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 #222* Praying and Saints and the Body of Christ: A Catholic Take

Posted by John Benko - October 11th, 2012

“Saints and the Garden of God” Podcast
Listen to internet radio with Deeper Truth on Blog Talk Radio



What’s With All the Saints?
And the Nature of Prayer

Originally Posted on 9-18-2011

“I’m having trouble with praying to the saints. I know it’s possible, I just can’t see why it’s necessary.” This question came from a fellow convert. Her conversion, like mine, was emotional and total and nearly as instantaneous. God simply handed her the Truth of the Church and reduced her (and continues to reduce her to tears) at the beauty of 2,000 years of the Faith laid out like a welcome mat before her. We both (and indeed we all) have been graced with the one true faith; what we don’t know is the details. This type of conversion of the heart means that the mind sometimes takes a little while to catch up, so my young friend will ask me questions on occasion, knowing I went through a similar process. Sometimes, I have looked into it already. Sometimes we have to go looking for answers and off we trot. This was what I found out in answer to her question. 

Unlike me and my spiritual meanderings, she comes directly from a Protestant background, so Biblical references are helpful to her. I’ve listed them below so you can read them at your leisure. For the purpose of this explanation, I am going to assume that you, too, know the truth, but are hungry to know why it should be true.

The Prayers of Petition: Who Needs Them?

1) God doesn’t need you. You need God.

First off, we need to understand that God doesn’t need anything. He Is. He can do what He wants, with or without our input. Petitioning God for you and your own needs or even intercessory prayer (a prayer that asks God to do something for another person) does not turn God into a slot machine. Insert prayer, pull handle, receive blessing. As we all know, every petitionary or intercessory prayer is answered with either a yes, a no, or a wait awhile.We need to ask. God wants us to ask, but He has no need of the asking.

2) Prayer is a gift.

The act of prayer is not even our own. It is our response to grace. The desire to pray is placed in our heart. It is a sign that we are beginning to cooperate with the Will of God, no matter how imperfectly. It is often the person praying that God changes in order to answer the prayer. So, for example, even though you may be praying for a stubborn coworker who drives you batty, the answer to your prayer may look a little like this:

You haven’t thought about that obnoxious co-worker much lately, but in the middle of an tense discussion with your husband you are suddenly graced with a vivid understanding of how petty you are being. You are given the insight to see that he is bothered by your demands, but is perfectly willing to do it your way to keep the peace. Not only do you see your own pettiness, but you can see a direct correlation between your pettiness and the pettiness of that coworker you’ve been praying for. The insight into your own character is in answer to that original prayer and if you could put it into words it would be something like: “Is it any wonder that this coworker bugs me so much? Everything he does pricks my conscience!”

I try hard to remember that there are an infinity of irritants in the world and most of them bounce off with little notice. It’s the irritants that resonate with our own faults that catch and hold our attention. I know this may seem off the topic, but it really has a lot to do with the question of praying to the saints. It has to do with our needs, rather than God’s. My point is that God does not need to be asked to act, and in a similar way, God does not need the saints to ask either. Neither do the saints need anything, being in Heaven already.

When we pray to God to change something in our life, we are responding to the grace to pray and are cooperating with His will. He will use our cooperation to change us, to make us more of who He created us to be. 

3) Intercessory prayer increases our communion with the Body of Christ.

It is a spiritual no-brainer to understand that praying increases our communion with God. You have to talk to someone to get to know them better, so that sort of truth about prayer can be intuited without much research or contemplation. Something about intercessory prayer that might not be obvious is that we begin to commune with each other as we pray. Prayer is communication. When we pray for others part of our communication is our communion with God and also with the person we are praying for. In other words, we are strengthening our relationship with that person through God. Strengthening the bonds with another strengthens the unity of the Body of Christ here on Earth. It brings us together in community here and helps us remember that we are, in fact, related and necessary for one another.

Asking the saints to pray for us is the same thing, only with the larger Body of Christ. The saints don’t need our prayers, being in Heaven already. God doesn’t need our prayers, being God, nor does He need the saint’s prayers. We have need of the saints, though. We need to be closer to those who have triumphed. We need to build stronger bonds with Heaven and the residents there. It helps us remember that there is our home, the more we call upon all the loved ones there. 

Our focus should be Heaven. Our actions should be Prayer. Our life should be God’s. Prayer helps us to make that happen. Prayer is so much more than what we bargain for and thank God for it!



 

 

Scripture Proofs (from this link)

