Transubstantiation debate show notes

Posted by John Benko - September 30th, 2014


These show notes correspond with this debate


The irony that will be made manifest tonight is that my opponent, who claims to adhere to the precept of Sola Scriptura, will be attempting to make a case that cannot be made Biblically- the case that the bread and wine of consecration do not become the actual body and blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible is exceedingly- even frighteningly- clear that they do. Here is a clear example of why I laugh out loud when evangelicals have the temerity to accuse Catholics of having teachings contrary to Scripture.  Nowhere is there a teaching more contrary to Scripture than the teaching that Transubstantiation is false.

In John’s Gospel, Jesus says that His flesh is real food and His blood is real drink and he who does not eat His flesh and drink His blood has no life in Him. The verbiage Jesus uses is extraordinarily blunt. The Greek word Trogon actually means to crunch, grind or gnaw between the teeth. Jesus is leaving no room for doubt here. The many disciples who walked away were clear about what He was saying. Jesus affirmed it 4 times.

Neither is Paul any less clear in chapters 10 and 11 of his first letter to the Corinthians when he boldly states that the bread and wine are an actual participation in the body and blood of Jesus and that he who eats the bread and drinks the wine unworthily is guilty of profaning the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ! As if that were not far enough, Paul warns us that to eat and drink the bread and the cup without recognizing it as Christ’s body is to eat and drink judgment on oneself!

These teachings are clear and unambiguous and the Catholic church’s proclamation on them is unassailable. These are the facts and nothing my opponent will say tonight will alter that. I could stop now and the Catholic side would win this debate.

Unfortunately for my opponent, I am not going to stop now. The teaching of the Eucharist is not confined to John’s gospel and Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians. It reverberates all through Scripture from Genesis to Revelation as typology, fulfilment and prophecy. Further, much to the consternation of my worthy adversary, it is the consistent and infallible teaching of every generation of Christianity- a fact he would like very much to suppress and pretend away.

Tonight’s debate is not about what the Bible and the history of the church teach on this subject that is a closed case. My opponent will not even attempt to counter the early church’s teaching on this matter, he would rather that not even be discussed and has said as much. Further, his Biblical word parsing is going to be seen for what it is- desperation. The case against Transubstantiation can be made logically or philosophically to a degree but cannot be made- even a little- Biblically or historically. No, tonight’s debate is already settled on the grounds of what guidance the mind of the church and the Holy Scriptures have left to us. Tonight’s debate is about faith. You either have it or you don’t. If you have it, you say “Our Lord said it, that settles it”. If you do not have it, you say “Jesus didn’t really say it” or “Jesus said it but He didn’t really mean it” or “There is no Jesus”. What is the difference? They are only different degrees of the same unbelief. Denial of the Eucharist is denial of the Christian faith and the creation of a new Jesus who is not the bread from heaven that the Jesus of John 6 clearly states Himself to be. Like I said, you either believe Him or you don’t. There is no middle ground here.

My opponent claims to follow the Bible but He does not even understand the Bible. If He did, He would see a foreshadowing of the Eucharist in the Passover. After the Passover lamb- an obvious typology of Jesus- was slain, it was eaten. He would see a typology in the Manna- the bread from heaven- which, again, the believers ate. He would recognize that, in John 6, it is no coincidence that the miracle of the multiplication of  loaves directly proceeds the bread of life discourse. In this discourse Jesus announces the starkly clear reality of Eucharist as a direct answer to the direct question of John 6:30 “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? .  My opponent, if He understood Scripture, would see the reference , that Jesus was a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7). It was Melchizedek that Scripture tells us brought forth the bread and wine. My opponent, if he understood Scripture as he states, would see the Eucharist as the marriage supper of the lamb in Revelation chapter 19.

My opponent sees none of these things because he lacks the light that comes from faith and cannot get past his own lying eyes that tell him that what appears to be bread and wine, must be bread and win even though Jesus Christ, Himself, said This IS my body, This IS my blood. The Greek term is Touto Estin  and cannot be translated as “this represents” or “this is a symbol of”.

Jesus said it, we believe it. That settles it.

Let’s bring the focus in closer.  Let’s really look closely at the question posed to Jesus. “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? My opponent adheres to an ideology that stipulates that one must only believe in Jesus to be saved. Yet, right here, He is denying the very definitive sign that must be believed, the very specific answer given to Jesus’ detractors. Listen carefully to Jesus words;

“Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.

My opponent simply can not- and will not- deal with the shockingly direct and blunt words of Jesus here. What my opponent will try to do is to imply that Jesus is speaking metaphorically here. First of all, the text doesn’t allow it. Secondly, each time that Jesus spoke in parables, He then explained the parable. Jesus allowed some 60 disciples to walk away over this doctrine and, at every chance to explain it away as a metaphor, He re-emphasized His words instead. Jesus repeatedly spoke in literal terms and took great pains for everyone to know that He was speaking in literal terms. In fact, the one verse my opponent will use to try and spiritize this passage, actually emphasizes it’s literal interpretation.

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61 But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But among you there are some who do not believe.”

Jesus is not contradicting His own words by saying His own flesh is useless. If Jesus were calling His own flesh useless, what value would there be in the crucifixion? No, Jesus is telling us the same truth as in Matthew 16. That truth is that somethings are true even when they cannot be perceived by our fleshy senses or comprehended by our fleshy minds.  Jesus words are Spirit and Truth. He even goes so far as to say that anyone who rejects this literal teaching is one who does not believe in Him!

For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him.  65 And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”

66 Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67 So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”[h] 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot,[i] for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him.

So, my opponent must know that, if he continues to deny the true presence, it is not Jesus who He believes, it is Judas and those who walked away.

Paul certainly believed in the true presence, of that He leaves no doubt. Paul’s words to the church in Corinth.

( 1 Corinthians 10)

16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel;[d] are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for[g] you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For all who eat and drink[h] without discerning the body,[i] eat and drink judgment against themselves.

