Monday, October 16, 2006

For Rick

Hello Rick –

Thanks for stopping by. I’m a little behind in my postings due to not having enough time in the day to sit down and starting writing again. I try to keep up with other blogs by quickly scanning my favorites and see what been on their minds and hearts.

Rick wrote and asked me - - - -

Hi WayneDawg, I came to your site via Quaker Agitator, and saw right off that we have a few things in common. We're both grandfathers, like cigars, and we're Christians. Like Dave I'm a Quaker, although I don't know Dave, and just stumbled upon his blog a few days ago.It's the "both Christians" thing I'd like to discuss. You come on pretty strong and some of the things you say are really "in your face." For example: "When I empty the last round from the barrel of my 44 Magnum." Didn't Jesus say "Love me [God] and love one another." How does the 44 Magnum thing fit in with Christianity?I also saw that you quoted from an Ann Coulter column in your July 28 post, and she has said a few things that disturb me. 1. On the July 12 edition of The Jon Caldara Show on Denver radio station KOA, Ann Coulter suggested that New York Times staff members should be "executed." 2. Her ideas for conducting the war on terrorism: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." 3. "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media." 4. Coulter writes in her book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” that a group of New Jersey widows whose husbands perished in the World Trade Center act “as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them.” She also wrote, “I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much.” Not one of these statements seems Christian to me. She actually sounds very cruel and authoritarian to me. How do you square your own "in your face" comments and Coulter's with Christianity? I am sincerely curious. Thanks for any help you can be.

Thanks for the questions. I’ll start with the quote I made on my profile that you mentioned……..

As you may or may not know, the question, “You've got to make contact with the alien leader. How will you tell when the conversation is finished?” was generated at random for me to answer on my profile. I like science fiction. I read it and watch it when I can. I like Sci-Fi that has aliens that are out to conquer the universe and ultimately destroy Earth in the process. I don’t care too much for the E.T. version of aliens who are passive and want to help mankind. So when that question on my profile came up, my minds eye saw that the alien leader was hiding his crossed fingers behind his back as he negotiated a peace treaty with the populace of Earth. When the evil alien leader accidentally revealed his plans to make Earth a new black hole in the universe, I drew my .44 magnum and emptied the cylinder into his fat head, dropping him where he stood. The rest of the delegation that was with the alien leader admired what I had done because they had lived under the empirical thumb of the leader for 4000 years and no one ever had the guts to just take him out. Peace was restored to the universe because of one man's actions.

How about that for a paragraph of fiction?

And that’s exactly what that is Rick; fiction. The question on my profile was fiction. My answer was fiction. It was all fiction. One has to be able to understand and discern what is real and what is not. How does it square with my Christianity? Well, I can discern between Sci-Fi and what God did for me on October 29th, 1994. He gave me eternal life and made me a joint heir with Christ. Where I was at enmity with God, I am now saved from my sins because I was born-again like Jesus said we must be to enter the Kingdom of Heaven and inherit eternal life (which, by the way, is the only way one can become a Christian - John 3:1-18).

Now about Ann Coulter…..

I have heard Ann state that she is a Christian. In fact, she has made this statement, “I'm a Christian first and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don't you ever forget it." She has also said, "... Christianity fuels everything I write. Being a Christian means that I am called upon to do battle against lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy—you know, all the virtues in the church of liberalism." Rick, whether or not Ann is a born-again Christian is only known to God. I can’t judge her soul. But I can tell you that a lot of Ann’s writing and speaking style is meant for parody and humor while making a point. The quotes you mentioned by her are not quotes found here on my site. The list of Muslim attacks against the USA that I posted from Ann is an example of where she is spot on in her analysis of events that no one else would dare print (as you don’t want to tick off those peace loving Muslims).

So Rick, we will have to get together sometime and smoke some premium cigars while exchanging photo’s of grand-kids and discussing just how does one inherit eternal life and is sure about it. I hope I gave you what you were looking for, but if not, let me know where I can clarify.


