Apologetics for the Masses #459 - Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video Eviscerated; Part 6

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

General Comments

Hey folks,

Just one thing...a request for prayers.  A father emailed me to ask for prayers for his son, Noah, who is autistic.  Noah bangs his head, to the point of hurting himself, when he gets upset or frustrated.  The prayer is for Noah to be able to overcome that harmful behavior.  Specifically, the dad is asking if folks could pray a rosary for Noah.  There's 65,000+ of you receiving this newsletter, so if each of you would say a rosary for Noah, I think that might go a long way towards his healing from this self-harming behavior. 


Okay, more taking apart Gendron's anti-Catholic video.  Last week I gave you a homework assignment - how would you respond to the things he said in the specific part of his video that I referenced in that newsletter?  This week I'm going to give you how I respond to them. I'm not claiming my response is absolutely THE way to respond to this garbage, it's just how I respond to it.  Note: No long explanations.  No just taking and accepting what he says at face value.  Asking questions.  Pointing out fundamental flaws in his reasoning.  Pointing out any lies...I mean...pointing out any "misstatements" he makes.


Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
11:00 - “So, let’s look at the differences between Roman Catholics and Evangelical Christians.  There are 7 that I would like you to look at...1) We have a different church; 2) We submit to a different authority; 3) We worship and trust a different Jesus; 4) We believe a different Gospel; 5) We have a different view of Mary; and please don’t miss this, 6) We have a different view of sin; and, ultimately, this leads to 7) A different path to eternity."

My Comments
I agree 100% with all 7 differences:

1) We have a different church.  The Catholic Church is the one and only church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit; Gendron, by his rejection of the authority of Jesus' church, has separated himself from the Body of Christ, the church. Don't know what church he is in, but it ain't the Church of Jesus Christ.

2) We submit to a different authority.  Indeed.  Catholics submit to the authority of the church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit.  Mike Gendron submits to the authority of Mike Gendron, and no one else.  He may "claim" that he submits to the authority of the Bible, but, as I have shown time and again, and will continue to show, he actually submits to the Word of Gendron (his private, fallible, non-authoritative interpretations of the Bible) instead of the Word of God.

3) We worship and trust a different Jesus.  Absolutely!  Catholics worship and trust the Jesus as found in the Word of God.  Gendron worships and trusts the Jesus as found in the Word of Gendron. 

4) We believe a different Gospel.  Again...absolutely!  Catholics believe in the fullness of the Gospel as found in the Word of God.  Gendron believes in, at best, a partial gospel...a truncated gospel...one that makes a mockery of so many of Jesus' words, particularly about the way that "leads to life" being hard (Matt 7:14). The Word of Gendron says, "The way that leads to life is easy!  Just accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and Savior, and that's it...you're good to go!  What's so hard about that?!  None of this stuff about loving and forgiving your neighbor, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, being meek and merciful, striving for holiness...those are all filthy rags of works."

5) We have a different view of Mary.  That's an understatement!  Catholics love and honor and respect Mary, just as her son, Jesus, did.  We hold her in higher esteem than any other human being who has ever lived.  She is the first Christian.  The prototype for the Church.  She is the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son, and the spouse of the Holy Spirit.  No other human being will ever have such a relationship with the Trinity.  Mike Gendron views Mary as, basically, an incubator for Jesus.  Nothing special about her.  Just an ordinary sinful human being just like everyone else.  She's not that special.  It's pretty sad, actually.

6) We have a different view of sin.  Again...absolutely!  For the Catholic, sin separates you from Christ.  Sin has consequences.  We believe in two types of sin - mortal and venial.  All of which we find in the Word of God.  For Mike Gendron, sin has absolutely no consequences. In spite of all the warnings in the New Testament about the consequences of sin, Gendron ignores them and believes that sin has no impact, whatsoever, on one's salvation.  So, again, Catholics go with the Word of God on this one, Mike goes with the Word of Gendron.

