Apologetics for the Masses #461 - Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video Eviscerated; Part 7

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

General Comments

Hey folks,

I want to tell you about an online event featuring yours truly, as well as Johnnette Benkovic Williams, and Susan Tassone.  We'll be talking about the Holy Souls and Purgatory.  It will be on Friday evening, November 3rd, starting at 7:00 PM (Eastern).  Here is a link to register and/or for more information:



Okay, I thought I might be able to make it through the rest of Gendron's video in this newsletter by just touching on a few of the more egregious things he says, but that's not going to happen.  Pretty much everything he says is egregious.  Outlandish, actually.  So, I'm just going to get a few more minutes into the video with this newsletter, but then that's going to be it for this analysis.  I just can't stomach it any more.  Maybe I'll write a book on Gendron's lies and errors and include the rest of the video in that.  I could call it: A Blue Collar Look at the Errors of Mike Gendron (Analyzing the Misstatements, Half-Truths, and Outright Lies that He Spreads About the Catholic Church).  

If Gendron was actually a Christ-loving Christian, he would own up to the "misstatements" in his video and ask the pastor who posted the video to pull it from YouTube until he can post one that presents Catholic teaching in an honest and truthful manner.  One where he disagrees with what we actually believe, as opposed to disagreeing with things that he makes up about what we believe.  But, he won't do that.  He is not an honorable man.  And, besides, not keeping the 8th Commandment (Thou shalt not bear false witness) doesn't impact his salvation (in his theology), so what's the big deal if he exaggerates (aka lies) a little bit?

As I have done previously, I will write out what he says in his video, either verbatim or paraphrased (I'll use quotation marks for the exact quotes), and then I will respond to what he says. 


Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
22:50 - Gendron cites 2 Cor 4:2, in order to "prove" that we don't need "bishops", or anyone else for that matter, to interpret the Word of God for us.  2 Cor 4:2 says the following, "We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God,"

My Response
First of all, nowhere does the passage say anything - at all! - about not ever needing the help of someone, whether it be bishops or any other kind of guide in the Church - when we are reading Scripture.  That is his fallible interpretation of that verse.  Secondly, it seems that Mike has forgotten about the noble Bereans (Acts 17:10-11) - who he often cites as proof of Sola Scriptura.  The Bereans did indeed need a bishop - St. Paul - to properly interpret the Word of God for them.  They obviously had no clue as to the correct understanding of the Scriptures (the Old Testament for them) until Paul came along and gave them the proper interpretation.  Paul was telling them about how the Old Testament points to Jesus Christ.  Again, before Paul came along to explain these things to them, the Bereans had no clue how to properly interpret the Word of God! 

And what about the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:27-39)?  The deacon, Philip, asks the eunuch, who was reading Scripture in his chariot, "Do you understand what you are reading?" (verse 30).  And what did the eunuch say?  "Oh, of course I do.  I've got the Holy Spirit.  I don't need anyone to interpret it for me!" ala Mike Gendron.  No!  The eunuch says, "How can I, unless someone guides me?"  Well, that doesn't fit Gendron's argument too well, now does it?  It took a deacon (Philip) - one who was filled with the Holy Spirit - to interpret the Scriptures in order for the eunuch to properly understand them.  The eunuch needed a "guide" to properly interpret the Scriptures. 

We find the same thing in the Old Testament, in the Book of Nehemiah, chapter 8.  Ezra, the priest, read from the Law of Moses to all the men and women who, according to Scripture, were able to "hear with understanding" (verse 2).  But, after reading from the Scriptures to the people, the ones who could "hear with understanding," what happened?  Did everyone perfectly understand what had been read to them?  Nope.  In verses 7 and 8 we see that there were folks there who "helped the people understand" and who "gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading".  More Scripture that simply does not fit with Gendron's narrative...with his private, non-authoritative, fallible interpretation of Scripture. 

And one more passage from Scripture that shows Gendron's interpretation of 2 Cor 2:4 to be utterly void of merit - this is from Jesus Himself.  Luke 24:13-27, the story of the walk to Emmaus by the two disciples and Jesus.  Verse 27: "And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He [Jesus] interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself."  Basically, what Paul was doing with the Bereans in Acts 17.  Jesus' own disciples needed help interpreting the Scriptures. So, the Word of God tells us that we sometimes need an authentic interpreter of Scripture - a guide - in order to give us the proper sense of this passage or that.  The Word of Gendron says, "Nah, you don't need anyone to tell you what Scripture says.  Just read it and interpret it for yourself.  You don't need anybody's help."  Who do you want to believe...the Word of God, or the Word of Gendron?

