More Feedback!

Here are some more of the things people have said about my Religion Articles. I did not make this up. The material is cut and pasted from e-mail, so any typos are in the originals. No senders names will ever be included. All of these folks received a personal reply (not included here). While I ache to reply to some of these remarks on the web page, I'm not going to becasue that would be unfair because the writers have no way to reply. The Unification Church once had some USENET articles of mine on a web site, with comments that I could not reply to, so I know how that feels.

A. B. wrote:

Hi there

Just thought I'd let you know ... you've just been bookmarked.

For years, I've been looking on the Internet for material of interest to someone like me ... I can't call myself a Christian, but have a strange fascination for Christianity ... just can't seem to get myself there though.

I have a background in Philosophy and English literature, who has spent a lot of time trying to understand both without a sufficient grasp on scripture. I've been wanting to study the Bible for the longest time with guidance from a resource without an agenda (or, at least, with a more liberal agenda than anything I've come across). I'm sure you know what happens when you submit "Jesus" or "Bible" to a search engine. I think your site looks like the springboard I've been looking for. Your articles look interesting as do your links -- though I think I can ... ummmm ... do without the Amiga links :)

A breath of fresh air ... I'll be back!

C. B. wrote:

I visited your home home page. I loved the treatment of 666!

R. D. wrote (exerpts):

... I find that your mindset in your your work at [] however is dedicated to a predetermined a priori agenda opposing the accuracy and therefore truthfulness and trustworthiness (despite false counter-claims) of Scripture as merely a personal agenda which utterly lacks even the beginning of an educated, much less a scholarly approach, a bigoted, ignorant and uneducated lack of integrity sadly all too common at todays so-called schools of "higher learning".

By God's help I assiduously seek to avoid using stereotypes of left and right wing since there are too many genuine exceptions in the spectrum of ideas to permit such foolish intolerance, but I find it not a little amusing how often those imagining themselves to be "liberal" are rather most woefully ignorant and intolerant of anything labeled "conservatvies", insuring an "elite" culture of bigoted and small minds.

...An educated approach would not exclusively say such things as "it has been claimed" for the opposing view and "First we know" for the author's view, especially baselessly on both counts, knowing such a ploy to show argument so weak as to be unable to stand on its own without needing conditioning of the thinking of the audience.

It has been tragic in our day for me to see the once bright minds of academia replaced with the darkened mobs so deceived as to embrace lying as a lifestyle instead of the truth which sets us free, truth only possible because of The Truth personified in Jesus our Lord (John 8:32), something He even graciously makes available to those who reject Him, though especially in our day it's become something all too often rejected from the Supreme Court on down. Thank God for the notable exceptions. Romans 8:23-25 "Professing themselves to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and . . . things.  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

1. You fail to make any presentation whatsoever of the high reliability of the gospel accounts, merely ignorant caricature which you then pretend to dismantle. What are you so afraid of that you can't face the truth of the arguments in the open instead of hiding out with second-hand insinuations? Most of the things you claim are easily swept aside by the elementary works of Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell and New Testament Documents: Are they Reliable? by F.F. Bruce, but as P.T. Barnum said, there's a sucker born every minute, and since there's no indisputable evidence for either evolution or liberal theology, a prior assumption and assertion is all that remains to the proponents, however as usual one can safely rely on the gross ignorance of most people to protect the absurd sham of the a priori assertions from being exposed. It wasn't for nothing Jesus compared us to dumb sheep! He almost daily shows me how I'm the same way, ever needing to lean on Him for wisdom instead of the foolishness of my own. What separates true intellectual giants from the frauds is the humble recognition of the former of this truth, quite unlike the foolish arrogance so common among the latter.

2. You dishonestly say that "First, we know that Christian scribes frequently amended the texts of the canonical gospels." without bothering to mention that ALL scribes amended ALL texts of ALL writings, just as you or your editor did yours, unless you want to claim only the aforementioned "Christian scribes" made mistakes!   Fantastically then you further on seem to claim that the corrections of these errors were used to change Scripture to their point of view, yet another baseless claim.

3. Those who intelligently pursue the matter know that the vast majority of variants among the New Testament manuscripts are merely those of orthography, another truth you disguise, but because you first must reject the accuracy of Scripture instead of pursuing the truth of the matter, you inconsistently and dishonestly employ the false double standard of accepting any work of ancient literature *except* Scripture on the basis of far skimpier, certainly inferior and more corrupt manuscript evidence. The simple embarrassing reason is that there is no ancient work with even a fraction of the supporting manuscript evidence as Scripture, more evidence you fail to mention.

