Various "Sincere" Questions - 11/19/2002
Ladies and Gentlemen of Contender Ministries: My name is Chris. I managed to stumble upon your websight by accident, and, I must say, I am tremendously impressed. Prior to my extremely fortunate computer error, causing my arrival at "your doorstep," I certainly was not a liberal, by any stretch of the human imagination. In fact, I was quite conservative. I was not, however, a Christian. It was my belief that all religions lead to God, and that (with very notable exceptions, like Islam) all of them are equally valuable and praiseworthy. Your websight changed all of this, for me, however. I now realize that Christianity is the one true religion that every human being would do well to adhere to, especially after I obtained the pleasure of reading all of your in-depth analyses, regarding all the competing cults, and your flawless explanation as to why they are all deceitful, and serve as a hindrance to salvation. To say, however, that an evil force deceived me, would, in my opinion, be a little too simplistic. You see, I have always been a proud American patriot. As a result of this, I interpret our beautiful United States Constitution very strictly. In particular, I'm referring to the two religious portions. The first one is in Article VI:
"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
And the second one is, of course, in the 1st Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Notice that the Constitution does not refer to Christianity in specific, but to all religions, in general. As a consequence of this, while I was well aware of the Founding Fathers' Christian background, I had assumed that it was the Founders' intent to promote a spirit of religious pluralism, and place all religions (excluding the ones which advocate human sacrifice, and the like) on an equal footing, and that all are equally acceptable in the United States of America. This way of thinking of mine resulted in a rather patriotic, if you will, desire inside my heart, to acknowledge and respect all religions, equally, ultimately, concluding in my assertion that all are morally equal, and worthy of respect, admiration, and adherence.
Thanks to your websight, however, I now hold a totally different view, as I mentioned above. You may claim that you have saved my soul, and it is my wish to offer a heartfelt thank you for this incredible and selfless gift which you have been so kind and generous as to bestow upon me. You are all beautiful and loving people, who accomplish a tremendous amount of good through your humble work. It would sadden me deeply to hear that you have been shut down by the Nazi-like forces of political correctness, and it is my hope that the Lord will be with you in overcoming any and all struggles and discomforts which may be unleashed upon you in the coming years.
Now, I do not wish to impose myself upon you any more then I have already, in this letter, which was not intended to be this long in the first place, and I am well aware of the fact that you have a multitude of souls still to save. However, if it is not too much trouble, I wish to attempt to inquire four things of you, which I felt you did not clearly express on your websight, and it is my hope that your answer will be as enlightening as your fantastic work:
1. Throughout your entire sight, I'm happy to say that you have made it abundantly clear that no one shall know or experience the glory of heaven without first accepting our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, into their hearts. However, simultaneously, you have absolutely nothing negative to describe regarding the religion of Judaism. I must confess, I am puzzled by this omission, considering the fact that the entire Jewish race has not accepted Jesus as anything other then "a psychotic man who deserved to be killed," as I understand their religion. Due to this blaspheme against God's only son, who loved us so much, that he sacrificed himself on the cross, for our sins, I am all the more puzzled that during your "end of the world prophecy comparisons," you affirm that in the end, the nation of Israel shall be triumphantly restored, and the Jewish people shall enjoy the Father and Son's protection. This is an inconsistency which I hope to reconcile in my mind, with your help, God willing.
2. I have clearly read and absorbed your thorough description of the religion of Humanism, regarding its hard-core atheistic ideology. Consequently, I became extremely confused when it was later revealed that the New Age Movement, Wicca, Scientology, Freemasonry, Buddhism, Hinduism, Janism, Sikhism, Taoism, Paganism, and Gaia (in essence, all the eastern religions) are allies of Humanism, and are working through the United Nations to establish a global government, and pave the way for the anti-Christ. The source of my confusion on this subject is your description of Humanism as atheistic, as well as the Humanist Manifestos confirming that "any and all religious beliefs must pass the test of science," and "new irrational cults cannot replace old ones." If that is so, then it is my hope that you might explain to me exactly how pre-Christian Paganism and atheistic Humanism have reconciled their differences, and joined together. After all, pre-Christian Paganism would fall into the Humanist definition of an "unscientific irrational cult."
