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Introducing the Gospel of Matthew. Part I: The Gospels are Jewish Books

5 September 2013: 8 Comments »

The Bible is the Christian Church’s sacred text. We read from it at every worship service in almost every Christian tradition. It is apparently a rather popular volume for every year since the invention of the printing press it has been the world’s best-selling book. It might well be, however, the world’s least understood and …

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Question & Answer

Patrick B. via the Internet writes:

Question:

Help! I am a Unity Minister of many years. I am married to a born-again Christian. Also, fundamentalists come to my Church where I teach positive Christianity. I need clear, precise, irrefutable answers to the ignorant claims of fundamentalists. It's crazy making to try and discuss faith, intelligent, loving, constructive positive Christianity with fundamentalists. They shut down quickly and don't hear long answers. Have you got any quick answers? Can you think of Bible references as authoritative sources? Here are some of the twisted mis-beliefs:

1. How do you suggest answering the “born-again “claims that other faiths are the anti-Christ?

2. The absurdity of the “spiritual warfare” in which we are here to eliminate Satan from infiltrating this world and establishing other faiths which are all “false prophet” faiths. Hence, we must guard against hearing other churches that call themselves Christian, but don’t believe the “born-again” message.

3. How would you simply address such close-minded, book-burning, ignorant pagan concepts teaching that fundamentalists claim are wholly biblical and are ready to die for and take you with them? Unless you believe exactly like “born-agains,” you are going to hell. What?

4. In short, using the Bible itself, how can we simply show that the “plan of salvation” is just religion gone too far? That the “born-agains” most treasured doctrinal points of fundamentals, their main bragging points, their absolute “words of God” are biblically ignorantly and literally false?

 

 

Answer:

Dear Patrick,

Thank you for your letter. I think you make a grave mistake when you think rational, brief, authoritative answers will sway a fundamentalist person. Fundamentalism grows out of fear and insecurity and can only be engaged when that fear level is lowered and the insecurity needs are calmed. That will never happen when you refer to their faith journey with such words as “ignorant claims” or “crazy making” and if you regard your own faith assertions as “intelligent, loving, constructive, positive Christianity.”

I do not think the people you seek to reach will respond positively when they hear themselves described as being “close-minded, book-burning and ignorant” and having pagan concepts. The Bible is not a weapon of warfare either for fundamentalists or for the critics of fundamentalists.

I have great admiration for Unity, but I perceive Unity as starting with a radical acceptance of where a person is (that is what I believe justification means) and then loving that person into being all that they can be (that is what I believe sanctification means).

Check with some of your fellow Unity ministers. I think they can be more helpful to you than I can.

My best,

John Shelby Spong

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