[Vision2020] Religious Diversity Education

Luke lukenieuwsma@softhome.net
Tue, 22 Jul 2003 16:51:24 -0700

Hello, Mr. Moffett, et omni:

> Ted answers:
>  Yet many fundamentalist Christians insist that the
> commandment against killing is really only meant for those cold blooded
> murderers who kill senselessly, it is a commandment against "murder," but
> you kill to punish or gain righteous compensation for a hideous crime
> forget for a moment that flawed and limited human mind which has sent many
> to death row, death row inmates who were later released from prison by the
> dozens after they were shown to be innocent), you have God's blessing.
> You will dodge this very real and controversial division within
> about the death penalty, which demonstrates with startling clarity the
> relativistic and flawed interpretations of the Bible which Christian's
> over: both interpretations cannot be right, can they?  So there are
> of Christians who are wrongly interpreting the Bible on the issue, either
> the whole Catholic Church, or other groups of Christians who number in the
> millions who believe staunchly in the death penalty.

I do believe in the death penalty, and I don't dodge the fact that there is
controversy over this topic throughout our nation. But the death penalty is
a side issue; we would not need it if the ten commandments were followed
from the beginning. It is not the law of God that leads to confusion; it is
man's sinfulness, and in many cases his refusal to follow God's law that
bring about the controversies.
(To briefly address the issue, OT law lays clear principles that Christ
upheld in His ministry, and though not all OT laws carry through today,
those principles behind them still do. And one of them is that if you take
something unlawfully, the same will be required of you. And if I killed your
wife, or your mother, you would very quickly become a proponent of the
D penalty, regardless of prior beliefs.)

    I will agree that man by himself cannot obey God's law. That's why He
sends the saints the Holy Spirit. There still is debate and argument, but a
disagreement over the death penalty is not going to put you in hell. Denying
it does not amount to heresy; you can believe the basic
gospel and still be wrong about a side issue. I know that there are many
areas of secondary doctrine that I don't fully understand, but the basic
gospel is clear, and so are the 10 commandments. Don't get flustered over
the death penalty; rather, simply don't murder.

    To boil down the rest of your arguments, it seems quite clear that you
are an empiricist, and you don't believe in anything that you cannot prove
under the microscope. That doesn't sound very tolerant to me, Mr. Moffet.
    There are many things which we know exist that you cannot get a
scientific handle on. Life, for one. When an organism is alive, there is
energy intake and energy output, but when it dies, for some reason all that
stops. Why? What is it that keeps you alive? Science cannot answer that
    Where does love come from? You cannot chemically analyze kindness; you
cannot dissect rudeness and attribute it to certain nerves in your body. Or
what about music? Here you have an ordered structure of things vibrating.
Things buzzing. Scientifically, empirically, music shouldn't exist. Simple
sound waves somehow fit into a coherent framework from horsehair rubbing on
strings, and you get Bach. Things smash into each other in some strange
consistency called rhythm, and out comes CCR. Why? Science alone cannot
explain any of these things.
    My point in all this is somewhat obscure, so let me clarify.
Empiricism goes nowhere. Science proves nothing, it only gives evidence.
Humans have to make the conclusions, and these conclusions are based on the
supposedly flawed and imperfect minds you keep claiming we have. And even
then, science and empirical evidence cannot conceive many things.
    And science cannot give us the answer to morality, for science is
constantly changing. Old theories are ever being replaced by the new. If you
try to base your religion on the words and claims of the scientists, you're
building a house without a foundation.
    Christiants have a solid foundation, God's word. At the heart of it, the
10 commandments. And though you might point to semi-relevant rabbit trails,
the confusion isn't over the 10 Words, but over particular applications.
attempt to confuse them and replace them with empiricism has failed, I am

Sincerely and respectfully,
Luke Nieuwsma