3. I have noticed in the liberal media, and on your websight, that the religion of Islam is fervently defended by these Humanists and New Age Pagans. Honestly, my confusion is slipping into deeper and deeper darkness, as this produces less and less sense for my comprehension. If Christianity is judged by these liberals as "intolerant," how, in good conscience, can these Humanists and New Agers defend a religion, which is, arguably, the most intolerant religion to have ever existed on God's green Earth? Surely, it is indisputable that the doctrines of Mohammed's spawn, when analyzed carefully, are, at least, fifty times more of an obstacle to the wish of these Humanists and Pagans to establish their "tolerant" new world order. I am extremely curious as to how you account for this amazing inconsistency. While Christianity has some "bloodstains," here and there, the religion of Islam has been born, baptized, raised, and continues to be drenched, in the innocent blood of its enemies - a lot of them are little children. Again: How can these Humanists and New Agers denounce Christianity for being "an unnecessary complication," and praise a religion which is a much larger and more violent and intolerant "complication" then the religion of Jesus can ever possibly be?
4. And finally, last and least: What is your attitude towards the Orthodox Church? That is, in order to be saved, does one have to be a Protestant Christian, or may he also be an Eastern Orthodox member? I noticed that the Orthodox Church was not on your list of cults either, so I just thought I'd ask.
So, in conclusion, I wish to offer my sincerest thank you for the saving of my soul. I also wish to offer my love, and all the best in your mission, and everything you good Christian soldiers set your heart to do. Thank you so much, and may God bless you!
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Greetings Chris, and thank you for contacting us at Contender Ministries. Disregarding the issue of sincerity vs. insincerity, you raise some good points that we are only too happy to address. Allow me to start by responding to your patriotic comments concerning the first amendment. We too, are grateful for the protections afforded by the first amendment. It was established with the purpose of prohibiting the federal government from meddling in the religious affairs of the citizenry. I agree that it puts all religions on the same legal level, but one must not draw a moral equivalency here -- there is none. Put another way, I can be supportive of the fourth amendment guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure, but I do not believe the fourth amendment implies moral equality between criminals and law abiding citizens. We share the same legal protections, but not the same moral footing.
Secondly, you interpret an inconsistency in our view on Judaism. As you have been so magnanimous, please let me explain. First, you are incorrect when you claim that the "entire Jewish race has not accepted Jesus..." There is a large group of Jews known as "Messianic Jews," that recognize that Jesus is the Messiah. They are fully Jewish and fully Christian. Furthermore, unlike some, we do not pick and choose which portions of the Bible we choose to believe. The Bible makes it clear that the Jews are God's chosen people. The Bible also clearly talks about the sins of Israel, and the punishments they have received. Yes, many of them rejected Jesus, and consequently, Israel was scattered to the four winds for nearly two thousand years. Now, in accordance with prophecy, they are being restored as a nation. As prophecy continues to be fulfilled, I am confident that the Bible correctly predicts that the Jews will ultimately look on Jesus as their Messiah, and repent. At that time, they will be fully blessed. In our interest to contribute to that cause, there is a link on our main page that demonstrates how Jesus of Nazereth fulfilled the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. As you seem to be a learned and well-read individual, I'm sure you're aware that Jesus was a Jew, as was Paul and the bulk of the original twelve apostles. Well, of course you're aware of that.
You asked for clarification on the apparent cooperation between humanism and many of the eastern/pagan religions. You threw in Sikhism and Taoism, even though they aren't profiled on our site, but I agree with you that they should be included. This is a case where ends justify the means, and "my enemy's enemy is my friend." Secular humanism and the polythiestic religions both view Christianity as an "intolerant, exclusivist" religion, and therefore, their common enemy. Their alliance is based not on common, shared beliefs; but rather on their common animosity towards Christians and the true gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a fact that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world right now.
Regarding your question on why humanists and New Agers would praise Islam while condemning Christianity: see the above paragraph. The reasons are the same.
And finally, to address your question on the Eastern Orthodox church. I don't really care what someone calls themselves. What matters is that people understand that there is one, eternal, triune God; that mankind is inherently sinful and separated from God; that we cannot earn our salvation, but our loving God graciously purchased our salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; that this gift is free to anyone to accept; that we can accept or reject it based on our free will, and understanding that this decision carries everlasting consequences. If someone believes these things, then they can call themselves Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Republican, Democrat, Vegan, or Vulcan - the name is irrelevant. We're not talking about religion. Religion is man's attempt to reach God. We want people to understand how God has been trying to reach man, through Jesus Christ. It's a relationship, not a religion.
I hope this answered your questions satisfactorily. May God bless you as you search for Him.
Ben and Jennifer Rast