COMMENTS AND TESTIMONIESThese comments and testimonies cannot be kept under wraps any longer. I want to share them with you because the cry I hear most often from you is, "I am all alone!" Well, you may feel alone physicallyóas do I many daysóbut you are not alone spiritually, for God has many who are His. And here are some of them.
The publication of these comments is not an exercise in ego. For those of you who have supported this outreach with your money and prayers, this is my way of telling you, "Youíre backing the right horse. God favors this ministry, and hereís proof." Whenever someone tells me that a thing I have said or written has blessed them, they usually preface the remark with, "Now Martin, I donít want you to get a big head, butó" I have to laugh, because I am constantly trying to use these comments for just that purposeóI need encouragement just as much as you doóbut it never works for long. Just when Iím fashioning a good opinion of myself, the tumultuous waters of life rise and God brings another self-demolishing trial. I have learned a million times and in a million ways that I am but a vessel, and a cracked one at that. I dare you to swell my ego. Just try. Please. I dare you.
I have omitted some detail in these letters to protect privacy. These are unsolicited comments and testimonies. All around the world, at this very hour, people are undergoing some of the same sufferings and persecutions as you, reveling in the same truths you are. The Body of Christ breathes together, weeps together, rejoices together. Do not mourn a visible lack of unity, for there is an invisible unity youíre mostly unaware ofóuntil now. I will be adding to these comments and testimonies as they come in, for the edification of all.
I remain yours in Christ,
My wife and I have been listening to your interviews in the past 2 years on Frankly Speaking Radio. These talks have cleared up a lot of confusion for myself and have given my wife a whole new outlook on life. This research has given a whole new meaning to love your neighbor like you want to be loved or like God has loved you. I found that such a hard thing to do. To love people who wronged me or hated me. But now that I understand that everyone in the world is only doing as well as God will let them it makes it a lot easier to let go of these things and to just love them for the flawed people they are, just like me! With your scriptural guidance we have been studying these important issues and looking at the literal translation of a lot of these things. I praise and thank God for letting me find your teaching and the true meaning of The Bible. I just wanted to write and say thanks for the great work you do. I am going to be reading your books and look forward to them.
I just wanted to say thank you for reminding me of all the things God did through his son Jesus Christ. I lost my son back in November from a drug overdose and became very tormented over whether he was with God or if God would put my son in hell because of his weaknesses. I now am convinced that God has him.
Discovered your web site recently. I have read all of your books and got your CD. Hope there are more CDs coming. Your writings and sense of humor are full of God's joy and truth and freedom. And that is coming from a lifelong Baptist with a seminary degree and 25 years on Baptist church staff. Looking forward to your Free Will book.
I know you probably get e-mail like this all the time, but I couldn't resist shooting off a quick word of thanks for your book, How to Quit Church without Quitting God. I was raised in a Pentecostal church and have spent most of my life struggling with the burden of my sin. I church-hopped like mad because I was convinced if I just found the "right" church I could somehow become super-spiritual and finally overcome my sin. I stumbled across your book at the library while researching other faiths and was instantly intrigued. As I read I could literally feel the guilt falling off of me. I swear I feel 10 pounds lighter each day because I no longer pack my sins around with me. I feel the love of God more clearly now than ever. The reality of God's grace is so beautiful. The only regret I have is that it took so long for me to truly experience it.
I am truly thankful that God has used you to minister not only to myself, but to so many others as well. Please, keep up the good work. There are too few truth-tellers out there.
I am touched that God allowed me to somehow repay you for the gift that your insightful writings have been to me. I found your works at just the right time in my quest for His truth. You have certainly been a profound influence on my understanding of His unfailing love and complete sovereignty. I see now that it was a very long, but very necessary journey to unravel the wonders of His love - having wondered for 30 years why what I was taught just "didn't seem to make sense". What an amazing revelation to see that what didn't seem to make sense just didn't make sense! The pure logic of it is so obvious now, but was so hidden before. Thanks be to Him for His merciful logic, and to you for voicing it.
In the past month I heard you on Frank Whalenís radio show and found you intriguing. So I listened to all the audio archives of you on Frankís show. I was praying to God to light a fire in me. I told Him I refused to go back to church and play churchianity to make myself feel good. Well, He woke me up 6 months ago, slowly but surely, and that has led me to your teachings. I really appreciate all you have to say about the Word and it appears to portray the real God of the Bible.
Dear Mr. Zender,
I just wanted to let you know that I owe you a great deal of gratitude, and that your Spirit-infused words let me know I was not alone in this world.
I discovered your website about two years ago, and it was with much fear and delight that I read your article, "The Ludicrous Threat Of Eternal Torment". You see, I have always been a believer in the reconciliation of all things at heart, but growing up in the Southern Baptist Convention with both parents in the ministry is not conducive to that ideology. All my life, no one would answer the "hard" questions I would ask, but I knew in my heart that God would indeed be "all in all", or else He wouldn't be God, at least not one worth serving.
Your words gave me hope, they gave me strength, they gave me validity. I was not on an island unto myself, but there were others who believed the way I did (and do). Thank you for this.
I owe quite a bit to you, Mr. Zender, but all I can offer at this point is my gratitude and thanks. Maybe someday when we stand together with the Most High I will be able to share with you my thanks. Until then, know that I stand with you in the trenches, waging warfare against the folly of man in favor of the Grace and Love of God.
I will be ordering all your books, praise God for your work of hope and love; keep it up. I will be 70 years old this year, and so much time has passed but every day now is so wonderful when ones knows what the plan is all about.
With love and many thanks.
I'm sorry to bother you with my thoughts, but as of now I have no one to say these things to (except God). My Christian friends cannot understand what I am saying. I was finally able to honestly say something to God the other night. I could never love a God who would (for whatever reason) send my sons to an eternal torment. I don't know how anyone could. This may seem simple to you, but it was a big thing for me to finally admit. It felt good to be honest. Thanks for all that your material has done to bring me to this place of honesty. I still have a long way to go, but I am peaceful on the journey.
