Paul wrote to Mike:
There are several common themes in your objections to our experience of God’s grace and the preaching of the gospel of Christ. These objections appear to be ones that many atheists would have or make. Therefore I am answering them not only for you, but for all that would like or need to hear these things.
You begin by saying that because God’s thoughts are not man’s thoughts, therefore no man can know them, as we claim we do. That is not, however, what God meant by the words of Isaiah:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, or your ways My ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8 BBE).
God is not saying no one can know His thoughts or ways. Why would He bother sharing them if people could not know? That makes no sense whatsoever! Why would God even tell us this particular thing about Himself unless He was desirous to communicate to human beings? What He is saying is that you cannot know Him by depending on your human powers of observation, which is exactly what you do, though you deny He exists! Talk about confusion!
Disproving your conclusion that God is unknowable according to His own words, elsewhere He speaks of those who do know Him, as we do:
“If any want to boast, they should boast that they know and understand Me, because My love is constant, and I do what is just and right. These are the things that please Me. I, the LORD, have spoken” (Jeremiah 9:24 GNB).
You accuse me of being boastful, but, as you can see, God commends our boasting when it is about Him, about what He is like and what He has done for us, because we have no credit coming to us for these things. We would not know Him except that He revealed Himself to us, giving us a new heart to understand Him.
That is really the only difference between us. I have a new heart and know God, and you do not. That is why the Scriptures are an open book to me, and a closed one to you. You do not know God, so how can you know what He means when He says His mind and ways are not the same as yours? On the other hand, we know God, so how can we not know what He means?
When we say we know Him, we are not boasting about ourselves but are reporting the truth:
“For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:11-16 MKJV).
You ask where our faith came from. It came from God; it is a gift. You say it came from reading the Bible, because God does not exist. But I began to believe before I ever touched the Bible. I had red portions of the Old Testament in Hebrew school, and it meant nothing to me. What was the difference several years later? Here it is: God began to reveal Himself to me through Jesus Christ. He came to me. Then, as I began to read the Bible, I understood it. So, faith in God came first.
“Isn’t God an almighty being? If He had an important message why wouldn’t He send it in a way that would impress upon people that this is God speaking, and not via a series of lunatics?”
Here we are back again to the words of Isaiah, saying to you that God does not do things the way men think they should be done. Paul the apostle put it this way:
1 Corinthians 1:17-24 EMTV
(17) For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of its power.
(18) For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
(19) For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the understanding of the prudent I will annul.”
(20) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
(21) For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, God was well pleased, through the foolishness of our preaching, to save those that believe.
(22) For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom;
(23) but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness,
(24) but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
God has made His message very clearly known to those whom He chooses to reveal it, as He has done with us. What I preach is foolishness to you, but to those who believe, it is the power of God. This explains how hearts are transformed and believers give praise and thanks to Him Who is invisible to men, but now seen in Christ by them.
Threats of Eternal Punishment Are Nonsense
Men are not transformed by threats of eternal punishment, as you incorrectly ascribe to God, to us, and to the Bible:
“The reason is that your guess is tied in with a threat that obliges you to believe it, the threat that you have been making to me already in this exchange. Do not believe in this guess and you will be roasted forever in a boiling lake of sulphur.”
“…if your God is indeed God, He is quite capable of punishing me Himself without people like you who think you are God doing it for him.”
This is calumny, an unfounded and scandalous accusation without proof or merit. Nothing of the sort was said by us or is found in Scripture, and, indeed, this gets us back to the initial point: You have no conception of, or connection to, the mind of God (or ours), as demonstrated by such erroneous perceptions of what we are saying and doing and the central message of the Bible – reconciliation through Jesus Christ.
I was never threatened by God when He revealed Himself to me in Christ. Victor, whose testimony you said you did not read because you have heard so many like it, saw the Lord’s coming in a dream before he began to believe, which he describes here: Victor’s First Three Dreams from the Lord. Raised a Catholic, he was scared out of his wits, expecting he was toast, condemned to eternal hell fire because of his sinful state. But the Lord did not communicate condemnation towards him or anyone else of the multitudes that saw Him. It is the infernal teaching of men, not of God, that agrees with your monstrous characterization of Him.
The Lake of Fire is for purification. It is not a physical place. Yes, there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. We see it here in this life, because it is describing something that happens within, spiritually – you are gnashing your teeth, for example, with great acrimony. The Bible is a spiritual Book, about the spiritual realm and the journey from darkness to Light of the sons and daughters of God. That is why you do not understand it, as a son of man whose mind is no different from that of a beast. Does that insult you? It shouldn’t, because that is the state of every man until God does something to change it:
“So foolish was I, and I did not know; I was like a beast before You” (Psalms 73:22 MKJV).
Lack of the Spirit of God and Discernment
We call your ways foolish and hypocritical because they are demonstrably so, and someday you will know it and repent, your eyes opened to see Him Whom you have spurned, mocked, and hated, and you will be very sorrowful for all you have done in your bitterness towards Him. The hate and rage you see coming from me, or God, is really what is inside you, manifesting itself to you in the mirror of the Light of God. In your sin and darkness, you project what you see on those who show it to you.
This bitterness and rage has blinded you to the difference between friends of God and servants of Satan. You do not know the right hand from the left, light from dark, truth from error. You write:
“I do not distinguish between false and true religion because there is no such distinction, except in your own faulty assumptions. Religion pertains to some unnecessary salvation in a dream world. All of it is false, and requires belief in what is to be established, it is unreasonableness.”
The faith of Christ is the evidence of things not seen, some of those I have already brought up in this letter, like God Himself and His attributes. Mankind, in his carnal, fleshly nature, no matter how refined, genteel, erudite and spiritual he thinks himself to be, does not know or see God. It becomes tricky when men, under the influence of their lower nature, aspire, through their knowledge, to be like God, or, to accrue the benefits they perceive they can get to themselves in the Name of God, which is the heart of what constitutes false religion.
True religion is to know and walk with God, having no confidence whatsoever in corrupt flesh and minds (the ones that do not perceive or agree with God). True religion is not about what one can get from God, or what one can get by claiming to know Him, but about how we conduct ourselves towards Him and our fellow man in reality and truth:
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. What does the LORD require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 HNV)
Jesus Christ exemplified true religion in all its fullness, which was given to mankind by God so that we might see Him as He is in truth through the demonstration of His Nature in another human being. Jesus Christ acted as God on our behalves, as one of us, Who, instead of condemning us for not meeting His standards, laid down His life for us so that we might know the love of God through the forgiveness of our sins and the receiving of His Spirit, in order that we may become like Him.
The dream world you speak of is the religious one of hypocrites who praise Christ with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. You have no right to condemn them, however, since Christ died for them as well as for you, and you are essentially no different. They are dishonest atheists, and you are at least honest in your confession that you do not believe or follow God.
Deceived about Yourself
However, you are dishonest in that you discount the real because of the existence and influence of the false. As a man would throw away good currency because a counterfeiter produced something apparently similar, so you throw away good because of bad. Thus, you condemn yourself, unwittingly so, to the loss of something far greater than money.
You still believe and speak lies, though you do not present yourself as a Christian. You are yet in your sins, though you claim you are not. The reason you judge yourself pure is because you judge yourself by your own yardstick, not God’s. You say:
“I have not had any need to change my nature. I am a normal human being living in a normal human society … I have not mugged old ladies, buggered kids or raped women, and take a dim view of those who do, often Christians, or they claim to be Christians when they are caught.”
Your sights are set extremely low. Have you not heard what Jesus said? You lecture me on His words, yet you do not consider or apply them to yourself. Of what use, then, are they to you? He said that if you look on a woman with lust you have already committed adultery with her in your heart. He said that if you are angry with your brother without cause you are liable to the judgment of God as a murderer. Forget what you think about others; where do you stand according to the measure of Christ?