My opponent wants you to believe that we are misinterpreting the words of John and Paul but history is not kind to his assertions.  The very first prominent figure to deny it was Ulrich Zwingli in 1525. My opponent has a clear choice. He can accept the clear word of Scripture and roughly 2000 years of clear Christian teaching that affirm the true presence, or he can accept roughly 500 years of heresy that is wholly rooted in a lack of belief. Make no mistake. To deny the Eucharist is to deny Christ. This concludes my opening statement.



1) Since no one prior to Zwingli, in the 16th century, can be found disputing the true presence, can you explain how 15 centuries of Christians failed to see in Scripture what he saw?

2) The word discern means to recognize the truth. In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says that to eat and drink the bread and cup without discerning (recognizing) the body is to bring judgment on oneself. How else can this passage possibly be interpreted?

3) When you speak to Catholics about how you believe certain Catholic teachings oppose Scripture, how do you suppose that you have any credibility when, here, you are opposing the very clear words of the New Testament?

4)  Jesus said “He who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood has no life in him”. How can you say you are alive in Christ, when He clearly says you are not?


 In the initial discussions for this debate, my opponent expressed his strong desire that the early church fathers be excluded from this debate, in favor of a ‘Bible-alone’ approach. The problem with such an approach is that the fathers of the church and the men who wrote, translated and canonized the New Testament were one and the same. No amount of historical revisionism can change that. Saint John Neumann once said that to be steeped in history is to cease to be a protestant. Truer words were never spoken. My opponent tonight could not make his case Biblically unless he equivocated and twisted the passages to his liking and duped you into to thinking that his novel interpretations were held by the early church. History is not kind to his new and different gospel.

St. Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 A.D.)

I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I   desire the Bread of God, WHICH IS THE FLESH OF JESUS CHRIST, who   was of the seed of David; and for drink I DESIRE HIS BLOOD, which   is love incorruptible. (Letter to the Romans 7:3)

 


St. Justin the Martyr (c. 100 – 165 A.D.)

For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus   Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and   blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has   been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by Him, AND   BY THE CHANGE OF WHICH our blood and flesh is nourished, IS BOTH   THE FLESH AND THE BLOOD OF THAT INCARNATED JESUS. (First   Apology, 66)


 

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 140 – 202 A.D.)

…He took from among creation that which is bread, and gave thanks, saying,   “THIS IS MY BODY.” The cup likewise, which   is from among the creation to which we belong, HE CONFESSED TO BE   HIS BLOOD.

 


Tertullian (c. 155 – 250 A.D.)

Likewise, in regard to days of fast, many do not think they should be present   at the SACRIFICIAL prayers, because their fast would be broken   if they were to receive THE BODY OF THE LORDTHE BODY   OF THE LORD HAVING BEEN RECEIVED AND RESERVED, each point is secured:   both the participation IN THE SACRIFICE(Prayer   19:1)

 


Origen (c. 185 – 254 A.D.)

You see how the ALTARS are no longer sprinkled with the blood   of oxen, but consecrated BY THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST. (Homilies   on Joshua 2:1)

We actually have far more of these quotes in our show notes at deepertruthblog.com. The point is this, and there is no escaping it. Jesus words on this matter are literal. Paul’s words on this matter are literal. The Apostles took them literally, the Jews took them literally, and, there can be no dispute that the early church took them literally. My opponent has absolutely no case here, this is settled, infallible and foundational Christian doctrine. This concludes my closing statement.

ADDITIONAL QUOTES


St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – 216 A.D.)

Calling her children about her, she [the Church] nourishes them with holy milk,   that is, with the Infant Word…The Word is everything to a child: both Father   and Mother, both Instructor and Nurse. “EAT MY FLESH,”   He says, “AND DRINK MY BLOOD.” The Lord supplies us   with these intimate nutriments. HE DELIVERS OVER HIS FLESH, AND POURS   OUT HIS BLOOD; and nothing is lacking for the growth of His children.   O incredible mystery! (Instructor of Children 1:6:42,1,3)


St. Cyprian of Carthage (c. 200 – 258 A.D.)

And we ask that this Bread be given us daily, so that we who are in Christ   and daily receive THE EUCHARIST AS THE FOOD OF SALVATION,   may not, by falling into some more grievous sin and then in abstaining from   communicating, be withheld from the heavenly Bread, and be separated from Christ’s   Body…

 


Council of Nicaea (c. 325 A.D.)

It has come to the attention of the holy and great council that in some localities   and cities deacons give the Eucharist to presbyters, although neither the canon   nor the custom permits those who do NOT offer sacrifice to give the Body   of Christ to those who do offer the sacrifice(Canon   18)


Aphraates the Persian Sage (c. 280 – 345 A.D.)

After having spoken thus ["This is My body…This is My blood"],   the Lord rose up from the place where He had made the Passover and had given   His Body as food and His Blood as drink, and He went with His disciples to the   place where He was to be arrested. But He ate of His own Body and drank   of His own Blood, while He was pondering on the dead. With His   own hands the Lord presented His own Body to be eaten, and before He was crucified   He gave His blood as drink(Treatises 12:6)


St. Ephraim (c. 306 – 373 A.D.)

Our Lord Jesus took in His hands what in the beginning was only   bread; and He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy in the   name of the Father and in the name of the Spirit; and He broke it and in His   gracious kindness He distributed it to all His disciples one by one. He   called the bread His living Body, and did Himself fill it with Himself and the   Spirit.


St. Athanasius (c. 295 – 373 A.D.)

You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them   on the table. So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not   been made, there is only bread and wine. But   after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is   become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ….


St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 350 A.D.)

For just as the bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the   holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but   the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the   wine the Blood of Christ(Catechetical Lectures 19   [Mystagogic 1], 7)

 


St. Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315 – 368 A.D.)

When we speak of the reality of Christ’s nature being in us, we would be speaking   foolishly and impiously — had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself   says: “My Flesh is truly Food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats   My Flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in Him.”


St. Basil the Great (c. 330 – 379 A.D.)

To communicate each day and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of   Christ is good and beneficial; for He says quite plainly: “He that eats   My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life.” Who can doubt that   to share continually in life is the same thing as having life abundantly? We   ourselves communicate four times each week…and on other days if there is   a commemoration of any saint. (Letter of Basil to a Patrician Lady   Caesaria)

Every one of those quotes predates the publishing of the first Bible. That means that every one of those quotes was from the mouth of the very Church that gave us the Bible. To believe in the Bible is to believe in the Eucharist. Period. That concludes my closing statement.

