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Priest calls CMI heretical

iStockphotoThe Scriptures are always our ultimate guide.
The Scriptures are always our ultimate guide.

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Published: 27 February 2016 (GMT+10)

We thought the following exchange would illustrate to readers the type of correspondence that CMI receives on a regular basis, not just from secularists, but from professing Christians. This priest's ignorance about what creationists believe illustrates exactly why ministries like CMI need to exist and, thus, need your support.

Fr Jason A. F. B. Ph.D. wrote:

Seeing that you people believe in Hell, how do you figure that your level of ignorance, bigotry, hate, corruption, and abuse to others (especially your own children) will provide any entry way into this mystical vision of Heaven that you are so keen on faithing into existence? You use every logical fallacy ever, and have even seen to invent new ones, purely to falsely assert your claims. Any and seemingly all "evidence" you provide is provided from similar pro-creationist sites, all of which take actual facts out of context in order to misguide people into your beliefs. As an actual holder of a doctorate (no offense to "plant grower" Dr? Batten), I find this entire site to be a mockery to Christianity, Jesus Christ's very own teachings, and a serious offense to God. You intentionally contradict the very faith you believe in, in order to attack non-believers (which you aren't very good at). By the way, my doctorates are in theological anthropology and in psychology (Fordham Jesuit University). It has always been somewhat of a joke in "actual" theological discussions that fundamentalist and creationists were egotistical "nuts" who have been brainwashed and are no better than terrorists. I can see (after thoroughly reviewing your site) that this is not the case. I would like to make a formal apolog…to the people I called rude for mocking creationism. After seeing this site, it has become abundantly clear to me, and others who I have forwarded, that these pages of "blasphemy and immoral substance" is a complete contradiction to God's wishes. Personal attacks are un-Christian, and it seems that this "debate" between Creationism and Science is purely has evolved into nothing but hate and intolerance towards human beings for reasons that are detrimental for both sides.

First and foremost, your interpretation of the Bible and your "worship" of it is borderline heretical. The idolatry that your beliefs stem from, it is erroneous in heart, thought, and soul. As a Christian your responsibility is to the New Testament. This is the Word which God had sent Christ to confer upon us. To put in VERY simply, the Old Testament was the best of the worst. What I mean when I say this is that 2000+ years ago, people and little to no understanding of how the world worked and often supplemented folklore and "guesses" into oral stories in an attempt to make something coherent (and more believable). That being said (whether you have the courage, knowledge, insight, common sense to admit that or not), the Bible, as a tool of man, invented by man, for man, is and will always be corrupted and impure, simply for the basic reason that mortal hands can never reach the level of divinity. Man cannot understand or comprehend Divinity. To claim that anything created by the hand and minds of a non-deity (regardless of the deity one believes in seeing how Fundamentalist consider the book not the Lord) would not be corrupted by editing, censorship, misunderstanding, and blatant ignorance is foolish and borderline psychotic.

It saddens me deeply to see you call yourselves Christians. You have shown nothing but contempt for Christ's teachings. To hold yourself higher in the mind of the Lord than an atheist is laughable. You, along with Communists, Fascists, Cultists, etc. are actively seeking out to persecute others for something as petty as a different belief. Do you really think that it is your job to judge the living? The Bible argues otherwise. At first I wondered how all your members could be so closed minded and angry with God and other humans. It dawned upon me (after using your search site) that any and all "reasonable" information that hasn't been repeated/written/endorsed by your members or other pseudo-Christian sites is not provided. You offer no means for any young learner of faith to come across varying views of the world. At this point, as a potential educator, I felt physically sick and literally began to leak tears. You pollute your own children's minds and censor them from discovering the world. Out of fear, you brainwash and restrict them from becoming a beautiful human being in the eyes of God. Yes, the world is full of sin and blasphemy, but to live as you do, to infect and poison the minds of your own youth is detestable. This is a sin of intolerance and hate for the world God himself has provided you. This is the very world, full of the very people, ideas, faiths, and possibilities that Christ himself loved and sacrificed his life for. Faith in Christ is to be discovered, and upheld in beliefs the of love and goodness faith provides. It is not to be beaten into one's head while ignoring any other thought, omitting information, blocking the opportunity for an opposing issue, bashing other human beings, spitting in the face of contextual backings, and distorting one's own mind in effort to stand upon a fanatical, blasphemous, dangerous, intolerable, hateful, bigoted, spiteful, vengeful, painful, etc. ideology that is truly a perversion of everything Christ stands for.