4. You amazingly try to make any serious comparison of the blatantly inferior spurious pseudo-Gospels with the true ones, though of course no one will read them to find out how silly this notion is to the few literate there are these days.

5. You've not conclusively shown anything, and though you may or may not have shown that Christians made up stories about Jesus, I wasn't aware God had given omniscience to another to know who is and who isn't a Christian, for those who've studied the literature know very well that some authors were *not* Christian. You've certainly not even tried to show that "Christian scribes felt free to adjust the canonical Gospels according to their own views," a far cry from what you *did* attempt, "that Christian scribes frequently amended the texts of the canonical gospels," more self-serving assertion and faulty, if not dishonest reasoning to equate the two.

6. You amazingly claim to be a Christian and ask "Would Matthew, Mark, Luke and John make stuff up?" concerning apostles who lived and died because Jesus was The Way, The Truth, and The Life, through Whom alone any have come to the Father (Jn 14:6), and that He's Truth personified Who sets us free (Jn 8:32), contrary to today's popular fables of arrogant autonomy which so clearly fulfill Paul's true prophetic word of II Tim 4:3-4. No other explanation can intelligently explain the apostles' martyrdom, though many have tried. Read Frank Morrison's "Who Moved The Stone" if you dare. It would also be most interesting also to see some dealing with archaeology in light of its consistent validation of Scripture's accuracy and explosion of the "liberal" conceits pretending to discredit it. One would be surprised that "liberals" don't get tired of being constantly disproven if the central self-seeking motive weren't so obvious, though sadly often not obvious to the individual. Of course the common method employed is still just to ignore the truth and repeat the age-old lies, long since exploded by the facts, such as those published by such luminaries as William F. Albright, knowing people are generally too ignorant to contest them.

7. I won't bother correcting the same old assertions as to the incompatability of the Gospel accounts, something my simple A .T. Robertson Gospel harmony can do. Do you really imagine the Church Fathers hadn't solved these matters in the previous millenium, and that you've just now discoverd them? I solved those problems after I'd only been a Christian for a few years, but of course people today are so ignorant they'll believe anything.

8. Jesus must be pretty stupid if He can't do the same as us, either communicate in short stories or long discourses. Or there's an easy alternative not considered, that the Synoptic writers couldn't abbreviate a discourse, an alternative not allowed by one so committed a priori to Scriptural error. 

9. Your other "either/or" nitpicking has all been exploded centuries ago (I'd go get my reference material to illustrate this if I thought it would do any good), and it will of course make one look good to the ignorant, but to those who know the truth about Biblical history and textual criticism, it's unimpressive. It would help tremendously if people would pursue education enough to learn Greek, or even simple Latin (they have helped me tremendously), but these days they can rarely even manage English. ...

10. And finally, with slight alteration, what you said returns on your own head::   "If someone wants to say that the stories must nevertheless be historically untrue on the basis of faith, let them say so -- but that person has no credibility to make "historical" judgments on the works of others." Yes, you certainly have shown no credibility on which to base your judgment of Scripture. But the bottom line is rarely the surface matter of the accuracy or authority of Scripture. The real root of the matter is most often idolatry, for haven't we again embraced the same old lies Adam and Eve swallowed in the Garden: "Has God said?" and "You shall be as gods!" and the outcome of that cost Jesus a terrible price, a price His perfect love for us willingly paid.

G. C.  Wrote:

Sir,not everything that you may read as a printed information has any credible value. It is possible that you are not interested in searching the truth but other agenda has invaded your illogical mind and I'm affraid only God can offer you some guidance.

W. R. Wrote:

Is Historical Jesus and the Christ of Faith the same Jesus? Is he alive or is he a memory? Does He reach out to the lost, does He call us to repentance? Does He call us to love? I read your article and I was left wanting. Please help me understand you view better. Concerned,

D. Wrote:

Today I decided to research via the web the life of the Apostle Paul - historical info, bio, etc. After searching several sites, I came across your web page. It was extremely informative. Thanks for taking the time!!

J. F. Wrote:

I just happened upon your web site response to critiques of the Jesus Seminar. My thanks for giving me a ray of light in the midst of struggle. I have been a fundamentalist and evangelical Christian for many years. However, I am finally opening up to the truth about the 'literal' interpretation. For many years, I would just write off discrepancies to God and state that we just didn't have understanding or that God ways are higher than ours. My beliefs are turning to a more universal knowing of God. As such, I am becoming to understand that we, as Christians, do not have 'special knowledge' not accessible by others. Instead, Christ is available
to all and embraces all but those who are 'religious'. I am reading books (such as "The Power of Now") which I would have written off as hedonistic 5 years ago.