Finally, on this point, I find it quite ironic, given what I'm going to demonstrate not in this next set of "Comments" but the one after, that Gendron would quote from a Scripture passage (2 Cor 4:2) that says,
"We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word..." 

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
23:20 - "So why is the Bible the supreme authority for truth?"  Gendron asks that question and then he cites 2 Tim 3:16 about all Scripture being inspired by God.  He also says that, "The authors [the various inspired authors of Scripture - Old and New Testament] claim that they spoke for God.  'Thus sayeth the Lord,' occurs nearly 500 times in Scriptures...So it [the Bible] is our supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice," says Gendron.

My Response
I wonder if Gendron knows that 2 Tim 3:16 is referring to the Old Testament?  I don't think he does.  Maybe he needs a "guide" to show him that, in order to get the proper context for 2 Tim 3:16, he needs to first read 2 Tim 3:15?  I wonder if that has occurred to him?  Furthermore, the fact that the various authors of the books of Scripture "claim", almost 500 times, that they spoke for God, doesn't prove anything.  There were a lot of false prophets who claimed they spoke for God back in biblical times, as there are in our day as well.  So, does that prove that what they said and wrote was indeed from God...just because they "claimed" it was?  Absolutely not!  The Koran claims to be the word of God.  Does the fact that it makes that claim make it our "supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice?"  Of course not!  Gendron's reasoning here is egregiously flawed.  What if I were to claim that this newsletter - that all of my newsletters - are the inspired, inerrant Word of God?  Would that make it so?  What if, at the end of each of my newsletters, I put the phrase, "Thus sayeth the Lord."  Would that make my newsletters the Word of God.  Of course not!

But, let me make clear, as a Catholic, I agree with Gendron on one thing - the Word of God is indeed "our supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice," and I would add, in all matters of morality, as well - such as the teaching that one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.  However, I don't believe that simply because the Bible says so.  The Bible cannot witness to itself.  Jesus, the Word of God, tells us that the Word of God needs someone to be a witness for it.  John 5:31, " If I bear witness to myself, my testimony is not true."  So the Bible...the Word of God...needs a witness.  Someone who can authoritatively tell us that it is what we believe it to be - the inspired, inerrant, Word of God.  But to whom can we turn to bear witness to the Scripture as being the Word of God?  To what authority can we turn?  What authority does Mike Gendron rely upon to tell him that the Bible is indeed the inspired, inerrant, Word of God?  Who told him that?  Who?!  He dare not answer that question.

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
24:10 - "So, who is the rock in Matthew 16:18?  This is the most important verse in Roman Catholicism.  The whole church stands and falls on this verse...Jesus has just asked the question: 'Who do men say that I am?'  And Peter said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'  And Jesus said, 'This wasn't revealed to you by man, but by My Father in Heaven, and, Peter, upon this rock I will build My church.'   What did Peter just do?  He made a profession of faith, divinely inspired by God, as to who Jesus is.  And everyone who makes that same profession of faith is part of Christ's church.  It is upon the profession of Peter that Jesus would build His church.  But Roman Catholics declare that Jesus was pointing to Peter as the rock.  What does the Bible say?  [1 Peter 2:7-8; 1 Cor 10:4; Psalm 78:35]...the Bible has an answer for Roman Catholics.  Jesus is the rock.  He is the foundation."

My Response
This is, in a word, pathetic.  Actually, a better word is, despicable.  He obviously has not taken the words of 2 Cor 4:2 to heart.  Notice what Gendron does here.  He purposely misquotes the Bible in order to get it to say what he wants it to say.  Let's compare the Word of Gendron to the Word of God:

The Word of Gendron - Jesus speaking to Peter: "This wasn't revealed to you by man, but by My Father in Heaven, and, Peter, upon this rock I will build My church."  (Matt 16:17-18)

The Word of God - Jesus speaking to Peter: "For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in Heaven.  And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church."  (Matt 16:17-18)

Notice any difference?  In the Word of Gendron, it seems that Jesus is indeed saying to Peter that His church will be built upon Peter's "confession".  The Word of Gendron does not put any emphasis, whatsoever (!), on the fact that in this passage Jesus essentially changes Simon's name to Peter - which means "rock".   He actually leaves that part out of what he says.  "And I tell you, you are Peter..." in the Word of God becomes simply, "And, Peter..." in the Word of Gendron.  It is outrageous what he has done here!  He deliberately misquoted the Bible out of his hatred for the Catholic Church...out of his pathological need to prove the Catholic Church is wrong.  Again, despicable!