7) A different path to eternity.  Indeed.  For Catholics, the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life.  It involves following the will of God.  Being holy.  Resisting temptation and sin.  Loving your neighbor.  Denying yourself and picking up your cross daily.  Sacrifice.  For Gendron, the gate that leads to life is wide, no problem to pass through, and the way is easy.  Again, no need to avoid sin because sin has no consequences for your salvation.  Jesus already paid the toll, so we're free to do whatever.  The Word of God vs. the Word of Gendron.

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
11:45 - “So, let’s look at each one of these with a little more detail.”  

{Here I’m going to sometimes summarize the differences that Gendron highlights, sometimes quote him as he goes through all 7 of these differences.  When I quote him, I will use quotation marks and it will be in italics.}

11:50 - 1) A Different Church - Christian vs. Catholic

a) The Christian church has only one head - Jesus Christ - vs. the Catholic Church which has two heads.  He mentions the papacy, but not the other head, so I'm assuming he means the 2nd head - according to the Word of Gendron - is Jesus Christ.  He states that Catholics believe the papacy is the head of “not only the Catholic Church, but...the Christian church, at large.

b) “How do you join the church of Jesus Christ?...Only by the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.”  How do you join the Catholic Church?  By water Baptism.

c) “Every member of the Lord’s church is sanctified by the truth.  Members of the Catholic Church are inclusive and tolerant of all other religions.”

d) “The Christian church is Spirit-led, the Catholic Church is man-centered.”

e) “Every member of God’s church has their name enrolled in Heaven.  This disqualifies the Roman Catholic Church because they say their members can go to Hell if they die in mortal sin. We know we can never go to Hell once we’ve been born of the Spirit of God because of that great promise in Romans 8:1, ‘There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

f) “The Christian church has two ordinances; the Catholic Church has seven sacraments.”

g) “The Christian church contends earnestly for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints; the Catholic Church departed from the faith of the Apostles.”

h) “The Christian church proclaims the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the Catholic Church distorts the Gospel of Christ.”

My Comments
All of this can be responded to by simply saying, "In your opinion."  "In your private, fallible, non-authoritative opinion, Gendron."  And that's pretty much all you really need to say. 

No arguments from Scripture, well, one.  Even though he cites Romans 8:1 about no condemnation for those in Christ, nowhere does he cite a passage about a person not being able to choose to no longer be in Christ...through sin.  As we find in, for example, Romans 6:16, and elsewhere. 

And, not a single quote from the Catechism to support anything he claims about the Catholic Church.  Two heads of the church?  Man-centered?  Inclusive and tolerant of all other religions?  False.  False.  False.  You know, Gendron claims that, “Every member of the Lord’s church is sanctified by the truth".  If that's true, and Gendron is in the "Lord's church," then why does he lie so much?  After all, he claims to have been a "devout Catholic," so wouldn't he, having been a devout Catholic, know that what he was saying isn't true?  Although, he does get it right when he says Catholics believe the Pope is the head of the entire Christian church.  Unfortunately, for Gendron, the Catholic Church is the one and only Christian church.  And, he gets it right about entrance into the Church through water baptism. But, that's just going by what the Word of God says and by what the 1st century church taught.  Oh, and the 2nd century church, and 3rd century church, and 4th, and 5th...

But, again, all that really needs to be said is, "Says who?!"  Or, the line I like to always use: "As a Catholic, I believe in every single verse of the Bible...every single one!  However, I don't necessarily agree with your private, fallible, non-authoritative interpretation of what the Bible says."  What can he, or any Protestant, really say to that?  As Catholics, we don't disagree with the Bible, we disagree with Mike Gendron's skewed version of the Bible. 

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
15:07 - 2) “We also have a different authority that we submit to.  Christians submit to the supreme authority of Scripture in all matters of faith and practice.  Roman Catholics have three different authorities...Scripture is one, but they also have their Sacred Tradition and their infallible bishops.  So the issue of authority continues to be the biggest practical divide between Protestants and Catholics."  At last, something Mike and I agree on!

