Monday, September 22, 2008

Ten Questions to Ask Your Pastor, Reverend, Minister, or Priest - Answered

Original questions posted here... - my hastily composed answers below:

1. Biblical Law. Matthew 5:17-18 says quite clearly that Jesus demands Christians follow Old Testament law completely, to the smallest possible point. Why don’t they?

Matthew 5:17-18 17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

Answer: Actually, the passage says that Jesus came to fulfill the Law. His righteousness in fulfilling the law through His perfect obedience is credited to His children.

Romans 5:19
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

2. Infanticide. The modern Christian churches of the world tend to gloss the fact that God is a child killer—the 10th plague in Egypt—and say that Jesus set this right. Ignoring for a moment that the crucifixion is just one more child killing to fulfill God’s will, why does Jesus say He also will kill children in Revelation 2:23?

Answer: Actually, the Rev 2:23 passage is referring to the followers of the evil prophetess Jezebel as her children, just as followers of Christ are called the children of God.

For example:

John 1:12
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

As far as the death of children in general are concerned, there is compelling evidence in Scripture that children, in general, are credited salvation if they die in childhood - Jesus displayed God's disposition toward children:

Matthew 19:14
but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."

So, for children, dying in childhood...

Philippians 1:21
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

And only God has the right to disposition His creation - not Man.

3. Fact or Allegory. The Bible says the Earth is between 6,000 and 8,000 years old, that it was created in 7 days, and that Man is made of dirt and Woman a piece of Man. Most churches today say that this is allegory. What passages of the Bible support it all being just allegory?

This is a multi-part answer, but in short, I do not believe in the 100% allegorical nature of Genesis - it is a slippery slope of never-ending capitulation:

a. Where does the Bible say Earth is between 6 and 8k old? How much time does the Bible record between the creation of earth and the Fall of Man? There is reason to believe that the recording of time began at the Fall, since prior to that Man did not age, so there was no reason to count the years. There could have been millions or billions of years between that time.

b. As far as the 7 day creation - there was no 7 day creation - it was 6 days. Anyway, why should we not believe the 6 day account, if we believe in an omnipotent God? What is your source of truth - God's Word or Man's presupposition-driven scientific theory? Can you go into the past and prove for certain that the Scriptural account is not literally true? I trust a holy God and am skeptical of flawed Man.

c. What reason do we have to believe that Man was not created from the dust and Woman out of Man? Man comes out of Woman today, right?

4. Needle’s Eye. Jesus said rich men don’t go to Heaven easily and even implied that it wasn’t possible. Why are so many people with money and property Christian if they are probably going to Hell?

Answer: Read this - I found it informative. Bottom line - the Scripture you reference is typical rabbinic hyperbole to illustrate the improbability of a rich man trusting God over his wealth.

5. Apocrypha and Biblical Revisions. The Bible of 400 CE and the Bible today differ by dozens of chapters and thousands of parts. Which Bible is the word of God and why does man edit it?

Answer: Not one of the textual variants changes a single orthodox teaching - get over it. God has preserved His truth.

Said another way: God through His providence, ensured that all but 5 New Testament books that are in our canon today, received universal acceptance from 100 AD forward. Now imagine for a moment if we removed the "disputed" books from our canon: 2 Peter, James, 2 Jn, 3 Jn, Revelation. (not that I am suggesting that of course) What doctrines would you not be able to prove without these books? None! This is what I believe Jesus meant when he said, "Scripture cannot be broken." and 1 Peter 1:23 that the "word of the Lord endures forever." And the word of God is "living, and active, and sharper than any two edged sword" (Heb 4:12)

from here

6. Born Fallen. Even in this global age there are millions of persons who never hear the Good News. We are born in sin. Do some go to Hell just because of their birth circumstances?

Answer: As Scripture proclaims...

Psalm 3:8
Salvation belongs to the LORD

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Who God elects for salvation is His choice, made possible through Christ, apart from any circumstance.

7. Graven Images. Isn’t wearing the cross and making statues and movies of the life of the Christ a violation of the 2nd Commandment? “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…”

Answer: If you are worshiping these things, yes. If you dishonor Christ while wearing these symbols, yes. Otherwise, no.

8. Inquisitions, Crusades, Witch Trials. Historians put the number of those killed and executed by Christian churches at between 2 and 15 million; mostly Jews, witches/pagans, and Muslims. Do Christians retain this murderous nature? If not, why not?

"Love God, love your neighbor" is at the core of the Christian faith. It is true that people have been killed by folks claiming Christ, but actions speak louder than words.

Also - in contrast - the 2 and 15 million is over the span of 2000 years - the governments claiming secular or atheistic principles murdered over 100 million in the first half of the 20th century! I'd be careful at whom I point fingers.

9. Turn the other Cheek. Jesus instructs the saved to love and to forgive even deadly insults (Matthew 5:44: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” et cetera). Why do no prominent Christian leaders seem to follow this?

Claiming Christ and emulating Him are 2 different things. Look to Christ, not sinful Man, as your example. The prominent Christian leaders I look to do follow His example, while admitting their own sinfulness and at the same time, setting it aside to honor Jesus.

10. Free will. Freedom to choose is given to man by God. Man has two main choices: 1) accept the Love of God and, upon death, go to paradise for eternity, 2) Refuse God and, upon death, just die, be utterly damned. How is that freedom of choice when it is the same thing as a gun to your head?

Free will only existed prior to the Fall of man (that is, if the condition exists at all - I think the term falls in the same order as a "square circle" - a contradiction in terms) - the Bible clearly teaches that post-Fall, "there is none who does good" and "all have sinned" and "anyone that has sinned is a slave to sin" - therefore it is an act of supreme mercy that God chooses anyone from out of prideful and sin-enslaved Man.

Soli Deo Gloria!......

1 comment:

  1. I don't have a pastor, reverend minister or priest to ask these questions because I refuse to sign a blank check.

    Its all a load of rubbish really, isn't it?