Get ready for a rare treat, dear reader. This time we bring you two letters-to-the-editor, each one from a preacher, and they appear in two different newspapers. We’ll give you only a few excerpts from each, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis.
The first appears in the Buffalo News of Buffalo, New York. It’s titled We need the spiritual dimension in our lives . There’s a comments section at the end. The letter-writer is Charles Lamb, described as “a retired minister [who] works part time as assistant to the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown.” Here we go!
Several recent writers to these columns have scoffed at the idea of God. They want to limit our understanding to physical, material, natural experiences. There is more to life than that. Life has not only the physical and intellectual components, but the spiritual as well. The spiritual is not subject to scientific analysis. The material and spiritual may overlap, but each has its own integrity. … Those who have had a spiritual experience can never prove it to others, but neither can they ever doubt it.
Good start, huh? The rev continues:
Someone asked me once to say in 25 words or less why I believed in God. I had many reasons, but in that limited space I said because I am a follower of Jesus. According to all independent accounts, he did not speak theoretically but authoritatively and told us about God. When I follow him he leads me to God. It works!
Hey — it works. Let’s read on:
A gay friend once told me that arguments would never change the minds of people who are homophobic. The only thing that would change them, he said, was meeting a gay person and learning that the person was good and moral and kind. Then he would have to re-think his prejudice.
By the same token, I hope the skeptics who believe only in what can be measured in a laboratory will meet someone from whom the light of God shines so clearly they have to believe.
A most unusual analogy! Here’s how the rev ends his letter:
At some point, actually at every point in life, we need the spiritual dimension in order to live to the full. May we live so that those who know us, but don’t know God, will come to know God because they know us.
Okay! Now for the second letter. It appears in the Elko Daily Free Press of Elko, Nevada. It’s titled Eternity Explained, and it was written by Rev. Gerald Hennighausen. There’s a comments section at the end. The rev says:
No one can attempt to come anywhere near understand the enormity of what Eternity is by just using our mortal intuitive reasoning’s [sic] gained from this temporal universe that we are living within; within is the correct wording. Just saying that we are here and now, in our seemingly endless universe, so therefore Eternity must be somewhere else; this thinking is simply one dimensionally foolish.
Right — eternity must be somewhere else. Here’s more:
Our universe is in fact contained within the fullness’s Eternity. This is as it has always been since Genesis 1:1. Everything that is, and everything that is not, are all contained within the greater no endings of Eternity. There is nothing that is not within Eternity which is without beginning, or ending, or borders, or divisions, and He was there and knew us when there was not.
You following this? Good, because it gets better:
Why have I stressed the word is? The reason is extraordinarily simple, for the definition of Eternity given by the dictionary is wrong. That erroneous definition is in fact not a definition at all, but merely a mortal description of the unfathomable truth that is Eternity. Descriptions are not definitions. The correct definition of Eternity, as given to me by God Himself, Eternity defined as “IS”, for Eternity has always been and shall always be. Said once again, there is no place that is or is not that is not within everlasting to everlasting Eternity.
The rev got that directly from God. Moving along:
It was into these vastnesses called Eternity that God allowed me to enter March 21, 2005 upon me [my?] earthly body’s death. That is where, when I first opened my eyes, I saw was this wonderful blackness with innumerable points of beautifully colored lights all about; that blackness was not in the slightest bit scary. Nor was I in any way concerned of my surroundings, I intuitively knew that I had been released from mortality; I so very much liked it.
Whoa! The rev died in 2005, yet here we are, reading his letter! Is this amazing, or what? After describing the hereafter, the rev says:
Science has most recently discovered that there are substances within our universe that cannot be seen or detected. But scientists know that these substances are there and for lack of a better name they simply call them dark matter and dark energy. …
So what is this stuff anyway; I submit to you that it is nothing less than then the original space time fabric and energy of Eternity itself that remains from the very Word spoken of God in Genesis 1:1. Dark matter and dark energy are nothing less than the very remnants of Eternity that remains in and holds everything here together; the invisible reality of God’s Word that caused this universe’s creation.
Wow — this is bigger than the cosmic background radiation from the Big Bang! The rev goes on like that for a few more paragraphs. You’ll probably want to read it for yourself. We’ll jump to the end of his fantastic letter:
Yes, I know our Universe is ever-expanding and that is to the glory of the Lord. Our picture example is of a static nature whereas the dark matter and dark energy of Eternity have the necessary elasticity that accounts for this ability of ever expansion of our finite universe within a limitless Eternity. This expansion shall not end until every last thing has been completed. Then comes the great white throne judgments where every sinner’s knee shall bend before our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now that was a great letter!
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