John Martignoni – Apologetics for the Masses #319 – Matt Slick’s False Teachings

It's not that hard to find Matt Slick saying things about Catholics on his website like this verbatim quote: "If a Roman Catholic believes in the official Roman Catholic teaching on salvation, then he is not a Christian since the official RCC position is contrary to Scripture. Therefore, as a whole, Roman Catholics need to be evangelized. They need to hear the true Gospel."

WOW! Matt Slick says "NOT A CHRISTIAN!" I'm not a fan about what Matt Slick thinks about Catholicism and Catholics.

I really like John Martignoni over at BIBLE CHRISTIAN SOCIETY and I was happy to get the information below in email. You can subscribe to John's newsletter here.

I decided to copy it all here to help do my part. So take a look at what John Martignoni put together starting with Introduction below:

Introduction

I haven't had much of anything to do with Matt Slick in probably 4 or 5 years or so, but someone posted the Dear Catholic article by Slick that you'll see below on Facebook, and I just couldn't resist making a response. And, just so we know that he finds out about this - in case he would like to make a response - if you guys could all forward the newsletter to him, that would be a big help. His email addresses are:

matt@carm.org and mattslick@cableone.net (at least that's what it was a few years ago)

( Side Note from David: info@carm.org is what is on the website. )

I will print the post of his article first, in its entirety, and then print it again with my responses intermingled with his article. All of his words will be in italics.

Challenge/Response/Strategy

Dear Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven?
by Matt Slick

If you're a Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven when you die?

As a Protestant, I can say that I know I am going to heaven. This isn't arrogance. It is confidence in the work of Christ and not my own work. It is confidence in the ability of Jesus to save me completely, to have fulfilled all of the Law perfectly, and to have cleansed me from my sin totally.

Therefore, because all my hope and trust are in him and not what I can do, I know I am going to heaven.

If my salvation depended on my goodness and abilities in any way, then I can't have any confidence that I will make it to heaven because I am an imperfect sinner.

But God is perfect and requires holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). This is why God provided Jesus who fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17), including loving God (Deut. 6:5) and loving your neighbor (Lev. 19:18). In other words, Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to do.

This is why we should trust Jesus alone and not Jesus and our goodness or Jesus and our church or Jesus and our ability to love God and our neighbor.

But, what about you? Do you have that confidence? If not, perhaps it is because of the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church has stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1257).

“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 846).

“This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn,” (CCC 980).

“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation, (CCC 1129).

“Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1816).

“The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law [i.e., 10 Commandments, CCC 2070], because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 2036).

Are you as a Catholic able to keep all the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church says are necessary for salvation? We both know you can't.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven? by Matt Slick

If you're a Catholic, do you know for sure if you are going to heaven when you die?

John Martignoni
Dear Matt Slick, Since you go by the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura), I have to ask: Is this little salvation quiz of yours in the Bible? If not, why are you asking it? Also, do I have to answer your question in a certain way as a requirement for getting into Heaven?

Matt Slick
As a Protestant, I can say that I know I am going to heaven. This isn't arrogance. It is confidence in the work of Christ and not my own work. It is confidence in the ability of Jesus to save me completely, to have fulfilled all of the Law perfectly, and to have cleansed me from my sin totally. Therefore, because all my hope and trust are in him and not what I can do, I know I am going to heaven.

John Martignoni
Matt Slick says, “I know I am going to Heaven.”

God says, “Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed, lest he fall,” (1 Cor 10:12). You might want to read that over a few times, Slick.

Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says, “I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes...” (1 Cor 4:3-5).

Matt Slick says, “I do indeed judge myself before the time, before the Lord comes, and even though I am aware of all sorts of things against myself, I am thereby acquitted.”

Sorry, Slick, but your words do indeed seem to indicate just a wee bit of arrogance on your part.

Oh, and one other thing: If Jesus has cleansed you from your sin “totally,” then how come you still sin?

Matt Slick
If my salvation depended on my goodness and abilities in any way, then I can't have any confidence that I will make it to heaven because I am an imperfect sinner.

John Martignoni
You seem to be implying, Slick, that Catholics believe it is their own “goodness and abilities” that cause them to be saved. First of all, I challenge you to find anywhere in official Catholic teaching where such a thing is taught. It’s not. For you to put forth such a thing is for you to knowingly and willingly participate in a lie. But since Jesus cleansed you from your sin “totally,” then I guess that’s okay, right?

Secondly, I can prove to you that Catholics put more confidence in Christ for their salvation than even you claim to do. I can prove that with two words: Infant Baptism. Catholics believe that when an infant is baptized, that infant is saved. The infant cannot do any works. The infant cannot even have faith. In other words, there is absolutely nothing the infant can do to effect its own salvation, yet Catholics believe that infant is indeed saved through Baptism. How? All, completely, totally, and gratuitously by the grace of God and absolutely nothing else.

And here is the official, dogmatic, teaching of the Catholic Church on this matter from the Council of Trent:

“…so unless [men] were born again in Christ, they never would be justified, since in that new birth through the merit of His passion, the grace whereby they are made just, is bestowed upon them.” (Denzinger, p. 249)

“…man himself receiving that inspiration [of the Holy Spirit] does nothing at all inasmuch as he can indeed reject it, nor on the other hand can he, of his own free will, without the grace of God, move himself to justice before Him.” (Denzinger, p. 250)

“…the meritorious cause [of man’s justification] is His most beloved only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who…merited justification for us by His most holy passion on the wood of the Cross, and made satisfaction for us to God the Father…” (Denzinger, p. 251)

“…no one can be just but he to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated…” (Denzinger, p. 251)

“…and are, therefore, said to be justified gratuitously, because none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace itself of justification; for, ‘if it is a grace, it is not now by reason of works…’” (Denzinger, p. 252)

“Canon 1: If anyone shall say that man can be justified before God by his own works which are done either by his own natural powers, or through the teaching of the Law, and without divine grace through Christ Jesus: let him be anathema.” (Denzinger, p.258)

I don’t believe there is anything there about Catholics believing that a man can be justified, or saved, in any way, shape, or form by their own “goodness and abilities.” To say that Catholics believe such a thing is a lie, pure and simple.