Of course, your argument is that you do not use His Words because you believe them but because we claim to believe them and follow Him. Firstly, don’t quote unless you know what you are talking about, and secondly, don’t accuse us of things without first finding out what indeed we do believe. Thirdly, are you saying you find no value in anything He is recorded to have said? If so, what?
Jesus Christ, as we have presented Him to you, is the real Mouth you ask for, by which we answer you:
“And, if God did not want us to live except by words coming out of His imaginary mouth, why did He not create a real mouth that could speak for Him, clearly and for all time?”
But you say:
“If Christ is it, why invent a half baked scheme that broke all the rules he had already said mankind should follow?”
Christ said He came to fulfill the whole Law, and He did. He proved it by raising His own body from the grave, and then raising us out of the death state, which all men are in, to be with Him. Therefore I believe His testimony more than yours. There is no half-baked scheme that allows us to break all His rules. He summarized the whole of the Law in two commandments – love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. This He has wonderfully fulfilled in us, just as He promised:
“Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17 MKJV).
But you think your philosophy and ability are sufficient:
“I am no lost sheep, but have been pretty well confined to the sheep pen, if that is what society is. That is what I would ask of other people. That is what the purpose of love is — to be helpful to others in society to fit in properly and make the most of it.”
The problem is one already alluded to – men’s standards are very low and, furthermore, slanted selfishly towards themselves, so that they cannot see clearly to judge what is right and beneficial for others. That is why no society since the beginning of the world has achieved an environment of mutual care that has flourished and endured. The first commandment of loving the Lord our God with all our hearts has not been upheld, and therefore the second has been botched up as well. The results are everywhere to be seen, with the religious and non-religious alike.
The Source of Goodness and Why We Are Here
What good there has been has come from the leaven of the saints of God, which is to say, God gave it to mankind through those whom He chose to do so. Of such are those who brought the Ten Commandments and all the words of God to mankind, which teach the way of life.
How do we come to have what is good? All of us are here to learn by experience that the wrong way does not work, which prepares us to learn the right way. You ask:
“And if God did not want us to live with or without these mysterious words emanating from an imaginary mouth, why did He breath life into us in the first place? Is God omniscient? He is? Then why bother with a life for sinners at all. He knows what they will do, and He knows what His judgement on them will be, so why bother? Another mystery of the idiot God, I suppose.”
It is not incompatible with omniscience that people are created and made subject to the uselessness of everything except being connected to God. These are the needful Laws of Opposites and Relativity in process. How can you know what life is unless you experience death and disconnection from the Source of life?
“For the creation was not willingly subjected to vanity, but through Him subjecting it, on hope; that also the creation will be freed from the slavery of corruption to the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21 LITV).
No Looking Down on Anyone
You say, “…you despise everyone who will not accept your own brand of lunacy.”
We despise no one and are not lunatics. We are here to liberate, not condemn, and we succeed by the power of God Who lives in us through Christ. Because we believe in the Creator, Whose work you attribute to nothingness and to self-sustaining random accidents of nature, which have never been seen since the beginning of time, you call us lunatics?
If we are for you, and you are against us, then you are against yourself. That is lunacy. You say that pointing out the speck in our brother’s eye should apply only to our fellow believers, not to you, but you have no problem pointing out beams in everyone else’s eyes, believers or not. Whether you profess faith in God or not, you have a beam in your eye, and for your own good and the good of others we point it out. Because you attack the credibility of the faithful recorders of Scripture and believers in Jesus Christ, we have every right and duty to answer your charges.
True Science Is Never Denied
It is not correct to say, as you do, that we reject science because we reject the “rational scientific philosophy” you champion in lieu of the Scriptural teachings about God and how we are to live. We are simply rejecting your intellectual philosophy that analyzes and dismisses the wisdom and truth from God:
“In thousands of years of biblical belief, the bible has not recorded anything revealed by God that has benefited mankind.”
That is truly an astoundingly ignorant statement. What makes it astounding is your confidence in its veracity. Surely you mock and are not as stupid and ignorant as all that! The foundation of the worthwhile elements of the society you live in comes from the Bible and those who received these things from God, starting at the beginning. But if you dismiss God, the Creator, as non-existent and irrelevant, except as a force of evil in the imaginations of evil men (which He is not), how can you appreciate what He has given to mankind through those sent by Him? And vice-versa; if you dismiss those sent by God, how can you appreciate Him, the Sender? Of course you cannot and do not.
The Bible is not a science book or a guide to better living through inventions of various sorts. Nor is it against those things; it all depends on the motives in the application of knowledge that determines whether something is good or evil. The Bible is about the most fundamental aspects of our existence – why we are here and our responsibility to fulfill our God-given purpose that will bring us life in the most satisfying manner. The way the Bible says it is, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Stop being stubborn and stupid – read Victor’s Testimony, and see how his life changed for the better upon receiving faith in God.
Having said the Bible is not a science book does not negate its value in physical things. As Authored by the Creator of our bodies, this earth, and all it contains, the Bible is worthy of application in physical matters. For example, the Law of Moses regarding clean and unclean foods and how to deal with sicknesses brings health and avoids the spreading of disease when followed. It took our “rational scientific philosophers” thousands of years to catch up to the health value of some of these practices, proving them to be scientifically-based sanitation and hygienic regulations. Whether professing faith or not, those that ignore these truths suffer the consequences of doing so, because physical laws are no respecters of persons!
How did the ancient Israelites know so much more than the scientists of recent centuries? Did they have better labs and more refined analytic processes? No, God told them. He exists; this is but one in a multitude of proofs. In fact, one must keep his head between his knees, face down, hands over ears, to altogether avoid them, which, manifestly, is what you do.
Man’s Religion Denies Reality with Disastrous Results
That is precisely what the false religion of Rome has been about. The disastrous results of her doing away with the “Judaizing” portion of the Word of God and substituting all kinds of superstition and heathen notions are well documented. Collier’s Encyclopedia states:
“The superstition and dogmatism that marked the rise of Christianity in Europe continued to flourish throughout the Middle Ages. As in Babylon, astrology ruled the prognosis…Hygiene and sanitation were at a very low level, since the human body was held in contempt. St. Jerome saw no reason for any baths after the baptism.”
By universally rejecting the sanitary and hygienic rules of the law of Moses, Medieval Europe invited disaster, and it came. In the fourteenth century A.D., calamity struck Europe in the form of a pandemic known as the Black Death. The Encyclopedia Americana records:
“The Black Death was bubonic plague or its more virulent relative, pneumonic plague…The plague bacillus was transmitted either by the fleas of black rats (bubonic) or by the infected wastes of its victims (pneumonic)…When the Black Death struck, Europe was completely helpless to combat it…standards of public health and personal hygiene were nearly non-existent …it is estimated that somewhere between one-quarter and one-third of Europe’s population died in the years 1347-1350…Jews were accused of spreading the plague by poisoning wells [they were not getting ill as much because they kept the Laws of Moses], and pogroms directed against them occurred in the Rhineland and Switzerland.”
Collier’s Encyclopedia adds:
“By the end of 1350, two-thirds of all Europeans had been attacked, of whom about one-half died, a total of 25,000,000 deaths…More than half the population of London, and perhaps of all England, died…Plague ships drifted idly about with whole crews stricken.”
Only because the scientifically-proven principles of the Bible have been instituted to some degree are you here today. But that is nothing to you, because all you are is an accident anyway, right? Don’t be deceived – there is much higher than your scientific knowledge, Mike, and that is what God has demonstrated all along. As I said at the beginning of this paper, man’s wisdom is far below His. That is how He uses foolish things like us to confound the mighty of this world:
“But God chose the foolish things of the world in order that He might humiliate the wise, and God chose the weak things of the world in order that He might humiliate the mighty. And the base things of the world, and the things having been despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, in order that He might nullify the things which are, so that no flesh may boast before God” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29 EMTV).