Transubstantiation debate

Posted by John Benko - September 30th, 2014

Tonight, we debate the foundational doctrine of Transubstantiation. The debate is at 7:00 Eastern, 6:00 Central, 5:00 Mountain, 4:00 Pacific. John Benko vs John Pistes. The call-in number is 646-595-2071.

Another audio preview with John and Don!

Posted by John Benko - August 26th, 2014

Listen to it here

Deepertruthblog movie reviews

Posted by John Benko - August 24th, 2014

siege Today, my wonderful wife and I watched two movies that both had a profound effect on us. The first was chosen as the result of a priest’s homily. The Day of the Siege focuses on the last Christian victory against the Muslims. On the date of September 11th, 1683, it is a sore date for the radical Islamists and the chief reason they chose that date to attack America. The priest around who the story centers was beatified by Saint Pope John Paul II during his pontificate.

Mary of Nazareth is the moving story of Our Lady from the time she was a child up to after the Resurrection. Relying on both Biblical and extra-Biblical accounts, it captures the intensity of her love and devotion and the deep sorrow she experienced at the death of her Son (Luke 2:35).

We both recommend both of these films.

MaryofNazarethMovie-Manger-630x564

 

Predestination debate show notes

Posted by John Benko - August 22nd, 2014

These show notes coincide with this debate

INTRODUCTION

Good evening everyone. My name is John Benko and I founded this little blog and show in 2009 that has grown to over 700 shows and 700 articles and thousands of reads and listens each. I am a cradle Catholic who will celebrate my 50th birthday later on this year. I have three living adult children and one baby boy who was born on earth but now lives in heaven. The question might arise “why do I do this?”…”why do we do this?”. The answer for me is simple and it flies in the face of what we are debating tonight. My faith in Jesus Christ- my Catholic faith- is the only thing that really makes sense to me. Everything else is smoke and mirrors and vanity and a chase after wind. God is changing me and molding me and helping me to become a better man, a better father, a better husband, a better Christian. He is not indifferent to the affairs of men and loving God and serving God is the only thing worth living for and the only thing worth dying for.  Corrie Ten Boom once said “there is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still”.  That is the belief that sustains me in this world in which we live in, filled with sadness and woe. Tonight, I am facing a very formidable opponent, far more formidable than our previous 10 opponents. With the grace of God , I will do my best to defend my church’s position, knowing, through the infallible teaching of the Holy Spirit that God desires all men to be in heaven…..even a miserable wretch like me.

The show notes for this debate can be found at deepertruthblog.com. Let’s start with the definition of Predestination as defined by Calvinists and those with similar beliefs.

The doctrine of predestination in Calvinism deals with the question of the control God exercises over the world. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, God “freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass.”[1] The second use of the word “predestination” applies this to the salvation, and refers to the belief that God appointed the eternal destiny of some to salvation by grace, while leaving the remainder to receive eternal damnation for all their sins, even their original sin. The former is called “unconditional election“, and the latter “reprobation“. In Calvinism, people are predestined and effectually called in due time (regenerated/born again) to faith by God. (from Wikipedia)

First, there are two questions, not one. The first is the power God has and the second is the power God exercises. They are not one and the same. There are powers that God has or may have that may, for reasons known only to Him choose not to exercise. Certainly my opponent would agree that God has the power to annihilate to soul. Yet, it is God’s providential will not to exercise this power. It is just as certain that not everything that comes to be, comes to be because God ordained it.  For God to freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever that comes to pass would mean that God must sometimes act against Himself.

Surely, we can agree that what is happening in Iraq and Nigeria and other places is not of God. Could the God who says “Thou Shalt not kill” ordain the stoning and beheading of children?  To ordain means to decree or order a thing to be. In this respect, Predestination would necessitate that it is God that causes the evil that men do.

Under this scheme, God could only ordain to save, those who He ordained to sin in the first place. You cannot argue that the unchangeability of God applies to salvation then argue God has changed His disposition to the sinner from one of enmity to one of friendship.  On the other hand, this scheme asserts that the reprobate is created to act against God’s will, by God’s ordination, and then be preserved in that impenitence by God. Both of these are unworkable ideas. What is unchangeable is God’s nature, not His disposition toward penitent sinners.

Are we to believe that a fully providential God, chooses to make all of His creation act against His own will only to then turn around and arbitrarily save some while damning others? The Bible clearly states that God shows no partiality in numerous places. Romans 2 is one.

In attempting to craft a doctrine elevating God’s providence, Calvinists have created one that annihilates it, taking His mercy and justice along with it. All of this because of a faulty premise that, because God is Omnipotent, that no thing could possibly come to pass against His will. God’s providence establish the type of person God will save, using God’s objective Justice as the standard.

With respect to salvation directly, the predestination doctrine asserts that, if any are lost, they are lost because it was God’s will. Yet, the very fact that they are lost is because He ordained them to act against His will. This is theological madness that makes God into a Schizophrenic. Further, the Bible clearly shows that it is God’s will that none be lost.

So, before we proceed any further, let’s dispense with the notion that there is nothing God cannot do. There are two things God cannot do. 1) God cannot lie. 2) God cannot act against Himself. Thus, the Calvinisticly equivocated Predestination doctrine is obliterated.

It would be against God’s nature to cause a man to sin or to not cause Him to do good. It would be a lie for God to declare the unjust man just or the just man unjust. It would be just as against God’s nature to offer a rescue to one, leaving the other to drown without the possibility of aid. As Galatians 6 puts it so clearly, be not deceived, God is not mocked and man will reap only that which he sows. God thus, cannot declare the unjust sinner Justified, He can only make the unjust sinner justified and, As James 2 states, man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Next to Jesus on the cross, were two men with equal opportunity to be saved. One chose wisely, one did not. It is just that simple. God did not pre-choose for them. Both were called, one was chosen- by action, not by predetermined destiny. Any other view of the Almighty’s Justice is theological parlor games.

