Apologetics for the Masses #454 - Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video Eviscerated (Part 1)

Bible Christian Society


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Taking apart Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Viral Video...Piece-By-Piece. 

General Comments

Hey folks,

A few things:

1) My new book - A Blue Collar Response to Protestantism: Catholic Questions That Protestants Can't Answer - is scheduled for release the 2nd week of October.  I'll let you know when they start taking pre-orders. 

2) I'll be on Catholic Answers Live! at 5:00 PM (Central) on Monday, August 28th.  Tune in to your local Catholic radio for the show, or listen on the internet.  Call in with some questions (and, of course, say some nice things about the Bible Christian Society!). 

3) I'll be doing another Lunch and Learn at Holy Spirit parish in Huntsville, AL, from 11:30 - 1:00, on Tuesday, September 12th.  Topic: How to defend your faith.


With more than one million online views, Mike Gendron is pumped up about his anti-Catholic YouTube video which is titled: "Ex-Catholic Exposes the TWISTED Teachings of the Catholic Church".  You can view it here if you so desire: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdlczbO5Csc).  It's a video of a presentation he did at Revolve Bible Church which is located, of all places, in San Juan Capistrano, California.  The title of his presentation was: "Catholics and Christians - How Different?"

Gendron sent me a link to this video to see if, by watching it, I would get saved.  So, I'm going to analyze it over the next few issues and see if it's convincing enough for me to convert from being a Catholic Christian to being a Sola Scriptura Sola Fide Once Saved Always Saved Interpreting the Bible According to My Own Authority Christian. 

Oh, one other thing, when he learned of what I am doing here with his video, he sent me an email in which he said, "Please make sure you quote me accurately."  I thought that was a bit ironic coming from him, given all of the misrepresentations he continually makes about the Catholic Church. 

Okay, what I'm going to do, is go through his video and simply quote from it and then comment on those quotes.  My comments will be addressed directly to Mike Gendron.  I'm doing that because I am going to be sending him every one of these newsletters and giving him the opportunity to respond directly to them and have his comments published in this newsletter (a courtesy he would never reciprocate in regard to his mailing list).  I'll give the time stamps for where in the video those quotes are so that anyone can go back and check to make sure I've quoted it correctly and to also make sure of the context that I'm giving. Oh, and if there are no quote marks on something from the video, then I've simply summarized or paraphrased what was said in the video.

Alright, let's have at it...


Gendron Anti-Catholic Video
2:10 - Gendron says: "The Catholic Church is definitely a counterfeit form of Christianity. It's an apostate form of Christianity.

2:43 - "I love Roman Catholics.  I've given my life to reach them. But I hate the institution that keeps them on the wide road to destruction with a false and fatal gospel...We love the people, but we hate what is false."

My Comments
First of all, before I comment on specifics from the video, I want to make note of the fact, Mike, that the comments section is turned off on the video.  Hmmm.  I wonder why that is?  It seems to me that if you were getting glowing reviews for the video that you would not have turned off the comments section.  By any chance were Catholics leaving comments about all the errors/misrepresentations/contradictions/lies in the video, Mike, and you didn't really want "true Christians" to see that kind of information?  Just wondering.

Anyway, on to the content of the video. 

Regarding these 1st two quotes: Mike, if I can show you that a number of things you say about the Catholic Church - whether in this video, other videos, or in your written articles - are false, will you renounce and retract your statements publicly?  I mean, you say you "hate what is false", so if I show your statements to be false, will you renounce them...yes or no?  Isn't that what a truly saved Christian would do if he was shown to be spreading error about what other people believe?

Secondly, will you admit that when you said the Catholic Church is "definitely" a "counterfeit form of Christianity", and that it is "apostate", that it would have been more accurate if you had said, "In my opinion, the Catholic Church is definitely a counterfeit form of Christianity," and, "In my opinion the Catholic Church is apostate?"  After all, the Bible nowhere says: "The Catholic Church is definitely a counterfeit form of Christianity...," does it?  Which means your judgment regarding the Church is based on your fallible interpretations of Scripture (aka: your opinion), correct?

Gendron Anti-Catholic Video
3:00 - "We want to look through the lens of Scripture, which is our supreme authority for discerning truth from error."

My Comments
Mike, you like to think that you go by the Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura), but isn't it actually true that you go by your fallible, non-authoritative, private interpretations of Scripture alone?  I will show this to be true below.  You read a verse of Scripture and then you essentially say, "This is what that means...," and proceed to give your private interpretations of those verses.  You do it all the time.  The question I have for you is this: Are your private interpretations of Scripture infallible...yes or no?  If not, could you possibly...just possibly...be wrong in one or more of your interpretations of the Bible...yes or no?  You don't go by the Word of God alone, Mike, you go by the Word of Gendron alone.  You don't look through the "lens of Scripture" you look through the "lens of your fallible interpretations of Scripture".  Deny it...tell me I'm wrong on that.