Read a book called None of These Diseases, written by medical doctors who discovered that following the injunctions in the Bible brought cures and health to their patients who were not being healed by conventional protocols. The doctors describe scientific discoveries relative to infectious diseases and point out that God had Moses record guidelines to protect people against microorganisms long before these discoveries by scientists. They identify specific Scriptures that address hand washing, quarantine, circumcision, proper treatment of dead bodies, and proper disposal of human feces (Numbers 19, Leviticus 13:46, Genesis 17:12, Deuteronomy 23:12-13), all of which are recognized today as measures significant in the prevention and/or control of infectious diseases.
How Great the Difference When Looking to God
I will also point you to a practical proof of the spiritual value of the Word of God that is hard to refute, though those who do not believe are not convinced though a man returns from the grave. Perhaps you have heard of Through the Valley of the Kwai by Ernest Gordon? He describes how British and other Allied soldiers serving in a Japanese prison camp during WWII were reduced by their dire circumstances to perishing as selfish beasts:
“Existence had become so miserable, the odds so heavy against us, that nothing mattered except to survive. We lived by the rule of the jungle, ‘red in tooth and claw’ – the evolutionary law of the survival of the fittest. It was a case of ‘I look out for myself and to hell with everyone else.’
This became our norm. We called it ‘The Ladder Club.’ Its motto was ‘I’ve got the ladder up, Jack. I’m all right.’ The weak were trampled underfoot, the sick ignored or resented, the dead forgotten.
When a man lay dying we had no word of mercy. When he cried for our help, we averted our heads. Men cursed the Japanese, their neighbors, themselves, and God. Cursing became such an obsession that they constructed whole sentences in which every word was a curse.
Everyone was his own keeper. It was free enterprise at its worst, with all restraints of morality gone.
Our captors had promised to reduce us to a level ‘lower than any coolie in Asia.’ They were succeeding all too well.
Although we lived by the law of the jungle, the strongest among us still died, and the most selfish, the most self-sufficient, the wiliest and cleverest, perished with the weak.”
Things began to change after a prisoner, by his exercise of faith in Christ and according to His example, sacrificed his food to sustain the author’s recovery from several diseases and saved his life. The author thereafter began to look to God. A process of total reversal spread among the men like a positive infection, initiated by the awareness and living out of the principles of God as taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ. Two other men sacrificed their welfare and lives for the sake of others. A profound shift had occurred:
“It was dawning on us all – officers and ‘other ranks’ [lower ranks] alike– that the law of the jungle is not the law for men. We had seen for ourselves how quickly it could strip us of our humanity and reduce us to levels lower than beasts.
Death was still with us – no doubt about that. But we were being slowly freed from its destructive grip. We were seeing for ourselves the sharp contrasts between the forces that make for life and those that make for death. Selfishness, hatred, jealousy, and greed were all anti-life. Love, self-sacrifice, mercy, and creative faith, on the other hand, were the essence of life, turning mere existence into living in its truest sense. These were the gifts of God to men.”
The men searched out the meaning and reason of this change, and the author, never having professed Christianity before, led the discussions. They investigated together, and discovered the reason for what was happening to them:
“True, he [Jesus] had been strung up on a cross and tormented with the hell of pain; but he had not broken. The weight of law and of prejudice had borne down on him but failed to crush him. He had remained free and alive, as the resurrection affirmed. What he was, what he did, what he said, all made sense for us. We understood that the love expressed so supremely in Jesus was God’s love – the same love we were experiencing for ourselves – the love that is passionate kindness, other-centered rather than self-centered, greater than all the laws of men. It was the love that inspired St. Paul, once he had felt its power, to write:
‘Love suffereth long and is kind.’
The doctrines we worked out were meaningful to us. We approached God through Jesus the carpenter of Nazareth, the incarnate word. Such an approach seemed logical, for that was the way he had come to us. He had taken flesh, walked in the midst of men, and declared himself by his actions to be full of grace and truth.
We arrived at our understanding of God’s way not one by one, but together. In the fellowship of freedom and love we found truth, and with truth a wonderful sense of unity, of harmony, of peace.”
No, they had not become religious. Some even tried that for a time at a previous camp, and it did not work. God was nowhere to be found in this kind of activity and selfish seeking:
“…many had turned to religion as a crutch. But the crutch had not supported them; so they had thrown it away. Many had prayed, but only for themselves. Nothing happened. They had sought personal miracles from the Bible – and none had come. They had appealed to God as an expedient. But God apparently had refused to be treated as one.”
There was no denying the fruits of true religion, though, when the men had turned from their selfishness to doing what was right by looking to Jesus Christ. That is when they realized they were not put on this earth by God to be served but to serve. They began to make artificial limbs, a hidden (forbidden) garden for healing herbs, instruments for the doctors and other supplies – taking the guts thrown out by the Japanese guards to make sutures, and brewing alcohol for anesthetic (of which they had none before), art, music, plays, dances for expression, and classes on literature, languages, philosophy, and ethics. Dying men found a purpose for living the short time they had left in happiness by helping others.
This all happened because one man actually believed in Jesus Christ and the words of the Bible, which brought faith, hope and positive change. It was not Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny that saved the day. Or science. Or Buddhism. Or positive thinking. It was not anything but what is told in the Bible, the Bread from Heaven Who gives life to those that partake of Him, and through them, life to others.
The Harmony of the Children of God and Nature
Are we against the study of nature, as you charge? How could we be as organic farmers? Neither do we refuse all medical care out of hand, as you conjecture, building another straw man to mock the Lord:
“You will, naturally be joining the Christian Science Church and refuse any medical care at all…. Cure illness by exorcism. That is what your hero did, and he is THE TRUTH.”
You are not rational in your mocking, because the Lord did not cure all those with afflictions by exorcism. There are many examples. Here are two:
“And Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, I will; be clean! And immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8:3 MKJV).
“And when He had spoken these things, He spat on the ground and made clay from the spittle. And He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. And He said to him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which translated is ‘Sent’). Therefore he went and washed and came seeing” (John 9:6-7 MKJV).
Furthermore, while the Lord has miraculously healed us of many things without exorcism, He has taught us that we must take proper care of all things if we can ever expect to prosper in health. He has graciously shown us how to do this, as any father would teach his children the right way to live. If we therefore go against His teachings of the laws of nature, which are His laws, we cannot expect to do well if we do not repent of our waywardness. Why should He continually bail us out if we are not willing to listen to Him, use good reason He freely gives, and avoid the consequences of sin altogether?
Christ the Creator the Opposite of Man’s Phantasms
When I tell you that Santa Claus, to whom you compare Jesus Christ, has not led anyone to know these things, or to discover or employ the secrets of nature, you ask me in reply:
“Has Jesus Christ?”
Not only has Jesus Christ revealed these things to many throughout the ages, but He is the very Essence of all life at all times:
“For all things were created in Him, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17 MKJV).
Being God over all, He gives many to know things who do not know Him personally, which sabotages your charge that we, the Bible, and the author of the following words, Paul the apostle, are exclusive of the rest of mankind.
“The God Who made the world and all the things in it, Him being Lord of Heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor by the hands of men is He served, as though He needed anything, for He gives to all life, and breath, with respect to all things. And He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, and He ordained their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, in order for them to seek the Lord, if perhaps indeed they might grope for Him and find Him, and yet being indeed not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’” (Acts 17:24-28 EMTV).