I must say thank you. I just finished reading your How to Quit Church and Not Quit God book. Thank you for your honesty and your desire for truth in the search for the spirituality beyond the material. As a pastor, I have received much flack from those around me for not being supportive of "getting people saved" and talking of hell, but my whole life I have never felt that those issues made full sense in the context of the story within the Bible. I have spent the last year researching and recently came to your book. Thank you for being so honest. Thank you for making the conversation on salvation and humanity within Christ a larger one.
Well, today I embarked on rereading your book How to Quit Church W/O Quitting God. Rereading it is like seeing stuff for the first time and having my eyes reopened:) I love it more so the second time around:) I'm bugging my hubby to read it as soon as I'm done and I'm just about half way through it. I definitely want to get some of your other books. I can't wait for your new one to come out real soon! It's funny; reading your book is like seeing the truth in BIG NEON lights in the skyóa really huge wake up call to me that's been in the making for decades. Have a wonderful weekend.
I really didn't get a chance to tell you how stumbling across your website I was so entertained and informed, and through your writings, God finally gave me the peace I had longed for since He granted me my measure of faith a few years back. Needless to say I slept-in the following Sunday and watched a little football, resting in the fact that God really is good and Christ saved the world at the cross, not just made salvation "possible"!!! I haven't stepped foot into a Christian church since and funny I have an incredible zeal for studying God's word (got my Concordant NT). Amazing what translation can do to a Deity's reputation. I bought your How to Quit... book and Part-Time Sinner CD and I have been at peace for a long while now. I wanted to say thank you and I will be ordering the rest of your books here in a few weeks and I look forward to them. Grace and peace to you, Martin Zender.
Blessings, Mr. Zender.
Well, I am reading your books as fast as you are writing them. I was halfway thru Flawed By Design and started singing the song, "I feel Pretty" to myself and was cracking up all day. Have you seen the film Anger Management? That movie and Flawed By Design go hand-in-hand.
I want to encourage you in your work. I've thought of a few ways
to do this. Like trying to describe how your books have affected me.
Your books are amazing. Your decision to use your gift of writing
has changed my life.
Your mate from down under.
My spiritual journey has moved from Born Again, to Church of
Christ, to Christian Church, to Baptist, to Calvinist, back to
Baptist, to God as Savior of all. I came across your book How to
Quit Church Without Quitting God last year while browsing through
the Pilkington & Sons Website, and I loved the title. The book was
great, and I told my wife I was taking a year off from church in
2004. I kept that pledge.
Keep up the great work and thanks for your ministry.
Your ministry has offered immense encouragement to me. I recently
started attending a Calvary Chapel that my sister and her husband
started attending, and I just get sooooo tired of not having a place
to go that is in sync with what I have come to believe...but after
just a few weeks, Iím feeling all focused on self again...and that
canít be a good thing. I guess there is just that fine line thatís
gets so easily fuzzy when it comes to grace and works. So I immerse
myself in your writings and others that are big on grace to get
myself back to where I need to be. Thanks for being there for me and
all the others out there who canít seem to find spiritually healthy
local fellowship. I think the Internet has come to be one of Godís
greatest tools, and Iím thankful He has placed it on your heart to
minister for Him there as well as in your books and other materials.
I listened to your Part-time Sinner CD twice today. Very well done.
This is my third e-mail. I'm just so thankful for the Lord leading me to your site, and also the Concordant Literal Version site. It's been two days of feasting. So a very big thank you, dear brother, for being straight to the point. God bless you and your family.
I stumbled across your web site in my search of truth. I left organized religion about eight months ago. It took me getting out of the system to be open to hearing something other than what I have been taught. I started questioning the inconsistencies and from there my world came crashing down. However, I am grateful to God for being here. I feel freedom for myself and for others around me like I have never known. I'm excited to see what God is going to do in me.
I'm right there, Martin. I can feel it. But I still have a few things that aren't gone. I've spent too many years in religion. I want to believe that God is in control of this whole thing and that He is going to get done what He wants done with or without me. God knows I want to believe that! I am a divorced home schooling mother of three boys. I can't even express the PRESSURE I feel for their future. It's all on me and it's killing me. If I can only believe that God has a plan for these boys and He is going to accomplish it. Oh, if I can only BELIEVE it. Do you realize the rest I could get? Do you realize what that would do for me? The load that would be lifted would change my life drastically. I'm almost there. I can feel it. And when I get there, I will be a new woman who will actually enjoy life and my boys! "God help me!"
Thanks for the web site. I am ordering a bunch of your stuff. You are a gift from God.
I went to the Libertarian National Convention last year and came across your book How To Quit Church... and was wonderfully amazed. After reading it I went to your website and found the other books you have. Amazing!!! I always knew something was wrong, but couldn't figure it out. I have downloaded all the audio on your website and I have your CD. I love listening to you. Is there any way I could get CD's of full sermons you've done? I'm a truck driver and it sure helps pass the time, not to mention how much I learn. I am studying the word so much more than I used to, and I never have that "far from God" feeling that so many Christians say they have. As far as sin is concerned, I have been set free because I know the truth. You helped me understand. I really appreciate your sacrifices. May God bless you much!
I thank you again for your great contribution to mankind. Keep up the good work.
Thank you kindly for your reply. I know you are a busy person and I did not mean to take up even more of your time. I feel blessed that you wrote me back. I had wanted to get back to you sooner, but my in-laws were in town and we had a wonderful visit.
I appreciate your confirmation that I am hearing from God. Sometimes I get so frustrated with all that is out there, but since this message, I have put my faith in reading the Bible with a mind that is listening for the Spirit and I have really felt His presence with me, like a warm burning in my chest that gives me peace. You are right, I don't give myself as much credit as I should... but this is the carnal nature in me speaking. Oh how I long to be loosed from this nature so badly! I know you know that feeling!
