an e-mail from an agnostic (2)04-06-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet
Recently I posted a blog in response to an email I had received from someone who was first an atheist, but because of the unmistakable design in creation, is now no longer so sure anymore about atheism. He now calls himself an “agnostic in search of truth”. Meanwhile, there is a fascinating correspondence going on between the two of us. Below is an email from him in response to what I had written him in reply to questions about God’s holy spirit. If this spirit (as he had learned) would ensure that Christians would understand the truth, when reading the Bible, then it did not do a very good job, he concluded. I then pointed out to him that the Bible, itself, foretells that Christianity, en masse, would turn away from the truth (2Timothy 4). Anyway, his reaction to it, seems to me, worth sharing here.
Hi André, If I understand it correctly, then the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible, but does not ensure that the contemporary Bible reader interprets it correctly. So, all that I know about the Holy Spirit is again based on erroneous doctrines and dogmas. I assume that concerning the teachers Paul is talking about, their theology is in focus. And in particular that of the so-called Bible scholars. They have made quite a confusing mixture of the truth. I speak regularly with believers, because I find it immensely fascinating that these believers believe what they believe, while I never managed to see, with the same information, that it is also true. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, I never turn them away, at the door. I always enter into a conversation with them, and that results in interesting exchanges of thoughts. And they regularly return with good answers to my questions, but never so convincing that I also believe them. (…) As I have said before, I find it really incredible that you, according to most Christians, are a false teacher. Indeed, I have never had contact with a Christian who comes, almost exclusively with logical explanations. On most Christian websites, where the Bible is being explained, I see information of which I think: “how on earth can you believe this nonsense?” And the deeper you dig into it, the more horrible it pictures God. I am also convinced that the heavily reformed people do not love God, but only fear Him. Articles on most Christian websites, usually, cause me to frown. Articles on your blog, I read with a smile. I do not, yet, believe, but I sincerely hope that your weblog states the truth, because only according to your doctrine, good really overcomes evil. For it is a fact: even if Satan will be tortured forever, God loses. A truly, all-powerful, all-good God can even bring to repentance the creator of evil (that is how I see Satan). Concerning this, I want to just ask one more question and then I will keep quiet, because I can still ask 100 questions about the Bible and faith, but I don’t want to swallow up too much of your time. I will visit your website, regularly, anyway! There, I have already seen much nonsense about faith, being refuted with things that do make sense, so, maybe some questions will even be resolved by just keeping an eye on your blog. It involves the following: the unbeliever will, on account of his unbelief, miss out on the era in which Jesus returns and will reign. He will not experience the period of peace, before the devil gets one last chance to turn everything upside down. But what about the believers who believe in hell? Because believing “in”, with regards to God, has a different meaning. God is not something, but Someone. There is a big difference between believing that one exists, or has existed, and believing in someone. When a football coach says to his players: “I believe in you,” he does not mean that he believes that they exist, but he believes that they are able to win the match. If I then look at the believers who believe in hell, they do believe that God exists, but they do not believe in Him. They do not believe that the almighty, all-good God is able to save the whole of creation, everything and everyone, and to restore creation, as originally intended. In fact, by defending the concept of hell, they are guilty of a monstrous form of blasphemy. A more hideous and more diabolical place than hell is inconceivable. If your teaching is true, then the assertion that there is such a thing as hell is a enormously serious accusation addressed to God. If I could picture myself in the place of God and I had to judge a man, and assign him appropriate and righteous punishment, then I would punish an atheist, who refused to worship a hateful, vengeful God, less harsh than someone who does believe that I exist, but has always accused me of allowing that most of humanity, in fact, my children, would be tortured and tormented, forever and ever. These people make God to be a greater monster than Adolf Hitler, ever was. His victims knew even grace through death! Yet, here is a nuance: these believers are convinced that their truth is the truth. But the real truth they did not know. With the concept of punishing people for their ignorance, I also have great difficulty. Only when they knowingly replaced the real truth with false teachings, is it really an offensive matter…. My final conclusion on this issue is that most believers do believe that God exists, but they certainly do not believe in Him. But … Does this mean that they will go to experience the kingdom of Jesus, and I, the hopeless doubter in the existence of God, will not? I wonder how you think about this! Sincerely, P.
Below is my response.
Thank you again for your email. Very pleasant and relevant!
As to your question:
But … Does this mean that they will go to experience the kingdom of Jesus, and I, the hopeless doubter in the existence of God, will not?
At the end of the present heavens and earth, there will be a great, Divine tribunal (Revelation 20:11-15). At the Great White Throne, the resurrection of the dead takes place and all will be judged. I.e., everything will be put right. Remember that it is a Great White Throne – Divinely pure and undisputedly fair will God’s judgment be administered. Everything that needs correction, in deeds, words and thoughts, will come to light. Everything from the past life, one will get to see from God’s perspective. How confrontational that will be! The hopeless sceptic, concerning God’s existence, will there be provided clarity, at once. And the church people who, in accordance with the orthodox Church doctrine, accuse God of having and maintaining an endless hell, will feel thoroughly ashamed. How could they ascribe to their Creator something so horribly terrible?! This judgment is the final correction. Whoever, willingly and knowingly, have kept down the truth (= their name is erased from the book of life), will be thrown into “the lake of fire, which is the second death.” They will also not experience the last, surpassing eon, in which Christ will rule. Only at the end of Christ’s reign, when death will be abolished, will they also, finally, be made alive beyond the reach of death. Then, God will be “all in all”. Nobody excluded (1Corinthians 15:22-28).
So there are (as far as I understand from Scripture) different phases and also gradations in getting a part in the allotment of imperishable life, that Christ’s resurrection brought to light. Each person will be judged according to the light that they had from God. In Romans 2, Paul writes:
9 affliction and distress, on every human soul which is effecting evil, both of the Jew first and of the Greek, 10 yet glory and honor and peace to every worker of good, both to the Jew first, and to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God,
Atheists, church people, Agnostics, Buddhists, etc., they all will be dealt with, justly, without respect of persons. God will straighten-out everything, but also, set all in its right place, in His good time!.
All of this, we can, consequently, leave with confidence up to God.
So far, for today. Do not hesitate to respond. Such email exchanges are very informative for me, also.
The best is yet to come, -André-