Because we reject evolution as the most ridiculous, asinine, far-fetched explanation of our existence ever concocted does not mean we do not consider scientific discoveries, as you charge. Just as there is true and false currency, true and false religion, so there is true and false science. The creation is full of meaning from our Creator, and as part of it, we look to Him for understanding. That is why, for example, we employ scientifically-proven techniques of microbial biology for soil health on our farm, rather than N-P-K fertilization technology, which is crude and destructive to the soil ecology and biosphere.
In other words, looking to God is not backwards at all. It is mankind, in his backwards approach of forgetting the Inventor, and thinking he can do it better himself, that is doing a bang up job of destroying everything. That includes nominal Christians whose fruits do not match their profession. Most professing Christ do not believe in God or know Him any more than you do. He may as well be Santa Claus to them, and is.
Christ Not of this World – Communist or Capitalist
There are some (though not many, as you note) who say that Christ was the consummate communist, preaching shared poverty as the way to salvation. They are as wrong as you are. Here is the way you put it:
“You might hate socialism, but I repeat that Christ held all his goods in common, and the man who held the purse was Judas. That is not just socialism, it is communism. ‘My God, that just will not do.’ God was a communist. Now you really expose your rightwing credentials. You want God to be a fascist like you.”
While Christ and the apostles had a common purse, so do corporations. So what is wrong with communism as a philosophy? The same thing that is wrong with capitalism. The human heart is not reformed by systems of men. It is not having money, or not having it, that makes one right with God or man. I have given you Scriptures that prove Jesus did not make an issue of money, except where it was the issue, like with the rich young ruler who was too attached to his possessions. With Zacchaeus money was not an issue, and he was not required to give up his business or his assets. Yet salvation came to his house the day he repented of his sins and determined to make things right. Jesus said so:
“And Jesus said to him, This day salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (Luke 19:9 MKJV).
And to the fellow asking Jesus to enforce the communistic outcome of shared goods that you claim He taught and sought, Jesus replied:
“Man, who appointed Me a judge or a divider over you?” (Luke 12:14 LITV)
The Record is clear: Christ did not come to settle our economic differences. He also said those would continue:
“For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you desire you may do them good” (Mark 14:7 MKJV).
If there are always poor, there are also always those rich in comparison. God has made both, along with great variety in all things.
Certainly the communists have proven themselves no better at making a utopia on earth than the capitalists, and worse, because capitalists, by and large, have not declared, “There is no God and we will live like there is none.” There has been some measure of conscience and acknowledgement of God’s laws in the West. However, it has become all sham and hypocrisy, where it is not blatant lawlessness, and so destruction comes.
You behave as if you have the upper ground in your argument for shared poverty, surmising that I must certainly be speaking from avarice as a greedy Republican, your stereotype of a Christian living in the United States:
“You do not want to be humble as you have repeatedly shown, and neither do you want to be poor….You refuse to do what he [Jesus] told you to do, not what Paul told you to do, but the man you say you consider to be God! You want to be saved without the trouble. That is why you treat your own God as an idiot. You hope He will not notice.”
You simply do not know what you are talking about, as anyone that knows the facts here could attest. Obviously you have no facts, so this kind of conjecturing does not help your cause, except to expose it as baseless, which is a good thing, especially for you. Someday Reality will prevail, and already the cracks in your self-imposed cocoon are appearing.
We are certainly not here for this world and to amass its riches or we would not be spending our days writing to you and many others, preaching Christ and contending for the faith of God to a world that is at enmity with Him. Only those who, by the grace of God, are dead to this world can do such a thing. The dead cannot take anything with them:
“We didn’t bring anything into the world, and we can’t take anything out of it” (1 Timothy 6:7 GW).
We are not of those of which you speak Mike, but are as, and with, brother Paul:
“For there are a lot of rebels out there, full of loose, confusing, and deceiving talk. Those who were brought up religious and ought to know better are the worst. They’ve got to be shut up. They’re disrupting entire families with their teaching, and all for the sake of a fast buck” (Titus 1:10-11 MSG).
Paul was not there for the money (reading about his life who could ever propose such an absurdity?); none of God’s people ever are, whether rich or poor. Wisdom is justified of all her children.
Bitterness Blinds to God and Reality
Mike, what has made you so bitter that you throw out irresponsible, unsubstantiated statements? You have a serious problem with anger and frustration, which finds no remedy in baseless accusations. All you do is throw gasoline on the fire you started. Listen to you go on about how I am wrong when I say that the “poor in spirit” are not the economically deprived:
“Your whole argument is a deluded personal justification of your own bigoted position. You have no wish and make no attempt to read the bible and learn from it.”
Because I do not agree with you means I have not learned from the Bible and from God Who has given me to understand It because I live It by His grace? Who is the bigot here? The point of this matter of riches is that one cannot serve God and money, as Jesus said (Luke 16:13). It is not only the rich that can be found serving money. Anyone who is not putting his or her trust in God is putting it in the created things, those which money controls:
“Laughter and bread go together, And wine gives sparkle to life– But it’s money that makes the world go around” (Ecclesiastes 10:19 MSG)
That includes communists and atheists. Not having spiritual life or fulfillment, you find your value and self worth in the things of this world, which ultimately leads to disillusionment and bitterness. Surely you have been disappointed in your lot and have taken it personally because of pride and selfishness. It is no wonder that you manifest what you do. You speak from “the abundance of your heart,” which tells us that you are angry and envious. When you speak of what you see in the Bible, you reflect your internal state. It is a fine mirror. Surely you would like to see rich people suffer in Hell, because you compare yourself to them and blame them for your poor showing. You write:
“He [Christ] is saying here that a rich man will not get into heaven without God having an impossibly gracious day. Only self-serving fools can read it any other way.”
You seem to be unwittingly granting credibility or value to Jesus Christ here. However, what you say is disproven by other things Jesus said, which I have already provided here and elsewhere. And have not the facts borne out what the Bible says, that God has made both the rich and poor, and that He is Lord of both? Calling Him a fool for what He is and has done makes you the greatest of fools.
What Is Important According to God
Men trying to make all equal in this one dimension of economic equality has proven to be a great farce. Some are and will be much more “equal” than others, by nature and the powers they are given to exercise. Look at “communist” China today! They found they could not produce a true and pure communism that you preach, so they have now gravitated to the worst of both worlds – communistic poverty and capitalistic rape of the environment in a greedy, incendiary mixture that is sure to end badly. How can it be otherwise, when their official position is that there is no God, and therefore they have no hope of an answer to the infernal mess they are creating?
The Soviet experiment lasted a God-ordained 70 years with the motto, “There is no God.” God had said, “Okay, I’ll let you have at it. There will be no God.” And there was no God. He withdrew His mercy and governance, though never entirely. Every sort of evil imaginable took place. Small nations like Hungary and Czechoslovakia, for the sin of wanting freedom, were brutally subdued. Environmental degradation was appalling, alcoholism was pandemic, abortions were rampant, and fear and depression were wanton plagues in many a heart.
One of thousands of shocking reports was Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. Stalin imprisoned, starved and slaughtered his own people by the millions. All lived behind an iron curtain lowered to not only keep outsiders out but insiders in. “No God,” they said, and God said, “No God.”
And all got equal pay and equal poverty, no matter if capable or productive or not. Incentive was diminished, production faltered, and people suffered the truth that forced socialism and cooperation are but vain myths ignoring the true nature of man. Men just do not make good gods or willing pawns. The whole system collapsed, bringing Gorbachev and the Soviet hierarchy to a humble end. Now organized crime rules Russia.
