Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cold Call Story: Grinding Theological Axes Over The Phone

I just got off the phone with an idiot. He found my number in association with a religious organization and proceeded to ask me if he could ask a question about the Trinity. Feeling like this might be a chance to talk through what is a hairy and sometimes difficult issue, I listened to his question. As a pastor, I have received several calls and had several conversations about difficult biblical issues, so it does not take long for me to separate the wheat from the chaff.

This guy was chaff.

He asked me a legitimate question about a single passage of Scripture that to him seemed to be the final word on the Father being the only God. I replied by saying that the entire NT deals with all three members of the Trinity as God, and that a single verse that names only one or two of them is a bad basis for determining doctrine and excluding the rest of the Trinity.

He then proceeded to lecture me about how the NT nowhere treats the Holy Spirit as God, and later in the conversation, admitted that Jesus is not God but the first created being. His hang up was neither personal nor legit-he called under false pretences to grind a theological axe and waste my time.

He refused to answer my question about why he called except to tell me he wanted to know why I was associated with this cult-like heresy. He claimed to be a Bible student, but when I asked him what his background was or where he went to school, he literally hemmed and hawed with no answer. Apparently he has hit on the truth by himself in contradiction to the history of the orthodox church. Chances are, he is either a zealous individual looking for Christians to yell at over the phone, or he is a part of some kind of school or “church” that does this as their form of outreach or training.

Besides basing his entire theology of the Godhead on a single verse, his reasoning was fraught with logical errors. For one example, he replied at one point to my appeal to 2000 years of orthodoxy that just because people believed the earth was flat for 3000 years doesn’t make it true. His rejoinder is basically right, except that 3000 years from now we will all still believe the earth is basically round. Why? Because we have really good evidence for that fact. Likewise, we have really good evidence for the truth of the Trinity over his “novel” Arianism.

He also dipped into the screed about how evil that 2000 year-old Church has been, killing thousands of people through the centuries. I replied that those actions, though horrible, have no bearing on the truth or falsity of the Church’s doctrine. He replied, “Oh yes they do!”

And the kicker is that he began demanding “a single verse” in the Bible that taught that Jesus was God, that the Holy Spirit was God, or anything close to the doctrine of the Trinity.

Take it from someone who had locked horns in “Scripture quoting mêlées” before-that would have done no good. He was clearly ready to “defeat” any verse or passage I leveled at him (I had already given him several in my opening statement-which he never addressed). So I asked him if he was ready to defeat every passage I would give him or if he would listen to any of them. His reply, “Just give me one verse!”

So, for those of you who are still stuck in the mire of the Athanatian Creed and the general orthodoxy of an evil Church, I am sorrowed to inform you have you have been duped into the clutches of a horrible cult.

I’ll see you at the next meeting.

3 comments:

Jeff Downs said...

Phil, if it is the same man that I and others have spoken to, he is a Jehovah's Witness and is either Nelson Herley or another man who asks the very same questions as Nelson. He like to tell people what the really believe.

Jeff Downs said...

Phil, if it is the same man that I and others have spoken to, he is a Jehovah's Witness and is either Nelson Herley or another man who asks the very same questions as Nelson. He like to tell people what the really believe.

Phil Steiger said...

Amazing. I got the feeling this was a person who had done this before and I was just the next person on his list to call. It is incredible to me to imagine a life of doing that all day long-just getting in arguments with people on purpose.