Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Recent Conversation with Agnostic Believers
The following is my response (and the resulting conversation) to the following facebook post from a non-Christian friend, Mr. B. I thought you might find it interesting. (Identities have been concealed for privacy.)

Mr. B:

The only purpose grand enough for a human life; not just to love but to persist in love.

"...Love endures all things. Love never ends" - 1 Cor. 13:7-8

Mr. M:
"But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass through, for the Lord your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate ... We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining." - Deut. 2:30,34

Ms. H.:
Now that sounds like the Bible I know! The real truth IS brutal. That's the challenge --- To live and love despite the chaos.

Michael, if only you knew God's amazing love and grace personally. Everything would change!

Mr. M.:
I assume you're not referring to the amazing love and grace displayed by Yahweh in the section I quoted above.

Actually, yes I am. It is amazing grace and love that He didn't destroy Israel along with the Canaanites. They, and we, sure do deserve to be destroyed for our sins. "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23. God is not only love, he is also just and fair. That is why Jesus went to the cross for our sins... they all deserve the death penalty before a holy God who deserves all love and focus. I pray you stop fighting against God and actually start to open your heart to his great love.

Ms. H:
For an all-powerful creator of the Universe, God sure does need lots of undying adulation from his mere mortal earthlings, don't you think? Seems a bit out of proportion. Sorry, not buying it.

Mr. M:
People who advocate the destruction of those whom they deem to be enemies of their deity are extremely dangerous.

Ms. H, you don't have to buy it. God wants the greatest joy for everyone, and only He can satisfy that desire deep inside us. Love gives the best to the beloved. God wants the absolute best for you, and so He gives us Himself for our joy. Apart from Him there is nothing but hell.

Mr. M, I don't advocate destruction of enemies, I advocate loving them so they don't have to face the just punishment that awaits any without Christ. I would die for my enemies.

Ms. H:
I do not believe you would literally die for your enemies. I find when someone talks "bible-ey" all the time, it's kind of scary. It's like they are trying to convince themselves that their "truth" is the only one. Gee, even Mother Theresa doubted at times. I can't help it if I question what I feel is not the real truth, but a man-made recollection of stories skewed to placate and promote personal agendas.

I'm sorry, I don't agree with you, Ms. H. I would die for my enemies because I already know where I am going - I am living now to help others. That is not to say it would be easy! But I trust that God would help me. I want my life to be one that reflects Christ's love. What a better way to die than in an act of love to others. About truth- by definition truth is narrow. I encourage you to keep seeking with an open mind and heart. God is so good, and He loves you too. I have experienced that He can be trusted fully.

One last note: I am so thankful for my friend (Mr. B) who "hosted" our conversation, and who doesn't see my Christianity as a personal attack on himself, but as a point of thought, discussion and reflection.


stonetoflesh said...

(This is Mike Parsons, we met in Hakuba) Good Stuff, Mark. The greatest barrier between man and God is man's self-righteousness. People can be quick to point an accusative finger up at God for His killing of Canaanites etc, but that is because they do not understand what holiness is, nor justice, nor true goodness. That's why the Ten Commandments are so helpful; they show man his own filth in the perfect mirror of God's standard of righteousness.

Mark and Maki said...

Great points, Mike. It was nice to hear from you again. How are you and your family doing these days? Are you back in the states or in Japan now?