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Interview with Scott Schaeffer
by S A
10/23/09
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Author suggest church needs to change how it interprets the bible

Schaeffer makes a significant contribution to the Christian community with his new book, ďBiblical Freedom from Religious Oppression.Ē His basic premise, to ďanalyze topic matter based on EVERY verse in the BibleĒ, may seem clichť. However, what isnít clichť is Schaefferís perspective on why it should be done, how it should be done, and the benefits of doing so.

To purchase a copy visit http://www.biblicalfreedom.com/book.html

Christian Walk Today (www.christianwalktoday.com) had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Schaeffer.

Christian Walk Today (www.christianwalktoday.com):

Youíve written a thought provoking book. Many new believers are taught not to question what they are taught in church. Do you think your book is helpful to new believers or is it geared toward more seasoned Christians?

Scott Schaeffer, author of Biblical Freedom:

Certainly, seasoned believers are most excited about this book, because theyíve experienced debate over the controversial issues this book covers, and theyíre anxious to see what the entire Bible has to say about them.
New believers also benefit from this book, because they get to see every Bible verse that addresses each issue. Most of us take years to get to know the whole Bible well. In fact, many Christians never do. They make the mistake of relying too much on preachers who support entire theologies with one or two isolated verses.
As for churches that prohibit questioning their teachings, beware! Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:8, ďDo not be called Rabbi [pretty much the same as a pastor], for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.Ē In other words, none of us has theological authority; we are all on the same level in Godís eyes. Therefore, none of us is above having our teachings questioned.

Christian Walk Today (www.christianwalktoday.com):

Bill Maher and others are very active in an atheist movement and are very open with their discontent for Christianity calling believers delusional. Have you sought being placed on Bill Maherís show? If so what has the response been? If not will you consider it?

Scott Schaeffer, author of Biblical Freedom:

No offense to Bill Maher, but I forgot he had a show. I know he has an anti-religion movie out, but I havenít seen it. Iím willing to appear on any show in order to promote the messages of the Bible.

Christian Walk Today:

Recently President Obama had a meeting with faith leaders on health care. What are your thoughts on bringing the bible into political issues?

Scott Schaeffer, author of Biblical Freedom:

I have two thoughts. First, I see no examples of Jesus or the Apostles trying to force non-Christians or non-Jews to practice Christian morality, whether it be on a personal or political level. I believe this is because forcing non-Christians to live as Christians creates resentment toward the faith and has an anti-evangelical effect, especially in a country founded on religious freedom. Just imagine a Fundamentalist Muslim majority forcing their faith practices on us Christians. Would it make us want join them? Or would we resent them?
On the other hand, the Bible does require us to ďrescue the oppressedĒ in Isaiah 1:17 and denies us the right to make laws that oppress the poor in Isaiah 10:1-2. Politically rescuing and protecting sinís victims doesnít have an anti-evangelical effect, because those being rescued are grateful toward Christians. The oppressors may resent Christianity, but, historically, the oppressed have outnumbered the oppressors.
Health care reform is an attempt to protect people from the greed of the health care industry, which overcharges the needy, because it knows that people will pay anything, even all that they have, in order to avoid death or chronic pain. Demand doesnít decrease with rising prices like it does in other industries. Therefore, more regulation is needed. Unfortunately, most Evangelicals are siding with the oppressors in the health care debate, because their loyalties to their political party and economic ideology take precedence over the Bibleís call to rescue the oppressed.

Christian Walk Today:

Do you see similarities between the Pharisees and the modern church leaders? Explain

Scott Schaeffer, author of Biblical Freedom:

Modern-day Evangelical/Fundamentalist leadership and the Pharisees share several characteristics: Both are nuts about the Scriptures. Thatís a good thing. Both claim to teach and follow the Scriptures. Thatís also good. Yet, both ignore some of the most important messages that repeat throughout the Scriptures, and, at the same time, weigh people down with non-scriptural man-made rules. This Jesus opposed.
Even worse, both groups claim to have indisputable theologies as a result of basing them on the Scriptures. And they tend to hate and verbally attack those who disagree. Itís this arrogance over supposedly perfect spiritual knowledge that defies the essence of biblical Christianity. This religious arrogance led the Pharisees to kill Jesus, led the church to persecute the reformers, and leads many modern-day Christians to cut-off and verbally persecute those with differing beliefs, both inside and outside the church.
Unfortunately, this has always been the nature of the religious establishment. Those who rise to power in it have too much at stake to change the theologies made them so successful. So they close their minds and fight against that change.

