A forum to discuss how ex-Christians have dealt with family members, replaced the church as a place of community, reactions of your family, friends, church, acquaintances upon learning of the de-conversion, or anything else relevant to the Ex-Christian Life.
The bulk of science does not support belief in a deity, or does it? This is an open discussion area to hone your skills at supporting and understanding the various positions. Feel free to post any links of value in this important topic.
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It sounds like his concerns are more about the people than the beliefs. You may find he takes the middle road of dropping the Baptist church but retaining Christianity or maybe go deist without losing religion completely. Its not just a yes/no question but shades of grey.
Hell is not once mentioned in the entire bible. Not once. Gehenna is translated hell in the NT. Gehenna is Greek for Ge Hinnom and Ge Hinnom is an actual rubbish tip that was located SW of Jerusalem. The rubbish tip was kept burning (interestingly enough sulfur was used to keep the fires burning) and convicted/executed criminals and animal carcases were thrown into this rubbish tip to be destroyed. Jesus used this rubbish tip as an example of what would happen to sinners after judgement. Nobody there listening to Jesus would have believed in eternal suffering because it was never mentioned.
Eternal Punishment: It is the judgement that is eternal not the suffering. Death is eternal, separation from God is eternal.
We are clearly told (Romans 6:23) that the wages of sin is death, that the lake of fire is the second death, that those who believe in Jesus will not suffer eternal torment, but will perish, the eternal fires of Sodom and Gomorrah were an example (Peter) of what would happen to sinners. Sodom and Gomorrah were utterly destroyed and their 'eternal' fires are no longer burning. It's metaphor. In Thessalonians Paul clearly says wicked (2Th 1:9) will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction. The Greek meaning of the word destruction means just that, destruction, destroyed, annihilated, oblivion. Gone. In the OT Psalms (37:20) says the wicked perish, and in Peter (2Pe 3:9) it says God doesn't want any to perish. The Greek word perish means to 'destroy fully' (#622 Strong's Concordance). The prophet Ezekiel wrote (twice) that “The soul that sins, it shall die” (18:4, 20). Matthew (10:28) says to fear God who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Destroy. It doesn't say who can punish humans forever in hell.
Death and Hades are thrown into the lake of fire. If the lake of fire is a real place, how can a state (death) and a place (the grave: hades/sheol = grave) be thrown into it? It can't be done because it is all symbology; a major part of the Book of Revelation is symbology. Revelation (20:14) tells us the lake of fire is the second death.
Hel is an archaic word meaning covering. There is an old English word that was used; helling potatoes. Helling potatoes simply meant covering the potatoes with earth or placing them in the cellar. A helmet covers the head. Hell is the earth covering the body.
The OT never mentions a fiery hell, and Jews today do not believe in a fiery hell of eternal torment. Also, the idea of hell first entered into Christianity after the Jews returned from Babylon. It was in Babylon where they first encountered ideas of an eternal punishment in the afterlife. The OT tells us that (Ecclesiastes 9:5) the dead know nothing and (Psalms 146:4) their (the dead) thoughts perish
Fire is used in Scripture for utter destruction, sometimes purification, but never for preservation in torment
So we make stuff up to make the narrative work? We just reconcile it by asserting possibilities which we cannot show to be true. I thought the Bible was the inerrant word of God, not something that might have contradictions because a Roman official might get offended.
My point here is aimed at apologists not you, but to show that if you want to justify something and make it work you can. People will find a way to reconcile because they must to keep their faith intact.
Re the slaughter of children - why does no other source mention this?
Hey SeaJay. I have OCD too and also deal with the religious intrusive thoughts. I didn't realize until a month ago that it was actually a thing though. I'm sure you've already looked it up, but in case you haven't there's some good things about scrupulosity out there that might help you.
What helped me cope the most is distancing myself from the idea of hell being a firey pit. I had several religion teachers tell me as I was growing up that the bible is, by and large, very poetical. Including what was then my favorite book, Revelations. Revelations is where I got REALLY hung up on the idea of hell and that I was most certainly going there. When I was trying to figure out ways to cope I just latched onto the idea of hell being poetical, and the fire being separation from god and nothing else. I'm not going to lie I still panic sometimes and this doesn't always work for me, and it probably only works for me because of specific circumstance. But I think that breaking down the idea of heaven and hell, and really examining what makes them so scary is helpful. I really hope that your therapy continues to help you, and that you find some of what you're looking for here. Best of luck!