Matt Walsh & Ben Shapiro; Bad For Christianity?
Matt Walsh is an author, blogger, and speaker who contributes to Ben Shapiro’s “Daily Wire” and Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze.” He is typically recognized as one who vociferously fights for conservative values and Christianity and has amassed nearly 600,000 followers on Facebook. His fighting for Christian values has netted him endorsements from websites such as Outreach.com and given his expanding platform we thought it prudent to discuss why Matt Walsh is “bad for Christianity.”
Firstly, this is not an attack on his personal character, per se, nor is it a critique of all he stands for. What he says is generally true insofar as it concerns denouncing things like yoga, Ouija boards and hypocrisy from the politically liberal end of the spectrum (the same can be said of Ben Shapiro and Glenn Beck). Given that this author has never met Matt or Ben personally it is assumed that they are nice guys and don’t have intentions to deceive deliberately; however, the aim is to be objective and to get at truth, which we suspect even they would applaud. Matt Walsh has become a prominent voice not only in politics but in Christian communities and unabashedly affirms his lifelong adherence to Catholicism. This article is written from a decidedly Christian perspective and as such will rely heavily upon Scripture; the foundation of Christianity, as I’m sure Matt would agree.
Let us begin by acknowledging that espoused affiliation with an organization or claim of a title does not validate the claim. One cannot simply declare that they are a member of the Chicago Bulls and it be so. There are certain criteria that must be met for that claim to be valid. To be considered a contributor to the Daily Wire, one would have to have contributed actual material that was published by them. Claims become irrelevant without empirical support. This is evident. We have all, at one time, met someone who claimed to be something they were not. We typically refer to them as “posers” or even hypocrites and imposters. Time would fail us to speak of all the “cage-fighters” we’ve met, who have never stepped foot in a cage. A drunken brawl at a BBQ is not the same as being a trained athlete or a “cage-fighter.” You get the point. Contradictory affirmations nullify one or the other. This is the law of non-contradiction at work; and it always works. Given this reality, we must address the Blue Whale in the room (elephants are overrated); Matt Walsh is NOT a Christian!
This is not said to be mean or merely provocative but as a statement of objective fact. Catholicism and Biblical Christianity hold mutually exclusive views and as such both cannot be true. Catholic doctrine makes claims that are antithetical to the Bible and cannot be deemed truly Christian. Bear with us. If two men named Matt Walsh are found in the phone book, are they the same person? Obviously not. The name may apparently refer to the same person, but does not necessarily refer to the same person. Muslims claim to believe in and revere Jesus, as Matt is likely aware. Muslims will often tout this “fact” to garner favor with Christians in public forums. This claim, however, is massively deceptive. The only thing the Jesus of the Quran and the Jesus of the Bible have in common is the name “Jesus.” Herein lies the deception. The Jesus of the Quran didn’t die on a cross, much less rise from the dead. This is a fundamentally different Jesus from the one in the Bible, and thus a false Jesus. The same can be said of the “Jesus” of Mormonism, who is the “spirit-brother” of Lucifer, or the “Jesus” of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who is “a god” and actually Michael the Archangel in disguise. As you can see, a title says nothing of substance. How many College Degree holders have you met that were complete dunces? Nancy Pelosi has a degree. There is no shortage of cults that have been formed claiming to be “Christian” and using the name of Jesus to draw people in. What does it matter what label you put on an empty bottle?
Even Matt Walsh agrees with this principle. In this exchange on Twitter, he tells someone who claims to be a Catholic that despite their proclamation they are not, in fact, Catholic due to the mutually incompatible views they hold. Matt’s reasoning is sound here. To affirm Catholicism and deny a fundamental tenet of it is to nullify your espoused affirmation.
The foundation of Christianity is Christ Himself, but our understanding of Him and all He taught is found in the Bible, and NOWHERE else. Without the Bible, there is no Christianity as we know it. This was true for the Jews as it is for Christians. In the Old Testament, “…holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Peter 1:21) and it was recorded in the Old Testament. The Bible itself belabors the importance of the written Word. Psalm 119 is a prime example of this.
