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Let Us Reason Ministries Is Not Biblically Reasonable
Let Us Reason Ministries was founded in 1994 as an up-to-date apologetic resource center to instill both confidence and a desire to lead others to Christ by helping equip believers with both Biblical, and logical answers for the Christian faith. (www.letusreason.org/testim.htm, all quotes verbatim including all typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors, hard copies on file)
Let Us Reason Ministries is one more false Christian ministry among the many (2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3). It is based in Hawaii, and its director is Mike Oppenheimer. Besides the folly mentioned in Marks of a Cult?, further examples of Oppenheimer's deceit are given below.
I. The Wicked Are Not Necessarily Evil
In the "statement of purpose" Oppenheimer posts,
Those who are in cults are not necessarily evil. Mostly, they are sincere honest people who are our neighbors, and desire to do well in the community. A ministry like this is easy to be misunderstood, even by Christians. We do not harbor any resentment or hatred toward those in other religions or in Christian cults. The blame is not toward the people who are mostly sincere, following teachings they think is true. (www.letusreason.org/purpose.htm, bold added)
The reason Oppenheimer harbors no hatred for those in other religions is because he is unlike David who wrote,
I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked. (Psalm 26:3-5)
Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. I have hated those who regard useless idols; but I trust in the Lord. (Psalm 31:5-6)
David harbored hatred for those in other religions (idolatrous mortals, who regard idols), because he trusted in the Lord and walked in His truth. Oppenheimer does neither. He calls people who are in cults "not necessarily evil," "honest," and are not to be blamed.
Although the people have surely been deceived, and the ones who deceived them will certainly be blamed, the followers themselves are still without excuse (Romans 1:20-21). The deceived and the deceiver are His (Job 12:16), and He calls them both wicked, liars, and blames them (Psalm 119:53, 155; 145:20; Proverbs 6:12; 11:18; 12:5; 17:4; 30:6; Romans 3:4; 1 Timothy 4:2; 1 John 2:4, 22; 5:10). They are false witnesses (Proverbs 12:17), because they testify falsely about God (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:15); and false witnesses will be held accountable. They will not go unpunished (Proverbs 19:5, 9; 21:28; Revelation 21:8). "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord" (Proverbs 12:22) and He hates false witnesses (Proverbs 6:19). This is one terrible reality of being caught in a false religion. It makes a person a false witness before God, and it invokes His wrath (John 3:36).
Moreover, anyone who is caught in a cult or any kind of false religion is still lost in their sin and wicked (Romans 3:10-18; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 "idolaters"). Therefore, we know such people do not desire to do good, but only evil (Proverbs 17:11; 21:8, 10). But Oppenheimer says otherwise. The curse of Proverbs 24:24 is upon him.
He who says to the wicked, "You are righteous," Him the people will curse; nations will abhor him. (For the nations that will abhor him, see Isaiah 66:23-24)
II. A False Gospel
In the article, "In Response to all the Religions," Oppenheimer posts,
All religion's [sic] have in common man pleasing God by his own hands and deeds they are trying to reach upward to God. Christianity teaches man is unable to reach God so God himself reached downward from heaven, He personally became a man to accomplish the solution of our dilemma which has always been sin. (www.letusreason.org/Apolo14.htm)
Wicked men do not try "to reach upward to God." On the contrary,
He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. (Psalm 10:3-4).
The reason false religions exist is,
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)
[They] exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator. (Romans 1:25)
Men are not trying to reach God. They hate God (Romans 1:28-30) and refuse to come to Him. As Jesus said,
For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (John 3:20).
III. Falsehood On God
In the article, "THINGS GOD CANNOT DO," Oppenheimer posts,
2.Can God make a rock so big that even he can't lift it? If he can't lift it then he is not all powerful. Then the rock has become more powerful than God and whatever is more powerful than God is God. God has infinite qualities not finite, God can only do things that are possible he can't make square circles or a two sided triangle. It is asking God to bring about a logically contradictory state to his own nature. (www.letusreason.org/Apolo2.htm)
In the next paragraph,
Its not possible for God to make a rock so big that even he can't lift it.
