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Doctrine in dialogue format
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
"I would be most happy to answer any question you would care to ask Mr Busybody. My life is an open book, if you'll excuse the pun."
"Yes indeedy Mrs Crookshank. You are a wealth of amusement. In your book you state that sin is a non-entity, that is it does not exist nor did it ever exist. That would seem to me to be a Buddhist and a Humanistic view of sin. Yet you seem to indicate in your introduction that you are a staunch Fundamentalist Christian. Could you please clarify for us your stance on the matter of sin Ms Crookshank?"
"Certainly Mr Busybody. You see Mr Busybody, although on the surface there appears to be a great gulf between the views of the Fundamentalist and the Buddhists, there really is very little, if indeed any at all when it comes to sin. The only variation is that the Fundamentalist believes in a single extra step, and that singular step is that one must be baptized to be free to sin as they will. Should the Buddhist add to their doctrine the ordinance of baptism, there would be even less of a difference. In fact I know of some Buddhists who have been baptized in the Christian church in their youth before converting to Buddhism, therefore they are considered sealed and can no longer be considered among the lost even though they denounced their faith and have indeed become a Buddhist or an Atheist. I recommend in my book that all Atheist, Buddhist and Humanist parent become baptized in a Christian church, and that they have their children baptized as soon as possible. Just as insurance you understand."
"I believe they call that fire insurance Ms Crookshank. I have heard several ministers and missionaries call for just such a baptism, that is, as fire insurance to save one from hell. It would seem that such is their only intention, that is to prevent individuals from burning rather than a call to actually serve God. And this, as I read it, is what you advocate in your book."
"Yes it is Mr Busybody. It is my contention that even the most dedicated of Atheist can be a highly respected Christian while at the same time remaining a non-believer. After all Mr Busybody, just listen to the sermons and read the books, or watch TV if you please. What do you find? You will be told the best ways to get from God what you want. You will be shown the right ways to pray, the right formulas for acquiring God's blessing, and the best Bible verses to concentrate on that commits God to do for us as He has promised. All this to fulfill one's desires without having to sacrifice in any way. And isn't that what anyone of any faith desires? to have their wants satisfied? Yes indeed Mr Busybody, everyone should become a Christian. It's the easiest and the most promising of any religion in regards to having one's desires met. And that without lifting a finger other than taking a bath once in your life."
"But Ms Crookshank, doesn't what you're saying fly in the face of the entire concept of the Bible? I mean, for instance in the Old Testament all those people who were destroyed by God Himself for not obeying His laws to the fullest? And the Apostles, and the early Christians, and even Jesus Himself, didn't they all have to suffer and fulfill God's Word to the letter? How then do you justify your concept of an easy Christianity in the Bible when even the New Testament is so filled with commands and very defined regulations? Didn't Jesus Himself say we must give up everything and follow Him even to the cross if we are to be saved? Please explain where you find your doctrine of an easy Christianity if you will Ms Crookshank."
"I must admit that the concept is well hidden in the Bible Mr Busybody, but it is there if you search for it. The Bible says to take a little from here and a little from there to make up a doctrine. I can't recall where it says that, but I've been told it does. I've often wanted to read the Bible, and some day I probably will. Anyway, that's the way the doctrine of an easy Christianity is found, you take a verse from here, and a half verse from there, and you've got it, an easy Christianity, and one that forces God to fulfill our will by casting His own promises in His face you might say. Of course trying to explain away the verses you've referred to can be quite a challenge, but I assure you sir, it can be done. I see it done all the time by the Christian preachers."
"What you've described Ms Crookshank, reminds me of the government tapes of the sixties where officials tried to splice pieces of audio tape together while cutting out the important parts in order to alter the content of the tape. Does this sound at all familiar to you Ms Crookshank?"
"Indeed it does Mr Busybody. And I'll have to keep your comparison in mind for the book I'm now working on."
"While you're considering such a move Ms Crookshank, you might also keep in mind that the tactic did not turn out all too well for those who tried it in the past. It would seem to me that such a concept as the one you advocate is a dangerous one to adopt Ms Crookshank. I mean, what about the need to believe? Isn't belief an important part of the Christian faith that keeps one from hell?"
"What is belief Mr Busybody? I believe that sugar is good for a diabetic. I believe that I could fly if I wanted to. The world is full of concepts teaching that if we believe something, and we state is as being a fact, that it is indeed a fact. Isn't this the same thing the churches are teaching? What is belief? Belief is just something we think to be so, whether it is or not. So belief has nothing to do with going to Heaven, avoiding hell, or being a Christian. Belief has been relegated to the bottom floor of doctrine, right along with the concept of sin and the punishment thereof. And this essentially is what my book is all about."
"I don't know Ms Crookshank, the idea that a Christian can also be a Humanist or a Buddhist seems to me to be quite a stretch. Quite a stretch indeed."
"Do you think so Mr Busybody? Consider this, there are long standing Protestant churches with a history of being standard bearers of the Christian faith who now teach Buddhism. And in fact, I know of some churches that teach Jesus and Buddha are incarnations of the same person. And if you further doubt the simplicity of the Gospel as it is taught and believed today, consider how some of the most fundamental and oldest churches now ordain women and even people who have a lifestyle that a few years ago would have not even been allowed to sit in the congregation. I dare say that you are more likely to find Buddhists and Hindus with a higher moral standard than you will a Christian. No, Mr Busybody, sin is a non entity today, especially in the Christian church."
9Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. (Isaiah 28:)
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:)
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