Yes, I did leave the Pentecostal church, the non-denom churches and all the rest. I have been through many of the denominations as a child growing up, as my dad was a seeker of wisdom and understanding, though he has gone back to the Episcopal Church and is studying in the Seminary. Sad, because I have had many talks with him about sonship and coming out of the religious systems of the world, but he is entrenched. I know it's God that must do the work in a person and I try to be the humble messenger to send forth even a ray of light, of hope.
Thank you also for your advice about my son's migraines. I do believe that a natural cure is better than the medication they would put him on, though it is so hard to see your children suffer in such pain, and for me, it is more than I can handle sometimes as a mother with my own fears of illness. I have often sought to be relieved of this wilderness of mine, this 40-year prison sentence of being in fear of vomiting... it literally has brought me so low that I thought I could not go on another day, but I keep praying and asking God why I am the way I am and so far I have not received the answer, though I do believe He has everything under control. I just want to be a servant of God and I cannot do this stuck away in my house due to a social anxiety disorder. I also do not wish to be medicated and so I live in this box of a life. My husband does not understand me and many things are in disarray. My hope is to be released from this torment, as I can't function as a true wife and mother in the sad state that I feel I am in.
It's a comfort to know that you also have felt like throwing the Bible across the room before. Yes, I do feel like once God has apprehended a person, He doesn't let go and you can't forsake the calling. It is like a tug of war, but God is winning, not that I don't want to serve Him, I DO with ALL MY HEART, but my body just won't budge out of the comfort zone. If you have any advice about this, I would truly appreciate your time.
I did order four of your books and have received them today. I am going to start reading tonight, and I'm sure I will be blessed as I have been by many of your articles on your website.
I feel relieved that the Kingdom has not come and that there is still hope for all of us. I have lived all my life under the "gloom and doom" of the religious world. To have the truth revealed to me is unbelievably reassuring and I think that I have known all my life that there was something that just wasn't right about what I had heard.
I will continue to check your website and will let you know when I have finished the books.
I know this is redundant, but thanks again so much.
Just when I think I can't take being alone in my beliefs and am ready to forget it all and just go back to church and turn my brain off again (so that I can fit in somewhere,) I am rescued. Who did this? Who threw me the life preserver and gave me hope to keep going on the track I am on? It was a televangelist!!! Just sitting for 30 minutes and listening to the stupidity spewing from John Hagee's mouth this morning reminded me why I am not in a church.
His sermon was on getting God to answer your prayers. According to Hagee, God will not answer your prayer if you are in sin. (Should someone tell Mr. Hagee that he is fat, thus showing he is a glutton, which I think is a sin.) He went on to say that if you aren't tithing, God will not answer your prayers. If you are not under spiritual authority, God will not answer your prayers. The list went on and on.
Thanks to guys like you, I have learned to really think all the way through what preachers like Hagee are saying. According to Mr. Hagee, nobody can get saved by praying and asking God to save him because God will not answer your prayer if you have these problems listed above in your life. Now, I know I don't know every unbeliever personally, but I would say it's safe to say that they are sinning, aren't tithing, and aren't a member of a church. So, how do they get God to listen to them? I guess he would say that you get a pass on the first prayer, but after that, you're in trouble with God for those things. On and on the stupidity goes, Ďround and Ďround the logic goes, until nothing makes sense.
I have NOBODY to talk to about these things. Sometimes I think I just can't take this seclusion anymore. And then, thank God, I listen to a sermon by a mainstream preacher and I realized just why I am in the spot I am in. I am cursed with this thing called a mind. It actually wants things to add up and make sense. That is something that the mainstream church cannot tolerate! Thanks for the encouragement on this journey.
I have been listening to your Bitz and reading some of your new stuff, and I just wanted to say thanks. Sometimes it is so hard to live what we believe because of the desire to fit in with those around us, but I find a lot of encouragement and help in all that you have done with your books, tapes and articles. I am really looking forward to reading your new book. Judging from the excerpts you put out there, it looks really, really good.
We are all doing well physically here. Of course we are having our trials also. Time and again I have been led back to the faith of Abraham, with the sacrifice of Isaac, and then lately to the faith of David when he goes to fight Goliath. I feel like the churches are so much like the Israelites, or maybe even Goliath, because they either won't stand up and defend the name of the Lord, or they themselves challenge it and defy it, calling it weak and subject to "our" (that is, the human) will. I hope this finds you and your family well. Keep doing the work God gives your hands to do, I will keep listening, reading and praying.
I was raised in a fundamentalist Southern Baptist Church where most services consisted of a country preacher profusely sweating and screaming for an hour about the horrors of "Hay-eel." It would scare you out of your wits. I bought it hook, line and sinker until three years ago.
Shortly after turning 40, I experienced the worst thing that has ever happened to me. This event shook me to my foundation and beyond. I stopped going to church. I began to question what I really believed about GodÖ his mercy, his love. Did he even exist? Why did He let this happen?
Through prayer and study I slowly began to acknowledge what I already knew in my spiritóthat much of what I had been taught to believe was not true. It was an exhilarating and terrifying discovery. Your website has been an enlightening inspiration to me. You helped me find the nerve to share with my husband my newfound convictions (he thinks I've lost my mind). I will probably never tell the rest of my family. Every pastor in three counties would be enormously concerned for my soulómy mother would see to it.
To no longer believe in eternal damnation has allowed me to open my heart to God and to love Him more than I ever did before. Truthfully, had it not been for my agonizing experience and almost losing my faith entirely, I would not have become a seeker. I would have been content to blindly go through the rest of my life feeling slightly uneasy about my churchís doctrines, but never giving any real credence to my doubts. Believe me, Iím no boat-rocker when the sailing is smooth.
