Dear Korean Dude 2
100,000 religious lunatic peasants trump Scripture!
My Dear Mr. Zender,
You persist in believing that your interpretation of Scripture
is the one that is correct. Supposedly, you interpret it
correctly, but all the giants of Christian history, save perhaps Origen
(denounced as a heretic by the Church anyway) get it wrong? Dubious,
Second, you have not dealt with the essence of my claim, which is that a
direct revelation from God trumps any individual’s
interpretation. You claim one thing, the orthodox interpreters say
another—but guess what!? The direct revelations from God all support
your opponents. Of course, the most impressive direct revelation from
God in all human history took place on October 13th, 1917, at Fatima,
Portugal, wherein between 70,000 to 100,000 people saw the miracle that
validated the nature of the apparitions of Mary, who consistently stated
that the punishments of hell are eternal. Of course, you avoided making
any statement about this subject, which I had broached in an earlier
message to which you did not (or were unable to) reply.
Third, your site does not possess the intellectual depth required for
such a profound issue. A far more intellectual site is www.tektonics.org.
The main apologist on that site, James Patrick Holding, consistently
argues that it is not logically possible to create a world in which all
will be saved (see www.tektonics.org/tulip/tulipsum.html). Frankly, it
appears that he knows far more than you do, on so many issues relating
to the interpretation of the Bible. Why should one believe you, when he
seems to have far more knowledge and evidence on his side?
Fourth, since you have funky mainstream media quotations on your site,
isn’t that almost a dead giveaway that you are wrong? The world loves to
clutch at straws, hoping that the unpleasant reality of hell will go
away, and so of course your arguments are reassuring to them. However,
James Patrick Holding, who is subject to constant abuse and vitriol from
God-hating critics, seems therefore to me to be a far more prophetic
voice. Again, if I have to believe him or you, there doesn’t seem any
reason to prefer your arguments. If one may make an analogy: when
discussing advanced cosmology, would one trust the opinions of Joe
Mechanic, or the published research of, say, Stephen Hawking or Alan
Guth? The answer is pretty obvious.
Finally, though you cast doubt on what I stated in the earlier letter,
rest assured that I do still wish you were correct. I do not relish the
thought of people enduring hell forever, but how can a foolish mortal
argue with the divine decree? It would make it much easier to like God
if he hadn’t made life such a horrid obstacle course, with utter
disaster lurking at every turn, but that’s just the way it is. God set
up the universe the way it is, with hell the eternal and irrevocable
consequence of disobedience, so we have to deal with it. No use hiding
from the truth or burying one’s head in the sand, as it were. Thus, you
would be doing everyone a far better service if you came to your senses,
told everyone the truth about the eternal nature of hell, and then
exhorted them to live faithfully so as to avoid the horrible fate.
To be honest, I’m not sure why I keep writing to you. Your writing style
is entertaining, and I enjoy reading what you write, but I still know in
my heart that, as much as I would feel better if I could believe you,
you are WRONG, and that the lurking threat of eternal hellfire is very
real. You are (to give you the benefit of the doubt) an unwitting
participant in the demonic campaign to steal more souls away to eternal
torment, and for that you are NOT to be thanked....
Feel free to reply or not, as you wish, but I will not bother you again.
Enjoy the rest of your life without my harassment.
I will certainly enjoy the rest of my life, and the lack of your
harassment shall be a cornerstone of it.
Origen, a giant of Christian history, got it right. He was denounced
as a heretic, of course, as was our Lord. Your worldview of fear and
doom and impending torment is based on the premise that the majority is
always right. Unfortunately (or should I say fortunately) for your
worldview, the majority is always wrong. This is the scriptural
precedent, not that you’re familiar with either scripture or
precedent. The day you realize that the majority are always wrong—and
familiarize yourself with scripture—your worldview will change from fear
and doom and impending torment to joy and optimism and impending
salvation. Not that that would be an easy pill for you to swallow.
The essence of your claim is that 100,000 religious lunatic peasants
said they saw an apparition of Mary, who somehow told them (via
loudspeaker? pamphlets?) "Hello. I’m Mary. The punishments of hell are
eternal. This is the main thing I wanted to tell you. Good-bye for now.
Oh, and don’t forget to live in peace. And remember that my Son died for
all your sins—ha! Just kidding! You’re all in danger of hell, which is
eternal. Or did I already mention that? Sorry. I can’t remember. I’m
only an apparition and I’m confused because I feel all wispy." This is
fine, and we can all laugh privately at the preposterousness of it, that
is until your next paragraph, where you question my intellectual
depth. At that point we have no choice but to laugh out loud—at you.