So, Catholics actually put more confidence in Christ than you do. You see, when you say that your salvation does not depend on your abilities in any way, that’s not quite right, is it? Here’s an interesting question for you: You probably know the date you got saved, right? It was on a particular day sometime in the 20th century. But, can you tell me what was different on that day as opposed to the day before you were saved? Did Jesus do something new and different for you on the day you were saved that He had not done for you the day before you were saved? No. Slick theology says that Jesus did all that needed to be done for your salvation with His death on the Cross sometime back in the 1st century - “It is finished,” (John 19:30).

So, what was different about the day you were saved in the 20th century as opposed to the day before you were saved? Was the difference something you did, or something Jesus did? The difference was something you did, wasn’t it? You acted. You believed. You accepted. You confessed. You repented (all are action verbs, by the way). You did something that, in your opinion, resulted in your salvation. So, in Slick theology, you had to DO something in order to be saved. That little Catholic baby didn’t. Who, then, has more confidence in Christ - Slick, or Catholics?

Matt Slick
But God is perfect and requires holiness (1 Pet. 1:16). This is why God provided Jesus who fulfilled the Law (Matt. 5:17), including loving God (Deut. 6:5) and loving your neighbor (Lev. 19:18). In other words, Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to do.

This is why we should trust Jesus alone and not Jesus and our goodness or Jesus and our church or Jesus and our ability to love God and our neighbor.

John Martignoni
“Jesus did everything that is necessary for us to do.” If that is the case, then every man should be saved. Because Jesus did everything that is necessary for every man to be saved, didn’t He? But, as I showed in my comments above, if you were “unsaved” one day - 2000 years after the death of Christ - and then “saved” the next day, the difference between those two days is not something Jesus did, it’s something the believer DID that the unbeliever did not do. So, Jesus didn’t do “everything” that is necessary for us to do, did He? He didn't believe for us, did He? He didn't accept Himself into our hearts as His personal Lord and Savior, did He? Now, that all happened by the grace of God, but we had to act on that grace. We had to DO something.

And, by the way, you are correct in saying that God is perfect and requires holiness. In fact, we can’t see the Lord if we aren’t holy (Hebrews 12:14). But here’s the difference between Slick theology and Catholic theology: In Catholic theology, we have such confidence in Jesus that we believe He can, and does, make us holy. Slick theology doesn’t have any such confidence in Jesus, which is why Jesus has to love God for us and love our neighbor for us, and be holy for us, because Jesus can’t, even by His grace, enable us to do so.

Slick theology says we could never be worthy of receiving anything from God. We could never be holy. Catholic theology says with God, “all things are possible,” (Matt 19:26) and that we, the followers of Christ, “are being changed into His likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit,” (2 Cor 3:18).

I am also surprised to hear Matt Slick say that we should not trust in the Body of Christ. “He [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church...” (Col 1:18). Jesus’ body is the church. Jesus is the Head of the church. Matt Slick says we should not trust the church. I find that absolutely fascinating...and revealing.

Matt Slick
But, what about you? Do you have that confidence? If not, perhaps it is because of the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church has stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1257).

John Martignoni
“Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

Matt Slick
“Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 846).

John Martignoni
“And He has put all things under His feet and has made Him the head over all things for the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him Who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:22-23) Is the Body of Christ - the fulness of Christ Who fills all in all - not necessary for salvation?

Matt Slick
“This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn,” (CCC 980).

John Martignoni
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Matt Slick
“The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation, (CCC 1129).

John Martignoni
“Truly, truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:53-54)

“Baptism...now saves you.” (1 Peter 3:21)

Matt Slick
“Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation,” (CCC 1816).

John Martignoni
“So every one who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father Who is in Heaven; but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father Who is in Heaven.” (Matt 10:32-33)

Matt Slick
“The authority of the Magisterium extends also to the specific precepts of the natural law [i.e., 10 Commandments, CCC 2070], because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation,” (CCC 2036).

John Martignoni
“And behold, one came up to Him, saying ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? And He said to him...“If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” (Matt 19:16-17)

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love...” (John 15:10)

“For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.” (1 Cor 7:19)

“And by this we may be sure that we know him, if we keep his commandments.” (1 John 2:3)

“...and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.” (1 John 3:22)

Matt Slick
Are you as a Catholic able to keep all the requirements that the Roman Catholic Church says are necessary for salvation? We both know you can't.

John Martignoni
God: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)

Slick: God’s commandments are too burdensome for man to keep. Jesus cannot give you the grace you need in order to keep the commandments and precepts of God.

God: “Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.” (Rev 14:12) The saints are those who “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.”

Slick: The saints are those who have faith alone because they are unable to keep the commandments of God.

Who do you want to believe...Matt Slick...or God?

Catholic theology: All things are possible with God and Christ can and does give man the grace to keep His commandments and His grace can make us holy.

Slick theology: God can’t do any of that so we don’t need to even bother trying to be holy.

Now, tell me again, who it is that has confidence in Jesus?
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please share this using the SHARE BUTTONS below: