Answering Any Objection/Inquiry
Why is it true? Why I believe it? How is it better?
A Personal Explanation
There some people who object to my beliefs, which are common to anyone, but some inquire my motive. What do you hope to learn from me? Why is this belief of mine true? Why am I a Christian if I don’t affirm biblical inerrancy or eternal hell? I think such inquiries are from a mindset that has never progressed beyond what has been taught to them. The issue with mainstream Christianity is that they are based on presuppositions that aren’t true. Many Christians don’t prioritize their relationship with God these days. I hope to provide a satisfying response to these objections and inquiries. I know some are dishonest and hostile while others are genuine and friendly. I added a mix of possible inquiries and objections people throw at me. There is much to learn from both sides and now the journey begins!
“Why do you believe in Jesus if you reject biblical inerrancy? Why be a Christian if all shall be saved? Why reject biblical inerrancy as a Christian?”
The cause for believing in Jesus should not be limited to only the reliability of the Bible. There are countless of historical evidence for Jesus, and even agnostics and atheists acknowledge the existence of Jesus due to their historical studies. There are other irrefutable premises that justify the belief in a Christian God besides the testimony of the Bible. I mean, a grand majority of believers today (and in the past) don’t rely on the Bible to believe in Jesus, but on the preaching of the gospel. These strong premises for the faith are history, rational philosophy, and sacred experience. Yes, other religions can claim experience, yet they don’t fully understand them, nor are they edified by it. But unlike them, I have a consistent communion with Christ instead of a single experience of antiquity. Nevertheless, history and philosophy remain as strong pillars for the Christian faith. The main reason I believe in Jesus is due to powerful experiences of Him. I simply cannot deny these mystical experiences, so it proves Christianity to me.
The second inquiry is disturbing if a believer asked it. Why? Because the main reason for being a Christian shouldn’t be about hell (or some hellfire phobia). Many Christians are superficial in their faith because of hellfire phobia and biblical inerrancy. The purest reasons for being a Christian is to know God intimately, become like Christ, and finally, to restore the whole cosmos back to God through Christ. I see no reason to deny fellowship with Christ, or my identity with Him because He first loved me. I think it is wiser to know Christ than to be lost.
In response to the third inquiry, I consider biblical inerrancy to appeal to circular logic, which is the weakest foundation for faith. Biblical inerrancy inhibits training in moral discernment, and it leads to confusion and poor exegesis of the biblical text. (I mean some assume that the ‘word of God’ is a book and correlate the book to being Jesus himself unfortunately). I also find biblical inerrancy to intersect with malpractice and bibliolatry (i.e. worship of the Bible). I think such a doctrine was a mistake that lead to cessationism, which inhibits our dependence in the Spirit. I understand some hold it with good intentions, but the method itself is ineffective and detrimental. Dishonesty to the text plays a part in defense of this doctrine. Yes, there are conditional truths like Proverbs or Jesus’ sayings, but if two accounts like Samuel and Chronicles disagree, then you have to admit it. Don’t try to add an explanation to the text that itself doesn’t claim. Biblical inerrancy doesn’t enable us to know God personally without restraints, and it doesn’t plainly identify what God desires from humankind. The doctrine itself is an exaggeration at best and heresy at worst (you probably never thought anyone would say that). And by the way, the Bible has been mistranslated, badly formatted, and inputted with flawed manuscripts (e.g. Hebrew Masoretic). So the belief in inerrancy at this point seems irrational or delusional when brought to genuine evidence. Also, God never promised us an infallible book but His Spirit.
“If you don’t believe the Bible is inerrant, then you will be misled or doubt Jesus all together. You cannot be a Christian without inerrancy! How can one distinguish truth from error without appealing to biblical inerrancy?”
This claim is absurd given the fact that some Christians, who found the Bible at fault while being told it’s inerrant, have lost their faith altogether due to dishonesty. This is because their faith wasn’t substantial or genuine when faced with said evidence. But of course, those who remain in belief of Jesus, might persist due to wrong motives. In other words, just because someone stays as a Christian, doesn’t mean they truly uphold the faith. And there are thousands of streams that believe the Bible to be inerrant, and yet they are more misled than those who walk by the Spirit in the wisdom of simplicity. Some promote polygamy or slavery because the Bible commands it. Some promote retributive justice rather than remedial justice because the Mosaic law commands it. Don’t make this claim that “without the Bible, you will be misled”. This is simply untrue in light of history and our present reality.
A Christian is more defined by orthopraxy (i.e. right practice) than orthodoxy (i.e. right belief). And anyone who is defined by the former often have the latter as the main cause for it. This is why I also say biblical inerrancy inhibits discernment because you assume everything in the text to be true theologically or historically. Even if the Bible were all true, you still account to finding the right interpretation. You are an arbiter of truth regardless. I discern the Bible by appealing to simplicity and practicality, because God isn’t going to command us to do things that are detrimental, or complicated for no good reason. There is a basic principle for everything; thus, there should be a theme or pattern to governing life. In a sense, Jesus and Paul made Christianity simplistic by stating love and faith. Love and faith share a common trait like right intimacy and practical welfare. So, when reading the text, apply these standards to it lest you be swayed by vain customs and powerless traditions. And read the biblical text in a manner that is worthy to His character; the aim is to discard any negative quality that defiles God’s moral character (e.g. Does God tempt men to sin?). Most Christians ask this third inquiry because they are unaware of so many competing voices in the Bible. This is evident in Job, Romans, Corinthians, and Samuel along with Chronicles.
