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 #250* Les Miserables

Posted by John Benko - January 6th, 2013

One of the promises I was required to keep, during this Christmas season, was to see Les Miserables in the theater with my wife and daughter. I completed that mission, on this feast of Saint John Neumann (the patron saint of our parish), and on the eve of the last day of Christmas- the Epiphany.

As many of you know, January 6th, 2006 was the worst day of my life and seven year’s passing has not reduced the pain enough that I don’t still dread it’s dawning. A day of joy, a day of celebration….not for us. At least, not yet. Recently, a friend (who shall remain anonymous) posted on his blog, that he got through Les Miserables by watching the LSU game on his smart phone. As much as I enjoyed the word that LSU lost to Clemson, knocking the mighty SEC from it’s perch, this was not a movie to ‘get through’. There are movies to watch and there are movies to ‘get through’ and then there are movies to drown in and and be washed by.

Les Miserables is a movie in which you sink all the way to the bottom and remain there for the duration as wave after wave of emotion of grace sweep over you.

I could make a list of movies that affected me this way- Titanic, The Passion of the Christ, The Lord of the Rings; return of the King and United 93 come to mind. The list would not be many more titles in length. I do not get into movies that rest alone on special effects or mindless violence or overly superficial depictions of love and life. A movie has to really speak to me. I walk away asking what does this film say to me? How is my life affected or changed in having seen it?

If You’ve Got Mail or When Harry Met Sally are the kind of trite, sugar coated mush that make people like me want to throw up, Les Miserables is a baptism of blood- an relenting and seemingly merciless way of the cross. It drags you down out of the warm confines of your comfortable life and into the darkly lit abodes of the lost and forsaken, the despairing and the hopeless who seek death as a respite from the misery that oppresses them and hangs over them like a menacing darkness.

How many of the actors and actresses in this movie really know of this despair, this blackness?

In the event you are not familiar with the story, it starts and ends with the struggle between a man, Jean Valjean who spent 19 years in prison for stealing a loaf of bread for a starving child, and his merciless tormentor Javert, whose Pharisaical zeal for the letter of the law, could not grasp the concepts of love and mercy and redemption. On his road to redemption, Jean first finds mercy from a Bishop and that starts his journey to this hopeless man both finding hope and giving hope, saving others and saving himself.

Javert finds himself in need, from Jean’s hands, the very mercy he, himself refused to ever give. Where mercy saved Jean Valjean, mercy crushed Javert. Unable to give it, he was unable to receive it. Unable to comprehend what it means to love and be loved, to forgive and be forgiven, Javert’s whole world view explodes. Unable to change, he kills himself instead.

Judgement vs Mercy, Mercy vs Judgement, these are the themes that ring through the whole film. The story is unmistakably Catholic, through and through. Not merely superficially Catholic but Sacrament-ally Catholic, so much so that one bristles at the suggestion that Hollywood was capable of making such a film.

One marvels at the ability of God to speak so boldly through a film created in a town with such a rabid hatred for Him. Then it dawns on you that maybe their derision and disdain for us is not entirely without merit.

One of the central themes of Les Miserables, one that fires at you over and over, is that you cannot reach a soul by condemning and judging that soul. Label him a thief and he’ll just become more of a thief. Label her a whore and you give her no reason to believe she is, or can be anything more. How many Jean Valjeans or Fantines have you made? How many have I? Yes, it is true that Hollywood and America are drenched in a sex craving, money worshiping worldview that can not work.

I just wonder, though, do you reach a wounded animal by barking at it? Love is the message of Les Miserables is the same as the movies I mentioned above- Love costs. One must be willing to lay down his very life for love, carry other’s burdens, heal other’s wounds. Only then, do we give the sinner the space to change- the way Jean valjean changed.

How many people perish and are damned simply because there is no one who cared for them or prayed for them or even noticed them stirring in the shadows? God forbid you were ever such a one, just needing one hand of compassion and never finding it.

Matthew 25
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand,
Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which
 is prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat;
 I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink;
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked,
 and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye
 visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer, saying,
 Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst,
or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison,
 and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily
 I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto
 one of these least, ye did it not unto me.
46 And these shall go away into eternal
 punishment: but the righteous into eternal life. 

The worst mistake one could make watching Les Miserables, would be to focus too heavily on the characters themselves, and not enough on the message. The characters are you and me- our good sides and our bad. The times we were low and lost and just needed to be seen as more than a whore on the street or the number 24601, the times when we were haughty and called down God to be merciless judge to anyone not meeting with our approval.

The story of Les Miserables is one of crosses, endless painful crosses and of how the outcasts of the world are the very precious souls that lead us to heaven.

January 6th, 2006 was the day I entered my darkness. It was a darkness I could not have hoped to extricate myself from. The prayers and compassion of others, over time, pulled me out of it, as it did my wife, my son and my daughters. Les Miserables uses the French Revolution merely as a backdrop. Hunger and desperation and loneliness and despair are themes as raw and real and fresh in 2013 as they were in France in the 1800s or even Israel in the first century.