And, lest Gendron come back with, "Well, in the Greek, it says 'Thou art Petros [small rock] and upon this petra [big rock] I will build My church...see, two different words, so Peter isn't the rock, he's the small rock," one must realize that Jesus wasn't speaking Greek when He spoke those words to Peter.  He was speaking Aramaic.  In Aramaic, Jesus said, "Thou art Kepha [rock] and upon this kepha [rock] I will build My church."   No big and small kepha, just kepha.  In Greek, with it's masculine/feminine language constructs (like Spanish has), you cannot call Peter, "Petra".  That's a feminine noun.  So, it has to be changed to a masculine noun, "Petros," in order to be used as a man's name.  So, Gendron is wrong.  Jesus changes Peter's name from Simon to Peter (Kepha/rock).  And then Jesus tells him that upon this kepha/rock He will build His church.  Every one of the Apostles would have heard Jesus essentially say, in Aramaic, "Thou art Rock [Kepha] and upon this rock [kepha] I will build My church."  It wasn't upon Peter's "confession" that Jesus built His church, it was upon Peter himself that Jesus built His church.

Anyone who purposely misquotes the Word of God in order to spread lies about another person's faith, should never be allowed to speak in any church that calls itself Christian.

And another thing - this garbage about the whole Catholic Church "stands or falls" on Matthew 16:18?  Really?!  Says who?  Oh, wait, the Word of Gendron says so, so it must be true and we must believe.  What does he think happened?  Does he think that a few hundred years after Jesus, some bishop in Rome said, "Hey, wait a minute...Matt 16:18 says that Peter is the rock upon which Jesus founded His church, and since I, as the Bishop of Rome, am the successor of Peter, that means that I should be the head of the whole church, right?"  And, once that bishop in Rome had come up with that interpretation - which would have apparently been, at that time, an absolutely unique, as well as incredibly ignorant (according to the Word of Gendron) interpretation of Matt 16:18 - then all the Catholic bishops, priests, and laity around the world suddenly had their eyes opened and unaminously said, "Hey, yeah...how did we miss that?!  Given that interpretation of Matt 16:18, the Rome dude must be the head of the entire world-wide Catholic Church and we need to put ourselves under his authority!"  And every single Catholic, everywhere, then put themselves under the authority of the Bishop of Rome and started calling him the Pope...just like that.  Really?! 

Here's the thing, though - the Catholic Church does not read the Bible and then decide what it's teachings should be based on man's private, non-authoritative, fallible interpretations of the Bible, as the Protestants do.  The Bible, particularly the New Testament, reflects what the Catholic Church believed and taught before the Bible, as we know it, was ever put together.  We put our teachings...the infallible teachings we received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles (Acts 2:42)...into the Bible; whereas, the Protestants purport to take their teachings out of the Bible - based on nothing more than their private, fallible interpretations of the Bible.  Folks need to realize that all uniquely Protestant beliefs are based on man's private, non-authoritative, fallible interpretations of the Bible.  Nothing more. 

So, no, the Catholic Church does not "stand or fall" on Matt 16:18.  And, no, Matt 16:18 is not "the most important verse in Roman Catholicism".  The man opens his mouth, and bile comes out.

And another thing - the Word of Gendron claims the following: "And everyone who makes that same profession of faith [as Peter's] is part of Christ's church.  Two things about that:

1) Where does the Bible say that everyone who says/believes, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," becomes "part of Christ's church?  Please give me book, chapter, and verse, Mike.  He can't, because nowhere does the Word of God say such a thing.

2) He actually doesn't believe what he's saying, because every Catholic, in every Catholic Church around the world, at every Sunday Mass, makes that same profession of faith.  I believe, as do all Catholics, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Yet, Gendron doesn't believe Catholics are saved.  So, which is it, Mike?  Is everyone who professes that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, in Christ's church or not?  Are they saved, or not?  If they are, then why do you keep trying to "save" Catholics who make that profession of faith on a weekly, if not more often, basis? 

And yet another thing - He cites 3 verses (1 Peter 2:7-8; 1 Cor 10:4; Psalm 78:35) where Scripture refers to Jesus as the "rock," which proves, according to the Word of Gendron, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Peter cannot be the rock because the Word of God says Jesus is the rock.  I mean, even Peter calls Jesus the rock!!!  And we all know that only one person can be the rock.  So, if Jesus is the rock, then Peter cannot be. Done and done.  End of story.  Case closed.  Indisputable.  Any other interpretation is inconceivable!  Nanny nanny boo boo. 