Back to what God wants. Jesus Christ, once again, never said one should not build a business or own anything (or that one should). He did not condemn Solomon for his riches. He put things into the proper perspective from above:
“And He said to His disciples, For this reason I say to you, Take no thought for your life, about what food you will take, or for your body, how it may be clothed. Is not life more than food, and the body than its clothing? Give thought to the ravens; they do not put seeds into the earth, or get together grain; they have no store-houses or buildings; and God gives them their food: of how much greater value are you than the birds! And which of you by taking thought is able to make himself any taller? If, then, you are not able to do even that which is least, why are you troubled about the rest? Give thought to the flowers: they do no work, they make no thread; and still I say to you, Even Solomon, in all his glory, was not clothed like one of these. But if God gives such clothing to the grass in the field, which today is living, and tomorrow will be burned in the oven, how much more will He give clothing to you, O men of little faith?” (Luke 12:22-28 BBE)
God is our sole purpose for being here and should be the reason for what we do with our lives and with everything we possess. No person is here to live for him or herself and the things of this world. When the heart is turned from living selfishly on this animal level to believing on and receiving the Truth, then the Kingdom of Heaven begins to bloom on earth. When that happens at large, none will go without or be lacking in any good thing. How can there be any lack when everyone truly has each other’s interests at heart and God is with them?
Let’s face it; God would have to be schizophrenic to despise prosperity. He owns the cattle of a thousand hills. All things are His; He made them for us to enjoy richly, though we do not find life in them. The apostle Paul put it this way:
“Not that I am speaking with respect to need, for I have learned to be content in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. In every place and in all circumstances I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need. I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13 EMTV).
Perfection by Christ, Not the Law
But you have a real problem with Paul, dismissing all he says out of hand as perverse. You accuse him of being the enemy of rational thought, “the agent of Satan,” who forbids us to use our minds. How then are we able to write these letters to you while in agreement with him? These are not regurgitations of organizational doctrine or recitations of the Bible or channeled through us as necromancers and sorcerers with evil spirits, but these letters contain the Essence of living application of Truth that comes from the mind of Christ, Who lives within us. He is us and we are Him. We therefore do not take credit. God has done this, just as He has with the apostle Paul. That is how we can and will answer these charges against Paul, the gross misunderstandings and slanders you present, because we have the same Mind of Christ that Paul does.
One of your complaints against Paul is that he revised the Law of God about circumcision:
“Anyone with a brain still in their head would think that an almighty, omnicient being would need only to lay down the law once, and that would be enough, but scallies intent on fooling the gullible would try to make out that the Almighty could be in error and want to change His mind.”
Mike, what makes you presume you have a valid brain? The problem here is that even if you had the most brilliant and perceptive brain on earth, it is still not capable of comprehending God, Who is Spirit. You have a carnal brain that thinks carnal thoughts, even when contemplating heavenly things. How then can we expect you to believe and understand our answers? We cannot. Yet we preach the Truth as Holy Seed that will bear fruit in due time.
There is a very simple answer to this dilemma regarding the Law of God. Circumcision, whether by itself or as representative of keeping of the whole Law, never made anyone righteous. One incident above all others demonstrates this fact: when the Jews sought to remove Christ’s body from the cross so they could keep the Passover. They had slain the Son of God, Whose blood removes the sins that lambs and goats could never cleanse, but they remained faithful to the carnal ordinance while slaying the Lamb of God. They would not let His body stand in the way of keeping His Law! Amazing! Talk about irony!
The blood of bulls and goats, mandated by the Law, were not the Substance, only the shadow. The shadow is there to point us to the Substance. Without the shadow, we would not have known or expected there to be any Substance in the first place. Once the Substance came, that which pointed to it was no longer necessary. Circumcision of the flesh is not the Substance, it is only the shadow. Does that mean it was wrong or unnecessary? Not at all. There was much benefit in the keeping of the ordinances of God.
For Israel after the flesh and many others it has been the classic cart in front of the horse scenario. Trying to keep the Law to become godly does not work anymore than pulling a horse by the cart. But if God is giving grace and leading the way, the Law will be fulfilled as it should be, and we will be as He is. That is the example that Paul gave of Abraham, who kept the Law in spirit before he was circumcised. Abraham obeyed God by the faith God had given him in the offering up of his son, Isaac. He was law-abiding. Because of his obedience he was called the friend of God. It was after this that Abraham received the sign of the Law – circumcision. He became the father of all who believe, both circumcised and uncircumcised.
God never expected men to be able to keep the Law in their own power. It has always been by His grace. He knows our frames and our limitations. He gave Israel the Law of Moses, not to keep score as if one could score highly enough, but to make them realize that they needed Him and His grace and power to keep it. The Law is a tutor to bring men to God through Jesus Christ, the Messiah. For this purpose God promised His Messiah, Who is not an external Deliverer firstly, but an internal One. Our problem is not an external one, solved by systems like communism or religion, but is within, which is where, Jesus said, the Kingdom of God comes. His Kingdom in us is the Law perfectly fulfilled according to the power and working out of His righteousness. This is salvation, the final solution to our problem.
I have spoken of circumcision as a sign, like the Temple sacrifices, but there is also the moral Law, the Ten Commandments, which was never fulfilled by ritual. Mankind has needed the Nature of Christ, to Whom the ceremonial Law pointed, to keep the Ten Commandments in the manner Christ taught and demonstrated. Without His Nature within, no person can keep the Law. Everyone, man and woman, needs the Law written on his or her heart, the circumcision of the heart promised by God through the prophet Jeremiah (31:33), which is also the new heart promised through the prophet Ezekiel (11:19).
This way the credit goes to God, not man. This way God is acknowledged to be in control, not man. In other words, there is a sovereign God, Who does as He will with His creation, and man is His dependent subject in all things. This way no one can ever say he or she got it right and became acceptable to God. We are all in the same boat, dependent on God and His mercy. Anyone who has received His mercy and the new nature in Christ will know it was strictly God’s choosing and doing. In that nature one manifests the fruits of right action and faith, and can perceive the fruits of others, whether they be good or evil. This is Jesus Christ come in the flesh. He is yet alive and with us, because He lives in us!
The Place of True Faith
“How do you remain righteous unless you have a standard of righteouness? What is the point of righteousness, if faith saves?”
Could it be you have been fed the widespread lie of much of present-day evangelical Christendom, which is that there is a choice between faith and righteousness? If so, you have heard from liars and hypocrites; we encounter them often and shake our heads. Paul wrote of Abraham, our father of faith:
“What then shall we say that our father Abraham has found, according to flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has a boast; but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness’” (Romans 4:1-3 MKJV).
No one can “remain” righteous because without faith no one has been righteous to begin with. On this point the Scriptures are absolutely certain. Perhaps you have just used a poor choice of words, but you do have things backwards: Righteousness comes as the result of saving faith, never without it. As James famously wrote, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:20). He wasn’t exaggerating.
Righteousness is the proof of true faith. But of men’s works, which only appear to men as righteous, the prophet says:
“But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6 MKJV).
By what standards, then, do we recognize the righteousness of God? By His standards of course, the Ten Commandments:
“Whoever therefore shall break one of the least of these Commandments, and shall teach men thus, will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:19-20 EMTV).
There was no disagreement between Paul and Christ on this matter, as you suggest; none whatsoever.
Paul upheld the Law of God by the gift of faith. He writes:
“Then is the Law annulled through faith? Let it not be! But we establish Law” (Romans 3:31 LITV).
The Place of Love
Neither was Paul ignorant of, or negligent in, the love of God, as you also accuse:
“Paul spent a lot of time expounding it, and reviling the law, but said not a lot about how love was necessary with it. That is why the world is full of fascist Christians.”