Iím telling you this now because I hope it encourages you to continue your work. Who knows how many other people are on this spiritual quest, frantically searching for the answers, trying to find peace and hope. Iíve read your blog and know the challenges you and your family face. Keep the faith.
With much appreciation.
Hey, how's it going
I went to a funeral today. It was a Catholic mass. It was heart wrenching on so many levels. It was comforting to come home, boot my computer and see your website updated and ZenderTalk back on the air. I needed to think on some things, and remind myself that God, through Christ, has taken care of us. It all gets so confusing! Where have you been?
Got really excited the other day when I saw a poster advertising "The Gathering Place." Thought it might be some kind of coffee-loving, truth-seeking fellowship. It turned out to be just another "church." A few tweaks here and there, but still just a traditional church, with traditional ideals.
Thanks for hanging in there and continuing to share your research and logical thinking. I was afraid you were going to become just another missing link.
A fellow truth seeker.
I used to be a "Right Divider" who used the scripture in II Timothy 2:14, "Rightly dividing the Word of God." This helped to break away from the organized Baptist Doctrine that was teaching false doctrine half the time.
However, when it came to freedom of choice, it was hard for many of them to see that it was God's choice and not ours. Also, it was hard for them to understand the God in All concept, realizing that all men will be drawn to God in His time. Actually, when we speak of time, we speak of something that is only used among men. God is not on any timetable.
So, it is a blessing to me to read your website. I understand it and agree with it fully. I know God will use your website to his glory, as He wills.
Just a few lines to tell you that what you are doing is working. I have read all of your material. You encouraged me to fortify myself in the truth. I have been doing that. I just wanted to tell you that since I have stopped believing that God will fry most of mankind for all eternity, I am a much happier person. My relationships with my family have turned around. I no longer look down on my non-Christian family members. I don't feel superior because I made the right choice and they didn't anymore. I also am so much more at peace in everyday things. Maybe I'm able to relax now that I know God is not going to fry my loved ones forever. That could tend to stress a person out. I also don't feel responsible for the salvation of the world anymore. Boy, that's a load off. Anyway, thanks for what you are doing. It's been hard to break away from old traditions (and I still haven't dropped the bomb on any of my Christian friends yet,) but I trust God will take care of it.
Hi Martin! I listen to you every morning and I really enjoy it. Thanks to you, I am a fun person again and I'm enjoying life with my family.
The other day I ran across something written by a man who thinks that the apostle Paul was one of the ones Christ warned us against. This man said that Paul was teaching a different Christ. I don't believe what he was saying, but I do give the guy credit for recognizing that what Paul preached is very different from what Christ taught the Jews. You are the first teacher I have ever heard that has actually pointed out the difference between the two gospels and what God is doing with two different groups of people. All other preachers try to mix it into one and in doing that they have to sweep verses under the carpet to fit their mixture.
It's nice to hear someone who acknowledges all of the scriptures and puts each one in its place instead of sweeping a bunch under the rug. Thanks. Keep up the good work. I thank God for you every day! I know that you have a full life, so I wanted you to know that the time that you spend on your talk show really helps those of us who are walking this alone.
Your Sister in Christ.
I received your book How to Quit Church Without Quitting God a few days ago and have finished reading it. I really enjoyed it and will be passing it on to some friends, who, like me, were in the Worldwide Church of God for too long. I joined in 1975 and left in 1992 (17 years). I could have done with your book in 1992. However, God, in His love, heard my heartfelt prayers to Himó"What now?"óand opened my eyes to the evangel of grace through the Concordant Publishing Concern.
In 1992 I was worried sick that my wife wasn't showing any interest in "Christianity." What if she died in that condition, I thought. Well, thanks to God, I stopped worrying when I learned the truth. I lost my wife six years ago this Sunday (she was 51) and God's assurance that one day He will be "All in all" (1 Cor. 15:28) and that "He is the Savior of all mankind" (1 Tim. 4:10) helped me through that difficult period. If I believed in the eternal torment doctrine, I would have been in torment myself since the 25th of June 2000, and would not be looking forward to anything in the hereafter. Knowing the truth, however, makes life bearable now as we know that, as good as things were when my wife was still with me, the future is going to be even better. That keeps me going. I thank God for His revelation to me. God truly is love.
My wife and I would like to thank you for the amazing work that you do. I cannot tell you how much your books have meant to us. Flawed by Design was the first book of yours we read, and so much of it sounded like things my wife and I had talked about, but never heard taught. It really got us talking more and studying the Bible. Then we ordered two Zenderpacks. I have read all of your books (including the new free will one, I love the cover) and my wife is not far behind. We can't hang on to them because so many of our friends and relatives want to read them. Some of our friends have ordered their own copies now. Thank you for the work that you do, Martin. The message you preach has had a huge impact on our family and many close friends and relatives around us. Our pastor, on the other hand, is not so thrilled with the message. He is kind of like one of those "hey, I believe in salvation buy will power" cartoon guys in your book. We just wanted to say thank you, and to let you know what an impact your books are having in our area. We love your website, too.
I just wanted to tell you that I am learning to trust grace. It works! There is an ugly part of me that came to the surface last night. For the first time ever I didn't feel guilty for the ugliness in my humanness. I didn't feel that it was separating me from God. It actually drove me to Him. I let go of it and trusted God's grace to supercede it. God's grace is a power that I have never known. All of my Christian experience I was told that I had to do something because of my sin. I was told that my sin was separating me from God. Martin, I didn't do anything when this came to the surface except trust God to deal with it. He did. I don't know how to explain it. The lust in me just faded away without me fighting it. But the really great thing that happened was that I never felt at odds with God in my weakness. I felt like my weakness made me aware of His strength on my behalf. I'm overcome this morning with the goodness of God and what he has done for me in Christ Jesus. Thanks for the ear!
