Saturday, March 26, 2005

Martin Sheen crusades for seals

Further to the letter I wrote to Geoff Regan, I went searching for a video on the seal hunt. Well, I found it, and then I had to work up the courage to watch it.

Now that I have, I think I'll send it along to Mr. Regan, as well.

If you want to watch it, here it is:


Blogger Vic3 said...

Andrew, thanks for your thoughtful post, and for answering my question to you.

It am sorry that the sins of other men, and the religion of Catholicism, have caused you to lose your faith. Though I am surprised that you could be biased by the wrongs done by others. That men have committed sin in the name of God is a fact. That has been going on since men recorded history. In the Old Testament, Jeremiah wrote (Jeremiah 5:31), "The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?" Their sin was in accordance with their own will and against God's will. Men have committed even more sin in their own name. Jeremiah also wrote (Jeremiah 2:28) "But where are your gods Which you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you In the time of your trouble; For according to the number of your cities Are your gods, O Judah."

Andrew, you live what Socrates called "an examined life." Without following Jesus, I can see that you are doing as well as anyone could at living a good life (not that you need my approval). It all seems to work okay until you run into an evil person. Ask them how they decide the difference between right and wrong. Regardless of how selfish and uncaring their ethics are, when their rules are different than yours, you have no basis at all for saying that their ethics are "not appropriate." What gives you the right to say that your personally defined ethics are any better than their personally defined ethics? Why is "contributing to the least amount of suffering" any better than "looking out for number one?" The only absolute objective standard for morality is that set by God and demonstrated by Jesus Christ. I won't even go into the part about dying and having to explain to Jesus why you didn't obey Him, and then the part about spending the rest of eternity in Hell. If you have decided that God does not exist, then there is certainly no reason to believe that Satan exists.

You wrote, "Have you ever read this Zen saying: "Great Doubt: great awakening. Little Doubt: little awakening. No Doubt: no awakening"?"

Christians who understand their faith have always questioned and always sought the truth. One of the greatest stories in the Bible is that of "Doubting Thomas." John 20:25 "So the other disciples were saying to him [Thomas], "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

Matthew Henry, wrote in his commentary on Thomas, "But some [disciples] doubted, some of those that were then present. Note, Even among those that worship there are some that doubt. The faith of those that are sincere, may yet be very weak and wavering. They doubted, "edistasan" - they hung in suspense, as the scales of the balance, when it is hard to say which preponderates. These doubts were afterward removed, and their faith grew up to a full assurance, and it tended much to the honour of Christ, that the disciples doubted before they believed; so that they cannot be said to be credulous, and willing to be imposed upon; for they first questioned, and proved all things, and then held fast that which was true, and which they found to be so."

Doubt resolved, increases faith and understanding. The Bible teaches us to seek wisdom and knowledge. We must not close our minds.
--Proverbs 15:14 "The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge, But the mouth of fools feeds on folly."
--Proverbs 12:15 "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel."
--Romans 1:21 "For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools."

Andrew, when you rejected your Catholic upbringing, I am afraid you threw the baby out with the bath water. Catholic religious practice is full of man-made ritual and tradition that has no support in the Bible. The Bible itself has been handed down accurately from ancient times. We have texts that predate Christ by hundreds of years. It is not an oral history, as you mentioned. But that is for another discussion.

You asked me, "So, my question to you is, have you ever challenged your religion? Have you ever considered that maybe, just maybe, god doesn't exist? And that maybe he was just a creation of the frightened mind, of one who had questions and was too afraid that there might not be answers?"

Short answer: yes. I was not born a Christian (nobody is, by the way). When I was 21 years old I decided that God existed and that Jesus was His Son who died for my sins and that I should accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I came by my faith after much searching, through much doubt. What really kept me from accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior was my pride. Every Christian I know struggles with pride and doubt. What sustains us is our personal experiences, the inspiration of scripture, and the Holy Spirit. If Christianity didn't "work," I would walk away. If it was a lie, it COULD NOT work. But it does work, and that proves that the scriptures are true, that Jesus IS alive. I have seen what He has done for me.

My prayer for you is that you will examine your own pride and allow yourself to reexamine the place of God in your life. Jesus loves you and wants you to come back.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Vic3 said...

Andrew, you can see my response on my blog under your comments.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Vic3 said...

Andrew, just so you know...I am not trying to change your mind, nor will I try to have the last word. I am happy to give that to you. So if you choose to respond again, unless you ask me to reply I will probably just let it be. It's pretty clear that we are on opposite sides of some of these issues and aren't likely to budge. That said....

You seem to consistently blame God when you see men doing bad things. God gave us free will. When men do bad things, especially men who call themselves Christians, that is evidence or OUR sinful nature and inability to be obedient to God. If God were to remove our free will and force us to be good, then we would not be human. He could have placed robots on earth, but then we would not have been created in His image.

Endangering the planet through unwise use of resources, disregard for the next generation or for that smaller town downstream, cruelty to animals...these are all just symptoms of man's sin. Selfishness is a primary trait of fallen man.

Regarding man's use of animals: I am 100% against unnecessary pain. There is no excuse for abusive treatment of animals...even animals that we raise for food. There is nothing a rancher could say to convince me that abusing animals is necessary. There is also nothing you can say that can convince me that we do not have the right to eat animals. Sorry.

If you are against abortion, I applaud that position.

You are a thoughtful person, but the fact that your values emanate from a different source than mine means that our very foundations are different, and so we will never agree on some basic issues. On the other hand, I totally support taking care of the planet. I do want my descendants to have a place to live.

8:04 PM  

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