Apologetics for the Masses - Issue #6

Bible Christian Society

General Comments

I thank you for all of the feedback you folks have been sending in. Your emails help me to improve the newsletter and, hopefully, make it more useful to you. I can’t say that I will incorporate every suggestion I receive, but I do read and consider every suggestion.

The next newsletter will start up a conversation with a new person. He is someone who has been looking into the Catholic Faith, but is not yet convinced and just sent me an email with a number of objections. I’ll use that email as a jumping off point for the next newsletter. Some of the arguments are the same as those raised by Phil, but there are several that haven’t been addressed in this newsletter before. So, hopefully, it will be of interest to you.


This will be the last newsletter, for the time being anyway, that will focus on my exchange with Phil, a recent ex-Catholic. I will probably continue with at least one or two more private exchanges to see if I can get anywhere with him, but, as you will see from his response to my last email, it seems that Phil has reached the end of his rope.

His last response is basically a non-response. I have answered every question he has raised, and he has no come back other than to repeat himself. And I don’t say that in a triumphalist manner, but I do so to point out the complete lack of substance to his arguments. This is something that should make all of us realize that, even when limiting ourselves just to the Bible, the teachings of the Catholic Church can be defended solely on biblical grounds, much better than those of any other Christian faith tradition. And then, when you throw in history and Christian tradition and the Church Fathers…well, it’s katy barred the door. As you can see, Phil, who now goes by the Bible alone, can’t seem to confine his arguments to the Bible. Why? Because the Bible doesn’t support his position.



I thought you said that if I show you one bible passage that says faith not works does it, you’d renounce Catholicism. I showed you 15. So why is your website still here doing all you can to lead people down the wrong road. Go to google, enter “the inquisition”, and read a few articles. If you do so with an open mind and accept the facts of history, you’d realize the founders of your sacred tradition are a bunch of murderers, thieves, bible burners, and extortionists. I believe the bible preaches/teaches love, acceptance and forgiveness, not hatred, suppression, arrogance, torture, and murder. Then go rent the movie “Luther”.


Dear Phil,

That’s it?! I answer your objections/arguments line-by-line, using the Bible, and you have absolutely no response to my biblically-based arguments other than to say I should read about the Inquisition and rent the movie, Luther? And, when I ask you questions, you either can’t answer them, won’t answer them, or answer them in a manner that is not in line with what the Bible actually says. If the Bible says what you say it says, then how come you can’t answer my arguments from the Bible?

So, since you either can’t or won’t answer my questions nor respond to my arguments, now you’re going to bring up the Inquisition? Oh, please. And I suppose you think that 50 million people died in the Inquisition, right? Or was it 100 million? If you’re really open to reading historical fact, let me know your address, and I’ll send you a book that was written by an historian, not by a Protestant theologian, about the Inquisition. A book written from an historical perspective by someone who doesn’t have an axe to grind with the Church. A fair and balanced account of the Inquisition. A book which uses information taken from the actual records of the Inquisition. And it is not a “Catholic” book, either.

By the way, in the movie you keep wanting me to see, “Martin Luther,” does that movie talk about how Luther was instrumental in helping certain German nobility suppress the “Peasants’ Rebellion” in 1525? Let me give you a quote from one website on this:

“May 5, 1525: Luther writes against the peasants in Against the Murderous and Thieving Hordes of Peasants.”
(Sounds like a kind and loving man your Martin Luther, huh?)

“May 15, 1525, The Peasants Rebellion: At the Battle of Frankenhausen, 50,000 peasants are cut down.”
(Hmmm. Martin Luther was instrumental in the suppression of the Peasants’ Rebellion which resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people. I guess they probably left that fact out about him in the movie, huh?) Now, what were you saying about the Inquisition?

And, one more thing, are you aware of the following quote from Luther himself:

“We are obliged to yield many things to the [Roman] Catholics —[for example]
that they possess the Word of God, which we received from them, otherwise we
should have known nothing about it.”

That’s from Luther’s Commentary on John 16. Martin Luther believed that the Bible came from the Catholic Church. Which means, you just left the Church that gave the world the Bible, at least, according to Martin Luther. Something to think about, eh?

Phil, I have said time and time again, but you refuse to hear me, that the Catholic Church is populated with sinners, including the Bishop of Rome. Sinners commit sins. Sometimes small sins, sometimes big sins. Moses committed a sin that kept him from being allowed into the Promised Land. Joshua led the Israelite army in the slaughter of the inhabitants of Palestine. Abraham lied. David committed adultery and murder. Peter denied Christ and ran. Paul killed Christians. So, based on your reasoning, we shouldn’t believe what any of those folks said, right?

