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Author Topic: Problems with your articles  (Read 2384 times)

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Craig

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Problems with your articles
« on: August 04, 2007, 09:32:08 AM »

    Dear Ray,

    while I commend your revaluation of mainstream Christianity, and commitment to searching the Scriptures to define doctrine, there are some things that bother me about your articles. This e-mail is slightly lengthy, and I do not expect you to “refute” anything, but I hope you can take the time to read it and make at least one or two comments.

    COMMENT:  Sure, I would be happy to make a few comments, although your email is entirely too long.


    [1] It seems like, even though you are trying to escape mainstream orthodoxy,
     
    COMMENT:  No, no, no, Zack. I am not "trying," I have already escaped mainstream orthodoxy.
     
    your doctrines are still highly influenced by dispensationalism.
     
    COMMENT:  I don't even know who Mr. Dispensationalism is, and I can guarantee you that I have never read any of his books, nor has heinfluencedd me in the least.
     
     Not all of the verses in the Scriptures concerning judgment refer to the lake of fire or judgment after resurrection.
     
    COMMENT:  I never said they do.
     
     Most of the Gospel is directed at the Israel of Jesus’ time and the judgments she was about to face.
     
    COMMENT:  Absolutely not true, but I will not take the time to argue it in anemaill.
     
     Many of Christ’s prophecies were fulfilled within his own generation (i.e. Luk 21:32, Mat 16:28).
     
    COMMENT:  Luke 21:32--"...THIS generation shall not pass away, till ALL be fulfilled."
    How can you then say,  "MANY of Christ's prophesies were filled within His own generation?" Do you see the words "MANY be fulfilled" or "A-L-L  be fulfilled?"  You have no idea how many times you try to put me down in this email of yours, yet all you accomplish is to contradict yourself.  I know the answer to this why you say "many" while Jesus said "all," but you don't.  And Matt. 16:28 doesn't prove you point either, but I don't have time to explain all these things you can see, in one email. I get too many to write a book in answer each one of them.

     
    Gehenna, for example, has startling parallels with the slaughter of A.D. 70. In fact, the valley of Hinnom, as portrayed in the Old Testament from which Christ draws his parallels, was to become a valley of slaughter where actual corpses were to be thrown to openly rot as birds and beasts ate at them (i.e. Jer 7:33). You cannot allegorize gehenna to refer to the lake of fire, or else you’ll tread into a doctrine of annihilationism. I fear you will eventually completely relate gehenna with the lake of fire.
     
    COMMENT:  How is it that you are an expert on what I write, but you haven't even read what I have written? I have never "COMPLETELY related gehenna with the lake of fire." I absolutely "relate" it to those in CHRIST'S GENERATION. Read my last HELL paper Part D-3 posted months ago on our site.
     
    Notice how Jesus draws from such imagery when he speaks of corpses being consumed by the fires and worms of gehenna as birds would desire to feed off the flesh.

    “And, if thine eye be causing thee to stumble, thrust it out,—it is, seemly, for thee, one-eye, to enter into the kingdom of God, rather than having, two eyes, to be cast into gehenna, Where, their worm, dieth not, and, the fire, is not quenched” (Mar 9:47-48, Rotherham).
     
    “There shall be two women grinding together,—the one, shall be taken near, and, the other, left behind. And, answering, they say unto him—Where, Lord? And, he, said unto them—Where the body is, there, the vultures also, will be gathered together” (Luk 17:35, 37, Rotherham).
     
    Josephus reports that so many were slaughtered as the Romans besieged Jerusalem that the Romans ran out of room for the corpses and had to throw them into the valley bellow Jerusalem. This is what Christ meant by gehenna—a coming national judgment upon the unfaithful of Israel, the wide road to destruction. The days were like the days of Noah.
     
