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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

John Martignoni continues his quest to bring a heretic home to the Truth.

Combine the patience of Job and a truly encyclopedic knowledge of The Faith and you get Mr. John Martignoni. If only all Catholics were even half this serious about The Truth...

Okay, continuing with my response to anti-Catholic Tony Thorne (see previous newsletter:   http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/donations) Did you think about how you would have replied to his last response? Let's see if your response is similar to mine. And, just so you know, there is no one "correct" way to respond in this situation. But, you do need to have a plan of attack, it shouldn't just be a haphazard response that is 100% reactive...you need to always be proactive in your dialogues/debates. You need to be drawing them in...leading them...to the place where you want them to go. You should be guiding and directing the conversation. Far, far too many times I've seen Catholics who just respond to whatever the non-Catholic says - regardless of how inane, idiotic, and/or off point it may be. The non-Catholic goes wherever his theological imagination, and his wild and crazy interpretations of Scripture, take him, and the Catholic just follows along. No. You need a plan. You lead. Make them follow.

Now, I had a few people write to me telling me I should have said this or I should have said that and how I could have done a better job in my response to Tony and so on. I will respond by saying that what I did in the last newsletter is what I call the setup phase - I'm trying to get him to commit to a particular interpretation of a verse or passage of Scripture. An interpretation that I know he has, but I just want him to say it clearly and definitively. "So, Romans 3:23 means such and such...right?" Why do I want him to do that? Because once he has committed to a particular interpretation, it is easier to refute him by showing how his interpretation in this one place actually contradicts his interpretation in another place. I ask setup questions to get his responses which I can then use against him later on. It's always a good thing to be able to convict someone using their own words. With Tony, as with many non-Catholics, it is difficult to pin them down...they want to go all over the place. Why? Because they can't really give a direct answer to your questions that is consistent and rational, so they have to scamper here and there. That's why you need to have a plan and try to lead them in a certain direction.

So, for those of you who think I should have used this passage and that passage and should have immediately gone in for the kill, so to speak, that was not what I wanted to do at that time. I was being very deliberate and patient. I want him to say what I want him to say first, then I have the opportunity to, in essence, spring the trap. But the trap has to be set first. You don't necessarily want to put all your cards on the table in your first round or two of dialogue.

Okay, I am going to start with the response from Tony that I closed with in my last newsletter and pick up the conversation from there.


Tony Thorne:

Tony Thorne I believe what that verse [Romans 3:11] means in context as Paul was exerting in v10 that none are righteous, non understand. When you look up the greek word for seek, ( zetéo) you will find in its semantic range, the meaning, get to the bottom of. "But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit." For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets.(1 cor 2:10) then stretching across scripture (that never contradicts as we contexualize) we come to Jerimiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart". Then contextual staying with the theme of the Bible, we come to Mathew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. So, it seems my interpretation is in line at this point. In theology, we call it topicalizing when you exhort scripture noncontextually to prove a point, as you have attempted to do in your previous post? Back to 3:11 In context, this verse implies that man is unable to comprehend the truth of God or grasp his standard of rightuessness. sadly his spiritual ignorance does not result from a lack of opertunity, but is an expression of his depravity and rebellion.

As you have been shown, the Bible does tell us to seek God. Its very important to keep things in context John. Could you please now answer the question as to what makes you think mary never sinned? Please, direct answer would be valued.

John Martignoni:

Oh, how I disagree with thee, let me count the ways:

#1: You said in your response, “I believe what the verse means in context...” Well, sorry, but I’m not interested in what you “believe” the verse means. Your “belief” could be wrong. What authority do you have to tell me what a passage of Scripture means that I should believe your interpretation? None. So, I believeyour interpretation is wrong. We have already established that your interpretations of the Bible are not infallible, so will you admit that this interpretation of yours could be wrong? And, if it could be wrong, then why should I believe your interpretation vs. the very clear meaning of the passage as it is written?

#2: So, according to Tony Thorne, the word “seek” doesn’t really mean “seek”? And, instead of saying, “no one understands, no one seeks for God,” the English translation of Romans 3:11 should have said, “Man is unable to comprehend the truth of God or grasp his standard of righteousness.” Which means that the translators of the King James Bible, the New International Bible, the Revised Standard Version Bible, the Geneva Bible, the American Standard Version Bible, the Darby Bible, the Wycliffe Bible, and pretty much every other major Protestant English translation of the Bible gave us a translation of God’s Word that we can’t trust? After all, they all missed the translation that Tony Thorne came up with.