There have been, and always will be, Catholics, including priests, bishops, and popes who have been liars, cheats, murderers, adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, blasphemers, and any other type of sinner under the sun. That still has nothing to do with infallibility or with the claim of the Catholic Church to be THE one and only church founded by Jesus Christ. God protects the Pope from teaching error in the areas of faith and morals regardless of the Pope’s personal worthiness as a Christian. That’s what’s so amazing about the papacy and the teachings of the Church. They have survived 2000 years of sinners…only by the grace of God!

Name me one Protestant denomination that hasn’t had its share of murderers, liars, cheats, homosexuals, fornicators, blasphemers, etc.? As I’ve shown you, if you’re open to the “facts of history,” Martin Luther helped bring about the slaughter of tens of thousands of German peasants. So, I guess you can’t go by anything he says, right? If you can’t believe anything that a sinner says, then I guess you can’t believe anything, can you, because you only have sinners as your teachers?

The Church has to be guided by God in matters of faith and morals, precisely because of the sinful nature of man. Aren’t you a sinner? If you are, why should I listen to anything you have to say?

Have you ever read Matthew 23? What does Jesus call the scribes and Pharisees? Liars. Blind guides. White washed tombs. Hypocrites. So, we shouldn’t do what they say, right? I know you’re nodding your head in agreement here, but, once again, you’re wrong.

What does Jesus say to His disciples and the crowds in Matthew 23:1-3? The scribes and Pharisees sit on the seat of Moses, therefore “do whatever they tell you.” I find that pretty interesting, don’t you, Phil? Jesus tells the crowds, and even His disciples to do whatever the scribes and Pharisees say, because they sit on the seat of Moses…in other words, they hold a position of religious authority, and, even though they are some of the worst sinners, Jesus tells the crowds and His own disciples to do whatever they say to do.

Well, the popes sit on the seat of Peter. So, even if there are times when they act less than Christian, they are still guarded from teaching error because God tells us that the Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth, and the Pope is the head of the Church here on earth. God gives us the Church as a steady guide. God did not give us the fallible interpretations of any one individual or group of individuals as our steady guide. How could he, when your own argument points to the fact that sinners, without God’s guidance, cannot necessarily be trusted in what they have to say when it comes to doctrine and morals? But, the Church, the Body of Christ, can always be trusted. That is why it is necessary to have the gift of infallibility present in the Church. Your own arguments confirm that.

But, let’s go back and do a little review. I want to show you how you…an ex-Catholic who has been reading and studying the Bible on your own and who supposedly knows how to intepret it better than any Catholic ever could…I want to show you how you have avoided answering many of my questions; and, I want to show you how the answers to the questions you have answered have been wrong…from a scriptural point of view; and I want to show you how you claim to know what the Catholic Church teaches, yet you really don’t.

This whole exchange of emails started with you talking about Mary having children other than Jesus. And you pointed to the Scripture to support your argument. Yet, when I asked you scriptural-based questions about the children of Mary, in particular, about James, “the brother of the Lord,” you refused to answer my question. Why? Why are you afraid to answer a question that is based on Scripture?

You didn’t answer it, because I think you had a feeling that you would be “trapped” by your answer. But, how could you be trapped if you simply answered honestly based on what the Bible says? The only way you could be trapped, is if you were believing in something that wasn’t supported by the Bible. Which is exactly what you were believing in regards to Mary having other children. I showed you how James, the “brother” of the Lord, who is referred to in Mark 6:3 and Galatians 1:19 (as one of the Apostles), cannot be a blood brother of Jesus because Matthew 10:1-4 says that the two Apostles named James, were the sons of: 1) Zebedee, and 2) Alphaeus…neither was the son of Joseph!

Yet, when I started questioning you about Mary, what did you do? Did you stand and offer a rebuttal? Did you present arguments to support your case? No! You simply said, “Oh well, we’ll never agree, so who cares?” Well, you seemed to care when you thought you had the upper hand in the argument, but when you were shown to be wrong, and when you couldn’t answer my questions on this topic, all of a sudden it’s, “who cares?!”

Regarding salvation by faith alone. I asked you for one specific verse that states what you believe, that we are saved by faith alone. You couldn’t give it to me. You gave me several verses that show that believing is very important for salvation. Well, as a Catholic, I believe that 100%. But, you didn’t give me a single verse that says we are saved by faith “alone.” Not one. And, when I point out to you that there is only one verse in all of the Bible where the words “faith” and “alone” appear together (James 2:24), and it says that we are “justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE,” all of a sudden you fall silent. And, when I show you verse after verse after verse from the Bible that say that works are important in the process of salvation, all of a sudden you fall silent. Go back through all of those verses you sent me and see if a single one of them uses the word “alone,” as in “faith alone” or “believing alone,” Phil. They don’t. The fact of the matter is, that you, who purports to go by the Bible, believe in a doctrine (salvation by faith alone) that is actually the exact opposite of what the Bible says.

