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Letters to a Roman Catholic : Part 2 - Authority and Fearing God
In this response Mr. Ernest Martinez addresses Mr. Martignoni's question as to who is his authority. The other question was whether or not Mr. Martinez feared God. Below is the brief answer.

Authority - Mr. Ernest Martinez


You asked me in another e-mail who or what was my authority. You also asked if I sought God or feared Him. Now, I realize that you are an intelligent and sincere man, as I know Mr. Walker and my dad, Mr. Martinez, are as well. The reason I am e-mailing you from this e-mail address is because of my schedule, I cannot always be at home to respond to e-mail, so I am using this one instead. I will try to be brief and concise, while at the same time stay on point with your questions and my follow on questions.

To answer your questions about whether or not I fear God or seek Him. I can see these questions come from your discussion with Mr. Walker. I agree with Mr. Walker on each point he has made regarding seeking God and fearing Him. I can only add that as far as I obey the Holy Spirit that dwells in me am I able to seek God or fear Him. The Holy Spirit has been given to me as a "seal unto the day of redemption." (see Eph. 4:30) So, to answer the more important question which is central to the claims of both Protestants and Roman Catholics, where is our authority to correctly understand God's will for the Church and individual Christians.

First, who or what is my authority, or more specifically, my infallible authority to which I submit myself to and who I take direction from, as we are all aware that this is the central part of our discussion, since the very foundation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the salvation of millions depend. First let me say that my authority comes from God Himself, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. All truly saved persons have authority from God Himself and by the that same authority, bound and accountable to that Authority. Since God is my Authority, He has ensured that all people of all time have a reliable and trustworthy testimony of Himself, namely, the Holy Bible, both the New and Old Testaments. I believe Mr. Walker has more than adequately shown the circular reasoning by stating that the Roman Catholic Church is the pubilisher and arbiter of Scritpure, and at the same time claim to gain it's authority from that same book. So, since I claim that my authority is from God through His written testimony as we know to be the Holy Scriptures, it falls upon the RCC to demonstrate from historical 1st century documents establishing the Roman Church as the primary seat of authority. It cannot simple that the RCC says so, for the Mormons claim infallible authority as do the Muslims, ect. So there would have to be documents from Peter to his successor stating that the Roman Catholic Church is the infallible authority over the Church at large and more importantly the Holy Scriptures. I can say I am the infallible authority over the Church, but I have no document coming from Jesus or any of the Apostles naming me to that high office, if in fact there existed one. So, I will ask, where does the Roman Catholic Church gain its authority from? Be specific and site documents of the Church fathers where this is stated. It is not enough to say, because the RCC says so. I think you would agree with that, and I know you have tried to show where the RCC gets its mandate, but you have skirted the issue. We know the Bible does not say who Peter's successor was, and he never names the RCC as the church Jesus established. So I am giving you the opportunity to show me.


Authority: Response - Mr. John Martignoni

Pastor Martinez,

First of all, let me ask you this question: If I had asked you whether or not you seek God, or fear God, and you had not seen Pastor Walker's answer...what would you have said? I sense that you actually are not comfortable with Pastor Walker's answer because you have added to it. And, simply stated, your addition to his answer actually negates his answer. So, you say you agree with him, but your addition to his answer shows that you actually disagree with him.

You state, "As far as I obey the Holy Spirit that dwells in me am I able to seek God or fear Him." Well, please help me out ;here. When the Bible says that "No one seeks God," and Pastor Walker agrees that no one seeks God, and denies that he is even capable of seeking God, but you say that you are seeking God to the extent that you obey the Holy Spirit that dwells in you...I'm confused. Are you seeking God or not? Yes or no? I don't know why yes-no questions pose such a difficulty to you and to Pastor Walker.

If you say, "Yes, you are seeking God," then that contradicts what Pastor Walker says. If you say, "No, you are not seeking God," then that must mean the Holy Spirit really isn't doing any work within you. Which means your claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit as your authority has to be false. So, again, are you seeking God or not? Does the Bible say, "No one seeks God, no not one, except as the obey the Holy Spirit that dwells in them?" It doesn't say that does it? You are, as Pastor Walker did, adding man's word to the Word of God because you have been caught in a faulty interpretation of the Bible. Well, actually, Pastor Walker has been caught in a faulty interpretation of the Bible and you are trying to stick up for him.

So, let me ask again. Are you seeking God? Do you, like Pastor Walker, say, "I am not!"?

By the way, are you claiming that the Holy Spirit is not guiding me? Are you claiming that I do not seek God? I would be very interested to know the answers to those questions.

Regarding the supposed "circular reasoning" of the Catholic Church, I'm afraid you, just like Pastor Walker, simply do not understand. The Catholic Church does not now, nor has it ever, claimed its authority to be based upon the Bible. That would indeed be circular reasoning. The Catholic Church claims its authority is based on the mandate given to the Apostles by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to go and teach all nations. The authority that Jesus gave the Apostles, the Apostles then passed on to their successors. We can trace the Apostolic Succession in the Catholic Church, through historical documents, all the way back to Peter and the Apostles. How far back can you trace the authority in your church? Wasn't Calvary Chapel founded in the 60's? Why should I trust the words of a pastor who can only trace his authority back 40 years or so? Do you deny that Jesus gave the Apostles authority? Do you deny the Apostles passed on their authority to those they ordained? If you do, you need to go back and read the Bible.

You stated the following: "All truly saved persons have authority from God Himself and by the that same authority, bound and accountable to that Authority." So, if someone disagrees with your interpretation of a particular passage of the Bible, then that must mean they are not truly saved, right? And, if you have the authority of God Himself, as you claim, that you must be infallible in your interpretations of the Bible, right? God doesn't make mistakes, does he? Yet, Pastor Walker claims that he is indeed fallible, and that he indeed believes in things that are wrong. Therefore, he must not be truly saved, is he? After all, God wouldn't lead someone into error, would He? So, if Pastor Walker, admits to believing error, then that means he is not being led by God and must not be truly saved. Because, if he was truly saved, and he had, in your words, authority from "God Himself," then he, too, would be infallible and he would not admit to believing in error, would he? So, he can't be saved, can he?

With all due respect, Pastor Martinez, but if you continue to try and stick up for Pastor Walker's faulty logic and faulty biblical intepretations, you are going to be in a world of hurt. And, if you continue to claim that you are guided by the Holy Spirit, and have authority from God Himself, yet that you are not infallible and that you believe in error (as Pastor Walker claims)...then I am going to accuse you of either lying, or of blaspheming God by admitting that He can lead you into error. So, which is it?

God bless!

John Martignoni

My response to Mr. John Martignoni's comments here are found in Part 5 - A Response to Mr. John Martignoni.

Posted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:48 am by accesservant

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