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Exposing L. Ray Smith

4TH EMAIL
1ST EMAIL
2ND EMAIL
3RD EMAIL
4TH EMAIL

[The links at the bottom are to word documents containing more emails. Midway through working on this page, Tripod switched things up a bit, making inputing text from another source awkard.]

MY 4TH EMAIL TO MR.SMITH

 

(ME)

This will probably be my last email.  I know you probably get emails debating your teachings all the time from people you’ve never met.  That probably gets very depressing after a while and I do not want to add too much to the lot.

Through my emails, I was hoping to give you some information of which you maybe never heard or thought before (‘clearing the mud’ so to speak).  The evidence speaks against your teachings, regardless of how much you might be willing to hold on to them.

 

So here are two more things I think you should think about (and again, take note how short an argument can be).

 

You’ve written before:

 

These are but unscriptural carnal arguments used to discredit God’s word and promote the pagan doctrine of eternal torture.

 

Once again, you crack me up.  “Pagan Doctrine?  From where exactly do you think the word tartaros (used in 1 Peter) came?  Do you think that was a Hebrew word?  Or even the word hades (used all over the New Testament), do you think that hades is some kind of strange early Christian word?

You should really try to learn more about the pagan language (Greek) and the primary sources that were written in that language.

 

And then there is the Trinity.  Now, you are going to need to really think outside the box for this one.  I am not talking about the word ‘Trinity’ in the sense that most post-enlightenment Christians do who throw it around all the time (or how you probably use it for that matter).  Think about it in terms of a first-century Jew.

 

Imagine our old friend John the apostle, the Jewish boy who followed a Jewish prophet around for a few years and became his disciple.  Now, not only did the prophet he followed act as if he was indeed embodying the return of YHWH to Zion (Ezekiel 43; Luke 19-21; and the way in which John portrays Jesus as replacing the temple in his Gospel) but the prophet also offered the forgiveness of sins (i.e. the true return from exile, for example, see Jeremiah 29-31; Mark 2) and therefore his followers hoped (and eventually believed) that this prophet was the one who was to come and redeem Israel (Isaiah 44; Luke 24). 

Thus, this prophet spoke and acted as if he was YHWH in the flesh.

 

Take all of the above and add up famous passages such as Acts 5:3-4 (and really the whole idea of the spirit of god and his work that developed in the early church) and understand how very difficult it was for a first-century Jew to be committed to the idea of covenantal-monotheism and at the same time grapple with how Jesus and the spirit fit into the mix.  He or she would attempt something similar to what we find in 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 Peter 1:2.  Those early Jewish-Christians couldn’t write a Systematic Theology for you; all they knew was that the three (father, son, and spirit) needed to be spoken of in the same breath and sometimes in the same manner.

 

It wasn’t until things needed to be put a bit more systematically that we see words such as ‘trinity’ used to describe the Judeo-Christian god (the first author of which we know that used the Greek word for ‘trinity’ in reference to God was Theophilus around AD 180; the second author was probably Tertullian—using Latin of course).  Quite frankly, I think those still very early Christians (Theophilus, Tertullian, and probably many others since Theophilus and Tertullian most assuredly weren’t the only ones using the word—in most cases words circulated orally before they were written, and in any case, neither of the authors I mentioned did much explaining as to why they were using that particular word, which would be expected if they were using the word in a way in which no one was familiar at the time) did the best job they could.  Trying to fit the evidence in scripture that speaks of three distinct and yet divine persons into the idea of one god is a tough job and it remains a wonderful mystery to this day.  It is a shame that you are unwilling to appreciate it the way so many before you have.

 

 

HIS RESPONSE

 

(SMITH)

Dear John:

I will just make a few Comments to your email....

(ME)

This will probably be my last email.  I know you probably get emails debating your teachings all the time from people you’ve never met.  That probably gets very depressing after a while and I do not want to add too much to the lot.

Through my emails, I was hoping to give you some information of which you maybe never heard or thought before (‘clearing the mud’ so to speak).  The evidence speaks against your teachings, regardless of how much you might be willing to hold on to them.

 

So here are two more things I think you should think about (and again, take note how short an argument can be).