Oppenheimer's statement, "God can only do things that are possible" denies the words of God through the angel Gabriel.
For with God nothing will be impossible. (Luke 1:37; see also Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27)
Oppenheimer relies upon logic (Proverbs 3:5-6) and argues that God "is not all powerful" if He can't lift a big rock. But, if nothing truly is impossible for God (Luke 1:37), then the Lord could indeed both create a large rock He could not lift, and then He could also lift it as well. For, truly, with God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37).
For example, Jesus acknowledged God's awesome unfathomable ways (Romans 11:33) when He prayed,
Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will. (Mark 14:36)
This is a prayer for the absolute impossible! Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20; Acts 2:23) and slain before the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). He came for the express purpose to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45; John 12:27), and here Christ asks for it all not to be (Luke 22:42). Isaiah 53 had already been prophesied. He must be "wounded for our transgressions" and "bruised for our iniquities" (Isaiah 53:5). He must be made "an offering for sin" (Isaiah 53:10) and pour "out His soul unto death" (Isaiah 53:12). God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). But, nonetheless, Christ prays, "Take this cup away from Me." This is the most impossible prayer ever recorded in holy writ! Truly, Jesus believed nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37).
Another example, which parallels the rock illustration, is when Jacob wrestled God (Genesis 32:24-30). Jacob and the Lord wrestled until day break and the Lord lost the battle. Even when God saw that He was losing, He supernaturally touched Jacob's hip out of joint (Genesis 32:25). But even this was to no avail. Finally, the Lord asked Jacob to let Him go, and he would not, until He blessed him (Genesis 32:26). Knowing that God is Almighty, surely the Lord could have prevailed against Jacob, for nothing is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37). Yet, in this wrestling match, the Lord lost, and the Scripture explicitly states that Jacob prevailed against God (Genesis 32:28; Hosea 12:3-4). It does not say the Lord let Jacob win. In fact, the text even details God using His supernatural power in an effort to prevail, and He still loses! The truth of the matter is, nothing will be impossible for God, even to the point of losing in a wrestling match.
So it is with the rock illustration. Christ, as God, could certainly make an overwhelmingly heavy rock that He could not lift as God in the flesh. But, at the same time, He could not only lift the rock, but the entire mountain as well (Mark 11:23). Within the limits of His own righteousness and holiness, nothing will be impossible with Him.
IV. Unwarranted Value
Speaking in the context of the fall, in the article "The Love of God," Oppenheimer posts,
Why did God not start everything over? First- because we have intrinsic value, we are valuable to God no matter what we do because we retain the image of God in us, though it is corrupted. This is why He can still love us. (www.letusreason.org/Doct44.htm)
In his article entitled, "Adam and Eve our beginnings," he writes,
We have intrinsic value. We are valuable to God no matter what we do because unlike any other creature we retain the image of God in us, though it is corrupted. This is why He can still love us and does not eliminate us. (www.letusreason.org/Doct36.htm)
This last statement is quite amazing. God has eliminated masses of people. He eliminated the entire population of the earth minus 8 in the flood (Genesis 6:13, 17-18; 7:21-23; see also The Lord Kills!)!