My Comments
Authority is indeed the "biggest practical divide between Protestants and Catholics".  And I will say, once again (and many more times in the future), that Mike Gendron does not believe in Sola Scriptura as the "supreme authority"; rather, he believes in Sola Mike Gendron's fallible interpretation of Scriptura as the "supreme authority".  So, which authority do you want to submit to?  The authority of Mike Gendron and his fallible interpretations of Scripture, or the authority of the Church founded by Jesus Christ and guided by the Holy Spirit?  For me, it's a pretty easy choice.

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
15:46 - This is an absolute gem from Gendron: “Last night we had an opportunity to witness to our server at the restaurant.  He said he was a Roman Catholic.  And I asked him, ‘What authority do you submit to, to know whether or not you believe the truth?’ And he deflected the question because he had no authority.  His authority was subjective.”  He then goes on to claim that the Magisterium “sits above” Scripture and Tradition.  “And they [the bishops] do an amazing job of twisting and distorting Scripture, so that it conforms to their ungodly tradition.”  

My Comments
"His authority was subjective."  Really?!  Yet, the authority of each individual, interpreting the Bible for themselves, such as Gendron, is objective authority?  What a joke!  Gendron has admitted that he has no authority.  That we shouldn't go by what he says, but by what the Word of God says.  Yet, his entire presentation is based on the fact that he believes we should go by what he says. If anyone disagrees with what Mike Gendron says the Bible says, then that person isn't a Christian.  That person is going to Hell.  Furthermore, Gendron is, essentially, indirectly claiming, throughout his presentation, and in all of his articles, pamphlets, talks, etc., that his private, fallible interpretations of Scripture are indeed the Word of God.  He claims not to be infallible, but then gives presentations where he is presenting himself as basically being infallible.  He calls things the Word of God that are not the Word of God but the Word of Gendron.  They are how he interprets the Bible, not the actual words of the Bible.  Disagree with what Gendron says the Bible says and you are "departing from the faith of the Apostles".  He is a perfect example of what I call the Protestant Fallibility Paradox - He is fallible in theory; infallible in practice. 

What authority do you submit to Mike?  The Bible?  Hardly.  The Bible says adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom (1 Cor 6:9) and Jesus says those who divorce their wives and marry another are adulterers.  You divorced your wife and married another.  So, do you submit to the authority of the Bible on this?

Finally, Mike, you know better than to claim that the Magisterium "sits above" the Word of God.  Catechism, #86: "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant.  It teaches only what has been handed on to it."  I thought you read the Catechism?  Will you renounce your statement?

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video

17:00 - He then cites Acts 17:11 and the example of the Bereans as a scriptural example of folks going by the Scriptures as their ultimate authority.  He says that the Bereans were “testing” Paul to find out if he was teaching the truth. “Shouldn’t your Pope come under the same scrutiny?  Shouldn’t your priests?  Shouldn’t anyone who opens the Bible be tested with Scripture?”

My Comments
The example of the Bereans, in Acts 17:11, which Gendron cites as essentially "proof" of Sola Scriptura, is anything but: 1) The Bereans, who were Jews, obviously had not been able to correctly interpret the Bible on their own.  It took Paul, someone who was infallibly guided by the Holy Spirit, to correctly interpret the Scriptures for them...to explain the meaning of the Scriptures to them.  So, no individual reading of Scripture to arrive at the truth is going on here.  I.e., no Sola Scriptura; 2) If this is a case of "Sola Scriptura," then it is a case of "Sola Old Testament Scriptura," as the only Scriptures the Jews had were the Old Testament. Is Gendron okay with Sola Old Testament Scriptura?  3) Why were the Bereans having to "search" the Scriptures?  Because Paul was quoting the Scriptures to them, and then explaining those Scriptures in light of Jesus, but the Bereans didn't even know if the passages Paul was quoting were actually in the Scriptures!  So they had to search to see if Paul was accurately quoting Scripture.  Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Sola Scriptura.

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
18:23 - “We look at the Lord Jesus in Mark, chapter 7 [v. 13], the apostate Jewish leaders were elevating their tradition to the point that it was nullifying the Word of God.  And so it is today with Roman Catholics.  They, too, nullify the Word of God for the sake of their tradition.”   