 

You’ve written before:

 

These are but unscriptural carnal arguments used to discredit God’s word and promote the pagan doctrine of eternal torture.

 

Once again, you crack me up.  “Pagan Doctrine?  From where exactly do you think the word tartaros (used in 1 Peter) came?  Do you think that was a Hebrew word?  Or even the word hades (used all over the New Testament), do you think that hades is some kind of strange early Christian word?

You should really try to learn more about the pagan language (Greek) and the primary sources that were written in that language.

 

(SMITH)

COMMENT: I'm sorry, but I see absolutely no connection between my statement "pagan doctrine of eternal torture," and you statement that "Tartarus" is a pagan word, and "Greek" is a pagan language?  OF COURSE the word "Tartarus" is a pagan/Greek word--THE WHOLE NEW TESTAMENT WAS WRITTEDN IN GREEK, AND THEREFORE EVERY WORD OF IT TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH CAME FROM A PAGAN/GREEK WORD!  What pray tell, kind of a "revelation" is THAT?  Do you think that I am ignorant of the fact that [1] The New Testament Scriptures were preserved in the Greek language, and [2] that Greeks as a race, are pagans?

 

I was not stating that the doctrine of "eternal torment" came out of the Greek LANGUAGE!   I said "PAGANISM."  The Greeks were not the ONLY pagans, you know?  Egyptians are pangans. Egypt was a kingdom long before Alexander.

 

Do you think that the ANCIENT PAGANS go their doctrine of "eternal torture" from the Christian Bible? Give me a break. The pharaoh's were preparing for the journey of their immortal souls to travel into the physical heavens long before the Catholic Church started to teach the "immortality" of the soul. The Scriptures know nothing of an "immortal soul" ("The wages of sin is DEATH" & "The soul that sins IT [the SOUL--Heb: 'nephesh,' not 'ruach'--spirit]...IT shall die" (Rom. 6:23 & Ezek. 18:4,20).  Do you think the Egyptians got their immortal soul doctrines from the CHRISTIANS?

 

You sound like you are an intelligent person, John, but then when one reads your arguments, I have to scratch my head.

 

(ME)

And then there is the Trinity.  Now, you are going to need to really think outside the box for this one.  I am not talking about the word ‘Trinity’ in the sense that most post-enlightenment Christians do who throw it around all the time (or how you probably use it for that matter).  Think about it in terms of a first-century Jew.

 

Imagine our old friend John the apostle, the Jewish boy who followed a Jewish prophet around for a few years and became his disciple.  Now, not only did the prophet he followed act as if he was indeed embodying the return of YHWH to Zion (Ezekiel 43; Luke 19-21; and the way in which John portrays Jesus as replacing the temple in his Gospel) but the prophet also offered the forgiveness of sins (i.e. the true return from exile, for example, see Jeremiah 29-31; Mark 2) and therefore his followers hoped (and eventually believed) that this prophet was the one who was to come and redeem Israel (Isaiah 44; Luke 24). 

Thus, this prophet spoke and acted as if he was YHWH in the flesh.

 

Take all of the above and add up famous passages such as Acts 5:3-4 (and really the whole idea of the spirit of god and his work that developed in the early church) and understand how very difficult it was for a first-century Jew to be committed to the idea of covenantal-monotheism and at the same time grapple with how Jesus and the spirit fit into the mix.  He or she would attempt something similar to what we find in 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 Peter 1:2

 

(SMITH)

COMMENT: The idea of God and God's Holy Spirit were not at all strange or new ideas to the Jews of Christ's day. Nor was the idea of a Messiah come from God a strange or new idea. The only problem in all of this was that those Jews rejected \Jesus as BEING that prophesied Messiah.  Communion with God and with the Spirit of God were not at all new or strange:  "Cast me not away from Your presence; and take not Your HOLY SPIRIT from me"  (Psalm 51:11).  "Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, sayhing, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? where is He that put His HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN HIM?"  (Isa. 63:11).

 

(ME)

.  Those early Jewish-Christians couldn’t write a Systematic Theology for you; all they knew was that the three (father, son, and spirit) needed to be spoken of in the same breath and sometimes in the same manner.