I thank the Lord for bringing Martin Zender into my life and opening my eyes. Thanks to the ministry of the Zendermeister, the Holy Spirit is teaching me the truths of God's Word that the Adversary has worked so long to keep hidden from man. As a result, I now have true peace, freedom and assurance in my life, which is treasure beyond man's wildest imaginings. I praise the Lord daily for His mercy and kindness, and thank Him with my prayers for blessing one so unworthy as me. May God continue to bless you and use you, my friend.
We were in a car accident several years ago. My daughter was with us; she was six months old; I was driving the car. I donít know how it the accident happened. The whole day is gone in my memory, but Amandaís life was taken in that accident and I felt responsible. I was angry, angry beyond words, to the point of complete numbness. Life switched to autopilot. I was angry at God, big time angry. I fell into an abyss. I even wanted at some points to say the hell with God. Yet, my faith remains. Damn straight itís a miracle!!!!!! Iíve often told people that this is the biggest evidence I have that God is in control, because I was beyond being able to hold on. God held onto me, no rhyme or reason for it. He just did. He just does. I believed a lot of what you teach before I ever heard anyone preach it. I get lost in all the details, but that God will reconcile all to Him is a truth I cling to. The details donít bug me so much. These days when people think I am going to hell for not believing in it, I just tell them Iím not worried. How can God damn me for thinking He is bigger and His plan is greater than what they believe in.? guess I would be damned for being hopeful. I wish everyone had the hope I have. I am incredibly grateful for this miracle.
I've been following your talks & radio interviews for a long time. I've bought all your books (LOVE THEM!!!) and CD. I share them around with others (especially those who also suffer from PCR - Post Church Recovery) and almost all of them like what you have to say. We love you down here in Australia and wish we could have you here to share your wonderful messages with us. But we realize how difficult that would be for us financially at this time. Maybe sometime in the future, God willing!
Just want to say, Martin, that it's a bit sad that your ZenderTalk is finished but I understand your reasons for that. I think what you're doing is the right thing for this time. I know God will bless you in this time of change. I'd love to see "Goes To Hell" made into a movie. Great stuff!
Finally, thank you for daring to step outside the square and be so open to major attacks from the organized religious crowd (didnít someone else do that once?...Paul...yes, even Jesus!). It's just great to see. And now some people here in Australia, bit by bit, are doing the same as they begin to awaken! It's wonderfully liberating, isn't it!
Thanks again, Martin, for all you've done. Keep the books coming. They're awesome!
Thanks for that last show on Friday Martin, I could hear in your voice it pained you to go and at the same time it was a relief. Just hearing all the possibilities you have with the cd's, the old Ztalks, movies, and more books I can certainly understand your need to move on. The past three months have been some of the most peaceful months of my familyís life because of your show. We will continue to listen to or read anything you put out and weíll definitely keep in touch. I wish you the best and thank you for what you do. Your teaching, along with my study and Godís guidance, is getting me closer everyday to understanding Godís love better.
I know what you and your family look like so I sent you some pictures of me and the kids so you know who youíre talking to!
Looking forward hearing more from you.
I heard you on a radio show in Chattanooga, TN about a year ago.
You debated a Baptist Minister. The host gave me one of your books:
Flawed by Design. I had been a Baptist from a young age until about
twenty. Then there were too many questions that didn't add up, so I
became mostly an atheist.
I'm at home, sitting in front of the computer with your books on the desk and one in my hand, the one where you go to hell. I got real excited when they arrived. I like receiving parcels with good news. Beautiful are the parcels that bring good news.
Your hell book is friggin' amazing. I'm only 34 pages in, but
dang, you're killing it so far.
I'm a very slow reader, but I have finished Martin Zender Goes to Hell. Words wonít express my gratitude. This is one awesome book. Short, simple, and to the point. I just love how casual it is. It's one of the best books I've ever had the privilege to read.
Oh, thank God for such a blessing. All of my anxiety has
vanished. I now have a book that I can give to people so they will
have the opportunity to truly see. If they still don't see, I wont
mind much, that's God's will.
Again I thank you. Will I sleep tonight? I don't know. I'm just so excited (I hope we have wrapping paper in the house). Praise Jesus! I could jump around now.
Please pray with me that the pastor reads this book and that he
might understand. Nevertheless, let the Lord's will be done. If he
doesn't read it then I have NO place at all in that congregation.
I'll start my life anew (it already has started though, I guess this
is the birth part, gotta cut the umbilical cord soon and I have a
nice big set of scissors for that).
When I told someone that I hated church they gave me How to Quit Church Without Quitting God, then it snowballed from there. Only wish I'd left church long ago and feel horrible about taking our four children there for years. I attended church from birth to age 42 and worked there for three years, and as a result I've dealt with a lot of anger. For now our kids are sick of anything to do with God. Your book was the beginning of my freedom, then my husband's.
Martin, I will keep this short. After about six months of awe and bliss in 1974, the last 33 years have been a nightmare of anxiety, guilt, and two nervous breakdowns. I suffered from fear that I had lost my salvation, fear that maybe I never was saved, fear that I was saved but responsible for my daughter and my friends going to hell because I was a bad witness to them. On top of all this, I had thoughts of suicide.
The last breakdown was 2001. I lost my job of 32 years, but thank God the last six years I was determined to push on and find some answers. I thought I had to choose between Arminianism (you save yourself) and Calvinism (God saves you, but the rest are going to hell.) I started leaning toward Calvinism after realizing I was not better, smarter, or wiser than anyone else. But I found no comfort in me going to heaven and billions going to hell, including my daughter! Then I found your web site and books. These have opened a whole new world to me. Now I see the power and the love of the cross beyond my imagination, and a chance to finally have some peace of mind.
