TLA posed some questions concerning my last post I want to answer. With this disclaimer:
I can only answer these questions in my personal perspective. Others will have different opinions. Don't take my answers as dogma. They are only the way I look at things. I'm not speaking on any pastoral authority, or claiming my answers are inspired. They are just how I see things right now. I'd like to publish this generally for open comments from our readers. Here are the questions posed by TLA.
1) What about the other non-Christian religions? The followers can all follow the ways of peace and love if they choose, or follow them to hate - much like Christians have done. Does God only care about Christians?
There are many non-Christian religions - Hindu, Buddhism, Paganism, among scores of others. Many have believed in their dogmas and core doctrines as firmly as we believed in another Non-Christian religion - Armstrongism. (Yes, I know I just raised a ton of shackles with that statement, and I have my tomato shield up, but I have come to the conclusion that since Armstrongism ignores essential elements of Christianity, it is decidedly non-Christian. Even though it claims it is. Scripture says God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Therefore, I believe that God cares about everyone. He is willing that none should perish but have everlasting life. I also believe that God can work in ways outside of the box that mankind has encased God in. We know nothing compared to the vast knowledge outside of our universe and our realms. The best answer is very simple in my opinion, and ties in with my last post: God works with each and every individual personally, and God will lead them to all truth in the best way for that person. You can't constrain the way God does things in a general blueprint, because, honestly, many people are beyond the blueprint.
2) The origins of man in the Bible do not agree with DNA science - does this make Genesis into a telling of myths? If yes, does it matter?
Genesis, in my opinion, is allegory. In other words, written to primitive man in primitive dialogue. There are many fundamentalists who refuse to understand that God did not say how people came into being with college level text-books, but with a "See Jane run, run, Jane, run" method of speaking. This book was written far, far and away before anyone knew anything we know now. Since we have attained much increase in knowledge, many refuse to acknowledge our educated learning and throw it away to read a "Little Golden Book" and shut their minds to anything else. Genesis is simple allegory for what were, at the time, simple minds.
3) The NT is built on the OT. With the exception of NT prophecy, the NT builds on the positive ways of life and love written about in the OT.
The NT is built on Jesus Christ, not the OT. The OT pointed to Jesus Christ. The NT is about Jesus Christ. You cannot build an entire testament on a testament that has been cancelled. You can't add on to a contract if the first contract has been cancelled. That does not cancel the eternal Royal Law of Love that has always existed - but was not generally revealed - to the OT peoples steeped in wickedness and abominable evil.
4) NT writes that Christ's return will be unexpected - no one knows the day or hour. How then can we have a very precise three and a half year tribulation (Daniel) and a terrifying day of the Lord in Revelation with major warfare going on? Everyone with a Bible will know what is happening and there are probably over 100 million Bibles in existence.
Everyone with a Bible thought they knew what was happening with the Bubonic Plague, the Krakatoa Volcanic Explosion, the two World Wars, and every other historic extreme catastrophe that has happened since Jesus Christ came to reconcile man to the Father 2,000 years ago. Everyone who has ever thought they had the Return of Christ figured out has ended up on a massively long False Prophet list detailed in WIkipedia. When the next World War happens - the same thing will happen again. Remember Jesus said that when he returns, one will be in the field, one will be here, or there, and the other will be taken - and to stand watch, because He will come at a time when you know not. This does not seem to me to be an occurrence that can possibly happen in a World War - who would be in a field with nukes raining down everywhere? Who would be carrying on normal activities during the worst Armageddon in world history?
""Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left."
"Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left."
""So you, too, must keep watch! For you don't know what day your Lord is coming."
"Your Lord" is very personal.
"Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would keep watch and not permit his house to be broken into."
"You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected." (NLV)
For the one who was taken, Jesus had come.
For the one who was not taken, Jesus had NOT come.
Ponder on this.
5) If you are an atheist, have you some convincing examples on how life started and how the building blocks of life came about by random chance, when scientists don't yet have any way of creating them on purpose?
6) There are miracles in this world - how do you explain these without Watchers who are invisible to us, and have power to intervene?
You cannot. They can be attributed as mental illness, delusions, coincidences, and so on and so forth - but none of these are true to those (see, plural) who have experienced such interventions. I, personally, would not be here today if not due to dramatic and wholly supernatural intervention. These events had consolidated and solidified my faith because there was absolutely no other conceivable explanation. As I have always said - the evidence is PERSONAL, and cannot be proven unless you, yourself, have experienced it. This is why I believe miracles can, and do happen, regardless of what church or what situation you are in. There are higher realms that we know not, that our physical world has no evidence for, but our spiritual mind through Christ can comprehend. Those who hear these stories and have not experienced them may well regard them as foolish, illogical, and unreasoned. Those who experienced these things, however, know they are not delusions, not illogical, and not unreasoned. They are as real and as true as the air we breathe and the ground we walk on, and the gravity that holds us down. It is personal. Personal. and again, Personal.
Looking forward to the comments. Again. This is not inspired or dogmatic, and I'm not speaking in any way as if I have a full handle on these questions. These are simply my personal thoughts as I see them right now - subject to change. I'm not about to pull a Thiel or a Malm or a Weston on these answers, nor would I want to. I'm not standing at a podium here as I do when debunking Armstrong, I'm just sitting on the couch talking. Take my answers as such.