When I asked you if God’s sole criteria for judging us worthy of salvation is whether or not we have faith…you answered in the affirmative. And then you added, “but I know why you’ll say otherwise.” Of course you know why I’ll say otherwise, because the Bible says otherwise. Phil, in every single passage of the Bible that talks about judgment, a person is judged by their works, their acts, by what they have done, and by what they haven’t done. Your answer, again, was in direct contradiction to the very plain words of the Bible. Yet, you claim to be the one who is holding true to Scripture?

Once saved, always saved. You say that people can’t lose their salvation once they’re saved. Again, I gave you several verses of Scripture that directly contradict this heresy. Again, you fell silent. You had no answers to the Bible.

You never, apparently, bothered to look up Malachi 1:11, which is a prophecy regarding the Mass. You have nothing in your current form of worship that can fulfill that prophecy. I do. But, again, silence on that from you.

I answered your questions regarding tradition, and I showed you that going by apostolic tradition is indeed biblical, and that, in fact, the Bible commands us to obey the traditions handed on to us by the Apostles. Again, silence from you.

Regarding John 6. You came up with an interpretation that I have never heard any one, Catholic or Protestant, try to pass off as a legitimate interpretation of those passages. You say that you are reading and studying the Bible, but, with statements like that on John 6, where you believe the disciples leaving Jesus had nothing to do with Him saying they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood…well, statements like that make me think that you are not so much reading the Bible, as you are reading your pre-formed beliefs into the Bible.

It seems like you are willing to twist Scripture into something quite unrecognizable in order to avoid admitting that the Catholic reading of any given passage has any merit to it. Plus, you have, time and time again, misrepresented what the Catholic Church actually teaches. One might be able to chalk that up to ignorance, but I have repeatedly informed you about the Church’s teaching on infallibility, and other matters, yet you refuse to listen to what I tell you. Forgive me for being blunt, here, but that smacks not of ignorance, but of intentional misrepresentation.

Phil, far from making the case for your current set of beliefs, you have made the case for what the Catholic Church teaches and believes, in particular, regarding the beliefs of individual interpretation and sola scriptura. If you would like to continue this dialogue, then I would simply ask you to answer my questions and respond to my statements line-by-line, as I have done with yours. And, please, let’s stick to the Bible, that’s what this is about, isn’t it?

And, if you are not willing to respond, or, if you are simply unable to do so because of your unscriptural beliefs, then please, in the future, if you are going to be honest, don’t try to pass off your distorted view of Catholic teaching as authentic Catholic teaching. And, don’t tell anyone that Catholics don’t believe in what it says in the Bible, or that Catholics don’t know the Bible. After all, if you cannot answer this Catholic when he responds to you with Bible verse after Bible verse…or, rather, if your response is limited to, “Well, the Popes have murdered people”…then, again, be honest and tell folks that you engaged a Catholic in dialogue once and were unable to answer his questions from the Bible.

And, finally, Phil…please think and pray about what you have done. Why is it that you were afraid to answer some of my questions? Why is it that you cannot give me the Scripture verses I ask for to support your position? Why is it that you have to twist the clear meanings of Scripture passages to keep them from saying exactly what the Catholic Church teaches? Why is it that you have no response to many of the Scripture passages that I present that teach exactly what the Church teaches? Could it be because, just possibly, because the Catholic Church is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ? Phil, you obviously left the Church without understanding what she taught and why…that is painfully obvious from what you have said about the Church’s teachings. I understand why someone with a mistaken notion of what the Church teaches would leave. But, I hope you will honestly and prayerfully re-examine your mistaken notions about the Church and about the Bible. And, I hope, one day, you will return home.

Strategy: Not a lot in the way of strategy here. Basically, I’m just re-presenting and summarizing several of the arguments I’ve already made. Also, I’m trying to get under his skin just a little bit in order to try and elicit another response from him. It’s pretty obvious from his brief answer to my last email that he’s probably about done. If I can maybe get his goat a little bit, it might make him look a little bit harder at what I’ve said in order to try and formulate a response to my argument. And, who knows, maybe upon closer inspection of my arguments, a seed or two might be planted.

Plus, one other thing to always consider – is there an audience? My emails to Phil have been copied to several Catholics who he was trying to bring out of the Church. So, while my arguments and my no-nonsense tone in this email may not have an effect on Phil, they will, hopefully, provide the Catholic audience with ample reason to stay firmly planted in the Church.

God bless!


In Conclusion

As always, if you have any comments or feedback, I am always open to hearing them. I may not, due to the high volume of emails that I receive on a daily basis, be able to always respond to your emails. But, I do read them.

And, as always, if you like what you’re reading in these newsletters, please tell folks about the Bible Christian Society and how they can sign up for the newsletter at biblechristiansociety.com and about all of our free apologetics tapes and CD’s. Thanks!

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Apologetics for the Masses