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Letters to a Roman Catholic : Part 5 - A Response to Mr. John Martignoni
On September 8, 2008, Mr. John Martignoni responded to several e-mail messages Mr. Ernest Martinez sent him previously, namely Authority and Clement of Rome. This e-mail was in response to two of those e-mail messages already discussed up to this point. When Mr. John Martignoni responds to the other messages they will be posted in their entirety with Mr. Ernest Martinez's response.

A Response - Mr. Ernest Martinez

John Martignoni,

There have been so many e-mail messages that when I looked over the e-mail messages that I wrote, the first one in fact, I clearly tell you that the RCC worships Mary. Below is the excerpt:
Mr. Martignoni,

You told Mr. Walker that Roman Catholic's do not worship Mary, they simple honor her and pray for her help and protection. However, the following was interesting, since it would seem that you must now recant your faith and become a Protestant, since you said if you were shown that the Roman Catholic officially teaches that you are to Worship Mary.

I did in fact say that the RCC “officially teaches that you are to worship Mary.” I know you explain that away and say that officially, the RCC teaches that, “In the Vatican's official English translation it says that "when she is proclaimed and venerated..." Agreed. That is what it says, and by your admission you also used the word “colitur,” which you said means “"to honor" or "to revere."

You quoted paragraph 971 from the “official” translation from the Latin to English. Below is the entire paragraph:

971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."513 The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration."514 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.515

Ok, so what this says is that it is “devotion” to Mary, which is “intrinsic to Christian worship.” Now the reason I stated that the RCC “officially” teaches to worship Mary is because that translation of the Catechism I was using. Ok, you corrected that and I proceeded to discuss the actual Latin word and how the RCC used that word in 2 Thessalonians 2:4. They translated the word “colitur” as worship. Some translators translate it as “serve.” Ok, I agree that you don’t believe their intent was for people to worship Mary when they wrote paragraph 971, a lesser worship, let’s call it “devotion.” Who knows what they meant, I was simply trying to show that it could be taken as worship. But I concede that “officially” the RCC doesn’t teach people to worship Mary as they do God.

I am going to try and answer all your e-mail messages and hopefully in the correct order, you sent me 7 e-mail messages on the 8th of September, so this e-mail may be long, but as always I will try to be concise.

You said:

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.

You said that I added to Mr. Walker’s answer and was not comfortable with his answer. We all add to other’s statements if we feel more clarification is needed. That does not negate the premise, only shows that we understand it and add clarifiers. I don’t want you to be confused so let us go to Peter’s life for clarification.

When the disciples were asked of Jesus who the people said He was they gave several answers (you know the story.). They did tell Him what the people were saying, so they were right insofar as they had human wisdom. Then came Peter’s answer:

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."(Matthew 16:15 – 19; NAB)

Here we see Peter given wisdom to answer a question that was out of his reach. That the Father allowed him to know this was is beyond doubt. Man didn’t give him that information but the Father. As he obeyed the Father’s voice he was able to give the right answer. But the story doesn’t end there, Peter, now listening to human wisdom answers the Lord but with a different outcome.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."(Matthew 16:21 – 23; NAB)

At this point Peter is no longer led by the Holy Spirit but is led by Satan.

You then ask:

“I don't know why yes-no questions pose such a difficulty to you and to Pastor Walker.”

Yes and no questions have their place, and no doubt yes or no questions can be used to elicit the response one wants to gain. Here is a yes or no question that I don’t think you can answer:

“John, are you still beating your wife?” Yes or no? If you say yes then you are a wife beater, and if you say no, then you used to be one. You see, just because you ask “yes or no questions” doesn’t mean someone can answer them. Some follow up questions or clarification is in order wouldn’t you say?

You go onto say:

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.

It doesn’t contradict what Mr. Walker says it clarifies it. My answer is one of questioning the question and its validity. Can I say I am not seeking God today? Sure I can. Obviously Peter could say the same thing. You use “yes or no” questions to try and obfuscate the issue. The question you pose is that the Holy Spirit cannot be my authority if I don’t seek God right? The Holy Spirit is the Authority regardless if I seek God or not. God is the Authority regardless if people seek Him or obey Him right? So the Holy Spirit is the Authority right? Yes or no?

I never said that the Bible says that “No one seeks God, no not one, except as they the Holy Spirit that dwells in them.” You said I said that. In fact you said that that verse doesn’t mean what it says. Are you taking away from the Word of God? Yes or no?

You said:

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.

And to answer your question of whether or not I think you are being guided the Holy Spirit. Well one of us is not since we obviously have two divergent opinions about the Bible. I am claiming that you do not seek God? Only you and God know that. Peter was and he still got it wrong about Jesus’ mission on Earth.

To answer the next set of questions it would help to quote the entire paragraph:

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 say the RCC doesn’t get its authority from the Bible and has never claimed to get it from the Bible. You say that it gets its authority from the mandate from Jesus “to go and teach all nations.” But that mandate comes from the Bible, from the Gospel According to Matthew no less, Chapter 28 verse 19. So where is this “documentation” that passes down the Apostleship from Peter to Linus? Could you provide that to me? It should say something like, “I Peter, pass my Apostleship to you Linus.” Or something like that.

