The Narrow vs. the Wide Way
Answers to Common Objections Against
Acknowledging the Only True God
"Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow (contracted by pressure) and the way is straightened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it." -
Jesus (Matthew 7:13-14 - Amplified Version)
Thank you telling me how you see things (regarding your unsubscription). I think you know or expect I would be honest with you in return. I am glad to be able to answer the quotes you have provided me with. They provide an excellent opportunity to speak regarding the true faith of God in Christ, and to counter notions that are being passed off as legitimate objections. I answer within your letter below.
These are a few of my favorite quotes that I found. I hope it explains my feelings about the letters.
"Because of religion, more human beings have been murdered,
tortured, maimed, denigrated, discriminated against, humiliated, hated and
scorned than for any other reason in the totality of the history of man."
You will not get any argument from us about this, though we would have to revise the saying to make it truly accurate. It is not "religion" that is the problem, as much as it is the religious spirit of mankind that manifests itself in religious works of all kinds. A wart is not spontaneously generated; there is a virus that creates it. Let us talk about the virus that creates religion.
The religious spirit is one of independence from God, which seeks to use its own form of worship of God to justify and empower itself. The very first murder was committed by one acting in this spirit. Cain killed his brother Abel because his own religious works were not accepted while Abel's works of faith were. Jesus referred to this, saying the following to those spiritual descendants of Cain:
"Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them you shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall you scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom you slew between the temple and the altar" (Matthew 23:34-35).
The religious have not only killed God's prophets (even the Son of God Himself), but it is also recorded that they are responsible for all blood shed on the earth. The name given to this religious spirit is Mystery Babylon, and here is what is said of her:
"And the light of a lamp will never more shine at all in you. And the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will never more be heard at all in you. For your merchants were the great ones of the earth; for by your sorceries all nations were deceived. And
in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all those who
were slain on the earth" (Revelations 18:23-24).
It is only reasonable to say, knowing that God gave His own life for us, that He is not fighting Himself, and therefore does not qualify as one of those religious who persecutes His own people. Neither do His people persecute others. As we have seen by the testimony of Jesus, they are the ones who are persecuted by the false.
If we do not identify with Jesus Christ, then we are not part of the solution, as the saying goes, but part of the problem. We become passive supporters (at best), if not active participants, in the religious works of men that persecute the Lord.
"He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathers not with Me scatters abroad" (Matthew 12:30).
Neither is it enough to point to the religious and say they are wrong. We are all wrong, and unless we repent, and turn to God, we add sin to sin to blame Him for the murder and deceits of men.
"The name of Christ has caused more persecutions, wars, and miseries than any other name has caused."
Men have taken the Name of Christ to do as they please. Jesus spoke of this. He said:
"Hear another parable. There was a certain housemaster who planted a vineyard and hedged it round about, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and rented it to vinedressers, and went into a far country. And when the season of the fruits drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers to receive its fruits. And the vinedressers took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did the same to them. But last of all he sent his son to them, saying, They will respect my son. But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and get hold of his inheritance. And taking him, they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him" (Matthew 23:33-39).
Jesus also specifically warned that many would come in His Name, and would deceive many (Matt. 24:5). There are, and have been, many usurpers, who take His Name to steal men's souls, and teach obedience to men's precepts rather than to God. Does this make Christ an offender, guilty of the charges made above? He warned His disciples to watch for such. Men, not God, are guilty of creating misery for themselves and others. Will we blame atoms for the atom bomb? So why blame God and the Lord Jesus Christ for what corrupt men have done while using His Name?
In fact, He is the only Answer to these troubles. No other spirit or man has laid down his life for you. Why do you believe lying spirits like the Book of Urantia, or "A Course in Miracles"? If they do not confess Jesus Christ as Lord, the
One to Whom all obedience is due, they are liars and thieves, pure and simple.
