Adultry, married, eternal torment, sovereignty of GodGod,

Dear Oh Me, Oh My
Woman commits adultery because of my book

I’m very sorry to say that since my wife had read your book on Quitting Church Without Quitting God, she has completely thrown the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to Christianity.

What’s worse was that when your book denied the doctrine of eternal punishment, my wife had found your theology liberating enough for her to sleep with another man, and then later ask for a divorce and justify the whole thing based on the worldview presented in your book.

I realize that her problems are much deeper than having read your book, but I am horrified when it was used by her to justify herself in this circumstance!

If there is no consequence for sin, then anything goes, it’s all good, and "all dogs go to heaven." That’s how it has been with my wife since reading your book. The effect of your book in her life can be summed up in one simple phrase: "Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die."

Perhaps this wasn’t your intention when you wrote it, but your book does have a negative impact on weak-willed women like the one I had married. She got your book as a gift from another woman who has used it to find a better way toward living an anarchistic lifestyle apart from the church, and ultimately apart from God.

And yes, I also believe that going to church has nothing to do with one’s salvation, as I am not religious in my beliefs. However, I do believe in the necessity of Christian fellowship in which believers are to use their gifts to build up the body of Christ of which we are all members.

Was there a reason that you used weak-willed nutcase "Christian" women only as the "straw-men" in your book?

You would have had much more credibility had you interviewed other theologians on the subject of salvation.

I may be off base, or even wrong in saying this, but I get the sense that you hold some very strong presuppositions about the sovereignty of God which have molded your thinking when it comes to the doctrine of eternal punishment.

Unfortunately, the results of those presuppositions hold some extremely negative consequences for those who read your books. The consequences are so bad, that I believe they have the potential to have an eternal impact for those who aren’t mature in their faith.

I believe that God is indeed sovereign, and in His sovereignty He has graciously chosen to give mankind volition to love Him. This concept is inescapable when reasoned from the full context found within the Scriptures.

I’m not trying to blame you for the problems in my marriage. I am simply telling you that your worldview is being espoused under the banner of "Grace" by others who don’t want to be accountable before a loving God for their own actions.

If this is not your intent, which I hope it’s not, could you please clarify your position on this?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. 

I’m sorry your wife left you, but it sounds like there were many more issues involved than my book. I do not tell people to leave institutional religion and then forsake their families. I tell them to leave institutional religion and then replace the void with right teaching and a more intimate and knowledgeable walk with Christ. I can’t help it if your wife dashed off before she grasped my whole message. I’m sorry she did that, but it’s not my fault. I have a feeling there were many more issues involved that you’re not telling me about.

That your wife "threw out the baby," tells me that you believe I did have "the baby" in my book. My book comes with baby included. If people throw it out, what can I do? Not tell the truth? Let me get this straight. You’re suggesting that the lack of the false doctrine of eternal torment caused your wife to fornicate? If this is what you believe, then the cure for fornication ought to be the widespread teaching of the false doctrine of eternal torment. Well, the false doctrine of eternal torment has been tried now for a couple of millennia, and I don’t think it’s working; I can’t see any decrease in fornication. In fact, according to news sources, it’s on the upswing. Apparently, you don’t realize how loudly the world laughs at the crazy God of Christendom, and how this false teaching about Him has driven people to despair, suicide, and many things worse than fornication. 

There are consequences for sin (we reap what we sow), and I never said there weren’t. That someone would read that into the book is unfortunate, but again, not my fault. The same thing happened to the apostle Paul. Eternal separation from God is not a consequence of sin. Jesus Christ died to take away the sin of the world. Apparently you don’t believe He succeeded. What else am I to conclude? I believe Jesus Christ took away the sin of the world, and you don’t.

Never have I taught, "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die." Yes, I said to walk away from institutional religion, and I stand by that. But I also said to replace it with the true Christ. In the book, I relate how my wife and I left "civilization" to ride bicycles across the United States. We left to grow closer to one another and to God. We did not leave so that we could ditch God and go our own ways. I’m sorry that your wife failed to grasp this.

The "nutcase" Christian woman in my book is not a straw argument, but rather the honest belief of Christians. I presume you’re speaking of Sally in the "Reporter and Sally" conversation. If Christians were honest, this is how they’d sound. They’d sound like Sally, no matter their gender. This is their belief. Truly, it is this wacky. But none of them are honest enough to say it. What you consider straw is in reality honesty. It is the honesty that is repulsive to you; you can’t believe it’s that bad. But it is. I’m glad it repulsed you. I had to create an honest Christian because none exist. I’m glad I did—it got to you. Now I wish you’d stop and think about it.

Concerning my presuppositions about the sovereignty of God: they were all wrong. I had to give up my presuppositions when God introduced me to Scriptures like, "God gives to all, life and breath and all" (Acts 17:25). What is so hard to understand about that verse? Which of the "alls" are you going to modify? That God controls all is true. Read Romans 11:36—"All is out of God." Why fight that? (Let me answer the question: Human pride.) And yes, this certainly did mold my thinking when it came to the doctrine of eternal torment—it made me realize that it couldn’t be true. Then I found scriptures proving that it wasn’t. I encourage you to order my book, Martin Zender Goes To Hell. It will help all this make sense to you. Read it with an open heart. I am confident of good things concerning you.

No one loves or seeks God apart from God. You have no verses on man’s freedom of volition to love God, yet I have verses stating, "Not one is seeking God" (Romans 3:11). Only God can cause people to seek. Wake up, sir: Your faith is a gift from God (Romans 12:3). You didn’t earn it, or work it up. God gave you the very faith it took to call on Him. I pray that you come to realize this. Until then, you will continue to believe it was some wonderful well of faith within yourself that saved you, and you will continue to walk in pride, however artfully you’re able to whitewash it. To me, this is more disgusting than fornication.