#3: You stated, “When you look up the greek word for seek, ( zetéo) you will find in its semantic range, the meaning, "get to the bottom of.” Okay, so one possible meaning of the Greek word, “zeteo,” which is translated “seek” in Romans 3:11, is “get to the bottom of.” Well, that’s all nice and everything, but there is a problem. Where does the Bible ever translate the Greek word, “zeteo,” as “get to the bottom of”? It’s one thing for that to be a “possible” meaning of the word - in its “semantic range” - but it’s another thing for the translators of the Bible to actually use that particular meaning of the word in their translations. And, in this case, they don’t! In the King James Bible (which is Protestant), the Greek word “zeteo” is translated as “seek” exactly 100 times. I can find no translation of the word as “get to the bottom of.” So, even though the word "zeteo" can possibly, in some instances, be translated as “get to the bottom of,” it is never translated that way in the Bible. So your point is completely and totally irrelevant, unless you believe all the English translators of the Bible to be wrong.

#4: To use your logic, when you look up the Greek word for “all,” (pas), you will find in its semantic range the meaning, “all manner of.” Which means, Romans 3:23 does not really mean “all” as in every single person, it means “all manner of.” So, I could translate Romans 3:23, using your logic, as “For all manner of men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” In context, Paul is talking about Jew vs. Greek - “Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin,” (Romans 3:9). When Paul uses the word “all” here, he is not talking about individuals, he is showing that Jews - as a group - are no better than the Greeks when it comes to sin. So it seems my interpretation is in line at this point. Which means, the word “all” does not necessarily refer to Mary as having sinned. And, the Bible actually translates the word “pas” in this manner - 11 times! Versus translating the word “zeteo” as “get to the bottom of,” 0 times!

5: Yes, the Bible tells us to seek God. So what? I never said it didn’t. That is irrelevant to the point being made. The Bible says to seek God, but it also says no one is seeking God. (Besides, you stated that it doesn't mean to seek God here, it means to get to the bottom of God.) Even though the Bible tells us to seek God, that doesn't necessarily mean people are indeed seeking God. The Bible also tells us not to sin, yet it also says people sin. And, according to your interpretation of Romans 3:23, it tells us every single person who has ever lived (Jesus as the lone exception) has sinned. So your point here is, again, absolutely irrelevant.

#6: If you want the context of this entire passage from Romans 3, you need to look to the Old Testament so that you don’t “topicalize.” In Romans 3:10-12, Paul is quoting from Psalm 14 and/or Psalm 53. In those Psalms, Paul states there is none that do good, no not one; that “all” have gone astray; all have fallen away. So, does that mean every single person? No, because the context of Psalms 14 and 53 is that there are the evildoers, the sons of men - those who deny God - and there are the people of God, the generation of the righteous. And it is about those who deny God that the psalmist says “all” have gone astray. In other words, the Old Testament, biblical-wide context for this passage of Romans, is that the word “all” simply does not mean every single person ever. If you miss the Old Testament context of the passage, then you miss the New Testament context of the passage, which you have done.

#7: In Luke, chapter 1, verse 6, it states, “And [Elizabeth and Zechariah - John the Baptist’s parents] were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” So, if Elizabeth and Zechariah were blameless in “ALL” of the Lord’s commandments and ordinances, do you contend that they had sinned?

#8: John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit his entire life, even from his mother’s womb (Luke 1:15). Do you contend that he sinned?

#9: Have babies sinned?

Now, to answer your question about Mary in a simple and direct manner, per your request - I believe Mary was sinless her entire life because the Church founded by Jesus Christ - and guided by the Holy Spirit - which is the pillar and ground of the truth, tells me so. And, the Word of God supports that teaching 100%.


As I said in the last newsletter, my first reaction to his reply was, "Huh?" In fact, that is my first reaction to most of his replies. Have you ever noticed how every time you pin a Protestant down on something in the Bible, all of a sudden the words of Scripture don't really mean what they say? It's funny how, "in context," they actually mean pretty much the opposite of what they say. Now, I am not saying context isn't important...it most certainly is...but you rarely hear about context from the other side in your debates unless you put forth one of the "Catholic" verses. And the "context" they come up with is quite often not the actual context.

So, James 2:24 - "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone" - "in context" means, "You see that a man is indeed justified by faith alone and that works have nothing to do with justification." Or, John 20:23 - "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained," - "in context" means, "You don't really forgive or retain sins, but you can decide who you want to preach to and those you preach to, if they accept Jesus, will have their sins forgiven. But those you decide not to preach to, their sins will be retained."

Romans 2:6-7 - "For He will render to every man according to his works; to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life," - "in context" means, "God doesn't really render eternal life to man because of good works, but only by faith alone." And, one more for emphasis, John 6:54-55 - "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed and My blood is drink indeed," - "in context" means, "For My flesh really isn't food and drink, it's just a symbolic thing, and symbolically eating and drinking my flesh and blood doesn't get you eternal life, either, because only faith alone does that." That is called twisting the Scriptures "to their own destruction," 2 Peter 3:16.

Okay, even though I made nine different points, they generally lead in two directions: 1) One is authority, particularly the authority of his interpretations, or the lack thereof. I want to emphasize with him, time and time and time again, that his interpretations are not only fallible and lacking in authority, but they are just plain ol' bad interpretations that don't make a lot of sense. This is a direction you can, and should, always take folks in. 2) The fact that there is plenty of evidence, from Scripture, that "all" in Romans 3:23 is not an absolute.

