Saturday, July 9, 2016

Always Be Ready, a Response

This is an open response to a page on the Always Be Ready website.

Let's start here.
•  We believe the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament Scripture alone to be verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original text, and that they alone are of supreme and final authority in faith and life.
So you believe the entire thing is literally true.  Excellent!
•  We believe in one God who is Creator of heaven and earth, who is infinite Spirit, light, love, and truth; eternal, almighty, infallible in all things, including His foreknowledge of all future events as well as all free choices; that He is unchangeable, all wise, just, and holy; and that the triune God eternally exists in one essence and three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
 Well, according to genesis, there are multiple gods, because god spoke to himself in the plural.

He doesn't have infinite knowledge because he doesn't seem to know quite a few things that would have been very helpful to his ascetics.
•  We believe in the special creation of the entire space-time universe and of every basic form of life in the six days recorded in the Genesis creation record. We also believe in the historicity of the Biblical record, including the special creation of Adam and Eve as the literal progenitors of all people, the literal fall and resultant divine curse on the creation, the worldwide flood, and the origin of nations and diverse languages at the tower of Babel.
God didn't actually create the universe, so you just refuted your 'literal' interpretation from point one.

Also, did plants and animals come before humans (Gen. 1) or after (Gen. 2)?

Similarly, what of the land of Nod, from which Cain took his wife?
•  We believe in Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Word manifested in the flesh. We believe that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and that He is true God and true man, having two distinct natures co-joined in one Person.
Since you believe that all three are people, doesn't that mean that Mary can't possibly have been a virgin?
•  We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of every human being and thus offers salvation as a free gift based on grace alone.
Jesus, being literally god, killed himself for your sins.  Well, that's one way to go about it.
•  We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead in the same physical body, though glorified, in which He had lived and died, and that His resurrection body is the pattern of that body which will be given to all believers at the return of Christ.
•  We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven in the same glorified physical body in which He arose, was seated at His Father's right hand, assuring us of the perfection of His work of redemption, and that He now, as Head over all things to the Church, is engaged on behalf of the saved as their only Advocate.
So his body literally went up into the clouds, after he died and came back to life, but the Romans never wrote this down at the time?  The leaders of ancient Rome didn't see this spectacle, and immediately convert?  How bizarre.  If I saw that, I'd probably change my mind, and I'm about as atheist as they come.
•  We believe in the personal, imminent, and premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones followed by His 1,000 year reign on Earth.
 There's going to be 1000 years of Jesus reigning by proxy, then another thousand years of him reigning not by proxy.  Well, that's a nice, safe claim we don't have to worry about for another fifty generations.  Let us know what day it begins though, so we can count and be sure.
•  We believe that man was originally created in the image and likeness of God, and that he fell through sin; and that as a consequence of his sin, he became dead in trespasses and sins, and that he became subject to the power of the devil. We also believe that this spiritual death, or depravity of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire human race, the Man Christ Jesus alone being excepted; and hence that every child of Adam is born into the world with a corrupt, sinful nature.
The forty days he spent in the woods, he allegedly didn't give into the devil.  Since you're a literal interpreter, show us the verses where the devil got the better of him.  We'll be waiting.
•  We believe that only those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior on the condition of faith alone, apart from all good works, are thereby born again of the Holy Spirit, are justified once and for all, and have become children of God.
This one always gets me.  Charlie Manson could have a ton of faith in your god, and he'd get to go to heaven, but the children who die before they're too old to even think about it go straight to hell.

If it were true, I would believe it.  However, it doesn't appear to be.  Then again, terrorists of all stripes use the exact same justification for their actions, from helping the poor (good stuff) to beheading infidels or burning witches (clearly not good stuff).
•  We believe that the Holy Spirit, being the Third Person of the Godhead, convicts men of sin, regenerates, indwells, baptizes, seals, and sets believers apart to a holy life; that He keeps and empowers believers day by day. We believe that He is the Teacher of the Word of God through which He guides us in our daily lives.
You know the interesting thing about the trinity?  It means you believe in a pantheon.  Did you realize there are other gods mentioned in the bible, which your god supposedly false?  He's not saying they weren't real.  He's saying their adherents are simply wrong, or that their story is.  This means your god has had literal contact (if we take the bible literally) with all the other gods mentioned in the bible, like Baal and Ashtoreth.
•  We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted only two ordinances: water baptism and the Lord's Supper, to be observed until He comes. We believe that water baptism is not necessary for salvation but that it is an outward symbol of salvation and a sign of our obedience to Him.
Well, your belief doesn't stop you from being wrong.  Jesus commanded a lot of things: tithing, giving to the poor, giving up worldly possessions, not charging interest to others of the same religion, being a good Samaritan in all things, and going forth to multiply your earnings.  Jesus even taught that you don't have to do a full day's work to get a full day's pay (Matt. 20)
•  We believe that the universal Church of Jesus Christ is composed of those who have been redeemed and washed in His blood, regenerated and sealed by the Holy Spirit, and that they are saved to worship and to serve; that it is the responsibility and privilege of all who are saved to seek to win others to Christ, to the "uttermost part of the earth"; that they should seek to live a holy life, to separate themselves from and forsake all that might dishonor God, cast discredit on His cause, or weaken their testimony.
Now wait a moment.  You just said evangelism wasn't one of those ordinances.  Make up your mind.
•  We believe that there is a personal devil, a being of great cunning and power, who is "the prince and the power of the air," "the prince of this world," and "the god of this age." We believe that he can exert vast power but only as far as God permits him to do so; that he shall ultimately be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and shall be tormented day and night forever.
Great.  Now you're stealing the idea from the Koran.  Personal devils originate from the stories of Muhammad, not the bible.  Also, if you believe god allows the devil to work, that's basically saying that god condones whatever happens in the world, or is complicit at the very least.  Similarly, the devil punishes bad people: why would god punish him for that?  Your dogma is much too complex.

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