“Your word I have hidden in my heart…” (Psalm 119:11)
“Your word has given me life.” (Psalm 119:50)
“Because I have hoped in Your word.” (Psalm 119:74)
“My eyes fail from searching Your word.” (Psalm 119:82)
“Your word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
In the New Testament Jesus Himself is called “The Word.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) …. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14)
Jesus is tempted by Satan in Matthew chapter 4. Three times Satan tempts Jesus and all three times Jesus responds with, “IT IS WRITTEN.” This is a constant theme in the life of Jesus. He routinely says, “have you not read…?” Jesus, as did all Jews, relied upon the written Word as their guide from God, as this was the method by which He chose to speak to them and preserve what He had said; this carries into the New Testament as well. This must be understood. The sufficiency of Scripture is one of the grandest themes of the Bible. God cannot contradict His own Word, nay, he elevates it above His name:
“For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.” (Psalm 138:2)
Jesus, in His prayer to His Father in John 17:17 says,
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
Failure to understand this is failure to understand the very person of Christ Himself; the Word incarnate:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—” (1 John 1:1-2)
Catholicism is not, nor has it ever been, compatible with the Bible, as its foundations are firmly planted outside of the Bible, which is the undisputed and only foundation of Christianity. The big “Sola” of the reformation was “Sola Scriptura” which ensured all the others. Catholicism emerged as the Bible was systematically departed from. It should be noted that Jews did NOT consider the “Apocrypha” (literally; “Doubtful”) canonical. They were never part of the Jewish Bible, nor should they be consulted as canonical today. We will shortly look at this through the lens of deductive reasoning, which Matt (and Ben) would, no doubt, appreciate. If the premises are true, the conclusions necessarily follow.
The Gospel itself is the “good news” of Jesus; who He is and what He has done. Namely, that He came to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). The apostle Paul says this in Galatians 1:8:
“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”
Even in the first century there were false gospels being peddled by some. The Bible says that men are saved by faith in Jesus and Him alone:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
But, Catholicism says something entirely different. According to the Catholic Catechism:
“The church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.” (Part 2, Section 1, Chapter 1; Article 2; IV; 1129).
It then goes on to list the 7 “sacraments” (works) and expand upon them.
This is in diametric opposition to the Bible, which says:
“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).
There is NO mention of 7 sacraments! This is a complete fabrication of the Catholic Church and as such cannot be rightly called “Christian” as the term Christian is one that applies only to those that follow Christ and what He taught. As Christ says that, “Whosoever BELIEVES in Him will be saved” these two ideas are incompatible therefore making either Christ or the Catholic Church a liar. Jesus said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life…” Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the Catholic Church is the liar, not Christ.
But let’s look further. 1 John 1:7 says:
“ the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
The Catholic Catechism says:
“All who die in God’s grace…still imperfectly purified……undergo purification….to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” (Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 12; III.1030).
These ideas are mutually exclusive and irreconcilable. To quote Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries, “Does the blood of Christ cleanse from all sin, or do you atone, in Purgatory, for your own? Which gospel do you want?”
According to Galatians 1:8, the Catholic “gospel” is a false Gospel and a damnable one at that. “A” cannot be both “A” and “not A” at the same time and in the same way; this is the law of noncontradiction. Either the Bible is wrong, or the Catholic church is wrong. Though Catholics claim to be Christian, they deny the fundamental teachings of Christ and His apostles and are therefore mislabeling themselves. Given that salvation is the central theme of the Bible and the primary mission of Jesus Himself, it is not necessary to indulge the untold hundreds of other falsehoods taught by the Catholic church. This alone is enough to disqualify it from any claim to be “Christian.” Even Matt Walsh himself, albeit unwittingly, agrees with this.
Let’s put it in formal deductive form, shall we?
(“P” stands for “Premise”; “C” for Conclusion)
P1: The Bible (OT & NT) is the foundation for Christianity
P2: Christianity is believing and following Christ and what He taught
P3: What Christ taught is found in the Bible alone
P4: To deny what Christ taught is to deny Christianity (P2)
P5: Christ taught that salvation is by faith (belief) in Him alone (John 3:16; Romans 10:9; Ephesians 2:8-9)
P6: The Bible teaches that the blood of Christ cleanses from ALL sin (1 John 1:7)
P7: Catholicism denies both P5 and P6
C1: Therefore, per P4, Catholicism is not Christianity
P8: A Catholic is one who adheres to Catholicism
P9: Matt Walsh, by admission, is a Catholic
C2: Therefore, per C1, Matt Walsh is NOT a Christian
The above argument is presented in deductive form, meaning that if the premises are true (and they are), the conclusion necessarily follows.
