Scripture and Relativism - 05/15/2005

To whom it may concern:
 
I would appreciate your reading this, and hopefully your response.
 
I found your website by accident, actually, while searching for information on Buddhism. Before I begin, I want to tell you that I am not a Christian, though I have attended two years of seminary, mostly because I don't accept views from a singularity, but more from "every piece of the pie."
 
I also want to say that I respect your website because it is all-encompasing as well as logical. You state your position fairly and and you obviously have great faith, which, as Jesus often mentioned, is a noble trait.
 
I want to make this as quick as possible, so I'll try to be concise.
 
I guess my biggest problem with what you've said is that you believe in "absolute truth." Faith is a belief in something that cannot be seen or proven, and I understand all that that entails. However, I do have an issue with the idea of absolute truth.
 
Truth is an abstract, just like faith. Science can be considered a faith because we have faith that an inch will always be an inch; that a mile will always be a mile. We have faith in the knowledge that technology exists, and that we can manipulate energy. But it is not truth, because at any moment, it could change?
 
Why? Because God exists, though I do not believe in the same patriarchal God as Christians. The Bible cites quotes from God, assertions of his desires, contentions about the nature of his existence. The Bible is a book of stories told by men who felt the need to share their perspectives with the rest of the world. It is impossible for man to know God, to see God, to hear God, because God does not speak to us (I am speaking literally). He is a positive energy force - as explained by science - the purest form of positive energy, which does not exist on earth. Jesus was the highest level of positivity known to man, which was why he could manipulate energy (i.e. miracles).
 
Science and Christianity do not oppose one another, just as evolutionism does not oppose Christianity. The Bible states how God created the Universe, but since no one was around to see him do it, I fail to see how its accurate. But if you do oppose science, then you shouldn't reap its benefits, which by creating this website you already have. I believe in people living by their faith, which you do not, if you so radically oppose scientific theory.
 
Furthermore, there is not a single person on this planet who lives by Jesus' teachings, which is why I can't understand Christianity. The greatest lesson that Jesus had to teach, the most important one we could ever follow, is the one everyone so righteously ignores, myself included. What was the one thing that Jesus NEVER had in his possession?
 
Money.
 
He even spoke against it. We can either go to McDonald's and order a Big Mac, or we can go to the forest and pick an apple off a tree. Its the same thing. We can easily survive without money, and yet we contribute to the system by using it.
 
It seems to me that Jesus was not concerned about Christianity, or politics, or the system, or the internet, or anything else. The original aramaic text of the Bible holds secrets most cannot even begin to imagine, and I know, because I've read it. Even the Greek text holds interesting oppositions to the English version of the text (NIV or KJV or NASB), including a much different representation of John 3:16. If you respond and are interested, I would be happy to share with you what I know.
 
I have more, but I don't want to waste my time unless you are interested. >From what I've read, most of the questions posed in the "Mailbag" are ignorant and defensive, and your answers are also defensive and one-minded. But life is about asking questions and hearing what others have to say - not just hearing, but listening - and conceding to alternative possibilities. I know quite a bit about the Christian faith - are you interested in mine?
 
Laura





CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:


Hi Laura.  Thanks for writing.  I just have a few things to say in reply.  First, while Jesus did decry the love of money, that wasn't the greatest thing He taught.  The Pharisees decided to ask him a question, and I encourage you to read His reply:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22:36-40
In John 14:15, Jesus guided us on how to demonstrate our Love for the Lord, " If you love me, you will obey what I command."  Love for the Lord and love for fellow man are the two greatest commandments, and they form the basis for all the do's and don'ts.  It is through doing the biblical do's and not doing the biblical don'ts that we demonstrate our love for God.  Keep in mind, the Lord also said in John 14:6, "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' "  And you said WE sounded "one minded."  These sacred words of Jesus are quite narrow, but very true. 
 
Now, you said you do not believe in absolute truth.  That's your prerogative, but it's a self-defeating position.  For instance you also said, "Truth is an abstract, just like faith."  Why should I believe that, since according to you, truth is not absolute.  If there is no absolute truth, then the statement you made here is not absolutely true.  You also claimed, "He is a positive energy force - as explained by science - the purest form of positive energy, which does not exist on earth. Jesus was the highest level of positivity known to man, which was why he could manipulate energy (i.e. miracles)."  Once again, given your position that truth is not absolute, then what you've presented here is fallible opinion, and you cannot have any certainty in its truthfulness.  One cannot claim that absolute truth does not exist, then make absolute statements. 
 
You spoke of the original Aramaic text of the Bible.  In actuality, only a portion of the book of Daniel was written in Aramaic.  The rest of the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and later translated into Greek.  The New Testament was originally written entirely in Greek, though some of the Gospels mention Aramaic words in dialogue, as that was one of the primary spoken languages of that region.  Second, we have a Greek New Testament, and find the translation into the NIV and NASB to be remarkably accurate.  Since there are different Greek compilations of the Greek New Testament (NA, UBS, TR, etc.), it would be helpful to know to which compilation you refer. 
 
Laura, it is because we believe in absolute truth that we can believe absolutely in the words of Jesus as well as the prophets and apostles.  The prophets and apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit in what to write, so they did "hear" from God (2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21).  Your disbelief and incredulity is an exercise of the gift of free will which was given you by God.  Nobody can force you to believe in the truth.  However, we will all ultimately be held accountable for how we used our free will.  Salvation is a gift of God to those who will place their faith and belief in the only logical choice - Jesus Christ. 
 
In Christ,
 
Ben Rast
Contender Ministries