Expert Answer Forum
My Life QUESTION from Bradien O'Conneill July 21, 2000 Greetings,
I am a Mystic Atheist. I have studied most forms of religon and still study them to this day. I will admit that christianity is a good religon. Why else would so many poeple follow it. I am not here to badmouth the catholic church. I am here to ask a simple question. Why can we not all just live and let live? Both sides in this so called war can live together peacefully. If we were only willing to accept one another. I am proud of my beliefs and nothing could make me change my ways. I also do not want you to change your beliefs becuase of me. I merely wish for all of us to come together in friendship and be able to call each other brother. Becuase when all is said and done no one knows for sure if their beliefs are right. No one can give any hard cold evidence. I am willing to start by extending my hand of friendship to you. All you must do is accept it. Let this hatred we have for one another die. It does nothing but hold us back. Now I will poudly admit yes I use magick. I use divination. I dream dreams of the future. I have seen my past lives. I have fought true evil in these past lives. I am not ashamed of this. I wear it like a badge of honor becuase my heart tells me it is not evil but it is natural. Now I ask can we start here and begin to become friends rather than enemies? I am willing to discuss this with anyone and will give you my e-mail address becuase I am not afriad to answer any question. All I ask is that you use the same respect when talking to me that I have come to you with.
For Life Bradien O'Conneill a.k.a Knight of the Olde Code
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on September 17, 2000 Dear Mr. O'Conneill:
I appreciate your desire to not bash the Catholic Church. That is to your credit.
But you do seem to be confused. The Catholic Church does not hate you and there is no war with you.
The Catholic Church teaches that we are to love all persons, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, etc. We are to love everyone -- even our enemies.
But the fact that we are to love the person does not mean that we are to love the ideas, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors, or actions of that person.
The old cliche, Love the person, hate the sin is appropriate. We can love the sinner but hate his sin. We can love the person and at the same time denounce the errors of that person's thinking and beliefs.
Why can we not all just live and let live?
Because God has called us to TRUTH. TRUTH will not just live and let live. TRUTH by definition and its nature DEMANDS allegiance. Thus, those who will not accept the Truth will find themselves at odds with those who do accept the Truth.
Jesus Himself said, I did not come to bring peace, but division. Then he goes on to illustrate that because of Him, that is, because of TRUTH, we may find that some husbands and wives may split, brothers and sisters may become enemies. Why? Because one is willing to accept the TRUTH and the other isn't.
Love rejoices in TRUTH, not error. This TRUTH and LOVE cannot coexist with error.
While we might be friendly with one another, on one level we cannot be friends because your worldview and beliefs are in error and contrary to the Truth, and my worldview and beliefs are in concert with the Truth. We have nothing in common with which to form a friendship. But, that doesn't mean we can't be friendly and respectful toward one another.
You are not my brother in spirit. You are a brother human begin, but you are not a brother spiritually since you have rejected the One True God. Nevertheless there can be a measure of respect
But respect does not mean ignoring facts. I can respect you and still tell you that you are wrong in your beliefs. True Respect values truth.
And respect only goes so far. I respect the fact that you are sincerely trying to understand the cosmos. I can respect that within your belief system there are grains of truth, but there are some things that cannot be respected.
For example, the Aztecs. Again we can respect their desire to know and understand God, we can respect their sincere efforts to be a godly people, we can respect the grains of truth that might be found here and there in their belief system, but we cannot respect the wholesale slaughter of human beings in human sacrifice that they did. So respect only goes so far.
You state, Because when all is said and done no one knows for sure if their beliefs are right. No one can give any hard cold evidence.
Wrong. We can know who is right and who is wrong. We can and do know that Christianity is the revelation of the ONE TRUE GOD. There is more evidence to prove Christianity than there is to say that the chair you sat in when you sat at your computer would hold you up.
If takes less faith to believe in Jesus than it does to believe that your chair would hold you up when you sat on it.
I am always amazed by this silly proof thing. We NEVER apply the strict levels of proof that we do to religion on ANY OTHER SUBJECT on the planet.
Even Science does not require hard cold evidence. Science is not about ABSOLUTE proof, it is about probabilities. Even gravity is not ABSOLUTELY proven. Gravity is proven by probabilities of truth, not absolute conclusions.
You DO NOT KNOW that your chair was going to hold you up when you sat on it. You HAD FAITH that it would, a REASONABLE FAITH that it would since it held you up yesterday. But you did not KNOW that it would until you actually sat in it.
Why did you not scientifically investigate the theory that the chair will hold you up before you sat on it? Why do you not perform those experiments every time you are about to sit on the chair? Why? because that level of cold hard evidence, of ABSOLUTE certainly is not required for you to reasonable presume that the chair would hold you up when you sit on it.
Now why apply such unreasonable levels of proof on religion when such strict levels are not applied ANYWHERE else in science, phenomenology, or philosophy? Why?
The answer to that is clear. If we were to apply the same levels of proof that we do in a court of law or to a scientific theory to religion, we could have the luxury of having our own little opinions about spirituality.
The fact is that if reason is applied to religion in the very same ways that it is applied to science or philosophy, then the person exercising that reason would convert to Christianity and more specifically, convert to the Catholic Church. God forbid that happening :-)
So we must hypocritically apply a level of scrutiny and proof that is unreasonable and not applied ANYWHERE else in the universe except to Religion. That gives us the excuses to form our petty little opinions and to think that truth is relative or whatnot.
I am reminded of the lawyer in England who wanted to prove that the Resurrection of Jesus was a fraud. He took all evidence there was on the resurrection from the Bible and outside of the Bible. He applied all that evidence to the SAME criteria as evidence presented to a criminal court of law.
He is now a Christian.
You state: Now I will poudly admit yes I use magick. I use divination. I dream dreams of the future. I have seen my past lives.'
I am sorry, but divination is a activity of the devil, and past lives do not exist. That is a demonic delusion.
And I am sorry again, but I will not publish your email address as you want me too. I have a responsibility before God to not lead people astray. I cannot point people to your direction because someone may be open to your errors and weak in the faith and end up leaving God to accept enemies lies. I cannot allow that.
We can be friendly to each other, but only on God's terms. And God's terms are the terms of Righteousness and TRUTH. We cannot compromise truth for the sake of friendship. Jesus didn't. Jesus allowed friends to leave Him. He refused to compromise despite the fact that friends abandoned him for it.
I pray that you will be enlightened to the truth of the ONE TRUE GOD, and the ONE TRUE CHURCH, someday.
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