Experience tainted by personal thoughts


I’m writing in response to Eric Novotny’s letter in the April 11 edition of the Collegian. I want to start off by saying that Mr. Novotny landed a qualitatively cheap shot on Christians by pulling all kinds of vauge references from the Old Testament, often out of context, to use in making them look bad. Unless one has a deep understanding of the Jewish faith, which most of us (including Mr. Novotny) probably do not, then there’s a good deal of info in the Old Testament which lends itself quite easily to such remarks as his. Now then, I simply want to clarify a few of his points, since they didn’t get a fair shake from him. First, Lot. He had ANGELS in his protection! In a moment of panic knowing that he was required to keep them safe (and free from defilement), I’m almost surprised that he didn’t offer his wife also. If two angels showed up at my door carrying messages from God for me, I’d probably offer my only good eye in exchange for their safe-keeping. And the whole drunken-impregnation thing … that was their idea, not his! He didn’t rape them, he was passed out. They got him drunk to continue their family line since their mother was now a pillar of salt and not about to bear their dad any sons. I admit this is strange, but let’s not forget, the law of Moses (which forbids incest) hadn’t been given yet, so do not be so quick to mock his status as a “just and righteous man.” The verse about the bears mauling 42 youths -they were jeering at Elisha, one of the most revered of God’s prophets. Today that’d be like running up to Billy Graham and spitting on him! No one would think highly of you for doing that, especially God. Now about God being pro-life, that verse in Hosea is God simply stating a fact about a people who directly turned from Him. He gave no command to anyone, he just said “OK, you turn from me after I help you, let’s just see what happens next.” You’ll find this happens quite a bit, and it has nothing to do with God being cruel or bloodthirsty. It has everything to do with His people being wayward. He didn’t call down punishment for fun. There was always a cause. The verse about Jesus and stoning children is very badly stretched by Mr. Novotny. He simply was quoting from the Ten Commandments really, and was not speaking of merely disobedient children, but those who “curse their father and mother” which is quite different, and which is quite obviously a violation of the aforementioned commandments. Again, this socially-understood practice in Jesus’ time is unfairly criticized when compared to modern society. If you have issue with these things, then you need to speak to a Jew, not mock a Christian or his Bible. Finally, the verse about the 144,000 going to heaven: Mr. Novotny is just plain wrong. That’s not what it says at all. There are a few differing views on who this group is exactly, but no mainstream Christian group, Protestant or Catholic, teaches that these are the only people going to heaven, the statement is ridiculous. I will end with a quote from C.S. Lewis that speaks to what I’m saying with this whole letter: “Experience by itself proves nothing. Experience proves this, or that, or nothing, according to the preconceptions we bring to it.” I estimate that this explains the bulk of Mr. Novotny’s complaints. His “experience” with Christianity is tainted by his own thought. Subsequently his cynicism seeps from every misleading word he writes.

Chris BosHistory and geography