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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

John Martignoni ontinues his battle against the willful ignorance of a poor benighted heretic.

Yes, willful ignorance does exist. Invincible ignorance does not. That is why the fight is always worthwhile.

Okay, continuing with my dialogue with anti-Catholic Tony Thorne (see previous newsletters:  http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/379-dealing-with-an-anti-catholic and http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/381-dealing-with-an-anti-catholic-cont-d). 

This week has little analysis from me, as it is more of a setup for the next two weeks.  I wanted to give you his responses - both the first and the second ones (as you'll see) - to the 10 points I made in last week's newsletter, and then dissect his responses in the next two newsletters.  That way, no one newsletter will get too long and cumbersome (at least, that's the goal). 

       So, I am going to start off with the response of his that I ended with in last week's newsletter and go from there...         


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.]

Maybe willful, maybe not, but the man's ignorance is profound. This is what happens to people who are taught falsehood as truth their entire lives and have shuttered minds and hardened hearts.

John Martignoni:

     Wow! Talk about a rambling "argument." That, and the rest of what you had to say, was tough to make sense of. Do me, and all the folks following this exchange, a favor, Tony, and re-post your arguments, but do so by hitting "Reply" underneath the individual points that I made, #1 - #10, so I know exactly what part of your response corresponds to each one of my arguments. I'm not asking you to re-type anything, just copy and paste. That way I'll be able to tell which of the 10 points you responded to and which you did not respond to, and which part of your argument goes where. Plus, it will help organize the discussion moving forward. Thanks!

      By the way, just one quick point, I do indeed believe the Bible tells us to seek God - nowhere have I said otherwise. What I said was, your absolutist interpretation of Romans 3:11-23, makes the Bible say absolutely no one seeks God just as you believe it says absolutely no one is without sin. If "all" means absolutely everyone, then "no one" means absolutely no one. You can't have it both ways. That's bad hermeneutics. Furthermore, I never said that anything about whether or not I have a "degree in hermeneutics."  You keep assuming things about what I say, as well as misunderstanding and misinterpreting things that I say.  If you do that with human words, how much more likely are you to do that with the Word of God?


My strategy here was to simply get him to clean up his arguments so that they were a bit more coherent and so I can better correlate what he says to what I actually argued.  It's difficult to argue with someone when you can't make sense of what they're saying.  And it was an attempt to get him to focus on what I was actually saying and reply point-by-point.  Also, I wanted to give him a simple summary of my argument about "all" and "no one" as he simply did not appear to be able to understand it, or wasn't reading very carefully, or something...but he just wasn't getting it (maybe on purpose, who knows).  His reply was, well, less than nice, as you'll see below:

Tony Thorne:

Thats what I think of you john. In india, I gave multiple messages, and thousands of hindus and muslim excepted christ as there lord and savior. so your opinion means nothing.
And you made me loath the catholic religion even more!

John Martignoni:

     Well, talk about an air tight, logical, and rational argument! How could I possibly argue with that, after all, my opinion means nothing?  You know, though, somehow I have trouble believing that thousands of Hindus and Muslims converted because of Tony.  If there is any way that is true, I just hope and pray they somehow get led to the fullness of the truth, and not settle for his stunted version of Christianity. 

     I did not respond to that comment, as I it was obvious to me that his initial "apology" for how he presented himself - calling me, and others, all sorts of names and making all sorts of rude comments - was something that, while maybe heartfelt when he made it, was only so on a very temporary basis.  It was also obvious that he was exceedingly frustrated and it would be of no use to pursue an argument with someone who either could not, or deliberately would not, understand and respond directly to my arguments.  I was curious, though, as to how he could "loath" [sic] the "catholic religion" more, since he had already stated that he thought of it as a satanic cult that hated the Word of God and worshipped Mary before Jesus.  How do you get lower than being a satanic cult and hating the Word of God?  But, I decided not to ask. 

     Anyway, that is how I thought it would end.  But, a couple of weeks later, he came back to the FB page and slipped in some responses, such as they were.  You know the old adage, "Better late than never?"  Well, it's not always true.  Anyway, I am going to repeat the 10 point response that I gave to him in my last newsletter - http://www.biblechristiansociety.com/newsletter/381-dealing-with-an-anti-catholic-cont-d- and give you his belated 2nd response to them and, once again, let you ponder on what he had to say for a week.  Then, as I said above, in the next two newsletters I will take apart his responses piece by piece and that will probably be that for my dialogue with Tony Thorne, as it is all too apparent that his anger and hatred towards all things Catholic preclude him from having an honest, level-headed, and adult conversation about these things.  The only reason I went on with him as long as I have, is because we had an audience (the folks on Facebook) and I wanted them - Catholic and non-Catholic alike - to see how completely void of content and logic and consistency his arguments are, and to also see one approach to making an argument against the belief that Mary committed sin.  So, here we go:

John Martignoni:

Tony, 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 believe your 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?

