(Continued from Part 1)
What follows is Part 2 of an email exchange between myself and Pastor XYZ.
From: Mr. G. (me)
Sent: Fri 9/17/10 5:01 PM
To: Pastor XYZ
The vast majority of Christians throughout history have concluded that the sin of Adam and Eve had something to do with sex. Many of those Christians were sincere and intelligent. Some were intellectual giants. Therefore, isn’t it reasonable to conclude that there are sound, legitimate reasons to hold that position? I realize that this interpretation is no longer in vogue. But I am not interested in what is in vogue. I am interested in what is true. Sadly, that does not seem to apply to you. This does not necessarily mean that my interpretation is correct. If I were absolutely 100 percent certain that I am totally right, I would not have attempted to engage in a meaningful dialogue with you or other pastors. At this juncture, intelligent discussion between us seems unlikely, though hopefully I am wrong. That said, I certainly have acquired enough of what I consider compelling evidence to fill several volumes; evidence that you conveniently wish to ignore, sweep under the rug, and/or misrepresent.
To quote you, “I have little hope of you hearing anything I would have to say for I believe your pride steers your faith.” Conversely, I feel like I am the one casting pearls before swine. You claim to be a mind reader. You claim I have no “desire to actually hear the truth,” because my pride supposedly steers my faith, not my desire to know truth. Therefore, I am the one who supposedly needs to “repent” of error. This naturally assumes that you are right and I am wrong. I admit that it is possible that you are right and I am wrong. Possible, but not likely. Of course, it is also possible that both of us are wrong. The difference between you and me seems to be that truth is important to me. All you seem to care about is what will keep you in your pastorate position, though, unlike you, I cannot use my psychic abilities to discern your motivations.
But here is the epitome of pride. You “know” that I am wrong, yet you constantly misrepresent my position. Anyone can erect a straw man, then shoot it down. This indicates to me that you don’t even understand my position, let alone the line of reasoning that led up to my position. Let me give you one of many perfect examples. Quoting you:
“In Genesis 3, the man represents a man. The woman represents a woman. The snake represents a snake. The garden represents a garden. And the fruit represents fruit. If you can’t even understand this simple explanation (that my three-year-old daughter understands) then talking back and forth would be brainless. Unless you say the fruit is fruit and not sexual activity, I will not correspond with you.”
Please allow me to respond. To my knowledge, at no time have I ever said or implied, either verbally or in my writing, that I do not believe that Adam was a real, literal man, or that Eve was not a real, literal woman, or that the Garden of Eden was not a real, literal garden. I do believe that Adam and Eve were real, literal people. I do believe that the Garden of Eden was a real, literal garden. Why you would think otherwise, I have no clue. The irony of this is, Pastor ABC read my first book cover to cover. He was very cordial, but not very helpful. His only criticism of my book that I can remember was that I “did” believe that Adam and Eve were real literal people and that the Garden of Eden “was” a real literal garden. He does not believe those things. Perhaps he too would not be welcome at your church because, to paraphrase you, talking back and forth with him would be brainless. I guess your definition of brainless activity is disagreeing with your opinions. I guess that means that, according to you, the vast majority of Christians throughout history who did believe that the forbidden fruit had something to do with a sexual transgression were therefore also brainless. I guess the many early Jews who believed that Eve had sex with the devil were also brainless. I guess the majority of Christians prior to Augustine who believed that Adam and Eve acquired reproductive powers as a result of their sin in Eden were also brainless. My definition of brainless is an unwillingness to think about and analyze information that is in conflict with the sacred cows of our cherished notions. Parroting is for parrots, not pastors.
Speaking of Augustine, I guess my comment about Augustine went completely over your head; you know, the one I made before I was escorted off the premises. This was my point. Augustine, considered by many today as the greatest theologian to ever live, believed that procreation was the only legitimate reason for sex. All pleasure derived from sex, even within marriage, was, according to Augustine, a sin. I certainly disagree with Augustine on this point and hopefully, so do you. But here is the point I was trying to make. Even if my position is totally wrong, and that is a huge if, I believe that Augustine’s position was much more sinister than mine. Would you also have Augustine escorted off the premises? The mention of Augustine is when you exploded and accused me of being “argumentative.” Ple-e-ase!
(continued in Part 3)