A number of times I have referenced my discussion with a brother who left the Lord in a complete way; he did not just move into the progressive camp of ideology, he moved through the progressive camp and out of any semblance of relationship with the Lord. I thought it would be a good idea to include a few thoughts that belong to our discussion. Here is a small portion of his first email to me:
“Ron, I am an Agnostic/Atheist. I sincerely find no evidence for a deity, and in that regard I am equally sincere in believing that I was mistaken for so many years in regarding the Bible as being the Word of God. I believe that that the Bible is the writings of the early history of the Judean/Christian background, but I sincerely, SINCERELY believe that the book that I once so revered is merely the writings of men. In that regard, I believe that the Bible teaches some good; some truth; some bad; and some error.”
My reply to him was in the broader context of his email to me; in other words, I did not directly address these words as much as I set out to address two (three) underlying points that, since that time, I have continued to pursue.
“Dave, I understand the moral quandary that people have with regard to the nature of a loving God and the concept of hell. You know this type of discussion has [been] going on for more than three millennia (Genesis 18), and my answers may be inadequate to you. Nevertheless, I will try [to persuade him]. It is also likely that you know the tactics I will employ, but as it is in all good athletic endeavors, it is not so much the tactics (important as they are), as the execution. I will begin by asking you to explain man’s existence; from where did he come and how did he come into existence with an intellect that is not the same as that we call “lower” animal? In addressing your concern, let me ask: is there such a thing as morality? If so, what is the basis of it?”
This discussion (through this point of July) has focused its attention on morality, the explanation of how the material realm came into existence, and whether the Bible is a credible historical document. He maintains that morality is the product of man, there is no need to explain the material realm’s existence (it is possible for it to have always been), and with regard to the Bible as credible history, he says it is undetermined.
I replied to him that for morality to have its origin in man brings chaos, the material realm’s existence has a beginning (both science and philosophy recognize as much), and that the Bible is a credible document of history that can be tested and verified.
As I mentioned before (in class), discussions of this type are of interest to me, but they can be intense and challenging. Truth, however, has nothing to fear with regard to such discussions. It may be that he will pose a question or comment to me that will cause me difficulty; if such happens, then I will be better for it as I seek an answer to such difficulties.
Such discussions may not be your “cup of tea,” but there are other types of discussions in which you can engage; don’t let a challenge fall to the way-side when there is an opportunity for you to glorify the Lord’s name and will. We are all called upon to defend the Lord’s honor, name, and His expressed will. RT