 

It wasn’t until things needed to be put a bit more systematically that we see words such as ‘trinity’ used to describe the Judeo-Christian god

 

(SMITH)

COMMENT: The "JUDEO-Christian god?" The Jews know nothing of a "triune" God! Of all peoples on earth, none was more emphatic than the Jews that "GOD IS ONE"--not a trinity.  And certainly NO JEW every thought that God was the ONE GOD, but that His Holy Spirit was also a god, or THE ONE GOD. They perfectly understood the Spirit OF [genitive] God, is none other than's "God's Spirit." The Spirit is "God's Spirit," however, God is NOT, "The Spirit's God." And this is equally true for Christian believers, with the addition of the coming of Jesus Christ Who IS God's Son, making the Father and the Son, two individuals, yet both are God. The Holy Spirit remains as it always was, the spirit OF God, with the addition that Jesus ALSO now possesses this VERY SAME SPRIIT. Hence, NO TRINITY.

 

(ME)

 (the first author of which we know that used the Greek word for ‘trinity’ in reference to God was Theophilus around AD 180; the second author was probably Tertullian—using Latin of course).  Quite frankly, I think those still very early Christians (Theophilus, Tertullian, and probably many others since Theophilus and Tertullian most assuredly weren’t the only ones using the word—in most cases words circulated orally before they were written, and in any case, neither of the authors I mentioned did much explaining as to why they were using that particular word, which would be expected if they were using the word in a way in which no one was familiar at the time) did the best job they could.  Trying to fit the evidence in scripture that speaks of three distinct and yet divine persons into the idea of one god is a tough job and it remains a wonderful mystery to this day.  It is a shame that you are unwilling to appreciate it the way so many before you have.


(SMITH)  

There are many Lain words for which Tertullian is undoubtedly responsible for brining into the early translations (along with Jerome). The words, apostle, disciple, parable, saviour, salvation, justification, reconcilliation, perdition, and a whole host of Latin words are now part of most modern language translations. and for the most part there is no problem with this. However, much of the simplicity found in the Old English and German words were certainly more colorful and even more precise in many cases. "Salvation" is a very bealtiful flowery--sounding word, and yet many Christians could hardly define its meaning. They would have no trouble had they retained the English equivilent of the Greek rather than switching to Latin.  In pure English, salvation is HEALTH, and Christ would be our HEALER.  For that is what salvation meant to the early believers--"HEALTH & SAFETY." 

 

But the very earliest of translators and Christian teachers knew nothing of a Christian "trinity" to describe God and His Son.

 

God be with you,

Ray

 

MY RESPONSE

(ME)

So much for that being my last email…

(SMITH)

COMMENT: I'm sorry, but I see absolutely no connection between my statement "pagan doctrine of eternal torture," and you statement that "Tartarus" is a pagan word, and "Greek" is a pagan language? 

 

(ME) 

It is a shame that you cannot see the connection.  I’ll try to make it clear for you. 

Pagans used the word tartarus in a certain way.

2 Peter used tartarus in a very similar way.

Hope that is clear enough for you.

 

(SMITH)

OF COURSE the word "Tartarus" is a pagan/Greek word--THE WHOLE NEW TESTAMENT WAS WRITTEDN IN GREEK, AND THEREFORE EVERY WORD OF IT TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH CAME FROM A PAGAN/GREEK WORD!  What pray tell, kind of a "revelation" is THAT? 

 

(ME)

What kind of revelation?  It would be a revelation that I do not think you’ve pondered over enough.

 

(SMITH)

Do you think that the ANCIENT PAGANS go their doctrine of "eternal torture" from the Christian Bible?

 

(ME)

Of course not, seeing as how pagans used words like tartarus before any Christian did.  That is what I’m trying to say, but you still don’t seem to understand.

 

(SMITH)

You sound like you are an intelligent person, John, but then when one reads your arguments, I have to scratch my head.

 

(ME)

You know, that is exactly how I feel about the things you write. 

 

(SMITH)

COMMENT: The idea of God and God's Holy Spirit were not at all strange or new ideas to the Jews of Christ's day.