Predestination is one of those terms that exists in Scripture but not the way my opponent is defining it. Properly defined, it establishes the fact that man can predetermine his own eternal destiny by his own choice to live within or without God’s Covenant. His own choice does not mean by his own ability. We are saved by grace through faith. It is a free gift of God, not of our own work, lest any man should boast. There remains, however, the cold hard truth that we are accountable, each in our own persons for what we do with that gift of Grace. The parable of the talents conveys this clearly enough. God does not force one to invest and the other to bury. This predestination is an equivocation rightfully condemned by God’s church as heresy.

Now, every man is subject to misunderstanding something- especially something written and Peter does say quite clearly that Paul’s letters and all the other Scriptures would be difficult to understand. However, that is precisely why Jesus gave us the church to bind and loose and no mind can grasp the nature and will of God without being subject to that same authority. Nowhere, in the history of the church, do we see these novel views prior to John Calvin and nowhere, in the vast atmosphere of logic can we make sense of Jesus Christ suffering horribly and dying to repair that which, according to Calvinisticly defined providence, ought never have happened in the first place.

Going all the way back to Genesis 4, the path to salvation and life is laid out clearly enough.

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

No mention of imputed righteousness or of irresistible grace. Yes, it is the grace of God that could have enabled Cain to be saved and, yes, it was God’s righteousness that called him to it. Cain had to make that decision for himself. He was not predestined to murder his brother Abel nor to be denied the grace to avoid such a crime. Cain, of his own free will, did this. The same message reverberates throughout the gospels where the true sons of Abraham are called to bring forth fruit as proof of repentance.

What my opponent is failing to differentiate is the difference between what God ordains and what He permits. To deny this necessitates God freely acting against Himself in the rebellion shown in Revelation chapter 12, in the fall of Adam, in the betrayal by Judas and even in the crucifixion. How could Jesus say from the cross, ”forgive them, for they know not what they do” if they had no choice in the matter. Men either have free will or they don’t. If they don’t, their sin cannot be counted against them because it was not an act of the will.

The true relationship between God and man is that God wills that all men be united with Him in heaven. In fact that is precisely what He made them for. The Gospel, at it’s very core, is embodied in John 3:16 that tells us that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son that whoever believes in Him may not perish but have eternal life. Two things-  First, God loved the world. The whole world, not part of the world, not half the world, but each and every person. Secondly, whoever believes in His Son is within the reach of eternal life. Now, we can- and will- debate what actually constitutes belief and who actually will embrace it and who won’t. But make no mistake, Salvation is an offer, universally made to each person and every person of maturity will, of his own free will, choose it or reject it.

The notions of limited atonement and irresistible grace, that undergird Calvinistic predestination dogma are untenable. In fact, Scripture teaches the opposite.

Titus 2:11-12

11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, 12 training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world,

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Galatians 1:6  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who  called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel.

 

Grace helps us to do what is right. It does not force us to. It is certainly resistable and it is certainly for all men, not just some.
The notion of irresistible grace is without foundation and the notion of Calvin’s predestination is unworkable without it.

Yet, I would be remiss in not addressing what Biblical predestination actually is. There is little doubt that my opponent will quote Romans 8:29-30 today, talking about those who God Predestined.

29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.

This is a gross violation of context. God did indeed predestine them to salvation but who are they? Back up only 1 verse to see;

28 We know that in everything God works for good[c] with those who love him,[d] who are called according to his purpose.

This invitation of predestination is extended to all but only those who love Him will accept the invitation.
Revelation 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Salvation is available to every person and so is damnation. No one will be saved or damned without their own cooperation.

This concludes my opening statement.

Here are some points that I anticipate will be raised, along with some counters;

1) Paul says there are none righteous.

No, Paul says that “It is written, there are none righteous” He is quoting Psalm 14 that is talking about the fool who says in his heart there is no God. Luke 1 tells us that Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous and blameless before God. James tells us that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much. There are many more examples.

2) “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised” (1 Cor. 2:14).

Notice it says that he does not accept them, not that he cannot accept them. “Natural man” could be translated “Unspiritual man”. My opponent is trying to imply that a man does not have a choice to be natural or spiritual. That directly counters what Paul is saying here and other Bible verses say it as well- John 3:16 for example. Man who lives to be unscriptural does so by choice.

 3) Man is totally depraved.

If all natural men were totally depraved, the comparison to antichrist would not be so stark. Antichrist is the only totally depraved person that will ever exist. What about the good Samairitan? He was not a believer but he showed compassion anyway. What about Ghandi? was Ghandi totally depraved? The doctrine of total depravity is unsupportable.

 


1) If all are predestined, either to salvation or damnation, what is the purpose of evangelization?

2) How do you reconcile the notion of limited atonement with the message of verses like;

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

3) Titus 2:11

11 For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men,

1 Timothy 2:2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you,[a] not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

How can you argue that God does not intend the salvation of all  men when Scripture clearly shows this?

4) If Salvation is predestined, how is it that James 5 tells me that I can bring back a sinner from his ways and save his soul from death?
In closing this debate, let me humbly thank Kohl Nelson for participating. More than 42,000 Christian denominations, sects, sub-denominations and sub-sects claim Jesus Christ in one way or another. The question arises as to when the Jesus of a particular group bears so little resemblance to the Biblical Jesus as to acknowledge that that group is simply outside the circle of those who can legitimately be called Christians. In the Old Testament, we are told of a cult so vile that if anyone participated in their activities, God commanded that such a man be stoned to death. The cult was Molech and the practice was burning children alive. This outraged the God of Justice and rightly so. My opponent follows a god who burns children with eternal fire, as evidenced in our previous debate. I bring it up, as he, himself said that that concept dovetails with tonight’s debate on predestination. Do I believe my opponent is sincerely searching? I do. However, I cannot, in good conscience claim that a god who predestines people for eternal fire is compatible with Christianity. The truth is that one must choose to be separated from God and be obstinate in that choice. Our God has the heart for the sinner who is really trying.

Martin Luther once claimed that you could commit adultery 100 times a day and as many murders and it would have no effect on your salvation. If you believe that, you probably think my opponent won today’s debate. For, if you believe my opponents premise, you would certainly have to believe that those ever increasing adulteries and murders would simply result in ever-increasing grace.