I am very sorry for my own convictions regarding the filth and sin you have chosen to abide. It upset me to the point of violence (I kicked my garbage bin over) when taking the lives and minds of children into consideration. I am truly disgusted, but it is God himself who will judge you. So hopefully, you may learn to accept the world as it is, for God does exist. God, however, exists in harmony with the universe and science. Whether or not it is factual, God lives in harmony with the theory of evolution. There is always a compromise that allows tolerance at the very least. That being said, many may not fully believe in evolution, and no one is saying that it is 100% true, but let's be honest with each other as brothers and sisters in God and Christ.

The Earth, MAY be older than the ~7000 you claim it is. Nothing that evolutionists or scientists believe in and fight for contradicts God's Will. Not all of these "debaters" are atheist. These people defend and attack your claims with good intentions in their hearts. They wish to reopen your mind, back into the loving world following the same path that Jesus Christ has laid out for you. Not all of them are not making claims in defiance of God or religion. The hostility stems from the disgust your ignorance, hate, and intolerance in the face of such widely accepted and fact-based beliefs that fir snugly within their own views of humanity, faith, and science. 

I did not understand the magnitude of evil in Fundamentalism until today. I will pray every morning, afternoon, and night for you and other fanatics in the world. I can only hope that through the grace and divine wisdom of the Lord and Christ that your children will be able to see the beauty and truth that honest, personal faith provides in a world so dark. You must accept Christ's teachings. You must relearn the way to love, tolerance, and understanding. If you do not, you will spend an eternity in Hell. You seem to love your own beliefs of creation more than your beliefs of Christ and the Lord. I pray that one day you will discover the real truth: We are all God's children (regardless of actions/faiths); though others may abandon the path to salvation, this does not give you the right to condemn them. It is Christ's teaching that opens the true way to God's Love. Do not restrict yourselves or your children in order to prove a point that you have likely been misguided into believing. 

God Bless You, and by His mercy may you seek redemption,

Fr Jason A. F. B. Ph.D.

Lita Sanders responds:

Dear Dr B.,

Before I get to the substance of your criticism of the site, I feel I have to address the tone of your message. You say that ‘personal attacks are un-Christian’, and I agree. So why was your message chock-full of them? You accuse us of ignorance, bigotry, hate, corruption, abuse (including to our children), being close-minded and angry, being a mockery to Christianity, Jesus’ own teachings, and being offensive to God, contradicting God’s wishes. More seriously, you accuse us of borderline heresy, idolatry, contempt for Christ’s teachings, persecuting others… and that’s only halfway through your message! This is not a Christian way to communicate, and more pragmatically, it’s not a very productive way to start a dialogue. I have to say, that we don’t often get such vitriolic emails from atheists, let alone professing Christians. That said, I’ll try to look past the venomous insults that fill your message, and to address the substance of your message. Even though you raise many straw man arguments against us like accusing us of hating any opposition. That is most certainly something we don’t do. We tried to provide information to show people their fallen state and how God made a way for them to be reconciled back to Him.

I believe our central point of disagreement is about the nature of the Old Testament. You say that the Old Testament was ‘the best of the worst’, and that in those times, people supplemented folklore and guesses to explain things of which they were ignorant. But that completely contradicts the New Testament’s view of the Old Testament—and you did say that as Christians we have an obligation to the New Testament. So what about when Peter says, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by that Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20–21). What about when the author of Hebrews says, “God… spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways” (Hebrews 1:1). How can you claim to love the New Testament while dishonoring the Old Testament which is the foundation for literally every doctrine in the New Testament? And see this chart of Bible cross references—the blue are to the Old Testament, and the red are to the New Testament. Tell me how to untangle them, and I’ll listen to your argument about how we should respect the New Testament in isolation to the Old. But it’s impossible.

