December 18, 2004
"Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one -- the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts."
It started out as a simple rebuke on how to live life, but it seems to have exploded into a much larger argument. Whether or not Sarong Party Girl is addressing me in her latest post, I feel a need to defunct some of the arguments about the Christian faith she has put across.
Most of the concepts you have put forward seem to be inherently flawed and I will now begin a process of dismantling them. Before I begin, however, I would like to address your question on why I insist on 'engaging myself' with the deprivation of your soul. It is a fact. I am intrigued, to say the least. I find it a refreshing read from what you otherwise see on other people's mundane narrative style blogs. You possess an excellent command of the English language and you convey your ideas, be they right or wrong, fluently. Believe me, there is no mocking haughtiness in my demeanour when I sample the contents of your blog everyday, only disgust when you attempt to incorporate Scripture or profess to be a Christian.
Firstly, you claim that "by acceptance of Christ, we are all instantly of perfect spirit and will not want to sin". What a fallacy! Despite acceptance of God as our Lord and Jesus as our Redeemer, we admit the fact that even as Christians, we are still flesh and blood. Since we are flesh and blood, we do have urges to sin and continue in the ways of this world. Believing right produces right doing. But does this equation really hold true? Some people believe right but find themselves prey to temptation. Believing right does not necessarily bring about right doing. It is only through spiritual growth and mutual accountability from a close group of Christian friends that we find ourselves moving closer to that tenet of right believing producing right doing. To assume that right believing produces right doing is foolish, since it does not take into account the fact that we are after all, human. We are as prone to sin as the next man on the street, make no mistake. What's different in us is that we have a responsibility within us, built on the promises of God, to live by His will and to submit to His plans. Whether or not you submit to that Will is your own choice, and by and large, separates the true Christians from the false ones (hint hint). In short, belief does not always end up in corresponding execution.
It's an interesting notion you have put forward, the idea that the Bible is open to interpretation. What you fail to realise is that, for every morsel of prophecy, guidance or teaching, the Bible never ends off ambiguously. Even after Daniel had his visions on the state of world affairs to come in 800 B.C., he was always anxious to know what those visions meant, and sought enlightenment and specific instruction from angels. Is faith truly believing in something you can't tangibly experience? I would like to put forward the notion of faith grounded in reason. In short, I believe in God simply because the evidence is clear for me to examine and to partake of. There is no questioning His existence in my mind because He has so expertly woven Himself, an eternal spiritual being, into the fabric of our own reality. So you cannot see God, but were scientists able to see germs back in the Renaissance? It is all a matter of coming to terms with our own limitations as mortals and submitting to the fact that we are products of a Higher Power.
You claim that there can be no contention on whether you are believing right. It is quite apparent to see. If you indeed believe in the commandment "You shall not commit adultery", why else would you continue to commit it? As I said, belief does not always end up in corresponding execution, however, in this case I seriously wonder if there is belief at all. Believing right means believing in the commandments God has explicity stated for us to follow. To twist and to manipulate the teachings in order to suit your own lifestyle is not believing right, it is wanting to be seen as believing right. It still falls far short of what is expected of us as Christians.
True, the Bible often mentions about judging not, lest ye be judged. But I am not judging you. I am merely hoping that you do not shed such a horrid light on Christians. As it stands, you declare your faith and yet you continue to live in sin and debauchery. What then of pre-believers reading your blog or in your social circle of friends? That is the impression they would form of Christians, a hypocritical, manipulative bunch.
God delights in rest, true. But God also frequently tests His children. The story of Job is a classic example of that. Despite his insistence and faithfulness in following the ways of God, he was allowed to suffer at the hands of Satan. And through it all, he came out a stronger man, more deeply entrenched and most certainly, able to trust in the will of God more than he had ever done. God crafts ways for us to live moral lives, but ultimately, the concept of free will still holds true. In your case, He has crafted for you a family, a methodist institution to attend and a church to attend and yet, you still insist on a life of sin. How then can you say that God has not attempted to craft a moral way for you to live? It is you who has chosen not to live in that world. It is you who have failed yourself, not God.
Why then do you choose to define the limits and connotations of sexual promiscuity based on what society and the world chooses? This world is a fallen one. The ideas that man constantly trump up are only to fulfil the fantasies of Babel which were left unfulfilled. Morality or promiscuity must never be based on the standards of what this world has set, but what the Bible has said regarding those issues. God created a man to love a woman. He created Adam to love Eve and to love only her in his lifetime. There is no other set pattern for this world. Be it men loving men, women loving women, loving many men or women or just loving no men or women. God is love. He has fashioned the world in such a way and who are we to have a claim to what this world can or cannot accept? Only God may possess that privilege, since He is the Creator of our world. How you can love so many eludes my understanding, since it is obvious that love is a selfish thing and can only be channeled to one person at once. What you possess for most of these people must be lust, since lust is not mutually exclusive and can be transferred on to almost any aesthetically enhanced object which catches our eyes.
Tolerance and acceptance, something you claim the world needs. I disagree. Tolerance and acceptance have caused the world the trouble it is in today. Tolerance and acceptance entail giving in to ideas due to peer pressure or simply poor belief foundation. Tolerance and acceptance mean giving up your ideals, or more importantly, God's ideals and accepting those of the world. What the world needs is Love and Understanding. Love, so that we may not return sin with sin, but instead with love. Understanding, so we may better understand God's plans for us and live the ideal life which He created for us to live.
The paradox you so state does not really exist. You claim that because we are under God's grace, we are living perfect lives. What you fail to comprehend is that we are after all of this world, our bodies are material objects which sometimes fail to resist temptation. After Adam ate that fruit, our eyes were opened to a whole world of Sin and temptation. But in my mind, I don't think it was really the fruit which was the sticky issue. It was the fact that the eating of the fruit proved to be the first case of disobedience to God ever recorded in the history of mankind. And so, we continue down that spiral, sinning and disobeying our Maker and gradually giving ourselves into temptation and charlatanism. It is a sorry state of affairs really, but it is a reality in which we live in. You forget the idea of repentance in salvation. We have to be TRULY repentant of our sins in order to receive salvation. If, as you so claim, that you are Christian, your actions clearly do not reflect what God has commanded you to do. And being a Christian means that you subjugate yourself to God's laws. In short, you do not live in grace at all because quite simply, you have not embraced yourself to the truth of what Jesus stood for.
Spiritual and moral questions are tough to answer, that I agree. But I believe as Christians, we all live under a set of rules and guidance administered by the Bible. I am truly sad to see that you have failed to see the light in any of your sessions at church for the past two decades of your life and will continue to pray in hope that one day you will. But until then, I hope for the sake of the growth of God's kingdom, you will cease to refer to yourself as a Christian. Because in my mind, you are no better than Osama bin Laden. You give a bad name to the religion you so profess publicly.
Traveller fell apart at 11:14 PM