Stuart Kirkley responds:
Sorry, I don't have time to give a full response to your query. You
have forwarded some very important questions and observations which I
would like to take the time to answer carefully, but I just don't
have the time right now.
I would only ask that you consider the inference made by the
following scriptures (although I don't have my Bible handy, so they
might be somewhat incorrect.):
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty, through
God, to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations,
and every high thing that exalteth itself over the Lord.
I know that's not quite right, but again, like the Ephesians verse,
it seems to indicate that the true battle is not against any
corporeal entity, but with 'imaginations', or mental assasins.
OK, sorry, I have too much more pressing business to attend to.
On Mon, 29 Jul 2002 22:31:50 Vernon Jenkins wrote: >Stuart, > >To respond to a few of the matters raised: > >1) God is indeed sovereign. The Book of Job makes that abundantly >clear. But it also >reveals Satan as a real person of potentially awesome power - power >to be exercised >only within the constraints imposed by God. He therefore appears as >a petitioner >(Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7) and is allowed to do Job harm. This ultimately results in >bringing great glory to God - surely the true purpose of the whole >episode. Satan's >natural aversion to those created in God's image is here channelled >to accomplish >something significant in the divine plan. > >I have heard it said that Satan functions as God's 'sheepdog'. Job's >experiences >appear to confim this view. > >2) If, as you say, God does not lead us into temptation, what is the >point in our >praying, 'and lead us not into temptation'? Surely, He has the ability (and >sometimes, sound reasons) for doing just that. > >3) Wouldn't you agree that the Lord speaks to, or of, Satan as a >person? eg Mt.4:10, >12:26, etc. > >4) You say (paragraph 3), "... to ascribe reality to evil in any >form, is exactly >what evil wants us to do ...". But whose 'evil' are you referring >to here? Are you >not admitting the person of Satan when you think or say this kind of thing? > >5) The 'principalities and powers' of Ephesians 6:12 may be without >substance - >which is not to say, surely, that they don't exist as spiritual >entities of great >power - working within the constraints imposed by God. If you >believe in angels, you >must surely believe in 'fallen' angels - the principalities and >powers and their >minions. > >6) In your penultimate paragraph you appear to maintain that God's creation >(presumably meaning ourselves and all we see around us) is >_currently_ very good. >Surely, the Bible tells us that this was once true - but no longer. >Your claim >flies in the face of common experience. If what you claim is correct >then what of >the actual state of the world? - and why the need for Incarnation, Cross and >Resurrection? > >Sincerely, > >Vernon > > >Stuart Kirkley responds: > >Well, sir, I could just as forcefully argue that the 'wiles' of the >devil are actually to try and get us to believe in personified evil, >and to regard Satan as an entity, and to also regard God as a person, >and to further believe that these are two opposing powers which are >eternally at war with each other. How can that be if God is >omnipotent? If you allow that God is omnipotent, then how can an >opposing power ever exist. If you truly understand what omnipotence >is then how can you allow that there can be an opposing power to God >ever. It is only temptation which holds up the illusion of an >opposing power to our minds. This temptation is the carnal mind >beckoning to us to believe in personified evil and in mortality with >all it's attendant pleasures and pains, sin, disease and death. This >is nothing more than an erroneous mental suggestion which can be >rendered null and void by upholding the first commandment and >declaring the truth: that God is indeed omnipotent, and t! >hat > His kingdom is the (only) power, and the (only) glory, forever, and >to know that God does not lead us into temptation, but delivers us >from evil. (Yes, that is part of the Lord's prayer). > >To think that there is personified evil and an actual entity called >Satan is theological superstition which stems from a misinterpretaion >of the scriptures. Jesus proved Satan to be powerless, he opposed >evil and defeated it in all it's guises of sin, disease and death. >The BIble declares that the last enemy to be defeated will be death. >Did not Jesus triumphantly demonstrate his dominion over this 'last >enemy'. Jesus said 'I am the way, the truth, and the life' He proved >that this way, or Christ, is the truth, which, when faithfully >declared, rebukes the temptation of the devil, or appearance of evil, >in all it's myriad guises. The BIble further clarifies this erroneous >suggestion to be the carnal mind, or carnal mindedness. This carnal >mind is a bald imposition on our God given dominion over all the >earth, and everything of it. All we need to do to defeat this >supposed 'carnal mind' is to faithfully declare the truth ourselves, >the truth of our own God given dominion,! > an >d rebuke the offensive lie of mortality, and claim our God given >heritage as the sons and daughters of God, as Jesus did, as joint >heirs with CHrist. > >Again, to ascribe reality to evil in any form, is exactly what evil >wants us to do, to make a reality of it, and especially to personify >it. IF you believe that Osama bin Laden is truly an evil man, then >aren't you breaking the very commandments which Christianity is based >on, to love our enemies, and to learn how to forgive. As soon as you >personify evil, it is very difficult to forgive. But if you >de-personify evil, this better allows us to achieve forgiveness. IF >we know that the misdeed, no matter how abhorrent, stems from the >mesmerism of the carnal mind, which is not person, but merely >erroneous mental suggestion, then we can rebuke the error with the >truth of God's true creation, where everything is seen by Him as >being very good, and we de-personify the evil and find we are able to >forgive, and indeed that we are also forgiven. Did not Jesus say that >this was the penultimate of grace, to forgive others at all times. > >You mention Ephesians 6:12. It is crucially important to this >argument to note that the verse begins with the phrase, 'For we >wrestle not against flesh and blood' . Is this not a clear indication >that the war is not against anything of actual substance, and that >the 'principalities, powers, the rulers of darkness, and spiritual >wickedness' are without any real substance, but are mental >suggestions. Evil can only start as a mental suggestion, or >temptation, the lure of the carnal mind. If Osama, or Hitler, etc. >had been rightly guided, would they have done their terrible deeds. >But they weren't, they listened to the lies of hatred and malice, and >became fixated, or mesmerised, by these mental assasins, and allowed >themselves to be governed by them, instead of by good, which is the >way, the truth and the life, or the kingdom of God. > >Evil acts stem only from acting on the impulses of the carnal mind. >There is no evil entity which plays with our livesand wars against >God's righteous kingdom. Recognising that evil has no power, or that >Satan is not any entity, is truly liberating for the mind and the >soul. Seeing that evil is nothing more than an erroneous mental >suggestion, which can be rebuked by the truth, brings all the power >of truth to bear on the situation, and no lie can withstand the >faithful application of the truth. This is demonstrable at any time, >for the truth is always readily available. Did not our master say >that 'ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free'. >Personified evil is not the truth, it is a lie, and the father of it, >and the sooner you rebuke the lie with the truth of God's ever >present and wholly good creation, as founded in Genesis 1, then the >sooner you will experience that freedom which Jesus spoke of, and >discover the 'peace which passeth all understanding. Th! >is >is the benefit of forgiveness which Jesus refers to in Matt 6:14, 15. >YOu will never be able to forgive as long as you believe in >personified evil. This is the entire thrust of the sermon on the >mount. It is always good to read that blessed sermon and be refreshed >with the understanding of meekness before our Lord, the God of Truth >and Love. > >YOu warn against thinking that Satan is not a personal entity. You >probaly believe that my position is a position of being gullible and >slackminded. NOthing could be further than the truth. It is even more >important that Christians, and all right thinking individuals, >realise the error of believing in personified evil. This is a >dangerous mesmeric suggestion which leads us away from the truth of >being, the truth wherein God sees all HIs creation, and it is very >good. Remember that this is GOd's kingdom, and in it He sees all, >for HE is omniscient, and omnipresent. THe BIble declares that He is >of purer eyes than to behold evil. GOd sees all his creation, and >behold, it is very good. WHat is it you are seeing? Are you seeing >GOd's creation, are you allowing God's creation to be seen. IT is >ever present, and eternal, and real, and there is nothing evil or >corrupt in it at all. THis is what the spiritual understanding of >Revelation reveals, where all evil is cast out of hea! >ven >, or the consciousness of eternal harmony, and the rule of GOd reigns >supreme and eternal, from Alpha to Omega. There is no evil there and >all tears are wiped away. THis is a present possibility, not some >mystical supernatural event.THe way to achieve this state of harmony >is to follow CHrist, or Truth, and to uphold the commandments, >beginning with the first, in which we have no other Gods before me >(Truth), especially the idea of anything evil in His creation. If you >believe in a personal devil, then you are making an idol, or another >god, which is clearly a violation of this first, and most important, >commandment. > >I know that this may be a bit of a leap from traditional scholastic >theology, and I could expound upon this a great deal further, but I >will allow you to try to refute my argument first. My argument is >not with you, but with what I perceive to be an erroneous >interpretation of scripture, which has hindered the true, practical >application of scriptural truths for centuries. IT is the crux of the >debate of the nature of good and evil, and it will not stand the test >of scientific inquiry. For me, this issue is crucial to an >enlightened understanding of Christianity and of reality itself, so >if you want to have a constructive and objective debate about this, I >am more than glad to engage you. > >Sincerely, >Stuart Kirkley > >On Fri, 26 Jul 2002 15:29:18 > Vernon Jenkins wrote: >>Stuart, >> >> > >
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