 

(ME) 

Of course not.  But do you not think that the concept of God’s Spirit didn’t develop in the early church?  Do you think the early Christians felt the same way about the spirit that David did?  That would be very strange if you thought like that.  I think Paul would argue that with the coming of Christ the Spirit acts in a completely different way.  That would be Biblical Pneumatology.

 

(SMITH) 

Nor was the idea of a Messiah come from God a strange or new idea.

 

(ME) 

Of course it wasn’t a strange idea, there were many messianic movements in the first-century.  Did you know that?

 

(SMITH) 

The only problem in all of this was that those Jews rejected \Jesus as BEING that prophesied Messiah. 

 

(ME) 

The only problem in all of what?  This sentence doesn’t fit very well here or make much sense; I feel like you're beginning to drift.

 

(SMITH) 

Communion with God and with the Spirit of God were not at all new or strange:  "Cast me not away from Your presence; and take not Your HOLY SPIRIT from me"  (Psalm 51:11).  "Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, sayhing, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of His flock? where is He that put His HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN HIM?"  (Isa. 63:11).

 

(ME)

You actually believe that communion with the Holy Spirit didn’t change dramatically after the day of Pentecost.  You are definitely not a Biblical Christian then. 

 

(SMITH)

COMMENT: The "JUDEO-Christian god?" The Jews know nothing of a "triune" God!

 

(ME)

Not from the Hebrew Scriptures, no.  But the New Testament authors did; the first Christians were Jewish, and while they did not know how to put it into words, they knew that the ‘three’ somehow needed to go together (remember 2 Corinthians 13:14 and 1 Peter 1:2?).  Did you read what I wrote? 

 

I used the phrase ‘Judeo-Christian god’ to emphasize that the Christian god is certainly the same god who is responsible for what we find in the Hebrew Scriptures.  I am sorry that you are not more familiar with how to use that phrase.

 

(SMITH) 

Of all peoples on earth, none was more emphatic than the Jews that "GOD IS ONE"--not a trinity.  And certainly NO JEW every thought that God was the ONE GOD, but that His Holy Spirit was also a god, or THE ONE GOD. They perfectly understood the Spirit OF [genitive] God, is none other than's "God's Spirit." The Spirit is "God's Spirit," however, God is NOT, "The Spirit's God." And this is equally true for Christian believers, with the addition of the coming of Jesus Christ Who IS God's Son, making the Father and the Son, two individuals, yet both are God. The Holy Spirit remains as it always was, the spirit OF God, with the addition that Jesus ALSO now possesses this VERY SAME SPRIIT. Hence, NO TRINITY.

 

(ME)

The above may as well have been an argument from silence.  You are not even coherent.  Rewrite that paragraph and email it back to me if you would like. 

 

(SMITH)

There are many Lain words for which Tertullian is undoubtedly responsible for brining into the early translations (along with Jerome). The words, apostle…

 

(ME)

What kind of books do you read?  “Apostle” comes from a Greek word.  Your sources are terrible.

 

(SMITH)

In pure English, salvation is HEALTH, and Christ would be our HEALER.  For that is what salvation meant to the early believers--"HEALTH & SAFETY." 

 

(ME)

 The word “salvation” meant many other things to the Hebrew people, not simply “heal”.  It also meant things like “rescue”.  To simply say that the word meant “heal” is very misleading, which is how all the sources I’ve ever seen you quote from are.

 

(SMITH)

But the very earliest of translators and Christian teachers knew nothing of a Christian "trinity" to describe God and His Son.

 

(ME)

 I don’t even know how you got back here after where you just were in your “argument”, but yes, the early Christians did know of something that they couldn’t pack into a single word, and that is exactly the point I was trying to get across.  I am sorry that you missed it.

 

Upon further inspection, even the files below have been goofed up by Tripod. When you click on a file, it will open in your screen and the first few lines and the last few lines are random characters, but the rest of the original text of the email appears to be intact in between the random text. I am afraid that the files below are the best I can do for now.

SMITH RESPONSE WORD DOCUMENT

MY RESPONSE WORD DOCUMENT

SMITH RESPONSE (WD)

MY RESPONSE (WD)