    COMMENT:  So the "cut off your hands and feet" is "imagery," but the Gehenna fire is LITERAL?  Is that right?   And is there a special school of hermeneutics in which such utter unscriptural foolishness is taught?  Do the Scriptures actually say somewhere that the "coming national judgment upon the unfaithful of Israel" would be "...like the days of Noah?"  Oh really?  And where might we find such a prophecy?  I am well aware of the place and circumstances in which Jesus warned "But as the days of Noah were..." I know that prophecy well.  Does it say, "But as the days of Noah were so shall  "...a coming national judgment upon the unfaithful of Israel, the wide road to destruction" be?  Is that what Jesus prophesied?  Let's read it: "But as the days of Noah were, SO SHALL ALSO THE C-O-M-I-N-G OF THE SON OF MAN BE" (Matt. 24:37).
    Did Jesus return to this earth in 70AD and begin judging the whole world in righteousness?  Well did he? Then why are you perverting His words?

     
    I suggest you read through the Gospels and ask yourself: What did these things mean to a first century Jew, the ones who Christ was addressing? “Ye” and “you” does not necessarily mean “us” 2000 years later. The Apostle’s letters, moreover, were addressed to specific individuals, and we must keep that in mind when reading them. Paul, for example, probably had no idea his letters would be read 2000 years later. If he knew they were, he would probably have universalized much of his statements to fit a wider audience. Imagine if you went through time 2000 years into the future and saw people reading your articles as if they were part of the Bible. I bet you would have wished you clarified some things a bit more.

    COMMENT:  You are really starting to get ridiculous now.  So really, in the final analysis, according your just stated theory, NONE of the New Testament is for us, as it was not specifically "addressed" to us.  Let me enlighten you:  EVERYTHING that Jesus said was for OUR ADMONITION, as well as the WHOLE Old Testament Scriptures (I Cor. 10:11).  Peter KNEW that Paul's letters were "SCRIPTURE" (II Pet. 3:15-16). Of course that is found in II Peter and II Peter was not personally addressed to me, so I guess I have no right reading or quoting it.

    [2] You tend to adopt a view throughout your writings that only Universalists are the only true Christians.

    COMMENT:  That is totally false. There is no one single church, denomination, or web site that teaches Universal Reconciliation that I endorse!

    Since when do the less essential doctrines define a Christian?

    COMMENT:  Very few people can make me angry, but I'll tell you flat out that such utter insane babble does anger me. How dare you?  How dare you suggest that whether or not billions and billions and billions of boys and girls and men and women, grand fathers and grand mothers will be tortured in fire for all eternity or totally annihilated out of existence for all eternity is a "less essential doctrine?" Unbelievable.

     Throughout history, loving Holy Spirit inspired Church Fathers have differed in opinion over minor doctrines. Does this mean they did not have the Holy Spirit? Or does this mean some were heretics and some were not? No! It means that they differed in intellectual opinion and interpretation. The Church Father Origen, for example, believed in a form of Universal Reconciliation. Yet, at the same time, he believed in the preexistence of souls, life immediately after death, and reincarnation. Did the Holy Spirit not inspire him?

    COMMENT:  We are not speaking of "minor doctrines" here, are we?  And does the Holy Spirit inspire GROSS AND EVIL doctrines?

     No. Origen lived a life devoted to studying and teaching the Scriptures. Even in the face of persecution his faith did not dwindle. Of course he made some mistakes along the way, but that is part of being human. God does not expect us to understand everything completely. That is what we have to look forward to in resurrection.

    COMMENT:  Whether most of humanity will be saved or not is something God assuredly DOES "...expect us to understand."

    My point is, the Holy Spirit inspires us to show the love of Christ. Having the Holy Spirit does not mean that one will have every doctrine perfectly defined.
     
    COMMENT:  Who is the world are you talking to?  Are you suggesting that I claim to "have every doctrine perfectly defined?"  If not, then why the comment? Why to me?
     
    Indeed, many of your doctrines are not perfect and are subject to change over time. You were not born believing in Universal Recompilation, were you? No. You changed over time, just as my views will change, as I grow older. What defines a Christian is how one lives his life unto Christ.