Bible-cross-references

Moreover, please read this article Genesis in the New Testament. It charts over 100 references to the book of Genesis by the New Testament authors. Please tell me how you can divorce our New Testament Christian doctrine from the history in the Bible that the authors are referring to.

I believe that Jesus is no less than the Creator who became flesh and died so that we could be saved from the effects of Adam’s sin. So I believe that when Jesus says something about creation, that’s important, that’s authoritative, and it certainly overrides what a certain interpretation of science might say today. By the way, you keep mentioning ‘science vs creationism’ like they’re opposed to each other, and you even denigrate the Ph.D.s of our scientists. Given they earned their Ph.D.s at secular universities you will then need to have similar disregard for the Ph.D.s of the secular evolutionists, surely, or even your own claimed doctorate perhaps.

It is clear you have read very little on our site about what creationists actually believe. See ‘It’s not science, for example. If you are not informed, as such, we can understand why you might be emotional when considering the creationist case. After all, like others, you have probably only been educated as to one side of the story, so an opposing view might appear radical. However, it is unfortunate when someone feels that they need to descend into vitriol to make their case. I think it reveals though that they don’t have a lot of information to support their case. Out of the 9,000 plus articles on this site, you never specifically critiqued anything—not a single article or its contents.

The Bible—the New Testament as surely as the Old—tells us about a God who transcends this universe, who created this universe and everything in it. He created the physical laws which normally operate in the universe, but Scripture tells us that He is free to intervene and perform actions we call miracles which are outside of these laws. This includes the miracles of creation over the first six days, the global Flood, parting the Red Sea, the virginal conception of Christ, turning water into wine, and raising Jesus from the dead. God created a perfect universe, but the first people, Adam and Eve, sinned, so death entered creation. God could have left us all to be separated from Him forever by our own sin, but He sent a rescue mission from Heaven—He loved us so much that He gave His Son so that we could be reconciled to Him. But the glorious thing is that the Son, Jesus, didn’t stay dead; He was raised and is now glorified at the right hand of the Father. And anyone who comes to God through belief in Jesus Christ can now be saved, and can be assured of spending an eternity with God in the Resurrection—on a restored Earth free from sin and death.

You say that “man cannot understand or comprehend Divinity”, and you’re absolutely right—but God has stooped down to our level, and while His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, He has revealed Himself to us through His Word, and through His Son. So we can know what He has revealed, because the whole purpose of revelation was so we could understand.

Your view of what it takes to be a Christian is most certainly not a biblical one. But then again, anyone can decide what is truth for themselves and call it whatever religion they like. Our knowledge of God, our fallen state and what is required for salvation is derived only from Scripture. It’s not a salad bar where one can pick and choose what one wants to believe. Our Saviour, the Lord Jesus most certainly believed in the Old Testament as real history. He affirmed a real Adam and Eve (The NT called Jesus the Last Adam), a global Flood, (which he paralleled with Second Coming), Jonah’s three days in the belly of a fish that He used to foretell the three days and night He remained dead before His resurrection. So, if you think Jesus is wrong about such things, then by any definition it would be hard to call oneself a Christian. Unless you have made up your own definition of what Christianity is, which it appears that you have indeed done.

Moreover, I wonder who you think your compromise with the secular religion of evolution will actually win over. If you watch this video, you will see that leading evolutionist Richard Dawkins calls those who want to add evolution to the Bible as ‘deluded’. So your compromise won’t win over evolutionists, because they easily understand that you don’t believe what you profess to believe.

By the way my colleagues and I don’t need to seek redemption, and suggesting that we aren’t saved is actually a serious charge. We are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 says “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Unless you have different criteria for salvation, of course.

I could write books about this, but there are lots of people who need to be answered, so I’ll stop there.

Sincerely,
Lita Sanders

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