From: "Chris M*****"
Subject: INteresting....
Date: Wed, 17 Jul 2002 23:01:10 -0400

Hey Darwin,
I'm from Maine.  I'm 18 years old and I'm working full time at my church as director of youth and worship.  I found your website very challenging. 
"Some people are prepared to forget that religion was ever embraced. 
Fundamental religious beliefs are definitely becoming passť.  Not only is Jesus a no-show but the Pope is Humpty Dumpty.  Christianity has fallen off the wall and is colliding with the ground.  As it comes apart at the seams, other major religions will disintegrate with it.  There is much evidence that people are dissatisfied and dismayed with religion today.  Congregation counts are falling off and people are expressing concern that the word of God is no longer politically correct within today's society."
Wow...  IN some ways you are right.  The church is falling apart!
I also found it interesting how you said that Christians follow their faith blindly.  I think you're right...  But not for me...  i've grown up in a christian home and I've tried to think of how things could have happened... 
Let's start at the beginning:
First step is to believe in a creator of the earth right?  If there was no creator than there is no God!  I believe in God as a creator because there is no other way.  Ok...  There were gases that created the earth into what it is today.  Where did those gases come from.  Some people don't believe in God because they say "where did he come from?"  God is supernatural.  If there is a creator than he created what we call today "natural".  He created gravity, time, and all physics.  Therefore it would be possible for something supernatural that we can't understand.
Well then what?  What God is the true God?  Now I'm not big on the old testament.  What can I say, I'm only 18.  I do believe in Jesus though because of hard facts!  I haven't heard anyone say before that they thought Jesus never existed.  If that were the case than why the big craze over him?  did a bunch of guys sit in a room and make the whole thing up?  If you read the bible try and figure out why they would go through the trouble to make ALL THAT UP!  4 witnesses claiming the same things about Jesus!  Not just one guy starting things but a lot of different authors created the bible.  Who decided to put those books in there?  I don't even know!  All I know is that the book just works!  How many times has a verse helped someone through a struggle they were having.  How many people still agree with the credibility?  I read 3 chapters of my bible a day...  I do believe that the bible was inspired by God...  I don't take it word for word though!  I'm not gonna "chop off my hand if it causes me to son"  I have to look at that verse in context.  He's making a point!  FLEE from temptation.  If you don't want to smoke pot, don't sit in a room full of people doing it!  "Women must where head coverings"  YEAH!  Back then they should have!  If you didn't you were considered to be a prostitute!
Just to touch on what you said about people entering into heaven and being judged by God.  I thought what you said was funny...  I hope you were 100% kidding though...  lol  Ummm...  If we believe there's a God that is supernatural don't you think that time wouldn't be much of an issue???
I believe in God for those reasons.  But the last reason is because I pray. 
I pray and many times I have seen God use his creation (the world) and use natural things to make amazing things happen.  I'm working full time and ONLY doing the things that I'm gifted at and LOVE doing!  How lucky is that?  It's not...  It's a God thing:)  I work with kids my age.  Counsel them, lead them, and hopefully inspire them to live of passion!:)  I DO believe in God!  That's why i'm writing this e-mail.  Maybe SOMEBODY will read this and say "hey maybe there is a God."  If what I believe is true I BETTER tell as many people as I can!  If not people will not be with me when I enter eternity.
To finish this off again I will say that your website was challenging.  You talked about hypocracy and the dying church.  You are right.  People ARE going through the motions now and church is just a tradition.  My goal is to show people what I have thought through and come to realize!  My prayer is that they will just examine all the evidence of both sides, and see God. 
-Chris M*****