Scripture nowhere teaches that God loves us based upon being made in His image or some intrinsic value. It is indeed true that a man is more valuable than birds or a sheep (Matthew 6:26; 10:31; 12:12; Luke 12:24). Yet, God's love toward man is not because of some intrinsic value, because,
Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless. (Isaiah 40:17)
After a severe episode of being humbled by God, Nebuchadnezzar finally acknowledged,
All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing. (Daniel 4:35)
It is because God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) that men are loved. It has nothing to do with anything in them. Actually, wicked men are an abomination to God (Deuteronomy 25:16; Proverbs 3:32; 11:20; 16:5; 17:15; ). Their ways are abominable to Him (Proverbs 15:8-9). Their thoughts are abominable to Him (Proverbs 15:26). He downright hates them (Leviticus 20:23; Psalm 5:5-6; 11:5). Yet, He loves them anyway, as the Scripture says,
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
V. Denies God's Body
In the article, "Adam and Eve our beginnings," Oppenheimer writes,
Man is not in the exact physical image of God, because God does not have a body God is Spirit (Jn.4:24) he is invisible. When it states we were created in His image it does not mean that God is a physical being and that we are like Him in that manner. In Deut.4:12 the Israelites saw no form of God, and they were prohibited to make any image of Him because God is incorporeal, He has no body He exists as eternal spirit. (www.letusreason.org/Doct36.htm)
Just because the Israelites saw no form of God, this does not mean He has no form (e.g. John 5:37). In Deuteronomy 4:12 (Exodus 19-20) the Israelites saw no form, but in Exodus 24:9-11 some did see His form. They saw God and specifically His feet are mentioned. Plus, Moses knew the form of the Lord, as Numbers 12:8 plainly iterates.
I speak with him face to face, even plainly, and not in dark sayings; and he sees the form of the Lord.
What is His form? It is the form of a man (Genesis 1:26-27; Daniel 7:9; John 8:17-18; Hebrews 1:3). Contrary to Oppenheimer's false view of God, God does have a body. He has a head with hair, (Daniel 7:9), feet (Exodus 24:9-11), hands (Isaiah 45:9) and can even go naked (Micah 1:8-9). The Lord is a man. He is a man of war (Exodus 15:3; for more info, see The Lord Is A Man).
Furthermore, Oppenheimer says, "they were prohibited to make any image of Him because God is incorporeal." This is not what the Scripture says or teaches (Proverbs 30:5-6). The reason they were prohibited to make any image of Him was because this would be idolatry (e.g. Exodus 32) and against the second commandment of the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 4:13; 5:8).
A little later in this same article, writing in the context of the command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Oppenheimer posts,
If Adam and Eve had passed the test it would have confirmed them in creature holiness, and his offspring would inherit a nature of holiness. (The angels had this occur in Lucifer's rebellion. After one third rebelled they were confirmed in their decision never able to change back.) If Adam passed he would then have access to the tree of life and live forever as eternal life would have been given to him.
Besides the fact that Adam had access to the tree of life all along until he ate of the forbidden fruit, Oppenheimer gives "revelation" here that is not found in holy writ. Scripture never states anything about what would have been had Adam and Eve not disobeyed God. Oppenheimer goes beyond what is written and adds to the Word of God (Proverbs 30:5-6).
A little later in this same article Oppenheimer writes,
Well, what is the meaning of this mysterious phrase, "the knowledge of good and evil"? It's talking about is experiential knowledge of good and evil in the sense of "good and evil consequences." When Adam and Eve fell, they didn't receive the knowledge Satan promised. They did know that there was right and wrong by experience.
Oppenheimer lies against the Word here again as well. Satan said,
You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5)
The first sentence was a lie. The second sentence was true. After they ate,
The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Genesis 3:7)
Just as Satan had predicted, their eyes were opened, and they did become like God knowing good and evil. For this is what the tree was, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Those who ate of the tree received the knowledge of good and evil, and that's exactly what happened to Adam and Eve; just as Satan had said.
In an article entitled, "Polygamy revisited," Oppenheimer posts,
God hates divorce as well as polygamy, since it destroys the family (Mal. 2:16). (www.letusreason.org/LDS25.htm, bold added)
Neither Malachi 2:16 nor any other passage in all of holy writ says anything about God hating polygamy. Oppenheimer adds to the word of God (Proverbs 30:5-6).