Gendron Anti-Catholic Video
3:20 - Is the Catholic Church: 1) the one true apostolic church founded by Christ; or 2) a Christian denomination made up of brothers and sisters in Christ; or 3) an apostate church whose members need to be evangelized?  "You be the jury!"

My Comments
I will indeed be the jury.  But, I will be an informed jury.  A jury that recognizes error when it sees it.  A jury that will not let you get away with misrepresentations, if not outright lies, about the Catholic Church and its teachings. A jury that will point out your contradictions and your lack of logic. A jury that will highlight the fact that you aren't trying to convince people using the Word of God, but rather by using the Word of Gendron.  Let's get on with the trial!

Gendron Anti-Catholic Video
3:45 - "Ever since the Lord Jesus founded His church 2000 years ago, there have been 2 streams of Christianity running side-by-side. You have the apostolic church, this is the church the Lord Jesus founded...but then you also have the apostate church.  It, too, has been operating for 2000 years.  It's made up of churches, denominations, and individuals who departed from the true church or departed from the faith of the apostles."

My Comments
Mike, for someone who claims that Scripture is your "supreme authority" for discerning truth from error, I have to ask you: Where does the Bible say, "There have been two streams of Christianity running side-by-side" for the last 2000 years, "Ever since the Lord Jesus founded His church?"  Can you give me book, chapter, and verse on that?  Can you name some of these "churches, denominations, and individuals" that were a part of the 2nd "stream" of Christianity to which you were referring?  Are you talking about the various heresies that have appeared throughout the centuries, and calling them churches and denominations?  The Gnostic denomination?  The Arian denomination?  The Pelagian denomination?  Please clarify who these churches, denominations, and individuals were.

Gendron Anti-Catholic Video
4:40 - "How do we know it's been operating for 2000 years?  In 1 John 2:19, John said, 'They went out from us because they were never part of us.  Had they been part of us, they would have remained with us.'  Another way we can look at that: 'They went out from us because they were never born again.  Had they been born again, they would have remained with us.'  But they departed from the faith of the Apostles."

My Comments|
Okay, here is exactly what I was talking about above.  You are not giving us the Word of God, you are giving us the Word of Gendron. 1 John 2:19 says absolutely nothing about whether or not the people who "went out from us" were born again or not.  You have your preconceived beliefs and you are interpreting Scripture in such a way as to fit those beliefs.  Since you believe in Once Saved Always Saved, you are interpreting this verse through that particular lens of the Word of Gendron.  But, in actuality, nowhere does the Word of God mention "born again" or not "born again" in this passage.  You are, essentially, adding to Scripture here.

Also, you said that those people who "went out" had "departed from the faith of the Apostles".  Your exact words.  Could you explain to me how a person can depart from something they apparently never had?  Can I "depart" from my belief in the Trinity, for example, if I never actually believed in the Trinity?  Can I "depart" from my faith in Jesus as the Christ if I never believed that Jesus is the Christ?  How can someone "depart" from the faith of the Apostles, if they never had the faith of the Apostles?  I mean, according to your theology, if they had had the faith of the Apostles, they would have been saved and would never have "went out".  So, again, how did they depart from that which, according to you, they never had?

Gendron Anti-Catholic Video
5:07 - "And Paul told us that this would happen in 1 Tim 4: 'In latter times, some will depart from the faith and follow doctrines of demons.'  The fingerprints are on the Roman Catholic Church because Paul defines one of the doctrines of demons they will follow: forbidding their priests to marry."

My Comments|        
Whoop, there it is!  Just a few problems, though, Mike.  If you don't mind, could you explain why the Word of God says these things will happen "in latter times", but the Word of Gendron says they happened immediately...from the beginning...in the former times?  Does "latter times" mean "Ever since the Lord Jesus founded His church 2000 years ago" in your theology?

Another issue I have here, is that you are clearly identifying the "Roman Catholic Church" as the apostate church that has run parallel to the apostolic church "Ever since the Lord Jesus founded His church 2000 years ago".  Yet, at the 3:45 mark, as I mentioned above, you said this apostate church was made up of a number of "churches, denominations, and individuals".  What churches and denominations has the Catholic Church been made up of, Mike?  Could you name some of the Catholic Church's denominations?  As a Catholic, I'm not familiar with any of my church's denominations, so please enlighten me on this.  Or, what about these other "churches" within the Catholic Church?  It sounds to me like you're describing Protestantism, but calling it the Catholic Church.  So a little clarification (actually, a lot), would be most helpful on this. 

Another problem with what you've said so far: Where exactly does 1 Tim 4 talk about forbidding "priests" to marry?  Isn't that more of the Word of Gendron as opposed to the Word of God?  You said that in 1 Tim 4 Paul "defines" one of the doctrines of demons as "forbidding their priests to marry".  But, 1 Tim 4 doesn't actually say that, does it?  1 Tim 4:3 talks about forbidding "marriage", period.  It doesn't say, "forbidding priests to marry".  That's your private, fallible, non-authoritative opinion of what the verse says, right?  By the way, just so you know, the Catholic Church does not forbid marriage.  I was married in the Catholic Church.  Lots of people I know were married in the Catholic Church.  So, no, the Catholic Church does not forbid marriage.  So, that's a problem with the Word of Gendron (i.e., your fallible interpretation) in regard to this passage.