I have taken the liberty of giving your material to my dear
Man, I am telling you what, God has really shown me a lot. Martin, since I began this journey, every day has been a growing experience. When I first was led to go to your web-site back in September 2006, this was the most amazing teaching I have ever laid my eyes on. Now my wife has her eyes open to it and we continue to grow together. I confront pastors and other church leaders with this evangel by letter, and wow, has it been an experience! Will you have any more teachings and books available soon? I have been reading your books over and over. I just love this stuff!
I see all of the "evil" from God and all of the "Christian good" from Satan. Very opposite! But at the same time it makes a whole lot of sense. We get a good dose of "wickedness" here to prepare us for the bliss that is coming. I wake up some mornings with such a joy for what is coming in the coming eons. Some big things are approaching. Martin, I hope you are ready. When I see you, prepare yourself for a huge body slam! (out of love of course). I appreciate you, brother. You really helped change my life. Last year was the best year of my life. I can't even describe it.
The higher I am allowed to climb, the more I am amazed at Godís
ability to lift me there, for it is not by my hand these humble
works are done. My job these days mostly involves showing up, doing
what He tells me to do and working overtime to make sure my ego
Iíve been reading many of your materials again, including "The Manifesto", Martin Zender Goes to Hell and The Really Bad Thing About Free Will.
Re-reading your materials helps me to better understand what you are teaching. Iíll probably do it again in a few months. And then do it again. I am a teacher by nature (a spiritual gift?) and I truly like to read and understand the subject matter so I can then go teach it and share it with others.
Now, Iíve heard all of my life, having grown up in the Bible Belt, that we are to keep God first in our lives. Of course, to the Institutional Church, this means church attendance, Sunday school, tithing, offerings, more offerings, prayer, Bible study, your time at church, your talents at churchóand more. Seems like a lot of works and Law to me.
But how do we truly keep God first in our lives?
On another note, reading your stuff makes me wonder how I fit in all of this. I havenít been to a church building service in four years or more. When I discovered (or rather, God revealed to me) the truth about tithing, it so pissed me off that I left the Institutional Church and have never gone back. Iíve done quite a bit of studying on my own since then, and that is how I stumbled upon your materials. I had to get out of the Ďchurch businessí in order to clear my thinking. Gradually, my thinking has been turned upside down. And thatís a good thing.
Iíve felt like all of my life, from a young age, that I was supposed to do something great with my life. It is this "knowing" that has kept me going through the really tough times. But I believe that the tough times are Godís way of molding me for future use. In other words, in order to get stronger in the weight room, you have to add more weight on the bar. Sounds good anyway.
A few years ago, I had a long talk with myself. "What do I really want to do with my life?" See, I donít believe we should work for money. We should find what we love to do, and let the money issue take care of itself. Otherwise, we are just wage slaves.
So if I won the lottery tomorrow, and I no longer had to work for money, what would I want to doófor free?
Immediately, the thought came into my head, "Coach high school football." I played in high school and some in college. I know the game. And I really like the idea of molding young men, and help them avoid some of the Ďmistakesí Iíve made in life.
But I keep thinking about that gnawing feeling inside of meóthat I am supposed to do something great with my life. I have a plan. It will take a miracle for my plan of happen. But isnít God a miracle worker?
And at the same time, how do I fit all of this information into my life about hell, free will, and helping you get this message out? Iíve thought of quite a few people that I would like to mail your books.
These are my thoughts right now. Sorry for such a long email. Have a good day.
I just finished reading two of your books and I have a couple more to read. I have been a "Christian" for many years but never had peace and always had anger towards God for creating the situation where most of humanity would be in torment for eternity. I just didn't understand why it had to be that way. I didn't see any good news in this. I never was able to get satisfactory answers from friends or clergy. Some people just seem to have the glib answer, "well, it's their decision not to believe." How heartbreaking. I would not want anyone in torment for any amount of time, no matter what they did to me or anyone else. How could God? I thought that if God was all-knowing and all-powerful He could certainly come up with something better than what most of us are taught.
Now I see that He has and it is right there in the Bible. The verses that speak of salvation for all always puzzled me in light of the doctrine of hell. I remember thinking when I read them before how I wished they really meant what they seemed to be saying. Now I see that they do! Praise God!!!!!!
Thanks again and I look forward to reading and learning more.
God bless you.
I appreciate tremendously what you're doing. Your books and talks are helping me eliminate a lot of garbage from my life piled up by the church over the last 40 years. It's great to have scriptural backup for what I feel in my heart. I loved the Free Will book (and the Hell Book, and especially Flawed by Design). I'm thinking about getting a copy and sending it to one of our pastors that I meet with regularly. But, I may already be getting him in too much trouble with the ideas I'm planting in his head. ;-) I don't know how much feedback you get from your website and books, but rest assured that whatever amount you're getting, you're touching many, many more lives than you'll know in this lifetime. Keep up the good work.
I read on a blog that you had been feeling discouraged in your work and calling. I simply have to share a few words with you, if you don't mind. I know it might feel like an intrusion since this blog was posted without your permission, but I hope I am not taking you or your ministry for granted or as public domain, if I make a comment.
Firstly, I have been very moved by your work, largely through a close friend whose blog has been redounding with a vision of universal salvation. I have read many of your dialogs and found them simultaneously credible and incredible.
I was at Bible College in 1981, and remember learning about the three different Greek words translated "hell": Tartarus, Gehenna and Sheol, but realize that the conclusions you came to were not those of the institution I studied with. What encouraged me was the extent to which you decided to wrestle with God in the face of all sorts of "expertise" and tradition, in order to make up your own mind. Where many are warned off theology as a diversion away from devotion, you found God in study.
Iíve been recently thinking of Martin Luther and how he took on the goliath of post-Augustinian tradition and stood firm. What stands out most to me regarding you and the news of your tiredness is the similarity with my story. I won't get terribly detailed now, but will just try join a dot or two.