This fact is not negative, except that it negates the powers of darkness, death
and destruction. It is negative only for those who insist on maintaining their
chosen destructive ways. God will not permit the destruction to go on forever.
The end to these things is being accomplished through His present judgments. "For He must reign till He has put all things under His feet." To what end? "That God may be all in all" (I Corinthians 15:25-28). What a wonderful work! Yes, men despise it, but rebellion and darkness will not prevail, and all will be very thankful for what He has done when finished. And note: God is not all in all as of yet, as these lying preachers of spiritual equality with God proclaim to you, saying we are all now God. They speak from the serpent that seduced Eve, and is yet at work in the children of disobedience, whose time is now finished.
"People must not attempt to impose their own 'truth'
Stacey, you have learned some fundamental truths about good nutrition and health. Are you trying to "impose (your) own truth" on others when you tell them that they may benefit (as you have) from living in accordance with these laws of nature? How can we tell when someone is helping us, and when someone is taking advantage of us, in matters such as these? Is not motive important? Are we not our brother's keeper, with responsibility to help? How can you help if your mouth is muzzled, when you have truth to share? Because some lie or are deceived themselves, and speak "untruths," does this mean that those who possess truth should not speak? Is this not all the more reason they should?
What are parents to do with this high sounding dictum? Are they to let their children decide everything for themselves? Who has not suffered being exposed to children who do whatever they want? What about a policeman, is he there to "impose (his) own truth" on the traffic violator? What about teachers, doctors, coaches, and so on? What absurdities come forth from the mouths of men, especially when they are passing themselves off as wise and spiritual! And the simple follow them, justifying themselves while partaking in all kinds of evils in the sight of God, going on to destruction. Repent, we say.
"If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the
Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would strictly follow the teachings
of the New, he would be insane."
No doubt there is material here for a book, as there is with all these sayings. I will address what the author is trying to imply, which is that the Bible is outdated and/or unrealistic. The Bible is a spiritual book. The understanding and application come from spiritual revelation. This kind of revelation comes only by the power of God through His chosen Vessel, Who alone can empower us to live according to His laws. That is the Lord Jesus Christ. To live according to God's commandments, which is what we are all required to do, is only possible through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
As for insanity, the Bible says, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). We are not beside ourselves; man, who denies the only Name that can save him, is. Have not people said that the definition of insanity is doing the same things that don't work, over and over again? Solomon said there is no new thing under the sun. Spiritualistic mediums and approaches called "New Age" are nothing new at all. They are far from it, and the results are still the same, devastating. Empires and entire cultures that indulged in these things are gone, destroyed in their sins. Now, to follow in their footsteps, THAT is insanity.
Jesus said that He alone is the Way, Truth and Life. Who among us knows enough to argue with the One Who raised Himself from the dead and Who has the keys to hell and death? Has anyone tried it His way and found Him to be a liar? We have found Him to be true, and tell you for your good. Repent from following devils.
"I always distrust people who know so much about what
God wants them to do to their fellows."
"Let God be true and every man a liar," says the Scriptures. To put your trust in man is folly. Man does not know what he is doing. The prophet wrote, "O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walks to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). The more expert a man thinks he is, the more dangerous he can be. "There is a way that seems right to a man, and the end thereof is death" (Proverbs 16:25).
On the other hand, there are genuine doctors, teachers, and yes, men of God. Knowing who is one, is the issue. Even God's own people have been prey to imposters who draw their power from the prince of darkness. But God is greater, and promises His people this: "Then shall you return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serves God, and him that serves Him not" (Malachi 3:18 ). We are among those who have been brought back to God to discern, and by Him we are sent to speak wholesome words which deliver from the lies which have been destroying mankind, and you as well, Stacey. We tell others to do those things that we have had proven in our own lives. Our trust is in God Who so loved us that He laid down His life for us. We know that He alone can be trusted. That is to Whom we point; those who believe are blessed.
