Debate with a Pluralist

Below is an email discussion I had with my dear friend whom I’ll call “Conversant” who was an atheist a few years ago, but now is a self-avowed Pluralist. He wanted to debate politics…

Me
Don’t know if you were joking around last night, but debating politics is too much on the fringe of importance to risk bad emotions.

But I am interested to know, however: disregarding what the the skeptics say, and un-Christlike behavior of so-called Christians, why do you reject Jesus?

Conversant
I don’t reject Jesus. I believe that Jesus lived in a time of many men teaching different parables at that time. I believe that the Christian faith grew from that and used his teachings as a foundation to grow a religion in order to inspire or control (depending on your point of view if you follow this theory) the population at that time in history. What I do reject is the notion that if I don’t accept Jesus as my personal savior I (and all other persons on this earth who are non-believers or of another faith are damned to Hell).
As far as us debating politics and having ill feelings towards each other……I would hope that our friendship would trump that from ever happening. I enjoy our debates and find them a good exercise in voicing and reflecting on what I believe (something I rarely did when I was using and boozing). What I am learning to do is to respect all peoples faith and learn a little bit about them so that I may grow spiritually. What I feel inside is that life lived through the positivity of love and tolerance is an indescribable force and that when I operate in that manner I feel that I am on a good spiritual path.
Thanks for the question….and perhaps you would like to answer this. Does your belief in Jesus preclude any other faiths beliefs in your spiritual quiver.

Me
In short, yes. Because Jesus was not a mere man — he was God came down to Earth in human form.

A good man or teacher would not claim to be God unless it were true. Otherwise he was a maniac (how many people have been put in insane asylums claiming to be God – but Jesus was not – in fact time itself is divided by the (albeit miscalculated) date of his birth) or he was completely evil. There can be no middle ground.

I can find at least 5-10 places where He claimed to be God without even trying. That is why he was crucified.

Therefore, if God says the only way to heaven is through Him, He must know what he is talking about!

Admission to Heaven is not based upon being good. Otherwise Heaven would be completely devoid of humans.

Conversant
Well, I’m grateful we don’t live in another place or during another time period where we would feel compelled to kill each other.

Me

You didn’t get it, did you?
Sigh. Yeah, glad I don’t have to burn you at the stake… 🙂

Conversant
get what?

Me
Multiple choice…

Was Jesus:

  • A. Lunatic
  • B. Liar
  • C. Lord

Conversant
You forgot
D. None of the above

Me
None of the above is not possible. He could not be an ordinary man and claim to be God unless he was a liar or a lunatic.

He claimed to be God, and every time He claimed it, the Jews wanted him dead.

Below are just a few.

——–

Jesus said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am”. At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. John 8:58

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly… Jesus answered them, “I told you, and ye believed not… I and my Father are one…
Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. John 10:24-31

Jesus saith unto him… Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death. Matthew 26:64-66

——-

The apostle Paul confirms:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. Philippians 2:5-7

And the apostle John confirms:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14

Conversant
I don’t think that in this instance that you can change my belief by stating yours. I respect your interpretation of scripture as one of absolute truth. I do not share this belief. Therefore; while D. None of the above is impossible for you to consider, it is the choice for me.
Consider the existence of the color red. Consider your perception of the color red. Can you say with certainty that what your human brain has processed and is replicating in your image-sensory world….. that it is the same as another persons perception of the color red. Could you prove it?

Me

It’s not a subjective issue. Just because someone thinks the world is flat does not make it true.

You don’t have to believe the Bible is infallible. There is tons of historical, archaeological, and forensic evidence to back it up.

Have no fear. You don’t have to change your life, become “good”, start going to chuch, or anything except believe to get to heaven.

Conversant
I thought that if you want to get to heaven……..you got to raise a little hell.

Obviously end of discussion.
I pray at least a seed was planted.
I stand on the statement that God’s word will not return to Him void.

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