Furthermore, the Word of God refers to this forbidding of marriage as a doctrine.  That's another problem for your attempt to pin this passage to the Catholic Church and its practice of priestly celibacy.  It is not now, nor has it ever been, a "doctrine" of the Catholic Church that priests must take a vow of celibacy before being ordained to the priesthood.  It is what is known as a "discipline".  It can be changed.  Doctrines cannot be changed.  Plus, you apparently are ignorant of this fact (or maybe not), but there are a number of married Catholic priests.  The Eastern rites of the Catholic Church are full of married priests.  That doesn't fit too well with the misinformation you were spreading in that video, does it?  Plus, just so you know, there are even married priests in the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.  They are the exception, not the rule, but they do indeed exist.  So, given that information, will you renounce and retract what you stated on this particular topic in that video?  After all, "we hate what is false," right?

Are you not aware that the vow of celibacy that most priests in the Latin Rite of the Church take fits perfectly with what Jesus said in Matthew 19, about some who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven?  That's what a vow of celibacy does.  It makes the priest a eunuch for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Do you believe that is a bad thing?  By the way, Jesus said that right after He said that if you divorce your wife and marry another, you are committing adultery.  You know, I've been told by some that the reason you left the Catholic Church is that you divorced and remarried and the church, like Jesus, did not recognize your 2nd marriage.  So you left the church.  Is that true?  I'm giving you the opportunity here and now to state the accuracy of that claim.  Also, the vow of celibacy that the priests take fits in perfectly with what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7: "The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided."  So, again, are you claiming that for a priest to take a vow of celibacy, in order to be undivided in his service of the Lord, that it is a bad thing? 

To wrap this particular newsletter up, isn't this whole thing about there being a false "apostate" church that has run parallel to the true "apostolic" church, "Ever since the Lord Jesus founded His church 2000 years ago," just your way of trying to distract from all of the historical evidence for the Catholic Church being the church founded by Jesus Christ?  What I mean is, that with this video, you have essentially admitted that the Catholic Church has been around since the beginning of Christianity, or "Ever since the Lord Jesus founded His church 2000 years ago."  But, that's a problem for you, and for all of Protestantism. Apparently, you were encountering more and more arguments from Catholics that contained all the historical evidence that the Catholic Church is indeed 2000 years old.  You could no longer ignore this evidence.  So, instead of admitting that the Catholic Church might indeed be the church Jesus founded, you concocted this whole load of garbage about an apostate parallel church existing side-by-side with the "true" church.  The apostate church being, of course, the Catholic Church. 

But, you've got a number of problems with that.  First of all, that is not a view that is supported by the Bible.  You're having to really stretch some of your fallible scriptural interpretations to get to where you want to go.  But, no matter how much you stretch, or twist, the Bible, it just doesn't say what you want it to say on this. 

Secondly, we have all this evidence from history for the Catholic Church, but where is all the history, then, for this "true apostolic" church of yours that you claim was not the Catholic Church?  All the early historical documents we have in regard to Christianity are, pretty much, all about the "apostate" Catholic Church.  Where is the evidence, if it's not the Catholic Church, of this "true apostolic" church?  Why was it the Catholic Church responding to all the early, as well as later, heresies?  Did this "true apostolic" church of yours call any councils to combat heresies like was done with the Council of Jerusalem?  Where was the "true apostolic" church?  And, who were the leaders of this "true apostolic" church of yours, for example, in the 1st century?  2nd century?  5th century?  8th century?  And beyond? Where are the centuries-old ruins of the church buildings of this "true apostolic" church. Where is the historical evidence?  The archaelogical evidence?  Not to mention the scriptural evidence? 

Now, maybe you answer these questions later on in your video - I don't know, I haven't watched all of it.  If so, I'll re-visit all of these questions in a later newsletter.  But, again, it just seems to me that you've concocted this whole line of argumentation out of thin air in order to respond to the challenge presented by all of the evidence for the Catholic Church being 2000 years old and being able to historically trace its founding back to the time of Christ. Evidence so strong that you could no longer ignore it.  Because, again, in this video, you have confirmed, in a back-handed sort of way, that you believe the Catholic Church to be 2000 years old and to be able to trace its origins back to "Ever since the Lord Jesus founded His church 2000 years ago."  You may not realize it, Mike, but that is actually a step in the right direction.

Closing Comments

Well, even though this video is rather painful to watch, it's a whole lot of fun to "analyze".  Gendron, I believe, is wrestling with his innermost conscience when it comes to the Catholic Church and her claims to be the "true apostolic" church that was founded by Jesus.  He's having to go to greater and greater extremes to prove - to himself I believe - that the Catholic Church just can't be the church founded by Jesus.  He needs a good smack over the head by the Holy Spirit, so please keep him, and his wife, in your prayers!


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Apologetics for the Masses