"Religion and its practices have consistently been one
of women's fiercest enemies...The fact that many women do not realize this
shows how thorough the brainwashing and intimidation have been."
Again, there is false religion and true religion. The true is according to the Spirit of God. The false is anything that comes from and serves man's self interests, which can at times appear noble and holy, or is obviously degraded and perverse. Men, making God in their own image, take advantage of all others without respect of sex or age. Sooner or later, and not much later at that, being religious in any way outside of worshiping in Spirit and in truth, abuses all.
It is a favorite tool of the powers of darkness to divide people through claims of victimhood. We see how many take the bait, elevating their own status as victims, while they magnify the crimes and misdeeds of those who have subjugated them, whether in reality or perception. The truth is, however, that we all have to look firstly and primarily at ourselves to find the solution.
The prejudices of mankind are not above the justice and grace of God. We suffer because we are not at peace with God, not because we are not at peace with each other. When you repent, and turn to Him that is sovereign over all things, you will then give thanks for your circumstances.
When someone or something comes elevating a certain people, let us say women in this case, does that make it automatically good for women? "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful" (Proverbs 27:6). Does not the flatterer exact a high price down the road? I have seen women who consider themselves liberated from the "shackles of Christianity" and its supposedly chauvinistic ways. They suffer in very real and terrible ways in their "liberation" - disillusioned, bitter, hurting physically and mentally, unhappy, unable to be satisfied. Is this supposed to be a testimony of something desirable? God help us all!
The truth is, false religion is the enemy of every person, man, woman and child, and also of every living thing on earth. The earth too is being destroyed by mankind and his damnable spirit of self-righteous worship. The true worshipers of God proclaim the day of His judgment and liberation (which is at hand), saying:
"We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which is, and was, and is to come; because You have taken to You Your great power, and have reigned. And the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward unto Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them that fear Your Name, small and great; and
should destroy them that destroy the earth" (Rev 11:17-19).
"They came with a Bible and their religion - stole our
land, crushed our spirit...and now tell us we should be thankful to the 'Lord'
for being saved."
Yes, a people can be quick to talk about being victims, but what about the crimes that they perpetrated? What about all the horrendous things they did to others? What about that? Are a people subjugated or annihilated because they are good? Let's face it, people everywhere have been cruel and hard, and have been judged accordingly. Even those who don't accept God as present Judge of all things, have a saying they like to use: "What goes around comes around."
Read about Cortez and the Aztecs. The Aztecs were brutal, performing human sacrifice and many cruelties on their Indian neighbors. Those persecuted tribes assisted the Spanish in the conquest of Mexico. These things don't happen in a vacuum. God is judging all with perfect precision and design. Even the people of God, the tribes of Israel, suffered many things because of their evil ways. I should say that they suffered especially, for to whom much is given, much is required. God is just. And unlike men, there is mercy with Him. Why do you, and those you quote, take the side of men, and condemn God for His judgments? He is the One Who sends famine and the sword.
Are we therefore preaching that people should kill or persecute others? Not at all. We are preaching the sovereign will and judgment of God in all things, and repentance towards Him that brings mankind out of this perpetual bloodbath. Until all people recognize their own culpability in evil doings, repenting of their independence from God, there will be no peace.
"There is a time when religion ruled the world. It was
known as the Dark Ages."
More appropriately it should say that it was the Catholic Church ruling the world, or at least trying to. I have a question, Stacey. Why do you complain and bring up these things as though we are the offenders, when we are speaking against sin and false religion that perpetrates crimes against humanity? Why don't you fault those such as the Catholic Church that commits these crimes? We are calling on people to repent and leave behind these works of men that are the paths of the destroyer (Psalm 17:4). Why is not the author of this quote "calling a spade a spade," instead of, by implication, lumping God and His Word in with the religious works of men that oppress people? I will tell you why. He (or she) rejects God, and uses wicked men as an excuse to do so; that is why. It is not enough to point fingers at the religious, not nearly. Unless you repent, Jesus says, you will also perish. The religious, it turns out, isn't just "them;" it is also you. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.