Rick said...

Hello Wayne,

Thanks for your reply. I will have to give your words some thought before I can respond properly. Meanwhile, I like the idea of sittin' down with a cigar and sharing grandchildren pictures!

WayneDawg said...

Great - If your ever in the north Georgia area, look me up and I will provide the premium smokes!

Any particular brand you prefer most?

Rick said...

Hi Wayne,

Don't know what I meant by "respond properly." I asked, you answered. I am thankful for your willingness to engage those with whom you might disagree. I hope that means you, like me, are in search of common ground. The world certainly needs, I think, more people looking to shake hands rather than make fists.

Okay, something about which you and I might disagree. You knew this was coming! While I thank God that you were saved on October 29, 1994, I do not believe that those who are not saved, as you define it, are condemned to eternal damnation. I believe that one of the messages of the Gospel is that all are saved through God's grace. The God of the New Testement is a God of love.

Rick said...

Well, Wayne, looks like I was composing my 10:39 comment just as you were writing your 10:21 comment!

I have been smoking little Dutch cigars for awhile, Meharis. When I get together with a friend (he's now 80 and grew up in Mississippi) for a longer smoke we usually buy Dominican Republic cigars. There's a brand I like, Padron, I think, but I don't recall where they are made. Not even sure I have the name right.

I have never been to the mountains of North Georgia. A few years ago we spent a couple days in Savannah. In the Spring of 1974 my wife and I, with our two year old daughter in tow, rode our bicycles through Georgia. We went south to north, but stayed out of the mountains since we were on bikes. We quickly discovered that Southern Hospitality is for real!

Corrie said...

rick, I wish I could agree with you on the subject of universal salvation. But I'm afraid the evidence points in another direction.

If there is no damnation, then what is there to be "saved" from? If sin has no consequence, then why does it need to be forgiven?

If there is no hell, then why did Jesus tell the parable of Lazarus and the rich man? What was the lake of fire that John saw in Revelation?

Now then, I do believe that Romans 1 and 2 provide a potential "out" for those who died without ever hearing the Gospel (or for those who never heard it presented properly). God's love, grace, and mercy are indeed infinite.

But so is his holiness, His justice, and His wrath.

Universalism feels good. But it doesn't jive with the evidence.

Wayne - thanks for the comment at SDDC. Now if a couple of other folks will also ask for the story, I'll peck it out. :-)

WayneDawg said...

Rick - I have never heard of Meharis cigars (and I've smoked a lot of different brands)but the Padron brand is an awesome smoke. My personal all-time favorite is the rare Fuente Fuente Opus X. In fact, some buddies of mine try to hold an annual Opus X smoke gathering once a year. We try to meet at a different home each year and the host provides a meal for the gang. The only requirement to attend the gathering is that you bring your own Opus X cigar. A great time is always had by all.

As for universal salvation goes, Corrie is right on according to the Bible. Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. He said that no one can go to the Father except through Him (Jesus).

As far as God being a God of love in the New Testement goes...this statement cannot be made with saying that the God of the Old Testement is also a God of Love. God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. God is the same God from Genesis to Revelation. Because there is an Old and New Testement does not mean there is a old and new God. God is a God of wrath, judgment and love from the beggining of the Bible to the last word of it. You will find plenty of words to express God's love in the Old Testement as you will find of wrath and judgment in the New Testement.

This sounds like a great next post for me to write about.

Rick said...

Hi Wayne and Corrie,

I do not doubt or contest your Biblical knowledge, but, perhaps, some information about what I believe will help to explain why I find the evidence you cite insufficient.

I believe in continuing revelation, and that what was written 2000 years ago is not the end of the story. Each and everyone of us contains a spark of the divine and is capable of discerning God's will. This, of course, applies to Christians, Jews, Muslems, Buddhists, Primitives, etc., etc., etc.

