A final exchange with those prophets of FAIL, Paul and Victor.
Whether you score a 6 or a 60, without justification you have played the part of an antagonistic, caustic adversary. In other words, in the vernacular of our day, you are acting like an asshole. We don’t need a test to prove that. The evidence is right here in our correspondence.
Yes, I did prophesy that God would require respect and humility from you. That is not an evil thing or remotely resembling a curse. On the contrary, it is a very good thing. You are the one who made it a “curse” about your tongue. What you are telling us is that you would rather lose your tongue than use it for wholesome purposes; you would have God remove it first. We say, “So be it.”
I did say, “Mark your calendar.” All that meant was to note the time when you determinedly set your face towards destruction. And, no, I did not expect you to do this, or to understand. I also prophesied that when all is said and done, which will not take long, you will know that you have been dealing with the Real Thing; God is with us.
I said it will not go well for you. It can’t, not with the way you conduct yourself. The law of reaping and sowing has not been repealed. That is the truth, which does not require a prophet to pronounce.
Furthermore, even before you spoke up about your challenge of a week to fulfill the curse you determined on yourself, I prayed to God that He would give you to ask of Him what you should have for a judgment. I had no way of knowing you would actually do such a thing. But there you were, the very next day, asking that God would silence your tongue, and giving Him a week deadline to do so.
He has not. So what are you to make of this? Obviously to you it is reason to celebrate and ridicule us all the more. No doubt you will do the same with this letter. But we ask you to publish it. We certainly will. We have nothing to hide or fear.
Here is what I see: God is longsuffering, which fools mistake for non-existence.
We will now see what He does, and, as I said before, it won’t be long. It will also be on record, whether at your site or ours or both, for all to see and to fear.
I’ve seen some pretty sad attempts at spin by false prophets in my day, but this is certainly one of the most condensed, steaming piles of pitiful backpedaling I’ve ever encountered. A straightforward reading of your earlier condemnatory statements is that you were indeed pronouncing a divine curse upon my tongue and/or my life, to be carried out in short order: divine poetic justice meted to an insolent reprobate. It evokes all the certainty and immediacy of the judgement pronounced upon Ananias and Sapphira— I’m sure it’s one of your favorites. In fact I just checked: A quick search reveals that no less than 27 pages of your site mention the story— one of the most vile tools of extortion antiquity has given us, and still in active use today by you and your ilk.
And, had perchance some grievous harm befallen me during my circumscribed “curse week,” is any reader of these words stupid enough to think that you would not now be trumpeting my downfall as an example of your divine authority?
But denied that pleasure, you now attempt to retroactively transmute your leaden threats into gilded, nuanced warnings to a lost child— manifestations of divine love, but still with the amorphous-yet-hateful “it won’t be long” barb attached. I conclude that you are either extremely poor con men, or else earnest but so tone deaf in the art of human communication that you simply don’t realize how clownish such statements make you look. You should do yourselves a favor, and “remain silent to be thought a fool, rather than in speaking remove all doubt.” Indeed the Bible says God chooses the foolish, and certainly there is a correlation, but I propose you consider the converse: the foolish choose God. And the Most Foolish give themselves over so completely to this choice that they end up believing they speak for God— in effect, they become their conception of God. But the punch line soaring over your head is that you are not unique: you are just another in a long and growing line of the “touched” I have personally encountered.
Recall that it is you who originally contacted me, with an unsolicited and impersonal message about another false prophet, Ron Weinland— one of your competition for that hot commodity, the credulous. Many of us call that sort of contact “spam,” and consider it rude from the outset, but I suppose you never picked up on that bit of etiquette before you found the Send button. The links in your spam lead to your site where you pronounce yourselves not merely humble seekers after truth, but in sole and solid possession of “The Path Of Truth.” Just as Ron Weinland (“God’s Final Witness”) does and just as Herbert Armstrong (“The Plain Truth,” and “Mystery of the Ages”) did. Your web site portrays two men on the same hubristic path that Armstrong and Weinland have trod. You are no better than they are, and you are just as deserving of an entreaty to humility, which is exactly what my one-line reply to your spam contained. No, my little note wasn’t perfectly humble, but neither are spammers, or the web sites of spammers (such as yours.)
And what sort of reply did my entreaty receive? The most arrogant possible: a clear statement that you consider yourself equal to the old-testament prophets: that your humility is “Elijah’s humility.” You went on to pronounce me a “casualty of a prophet of Baal” (presumably you mean Armstrong) in your very first reply. But you do not know who I am; you do not know what good I do in the world, and you would reflexively deny it if I told you. You do not know me at all.
You went on to challenge me on my understanding of humility and I tried to use an example you would understand, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Did you say, “Yes, that is humility?” No, that’s not Elijah’s style. You didn’t even allow that it applied to you, as apparently your invisible friend has told you you’re perfect enough to go ahead and throw stones. You then attempted to deny me the privilege of quoting your own Bible back to you, and when I explained my understanding of that scripture more fully, you flip-flopped and asserted that your behavior accords with my interpretation of those words of Jesus. Thanks for granting some validity to my humanistic interpretation of scripture, although I doubt that was your intention.
I’ll leave you with another, more secular take on humility. Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, and quite likely our day’s most renowned atheist, entitled the core chapter of his book, “Why There is Almost Certainly No God.” Notice the qualifier there, “almost?” That is humility in action. That is an acknowledgement that there is room for doubt, even against the asymptote of certainty. That willingness to be wrong is one of the hallmarks of true science, and sadly, it is something you will probably never understand. Do you even dare to think the words, “There is almost certainly a God?” Unlike you, I make no claims to divine knowledge. With Dawkins, I think there is almost certainly no god, and I do so based upon the evidence I have encountered so far. If I ever receive sufficient evidence to change my mind on that matter, I will. Can you even conceive of evidence that would cause you to become an unbeliever? I freely admit I lack humility in at least one thing: I am proud of my ability to change my mind when warranted. After all, I already did once: I was a believer, and now I am not. No doubt you will gloat that I will change my mind again soon and become your brand of believer, but I warn you again against counting your chickens prematurely— a behavior to which you seem rather prone.
You can have your “Elijah’s humility”— that of your role-model slayer of those who believe differently. I’ll stick with Dawkins’ humility, thanks— but even Jesus’ humility seems preferable, when I can muster it.
See (no, I don’t suppose you do), it is you who do not understand the law of sowing and reaping: you have sewn the hot wind of arrogance from your very first piece of spam, and you have reaped the whirlwind of my words that ridicule you and reveal you as the bloodthirsty frauds you are— words that will stay on the Internet as long as it is within my power to keep them there. You think my words are to your advantage? Then publish all of our exchanges— unedited and in their entirety— on your web site, just as I have done so on my blog. I look forward to your visitors reading them there and making up their own minds as to the meaning and worth of our exchanges. If you feel really brave you will include a link back to me, as I have linked to you. But I do wonder whether you will publish them: you are obviously doing profitable business making up peoples’ minds for them.
In the teeming pond that is my life, you are a fascinating microbe, but other interests now call to me. Goodbye.
Update October 14, 2010: I noticed that Paul and Victor finally did get around to posting their version of our conversation on their Answering the Atheists page, as an article entitled An Atheist Tempts God. Of course, even though they started the correspondence, they wanted to end it too, and thus did not post my last missive to them, above. Rather unsporting of them, if you ask me.
And their web site now is now up to 52 references to Ananias and Sapphira.