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An Exclusive Interview - John Benko, The 4 Persons

James tells us "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves..." It's not every day though that you meet someone who goes above and beyond what we might think being "doers of the word" entails, and that's why I'm pleased to introduce to you the founder and director of a registered 501 C3 apostolate The 4 Persons Inc, John Benko.

The 4 Persons is "a grass-roots apologetics, teaching and engaged group of activists for the Catholic faith",  and includes the 4 Persons show which you can follow at https://the4persons.com and the 4 persons blog which you can follow at https://the4persons.net.

I had the pleasure and honor of interviewing John about his organization, his faith life, and some of his views on the state of the world and the faith today. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy the interview!

1) When did you start The 4 Persons, and what inspired you to do so?

I really started online apologetics by founding an apostolate called Deeper Truth, back in 2009. Sadly, that group was commandeered by fanatics and liars who promote condemned private revelation and turned into a cult hero worship of Donald Trump. I left and formed The 4 Persons and pretty much all of the followers, and most of the members followed me over.

I formed The 4 Persons to promote and defend authentic Catholic doctrine, teachings and social action. Frankly speaking, we live in a world that is on fire and faith is the only beacon, in this valley of tears, that makes any sense to me.

2) Can you tell us a little bit about what's behind the name of The 4 Persons?

The name comes from an explanation given to me by a Catholic counselor. In dealing with traumatized and shattered people, they can only be ministered to if you understand that every human being is ''4 persons". It's a rhetorical device of course, but it focuses recognition on the needs of the whole person in the 4 facets: emotional, mental, spiritual and physical. I came to realize how right she was when I read that those 4 persons must all be healthy for us to fully love God. You see them in Mark 12:30; all 4 of them are right there:

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment."

3) Can you share any stories about how your organization has positively impacted other individuals and/or groups?

I would start with the members themselves. In a short time, we have strung together a number of big shows with Catholic figures such as Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, Karl Keating, Steve Ray, Donna Cori Gibson, Suan Sonna, Gary Michuta, Scott Hahn, David Gray, Mike Aquilina, Father Imbaratto and others. We have expanded into video productions and many Facebook groups and are reaching thousands worldwide.

I would then talk about how are network has grown and how we are involving ourselves with other networks like Catholicism Rocks. Our members have even made appearances on EWTN and Catholic Answers.

The biggest thing is finding our material circulating around the internet. Our video Christmas special on the birth date of Jesus is an example.

4) Were you always Catholic? How has your faith grown over time? Can you tell us of any struggles you've had with it along the way?

Endless struggles. I've always been Catholic to some degree but the pains and sorrows are what make it real and make our faith real. We discover that paradox that He is closest to you when He seems farthest from you. My family has suffered unspeakable things and I wish I could say we always came through it.

I have learned that being a Catholic is loving the unlovable, hoping for the hopeless, believing the unbelievable and forgiving the unforgivable. This is the gift we have been given and we must do likewise.

5) One of the things your organization believes in is not whitewashing the truth. What are some things you believe contribute to the tendency of other people and organizations to NOT boldly proclaim the truth and to whitewash it instead?

It was the natural progression of things with the Americanization of religion, with this idea of inclusion and tolerance and not offending anyone. This combined with this so-called ''free market'' which has become anything but. We have become slaves to the ones who write the checks, play the shows and click the links. The need to sensationalize is still there but now we are told who to laud and who to demonize and too often, our own bank accounts and egos hold sway in our decision making. I want healthy stats as much as anyone but not at the expense of losing my soul.

6) What are 3-5 truths you believe have become most whitewashed in our current day and age, and why?

Certainly, sexual sin. We must speak boldly about abortion and paedophilia and child trafficking as horrors crying out to heaven for vengeance. However, the whole glorification of sex, including pornography. We must cry out about how it objectifies and dehumanizes both men and women.

Unbridled greed and ambition follows in the same tracks. Always the need to have bigger toys, bigger houses and all of it. Families are being fractured by a society glued to a smart phone.

Lastly, the alarming movement of the occult from the extreme to the main stream. In music, in books, in movies. This is made possible through the denial of good and evil as even existing. People are reduced to robots with nothing more than brain impulses and physical urges. We have created an entire generation of sociopaths.

7) What are some of the biggest myths and misconceptions Catholics themselves have about the Catholic faith, and why?

John the Baptist said God could raise up stones to be children to Abraham. A lot of Catholics fall into that same Pharisaical trap of thinking they will be saved by who they are rather than what they become. Sure, they show up on the Big ones... Christmas...Easter.... Then they retreat back to their lives of sin and avarice thinking they can check back in a couple of times a year.

That we have a basic catechism problem goes without saying. Worse than that is that we have many Catholics who are far more in love with the world, and themselves, than with Jesus and their neighbor. Most Catholics are sleep walking, totally unaware of the horror around them.

8) What are 3-5 things you would recommend every Catholic should do in order grow deeper in their faith, and why?

1. Start every day with a morning offering and end it with an Act of Contrition and say many prayers in between. A Catholic who isn't praying is on his way to hell. The Rosary is the life line.
2. You must read Catholic books. Start with the classics. Dark Night of the Soul for example.
3. Do not wallow in sin or self pity. Go to confession quickly after a fall. Pray for the grace to withstand trials.
4. Pray and sacrifice for those with no one else to pray and sacrifice for them. They will not forget you, though everyone else does.
5. Learn your faith and boldly defend it.

9) Let's say someone stumbles upon your website for the first time. What post(s) or show(s) would you say they should listen to first that would make them want to come back?

We have a ton of stuff on answering the most common objections to the faith. Articles, shows, videos. Real tools in the toolbox. Always adding more.

10) What other lesser-known people or organizations would you recommend others check out if they want to learn more about the Catholic faith?

The best course of action is find one source you trust then follow the spider web of links attached to them. It's a thousand points of light but they all have to be connected to the body and faithful to the Magisterium. Some young apologists like Suan Sonna are doing amazing work and the technology makes it so easy.

I want to thank John for taking the time out of his busy schedule to do this interview with us and I would encourage you to check out his show at https://the4persons.com and his blog at https://the4persons.net.

He's truly a doer of the word, and I hope you're inspired by his example to go deeper into your faith and share it with the world!

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