Because each and every person in the world contain a piece of God, I am a pacifist, that is, I can do nothing that would harm God. I believe it is God's will that we seek to settle differences, at all levels of society, peacefully.

You have no doubt read of the terrible killing of Amish school girls here in Pennsylvania. Imagine how different the world would be today had our goverenment reacted to the awful events of 11 September 2001 as the Amish have reacted to the killing of their children. The Amish have forgiven the killer just as Jesus would have done.

Ken Silva said...

Thanks for the link on your site Wayne. I don't know if you've seen but I have written quite a bit about the Quakers. As you probably know Richard Foster is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers). The allegedly "evangelical" group.

Rick above tells you why those Quakers who take George Fox's teachings to their logical conclusion believe in universal salvation. He also inadvertantly tells you why men like McLaren and other Emergent Church leaders who practice "centering prayer" (meditation) are also heading there as well:

"Each and everyone of us contains a spark of the divine and is capable of discerning God's will. This, of course, applies to Christians, Jews, Muslems, Buddhists, Primitives, etc., etc., etc."

This is classic mysticism and absolutely false according to the Bible. If you haven't seen it this article should help you better understand - "Richard Foster and Quaker Inner Light:

Wadical said...

Christian?...Quakers? Ummm...No. Absolutely not.

Rick, if you are in fact Christian perhaps you can answer the following:

Is it true that among the various branches of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) that they have widely divergent beliefs and practices, but that the central concept to many Friends may be the "Inner Light" or "that of God within" each of us?

That sounds more New Age than Christian doesn't it?

Is it true that, accordingly, individual Quakers may develop individual religious beliefs arising from individual conscience and revelation coming from "God within"; and that Quakers are obliged to live by such individual religious beliefs and inner revelations?

Isn't it true that you have no creeds?

Do you believe that not only is Jesus Christ the only begotten Son of God but that he is, in fact, "God the Son"?

Do you believe that he came to earth, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life and died as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of any person who would accept him as their savior?

Do you believe that he was resurrected and ascended into heaven and that he is coming again?

Do you believe that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven?

Do you believe that we are saved by his grace alone and not by works?

Do you believe that the Bible is the infallable word of God and that all that is needed for one to find and develop a personal relationship with the living God can be found in its pages alone and that no other book, interpretation or revelation is needed?

I'm eager to find out if you are truly "Christian" as you say you are. Looking forward to your answers.

Wadical said...

Rick said: I believe in continuing revelation, and that what was written 2000 years ago is not the end of the story. Each and everyone of us contains a spark of the divine and is capable of discerning God's will. This, of course, applies to Christians, Jews, Muslems, Buddhists, Primitives, etc., etc., etc.

Yet the Bible says in Revelation 22:18-19: “For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and out of the holy city and from the things written in this book.”

You can't make Christianity up as you go.

WayneDawg said...

Thanks Wadical......

I have not been on in a while and didn't know about that comment.

I think you covered it pretty well!

quakerdave said...

Gee, thanks for the theology lesson, "wadical." I appreciate you setting me straight that I'm a New Ager and not a Christian. As if you'd know.

And now I know where we all stand, Wayne. Thanks for the heads-up.

quakerdave said...

And maybe my background isn't what it should be, but wasn't the Book of Revelations added on to the Bible as we know it a LONG time after the rest of it came to be? Isn't that why so many scholars discount it? Wouldn't that be "adding on" or "making it up as we go"? Just askin'...

So we can take from this that God no longer speaks to any of us, that what was set down by the writers of the Bible - human males all - a thousand plus years ago is it, the last Word. No one today gets to hear the voice of the Lord? Is that it?

Man, that's one dead religion. And it sure isn't mine.

quakerdave said...

btw, Wadical, that whole thing about the "Light Within"? It comes from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The Jesus part.

You are right: we have no creeds.

We're not fundamentalists, either. That's the biggest difference between Friends and folks like you.