I did say that all truly saved persons have authority from God. That doesn’t mean they are infallible, meaning that they cannot, as demonstrated with Peter, fail or be wrong. Where in the Bible does it say we need an infallible person to interpret the Bible for us? If someone disagrees with me on a passage does not mean they are not saved. If someone told you that they believed Jesus was Santa Claus, would you need an infallible guide to show you that they were wrong? Or could you take them to the Bible and show them where they are wrong? Would it mean that they are not saved, probably, but then again, they may just be confused.

I do continue to say I have authority from God and am guided by the Holy Spirit. Wouldn’t you say that you are? And yet you are fallible? How can that be? Don’t you have to be infallible to understand infallible teaching? Then how can you know that the so-called infallible teachings of the RCC are true if you are fallible? Herein lies the crux of the problem. If I am unable to understand or correctly interpret infallible concepts and doctrines because I am fallible, then how are you able to do it? Are you saying that you are infallible? Yes or no?

I am not going to be able to finish tonight, I have only addressed one of your messages and it is 1AM, so I will just address one more message. You listed a passage from the Bible for each doctrine of the RCC. I will get to those passages and the rest of your e-mail messages hopefully tomorrow.

I quote from your message below:

Now, regarding the Papacy specifically, you have to see the words "Roman Catholic Church," and "Pope" or "Papacy" in order to believe, eh? Well, show me the words "Calvary Chapel" in the Bible? Show me the words, "Pastor Martinez" or "Pastor Walker," in the Bible. Show me the words, "Faith alone" or "Bible alone" in the Bible? Your request is ridiculous on the surface of it. Show me the word "Trinity" in the Bible. Yet, you believe in the Trinity, do you not?

Let me explain something to you, Pastor Martinez. The title, "Pope," is actually not the official title. The Pope's official title is, "Bishop of Rome." St. Peter was the first Bishop of Rome...based on easily available historical documentation...and the Pope is merely his successor. The word "pope" is merely the English transliteration of the Italian word "papa"...for father. In Isaiah 22:19-24, God says that His servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, will become what was, in essence, the Prime Minister for the Kingdom of David. And what does God say of Eliakim? "And he shall be a FATHER to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah." And, in Matthew 16, Jesus hearkens back to this specific verse when he gives Peter the keys to the Kintgdom of Heaven. So, as Eliakim was a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah (the Old Testament church, essentially) so Peter is a father to the members of the New Testament church. And, Peter's successors are also known as father, or Pope.

First, I never said you had to go to Calvary Chapel or be in submission to the pastor to be saved. The RCC teaches that you must be in submission to the Roman Pontiff to have salvation, true? The words Calvary Chapel, or Pastor Martinez, or Pastor Walker do not appear in the Bible; that is obvious. The words “faith alone” or “Bible alone” do not appear in that way in the Bible, as we all know. The question is do you believe in the Trinity? The doctrine is there, correct? So we agree that the title we use for a biblical concept or doctrine does not have to be there for the concept or doctrine to be there or be true, correct? I think you agree. So is “faith alone” taught in the Bible? What did Jesus say?

The others at table said to themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?" But he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." (Luke 7:49 – 50; NAB)

Jesus said that it was “faith” that saved the woman.

Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

Jesus says that anyone who believes (has faith) in Him will do the works He did. Why didn’t Jesus say, “whoever believes in me and follows the infallible teaching of the Roman Catholic Church will do the works that I do”?

He asked for a light and rushed in and, trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and you and your household will be saved." (16:29 – 31; NAB)

Even if you want to use this passage to show that everyone is saved through the belief of the one man, which I do not believe, but it is still faith or belief, correct? I would say so. Peter doesn’t mention anything else even coming close to the RCC understanding of salvation or justification. And no, I am not saying that the RCC teaches salvation through works. But the faith the RCC is talking about is faith in Jesus Christ and the Roman Catholic Church and her teachings. True?

I could site other passages, but you know them. Well maybe one more:

But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we preach), for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. (Romans 10:8 – 10; NAB)

Ok, maybe one more:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:4 – 9; NAB)

Two things from this passage, we were “all” dead in our transgressions. It is by grace that we are saved. We are saved by grace through faith. So our doctrine can be called “Salvation by Grace through Faith and not By Works.” The only stipulation that the Bible gives in regards to salvation and justification is that we believe in Jesus.

You said that Peter was the Bishop of Rome and this is “based on easily available historical documentation.” Really? Where is this documentation? Peter said this? Paul? John? Where is your proof? So the Bishop of Rome’s official title is not Pope. Ok. Is Supreme Pontiff an “official title?” And where in the Bible does it say that Peter was the head of the Church? Does he say that or does he call himself a fellow elder? I know you will say he did that to show his humility, but why not clarify his position. Paul went to great lengths to show he was an apostle, why not Peter?

Anyway, it is way past my bedtime, so that will have to do for now.

Grace and peace,


Posted on Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:56 am by accesservant

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