I will be reading a number of your articles on the web. Thank you for being an inspiration.

M&G S Wrote:

Just checked back on your site - (it's been a while) and it really looks good. Great information. I am sending this link out to our congregation to bookmark.

D. K. Wrote:

Let me ask you a question. You claim that God is "calling" women to the priesthood. If this is truly the case, I must assume that God has been calling them from the very beginning, and that this type of "calling" did not just come about in recent times. So if God has always willed for women to be ordained as priests, how come in the 2000 year history of the Church women have not been ordained? If this truly was God's will, and God is leading and guiding the Church of Christ, do you not think that women's ordination would have happened by now? I have a difficult time believing that man could suppress the will of God for some 2000 years. The human element of the Church trusts God, and tries its best to follow His will. I refuse to believe that the Church, if it truly felt that women priests were what God wanted for the Church, wouldn't have made a move to see that it happened. Is it not possible that the issue of women's ordination is more a commentary about "rights" or "entitlements" secular society feels all people should have access to. The holy priesthood is a sacred office that is above any mere mortal, man or woman, and it is only through the grace of God that those men chosen for this sacred responsibility are able to fulfill their priestly duties. Therefore, the priesthood is not a "right" for anyone, man or woman. Not one has a claim to it. Not everybody can pursue the priesthood because it is not something any human being can choose for themselves, God must choose it for them. God has a plan for all people, and just because some are called to be priests and others are not, doesn't mean that those who are not called to priesthood are somehow "left out". We cannot allow our thinking to become such that the holy priesthood becomes something "anyone" (man or woman) can pursue if they choose it for themselves, because they have a "right" to be a priest if they want to. It doesn't work that way. This is a special calling reserved for a select group of people for reasons that only God knows. We must continue to leave this special office in the hands of God, and rely on Him to determine who the priests of the future should be. The Church of the 21st century is a wonderful institution that has been led and directed by Christ from the very beginning. I see no need to allow outside cultural influences determine the direction the Church should go with respect to present day issues like women's ordination. The priesthood is about men becoming Christ to the world. This has been the case throughout the history of the Church and look where we are today. The priesthood has not for one second been disaffected by the fact that only men are a part of it. It has been enhanced, because God has willed it this way. God has reasons for doing things that are hard for us to understand at times, but ultimately we must trust in God's authority to lead us and the Church in whatever direction He chooses. We cannot begin to take ownership and control of the priestly office, shaping it to "fit" into the sensibilities of present day society. There is a selfishness that prevails in much of society today that has infected the human element of the Church to a certain extent. A lot of the arguments and rationales for such issues as women's ordination are born out of this sensibility all humans possess. We must take a step back and clear out this type of selfishness from our thinking. We need to think in terms of "what God wants for the Church" instead of "what I feel is best or might want for the Church". We are all part of the Church and must work together to live out the Gospel message on a daily basis. Christ has called all the baptized to live the Gospel. But the priesthood is not an office which humans choose for themselves, no matter what the reason may be. God must choose those He feels are most suited to be a part of this special vocation and we must respect that. God knows the hearts of men better than anyone, and He knows who can best serve as Christ to the world. If God has chosen only men for this vocation, who are we to question that? Rather, we should feel blessed that he has provided this vocation to the world. Not just to men. All people, men or women benefit from the holy priesthood and all should revere what this special office truly is for us. Not due of the merits of man, but because of the Grace and Love of God, which works through the holy priesthood to reach all people. I believe that if God wanted women to be priests, they would be. This is the Church of Christ and Christ leads the Church in all ways. If women priests were essential to the life of the Church, they would have been ordained by now.

S. wrote:

I read your "Was Hitler a Christian?" thesis with sadness and I think you should be made aware of your unscholarly defense (although no doubt you think it scholarly).

>When one looks at the atrocities committed under the Nazi regime of
>Adolf Hitler and compares them to the teacher of universal love,
>Jesus of Nazareth, one might come to the immediate conclusion that
>the notion that Hitler was a Christian is absurd.

Why would one come to a conclusion of absurdity when Jesus claimed to have come not to send peace but a sword, and spoke of everlasting punishment for offenders, not to mention his Father who killed men, women, and infants?

