Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From a non pastor to a non believer

 The end of the OT (Malachi) prophesied that Elijah would be sent to "restore all things" before the dreadful (yikes!) day of the Lord.(God himself coming down, Mt of Olives splitting, death and destruction, etc)
John clearly did not do that. John the Baptist did not even know he was Elijah (are you the prophet?Christ?Elijah? He answered "no" to all these questions) but Jesus said "...If you are willing to accept it, he (John) is Elijah WHO IS TO COME".
So my thinking is this: that when John comes back as Elijah (maybe under another name again, who knows?), only then would he restore all things and turn children's hearts to their fathers....etc. Then God would come and do all things that were prophsied.
So until then, we are still under the old law like the Jews and Muslims. That's my opinion based on this understanding of prophesy and events anyway. Of course I could be wrong. Wise men have argued about the bible for centuries. If we argue that Jesus would fulfill those things at his 2nd coming, then doesn't that prove all the more that we are still under the old covenant?
I think early Christianity followed the law until they were wiped out by the universal (roman catholic) church.

I have another observation: in the book of Revelation, the lamb is said to have been slain SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.
Jesus (if I'm not mistaken) comes back as the Son of Man with clouds in heaven (also in the Rev), unless he is not the Son of Man. It is difficult when he refers to son of man as a 3rd person. Then later there is a rider on a white horse named Word of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords which can only be God. So son of man (Jesus?) and word of God are 2 completely different entities.
So "I give my glory to no one" and "I am the only savior" makes more sense now. Or does it?

I've been reading and doing a lot of research, praying directly to God, praying for discernment and understanding but let me tell you, it is leading me out of Christianity. I believe in 1 God, no equals, pure, no associates. I have done my search on the origin of certain doctrines including the trinity (3 persons co-equal, co-existing). Jesus clearly states he is not equal to the Father so many times. I don't know if anyone has the answers to these but I just wanted to share these thoughts and observations with you.
My belief in God as the only savior has led me not to trust the teachings of Paul. Jesus never said to worship him but he did say "worship God alone and him ONLY shall you serve". Also, the "son of man came to serve, not to be served". So making him equal to or even a god would not give "there is no other god besides me" meaning. Perhaps "God in him" would make more sense? But the spirit left him before he died. God would not let "His Holy One" (the spirit?)see corruption.
There are many more things that have become questionable to me after reading much of the bible.

Dear Sir,
By the providence of God I have read your letter to Pastor J and have been encouraged to respond. I am myself not a pastor so I ask your forgiveness in advance for the problems that that can create.
I see that you have several concerns here, the Bible is unreliable, Christ is not God, the Christian covental framework of grace is groundless, among others, therefore I will forgo an in depth answer to each individually and  attempt to treat the sickness rather than the symptoms.
You have a bad presupposition when you say that you have been praying and thinking- you are under the assumption that you have the functioning hardware and powers of reason to draw valid conclusions and carefully weigh evidences impartially.  This is decidedly not the case.  Your powers of reasoning are bent, fallen, lost. All of ours are.
Prov 3:5, Jer 4:22 are our warnings, verses like Luke 10:21, Rom 3:11 are the confirmation.  Our minds are born broken, and before we can understand the God of the Bible we need our minds restored.  Specifically we are commanded to be transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may then be able to discern the perfect will of God, and the corollary is true as well, without renewed minds we will know nothing of God outside of what lies we invent to ourselves.
Since minds are unreliable, the conclusions we reach are untrustworthy, ultimately because our wills and desires are fallen and tainted. We have no love for Christ, we have no love of doing the right thing; we do not really want to know the truth, John 3:19 because at bottom we despise the idea that Jesus is God and in Him only is there life.  Our misplaced love causing our other senses to go askew is why Jesus said we need new eyes John 3:3, why He only asked some to hear him Matt 11:15, 13:9, 13:43, and why He said we new abilities of understanding Matt 19:11. By default we have minds that are hostile to God, and cannot submit to Him Rom 8:7, we have wills that are deceived by choice into rejecting the grace of Jesus 2 Cor 4:3-4 and will not come to Him.
Therefore I tell you that you must come to Christ in humility, believing in Him that He is true, and that He is God or you will never have an end to your difficulties. But if you do trust Him, confessing Him with your mouth and believing Him with your heart then you will not only be saved but you will be given understanding and wisdom to untie any knot of scripture you encounter. You must stop doubting Christ and start doubting your doubts.You must come to see that the cross of Christ stands at the center of not only human existence and history, but the center of a man's life.  In Him only do we live and move and have our being.  The scriptures, all of them, are about Him Luke 24:27, and unless you rely on that premise you will not be able to make headway against the mysteries of the gospel.
Therefore to help you I pose to you Lewis' trilemma.  There is no doubt that Jesus claimed to be God, asserting divine prerogatives Mark 2:7-10, condoning worship of Himself as God John 20:28-29, and it's beyond dispute that the people understood Him to be claiming to be God John 10:33.  Christ is either telling the truth, in which case He is God, or He is a liar, and the only one who would lie about such a thing would be Satan himself, or a lunatic on the level of a man who believes himself to be a poached egg. You must decide where you stand, if indeed you continue your course and say with the Pharisees of old He is Satan, or with the Christians of today that He is God.
Once that issue is settled I think you are wise enough to re-read the scriptures and come to the right conclusions about your current problems on your own. Specifically I would recommend John 1:17, Luke 22:20, 2 Cor 3:6, Heb 9:15 with regards to the issue of new covenant, 2 Peter 3:15-16 with regards to the authority of Paul, and Matt 17:12 about Elijah already fulfilling his purpose of pointing to Christ.
If you have any difficulties after becoming a Christian please let me know and I would be glad to help.
In Christ,
P

1 comment:

jneufeld said...

Thanks Phil. I wasn't expecting something so quickly. Funny I went right to C.S. Lewis in my mind as well. However, I was going to do an exegesis on each passage. I wouldn't have thought of your approach of addressing sickness over symptoms. Thanks.