an email from an agnostic (3)05-06-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet
The email exchange with my good, agnostic pen pal continues and as a result of my response, I got the following reaction.
Hi André, I’m just sitting here with my iPad on my lap, as your email is coming in. And you have done it again. An answer that again is very logical. Maybe the following is nice for you to know: In recent days, I have still further delved into the archives of your site. There, I learned, among other things, why the tree of knowledge of good and evil was placed in the garden of Eden. I found that if God really existed, it was inexcusable that He placed this tree, with very attractive fruit, in the middle of the garden. That, in itself, was not the worst, because Adam and Eve did not pay attention to it. But that God permitted the serpent into the garden and in that way allowed those poor people to be misled, I found to be an absurd idea. And how could God punish them for this deception? They did not know the difference between right and wrong, so they could not possibly have known that they did something “evil” after eating the fruit, and so, in fact, go against God. Only the deceiver should be punished, not the victims! I trust you realize, when I found the story of this tree (blog from February 2014), I was immediately interested. And sure enough. This is the first explanation, ever, that just makes sense and once again does not violate the omnipotence and goodness of God. What a beautiful teaching is the reconciliation-of-all! What you also very well indicate is the (big!) difference between God and GOD. Each time you use the word GOD, the true fallacy, which most Christians maintain, comes painfully to the fore. I now also have discovered the site “Hetbestenieuws.nl“, a real treasure trove of information. Also here, I have already read quite a bit and different from most other Christian sites, I have not come across any nonsense. Everything it says, makes sense, both, philosophically as well as logically. Before I will ask my next question, I’m first, at my leisure, going to dig a little deeper into the reconciliation-of-all. For me, one thing is a fact: the reconciliation-of-all is not a heresy, even if there is no GOD. If He exists, and the reconciliation-of-all is a heresy, the false teachers have a higher morality than God. That is impossible with GOD, which is only possible with god. Is there no GOD, even then it is not heresy. Reading all these posts, as an agnostic, has been a pleasure, let alone, if you believe it for 100%! You are doing a terrific job with your site and your lectures. You have brought within me the change that I no longer hope that God does not exist, but I fervently hope that GOD does exists! If I ever will come up to 100% faith, I do not know, but I do follow an important advise of Paul, in Phil.4:6, where it says, “Do not worry about anything.” And even to ask for what I need, can not hurt. If I do not hear or notice anything, He will certainly not find that necessary. For me, there now is no longer any firm evidence that He does not exist. If He exists, and I call on Him and I hear nothing, feel nothing or notice nothing, He will have, for such, a very good reason. Incidentally, in conclusion, still a question: I recently received a Bible from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I find this one very readable and simple to use, but realize that the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not correct. My question: can I use this Bible, with the reconciliation-of-all in mind, or will I then, unnoticed, still go astray? Sincerely, P.
Below is my response.
Thank you for writing. Thanks in particular for the kind words about the GoodBericht-Site.
It is also good to read that you have found the site of hetbestenieuws. You might have seen that I have also shared your earlier email on my weblog. For this, you had previously given permission and occasionally I gratefully make use of it. I am very thankful that my weblog is giving answers to many questions you had. This is what I also experienced. I’m a rational person and for me it is important that answers are logical. That is the only way to distinguish sense from nonsense.
The question of the origin of evil, to which you are referring, usually is wrapped up in heavy, philosophical and theological fog (mystery?), but from a biblical perspective, it is wonderfully simple! In fact, the very first mention of the word ‘evil’ in the Bible, gives us the right answer. Knowledge of good and evil cannot be learned separately. Only by encountering evil, do we learn the meaning of good. Whoever, along with this, understands that God really is GOD and assigns everything a place and with everything has a purpose, has began to understand something about the great secret of life. As you expressed it, yourself:
You have brought within me the change that I no longer hope that God does not exist, but I fervently hope that GOD does exists!
Reading all these posts, as an agnostic, has been a pleasure, let alone, if you believe it for 100%!
Yes, you can say this, indeed! Glorifying and thanking God as GOD (> Romans 1:21) is a solid basis for peace and joy, hope and love. It is not only logical – it also gives the supreme satisfaction to my life. That is not something I presume, I know it and, therefore, I am not an agnostic. I glorify and thank God in my life and I do not expect to hear, to see or to feel anything special. We live in the time of which the Bible says that GOD hides His face. So the mere fact that I do not hear, see or feel anything special from Him is for me a confirmation of the truth of His Word. Earlier today, I’ve watched an impressive video about your and my coming into existence: human pregnancy, from the beginning to the end. Everything within me says, What a Master Hand! And then vibrates, deep within me the realization: our existence is a miracle of GOD!
You also asked me, what I think of the Bible of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We always have to remember that it is a translation. That however, also applies to the usual Bible translations. Very often they have secretly hidden their own theology in them. Just think of the translation words such as ‘hell’ and ‘eternity’. Also, the New World Translation of the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses, thus) projects, all too often, her own doctrines into it. Fortunately, it nowadays is fairly easy, for the non-scholar, through an interlinear of the Bible, to check the translations. An interlinear is a literal word-for-word rendering from the original text. So is it possible, for example, to check how consistent they have been in their translation. I can highly recommend to you the free Bible program: ISA (www.scripture4all.org)!
Indeed, the Jehovah’s Witnesses want to have, among other things, nothing to do with the reconciliation-of-all. On the other hand: they do know that the doctrine of the immortal soul is not Biblical. And, also, that the Bible knows no hell nor a trinity. In this, they are ahead of mainstream Christianity. Too bad they have trapped themselves into an iron system, within which there is no room for critical questions and independent thinking.
Okay P, this is all, for now.
A cordial greeting and The best is yet to come, -André-