I finally get email
Yesterday during work, I got a lovely email, titled "The most important message of your life from someone who really cares about you". It seems I hit a milestone: I got my first "repent or burn" Christian email. Whoo-hoo! So, without further ado, here's the email in it's entirety and my response after:
Leeon Andrew (email redacted)
One day you are going to stand before Jesus Christ and give an account of your life to Him, WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IT OR NOT. Because of this, I suggest that you read this message all the way through, it could save your life!We live in a world that has no time or thought for God, and yet one day we will all stand before Him and be judged. We live only for today, pleasing ourselves with what we do, with no thought whatsoever of where we will SPEND ETERNITY! We forget that SIN must be punished, and that is the reason why God sent His Son into the world...So who is Jesus Christ and why did He come to earth?Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God! He left heaven, and the presence of His Father, to come and die in your place and my place! But Why? The Bible tells us that we are all sinners "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." There is none righteous, no not one. "David who was one of the greatest kings of all Israel said 'Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."Sin has to be punished by a Holy God. Jesus came to save us from our sins, and from the punishment of God because he loves us. He did this by taking our sin upon Himself, and allowing Himself to be crucified, bearing all the suffering, judgement and wrath of God His Father in our place! The Bible says "...without the shedding of blood there is no remission (pardon & forgiveness)" He shed His own blood so that we can have our sins forgiven. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" For he hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."Three day's after His crucifixion He arose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of His Father in Heaven.This is how much Jesus Christ loves you, He died in your place and took your punishment for your sins!! "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all.""And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgement." Can you imagine what this day will be like? Nothing will be hid, every secret sin will be laid open before the Lord, not one sin will go unpunished!The only way to escape the wrath and judgement of God, and to gain a place in heaven is by asking Jesus Christ to forgive your sins. It is by believing, in faith, that He became the perfect sacrifice for all sin. There is no other way of being saved and having your sins forgiven, religion can't save you, living a 'good' life can't save you, IT IS ONLY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST THAT CAN SAVE YOU! "Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."WARNING...If you die without having your sins forgiven, you will go to Hell forever & ever! (FACT!)This is written out of love, because, THIS IS THE TRUTH!PLEASE UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS! SOON, MAY BE TOO LATE!
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
My response: Leeon, can you point to any actual evidence that your god, Jesus, heaven or hell actually exists? If you reply "It's a matter of faith", then you've lost the argument because faith doesn't replace truth. If it did, then Buddhism, Islam or Scientology, for example, would be as true as Christianity because it's a matter of faith in those religions too. If you reply "the Bible is my evidence", then you don't know what evidence means. The Bible is the claim, not the proof. But putting all that aside for a moment, let's suppose you're right. Suppose I had somehow "sinned" against your god and the only way to save myself from punishment is to make another person take the punishment in my place, even though that person is innocent. Is that not scapegoating? Would it be moral, rather, to be accountable for my actions and accept proper punishment? Also, is not cruel to inflict eternal punishment for finite crimes? I'm genuinely interested in your responses to these questions and look forward to hearing back from you.
Update: Leeon has responded, and it's facepalming all around. Here's his response and my reply:
Update: Leeon has responded, and it's facepalming all around. Here's his response and my reply:
On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 2:11 AM, Leeon Andrew (email redacted) wrote:Yes, he believes hell is the core of the Earth, I kid you not!
Some reading for you to do...Proof of hell http://www.av1611.org/
The resurrection of Jesus Christ Fact or Fiction? http://www.av1611.org/resur.
htmlResponse in redLeeon, can you point to any actual evidence that your god, Jesus, heaven or hell actually exists? If you reply "It's a matter of faith", then you've lost the argument because faith doesn't replace truth. If it did, then Buddhism, Islam or Scientology, for example, would be as true as Christianity because it's a matter of faith in those religions too. If you reply "the Bible is my evidence", then you don't know what evidence means. The Bible is the claim, not the proof. But putting all that aside for a moment, let's suppose you're right. Suppose I had somehow "sinned" against your god and the only way to save myself from punishment is to make another person take the punishment in my place, even though that person is innocent. Is that not scapegoating?God took your punishment upon Himself. We have an eternal soul. If you die without Christ you will spend an eternity in the lake of fire. If you die Jesus Christ being your Lord and your Saviour you will get eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Tony, eternal life is a free gift to anyone! But okay, if your right then this is all there is and when I die I will cease to exist and have NOTHING to worry about. But if I'm right and you die without Jesus Christ then you face an eternity in the lake of fire. God did not prepare hell for use, it was for the devil and his angels. When we are born we are born sinners, this means our father is the devil, but when we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour then God becomes our Father. So its your choice you can either spend an eternity with God or Satan. Would it be moral, rather, to be accountable for my actions and accept proper punishment? Also, is not cruel to inflict eternal punishment for finite crimes? I'm genuinely interested in your responses to these questions and look forward to hearing back from you.My reply: I've read your response, and frankly I'm disappointed. First there's your "proof" of hell, which only proves that the concept of hell pervades our cultures and is linked to volcanoes and the core of the earth. Also, if you took two seconds to look beyond Christian-biased sources, you'll find that the core of the earth isn't a "lake of fire" at all. It's metallic and solid. Lava and magma come from the upper mantle and lower crust in certain places: http://blogs.agu.org/martianchronicles/2008/08/22/hot-lava-where-does-it-come-fro/. There's no proof given to your and your source's assertion that that is where we go after we die and don't believe what you do. As for your "proof" of Jesus, let me ask you a few questions, and when you go looking for the answers, look in each of the four gospels of Christ for the answer and compare them against each each other. 1. At what time of the day was Jesus crucified? 2. What was inscribed on Jesus' cross? 3. Who went to the sepulchre where Jesus was buried? 4. How many angels were at the sepulchre and where were they located at the sepulchre? 5. Where did the apostles go after Jesus' death? Now, for every question did all of the gospels match up? If they don't, what does that tell you about the veracity of the gospels? I could concede that there may have been an eccentric preacher named Jesus who lived nearly 2,000 years ago, but his claims that he was the son of a god and his "miracles" are by no means original. Look up Horus, Appolonius, Krishna, Mithras, for example, and you'll see quite a few similarities in the lives of those "saviors". Is it not more likely that Jesus was just an ordinary man and became highly mythologized after his death? Or just as likely, a mythologized legend?
Finally, to your response in red, you're simply making assertions upon assertions. You assert that we have "eternal souls". Please prove that souls exist. You again assert that without belief our "souls" go to a place of eternal torture. Again I ask for proof of this assertion. You also assert that we are born "sinners". Answer this: A newborn baby dies shortly after birth. He/she has no knowledge of Christianity. Where will the child's "soul" go? And most of the rest of your response seems little more than Pascal's Wager: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZpJ7yUPwdU
And I'm further disappointed that you did not answer my question asking if throwing my sins and punishment on Jesus is scapegoating. I really would like a yes or no answer to this with a rationale for it.