Have you ever read John 14:6 or John 8:58? In your song "One", you say that Budda, Allah and Jesus are really the same God. I was just wondering how you came to that conclusion. Your playing and tone are hard to beat. I am a big fan.
Hi James,thanks for your reply. The lyric I am referring to is:
Watch where your going, but know where you've been.
One is all knowing and waiting within.
Jesus,Muhammad are all in the same.
Allah and Buddah they all share the name.
I realize that there are many religions, and that there teachings all contadict each other. Jesus said in John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one come to the Father except through Me.The Bible says that Christ will come live within us only if we invite Him in. First we have to admit that we are a sinner in need of a saviour and ask Him to be our saviour. The Bible teaches that There is no "League of Super Friends" such as on the American cartoon South Park, and there is no other way that anyone will ever escape eternal ****ation other then through taking Jesus up on His free offer of Salvation. God could not wink at sin. It had to be paid for, so He sent His son to take the punishment that we deserved because He loves us. I know from the titles of the songs on "Son of Man" that you have read the bible, so this is why I was suprised to hear these lyrics. I must say that you are one of the most gifted guitarist that I have ever heard, and some days I am sure you are the very best. Your tone is second to none. I have a couple of Malmsteen Strats. I love the scalloped necks on these guitars. I would love to own a scalloped neck Super Avanti some day as well. Thank you for being kind enough, and cool enough, to actually converse with your fans. Please know that I mean NO disrespect by my question. I was just suprised to hear those lyrics.
What if Jesus had been born in India? Or China? Or anywhere else with an established religious tradition?
Consider the many possible implications of that question, then consider the next statements:
"Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, ***but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven***. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles? And then I will declare to them, ***I never knew you***, Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness."
One of my best friends is a Muslim. Do you know what Muslims do on Christmas? They FEED THE POOR.
Now, you tell me Robert: Do you have the authority to state that because my friend comes from a different religious tradition, that because in his country, and with HIS family, "truth" is Islam, that the God you claim to believe in, is going to turn his back on my pal, while embracing the likes of people who supposedly have the "right" religion, but who actually think they can speak for God in matters of judgement?
Personally, I've cast my lot with the side of humanity who actually practices, no matter WHAT they "preach" or believe. Maybe you didn't notice an irony about the album "Son of Man": There isn't a word on it. No lyrics. No message whatsoever. That's because if he was who he said he was, there are a whole lot of people who know him without knowing it, but there are a whole lot of other people who BELIEVE that they know him, who are speaking for him, and who will eventaully find out that they do not. "Jesus" is dead. He died 2,000 + years ago at the hand of the religious. The spirit which animated him as a physical mortal being, resides in every human being. The people who murdered him refused to accept that message because it didn't stroke their egos and they didn't like the idea they weren't better than the common prostitute or drunkard living a life of sin. Some people fail to find that spirit both in themselves, and inevitably then in others. "Religion" is the Devil's playground Robert. He's laughing his ass off. He's got millions upon millions as the anti-Christ that's all around you, while fools fixate on demonic imagry and pitch-forks. I didn't just read the Bible Robert. I studied it. I studied translation against translation, Aramaic against Greek againt English against Hebrew. I also read other Holy Books, including The Quran and the Talmud. This person you know as Jesus today, he stood so clearly against religious legalism, and so clearly condemned those who believed their religion would "save" them, it is beyond me how anyone who claims to know the Bible -as opposed to believing what someone else TELLS them it says or means- could ever question the salvation of another human being, based on their religion.
Who among humanity is really keeping what is refered to as "the Royal law"? Look around Robert. "America" and "Israel" have fundamentally declared war on Islam. Perhaps if you follow the money, you will learn something; Muslims actually keep the commandment against usury. Families help one another. They will not loan at interest. Do you know what that makes them? A THREAT. To WHO and to WHAT Robert. What makes this world "go around" Robert. MONEY. Who's kingdom is this world. If you really understand the message of Jesus, you will understand his rejection of this world, of "the money".
I think you're going to be very suprised to see ultimate reality when it finally reveals itself to you.
I do not claim to be a Christian. I don't claim to be saved. I don't claim ANYTHING. It's not my right. I do -however- explicitly make a point these days of totally disavowing any approval or agreement with America's so-called "Christian right". One of the very few things I am certain of in terms of "religion" is that their beliefs, values, and judgements could not be more antithetical to the teachings of Jesus himself if they actually tried.
God alone will judge me and I have no certainty of the verdict ("who hopes for what is certain"). But once in a while, here and now, it is demanded of me by circumstance or directly, that I must judge something. There are times when one must. This assertion by you is one of those times.
Open your mind Robert. Love of "Religion" is the other root of all evil, and especially here in the west, where it is directly connected to the love of self and the "love of money". I want nothing to do with the "Christian Church". There is only one God, maker of heaven and earth. Anyone who does his will, regardless of what they know, say, or believe, is going to be just fine in the end. And if you don't believe me, then go back to the one you say you're following and read his words.
