Some years ago, I worked in an office with a man who would frequently refer to himself as the father and referred to everyone else as his children. For the sake of this man’s anonymity, we’ll just refer to him as Wolf.
Wolf’s alpha-male persona was the defining characteristic of his personality that everyone grew to expect when encountering him around the office. This man often even referred to himself as a god. I’m sure you know the type.
I know now, of course, he was only being sarcastic. He was only trying to be funny. “Good morning, my children”, he would say. “You just let your dad take care of that for you”. Dozens of little comments like this several times a day constantly reminding everyone in the office that HE was our father. I have to admit, sometimes is was kind of funny.
Wolf was also well known for his constant belittling of others. Not so funny. For the most part, everyone enjoyed Wolf’s company and conversations in the same way most people enjoy a good celebrity roast. Even my direct supervisor once referred to him as “comic relief” in our weekly team meeting. This was the common perception of Wolf. He was funny and he was fun to be around.
The company where I worked was a medium sized private company and the human resources department was well aware of Wolf’s often offensive language and foul behavior. The truth is, they didn’t care. As far as I could tell, he was one of their own.
Wolf and his pack of agnostics and atheists were a majority in the department where I worked. Together, they created a very loose atmosphere where godless conversation was rampant and every topic imaginable was put up for debate on a daily basis. I mean to say, it was an anything goes environment.
When it came to the topic of faith in Christ, I was fundamentally alone. I knew of at least two other men in the office who were professing Christians, but they would never stand up to the wolf pack. In fact, they would often engage in the same disgraceful dialog we heard every day. After all, who in their right mind wants to rail against the status quo in the office, right? Why rock the boat when you’re receiving a good paycheck?
More often than not, I would respond with what I believed was the appropriate Christian response. Other times I didn’t have the energy to put up with it. I would either remain silent or to my own folly, flat out lose my cool and say things I shouldn’t have. Ultimately, being on my best behavior wouldn’t have changed anything anyway. Wolf would give his pessimistic and godless views on life, and I would offer my own views. It was a constant struggle for me to endure Wolf’s consistent attacks. Though it was a good learning lesson, I wish I had been more diligent at times. In the end, neither of us were ever able to persuade the other to a different way of thinking.
One day, early in my employ at this company, the topic of the bible’s authenticity came before the proverbial water-cooler. I was ready for this. The majority were essentially stating the bible cannot be trusted as a factual record of events to have taken place. It was quite entertaining in fact to hear these men unknowingly expose how little they really knew about the bible while at the same time dismissing it as ‘a book written by charlatans all plagiarizing each other’s work over the centuries’. I am generalizing their comments a bit but that is in essence exactly what the wolf pack were claiming. They claim the bible is nothing more than a work of fiction written by multiple different authors, copycatting each other’s work over the course of several centuries all espousing the same ignorant religious hysteria the former authors had been referring too in years past. That is to say, the people who wrote the bible were parroting an ancient belief that there is an invisible man in the sky who loves us and takes care of us… which as they believe, is all nonsense. That was their way of thinking. The wolf pack claimed, to believe in an all-powerful God was derived as a means for the wiser few at the top to control the gullible many at the bottom – to make people feel better about themselves and their often-horrific conditions in this life. They believe the bible is nothing more than a story of imagination told over and over throughout the course of time combined with the fiction of the new testament era which would later be compiled into one book (the Holy Bible) and then propagated as a system of control over the masses. They believe, what would later become the Holy Bible is nothing more than an age-old fairytale. A children’s story not to be believed. In a nutshell, that is precisely the commentary I heard from the wolf pack.
This group, the wolf pack, absolutely loved trashing the gospel. They knew for certain, there is no God and they were always willing to tell me about their faith in atheism without consequence. For nine hours a day, five days a week, for nearly five years, I would sit in the cubical next to these men knowing full well that at any moment they would deliver yet another witty quip about how Christ never existed, the gospel is a fantasy and the alpha males in society are the only true gods of this world. My hat is off to these men as I have to admit, they are not entirely wrong. It is written that Christ said, “my kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4).
What I really want to point out in this scenario is that I am still to this day very grateful to have had time with these men. I am grateful because it allowed me to realize first hand, it is not our job as Christian to change the hearts and minds of others. It is our job as Christians to plant the seeds of the Gospel (Luke 8:4-15). It is only then where God the Holy Spirit has the ability to water that seed and allow it to grow. If we are neglect in our responsibilities as Christians, there will have been no seeds planted and therefore no harvest to reap (Jhn 4:35).
“Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 36Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (Mat 9:35-38)
So, that is what I attempted to do every day for nearly five years. Plant the seed of the Gospel. Some days it felt like I was only making a fool of myself. Other days I felt like I was making a difference. I could see a slight glimmer in Wolfs eyes on occasion as he briefly contemplated some of the things I had said. I could see the wheels begin to turn. Though these moments were rare, it felt good to experience the thought of helping someone in that way.
I remember at one point specifically, a new question dawned on me. I asked Wolf quite suddenly if he had ever read the bible for himself. After all, he and his pack had such strong opinions about the scriptures. Perhaps they could enlighten me. I’m sure in all their wisdom they must have at some point read the bible for themselves, right?
Wolf chuckled with cynicism and said, “no”.
I then asked Wolf quite frankly, “how can you write a book report on a book you have never read?” Without the slightest bit of hesitation, he responded, “I don’t read fiction”.
Over the course of the next few months I attempted to introduce Wolf to much of the archaeological evidence proving the stories of the bible to be historically accurate, but my testimony fell on deaf ears. My efforts appeared to be futile. By the time I left the company, Wolf was no closer to a relationship with Christ than I was to being a world renown hunter-gatherer. It just wasn’t going to happen.
It should be no surprise to learn I was eventually and abruptly let go. We came to the mutual consensus that I was clearly not a company man.
Throughout my years of researching the teachings of modern Christianity, I have found many of the questions I posed to atheists such as Wolf were still relevant in the Christian world.
Most Christians do not believe what they believe because they have read the bible for themselves and have come to their own conclusions based on years of studying scripture. No, most Christians simply accept church doctrine as fact while being force-fed pamphlet propaganda from their denomination’s headquarters and never opening the bible for themselves. Most Christians tend to never question church doctrine – ever. They simply walk in and out the doors Sunday or Saturday morning fully content that what they are being taught is the full truth and nothing but the truth.
Dearly beloved, I pose to you the same question I posed to my atheist friend Wolf; how can you write a book report on a book you have not read for yourself?
It wasn’t until I began reading, studying and taking notes for myself that I began to see the bigger picture. The scriptures in the Holy Bible are packed full of wisdom, knowledge and very insightful history I formerly did not know from my time in the various churches. I was unaware of certain truths until after the time in which I had begun studying the bible for myself.
This book, the Christian Doctrine Paradox, is a result of over ten years of research into the mysteries of my faith and the many questions I ask surrounding the various denominations of Christianity.
I am a non-denominational believer. This is a non-denominational book. I am not starting a new church and I do NOT want your money. I do not want your “tithes”, nor do I deserve them.
If you cannot afford this book, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you on a list to send you this book for free; paid out of my own pocket. I am not a wealthy man so this may take some time. I would only ask that you please be patient. If I do ever receive proceeds from this book they will likely go back into the coffers to pay for the copies to distribute among those who cannot afford the book.
In addition, relevant segments of this book will be posted on my website/blog with a section for anyone who wishes to freely read and comment on what I have written. If you find something in this book that you believe is not biblically accurate, I challenge you to prove me wrong; please leave a comment. I will respond in kind Christian behavior. I do not have all the answers, my friends. But I can tell you for certain I have found the modern Christian doctrine to be lacking in the fullness of truth when it comes to Christs teachings.
I hope and pray you will read this book with an open mind. To every controversial topic I discus in this book, I have listed biblical chapter and verse for clarity of my understanding. If what I say is not true, call me out. Show me specifically in the scriptures where I have spoken falsely.
In my opinion, modern Christianity has been blinded by the devil. I challenge the reader to test what I say against scripture. Do not just read these words blindly, but read also the scriptures I use to prove what I say. Read the bible for yourself!
If what I say is not true, open your bible and show me where I have gone wrong.
These studies were written with a soft heart and open arms. Beloved of God, I do not have the truth; I have been seeking the truth. In a world full of lies, I am passionate about finding the truth. My quest for obtaining the truth is the reason I have written this book and hope to distribute it to the masses. I pray the holy spirit of our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ comfort you and keep you as you read through these chapters.
Brothers and sisters, you should never feel ashamed to question the status quo while seeking the truth.
Philip Joel Walls https://doctrineparadox.com/