I’m sorry if I cannot scale to the cerebral heights of superstitious
Catholic peasants who see g-g-g-ghosts. I’m just dumb enough to believe
scripture, which says that the dead know nothing (Eccl. 9:5) and that
the resurrection of the saints of Israel is yet future (Dan. 12:1-2).
All except Catholic cult members—forgive the redundancy—realize that
Mary died. The Assumption (of Mary into heaven) is a Catholic fable,
unknown to scripture. Surely with all your intellectual depth you must
be aware that the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary is brought to us by
the same people who gave us bone worship, baby baptism, papal infallacy,
and the power of legal tender to propel disembodied souls to heaven.
Those peasants at Fatima saw something, I’m sure, but it wasn’t Mary.
Since the resurrection of Christ, Satan and his minions have been going
about the earth deceiving people, transfiguring themselves into
messengers of light (2 Cor. 11:14). Hm. Fatima/Satanic messengers
transfiguring themselves into messengers of light. Are you sure you
still want to make Fatima the bedrock of your argument? Okey-dokey then.
I’ll stick to scripture, thanks.
One more note concerning this: The men I quoted in the three verses
above, namely, Solomon, Daniel and the apostle Paul—in addition to the
lunatic Catholic cult peasants at Fatima, of course—received direct
revelations. You seem to believe that I disparage the direct revelation,
but I do not. It’s just that in this case and in the many other cases
where modern "direct revelations" contradict scriptural direct
revelations, I would simply tend to believe the scriptural ones. So when
it’s the lunatic Catholic cult peasants at Fatima versus Solomon, Daniel
and Paul, I have to go with Solomon, Daniel and Paul. Sorry. But what
would you expect from a guy who uses mainstream media quotations?
Thank you for quoting James Patrick Holding, who has a really
intellectually-sounding website called "tektonics.org." My knees began
shaking when I saw the name of that website, and now I am doubting my
very salvation. You’ve got me wishing that I had named my website
something smart-sounding. Anything but martinzender.com. I wish that I
had named it perspicacious.org, or hyperacuity.gov. Why didn’t my
parents give me a better name to start with? I could have been Martinus
Zenderius. Everyone would believe Martinus Zenderius, no matter
what he said. Drats. But for my lack of worldly polish, I could be the
sage of the eon. Ma and Pa Zender could at least have given me three
names, as the parents of James Patrick Holding did for him. But no. I
don’t even have the advantage of being Martin Guggenheim Zender, or
Martin Theopholis Zender, or even Martin Patrick Zender. People
always believe you when you have three names. If I had three names,
then I could say really stupid things like James Patrick
Holding—and be believed!
If you are any indication, James Patrick Holding is to be believed no
matter what idiotic thing he says. For nothing could be more idiotic
than the following quote you offered me from the great James Patrick
Holding: "It is not logically possible to create a world in which all
will be saved." If James Patrick Holding simply doesn’t believe God,
that’s his business. But why put the word "logically" between "not" and
"possible"? Saving a needy world is the most logical thing imaginable.
We humans can create families in which all members are loved, and we can
create businesses in which all employees are paid—it’s all logical,
yes?—and yet the God of the universe can’t create an inhabited world in
which all the inhabitants are eventually delivered from sin and
death—without being illogical? Even if saving a sinful world was not
possible, why would it not be logical? I guess one can only grasp this
argument with an advanced philosophy degree—and a case of beer.
"Since you have funky mainstream media quotations on your site, isn’t
that almost a dead giveaway that you are wrong?" Okay, sir, excuse me,
please, but now I’m confused. In your first two paragraphs you dismissed
me because I’m not mainstream ("You claim one thing, the orthodox
interpreters say another…"), and now I’m wrong because I quote
mainstream media sources? I have a feeling that I can’t win with you.
And then you discredit the media sources themselves because they’re—funky?
I’m wondering which media sources on my website—that have either
quoted me or reviewed my work—are the funky ones. Is it The Fort
Worth Star-Telegram? The Michigan State News? Readers Preference
Reviews? The Washington Times? The Arizona Republic? The Midwest Book
Review? The Cleveland Plain Dealer? The Kalamazoo Gazettee? It must
be The Kalamazoo Gazette! Kalamazoo is as funky-sounding a name
as could be. Mystery solved, then. My work is discredited because the
Kalamazoo Gazette reviewed it. Forgive me for never seeing this. I
hereby repent of all past associations with funky-sounding media
sources, especially those in Michigan.