    COMMENT:  What one believes (doctrinally) DETERMINES HOW ONE LIVES HIS LIFE.  Who can truly worship a god who would destroy or torture most of our grandmothers and grandfathers for all eternity?

    To say that those who uphold doctrines of eternal torment or annihilationism are not Christians is absurd.
     
    COMMENT:   What is absurd is your absurd email, Zach.  I have never said or even suggested that those who teach annihilationism or eternal torment are not Christians. OF COURSE they are Christians. Do you think the pagans and heathens are guilty of such a damnable doctrine. OF COURSE it is the Christians who teach these things.  Who do think Jesus was talking about when He said, Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in THY NAME? and in THY NAME cast out demos? and in THEY NAME done MANY WONDERFUL WORKS" (Matt. 7:22).  Who do you think prophesies, casts out demons and does many wonderful words in JESUS NAME?  The Muslims?  The Hindus? NO--C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N-S!
    Of course Jesus does add this little comment to these Christians:  "And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME YOU THAT WORK INIQUITY" (Verse 23).

     
     If they live their lives unto Christ, believe in the most basic doctrines (Christ is Lord,
     
    COMMENT:  Excuse me, Zach?  "believe that Christ is Lord?"  And what did Christ have to say about those who "do many wonderful words in HIS NAME, in the NAME OF THE LORD?"  "And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and DO NOT the things which I say? (Luke 6:46).  Now don't you suggest to me for one second that the two billion Christians in this word, "DO what Jesus said."
     
     was dead,
     
    COMMENT:  "was dead?"  Christians believe in the MOST BASIC doctrines, one of which is Jesus was DEAD?  Are you crazy?  Show me one orthodox Christian on this earth who believes that Jesus was DEAD.
    I have called out theologians on this one.  They no more believe that when Jesus died, that He was actually dead, than when the dog Rover died, he died all over.  Oh they will tell you that they believe Jesus died, but they absolutely do not believe for one second that Jesus WAS DEAD.  No, no, they believe He was ALIVE in some place called hell or sheol preaching the gospel during the time that He was SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD according to the Scriptures.  You need to study orthodox doctrine a little better than this, Zach. Yes, a "basic doctrine" FOR SURE,  but how many orthodox Christians believe this most basic of all doctrines?

     
    resurrected, at the right hand of God, etc. etc.), obey his commandments, and love others
     
    COMMENT:  Do you know that MOST of the two to three MILLION criminals in American prisons are CHRISTIANS?
     
     then the Holy Spirit in fact inspires them. They, perhaps, have intellectually misunderstood a teaching, but what good is doctrine if you spend your whole life shaping and preaching it if you forget the one true commandment, to love God and love your neighbors?

    COMMENT:  Don't you preach to me, Zach, about "forgetting the commandment to Love God and love neighbor.  For what purpose do you think I have devoted my life, time, money and energy to this web site?
    You are out of line to judge me on this matter.


    I do, however, agree that Christians who actually go out of their way to tell people bluntly they are "going to hell" are not showing the love of Christ and are just plain stupid. But not all Christians who define "hell" as a future place of eternal torment (or separation from God) act so foolishly. I remember before I devoted my life to Christ and studying the Scriptures I use to tell people they were going to "hell" all the time. But after I devoted my life to Christ, whether I believed in the doctrine of eternal torment or not (which I do not), I would never think of saying such things. Indeed, there are many Christians who do believe in a doctrine of eternal torment who would never tell someone they are going to "hell." Perhaps they have misunderstood a doctrine, but they are still Christians, and living a life unto Christ.
     
    COMMENT:  If orthodox Christians really believe that most of humanity will got hell and suffer in literal fire for all eternity, and they DON'T warn them, they THEY are way out of line as well.

    [3] This is my last complaint. Your website is turning into a hierarchy. You write all the articles alone. No one else has any say in what is "right" and what is "wrong."
     
    COMMENT:  Oh really?  And you know for a fact that no else reads my material before we post it?
     