Wherever do you get such patently unScriptural nonsense, Mike? On the contrary, Paul placed the love of God above all else, just as Christ summarized the Law as the love of God in action, which is obeying Him and loving your neighbor as yourself. Paul did this firstly by laying down his life for God and for the sakes of all to whom he preached, leaving us with the legacy of much of the New Testament by which we have been greatly edified and enriched. And his words reflect his actions:
“Love is patient, love is kind; love does not envy; love does not boast, is not puffed up; does not behave disgracefully, does not seek its own, is not provoked to anger, thinks no evil; does not rejoice over unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 EMTV).
He concluded that discourse on love with, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 EMTV).
What Paul describes are the fruits of Christ’s Spirit. He also writes about these:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control–against such things there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-25 EMTV).
The Law has not been done away with by Paul; he speaks of how the Spirit of Christ has come to fulfill the Law in us. When we walk in the love of God, the Law can never convict us of wrongdoing, and we do not cast it aside.
We walk by the Spirit of Christ, as did Paul. You do not understand or know these things, not presently having His Spirit or His faith.
No Disagreement Between Paul and Christ
Plainly we show that you are wrong in declaring Paul preached something other than Christ, because Paul preached not simply the words of Christ, but Christ Himself. He is the Subject, Content, and Motivation of Paul’s words:
“For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2 KJV).
You argue that Jesus did not deny the Law, but Paul, the perennial whipping boy of many who deny Christ, did. That is not true, as I have been demonstrating. While neither denied the Law, Jesus said that all of It was summed up in two Commandments – to love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, and soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. You criticize Paul for saying this very thing:
“Above all, he says faith required love, and effectively he argues that love replaced the law.”
Says you, but not Paul nor any portion of Scripture, leastways not as you interpret it. Paul affirms that, by the faith of Christ, we establish the Law:
“Do we then by means of this faith abolish the Law? No, indeed; we give the Law a firmer footing” (Romans 3:31 WNT).
However, there are many who claim to follow the teachings of Paul and Jesus who have done away with the Law of God, or they have left themselves to interpret and abuse It as they please. Jesus and His apostles warned that there would be great deception and iniquity (lawlessness) coming through those who claim to believe on Him, and that this would only get worse as time went on. So we live in a world today that is full of profession of faith in Christ, yet exhibits gross ungodliness and is almost entirely void of true faith. That is just how it was in the days of Noah (“the children of God mixed with the children of men”), which is why the world today has been reserved, not for water, but for fire, in order to cleanse it of all the filth brought on it by the false religious who help cause other sinners like you to blaspheme God.
Being wrong about what Paul preached, as well as what Jesus preached, you are altogether wrong in your conclusions:
“If Christ spoke God’s words, and Paul told you to believe something else, then what is Paul in the Christian mythos?..Either way, Paul is acting for Satan, according to your own sacred beliefs.”
“You are only a good Christian when you live a good life. If you are a righteous man or woman then you will be saved, but not otherwise.”
Jesus and Paul taught that there is no man who is good, and that Christ came to save sinners:
“So Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One, that is, God” (Luke 18:19 EMTV).
“As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable, there is none that does good, no, not one’” (Romans 3:10-12 MKJV).
“Faithful is this word, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. However, because of this I was shown mercy, so that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, as a pattern for those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life” (1 Timothy 1:15-16 EMTV).
“When Jesus heard it, He said to them, Those who are healthy have no need of a physician, but those who are ill. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mark 2:17 EMTV).
No Man Is Good
Therefore, Mike, we are saying the opposite of what you say, because we have learned that there is, indeed, nothing good to be found in man. You say, “The criterion of salvation is how you treat other people,” but we say, “The evidence of salvation is how you treat other people.”
And not having spiritual discernment or sight, you cannot tell the difference between good and evil. You say “the ‘faith alone’ bunch…hate people more than any devil could, and you do not seem dissimilar.” You do not discern where we are coming from or our motives and therefore think we mistreat you. You call legitimate, helpful criticism, “hate.” And no doubt you would call some religious works, “love,” which are anything but. You think your own words are acceptable, if not loving, but are they?
You write: “You say I am the servant of darkness and confusion because in fact you are. You believe in ghosts and fantasies, yet are intolerant and obnoxiously abusive to anyone who accepts reality.”
Is it acceptable and loving to call the One Who laid down His life for us a “fantasy”? Is it loving to make yourself the arbiter of reality, telling us that what we receive from God does not exist? Are you not in darkness, confusion, and all contradiction because you do not believe in Christ and the Truth? If what we and the Bible report are true, you most certainly are in darkness, for which we do not condemn you as Jesus Himself testified:
“For God did not send His Son into the world so that He might condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:17-18 EMTV).
It is you who is intolerant and abusive because you condemn us for telling you the Truth.
It is you who make leaps of logic that are pure fantasy:
“So you do as he [Christ] said, then. You are indeed humble. You love your neighbour. You forgive transgressors. You call people fools and ingrates and whatever comes into your arrogant head…. you spread your intolerance and insensitivity, your warmongering and punitive attitude. How does it all match the pacific Galilean who would not carry a sword?”
“Warmongering and punitive attitude”? Where and how, Mike? We are not carrying swords, or threatening anyone with physical retribution. You make false deductions like these, and then think you are justified to dismiss what we say. You link us with Bush and Blair, with whom we have nothing to do, nor do we approve of their false Christianity. Indeed, by all we say, do, and are, we rebuke it, but you cannot see a thing. You make and knock down your straw men while trying to destroy the Real. Foolish man. We cannot help but tell you that you are wrong, and why should you and everyone else not know it? Should you all go on destroying one another endlessly in your madness?
Distinguishing Good and Evil
Have I not said you cannot tell the difference between good and evil, between true Christians and false? I had written you: “Paul never said any such thing about professing ‘Christianity.’ He only spoke of professing Christ, Who saves us, and not any religion, which is all you can see.” To which you replied:
“If professing Christ is not professing Christianity then the difference is too subtle for me. Is the Christian not a believer in Christ? Why is he called a Christian then?”
The difference between professing Christ and professing Christianity is vast and profound. You yourself bring up an excellent example that demonstrates this point – the murder of Michael Servetus by John Calvin. John Calvin was religious, teaching Christianity as a religion, making his profession of Christ secondary and fruitless. Michael Servetus was spiritual, preaching Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, and God, and his religion was to walk as Christ did, by the power of His Spirit. One is a work of man, the other a work of God (read The Fruit of Cain Multiplied: The Murderer John Calvin). One is always found persecuting the other, as Paul declared in the Scriptures:
“But just as then the one who was born according to the flesh persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so it is also now” (Galatians 4:29 EMTV).
You say Calvin was not a Catholic. On the contrary, he certainly was. What do reformers profess themselves to be except devotees of that which they seek to reform? They too are children of this world, looking for advantage and willing to use the Name of God to get it. Their just judgment does not linger.
Our beliefs are not Catholic, and all one has to do is read from our site to verify this fact.
False Charges Against Christ and God
You continue: “God is in your head, but Nature is the world you actually live in, and it has been spread over with blood and soot by you loving Christians as much as anyone else. So much for Christ and goodness.”
Yes, the bloody whore, the Catholic Church along with all the daughters of Babylon, has spread blood and soot over this world, with your help, because you do not distinguish between her and God. Therefore, according to Christ, you are part of the problem:
“The man who is not with Me is against Me, and he who is not gathering with Me is scattering abroad” (Matthew 12:30 WNT).
How is it you blame Christ for the evil works of men, but also sing His virtues to me in other places and unfavorably compare me to those? You cannot have it both ways, Mike. You only seek to have it your way, thus the contradiction. That makes you no different than the pope or Calvin, who seek to have it their own way and also consider their word to be the final one. So what that you argue with them? You are brothers, all claiming to be right while you and they are all wrong. You say of the pope’s work, attributing it to God:
“Then he [God] invents a scheme of salvation for murderous cannibals, apparently forgetting that we had given up such practices. ‘Well it is only symbolic, just try it.’ ‘All right. It works, hallelujah!’ No, it does not work, except for people with a walnut sized brain.”