As Paul said in Romans 6; What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

The notion of predestination, therefore cannot interact with the notion of justice. Either a being is autonomous or it isn’t. To command someone to do a thing is just silly if he is either powerless to do it or powerless to not do it. It is like casting a pair of dice and commanding them to land on 7. Whether you can force the dice to land on 7 or force them not to land on 7 or you have no power over the dice at all, to command the dice would be madness if the dice have no ability to determine on which numbers they will land.

What we know about sin and merit makes it clear enough. When I have sinned- and I have many times- I did so through my own selfishness and pride. I cannot imagine the temerity of blaming God for my sin. The worst part about hell is that each unspeakable torment, and the unimaginable despair of separation from God will be attached to the certain knowledge that the soul is there of it’s own free will.

Luke 16:19 “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Laz′arus, full of sores, 21 who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Laz′arus in his bosom. 24 And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Laz′arus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Laz′arus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.

There is no predestination. Like Cain, if we do well, we will be approved, if we don’t….well…you know.

The Catholic Defender: Tonight Is The Predestination Debate

Posted by Donald Hartley - August 22nd, 2014

debate-cartoonTonight is the the “Predestination” debate between Kohl Nelson of Facebook’s “Catholic & Calvinist” page and Deepertruth’s own John Benko. This is the rescheduled event that was canceled previously through technical difficulties. Does Man have a choice to his destiny? Does God’s plan of Salvation hinge on mankind’s choice? This question will be debated tonight.

The order of the debate will begin with introductions from both participants followed by a 10 minute intro from Kohl Nelson followed by a 5 minute rebuttal. After a commercial break John Benko will give his 10 minute intro with Kohl Nelson’s five minute rebuttal. After a second commercial break, a series of 4 questions will interchange 2 minute responses and 1 minute rebuttals. There will be an ending of 3 minutes for each person to finish their points. Time permitting, phone calls will be permitted by callers with questions.

The debate begins live at 7:00 Eastern, 6:00 Central, 5:00 Mountain, and 4:00 Pacific. The archive will be available from that time on. To listen to the debate, click on the following link:

You can hear the debate here

[iframe width="670" height="350" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/VOvDTCbcHe0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe]

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I am very sorry for the death of Robin Williams. What can we take from it?

Posted by John Benko - August 12th, 2014

Robin_Williams     The death of Robin Williams was apparently by suicide and I must talk plainly about it because to minimize what a tragedy it truly is will deny us the opportunity to take from it what we must. Robin Williams made many people laugh but inside himself he was miserable. Laughter is good but in it’s proper time and place. The Bible tells us that there is a time to laugh and a time to weep (Ecclesiastes 3).  As Williams death so soberly illustrates, laughter does not make our problems go away. At best, it gives us only temporary relief from them.

In terms of influence, Williams was one of those cross-generational figures. He was Mork when many of us where kids and Aladdin’s genie to our kids. Now, he is gone. What are we to make of it?

Tragically, I fear greatly that some, who are marginalized, will take from this the gravest of wrong conclusions. That conclusion would be that, in desiring to be free of the pain and suffering that life inevitably brings, that suicide is an acceptable means to the end. It isn’t. Suicide does not end suffering, it only ends hope. If you are considering suicide, please, please, please reach out to someone. People all around the world are lamenting the loss of Robin Williams and acting as if the world being robbed of his laughter is the greatest tragedy. It isn’t. A greater tragedy is that his family has been robbed of a father, a husband, a mentor. His friends have been robbed of a man who could have helped them bear the burdens of this life, or who could have been sanctified themselves, in sharing his burdens. The world has been robbed of the pain he could have relieved or raised awareness of by virtue of his popularity and wealth.

All of that, sad and tragic as it is, pales in comparison to the gravest tragedy of all, that Robin Williams, himself, is now denied any further opportunity for graces he might have merited for his suffering, unto the salvation of his soul. More likely than not, despite the well wishes of a caring and grieving fan base, friends and family, Robin Williams is in a place where his suffering is far more intense than it was on earth. Even if it can be hoped that his state of mental illness reduced his culpability to the extent that his suicide was not a mortal sin, he would be suffering intensely in purgatory where his suffering is gaining him not merit but only paying off a deep and painful debt to God’s justice. The more he planned out and fully consented to his own death, the less likely it is that he received even that level of mercy.

Is it cruel for me to bring this up? Not at all! There are many, on this side of the veil, unwilling or unable to consider the other side. They do not know how foolish they are being. For all John Lennon’s will to imagine there is no heaven or hell during his lifetime, he certainly has no doubts about them now. While we can hold on to hope that he has escaped the latter, if he has not, there is nothing we can do for him or he can do for himself. If Lennon is in hell, sadly, he is there forever. The same must soberly be said of Robin Williams. I hope that he was saved. I hope that he hoped for salvation unto belief. However, we must face the cold truth that, if he didn’t seek mercy in this life, he cannot ever seek it again.

This brings us to the ultimate hope for our lives. We, who all fall prey to temptation and sin (certainly I am no exception) must be ever vigilant to remember the last four things- death, judgment, heaven and hell. All of life- all of it- points to those 4 things.

Death. Judgment. Heaven. Hell.

There is contained the entire summation of our existence in 4 heavy words. The first two are the bridge from here to eternity and one of the last two will be your eternal address. Robin Williams is either in heaven (or on his way there) or he is in hell. That is just the way it is.

The death of Robin Williams should be a time of reflection and a time of humility. What are you living for? Where are you headed? One thing is certain, we must answer for those choices. We must find our way. Let all of us vow right now, to pray for all those we love and for all others who have gotten off the path.

Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell.

Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Your mercy.

Amen

 

 

 

My critique of James White’s debate vs Tim Staples on Purgatory.

Posted by John Benko - January 24th, 2014

[iframe class="video" width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CKq7kSq9DOA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen][/iframe] Since James White has been a peripheral subject of late, as a consequence of our recent tet-a-tet with “Proclaiming the Gospel”, I took it upon myself to listen to this debate he had with Tim Staples. Previously, I had listened to his debate on Sola Scriptura which was, frankly, more of a debate with himself than with his opponent.

