Pastor Bill, a fundamentalist Baptist pastor and childhood family friend, is corresponding with me regarding my loss of faith. He has kindly agreed to allow me to post his correspondence here on my blog.
I ask my readers to be polite to Pastor Bill. Even though he has disagreed with my decision to become a Lutheran, and most recently, an agnostic, he has always been kind and polite. You are welcome to post (respectful) comments below the post(s). Whether Pastor Bill chooses to respond to readers’ comments is his choice as I know he is a very busy man.
In this post, Pastor Bill is responding to questions posed to him by one of my readers (and fellow blogger), Nate:
02 June 2013
(It’s exciting to know that even the dates used on documents and calendars are based upon the life and death of my Saviour, Jesus Christ)
Gary, this is a copy of the main questions Nate delivered to me;
Nate’s Questions: .. “.So perhaps we should back up just a bit? I think we should ask a couple of preliminary questions before we try to go any further in a discussion about Christianity:
1) How do you believe a person finds truth? Is it something they have to look for, by examining the truth of various claims? Or do you believe it’s something that is given to certain individuals? In other words, do you believe that God simply gives truth to people, or has he left it for us to find if we’re searching for it?
2) Can the Bible (and Christianity) be verified or falsified through examination? If we objectively study the evidence for and against it, can we come to the correct conclusion about it?
Pastor Bill’s Response:
I’d like to discuss it some.
The Bible is a matter of “FAITH”...that being said, I believe it offers many good reasons to believe it. It cannot be placed into a test tube although reason is enough for thinking people to consider it. When it is all said and done a person has to consider the claims of the Word of God and decide if he is going to believe it or not Romans 3: (KJV)
3 For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
I believe the Word of God has stood many tests over time. I believe it will stand any criticism given it, if the people giving the test are objective and honest. For example, recently I related that “die” in Genesis 2:17 referred to spiritual death and was told basically, “..that can’t be…” Seems like some want only one definition of that word…actually that is a bit unfair when there are many understandings of many words in many languages, for example; “set” has 464 different definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary and “run” 396 based upon the same dictionary. I could check that out but by “faith” I’m going to accept that. Why anyone would call God a liar without real study and consideration of what He has said and means is beyond me. 2 Timothy 2: (KJV)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
God said Adam would die, Adam died and all men have been born with a dead spirit since….can I prove that, NO but I accept that because of the evidence I see for the trustworthiness of the Bible. I believe that because of the changes I have seen and experienced in lives of people who have genuinely trusted Christ Jesus as their own personal Saviour..
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I believe that because of the fulfilled prophecies of the Bible, (Which prophecies some have chosen to close their eyes to or believe someone else about). The mathematical probably of said prophecies being faithfully fulfilled is undeniable …. if one thinks, studies and DESIRES to know the truth.
John 7: (KJV)
17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
While the Lord advises us “to believe to see” the world cries, “Let me see and I will believe”. There is absolutely no faith involved in that scenario or philosophy and “…without faith it is impossible to please Him…”
Here are some things to consider;
Where is truth found;
John 17: (KJV)
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
John 18: (KJV)
38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
James 1: (KJV)
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness (the opposite of arrogance and pride) the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
1 Peter 1: (KJV)
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
In addition there are many Old Testament verses;
Psalm 19: (KJV)
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psalm 119: (KJV)
104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
So as we often say prior to preaching or following the reading of the Word of God; “May the Lord add His blessing to His Word at this time.”