     Then everyone who reads your articles prance around with some sort of view that they are the "elect" and all other Christians who do not believe the exact same things will be fluttering off to the lake of fire.
     
    COMMENT:  You are out of line, Zach. You are making this stuff up as you go. You know nothing about how God's Elect feel about themselves or their attitude toward those who are still deceived.
     
     I do not believe this is how God intended doctrines to be decided on.
     
    COMMENT:  No one "decides on doctrine."  Either the Scriptures teach a doctrine or they don't. It is not up to men to "decide" what is or is not doctrine.  Have you noticed that I use a plethora of Scripture for virtually every statement of any consequence that comes out of my mouth?  Now then, do you have examples of where I  LIE?  If you do, I will assign you to critique all my papers and point out all such errors, and we will immediately correctly if proven wrong by the Scriptures.
     
     We are to be one body in Christ, and help each other. I fear those who come to your website at first with good intentions to study the Scriptures fall into a slump of believing everything you say without challenging it.
     
    COMMENT:  Apparently you have not read the thousands and thousands of emails that I have posted wherein about half are "challenging" my every word. And I answer them, just as I am answering your challenge.

    You need to involve more Christians in your writings.
     
    COMMENT:  You mean like the one Jesus spoke about in Matt. 7:21-23?  Do you mean like the Christians who don't even believe that Jesus was DEAD when He DIED for our sins. You mean more of those?  Over my dead body!
     
    Anyway, I just wanted to send this e-mail to you, not because I think you are the antichrist like many very uneducated people think about you and explicitly express in their e-mails, or because I think Universal Reconciliation is an evil doctrine, but because I am concerned you are spending so much time on one very small thing that you are forgetting there are far more important things to being a Christian.

    COMMENT:  Are you telling me, Zach, God as your Judge, that you think the two thousand pages of articles on my site contains ONLY "ONE VERY SMALL THING?"  So help me.  Do you know why I am taking the time to write all these comments regarding all your nonsense?  Do you think I am doing it for you?  Yes, partially (a very little) I am doing it for you, but mostly I am doing for the hundreds of thousands and possible millions of people who will read you utter nonsense on our site and maybe for the first time in their lives begin to realize the utter foolishness of most Christian doctrine.

    We are told to try the spirits, but sometimes this means reevaluating what we ourselves have come to believe, even if what we have come to believe is a revaluation of a previous belief.

    COMMENT:  You could not have given yourself  a better admonition, Zach.

    P.S. I would advise that you look into taking courses on Hebrew and Greek, because there is much more to understanding those languages than simply looking words up in a dictionary. I'm starting to find this out myself. Hopefully there are courses out there that teach their students to properly define aion, its adjective, and plural forms: age, ages, and age-abiding (pertaining to the age), and so on.
     
    COMMENT:  I am 66 years old, Zach, and I assure you that I hve no desire to back to college or start taking courses in Hebrew and Greek.  Dr. James Kennedy who has I believe SIX DOCTORATES and understand Hebrew and Greek very well, has not a clue as to what the real Gospel of Jesus Christ is, and believes like the heretic John Calvin, that "Hell IS FAIR."  God curse the day that I ever come to understand and believe Hebrew and Greek as these people do.  I have said many times that a dictionary does not explain the full meaning of words. I have also stated that etymology is often a poor explanation of the meaning of words. It is USAGE that determines the meaning a word. The word "eternity" today MEANS--no beginning and no end.
    But the Hebrew "olam" and the Greek "aion" (thought to originally have been "aivon) from which evolved the Latin word "aevum" and its derivitives "aeviternus," "aeternus," "eternity," never meant nor was it used to mean eternity, but rather and "age" or "eon" WITH both a beginning and an ending.  I do not need to go to college to lean the meaning of this word. Besides there are dozens of great Greek Scholars who also know fully well that the Greek word "aion" never mean nor was it used to mean time without beginning or end.
     
    Thank you for you comments.
    God be with you,
    Ray


    Sincerely,

    Zach
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