But alas, you offer further evidence that my teaching is wrong: my
arguments are reassuring to people! I must confess to having
forgotten this axiom of Christian teaching, namely, that a proper
presentation of the gospel must include dreadful, unscriptural,
fear-inspiring threats of eternal torture. Since comforted people are a
sure sign of wrong teaching, the corollary must also be true, that where
right teaching is present, discomfort and fear will abound. This,
however, leaves me with no clue as to why the people in Antioch rejoiced
at the teaching of Paul (Acts 14:48). I can only conclude that Paul
taught wrong things. No wonder people at the meetings where I speak
become glad and optimistic; I tell them that Jesus Christ died for their
sins, that He was a successful Savior, and that, as the Good Shepherd,
He will not rest until every last sheep is in the fold. In short, I tell
them, "God is the Savior of all mankind" (1 Tim. 4:10). The people at
these meetings try to cry and be miserable, but they simply can’t work
these things up. And now I know it’s all my fault.
"If one may make an analogy: when discussing advanced cosmology,
would one trust the opinions of Joe Mechanic, or the published research
of, say, Stephen Hawking or Alan Guth? The answer is pretty obvious."
What seems obvious to you is in fact completely wrong. Your
confidence is in man rather than in the living God.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:25, "At that season, answering, Jesus said,
‘I am acclaiming Thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for Thou hidest
these things from the wise and intelligent and Thou dost reveal them to
God hides His truth from the wise and intelligent and reveals them to
minors. This is why the scribes and Pharisees tripped over Jesus and His
disciples, and it’s the same reason you trip over me and my dumbly-named
website. You only trust those with an outward indication of wisdom and
intelligence. If someone uses big words, or has a degree, or has 100,000
people agreeing with them, you’re impressed. Yet it is these very people
from whom God has hidden truth. Therefore, you are seeking truth from
those God has kept it from, and you reject it from one to whom God has
You would have despised Peter, James and John. The book of Acts calls
these disciples of Christ "unlettered and plain," and thus you would
have treated them the same way you treat me. In fact, you would have
treated Jesus the Nazarene the same way. Your reliance on human
reputation, on human strength, and on human approval, would make you a
perfect candidate for a first-century Christ-hater. Possessed of your
currently debility, you’d have considered the Pharisees—with their
gorgeous diplomas, their huge temple, their brilliant websites—the
epitome of spirituality, at the same time considering poor old Jesus—the
commonly named, unschooled, ugly carpenter from Nazareth—the epitome of
stupidity and spiritual error. In fact, you would have said to Him the
same things you are saying to me. Here are your own words, not to me,
but to Christ:
"You do not possess the intellectual depth required for profound
issues. The people like to clutch at straws, which is why your teaching
is popular. If I had to believe either the trained, intellectual scribes
and Pharisees or you, there doesn’t seem any reason to prefer your
arguments. Thus, you would be doing everyone a far better service if you
came to your senses, told everyone the truth about the eternal nature of
hell, and then exhorted them to live faithfully so as to avoid the
Though you have no idea which "hell" you refer to (Gehenna? Hades?
Tartarus?)—or even that there are three different Greek words translated
"hell"—and though you have no idea that the word "forever" is a provably
mistranslated rendering of the Greek word aionion, you
nevertheless claim, "I do not relish the thought of people enduring hell
forever." Assuming that anyone could or would be sent by God to an
eternal state of punishment outside His presence, it is clear to me that
not only do you relish such a thing, you consciously and
determinedly stiff-arm any arguments—however scriptural—that cast doubt
Your deep-seated issues are not with me, but with God; you are only
taking out your frustrations on me, which is why your slights don’t
bother me much. For you yourself write: "It would make it much easier to
like God if He hadn’t made life such a horrid obstacle course, with
utter disaster lurking at every turn, but that’s just the way it is."
That may be the way this era seems to you, but it is not the way it
is in truth. Paul writes to the Corinthians, "Lo! Now is a most
acceptable era! Lo! Now is a day of salvation!"
I pray that you see the salvation of God in this era. I know you will
see it at the consummation of the eons, for people will be saved by
sight then, not faith. Only now are they blessed to be believing without
seeing. Yet only God can give faith.
I close with this apt quote from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
It’s a direct revelation, so take heed:
|For the word of the cross is stupidity, indeed, to those who are
perishing, yet to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, I shall be destroying the wisdom of the wise,
and the understanding of the intelligent shall I be repudiating.
Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the discusser
of this eon? Does not God make stupid the wisdom of this world?
For since, in fact, in the wisdom of God, the world through
wisdom knew not God, God delights, through the stupidity of the
heralding, to save those who are believing" (1 Cor. 1:18-21).