Catholicism is inherently, at its foundation, incompatible with biblical Christianity. The “gospel” it espouses is a false one, and the Christ it touts does not share the same characteristics as the Christ found in Scripture and is, therefore, a false Christ. Again, this is not said to be mean or to unnecessarily belittle Matt Walsh or any Catholic for that matter. I’d much rather they be saved. This is said as a point of fact, and because love engenders truth. Truth and love are two ends of the same coin. One cannot exist apart from the other (1 John 3:18). Because of the love Christ had for people, He spoke truth and very often that truth was said to “cut to the heart.” It has been said that your best friend is the one who tells you the most truth. Jesus did not refrain to declare truth to all those He interacted with, even if they found it offensive or politically incorrect.
So why are Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro bad for Christianity (as of now)? Well, it is NOT because they are hostile toward Christians; they are not. Their general political affirmations with respect to conservative values that coincide with Christian living are quite agreeable. There is a subtlety about deception, however. Being a Christian will produce conservative values but holding conservative values will not produce righteousness. Unfortunately, as it stands, many well-meaning conservatives (even professed Christians) will be quite shocked to discover, on judgment day, that Christ never knew them (Matthew 7:23). False security will blind the best of them. For many, they believe that some nondescript belief in God will do. They believe that somehow polite manners and an affirmation of “God and country” will benefit them on judgment day. Let me be clear. IT WILL NOT! If salvation was attainable through polite manners and patriotism, then Christ died in vain. His propitiatory death is the ONLY thing that God will accept. Either our own righteousness, which is naught, or the righteousness of Christ is what we will stand clothed in. There is no middle ground. The first words from Jesus in His ministry were, “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17). Turn from sin to Christ and Him ALONE!
This applies to Ben Shapiro as well. Though he is an openly practicing Jew and makes no claim to be a Christian, unless he believes in Jesus as his promised Messiah, he is in a perilous spiritual state. Jesus Himself said, “He who believes in Him (Jesus) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
According to a fellow Jew, John the Apostle, Ben is actually a liar:
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?” (1 John 2:22).
Let’s be clear. This author “likes” Ben as a speaker, is in general agreement with him, politically, and wishes him no ill as God desires that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4), especially given his place as a “natural branch.” The same goes for Matt Walsh. This, however, must be firmly established. When eternity hangs in the balance, truth is of the utmost importance.
Given the broad conservative platform available to these two, and the fact that they engage with many professed Christians, it was deemed prudent to warn of any ecumenical tendencies that might creep in.
Many are either unaware or don’t seem to care what Matt’s beliefs really are. Christianity is firmly rooted in the TRUTH of Christ and His Word, not mere conservative values or patriotism, though those are not expressly being shunned either. Those who are of Christ must contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3). Given that Matt has thus far given a false impression that he is a Christian and represents Christianity and, by implication, that therefore Catholicism is good and acceptable, the “contention” arose. Catholicism is, in a word; Satanic. A seemingly blindsided accusation, but a biblical one no less. Given the fundamental falsehood espoused by it and its progenitors, and its usurpatious nature toward Christ and His Word, there is no other conclusion to draw. This was precisely the conclusion of such men as Martin Luther, John Knox, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon and many others; all concluding that the Papacy itself was the seat of the Antichrist.
It is the author’s genuine desire that repentance and ensuing transformation take place on behalf of both Matt Walsh and Ben Shapiro, but until or unless that happens, others who follow them must be keen to keep their espousals in perspective. Being right about one thing does not mean someone is right about all things, or even the next thing. Don’t forget that Peter was commended by Jesus for affirming Him as the Christ (Matthew 16:17), and a mere 6 verses later Jesus calls him “Satan” (Matthew 16:23). All things must be tested by the Word. Sharing values can be influential, but truth must be the aim and more specifically, Christ and His glory. He is glorified when truth is spoken, especially the truth of the Gospel. Repent! He became sin who knew no sin; to save sinners who were deserving of eternal death, taking the very wrath of God upon Himself… that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. There is ONE Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5), NOT the Pope, NOT a priest, NOT the Catholic church… always, ONLY Jesus. Amazing Grace, indeed.
It can be easy to allow emotions to lead the way, but as Ben often says, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” Agreed.