You are right that the Catholic Mass does not work, but you are wrong that God instituted any such thing. He did not. Why assume such claptrap? Read Diabolical Doctrine: The “Lord’s Supper”.
Another slander you cast at God is that He validated child rape. That wicked thought is all yours, foul-minded man. Of course, He did no such thing. The Scripture you allude to referred to the war Israel had with Midian:
“But all the female children that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves” (Numbers 31:18 MKJV).
Who said anything about having sex with them? Yes, they became the property of Israel, just as adopted children belong to the parents who adopt them. Yes, they would grow up to become wives of the sons of Israel. Better than being slaughtered or having lived to be destroyed in the sins of their parents. But that does not concern or interest you, only does the scent of any opportunity to cast aspersions on God and the Bible.
You think to prove that God is imaginary, by alleging that such things you imagine or suppose to be wicked were sanctioned by Him. The wickedness is inside you, foolish man. (The fool is the one who says there is no God – is that not you?)
However, it is on account of God and those that have known Him that we have whatever good laws we have, which, if enforced, protect you from religious scofflaws like Calvin and other criminals. Servetus and Castellion purchased much good with their blood, as have many other God-fearing men and women. You are foolish to disdain and reject such influences.
Your own countryman, and the greatest man of the 20th century on the world stage, said this about the roots or foundation of your civilization:
“We owe to the Jews in the Christian revelation a system of ethics, which, even if it were entirely separated from the supernatural, would be incomparably the most precious possession of mankind, worth in fact the fruits of all other wisdom and learning put together. On that system and by that faith there has been built out of the wreck of the Roman Empire the whole of our existing civilization” (Winston Churchill).
However, since you do not believe us, God has provided some good, convincing teachers that will help you learn to appreciate the value of godly influence, which you have rejected. The Muslims are there to remind you of what you now stand to lose, if you have not lost it altogether, because you have despised it. They are there to teach you to appreciate it.
The Most Reliable of All Books
How greatly you err in saying the Bible is not reliable! Your illogical reasoning that the Bible was written by people who wanted to gain control over others is sheer speculation. Talk about fantasy! If you want to see a book written by a megalomaniac to attain such ends, read the Koran; the Bible does not give power to anyone for illicit gain or to unjustly rule over others. Prove that it does. Pointing to those that use it for these purposes is not proof. Show us from the Bible itself.
You say most of the Old Testament is forged and that Moses did not exist. This is more of the world according to Mike. We cannot take these things on your word. We have certainly found the Bible to be spiritual truth, and, for this reason, we know it cannot be based on lies. The Bible tells the truth about the nature of man, which is highly unflattering to all flesh, and for this reason alone is like no other book on earth. It speaks the Truth without apology or condemnation. That is why you find fault with It.
The Truth is ever pure and never adulterated or contrived. In fact, contrary to what you claim, archeology and other sciences are constantly confirming the Bible. While no one has found a physical piece of evidence with Moses’ name written on it from when he lived in Egypt and took the children of Israel out into the wilderness of Sinai, there is no evidence this did not happen. In fact, there is much evidence that these events did happen if you know where to look, as the atheist James Cameron found out (The Exodus Decoded).
We know the Bible is true because we know Him Who inspired It and is Its Subject, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Truth. The Bible is a spiritual Book. Those who attempt to grasp It from a carnal point of view, no matter how much they believe It is true or not, are not on the right “wavelength” to receive the Truth that It transmits; one must be granted the mind of Christ. That is why you mock us for speaking from His mind. The Jews who rejected Christ also had this lack, as Paul the apostle wrote:
“Therefore, having such hope, we use great boldness of speech– and not as Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is removed in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. But whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away” (2 Corinthians 3:12-16 EMTV).
Why should Matthew interview the 500 witnesses who saw the risen Christ, as you suggest, since he was one of them? Matthew spoke of what he saw, as did the other writers of the New Testament. Otherwise, they are liars. But they proved their testimony by the laying down of their lives, just as Christ laid down His for them and us. You accuse them of being liars. We recognize their words of Truth, however, because we know Him Who is the Truth. The created world you worship is not the Truth. It is the product of the Creator Who is the Truth. He is reflected in His creation, but most specifically in His special appearing as the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, Who is God:
“God, Who at many times and in many ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed Heir of all things, by Whom also He made the worlds, Who being the shining splendor of His glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the word of His power, through Himself cleansing of our sins, He sat down on the right of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3 MKJV).
Jesus Affirmed that He Is God
Jesus never denied that He was God, as you insist. He said to the one who called Him good, “No man is good, only God.” He did not say that because He was not the Son of God, but because the man to whom He spoke did not know He was. That man was looking on Him as simply a man after the flesh. On the other hand, when Peter confessed Christ to be the Son of the living God, Jesus said that flesh and blood had not revealed that to him, but the Father in Heaven. In other words, His identity was secret, only known to those to whom the Father gave it. Otherwise, the Jews would not have crucified the Lord of glory!
“Then Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34 EMTV).
So there is no contradiction at all when Jesus plainly confesses He is the Son of God, having all the power of God:
“Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, Who has come into the world” (John 11:25-27 MKJV).
It is abhorrent to the carnal man that God would come in the flesh, because His coming automatically condemns our flesh as corrupt and wicked. But, as Jesus said, He came to save, not condemn. Who needs saving but those who are corrupt and condemned? And Who can save them, but God? Those who trust not in their own righteousness, but in His, find hope and a better way. The Law never offered ultimate remedy, but Christ does, which is why He came. By turning to Him, we receive the grace to no longer walk in our corruption but to fulfill the Law. That is the power of God made active and real in our lives. God comes in the flesh!
Perfection on Earth
You cite a notion of certain Jews that nothing on earth can be perfect, and I must point out the total inconsistency in your selection of authoritative sources. You say the Jews lied and made up most of the Old Testament to gain power over others (Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, anyone?), but now you appeal to those you call liars as spiritual experts on things that do not exist? How confounded you are! How stupid, Mike, how stupid!
And to which Jews do you refer? Of course those who did not receive the Perfect One do not believe in perfection on earth. They proved that, didn’t they, by crucifying Him?
But what did God say to Abraham, father of all true Jews?
“I am the Almighty God! Walk before Me and be perfect” (Genesis 17:1 MKJV).
And what did Jesus say to His hearers?
“Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 MKJV).
Of course men do not recognize Christ’s perfection, as I have already pointed out to you, and as you have pointed out to me countless times, intentionally or not!
David’s psalm wherein God speaks to David’s Lord, Who is elsewhere referred to as David’s son, represents the very heart of the mystery of the Incarnation, wherein God became a human being of no account, yet was Lord of all. How greatly His appearing dignifies our existence! How greatly you demean and diminish yours in your unbelief! There is nothing more degrading than man living by his beastly senses, not recognizing His God and Creator, but making himself the end all:
“As a dream when one awakes, So, O Lord, when You awaken, You will despise their image. For my soul was grieved, and I was pricked in my heart: So brutish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before You” (Psalms 73:20-22 ASV).
Evil Conjectures and Accusations
Your talk of Jesus possibly having been a homosexual is really quite stupid. Homosexual intercourse, which you say is not sex, is still called abominable by God and is punishable with death (Leviticus 20:13). That is what those who engage in this activity reap, regardless of whether corporeal punishment is meted out or not.