Nevertheless, I set-out to listen to this debate as objectively as I possibly could. There were a number of things I found interesting/disconcerting.

First of all, the very first thing that struck me is that Mr. White acted as both moderator and opponent. I would never do this if it could be helped simply because the appearance of an unfair advantage would be obvious. I think Mr. White made a sincere effort to be objective in this role but there were obviously a few times where he fell short. One of the most glaring was when Mr. White departed substantially from the direct context of a caller’s question, taking some gratuitous shots but not allowing Mr. Staples a rebut.

Secondly, talking specifically about the closing statements, I think both men departed dramatically from the topic being talked about and did some grandstanding.

All of that being said, I think that James White clearly and unmistakably lost this debate by his own standards of proof. This was the classic example of the man hoisted by his own petard. It was Mr. White’s constant and unrelenting straw man erecting and goal post moving that gave Mr. Staples an easy victory that would have been far more difficult without Mr. White’s unintentional assistance.

Allow me to explain.

The crux of this argument was the proposition, offered by Mr. Staples, that the fire of 1 Corinthians 3 referred to the judgment of Christ towards all men on the last day. The works, represented as gold, silver, wood or stubble, are metaphors for the kinds of works that can or cannot withstand that fire. The person who will suffer loss but still be saved, as through fire, is the soul in purgatory.

Thus, the fire is a fire of purification and the kinds of works were good works vs sinful works.

James White departed from this view in three essential respects;

  1. That the kinds of works are merely the motivations of the workers in building up the church.
  2. That the workers are religious leaders only.
  3. That the fire is one of revealing only and not of purifying.

This is where the goal post moving began.

Mr. White begins his case by making a number of claims concerning the Catholic position that are incorrect and holds to those positions throughout the debate.

The first mistake was to state that the Catholic position is untenable because it suggests that the “gold”, under the Catholic schema are the purest works and that those works could, therefore, not be in purgatory. I thought Mr. Staples was more than effective in exposing this as a strawman. That is not the Catholic position at all. 1 Corinthians 3 does not intimate, nor does the Catholic understanding of it intimate, that all works (and workers) would receive the same fate. In fact, our position is exactly the reverse. 1 Corinthians 3 is very clear that all workers and all works would be subject to the same test of fire. Some workers will be revealed as Holy by that fire, some will be consumed by that fire and some will be saved through that fire. Mr. Staples was extremely effective in rebutting Mr. White’s false characterization of our position citing, among others, Pope Benedict XVI.

Secondly, Mr. White asserted that Mr. Staples could not demonstrate by Scripture God’s fire as a purifying agent. Mr. Staples simply leveled that assertion showing multitudinous scriptural proof texts as well as quotes by protestant theologians that supported this view.

Mr. White responded by stating that Mr. Staples could not appeal to the clear sense of the text but had to prove the word purification lexically from the direct text. Further, Mr. Staples had to show a direct connection from any other proof text, back to 1 Corinthians 3 or he could not use it.

This is where Mr. White lost this debate. Why? because it was very clear to the listener that Mr. Staples was clearly establishing the love of God as a purifying fire through multiple examples. Mr. Staples very clearly shows how God chasten those whom He loves and draws a direct line to what is occurring in 1 Corinthians 3 with those saved as through fire on that day. Mr. White did not, at all, make any compelling argument to support another view. In fact, Mr. Staples did a very effective job of showing that Mr. White’s contention that the kinds of works referred, not to sin, but motivation, was completely without support. It actually came off as made up out of thin air, not to be too blunt about it.

Mr. White mad a maddening gaffe that I am astounded that Mr. Staples did not pick up on.  Mr. White hammered Tim on the concept of drawing a parallel between God’s chastening or purifying in life, to a purifying after life.  I thought Tim really left this one on the table because White painted himself in a corner here by admitting that what is being spoken of here occurs on the last day.  If one is saved, as through fire as a result of a judgment rendered on the last day, how could this possibly be referring to anything but temporal suffering after death?

Yet, as I mentioned before, Mr. White hung his whole argument on asserting that Staples needed to, and implied he could, find the actual word purification and not merely the concept. Mr. Staples replied correctly that he couldn’t and didn’t need to. As everyone knows, the Word Trinity is not in Scripture either but the concept is. Mr. Staples showed, with crystal clarity, the concept of purification in Scripture and tied it very convincingly to 1 Corinthians 3.

This is where White flamed out, hoisted by his own petard.  At no point did he even attempt to demonstrate, conceptually or lexically, the concept of motivation excluding action, of revealing fire excluding purification and of the concept that this passage narrowly focuses on church leaders.

Mr. Staples definitely left a few arguments on the table and cost himself some style points by drifting. Mr. White definitely had the built in advantage of acting as moderator/debater and used it to his benefit.  Quizzing Staples on a particular Greek word won White a point, for example.

Both are eloquent speakers and I’d score style about even.

On substance it wasn’t close. Staples made his case very effectively. White danced on questions to run the clock out, proposed ludicrous burdens of proof on Staples and failed to make any kind of an affirmative case whatsoever. Staples wins this one in a rout.

 

 

 

 

My Response to Jason Hauser

Posted by John Benko - January 23rd, 2014

Jason Hauser, representing the so-called [sic] “Proclaiming the Gospel” ministries responded to my public challenge for a debate with an email. Before I respond, point-by-point, let me jump forward to the very end. Through this entire post, I will block quote what Jason says in blue, then respond.

And no you do not have my permission to post this email or any portion of it online. Your conscience and whether you respect that or not is between you and God. I fear for you and the judgement that awaits you at the great white throne because you have not just rejected the gospel of grace but you are influencing others and have been thoroughly warned… (Reread Galatians 1-2)

First of all, Jason, it is a very small thing to me to be judged by you (1 Corinthians 4:3). I have, indeed, rejected what you falsely characterize as a ‘gospel of grace’ because it is exactly what my savior told me to do. I have rejected what you profess because it is a different gospel than the one clearly shown in Sacred Scripture. The true Gospel is not the Gospel of Grace, it is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is, ALL of Jesus Christ- His Grace, yes, but also His Sovereignty, His justice and His church. You seek to replace the Jesus Christ of the Bible, who is Just Judge, High Priest, Lord and Savior and replace Him with one who is Savior only. In our blog, deepertruthblog.com, we have systematically refuted each and every claim made to support your gospel and have upheld the gospel given to us by the Apostles. Thus, your fear for me and your warning to me will be greeted with a yawn and the rolling of my eyes.