So, I answered his points, such as they were, and used those answers to keep moving in the direction I want to go - that "all" is not an absolute "all." This guy is a bit "out there" with his answers, I mean, look at what he says Romans 3:11 means, " implies that man is unable to comprehend the truth of God or grasp his standard of rightuessness [sic] ." Really?! Well, if that's the case, why bother with reading the Bible? And why does John 8:32 say, "Know the truth and the truth will set you free," if man can't comprehend the truth of God? That makes no sense whatsoever. Talk about lack of context! Tony completely misses the point...the context...of Rom 3:11. That verse is quoting from Psalm 14 and/or Psalm 53, and it is referring not to all men but to "the fool [who] says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" So it is the fool who doesn't believe in God who doesn't understand and who does not seek God, not all men. Looks like he was "topicalizing" by "quoting Scripture noncontextually." At this point, I was fairly sure that this "dialogue" was not going to end with any clear cut resolution, but since a bunch of folks on Facebook were reading it, it was worth continuing for at least a little bit.

Now, see what you can make of his next response...

Tony Thorne:

It seems you do not remember much of what you say, but I had copied and pasted your whimsical understanding of scripture, that I might negate your denial. And here it is, verbatim….You said,

Now, in an earlier post, I asked you if you were "seeking God." You said you were. Well, that is contrary to the Bible, at least, according to your interpretation of the Bible, because in Romans 3:11, it states the following: "No one seeks for God." If "all have sinned" means that everyone, without human exception, has sinned, then "No one seeks for God," means that no one, without human exception, seeks for God. Yet, you say that you do seek for God. Which means one of the following must be true: 1) You were wrong and you do not seek for God in your life; or 2) You think the Bible is wrong when it says "No one seeks for God." Which is it? Are you not seeking for God in your life, or do you believe the Bible is wrong when it says "No one" seeks for God?”

Clearly you were excerpting my foolishness in suggesting the Bible does not tell us to seek God. You say it’s not relevant, but when we are talking about knowledge of scripture, and you say I am wrong for saying the Bible tells us to seek God, when over and over again, it does, and somehow you have found only one verse that says not true. So one verse contradicts all other verses. Hermeneutics, which you admit to not having a degree in teaches the opposite. My interpretation, contrary to the mindless, makes far greater sense than yours. You who said the Bible never tells us to seek God.

Where does the Bible ever translate the Greek word, “zeteo,” as “get to the bottom of”? Romans 3:11 John. It’s one thing for that to be a “possible” meaning of the word - in its “semantic range” - but it’s another thing for the translators of the Bible to actually use that particular meaning of the word in their translations. And, in this case, they don’t! Wrong John!! In the King James Bible (which is Protestant), the Greek word “zeteo” is translated as “seek” exactly 100 times. Nothing like contradicting yourself John. Coming from a guy who tried to say the Bible doesn’t tell us to seek God? hmmm. You have lost all credibility John.

So, your answer to where in the Bible does it say Mary was sinless is: “I believe Mary was sinless her entire life because the Church founded by Jesus Christ - and guided by the Holy Spirit - which is the pillar and ground of the truth, tells me so. And, the Word of God supports that teaching 100%.” Sorry John, but this is not a sufficient answer. All you are saying is you believe the Bible says Mary was sinless, but you have still failed to reveal scripture to prove that blasphemes nonsense. Quite honestly john, you seem to be a man that has difficulty with reading comprehension and you don’t seem to remember things you say, like the bible tells us not to seek God. You actually attempted to belittle me because I said the Bible says to seek God. But, unlike you I provide scripture, and still you can’t admit to your own fallibility. I'm leaving you with some more verses that prove you wrong...

[Here Tony put in a dozen or so verses about seeking the Lord, which are not necessary to reprint as they lead to nowhere. His point, of course, was that the Bible tells us to seek God. In other words, for some reason he thinks I am arguing that the Bible doesn't tell us to seek God, which I never did. He is either incapable of, or unwilling to, actually understand the arguments I'm making.]

John Martignoni:

Huh? First of all, what the heck does "excerpting my foolishness" mean? I don't think he reads back over what he writes before he posts it, or simply doesn't pay much attention to what he himself is saying, or something along those lines. So, you guys think about that for a week, and I'll be back next Friday to continue this dialogue.

Closing Comments

Even though his answers are fairly lacking in logic and good sense, he is generally staying within the parameters that I am laying down. In other words, I am the one setting the pace in this dialogue. Now, even if this exchange ends up going absolutely nowhere, it will have not been nearly as frustrating as it could have been if I were merely passively responding to his accusations and attacks and going all over the theological map. By asking questions of him and going on the offensive by doing so, I am retaining at least some control of the conversation. Keep that in mind when you get into these dialogues. Always ask as many, if not more, questions than you answer.

I hope all of you have a great week!


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TheChurchMilitant: Sometimes anti-social, but always anti-fascist since 2005.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.


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