I. We are One Family in Christ in Heaven and on Earth

Eph. 3:14-15- we are all one family (“Catholic”) in heaven and on earth, united together, as children of the Father, through Jesus Christ. Our brothers and sisters who have gone to heaven before us are not a different family. We are one and the same family. This is why, in the Apostles Creed, we profess a belief in the “communion of saints.” There cannot be a “communion” if there is no union. Loving beings, whether on earth or in heaven, are concerned for other beings, and this concern is reflected spiritually through prayers for one another.
Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23-32; Col. 1:18,24 – this family is in Jesus Christ, the head of the body, which is the Church.
1 Cor. 12:12,27; Rom. 12:5; Col. 3:15; Eph. 4:4 – we are the members of the one body of Christ, supernaturally linked together by our partaking of the Eucharist.
Rom. 8:35-39 – therefore, death does not separate the family of God and the love of Christ. We are still united with each other, even beyond death.
Matt. 17:3; Mark 9:4; Luke 9:30 – Jesus converses with “deceased” Moses and Elijah. They are more alive than the saints on earth.
Matt. 22:32; Mark 12:27; Luke 20:38 – God is the God of the living not the dead. The living on earth and in heaven are one family.
Luke 15:7,10 – if the angels and saints experience joy in heaven over our repentance, then they are still connected to us and are aware of our behavior.
John 15:1-6 – Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. The good branches are not cut off at death. They are alive in heaven.
1 Cor. 4:9 – because we can become a spectacle not only to men, but to angels as well, this indicates that angels are aware of our earthly activity. Those in heaven are connected to those on earth.
1 Cor. 12:26 – when one member suffers, all suffer. When one is honored, all rejoice. We are in this together as one family.
1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2 – now we see in a mirror dimly, but in heaven we see face to face. The saints are more alive than we are!
Heb. 12:1: we are surrounded by a great glory cloud (shekinah) of witnesses. The “cloud of witnesses” refers to the saints who are not only watching us from above but cheering us on in our race to heaven.
1 Peter 2:9; Rev. 20:6 – we are a royal family of priests by virtue of baptism. We as priests intercede on behalf of each other.
2 Peter 1:4 – since God is the eternal family and we are His children, we are partakers of His divine nature as a united family.
1 Cor. 1:2; Rom. 1:7 – we are called to be saints. Saints refer to both those on earth and in heaven who are in Christ. Proof:
Acts 9:13,32,41; 26:10; 1 Cor. 6:1-2; 14:33; 2 Cor. 1:1; 8:4; 9:1-2; 13:13; Rom. 8:27; 12:23; 15:25,26, 31; 16:2,15; Eph. 1:1,15,18; 3:8; 5:3; 6:18; Phil. 1:1; 4:22; Col 1:2,4,26; 1 Tm 5:10; Philemon 1:5,7; Heb. 6:10; 13:24; Jude 1:3; Rev. 11:18; 13:7; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6;18:20,24; Rev 19:8; 20:9 – in these verses, we see that Christians still living on earth are called “saints.”
Matt. 27:52; Eph. 2:19; 3:18; Col. 1:12; 2 Thess. 1:10; Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4; 11:18; 13:10 – in these verses, we also see that “saints” also refer to those in heaven who united with us.
Dan. 4:13,23; 8:23 – we also see that the angels in heaven are also called “saints.” The same Hebrew word “qaddiysh” (holy one) is applied to both humans and angels in heaven. Hence, there are angel saints in heaven and human saints in heaven and on earth. Loving beings (whether angels or saints) are concerned for other beings, and prayer is the spiritual way of expressing that love.
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II. God Desires and Responds to Our Subordinate Mediation / Intercessory Prayer

1 Tim 2:1-2 – because Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5), many Protestants deny the Catholic belief that the saints on earth and in heaven can mediate on our behalf. But before Paul’s teaching about Jesus as the “one mediator,” Paul urges supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people. Paul is thus appealing for mediation from others besides Christ, the one mediator. Why?
1 Tim 2:3 – because this subordinate mediation is good and acceptable to God our Savior. Because God is our Father and we are His children, God invites us to participate in Christ’s role as mediator.
1 Tim. 2:5 – therefore, although Jesus Christ is the sole mediator between God and man, there are many intercessors (subordinate mediators).
1 Cor. 3:9 – God invites us to participate in Christ’s work because we are God’s “fellow workers” and one family in the body of Christ. God wants His children to participate. The phrase used to describe “fellow workers” is “sunergoi,” which literally means synergists, or cooperators with God in salvific matters. Does God need fellow workers? Of course not, but this shows how much He, as Father, loves His children. God wants us to work with Him.
Mark 16:20 – this is another example of how the Lord “worked with them” (“sunergountos”). God cooperates with us. Out of His eternal love, He invites our participation.
Rom. 8:28 – God “works for good with” (the Greek is “sunergei eis agathon”) those who love Him. We work as subordinate mediators.
2 Cor. 6:1 – “working together” (the Greek is “sunergountes”) with him, don’t accept His grace in vain. God allows us to participate in His work, not because He needs our help, but because He loves us and wants to exalt us in His Son. It is like the father who lets his child join him in carrying the groceries in the house. The father does not need help, but he invites the child to assist to raise up the child in dignity and love.
Heb. 12:1 – the “cloud of witnesses” (nephos marturon) that we are surrounded by is a great amphitheatre of witnesses to the earthly race, and they actively participate and cheer us (the runners) on, in our race to salvation.
1 Peter 2:5 – we are a holy priesthood, instructed to offer spiritual sacrifices to God. We are therefore subordinate priests to the Head Priest, but we are still priests who participate in Christ’s work of redemption.
Rev. 1:6, 5:10 – Jesus made us a kingdom of priests for God. Priests intercede through Christ on behalf of God’s people.
James 5:16; Proverbs 15:8, 29 – the prayers of the righteous (the saints) have powerful effects. This is why we ask for their prayers. How much more powerful are the saints’ prayers in heaven, in whom righteousness has been perfected.
1 Tim 2:5-6 – therefore, it is because Jesus Christ is the one mediator before God that we can be subordinate mediators. Jesus is the reason. The Catholic position thus gives Jesus the most glory. He does it all but loves us so much He desires our participation.


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