>The purpose of this essay is to examine the question of whether
>one might call Hitler a Christian, and to present evidence from
>authoritative sources in support of its conclusions.

The problem here is that you never presented any "authoritative" sources to support your biased conclusion. You're relying mostly on Hitler's Table Talk which has never been shown to be an authoritative voice of Hilter. The Table Talk was primarily edited by Bormann who had an agenda against the Catholic Church. None of the transcripts were checked or revised by Hitler.

Then you go and discount Hitler's speeches and personal writings, including Mein Kampf! My goodness, imagine if we threw out
autobiographies, and public statements of historical people-- we could not have history! Such is the debasement of your argument.

>This unavoidable introductory question is probably the thorniest
>part of our study, since there is little consensus about what constitutes
>being a Christian.

Get this straight: your thesis is in no way a "study". Yet YOU'RE the one who gets to determine whos a Christian? I see nothing authoritative or convincing about your definition yet even your own construction fails:

>My own definition of Christian: "one who claims to be a follower of
>Jesus and whose actions are not inconsistent with the love of God
>and neighbor" rather begs the question in the case of Hitler.

So by your definition then, Hitler must be a Christian. Hitler followed Chirst, as he saw him, loved God and his fellow Germans and Austrians. So the begging goes to your thesis.

>By "follower of Jesus" I mean someone who considers Jesus a model for
>his own life&

And that is exactly what Hitler thought of himself. His own words reveal that. He saw Jesus as an Aryan and against Jews. Even you admit to this.

In your "Hitler's actions" you mention the murder of Erich Klausener yet you give no source for Hitler's involvement. Nor do you cite why Klausener was killed. You'll find that Christianity had no play as to why he was killed.

Then you say that Hitler killed himself as a "mortal sin". This is so laughable an anachronistic error that it reveals the lack of depth of your argument. Even if suicide was a mortal sin, it would make no difference. All of Hitler's atrocities occurred BEFORE he died, while he was a Christian! And at best you could only make this an argument against Catholicism, for this is the denomination that makes the claim. Many Christians, including ex-Catholics have dropped their political ties with organized religion; this does not make them any less a Christian. And you seem to forget that Jesus had himself killed!

>Hitler was married to Eva Braun by a secular city official
>[Last Days of Hitler, p. 234]. He took no counsel from a
>clergyman before his death.

This is such a weak point that it hardly deserves comment. My goodness man, don't you realize that WWII was going on, the building around him was being bombarded by enemy fire? Do you really think there would have been time for a formal clergyman wedding? And why would a true Christian need a clergyman for counsel? And what in the world does it have to do with
anything? And what does that say to millions of Christians who married by secular means?

The rest of your out-of-context quotes and comments would take pages to correct.

And you completely ignore that the Catholic Church did not excommunicate Hitler, nor did any contemporary Protestant Church denounce Hitler from Christianity. On the contrary, both the contemporary Catholic and Protestant Churches took Hitler in their folds.

According to most Christian sources, ALL Christians sin. There are good Christians and there are bad Christians, but a bad one is a Christian nevertheless. Hitler was a bad Christian and Christianity drove him to many of his actions. That is a fact that you simply can never dismiss.

I'm sorry but your entire argument is an embarrassment. It is weak and unconvincing and shows an appalling lack of depth with an obvious bias and the avoidance of direct evidence. It needed to be said. Note, this is a response to your article. With the type of reasoning you've presented in your article, I do not wish to correspond with you, nor do I have any interest in your thoughts. I hope you take this as a tough example for your learning experience.

JS wrote:

"Convicted Nazi war criminals such as Albert Speer wrote their memoirs, but can we trust those who have a vested interest in the rehabilitation of their own reputations? "

Excellent, so why should anyone trust the Bible, etc. etc. or any other artifact, person(s) that supports the same? Many call it faith, but faith in what? Contradictions in spriptures have been or have become rationalised; persons believe in what they have been told by others or they believe in what they want to believe (which may have no basis in reality, what ever that may be). In this regard, as you state people went along with the Nazi party out of fear (which may be true), Hitler becomes no different than God because God also strikes fear in those that believe in him (where's the good or what is good). Fear is the whole basis for a person to do what God says (or what Man says God said). The faithful fear God, they must. Your question should not be, Was Hitler a Christain, but, Did Hitler use God or more percisely, How did God use (manipulate) Hitler?

M wrote:

I must break from reading your articles...simply outstanding, honest, fair, and well written....presently I am checking out the dates of composition.

Kevin ()

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