My Comments
Uhmm...Mr. Gendron?  That would be IN YOUR OPINION, right?  Your private, fallible, non-authoritative opinion.  But, here's the thing with what Gendron is saying.  Basically, he is saying that all tradition is wrong, bad, evil...nullifies the Word of God.  Well, if that's the case, then why did Paul exhort the Thessalonians to hold on to the traditions that he had delivered to them - either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess 2:15)?  Why did he commend the Corinthians for maintaining the traditions that he delivered to them (1 Cor 11:2)?  If tradition is so bad, then why was Paul so high on tradition?  Word of God -  Some traditions are good.  Word of Gendron - all traditions are bad.

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
18:40 - “Scripture proves that Peter was not infallible.”  And he cites Matt 16:23 and Gal 2:11-14.

My Comments
False.  This is one of those statements from Gendron that pretty much seal the deal for me that he is intentionally misrepresenting the teaching of the Catholic Church (aka: lying).  If he was indeed a "devout Catholic," and if he has indeed read the Catechism of the Catholic Church many times over, then he would know better than to cite those two passages as "prov[ing]" Peter was not infallible. 

In Matthew 16:23, Jesus calls Peter, "Satan!".  So, that means Peter isn't infallible, right?  No, not at all.  The teaching of the Church on the infallibility of the Pope, is that the Pope (Peter and his successors) cannot teach error in the areas of faith and morals to the entire church as the head of the church.  Two things: 1) Peter was not yet the head of the church at the time this took place in Matthew; and 2) Nowhere in this passage is he teaching on faith and morals to the entire church.  So the dogma of papal infallibility is not germane to this passage.  Gendron knows that.  He knows that the Church's teaching on infallibility does not mean that the Pope cannot commit any errors whatsoever, which is what he's trying to pass off to his audience in this video.

And, in Gal 2:11-14, this is another passage where the teaching on infallibility is not germane.  And Gendron knows it.  Paul is giving it to Peter because Peter acted improperly towards the Gentiles. That passage has nothing at all to do with anything Peter was teaching on faith or morals.  It was all about his actions.  Again, all this does is prove that Gendron must not be in the "Lord's church" he mentioned earlier because he certainly is not "sanctified by the truth" nor is he "Spirit-led". 

One other thing, since Peter was not, according to Gendron, infallible, then how can Gendron say that 1st and 2nd Peter are "infallible" books of the Bible?  So, Gendron has a bit of a problem - Peter was not infallible, but the letters of Peter in the Bible are infallible.  Go figure...


Gendron's arguments are rather pathetic.  Basically, at least so far in the video (I have not watched the rest), it's simply Gendron's misperceptions, half-truths, and outright lies about the Catholic Church that he is feeding to his audience at this church where the presentation was made.  He is giving, at best, his opinions, at worst, his lies. 

What saddens me is that the pastor, Ryan Day, of this church in San Juan Capistrano, the Revolve Bible Church, is not being much of a shepherd to his flock.  Allowing a liar and and a charlatan like Gendron to fill his people's heads with all that misinformation about the Catholic Church.  You know, I think I might, once I'm through with Gendron, see if that pastor might be willing to have a little chat.  If he is one who is earnestly seeking truth, or if he is just pushing an agenda.

Closing Comments

Don't know if I'm going to keep going with this video from Gendron.  It is just such a pile of garbage.  He is arrogant.  He is a liar.  It's one thing when you're dealing with people who are ignorant, but trying their best to search for truth, but when dealing with people who deliberately misrepresent what other people believe just to make themselves look so noble and righteous, it's pretty disgusting.  Plus, he doesn't really, at least so far, have any actual arguments.  He just matter-of-factly states things as being the absolute truth, without offering anything in the way of what I would call evidence for his claims.

So, what do you think...should I continue going down this path and keep giving my critique of the rest of this video, or should I shake the dust of Gendron off of my feet?  Let me know.  You've got a couple of weeks to do so as there will be no newsletter next week.  I'll be involved in a retreat being let by Immaculee Ilibagiza here in Birmingham next Friday and Saturday.  Should be back the week after. 


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Apologetics for the Masses