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Discussion 6 to Talk Back 89
All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.

by: Ben

To add to this discussion (or any other,) please use the Contact form. This exchange of views has been continued.

Will,

My answers. I’m tired (spent a while writing to Jasmine) but I wanted to be sure and provide what you are requesting.

  1. State whether the above argument is an accurate representation of your views. And, if it is not, explain why not.

You are aware that accepting Jesus Christ comes with some difficulties. It is the hardest thing I ever did. My human nature fought it every step of the way. These include fundamental questions (“why do so many innocent people suffer?”) Define innocent. All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. Hard to swallow, see point A. The first step is to acknowledge your own depravity and need for someone to step in and save you from yourself. In that context, why don’t we ALL suffer? When this sank in, I was one step closer to the truth. as well as purely intellectual problems (“the Bible seems to contradict itself and science as well!”). Not a point worth arguing. People have tried in error for years to poke holes in the Scripture, but they are just not paying attention to what they read, and they do not have a desire to read and understand the entire Scripture, they have a desire to debunk it, which is why Jesus said “seeing they do not see, and hearing yet they do not understand. I can recite many of the supposed contradictions, I’ve heard them all. I won’t continue in this argument, so please don’t ask. I don’t accept the premise of it, and I know the Scriptures to NOT be contradictory, so I feel no need to go thru the more difficult passages one by one. Knock yourself out, though. Christians feel as though they have the responsibility to try to deal with these problems in various ways (theology, faith, etc.) but Agnostics don’t bother, instead choosing to passively wait for others to offer us a rigorous proof. Um, OK. A satisfactory proof, however, will never come because we set the standards unreasonably high—i.e. demanding not just complete but convincing answers every single question we throw at “witnesses,” who are only human and cannot be expected to explain all of the mysteries inherent in faith (see objections in above parenthetical remarks). Thus, we are “copping out.” Quite the point I was making. I was discontented with passively waiting. I saw the urgency of needing to be on one side or the other. (read my note to Jasmine). This hunger led to the experience that led to faith. Jesus said, “When you seek me with your WHOLE HEART, you WILL find me.” You must be desperate! He will not reveal Himself to people who still think they have it all together and don’t need anyone else to figure things out. Hence, the stigma Christians get about faith being a crutch. Ironically, it’s not far from the truth.   Furthermore, Jesus only chooses to reveal Himself to those who those who believe in Him already (i.e. are Christians). Therefore, by not believing in Jesus (i.e. not becoming Christians), Agnostics prevent themselves from receiving the proof they demand. I like to avoid telling people that they are flat out wrong, but you are clearly in error, but it gets back to the whole thing about the attitude in which you approach the Scripture. If you read it and paid attention, you would know that among a zillion other examples, Jesus revealed himself to Paul on the road to Damascus , while Paul was enroute to arrest followers of Jesus, whom Paul rejected as a false prophet. Jesus also himself CLEARLY stated that he came to seek and save those which were lost. He also said that he did not come to call the “righteous” but sinners to repent. Sorry, you are wrong. You also reiterate a traditional “watchmaker” argument for God’s existence—though I am not sure if this is an explanation of your personal experience of Jesus Christ that you believe we should seek out or if it is a separate argument. I’m really out of the loop on this watchmaker thing but oh well. In the book of Romans we read that everything that can be known about God can be seen in Creation. Scripture also states that God has set “eternity in their hearts”, meaning something inside of everyone bears witness to the fact that Someone is behind all this. To answer your question, yes, it’s part of the personal experience. Creation resonates in my soul.

Thanks for your thoughts and your gracious and kind approach to seeking to understand before being understood. I’ve enjoyed this. I don’t wish to try to convert anyone here. (I think I’d love the company in heaven though!!) This really is all about understanding the Agnostic view. My very wonderful, kind brother in law is Agnostic, though somewhat less caustic then some (not you) I’ve read from on here.

  1. Describe, to the extent that you feel comfortable, the nature of your personal encounter with Jesus. Did He talk to you? Was there a vision involved? Was there a moment when things just “clicked,” where everything made sense in such a way that made Christianity vital to your understanding of the world? Or, was it something more gradual? In any case, please elaborate on this. Yes he talks to me. No I don’t believe in the tooth fairy. I have seen him in dreams. Yes, I am mentally stable. The Scriptures are the self-proclaimed Word of God, and they are the primary vehicle He uses to communicate with me. It’s in the reading of a verse that just hits you like a hammer, speaking right to where you are, and a confirming presence in your soul. Can’t explain it any more than that, but I don’t feel the need to anymore than I feel the need to try to describe what colors are to someone who was born blind. I just wish he had the same experiences that I have had! 
  2. The “watchmaker” argument has been refuted an absurdly large number of times, both on and off this site. Find and understand some of those refutations (hint: they involve natural selection) and find a way to counter them before you try to use this as an argument. I’ve said all about this I feel the need to. I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what faith is, or else you deny its existence, or you think it silly. You are entitled to any of these or other opinions about faith. (see blind man reference above)