But, here's the thing - notice in the the quote from Gendron, that after he identifies Jesus as the rock, he also identifies Jesus as the "foundation".  So, given Gendron's line of reasoning, since Jesus is the foundation, that means no one else can ever, anywhere in Scripture, be known as "foundation".  Jesus is the one, and only, foundation.  No other!  At least, according to Gendron.  Yet, we see the Word of God saying, in Ephesians 2:20, that the apostles and prophets are the "foundation" of the "household of God"...the church.  But, but, that can't be!  There is only one foundation - Jesus Christ.  The Word of Gendron tells us there can be no other foundation.  Yet, the Word of God tells us there is - the apostles and prophets - with Jesus being the "cornerstone" of that foundation.  Oops.

And, in Heb 11:10, the Word of God tells us that Abraham looked forward to the city which has "foundations" [plural!}, whose builder and maker is God.  What?!  Well...uhhmmm...what city would that be?  The Word of God tells us that that city is the New Jerusalem [the City of God].  Rev 21:14, " And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."  The 12 Apostles are, according to the Bible, the 12 foundations of the walls of the New Jerusalem.  But, but, that can't be!  There is only one foundation the Word of Gendron tells us...Christ Jesus.  The Word of God, however, tells us differently.

What's going on here?  How can Jesus be the one foundation, yet the Apostles and prophets are also the foundation?  Because they are members of His body and they share in His role as foundation as He allows them to.  Just so Scripture tells us we have one judge - Jesus Christ.  Yet, Scripture identifies other judges.  Those men can share in Jesus' role as judge because they are members of His body and He allows them to do so.  Scripture also says we have only one Father.  Yet, many others in Scripture are identified as fathers.  Scripture tells us we have only one teacher.  Yet, many others in Scripture are identified as teachers. 

So, in just the same way, the fact that Jesus is identified as the "Rock," in no way, shape, or form precludes Peter from also being called the "rock".  Jesus, in a special way, allows Peter to share in His role as Rock, just as He allows others to share in His role as judge, teacher, and foundation and as the Father allows men to share in His role as Father.  Anyone, as in Gendron, who says otherwise is either ignorant of Scripture, or is purposely trying to deceive.

Mike Gendron's Anti-Catholic Video
25:40  Gendron tries to use Peter's "rebuke" of Jesus in Matt 16:22 as proof that Peter was not "infallible" and thus the Catholic teaching on the infallibility of the Pope is not in accord with the Word of God and, therefore, null and void. 

My Comments
Again, he is being deceitful here.  If Mike Gendron knows Catholic teaching as well as he claims to, then he would know that this episode of Peter rebuking Jesus and Jesus turning around and calling him, "Satan", in no way, shape, or form contradicts the Catholic teaching on infallibility.  Infallibility, as Gendron undoubtedly knows well, has nothing to do with the Pope not being able to make a mistake or not being able to sin.  Infallibility means that the Holy Spirit will not allow the Pope to teach error, in matters of faith and morals, as doctrine, to the entire church.  Do those conditions apply in Matt 16:22?  Absolutely not.  Peter wasn't teaching error to anyone here.  And, it appears that he was talking only to Jesus.  Furthermore, the Church had not yet been established, so the doctrine of infallibility had not yet become applicable.  So, again, Gendron is either massively ignorant in what he is saying here, or he is purposefully trying to deceive his audience.  Either way, it ain't good. 

That's it, I'm done with Gendron and his video...for now.  As I said in the Introduction, I might take this up at a later date, but with the way the voting was on whether or not to continue - about half said to continue and half said not to - I think I'll just stop here.  There's another 40 minutes of the video left to review and comment on, which means it would probably take me another couple of months or more, and another 10-12 issues, to get all the way through it.  I think I have shown, however, that Gendron is a charlatan.  A purveyor of lies.  I don't see how what he is doing could be chalked up to mere ignorance.  It appears to me, from all of the evidence, and from his own claims in regard to how well-informed he is, as an ex-Catholic, on the teachings of the Church, that he is deliberately misrepresenting the Church's beliefs and teachings out of an attitude of malice towards the Church.  Probably, I would speculate, because he was divorced and remarried and the Church said to him, "You're not going to be allowed to do that here." 

The Church would not conform its moral teachings, which are the moral teachings of Jesus Himself (particularly as found in Matt 19:8-9), to Mike Gendron's lifestyle, so Gendron found a theology that conforms the Bible to his lifestyle.  And he has spent the last 40 years trying to justify, in his own mind, his rebellion against the Church that Jesus founded.  That is why he is so angry at the Church...he has to drown out his conscience which is, undoubtedly, telling him to repent.  At least, there was once a time his conscience was bothering him about what he had done.  It might be pretty much dead by now. 

Closing Comments

     I'll start on something new in the next newsletter.  I hope all of you have a great week!  Please keep us in your prayers, and please be assured of our prayers for you and your families!


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Apologetics for the Masses