Thanks for your kind words otherwise Robert,
Thank you for your thoughtful and passionate response. I too am disgusted with many of the same issues and people that you are. I do my best to emulate Jesus on a daily basis and everyday I fail miserably. I too study the Bible, and I do take it literally. Believe me, I realize what a horrible example of Christ's love Christians can be. Myself included. I fall short of God's glory everyday. I see people on TV who claim to be Christian's who are just trying to get rich. They, as well as all of us, will have to answer to a Holy God someday. It does not matter if they believe in Him or not. When some guy is asking an old lady to send in her last twenty dollars so he can get gas for his Rolls, God is not happy. I also realize that wars are fought over things like gas and lots of money to be had.
My writting of this e-mail is not motivated by any kind of hate or feeling of superiority, but only out of concern for others and their eternal destiny. This is because I do believe the Bible to be the inspired, inerrant word of God. The Amplified Bible, which I am sure you know, attempts to capture the full meaning behind the original Greek and Hebrew. The Amplified translates the words of Jesus written in John 8:24 as follows:
That is why I told you that you will die in [under the curse of] your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He [Whom I claim to be-if you do not adhere to, trust in, and rely on Me],you will die in your sins.
Jesus does instruct us to do good works and love one another, but Jesus never taught that doing so will get us into heaven. None of us are that good. We are guilty of Pride as soon as we think that we are. We are warned in the Bible against the consequences of counting the blood of Christ as a common or unnecessary thing [Hebrews 10:29]. God sacrificed His Son to pay a debt that all of us owe and none of us can pay. Many of my friends do not share the same beliefs that I have, but we manage to love each other irregardless of our different views. I would never do another person harm in order to make them convert to the God that I believe in. Jesus wants us to come to Him by our own free will. I will continue to pray good things for you James, and I will continue to enjoy and be amazed by the incredible music that you create.
You may well consider me the devil's advocate for saying this, but be that as it may;
"Harming others" can be effected in so many ways, many of them subtle. You say you take the Bible "literally". That's a mistake of epic proportions. It certainly is not "inerrant word of God". Which translation Robert? In what language, and with what interperation? Have you literally plucked out your eye and cut off your hand? I assume you sometimes say these things without really considering the total implication. People who claim they take the Bible literally, certainly do not. But they may have a good bit of it wrong, or -for example- absolutely backwards. The so-called "Rapture" is a great example of this. Most Christians not only have no idea what's being spoken of, but in fact, have everything inverted. You have to seriously understand the original possible meanings of some very critical terms. There is not a single English translation of 2nd Thes. which is remotely correct.
For example, "appear in the clouds". No. The original word was a word meaning "a multitude" or large sea. As in a crowd. Not a cloud. Millions of Christians believe Jesus is coming like some cosmic vacuum cleaner to literally suck them into the sky.
These "beliefs" have been so ingrained into western Christianity, that no sanctioning body willing to recognize a genuinely correct translation of 2nd Thes. would ever see the light of day.
Robert, when you say you believe "The Bible", you are actually pledging your allegience not to God, but the authority of the Catholic Church, it's proclamations over the centuries, and it's final authority. It's only "The Bible" (A book) because THEY decided what it was. You unknowingly grant them the authority over dozens of scriptural disinclusions they saw as a threat to their temporal authority. Do you go to Church on Sunday? Do you even know why? If you were taking the Bible literally, you'd have to acknowledge that in this one point, the 7th Day Adventists are correct (they're wrong about virtually everything else). The Roman Church is responsible not only for Sunday, but the so-called "trinity of persons" contained in the Nicene creed. No trinity of persons is anywhere to be found in the Bible. It's a strict violation of page after page after page of clear proclamations that there is only ONE God.
Robert, with all due respect, you may as well be telling an astronaut that the earth is flat here. It's not. Nor is "The Bible" anything but a collection of 66 inspired scriptures carefully selected by a worldly institution hell-bent on wealth, power, and control (the Vatican). The world is fairly filled with "the word of God", both in 2 dimensions (books), or in 3 and 4. In fact, because "God" is everything, anything which is in fact "true" is truth, and if that is so, then who was the author? We author no truth. We only -hopefully- recognize it when we see it.
The notion that others are ****ed because they do not believe what you believe; what really are you doing about this? Because -personally- if I actually believed that my neighbor was going to be burned alive forever if he did not accept what I had to tell him, if I TRULY believed that, I wouldn't be sitting here reasoning with you; I'd be chopping through his front door with an axe and physically holding him down until he got "the message". THAT is how someone who REALLY believed what you've said you believe, really OUGHT to do. Maybe you should re-think this. By "this", I mean EVERYTHING. Maybe everything you "know" is wrong Robert. I may even be wrong. But I doubt it here. I've had this conversation with too many people.
You know the old saying "an unexamined life isn't worth living"? I say, an unexamined faith isn't worth having.
Doubt is highly underrated Robert. Where would we be right now if more people had doubted Bush's claim about WMD in Iraq. I didn't believe it for one minute. I've seen too much life, and understand the nature of the beast too well to be sold a pig in a poke. Doubt is GOOD. No one who doubted their own "rightness" ever killed another human being. People who follow orders are the threat. "An unconscious agent is an effective agent". Who and what "orders" the collective minds of America.
Do me a favor Robert; ask me something. Anything. But don't speak to me of "inerrancy". It's not here. Not in this world. It's one of the very few things I am absolutely certain of.
Ask my webmaster to forward any email you may want to write, and I'll reply and we can have a more serious dialog about these matters. I don't think there's anything more (today) important right now. Look around.