“So if we aren’t led by the Bible, by what means are we led by the Spirit? Isn’t ‘Christ-consciousness’ bad since the New Age affirms it, so then why do you affirm it as a believer?”
This is concerning because the Bible serves as a means to an extent; however, the actual means are spiritual instead of material. To be honest, a Christian is governed by divine inspiration (not infallibility lest any man boasts apart from God), and this true inspiration is comprised of wisdom and revelation. So, we are led by the Spirit through sacred wisdom and self-attested revelations. The only way to truly know the will of God is not by the fundamental reading of the Bible, but by the Spirit. It is by His wisdom and revelations that equip the spiritual man into truth. Besides, the apostle Paul and the author of Wisdom affirm my analysis of this stated experience (Wisdom 9:16, 17; 1st Corinthians 2:13–16; Ephesians 1:17).
As for Christ-consciousness, I think it is irrational to deny such because the New Age twist such a truth to their detriment. The mind of Christ is encouraged in the Bible, so anyone who denies it are guilty of anti-biblical mindsets (Philippians 2:5). The mind of Christ empowers us with sacred wisdom and enlightenment to the Divine. God never intended us to be limited by the decrees of a book, but offers us an otherworldly power for our welfare and others. The mind of Christ should be encouraged by any Christian, especially those who claim to be biblical or orthodox.
“You might believe in apocatastasis and reject Penal Substitution because you are a progressive or it appeases your ego.”
This a claim of folly and ignorance since it neither understands where their doctrines originate, nor does it understand how logically flawed their view is. The notion of Penal Substitution is embarrassingly the worse theory that explains the Cross, and because it seems horrible to non-believers and Christians alike (rational I presume), it proves to be without merit of truth. It is simply incoherent with the proclamation of the gospel (i.e. “good news”). Also, Penal Substitution is nowhere plainly stated in the Bible; it is a gradual invention of man than some biblical affirmation. Penal Substitution by default opposes God’s practicality, self-sufficiency, and unconditional forgiveness. Just because God forgives sin, this doesn’t mean He withdraws His rod of justice or correction. No good parent forgives his child and rewards him without any remedial consequence; such discipline is necessary for the child’s maturity. The grand distinction of the believer from the lost is that they are more open to correction and mercy than the unsaved. The unsaved suffer from a state of sin and an ignorance of God’s friendship. In the fire, they don’t really know the love of God at its apparent form, but rather as being distorted or ambiguous. But honestly, eternal hell and PSA theory contradict with the biblical description of love, meaning these contradict with God’s redemptive nature. Eternal hell and PS atonement theory simply fail to capture the genuine love of God. And from mystical experience, God never affirmed either doctrine, but He challenged them (except I never believed in Penal Substitution). I embrace apocatastasis and my atonement theory, because they are more coherent to God’s redemptive nature and profit the mind much more. How can such doctrines that offer only detriment to the mind be from God? Correction is not detrimental, nor is consolation, but phobia or trauma are.
So no, I don’t affirm these views because they appease my ego, but rather they exceedingly transform my faith higher than before. Whoever asks such a question is blind to Christian history and settles with human nonsense. These two devilish doctrines only bring misery, insanity, and promote arrogance against the unsaved. None of such understand the purpose of God’s justice, but distort it to a human level or understanding. I don’t believe God would ever want us to settle for less if He really loved us. We trash ourselves, and yet we are made in the image of God. How could God deem us as totally depraved and totally perverse if we are made in the image of God, especially as believers? Self-pity and fear cannot come from humility or love. There is no fear in love, and humility sees itself as God’s benevolent work. TO SPEAK UGLY OF OURSELVES BY NATURE IS AN INSULT TO GOD’S DESIGN OF US! If Jesus only sees you as an ugly sinner, then He wouldn’t have died for you at all! These “Reformed” streams know nothing about God’s perception of us; they come from traditions that heavily misunderstand the just nature of God and the atonement of Jesus. The benefits of being an exclusive thinker is that you can think outside the box of nonsense and false dichotomies; you don’t have to conform to doctrines proposed by misguided men.
Final Personal Inquiry
“What led you to the faith in the first place? And what is the main cause for it? Was it from fear of hell?”
Honestly, my conversion was more so a growing journey than an instant assent. And knowing God’s voice as an agent of intimacy propelled me to the faith with devotion. Hell never seemed to propel me into devotion to God, except for the love of God. Instead, it was a strong eagerness to know God as a friend that produced a true and spiritual devotion. If someone knows the reality and intimacy of God, they are more inclined to be actual believers and effective converts rather than blind submission and a phobia of hellfire. I genuinely believe that intimacy with God is the best means for conversion, which is why Jesus promised it in John 17:3. Hellfire and verbal abuse doesn’t bear fruit, nor does it produce a selfless believer until they realize the love of God. There is so much more for Christians in God’s will than being law-abiding citizens who enter heaven as some paradise. Repent (or change your values in heart) in order to gain a new and better perspective of God. I hope these responses helped anyone.