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Author Topic: Testimony  (Read 2216 times)

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Craig

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Testimony
« on: March 20, 2008, 09:38:38 PM »

> Dear Mr. Smith,
> I'm sure you get lots of emails like this, so I don't know if you'll respond;
> I'm not even really sure whether you'll read this or not. I just felt obliged
> to write this email to let you know about the impact your site had on me.
>
> When I was little, I had lots of questions about religion (I'm a sophomore in
> college now). Both my parents were from India: my mother was a Christian and my
> father was Hindu. My mom wasn't really very well versed in the scriptures. I
> know she hadn't studied them as thoroughly as you did. She probably couldn't
> quote half of your quotes. Often when I was younger, I would ask her about
> things I learned from [insert any source BUT the bible here] which struck me as
> contradictory. Why would God love people as a father and yet send them to hell
> ; forever? How did that fit in with the idea of loving your enemies and turning
> the other cheek? My mom always answered me very honestly. She would say "I
> don't know." She would also add that she felt in her heart of hearts, that God
> was a loving and merciful God of peace. Instinctively, intuitively, she was
> certain that there was no such thing as hell and that God was not a wrathful
> avenger who wreaked vengeance even on people who didn't know about him. But
> because I was young and stupid, I discredited my mom's instincts and believed
> what I heard from the media all around me. My father was also an outspoken
> anti-Christian at the time, so I picked up on some of what he said too.
>
> The idea of hell really bothered me. Since I come from a family of mixed
> religion, it affected me in a personal way. Was my dad going to hell for all
> eternity? Was my little sister going to hell for a ll eternity because she was
> an agnostic and hadn't made up her mind? It was such a horrible thing for me to
> contemplate, that I turned in a completely different direction from Christianity
> and became a total atheist instead.
>
> I now feel horrible that the thought of hell, proposed only by the media could
> have driven me away from a loving relationship with God. I feel so ashamed that
> I actual thought that God, our all-loving and merciful father, would really,
> truly, condemn any of His children to eternal suffering in the flames of hell.
> The thought had always been so sick and repulsive to me. How could I have
> believed that God could actually do such a thing?
>
> In high school, one of my really good friends was a Catholic. She didn't know
> Scripture very well either, but when we talked about religion together, she
> convinced me that there might be something to Christianity after all. She still
> believed in hell however, and I had a problem with that. After a while, and some
> desultory research, I decided that I would just have to trust in God. God is
> more just, merciful, wise and loving than any mere mortal. Surely therefore, He
> could be counted on to make a just and fair choice regarding where someone  went heaven or hell. I felt like I had to put my whole faith in God on this matter.
However, I still had personal doubts.
>
> When I first came across your website--totally by chance--and read some of your work I literally cried. It was as though everything made sense to me! All the
> pieces of the Christian religion which I had been struggling with fit together.
> When I first started reading your papers, I was like "Oh God, another
> Bible-thumper coming to preach fire and brimstone" but your research impressed
> me. You put so much effort in to your work and you countered all the objections
> that other people threw at you skillfully. What I read on your site was the
> first interpretation of Christianity that actually made sense, or seemed to
> have a root in the actual Bible. It explained all the contradictions that had
> previously puzzled me. Everything about Christianity and God's message made
> total sense for the first time in my life!
>
> Now that I think about it, I really can't believe that Christians who are
> supposed to be free of pride think that they are going to heaven, while happily
> condemning the rest of the world to hell. They're supposed to love their
> enemies, and yet they seem to almost rejoice when they confront a non-believer
> who is going to hell (like me). How can they judge other people when the Bible
> tells us to judge not and to not cast stones because everyone has sinned?
>
> Anyway, this email was longer than I intended. I just wanted to let you know
> that your work meant a great deal to me. I even appreciated your sarcasm   :D I
> don't consider myself a Christian quite yet. As you said, no one makes a
> conscious choice to follow God; God chooses them. I feel like God has been
> working on making a connection with me all my life, and with every incident
> such as finding your site, He draws me closer and closer to Him. Sometimes I
> picture my faith like a flower that is slowly opening up. It's not quite there
> yet, but I'm getting somewhere.
>
> Please don't stop writing! You have no idea how much this site meant to me to
> find! I have loads of friends who are atheist or agnostic or non-devout because
> they have problems with the concept of hell. I am recommending them all to your
> site. Don't let the criticism get you down. You are making a huge difference
> for people like me. I really thank God for your site. It was such an
> eye-opener!
> Thanks again,
>  Rebekah


Dear Rebekah: Thank you for your email and comments.  It is for people just like you, Rebekah, that I spend the thousands of hours that I do, researching and studying God's Word as closely to the original manuscripts as I am able with my limited knowledge and education.  But thankfully, we receive hundreds and now probably thousands of emails similar to yours, and it makes our work all worth while.  If God is calling you to a spiritual understanding of His word and His plan, then you will continue to learn and have faith in the only thing in the Universe that has meaning beyond death and the grave.

God be with you and yours,

Ray
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