The young man who fled naked from the garden of Gethsemane had his garment taken from him when men tried to apprehend him. To link the young man with Christ, and to further link him to homosexual activity is audaciously far fetched. The only thing revealed by this interpretation is the depravity of your own mind.
Do I vilify homosexuals, as you accuse? My dictionary says “vilify” means “to spread negative information about,” which certainly does not describe what I am doing. Because I say murder is wrong, does not mean I vilify murderers. Because I agree with what the Bible says about homosexuality, as I do with all other sins such as greed, gluttony, fornication and blasphemy, does not mean I am spreading hateful talk about any persons at all. It is you who vilifies me by your false accusations.
Another of those accusations is your insinuation that I am making it my personal business to find out if you are sodomizing your neighbor and to secure, as much as possible, your punishment. That is also an outrageous lie. You clearly have no evidence that I am doing any such thing and implying such things is to irresponsibly incite hatred against us in something you do not know. You are a hypocrite to commend the notion that God is after civil order, because your incendiary statements foster the opposite. That is the blindness of your bitterness against God and Christ at work. Are you calling your conduct “love,” Mike?
You ask where Paul’s letter to the Romans condemns homosexuality. You say, sarcastically, “Keep trying. You’ll get there eventually.” The problem is that you are not trying at all, except to make your case and to deny the plain words of Scripture:
“For this cause, God gave them up to dishonorable affections. For even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; males with males working out shamefulness, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error” (Romans 1:26-27 MKJV).
Who Is Obsessed with Sex?
You claim that Christians are obsessed with sex, and use as evidence my saying that Mark 10:9 refers to God- given marriages. Your response: “Again your utter misapprehension of Christ is painful.” Is it? Here is the context:
Mark 10:2-9 MKJV
(2) And tempting Him, the Pharisees came to Him and asked Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?
(3) And He answered and said to them, What did Moses command you?
(4) And they said, Moses allowed a bill of divorce to be written, and to put her away.
(5) And Jesus answered and said to them, He wrote you this precept because of the hardness of your hearts.
(6) But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
(7) For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife.
(8) And the two of them shall be one flesh. So then they are no longer two, but one flesh.
(9) Therefore what God has joined together, let not man put apart.
Sounds to me like the Lord was talking about marriage, not sex, which is what I told you. But what do I know next to your utter apprehension (I speak tongue in cheek) of Christ, the One you claim is a phantasm and ghost! It would seem to anyone reasonable that the one who sees sex where there is none is the one with the obsession.
You contend that Christ was speaking covertly here, expressing His disapproval of the Romans coming between God and Israel .
Christ an Internal Savior, Not a Political One
There is an insurmountable problem with your theory, Mike. It is plain wrong. Not only textually and factually, but in spirit, too. God had sent the Romans into Israel , as He warned the children of Israel He would do and had done in the past, because of their disobedience (Deuteronomy 28). The Romans were sent to do, and did, what God had purposed for them, which is why Jesus never made them the issue. Neither did any of His apostles. There is not a stitch of evidence to support your theory, as is the case with so many of your foolish and desperate assertions.
The only thing that comes between God and His people is sin. That is why the onus is laid on Israel , not Rome . That is why the onus is laid on you, not your circumstances. If there is a problem related to your sin, you are not the victim but the perpetrator. Jesus came to save perpetrators, not victims. Those looking for a physical deliverer from Rome were sorely disappointed, as they are to this very hour. The Deliverer has come firstly to deliver from the enemy within. We are called to confess and repent of our sins, not the sins of Rome or America or President Bush or false Christians.
That is what you need to do, which is the point of my proving you to be in wrongness. It is not to show myself as right, but to point you away from yourself as the authority taking the place of God, which leads you into destruction through your bitterness and darkness. I point you to the One Who died for you in order to forgive and cleanse you from your sins. Contrary to your assessment of yourself as a stand up guy, you are a murderous liar according to Christ. How do I know this? You love lies and hate your brother.
The truth is that God is in union with His people who follow Him regardless of their station in life. Paul addressed this as follows:
“Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. Were you called as a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather make use of it. For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s free man. Likewise he who is called as a free man is Christ’s slave” (1 Corinthians 7:20-22 EMTV).
And, yes, no person should try to come between another and God. But they certainly cannot come between the believer kept by the faith of the true God:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter.’ But in all these things we more than conquer through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39 MKJV).
You say of my interpretation regarding the verses about marriage:
“You are not reading your bible, you are taking in a load of traditional interpretations, the very ones formulated by the Church of Rome, when it was the only church, and though you now bleat against it, you are following exactly what it taught in the first place. You are the sucker.”
Because I may agree with the Catholic Church (depending on what they actually say) that Christ spoke of man and wife instead of about revolt against Rome, does that justify your conclusion that I am a dupe of Rome? Wow. That is like me calling you a Nazi because you are in agreement with Adolph Hitler that Germans make excellent rye bread. Such leaps of logic are fantastic in the true sense of the word!
I certainly disagree that Paul the apostle had distaste for sexuality and passed that on to believers. He said that to be unmarried was better because a person could attend to the things of God without distraction. This has little or nothing to do with sex. Paul remained unmarried, rather than having a family, to better focus on, and serve the Lord, which he did with great zeal and with results commensurate with his faith. Who can argue? So what then is wrong with his stance? Who says he had a hang up regarding sex? Fibber Magee? This is simply another of your leaps of logic, all of which reflect your own personal hang ups.
I also disagree that doctors should be forced against their consciences to perform abortions. Yes, it may be a terrible thing to bring unwanted children into the world, but the doctor was not the one impregnating the woman, so why do you blame him instead of those who created the situation in the first place? You say the only right thing to do to alleviate suffering is to abort. Apparently you have never dealt with women who have had abortions, many of whom suffer greatly even years later, if not to their deaths, for that hideous act. Who has made you God, that you can tally up all the suffering caused and alleviated by any course of action and make such sure pronouncements? You have no idea the evil and harm you promote with your “logic” and “love.”
The Sum of the Matter
I will tell you the one thing we do know from God: If you do the right thing it will work out the best no matter the suffering or cost involved in doing it. On the converse side, if you do the wrong thing it will work out for the worst, no matter how much pain and trouble you think to save yourself and others by doing it. That is why God teaches us from His Law. But you are a law unto yourself, a work of man, and hence the mess you create and leave for others.
While it is true that you are not a believer, you do engage in discourse on matters of faith and Christ as a critic of the Bible and those who wrote it. You are indeed pointing out the specks in others’ eyes, even when there are none. You have needed to be told that there is a beam in your own eye. How can you object when you have taken it upon yourself to be so critical of everyone else? Obviously you think criticism is a good thing, so why do you complain and call me names when I have given you something very good?
You are quite wrong that, according to Paul, the saints will not judge you, because he also said this:
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you [the saints], are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” (1 Corinthians 6:2 EMTV)
God, or Jesus Christ, said the same thing:
“Let the saints exult in glory; let them sing for joy upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the nations, and chastisements upon the peoples; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written; He is the glory of all His saints. Hallelujah” (Psalms 149:5-9 JPS).
Very thankful that His Day has come.
Paul Cohen, on behalf of Victor Hafichuk
Click HERE to read previous correspondence with Mike Magee.
Atheism: Previous Correspondence with Mike Magee from Ask Why
The most vocal and rabid God-deniers are often, if not always, victims of men's religions. But rather than recognizing their own weakness and corruption, they hold others in contempt. With no love of God, there is no love of man. Men have let them down; therefore they say God does not exist. We see how this drives one man to call on God to curse him just to prove that He exists, the spiritual equivalent of self-mutilation.
Here we review not so much the movie, but the man who made it. We address where the man who conceived this film, through his religious experiences and subsequent bitterness, is coming from, and thereby the content, which we rate PG - Perfectly Godless.