Christian Walk Today:

In the book you propose the idea of a pre-adamic man? Doesnít that theory put forward more theological challenges and questions then the common theory excepted today? After all there are examples in the bible of evolutions in thought processes. For instance Moses taught an eye for an eye and Jesus put forth the idea of turn the other cheek.


Scott Schaeffer, author of Biblical Freedom:
As for evolutions of thought, I believe Mosesí eye-for-an-eye was government-sanctioned justice, while Jesusí turn-the-other-cheek prohibited personal vengeance. Itís pretty much what we practice in America today.
The idea of pre-adamic man does create questions. Fortunately, the Bible gives answers. For example, does the fact that pre-adamic people lived and died before Adamís fall mean that Godís creation, which He proclaimed to be good, included pain and death? The answer on pain is ĎNoí. Genesis 3:16 shows us that severe pain resulted from the fall. Anyone living before that never felt severe pain.
So do we judge Godís creation as bad because He created animals and people to live temporarily? Itís not our place to do so. In fact, the Bible shows us that He even created Adam and Eve as temporary beings. They could only become eternal beings by eating from the Tree of Life. Genesis 3:24 tells us that God cut them off from it so they wouldnít live forever. Had they been eternal beings, they could have survived without it.
People make the mistake of thinking that temporary life on earth - earthly death - resulted from the fall. But we learn from 1 Corinthians 15:21-26 that Christ came to abolish the death that Adam introduced. If that death is an earthly one, then Jesus failed, because we all still die. But we know that Jesus didnít fail. Rather, He came to abolish eternal death Ė eternal separation from God Ė the very same death that Adam brought into the world. Itís unbiblical to say that Adam introduced one kind of death and Jesus came to abolish a different kind of death. Earthly death was an original part of creation. Adam was designed to experience it, but He wasnít designed to experience eternal death.
Itsí amazing what we find when we remove our tradition-colored glasses and read the Bible literally. Unfortunately, thatís hard to do with the creation story, because weíre all taught what it says long before weíre old enough to read it and decide for ourselves.
The good news is that salvation theology is unaffected by the idea of pre-adamic man, because Adam ďspreadĒ sin and death to all the people around him, according to Romans 5:12; therefore, we all have the sin nature and need Jesus for eternal life.

Christian Walk Today:

Do you believe in extra-terrestrial life? Is it unbiblical to believe in it? If you do believe in it extra-terrestrial life and one day it is proven, would that create any new challenges for Christians?

Scott Schaeffer, author of Biblical Freedom:
I believe extra-terrestrial life is a possibility, but so is the idea that weíre alone in the universe. Iím not committed to either belief. Itís not unbiblical to believe in alien life. Thereís nothing in the Bible limiting life to earth. Some say that if aliens existed, the Bible would say so, but I disagree. The Bible is designed to shape our relationships with God and others. Aliens have nothing to do with that.

The discovery of extra-terrestrial life would certainly cause problems for traditional creationism, but thatís because traditional creationism is built upon tradition rather than on what the Bible literally says.

Christian Walk Today:

Thank you for interviewing with us today. What final thoughts would you like to leave with those on their Christian walk?

Scott Schaeffer, author of Biblical Freedom:

I just want everyone to know the purpose of Godís law. Many people think Godís laws are designed to make us prove ourselves. Or that God is a picky, selfish god who doesnít care how much we have to suffer to make Him happy. But the Bible tells us in multiple places that the purpose of the law - the reason God makes these rules Ė is to love your neighbor as yourself. Itís about how we treat each other. God wishes to free us from the harmful effects of one anotherís sins and selfishness.
Unfortunately, as a result of misunderstanding the purpose of the law, most Christians are burdened with trying to read Godís mind, trying to figure out what He intended regarding things that didnít exist in biblical times. Thatís how many Evangelical/Fundamentalist churches create oppressive religious restrictions. To make matters worse, they then focus so much on these man-made rules that they fail to give proper attention to biblical mega-sins like greed, oppression of the poor, spiritual arrogance and judgmentalism.
The fact that the law is for our collective benefit is what sets Christianity apart from the other world religions. They feature gods who are pleased by their peopleís pointless and self-inflicted suffering. Christianity is so much better than that!
Thank you for taking the time to interview me. I really appreciate this opportunity to share the Bibleís message with other believers.



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