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.
 

*BEST OF DTB #195* The Catholic Defender looks at "Born Again"

Posted by John Benko - December 15th, 2013

My last year in college I studied more in religion than any of my classes.

It became a real struggle for me. I would be at baseball practice and I would have a fan club out there in the bleachers waiting for me with their King James version of the bible waiting for me to talk about their faiths.

I was being challenged with their interpretations. I was told that all I needed was a “personal relationship” with Christ, that all I needed to be was “born again”. I was told that I needed to be “saved” and all it took was a “Sinner’s Prayer”.

I was being told you could not be saved through an institution. To them it was not a religion, it was a relationship. I could be in the Dining Hall and they would gather around me, or I could be at the Student Union and they would find me there.

I would have people gather around me to talk about their faiths and why the Catholic Church was in error. My Room mates would invite people over to our room to debate with me which would always go late at night.

They were sharing their Jack Chick publications warning me that the Catholic Church was the “Whore of Babylon” and the Pope was the “anti-Christ“. Because of this I spent about two hours a day in the library discovering the roots of my Catholic Faith.

After one particular night when the debate got heated, I slept hard, I remember a dream that was so real, it has had a great impact on me for the rest of my life. In my dream it was clear that God’s Church was dead. I felt such sorrow and despair, and through the sadness, I began to cry shedding tears for His body, the Catholic Church.

I found myself suddenly in a ruin where a Church had been built.  I began  walking through the wreckage until I came to where the Sanctuary had been.

It looked like Mass had not been celebrated there for a long time as the ceiling overhead was gone.  Behind where the Altar there was a large crucifix when I saw a vision of Christ on the Cross.

Jesus looked very sad and I felt such great despair that I began to cry.  I heard a voice tell me that Jesus was crying because of the plight of His Church. From this scene, which seemed to last a good while, I never felt such anguish.

I cried so much that I woke up out of my sleep totally wet from the tears I was crying.  (The above picture was taken years later when I was stationed in Germany.  That is me at the door of this Church in ruins.)

My pillow, the bed, the blankets, sheets, everything were all wet. I sat up as it took me a couple of minutes to realize this was only a dream. Instinctively, I recalled my Confirmation that took place in Blue Springs Missouri by Bishop Sullivan at the age of twelve. I renewed my vows and told the Lord that I will be a Soldier for Him.

I will not betray Him nor abandon His Church even when people around me do. I will do my best to remain loyal to Him and upon This Rock, I will stand. A promise that I have been graced to keep ever since. I began to see what being “born again” was to really mean:

One of the most popular, widely-asked questions is ‘Are you born again?’ People refer to this ‘being born again’ as an experience. Others call it their ‘reality.’ Nicodemus told Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.”

“Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” What did Jesus mean when he made this statement? For one thing, a change of heart must occur. Any individual who experiences being born from above will manifest certain signs. The first sign will be repentance.

We must recognize our sinfulness and renounce all sin, and our need for the Savior Jesus Christ. This cannot, however, be a once-in-a lifetime experience, but anew, and continual way of life. Jesus established the Sacrament of Confession for this reason. Faith is a journey and it requires growth.

Nicodemus goes on to ask, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus then says, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.” 

St. John the Baptist foretold his followers that the one who comes after him would “baptize you with fire and the Holy Spirit.”

At the news of Jesus public ministry, St. John says, “He must increase, while I decrease.”

The over all increase of Jesus (thoughts, actions, intentions, etc…) in a person’s life is one elemental sign of the born again experience.

Jesus states, “No one can come to the Father unless you do the will of the Father. We must seek to do his will.”

Some Pentecostals maintain that a person cannot be born again without speaking in tongues, an outward sign of the Holy Spirit.

This position has brought dissension among them. Pope Gregory the Great (604 A. D.) in his encyclical Homiliae in Evanfelia, Hom 29.4 observed that such charismatic signs decreased after the first days of the Catholic faith.

Pope John XXIII is reported to have prayed for those gifts of the early Church to aid in these final days. A Charismatic Renewal was sparked in the 1980’s and continues through today. The Holy Spirit, beginning with the ‘born again’ experience, guides and directs each individual believer.

On the corporate level, however, the Holy Spirit has guided and directed the Catholic Church since the first Pentecost. For some 2000 years, the Holy Spirit has handed down the teachings of Christ through Apostolic Succession. The Holy Spirit has guided Apostolic authority with infallibility despite our sinfulness.

The Holy Spirit has utilized the Church in writing the New Testament, by putting the scripture together at the Council of Hippo (393 – 396 A. D.). The Holy Spirit has guided the great Councils of the Church beginning with the Council of Jerusalem (49 A.D.) continuing to the ‘1960s with the Second Vatican Council.

The Holy Spirit touches people through the Sacraments, particularly Baptism and Confirmation. The Holy Spirit is present and participates in the life of Christians on every level, from public and elaborate liturgies to private, closet prayer.

It has always been manifested through the Church, its ministers, and people. The evidence of being born again is our living the teaching of Christ. Baptism and Confirmation cannot be subtracted from the born again experience due to the Holy Spirit’s working within communities and individuals in relation to the Sacraments.

When you are asked whether you’ve been born again, let your life demonstrate the results of being born again. This is putting ‘yes’ into action.

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22).

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength (fortitude), knowledge, faith, healing, mighty deeds, prophecy, discernment of spirits, varieties of tongues, and interpretation of tongues (I Cor 12: 4-10).