"So-called eyewitness accounts of the four Gospels are
inconsistent at best. Further adding to the questionability of originality
or fact of the Jesus story is the sameness of other mythical saviors predating
Jesus - including Krishna and Horus."
The Scriptures are spiritual. In spirit there is no contradiction at all in the Gospels. Instead there is remarkable harmony and oneness, with nothing of consequence contradicted or negated. Show me one thing that is, please. Neither are the gospels "so-called," but are true eyewitness accounts. Writings dated back to the first century indicate that the gospels are just what they purport to be, the reports of those who witnessed the death AND resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The fact that all of the authors of the gospels were willing to (and some did) suffer unto death for their testimony, also indicates first-hand authorship and authenticity.
As for the question of myths, just because there have been myths that have elements of God becoming man and dying, is not a good argument against the coming of Christ. That is like saying that because ancient men envisioned flying machines, airplanes don't exist. There is no sense in that at all. In fact, it could be a very good indication that the reality exists. Jesus Christ is the Reality of all time. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2 Peter 1:16).
"Myths are wonderful - you can do anything with them
anytime you want."
What has just been said above would apply here, too. Our faith is not in a story, or writings, but in the real and present Lord and Savior of all men. He has made Himself known to us as He did to Paul, through personal revelation. This is the only way for anyone to come to know God. We don't believe the Scriptures because we figured them out, or because someone told us to, but because the Author and Subject has made Himself known to us, and thereby we know the truth. When the Truth makes His abode with you, you will recognize His words and sayings, and you will not receive lies anymore. Liars make anything they want, out of whatever they want. "Truthers" are on the narrow way that leads to life.
"The exact contrary of what is generally believed is
often the truth."
Yes, this can be so. For example, when we speak of the wrath and judgment of God, men believe that God is the devil. And when others preach themselves and flatter their hearers, men believe the devil is God.
I honor you for your beliefs and I love the passion you have about them. I always enjoy talking with you and our friendship isn't affected by this. I just don't want to be exposed to negativity. It doesn't resonate with me. I guess I would be burned at the stake for what I believe and do if it were up to your friend Victor. That's what turned me off. Jesus taught love and forgiveness, not torture and murder.
Stacey, Victor has written you a short note regarding your misunderstanding of what he said. Here it is:
"Stacey, Paul shared your letter with me, naturally. I can understand where you would get the notion that if it was up to me, I would have you burned at the stake. However, when God commanded the Israelites to do such a thing during that course of time, in raising up and forming a righteous nation, He was demonstrating by those laws and punishments that witchcraft was particularly dangerous and self-destructive. In pursuing those activities, you effectively 'burn yourself at the stake.' There were other forms of capital punishment as well, hanging and stoning for example. With witchcraft, it was emphasized by burning, because God knew it to be particularly deceptive and serious. Of course, if you communicate with devilish spirits, more powerful than yourself by far, and which, invariably, are out to destroy you, it is certainly serious. The message you ought to be getting is the seriousness of your chosen course of practice and beliefs, if in fact you indulge in such. In not believing God's demonstrative warnings, you truly plant your own stake, provide the wood, the gasoline, and light the fire. I cannot stop you. I can only warn, but warn you we do, and having done our duty, we are not responsible for what comes when warnings are not heeded. Repent. Victor"
Finally, I have this to say regarding negativity: We are messengers calling people to repentance. We faithfully speak those things He gives us, knowing they are life to those who believe. Indeed there is forgiveness, but one must repent to receive it. What good is it to an offender to be forgiven, if he or she will continue to offend? You will reap as you continue to sow. We are telling you and everyone else that your ways, which are contrary to God, will not prosper you. We preach both the goodness and severity of God. Both have their place, until all is complete and everything is subdued under Him. The love of God prevails; nothing can prevent Him.