Tony T horne:

     I'm sorry, I should have said I know what Romans 3:11 means, because the bible explains it clearly. Here, allow me to help you. Psalm 14:2–3, which pictures God searching in vain for even one heart that seeks Him: v.2 “The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” This passage is quoted in Romans 3:10–12, which says, “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.’”

     Even our best efforts fall far short of the righteousness required by God for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, .as stated in (Romans 3:23). That’s why Scripture says that no one seeks God! We seek fulfillment. We seek pleasure. We seek escape from pain. But the pure motivation of seeking after God for Himself is a gift from God. We are not saved because we had the wisdom and insight to exercise our own faith and trust God. No one wakes up one day and, on his own, decides to seek God. That would be a salvation by our own works, and Scripture is clear: we are saved only by the grace and mercy of God (Titus 3:5; he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

     Romans 11:6) says,. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. We are saved when God touches our hearts and prompts us to use the faith He gives to receive His gift of salvation. But, Even with the knowledge of God’s existence everywhere, people naturally choose to “suppress the truth by their wickedness” Contextually, I found Romans 1:18-20 quite relevant to a narcissistic believer (like you john) who ever thought he had earned his way. Romans 1:18-20 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. When we speak of the Word of God, it is different from any other writings, both past and present. Other writings, no matter how religious, truthful, or filled with inspiring anecdotes are only the product of man not God. I allude to (2Pe 1:20-21). 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

John Martignoni:

#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.

Tony Thorne:

I have answered question 2 and question 3 with my response to question 1.

John Martignoni:

#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.” 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 can possibly, in some instances, be translated “get to the bottom of,” (according to you) 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.

Tony Thorne:

wrong, as I have explained in my answer to your first question.

John Martignoni:

#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 have sinned and fall 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!

Tony Thorne:

Yes, it really means All! Nice try though. Sorry Mary.

John Martignoni:

#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. The Bible 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.

Tony Thorne:

funny I love how you try to shrug off your stupidity so casually by lying and dismissing the fact that I was right, Because I am right!!

John Martignoni:

#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.

Tony Thorne:

I gave you the context in the answer to your first rabbit trail. Remember, you are not in control here. I don't adhere to daddy johns methodology, and quite frankly I think your a terrible bible expositor.

John Martignoni:

#7: In Luke, chapter 1, verse 6, it states, “And [Elizabeth and Zechariah - John the Baptist’s parents] were both righteous before God, walking an 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?

Tony Thorne:

They were both righteous before God Not as the Pharisees, only righteous before men, but in the sight of God, who sees the heart, and whose judgment is according to truth; and therefore were not justified by the deeds of the law; for by them no man can be justified in the sight of God; but were made righteous through the righteousness of Christ, by which the saints were made righteous before the coming of Christ, as those after it: see ( Acts 15:11 ) ( Revelation 13:8 ) . God beheld them in his Son, as clothed with that righteousness he engaged to bring in, and as cleansed from all sin in that blood of his which was to be shed: and they appeared to him, and in the eye of his justice, and according to his law, righteous persons: though this character may also regard the internal holiness of their hearts, and the truth and sincerity of grace in them: which God, who trieth the hearts and reins of the children of men, knew, took notice of, and bore testimony to: as likewise their holy, upright walk and conversation before men, and which was observed by God, and acceptable to him, though imperfect, as arising from a principle of grace, being performed in the faith and fear of him, and with a view to his glory, and for the sake, and through the righteousness of his Son.

John Martignoni:

#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?

Tony Thorne:

[No response from Tony on this one.]

John Martignoni:

#9: Have babies sinned?

Tony Thorne:

We cannot simply assume that children are “innocent” and are therefore exempt from the penalties of sin. The Bible teaches clearly that infants are in a state of sin and need to be regenerated. They, like all humanity, can be saved only through Christ. Ps. 51:5 — “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” John 3:6 — “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”

John Martignoni:

Now, #10, 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%. You believe she sinned based on your fallible, man-made, non-authoritative, private interpretation of the Bible. Who should I believe - the Church founded by Jesus, or you?

Tony Thorne:

Again please, show me this teaching that doesn't exist!

John Martignoni:

I'll treat with his first 5 responses, or lack thereof, in the next newsletter, and then #6 - #10 in the following newsletter. 

Closing Comments

I hope this Lenten season is one of great growth - or even just a little bit of growth - in holiness for each of you.  I will be keeping all of you in my prayers - as will my wife and kids - please keep us in yours.  Thanks!

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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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