The desire is too strong to stone the transgressors we know but who among us is really worthy to cast that stone? If measured by the same standard, how many stones do we deserve cast at us?

In the end, what we take from Les Miserables might be shaped by what we really value and how we really view life and salvation. How do we really view the least of us. Are they really just Les Miserables (the miserable), the hopeless dregs of society? Or are they children of God, our brothers and sisters, called to be cared for by us?

I give Les Miserables an enthusiastic 5 stars and urge you to see it.


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*BEST OF DTB #235* Keeping Christ in Christmas Carnival

Posted by John Benko - December 20th, 2012

In participation with the Catholic Bloggers network, here is our article for the Keep Christ in Christmas Carnival.

Over the past couple of years, Deepertruthblog has endeavored to study on what date Jesus Christ was actually born, given that there is so much contradictory conjecture on the matter.

Engaging in this, we decided to keep an open mind and truly follow where the evidence led us. What resulted was a video that we believe makes an almost airtight case that Jesus Christ was, in fact, born on December 25th, 2 BC. Here is the video, should you wish to view it. At first, I basically agreed with those who said that it really doesn’t matter what day He was born on but now I am finding it more and more and more important.

The reason why is because it is becoming more and more fashionable to either claim that the day was chosen to cover a pagan feast or to claim that the whole thing is a complete invention of fantasy.

The birth of Christ is not merely an event commemorated, once a year, by a subjectively chosen date, it is an event around which all of history is centered. Jesus circumcision, and initiation into the Jewish faith happened on the eighth day of His life- January, 1st, 1 BC. All of time is measured by those 8 days, those events that happened before it, during and after.

If Jesus is a figment of our imagination, then Christmas should not be celebrated at all. When members of my own family have reduced this day to a day of presents that will break and trees that will die, it becomes an empty, soulless day of vanity and futility. On the other hand, if Christmas day is a real birthday of a real God-Man who was born to save me from the emptiness and despair of this valley of tears, then the star on my tree reckons a real sight beheld by the Magi and the angel recalls the very same who shattered the darkness of the night sky, electrifying the stunned and lowly shepherds.

Christmas is a day for the latter, not the former and I cannot comprehend the gall of those who would steal our day of light and forge it into their own barren and selfish image.

The kind and benevolent Saint Nicholas, a Catholic Bishop and a model of the love and kindness born this day, has been reduced to a peddler of high end luxury cars in a world where self-indulgence trumps self-sacrifice and the entire message of Christmas has been turned on it’s head.

Joy is not found in a Mercedes. Joy is found in the breaking news that thundered through the chilled air over Bethlehem. As the shepherds stared up, mouths open aghast with their breath visible in cloud like puffs, the bleating of sheep drown out with the roaring of Gabriel’s voice and a celestial choir soaring in song.

Fear not! For behold I bring you good tidings of great joy! For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior who is Messiah and Lord.

It gives me chills to imagine the ecstasy experienced by these men of lowly estate. I have a very hard time believing that even one of them would trade those moments for the prestige of owning a new Benz.

Why should we keep Christ in Christmas? Because how can you have a season that fulfilled the festival of lights without the light itself? How can you have a birthday party without the birthday boy? How can you have a season of hope, joy, truth and redemption without He who is the very fountain of all these things. How can you gaze in wonder at a emblazoned tree and not stand in awe at the author of life who animated it, but for a season.

How true were John’s immortal words that the true light came unto the world but the world did not know Him. He came to His own people but they rejected Him.

To those of you who do not accept Him and, out of stubbornness, will not, I shed a tear of sorrow. Yet, I still ask of you one thing. Create your own day. Call it whatever you wish and give whatever honor to whoever you will. If it be your desire, create a day of nothing where you can heartily and joyously celebrate the day on which nothing happened by anybody, to anybody, or for anybody, for no particular reason. You could commemorate it by walking around blindly in the dark, eating nothing, drinking nothing, feeling nothing and owing nothing. Do all this and more (or less, for that matter). All I ask is that you do it on any day other that December 25th.

Surely, out of the 365 days of the year, you can spare one where those who are filled with sorrow can feel hope, those who filled with guilt can find reconciliation, those who love and believe in Jesus Christ can worship and adore Him as real. As you preach to us of tolerance, how tolerant are you to demand we remove all our creches and stay silent with our hymns and well wishes?

You, who constantly push your secular views on us all of the 365 days, cannot tolerate driving past a park where cold spectators kneel before a small model of a stable marking our sacred day. Will you melt if you overhear someone say ‘Merry Christmas’?

Christmas is OUR day. Get your own and leave us be. We would will that you share in our joy but that is your call. What we will not do, is share in your misery. We the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. We pray that you will one day see it. If you chose not to, know this- we will not let you douse that light. If you try, expect a fight.


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