I started to feel the tugs of calling - both musical and theological - during my teens (late 70's). I went to bible college (I counted it up - 900 "faith" sermons in two years) and expected to find myself in a "ministry". It never materialized; I survived the toxic teaching and three years later obtained a music degree, more or less intact, still in love with God, life, and music. After four years and a qualification I expected to have a career in music. It never came.
In 1994 I couldn't take it any longer and gave up on my dream. I took up another career at the bottom of the ladder. Vocationally, I lived in silence. I listened to music, sure, but didn't touch an instrument. I had given up on church having any relevance.
Amazingly, in late 2001, I started writing music again after eight years and produced my first album. This is almost 30 years after I first devoted myself to music. I am so, so weird. What a twisted tale.
If you are still with me, Martin, the story continues. About a year ago I was prompted to engage in the discipline of community. I found a church with promise of friendships. I understand their theological milieu; it smells about twenty years old, familiar, but not where I am at. They don't get me. Anyway, it's been nine months traipsing off to church and meeting with folks, and I suddenly say to myself, Hoi - this is not working. They don't have the foggiest what I am about, either musically or theologically.
This is where I am at now. A heart full of music (I'm edging towards completion of my 2nd album, bringing the average down from 1 every 43 years, to 1 every 22.5 years), I'm most fired up by universal salvation, but have nowhere to go.
So this brings me to your predicament. You have a full heart but the world won't give you a place. This resonates with me. I have no constituency at all; I work in the tiniest of domains. The music industry has no use whatsoever with me, and it seems, neither does the church. I do not fit. Where we are probably different is that I don't have the depth of pressure you do, in as much as I am ensconced in a career that affords me the ability to support my family. How long this might last I don't know. I have lost my job two or three times in the last five years, and these blows left deep scars.
The bottom line is always calling. It's the crying out "Why have you forsaken me?" I don't have an answer here, and just want to say I connect to the situation. Of course as I said at the outset, this is all conjecture, I don't really know you or your situation, but it is worth me having a go if it can be a balm in any small way.
It is not far-fetched to say that your guidance and your sweat in getting out the real truth of the gospel has had a remarkable, saving effect on my friend. There is such power in the truths you have plumbed. I thank you for that.
I found your site some time ago and have enjoyed your messages. I have to tell you, it's so rare that you find a Christian whose first goal is truth (not orthodoxy or doctrinal statements) that you practically jump for joy. I greatly appreciated your messages on the eons. We had a similar study at our little church last year, and I had never heard this truth before. But I enjoyed your gift on presenting truth in a simple understandable way, and that will help me to study the issue further myself, so I thank you for that.
I also greatly enjoyed your explanation of Luke 16, the Rich Man and Lazarus. We had also come to the same conclusion. A friend of ours who was part of the "grace movement" for many, many years was actually ousted from that organization (which frankly, is a good thing, not a bad thing) because he held that same truth and dared preach it. These organizations consider themselves Bereans, sadly.
Keep up the good work and thanks.
My wife and I have greatly enjoyed your books and listening to your ZenderTalk online. I am an active duty Army chaplain and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. Throughout my Christian life I have often been told that I "am out in left field" or that I have a "cavalier spirit." I tend to question things and sometimes feel like God has called me to a ministry similar to that of a Martin Luther. I am at the point now where I need to take a stand and let my views on hell and ultimate reconciliation be known to my denomination. But I know that once I do this I will be ousted and then forced to either find another denominationóin order to remain a chaplainóor leave the chaplaincy.
I would love to start some kind of conversation with you and maybe even meet with you some day. If you are holding any conferences in my area, then please let me know, as my family would like to attend.
Keep fighting the good fight!!
In Godís Abounding Grace.
I am looking forward to hearing you on Frank Whalen's program
again, soon, I hope.
Greetings and how are you doing? I am a Nigerian male, a very close friend to a lady who introduced your site to me and the teachings about EON and all that and in fact I really appreciate you and wish meet you, I think you have a lot of works to do in this crucial time so that many are reached for until she introduced that to me I had no idea of such things and really I should say here that I wish you reachout and make a change particularly this adultrated message that is in vogue this day I wish join you in the goodnews to give knowledge to people, afterall my people perish for lack of knowledge is what is written in Hosea 4:6.
Please do give your contact so that we can communicate and see the possibility of being a part. Thanks as I await your actions.
A friend of mine found your web site and told me that I might like it. He was right. I read some of the material you have up and plan to order some of your books. Which one do you recommend I read first?
I enjoyed reading your response to the Baptist preacher. I have made attempts to have discussions with many people like him over the years. I am sad to report that most of those conversations did not go well. I used to go to Bible studies to try to learn new things about the Lord and the Word. However, just a simple question about any of the basic evangelical doctrines seemed to upset most of the preachers, teachers, and church leaders. I soon concluded that most "bible study groups" are not interested in learning anything new. The teachers are focused on teaching what they already believe. Critical thinking is not allowed. If a "student" should, God forbid, question anything that is being taught, then he or she is being disruptive and argumentative. I cannot tell you the number of times over the years that I was told that I needed to "get right with God" because I had the audacity to question what was being taught.
Jesus is my Messiah. I have been a believer since the Lord found me way back in 1966. A young lady told me that God loved me and had a wonderful plan for my life. She was associated with Campus Crusade for Christ at the time and I also got involved. However, I left organized Christianity a couple years later and have never looked back. I fellowship with believers, both those within organized religion and those out, whenever and wherever. I understand and appreciate the value and joy of being part of the body of Christ.
The focus of my existence is to know the Lord better and better and to become conformed to Him while waiting for His return and the establishment of His kingdom here on earth. I think that is the same hope that Paul had and that kept him going until his physical death.
