do this to you, folks.  This is why you have to pay close attention to what the other guy is saying, because as I always have said, their theology will start contradicting itself after just one, or at the most two, questions from you.  But you have to pay attention in order to clue in on the contradictions and call 'em on them. 

Ed Roper
Repentance is not a work we do to earn salvation. No one can repent and come to God unless God pulls that person to Himself (John 6:44). Repentance is something God gives—it is only possible because of His grace (Acts 5:31; 11:18). No one can repent unless God grants repentance. All of salvation, including repentance and faith, is a result of God drawing us, opening our eyes, and changing our hearts. God’s longsuffering leads us to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), as does His kindness (Romans 2:4).
My Comments
     Again, not the original argument.  No one is arguing that one comes to God of their own power, without any grace whatsoever from on high.  That's nowhere stated nor implied.  All of this is simply a head fake to keep miles away from any notion that repentance, a work, has anything at all to do with our salvation.  And he does this by trying to twist the argument and, essentially, twist Catholic teaching.  "Repentance is not a work we do to earn salvation."  Again, who said it is? 
     If I had gotten back to him before he was raptured, I would have asked him, again and again if necessary: Do you have to repent in order to have your sins forgiven?  And, do you have to have your sins forgiven in order to be saved?  His fellow member of "The Elect," Marie Taylor, said that, "Yes," you have to have your sins forgiven in order to be saved.  And Scripture tells us we must repent in order to have our sins forgiven.  So, he would have been in quite the bind.  Although, he would have then used all caps to say, "I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU SAY, I CARE WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS!!!!!"  Which, when faced with such a brilliantly subtle argument, I would have had no choice but to repent of my arguments.
     Folks, it is not all that difficult to thoroughly discredit the bankrupt theology of Protestantism.  Pay attention.  Use the Bible.  Use common sense.  Use simple logic.  Ask questions based on what they themselves have said.  Look for the contradictions - contradictions within and between their own statements and contradictions between their statements and Scripture.  The contradictions, the confusion, the illogic is all over the place. 

Closing Comments

I hope all of you have a great week!  And, if I may be so bold, I would like to ask for even more prayers from you.  This time for a special evangelization project, the first parts of which I am putting into motion this coming week.  It's going to take months, even years, to all come together, so keep the prayers coming, please.  As it moves forward, I will keep you informed each time a significant step is taken.


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Apologetics for the Masses