In his next paragraph Oppenheimer writes,
Was Abraham, David Solomon condemned or approved for practicing polygamy? Well they certainly did not get blessed for it! The fact that every polygamist in the Bible like David and Solomon (1 Chron. 14:3) were punished. This should be evidence that this is not God's will. (bold added)
Even though Oppenheimer states "every polygamist in the Bible . . . were punished," the truth of the matter is no one in the Bible was punished because of their polygamous relationships. As far as Solomon is concerned, the Lord condemns Solomon for his marriage of foreign women (1 Kings 11:1-2; Deuteronomy 7:1-4) and the resultant idolatry (1 Kings 11:4). God mentions Solomon's multiple wives (1 Kings 11:3), but the focus of God's anger is upon Solomon allowing himself to be seduced by his wives (1 Kings 11:9-10). The focus is not upon how many wives he possessed, but rather upon the marriage of foreign women and how they seduced him into idolatry. Moreover, nowhere in the Bible does it say polygamy is not God's will. No such concept is taught any where in the word of God (Proverbs 30:5-6).
Nine paragraphs after the above quote, Oppenheimer posts,
The Bible clearly and decidedly states that God does not condone or allow the practice of polygamy over and over again.
This last statement is amazing. The Bible never once "clearly and decidedly states that God does not condone or allow the practice of polygamy." And, over and over again, God allows the practice of polygamy, even for the righteous (Genesis 16:3-4; 25:6; 29:20-30; Judges 8:30; 1 Samuel 1:1-2, 8-2:10; 2 Samuel 6:23; 20:31; 1 Chronicles 2:46, 48; 2 Chronicles 24:1-3). [For more info, please see our report on Polygamy.]
VII. The Origin of Evil
In the article, "Evil In The World," Oppenheimer posts,
God did not invent evil however he knew it would come about. (www.letusreason.org/Apolo4.htm)
He also foolishly says in this same article shortly after this quote, "Good and evil are not opposites."
Contrary to what Oppenheimer states, God clearly is the inventor of evil. "Surely God will never do wickedly" (Job 34:12), but the God who "is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5) says,
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)
Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it? (Amos 3:6, KJV)
Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? (Lamentations 3:37-38, KJV)
All things are of Him, through Him, and to Him (Romans 11:36), and this even includes evil (Proverbs 16:4, 9; 20:24; Jeremiah 10:23; 17:9). For,
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. (John 1:3)
Satan was made (Ezekiel 28:15). Evil men were made (Proverbs 16:4; Romans 5:19). Nothing exists outside God making it exist. For all things are upheld by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).
If He should set His heart on it, if He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. (Job 34:14-15)
The earth would know neither good nor evil. But now, it knows both, because of Him (Romans 11:36).
In Oppenheimer's "Theological terms and definitions," he reveals further his unbelief in the word of God.
Hyperbole- Ps.119:20 My soul is crushed with longing. Luke 14:26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." An exaggeration or overstatement not to be taken literally but used to express another meaning. (www.letusreason.org/Doct26.htm)
There is no reason to believe the Psalmist's soul was not literally crushed with longing ("for Your judgements at all times," Psalm 119:20). This depicts a very godly characteristic that is consistent with the rest of the Psalm (119: 40, 62, 72, 81, 97, 103, 111, 123, 127, 129, 131, 148, 162, 164, 167, 174) and also with Isaiah 66:2 and Matthew 5:3. Oppenheimer brushes aside this awesome truth as hyperbole, and leads people away from godliness.
Likewise, Oppenheimer's deceit on Luke 14:26 is quite damning. For Jesus said you cannot be His disciple unless you do these things. Therefore, all who follow Oppenheimer's deceit, on this issue alone, will be lead to hell. For unless you forsake all that you have, you cannot be His disciple (Luke 14:33), and if you are not His disciple, you will lose your soul (Mark 8:34-36; John 15:6).
Ironically and hypocritically Oppenheimer writes two definitions later,
Isogesis-Reading into a text what isn't there.
That's exactly what Oppenheimer has done with Psalm 119:20, Luke 14:26, and other verses mentioned above. Oppenheimer is a deceiver. Don't be fooled (Colossians 2:8-10).
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