Hey Robert,I'm going to reply to him privately. However, let me know what you think of his reply.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I enjoy reading about your perceptions and appreciate you taking the time to email them to me. You made some good points, and I can honestly say you are the most "positive" atheist I have met. Although, I still believe technically you're agnostic, but that's beside the point.
I had wondered what steered you away from biblical Christianity, now I know. I agree with you that the OT laws seemed harsh and to us "immoral", however, you must understand that the command to stone was not for an outburst of anger, not cleaning their room, or saying a swear word. It was reserved only for the young person who had become slave to their sensual appetites, with a hardened heart, calloused conscience and wreaking havoc with their rebellion. The institution of the family is foundational to all societies, and to preserve this God commands order. Also, children were the inheritance and "retirement" for their parents that were worthy of honor. God created the society, God creates the rules to govern His society.
I want to address the "us against them" mentality. The battle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual darkness in the world. I think you would agree that one must decide what they believe, either in creation or evolution, trusting in God or random chance. There are only 2 choices for people to make, belief or unbelief, and Jesus said in Matthew 12:30 and Luke 11:23 that you are either for me or against me. We both have faith systems, Robert, because neither you nor I can prove scientifically God's existence or lack thereof. Science means knowledge and nobody was there to scientifically observe creation to "prove" anything, you must take it by faith. So our belief system is in place and we seek to promote our beliefs and
get others to accept them.
I appreciate your honesty with "not believing", and I will be sensitive to that person that might be in the congregation. However, Robert, I cannot tell them that it's OK to persist in unbelief because the Bible repeatedly says otherwise. I must be true to the Bible and my convictions. And like I told you last summer, it's all
about Jesus and if you reject who Jesus is and what He did for you (and the whole world) you will be ruined forever. Jesus said His message would offend people and that the way was narrow. He makes the rules, not me.
It is refreshing to converse with someone like yourself who pleasantly presents their views, unlike many of your "free-thinkers". I'm also proud to be superstitious-free because Jesus said that if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Jn. 8.36) I once was a slave to a legalistic religion that did seek to control me by fear, but then God saved me by losing me religion and giving me a
relationship.I'm sorry to hear about your turmoil in your family, you made some valid points concerning that issue and if anything they should reach out to you more by demonstrating the love of Christ. However, it is easier to shun and try to disgrace someone. But they realize the importance of your decision and understand the implications. I will pray that they would not deprive you of their visits to you.I hope this helps clarify me viewpoint.
Thanks for reading,
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church Replies
Here's the reply from the pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church.