A Reader Asks

In response to my last post on the purpose of rational thought, a long-time reader asked this:

“Just curious. If you don’t believe we were created, thus saying you don’t believe in God or the Bible, then why bother trying to prove it means, what you want it to mean? Can’t you just say you are atheist and reject that the Bible came from GOD or that there even is a GOD for that matter? Why are you arguing what GOD meant if you don’t believe he even exists?”

First, Jason, it’s good to hear from you again.

I might be mistaken, but it sounds as if you think the Bible should only be read by true believers, or perhaps only studied by true believers.

Isaiah quotes God saying that his word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

I am sure you have confidence that God is able to accomplish his purposes as he wills. From your perspective, if God wills to harden my heart in unbelief, that is his prerogative.

I am but clay, an imperfect vessel. With my small mind, I cannot accept the picture of God presented by my tribe of origin, where I found no place and no welcome. So be it.

I care for my literal brother and sisters, who never left the tribe. Sometimes I write for them, in the language they understand, using the authority they acknowledge.

Paul wrote, All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

That’s one of the first verses I memorized as a kid.

I use the Scripture for its intended purpose, for teaching, rebuke, correction, and for training in righteousness.

It is true, my tiny pea-brain cannot accept the picture of God distributed by my tribe. If I am wrong, I trust that the God of the Universe will forgive my frailty and limitations.

To my knowledge, I have nothing but positive regard for the members of my former tribe. These are people for whom, you believe, Christ died.

Woe untome if I ignored the command of the canonical Jesus and did not do unto my former tribe members what I would have done for me.

My wish for my detractors and critics is this: the same sense of fulfillment that I desire for myself.

Why do I do this? It might be because of love, or loyalty, or a desire that they accomplish the good snd lofty goals described in the Bible.

I know that some people don’t want my input. That’s fine.

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
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2 Responses to A Reader Asks

  1. R.B. says:

    I enjoyed your response to the letter from a reader dated April 30th. You stated that you use the Scripture for teaching, rebuke, correction, and for training in righteousness. I believe that you should have gone one step further in response to the reader. Some of us study the Bible without being believers. Others of us are deep believers in God, but the Bible is not our book; and/or we do not believe it to have come from God, or to be inspired by God. The Bible and a belief in God do not always have to go hand in hand.


  2. Jason says:

    Thanks so much for your response Ron,
    Good to hear from you again as well. Evolution is so much harder for me to grasp than being created. Why would a rock even want become something so fragile as a human. It can live forever. And DNA is far more advanced coding language than we could even create. I can’t comprehend how it came together by accident and yet has authority and control of life. I appreciate your deep studies of the word although it seems like the purpose is to dis credit it rather than understand it yet you quote it as if you believe it is inspired by a God that you don’t believe in. I do respect Darwin and was taught evolution in school and nothing about the Bible or creation. I do believe that we were created to adapt and survive and yet be dependent so to understand that there is a God. Why would we evolve to become so needy. Why would we evolve to need oxygen and food, water, shelter, clothing, sex to reproduce, companionship, etc. why not just stay a rock and exist for millions of years without need.

    Liked by 1 person

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