My first impression of you, when reading the stuff on your web site, was that Martin understands the joy of knowing the Lord. What a blessing. I would bet, if I was a betting man, and I am, that you love to laugh about life. I hope Iím not wrong about that. One of my greatest joys over the years has come from being in my office at home and hearing my wife and/or kids in another part of the house laugh out loud. I donít even know why they are laughing, but it just warms my heart to hear them laugh. There is something about laughter that is uplifting to me.
I didnít mean for this to be so long. I really just wanted to introduce myself and to encourage you to continue to do what God has obviously called you to do. You see some truths in the Word that few see. I am always amazed at how smart everyone is that believes what I believe. (Just kidding.) I believe that the Bible is big on unity, but does not demand uniformity. Jesus the Christ is the head, we are part of the body only through His grace. It is not anything I did, it was all Him. Thank God for that.
Drop me a note if you have a minute. I look forward to reading some of your books. Thanks for what you do in the name of the Lord.
An awakening: a short testimony.
I was raised in a Christian family that believed traditional Christian doctrine. When I was seventeen I became a staunchly legalistic, judgmental hellfire and brimstone preacher. I thought every time I sinned I lost my salvation and believed pretty much everyone but me was lukewarm and on their way to hellóeven my family, who are dedicated lovers of God. I thought they were going to hell because they watched movies and didn't have a "burden for souls." I thought it was my job to save the whole world from hell. I thought, like most other Christians, billions upon billions of humans that God birthed into existence for love and for His glory would be barbecued alive for never-ending ages.
I went through three years of utter torment in my mind, because I
thought I was hopelessly unforgivable, destined for the eternal
torture and never-ending anguish of hell, and hopeless without any
escape. The love of God was almost non-existent to me. You think a
parent verbally/emotionally abusing their children causes torment in
a child's heart and mind and produces emotional scars? Well imagine
me as a teenager, not even knowing who I was, and thinking that my
Maker Who created me was ready at any moment to cast me into a fire
that would burn and torture my flesh for trillions of ages without
end, completely abandoning me, only for me to scream and writhe in
hopeless misery forever. Such a thought is the most demonic, evil,
and horrifying thought able to enter the mind, and it makes the
spirit faint and shrivel; I wanted to vomit sometimes, I was
physically ill. I lay in my bed weeping at night, sweating, and
shaking in terror.
He rescued me from the chains of torment and darkness and lifted me to His beautiful light and love eternal. Now I am on a journey, every day is more of an awakening to His beauty. All of life is joyous and sacred and drawing me closer to knowing the breathtaking God. I have discovered a love that never fails, or may I say, my eyes were opened to see it, and my heart is ever being found and set free, retrieved from the fall, rescued from fear, restored in His infinite love. Knowing this wondrous revelation of God causes my heart to soar, gives new meaning and constant beauty to all of life, increases my adoration, love, and devotion to the Creator.
As one man said, the absolutely most important thing about us is
how we think about God, for that is the highest thought a man can
entertain: who God is and what he perceives God to be like. It will
trickle down into our lives and affect how we see everything. It
will affect how we see life, how we love others, it will affect our
love and adoration of the Creator and thus affect our very joy and
Well Martin, what can I say? I will miss your charming voice every morning. ZenderTalk came along right at the perfect time for me and my walk. Out of church, kids but no husband to blame, looking for some answers. You gave me what I needed. As time goes on, I feel myself getting stronger.
One thing you did for me was help me see how stupid most of Christianity is. I don't ever want to return to that kind of insanity. And I won't. You taught me to stand on my own and I'm able to do that now. It would take too long for me to go into all that God has done in me these last few months. I will tell you the big one though. He has shown me (absolutely) that our relationship is up to Him and not me. Gee, what a relief that one is!!! I'm getting free of all of the years of religious teaching that put it all in my hands. Thank God, my children will NOT grow up with that burden of trying to keep God happy.
I'll miss ZenderTalk, but I will be looking forward to what's new. Thanks again, and God bless.
P.S. I read something the other day that I thought was kind of funny. It said: "Stay home on Sundays and save 10%." I'd get it on a T-shirt, but in my little community I'd be labeled a heretic or witch or something. But I thought it was pretty funny.
Anyway, had to let you know that you are touching peopleís lives in a positive way. Please put me on your newsletter list. Keep on following God's lead, we're with you. Love ya, man. Grace and peace to you and your family.
In doing some further research on the meaning of "eonian", I came upon your website. Thanks to you for your writings and exhortations regarding the true scripture that God has given us. I have spent the last several months researching Christian doctrine in light of the writings of you and other like-minded followers of Christ. It has been a huge relief to see that there are others who have felt in their inner being that something about the doctrine on which they were raised was just not quite "right." Of course, it is hard for anyone to forsake that which they have held dear since their inception (conception?), but it is certainly God working in His own way to drag us closer to him.
But I digress...my question concerns that of education. As a father, I am sure you, too, can empathize with the dilemma a Christian parent faces. I have my four year-old son enrolled at a school that is run by the church we attend. Although they truly love the kids with all their heart, I am uneasy about the aspect of indoctrination that occurs to children of such a young age, though I also see the same attempts at indoctrination (on another level, certainly) from leaving my children in the care of the public school system. Because my wife and I both work, the feasibility of home school is not a realistic alternative so I am wondering what advice you would give to someone in our situation. I truly want my son to be exposed to the real message of the Word, but also be educated in a way that allows him to see God for what he really isóa benevolent, loving Being who only desires us to spend eternity with Him.
Thank you again for your words and wisdom. I have never doubted God's sovereignty in my life, but it was certainly nice to (through His intervention) be connected to a body of believers that can share the true Good News of His Word.
Hey brother Martin,
Just a short note to let you know I really appreciate what it is God has you doing, your articles, books and weekly ZenderTalks have been very enlightening and encouraging. Keep on keepin' on. I look forward to next week when you tackle the trinity issue, although I believe Jesus to be fully God, fully man. I welcome the challenge to think differently if need be.
Grace & peace, my friend.