As for your permission to post what you said, I do not need it. Any correspondence to deepertruthblog is the property of deepertruthblog. You knew that when you sent it. That you desire to hide in dark corners, lest your evil deeds be exposed, is not my problem. You earn respect by giving respect and I have nothing to be guilty of in exposing your claims and your conduct to proper scrutiny (‘your’ referring to you individually as well as your group collectively). Since you appeared to have sent this response via a private email, I will respect the confidentiality of that, but nothing more. We are going to air all of this out in the open, whether you like it or not. I am not bound to God to protect your right to be a coward and a hatemonger. I will expose you and bear no guilt whatsoever in doing it.

Now, let’s proceed…..

Hi John,

I am not sure exactly who I am speaking with here since I thought the guy who wears the Native American jacket ran the blog. Reread what was quoted on the Deeper Truth Blog to see what I said regarding the jacket. I was not criticizing your partner for his jacket or look, I merely described it as a Native American Jacket just as I did above. Do a google search for “native american jacket” if you think I misspoke in my attempt to describe what he was wearing as a means to identify him.
I will take you at your word that you were not criticizing his style of dress but merely identifying him. I can also understand why you would think of him as the face of Deepertruthblog since he has done the lion’s share of the content of late and is one of two members that reside in Texas. However, when I ended my email with “John Benko, founder of Deepertruthblog”, I should think that would have sufficed in identifying who I am.
Moving on…..
What I find really interesting is how you guys are professing Christians yet, would take a personal conversation of mine to an individual and post it online, attach my name, and criticize it. Read Matthew 18 if you’re not sure what’s wrong with responding to a supposed offense in such a way. If I said something publicly through PTG’s website, broadcast, or any other public forum, by all means, respond to it publicly. However, the way you guys executed this has caused me to lose all confidence and trust in your integrity and reaffirms your lack of adherence to biblical values.
Methinks thou doth protest too much. First of all, I have noticed that your side has a very hair-trigger sort of posture when it comes to condemning people and implying that they are not Christians. Most of the time, (as right here) you do so with the silliest of pretenses. There is nothing in the Bible that would prevent us from responding to your claims and defending ourselves. It is very interesting that you would offer Matthew 18, a chapter that explicitly shows the binding authority and infallibility of the [Catholic] Church, as a pretense
for denying us the right to make public something addressed to us. As for your contention that we should respond through PTG’s website, that is exactly the problem. When you make a public claim and it is countered with truth, your response is to remove the response and block the responder. It is the same motivation that causes you to want these conversations private. That motivation is simply that you know you teach falsehood and you know that falsehood doesn’t stand up to the plain truth of history and the Bible. You want to keep your followers ignorant and your opposition silenced. Well, we are at war here and we are going to fight to lead those souls to heaven just as hard as you are to mislead and confuse them with erroneous, slanderous and heretical claims. It is interesting that “Biblical values” only matter to you when you are attacking Catholics. Trespassing on private property and harassing genuine Christians on Christmas Eve is certainly nothing God would approve of nor is the constant unchecked slander that appears on your site and Facebook page. May I remind you that the Good Book equates slander with murder?
I’ve told Oscar this and I’ll tell you. I’m not interested in Bible study, debates, or investing any other time with your circle of devout Catholics. I’ve engaged with too many strong willed Catholics, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and atheists over the years and am not convinced it is a good use of my time.
Well, your abject ignorance of Scripture sure is manifest evidence of your disdain for Bible Study. I do not know who Oscar is but I suppose that is not germaine to the point at hand. Juxtaposing us against Muslims, JWs and Atheists is pretty desperate stuff. None of them- as a group- were formed by the very hands of Jesus Christ, as our church was. None of them wrote the New Testament and compiled the Bible, as our church did. You seem to have plenty of time to attack catholics with your lies but when it comes to backing it up and defending your own position, not so much. That makes you a coward, Jason. You consider yourself a warrior for Christ but you are nothing more than a petulant little boy who throws stones then runs away. We devout Catholics, on the other hand, are not afraid to stand our ground and defend the true gospel against liars like you who seek to malign it. That is why when we call your bluff, your side always backs down. You are cowards because your man-made gospel comes from the greatest coward of all, Satan. If you believe what you supposedly stand for, why are you cowering in the corner? Let’s debate it in the open and let the people who hear it decide who is really proclaiming the gospel and who is proclaiming a false, easy-religion counterfeit.
I love sharing the Gospel with those who are genuinely interested and when the Holy Spirit is clearly at work. I shake the dust off my feet and leave you with a plea to start studying God’s Word and let it speak for itself. This is instead of using it out of context as a proof text for your traditions and teachings of men. You will never know the Gospel, experience the love and forgiveness found in Christ, or find joy purely in Jesus Christ if your motivation for opening God’s Word is as a tool to spar with those who disagree with you.
So now you are both the judge of men’s hearts and of the action of the Holy Spirit? Please, Jason, if you will, show me the chapter and verse where I can see that that authority has been vested in you. You are nothing but a man speaking for yourself so your plea or your dust is cause for nothing but a chuckle on my part. As for your hollow assertion that I use a passage ‘out of context’, you are engaging in the most ironic and amusing projection imaginable. It is precisely that kind of abuse of context that is the basis of your entire false gospel. I have read the whole Bible and I have let it speak for itself and it speaks- quite plainly- in direct opposition to everything you profess. It is you that isolates a verse here, a couple of sentences there (Romans 10:9, 4:1, Ephesians 2:8-9…a few others) to create an entirely new gospel. However, if you would just sit down and take your own advice and read the gospel, you could not make it through the first 25 chapters of Matthew before putting Sola Fide in the garbage can never to be heard from again.
I have read the Bible, sir and that is why I know that what you profess is simply nonsense. The Bible tells us that we will be judged by our deeds- in too many places to count. The Bible tells us that only those who forgive will be forgiven (Luke 6:37), only those who show mercy will be shown mercy (James 2:13) and that only those who persevere to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22). The Bible, in fact, vindicates every single belief and doctrine Catholics profess but you would rather remain in your willful blindness than engage in that conversation. All the worse for you on judgement day when all the Catholics you have maligned will be raised up as witnesses against you.
If you’d like a debate, contact James White (http://www.aomin.org). I don’t believe he turns down any opportunities for a debate and he’s much smarter and better versed than I am. I’m passionate about sharing the Gospel and giving biblical truth to those who are genuinely listening and interested.
James White is a small and bitter little man and the most pathetic debater I have ever seen. His defense of Sola Scriptura is the very definition of Cognitive Dissonance and his blather about Revelation 17 and 18 has been absolutely disintegrated on our very blog. Nevertheless, my challenge was to you. If James White wants to debate me, I’d be happy to and would eat him alive. That is not the conversation we are having here. I am challenging you to back up your claims and assertions and you are not man enough to do it.
The Proclaiming the Gospel website does not attack anyone. It merely responds to false religions and practices with God’s Word. Your problem is not with such a ministry but rather someone lovingly telling you the truth that you have been deceived by the traditions of men. What you do with such warnings is between you and the Lord. If you reject the warnings given there is nothing more to say to you.
Really? This polemic is on your website right now;
Pope Francis visited a cemetery in Rome last Friday in observance of the Roman Catholic holiday All Saints’ Day to pray for the dead and bless the graves of the departed. He celebrated the blasphemous representation of the Eucharistic Christ during mass and ask the dead saints to pray for those who remain alive. “The saints who stand before the face of the Lord, pray for us, for this our city, and for the whole world, that everywhere the peace of Christ may shine brightly,” he said. “He is our peace and eternal life.”
Now, if characterizing the Eucharist as blasphemous and the Saints as “dead saints” is not an attack, I do not know what would be. This is just one example of the outright hostility and hypocrisy that characterizes your [sic] “ministry”. The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Himself. Perhaps you didn’t read His own words in John 6. Let me help you with that, since you did point out that we should let God’s word speak for itself;
53 So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
This is one of those passages that you claim we take out of context as if ‘context’ is a foil you can use to avoid confronting the reality of Scripture. Paul certainly understood what Jesus was saying.
14 Therefore, my dear friends,[c] flee from the worship of idols. 15 I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Consider the people of Israel;[d] are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19 What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he? (1 Corinthians 10)
27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For all who eat and drink[h] without discerning the body,[i] eat and drink judgment against themselves. (1 Corinthians 11)
Are not Paul’s letters to the church at Corinth Scripture? Did John not record our savior’s words correctly? Here is where all your bitter anti-Catholic polemics disintegrate into dust. Here is where you, Jason, are hoisted by your own petard. There is one reason only why you refuse to debate me. It is because you know that I will confront you with proof texts like 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 and you will be convicted by them and defenseless against them. Any plea to ‘context’ will be instantly recognized for it’s desperation. The text, as you yourself pointed out, speaks for itself. Jesus plainly says that the bread and cup are His body and blood and we are to receive it as such. Paul says- just as clearly- that to deny the reality of transubstantiation is to damn yourself! I do not need my judgment to know that you are tinkering on the razor’s edge of hell by your blasphemy and intransigence. Here, God’s very inspired Word spells it out with frightening clarity.
The same is true of your characterization of the Saints as ‘dead saints’. The Sadducees tried that one too.

27 Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to him 28 and asked him a question, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man[b] shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; 30 then the second 31 and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. 32 Finally the woman also died. 33 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her.”

34 Jesus said to them, “Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; 35 but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. 36 Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. 37 And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.” (Luke 20)

The debate has occurred and you- and your anti-Christian doctrines have been soundly and unassailably defeated.
Here are a few articles that might be of interest that I would encourage you to read. Feel free to respond to this author publicly if you feel he is in error.
Since you were too much of a coward to confront the evidence I presented, I see no obligation to be handed off to a third party. You have now been presented the truth. I have proven that “proclaiming the gospel” is a false ministry that would be far more approprietly called “denying the gospel”. If you decide to man-up and confront the evidence I have presented here in an open and honorable way, that invitation stands open. On any doctrine, we will use the proof of Scripture and history to disprove your anti-Christian position and vindicate our genuinely Christian position. If you continue to operate in the shadows, you concede your own defeat and we are done here. I will pray for all of you that God removes the scales from your eyes before you go to your own place as Judas (and Luther and Calvin) did.
 

The Catholic Defender at EWTN

Posted by John Benko - January 13th, 2014

Marcus Grodi, Bruce Sullivan and
myself take a picture following the
broadcast live on EWTN. Both Marcus and Bruce will appear on our deepertruth radio show. They are both great Apologists for the Catholic Faith. They had the crowd totally into the show. Marcus was a former Lutheran Minister and Bruce was a former Church of Christ Minister. They were very well received at the show.

I take an opportunity to pose on the set “The Journey Home”. This evening is one of the last episodes of “The Journey Home” broadcast live from this location. It will be moved to a location much closer to home for Marcus Grodi. Tonight began the show’s 14th year on the set. Great Job Marcus! What a great place to be, some of the great convert stories of our time like Scott and Kimberly Hahn, Steve Ray, Tim Staples, and many more. God is so good!


Marcus Grodi and Bruce Sullivan talking about pre-game warmups which they would knock the ball out of the park. It was a wonderful day for everyone as EWTN has a great team there. Both men were very approachable and happy to meet people. Bruce had two of his Daughters there and they got the chance to see their Dad hit a grand slam this very evening. It was great to have been there! I knew Bruce as we worked together in Kentucky during the Youth 2,000 weekends!


I had the chance to speak with Father Frank Pavone. He will be a guest on deepertruth radio soon as he was very interested to talk to me. He was very gracious with his time, a true man of God who loves the Lord and His Church. He is one of the great spokesman for the unborn child! Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg of you to spare the life of the unborn child, whom I have spiritually adopted.

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