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lalli

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About lalli

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  1. Remember that the Bible doesn't say anything about infants, the mentally disabled and those who haven't heard the gospel getting special treatment on judgement day. The idea that God will judge them based on different criteria is extra-Biblical; in fact, if you use the same logic as many conservative Christians, this idea is actually un-Biblical. Many fundamentalists accuse liberal Christians of warping God's word for their own convenience, such as with the issue of homosexuality. It could just as easily be said that these fundamentalists are doing exactly what they so despise in believing that infants go to heaven when the Bible doesn't say anything of the sort and in fact indicates otherwise. ("All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"; emphasis on the "all".) Those who believe in the Bible as the literal word of God seem to avoid such logical but unpalatable conclusions by the prodigious application of Orwellian double-think. I must say I'm grateful for their intellectually dishonesty since I'm not a big fan of, say, the Spanish conquistadors that Vigile mentioned. However, the fact that faulty logic needs to be applied to this belief system to avoid coming to amoral conclusions ought to be a sign fundamentalists that maybe, just maybe, their axioms need reviewing...
  2. This debate took place on an IRC chatroom with several other people present and chatting. I have edited the logs of this debate thusly: (1) Names have been changed to protect the innocent and infidel alike. (2) Any chats not exclusively pertaining to the debate between "Henry" and I were edited out. (If anyone wants a full log, I'll be happy to provide it, but I figured the debate would make more sense this way.) (3) Kudos to Losing My Religion for the essays that got me thinking about this particular conundrum that comes with Biblical belief. I know there are a lot of points raised in this debate that weren't covered, but I wanted to stick to certain issues as it's a lot easier to get sidetracked in live debates compared to forum debates, where you can address each issue individually. Maybe one of these days I'll take "Henry" on regarding some of the other issues. <lalli> Okay. Let's say I'm a new mother, and my infant dies a few weeks after birth due to some infection. <lalli> Where does my infant's soul go after death? Heaven or Hell? <henry> Heaven <lalli> You'll find most Christians on the heaven side, but there will be some on the hell side. <henry> why would they say hell? <lalli> Because one must believe in Jesus as the son of God, and accept him as one's personal saviour in order to go to heaven. <henry> cheers on lalli <lalli> And no infant has the chance ot do that. <lalli> They've got enough on their hands just working out what this world is, nevermind learning the gospel message. <henry> whould you like my opinion on that subject? <lalli> henry: Let me state an analogous example first. <lalli> Like the indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australasia. <lalli> Who died before missionaries made it to their shores and converted them. <lalli> Where do they go? <lalli> When they die, I mean. <lalli> They never heard the gospel message, not even ones who died as adults old enough to understand. <lalli> And yet Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me". <lalli> So where do they go? And again, you'll find Christians on both sides of the "they go to heaven" or "they go to hell" argument. * lalli turns the conversation over to henry. <henry> with regard to the children..... <henry> As you clearly said - one must choose to put their faith in Christ. I believe that God is just; therefore a child incapable of making such a decision will not be sent to Hell <lalli> henry: What about people who lived and died without hearing the gospel? <henry> k... <henry> I have heard missionaries talk on how, when they have met people of remote tribes, they have stories almost identical to those in the Bible. <lalli> As for children who die as infants being granted Heaven by a just God, this raises an interesting conundrum. Let's say I have two small children, not yet old enough to understand the gospel much less accept it. As a mother who wants the best for her children, would not the most just and merciful thing to do would be to kill them? <lalli> Even if I raise them in the faith, there is no guarantee whatsoever that at some point later in life, they will fall away and end up going to Hell. <lalli> So shouldn't I kill them now, while they're infants, to ensure that they go to Heaven after death? <henry> lalli - then you immediatly sin yourself as murder is a sin. Only God has the right to give and take life <lalli> henry: So? <lalli> The important thing is that I have guaranteed my children a place in Heaven. <lalli> Were I a parent, I would wilfully commit any sin necessary to do that. <lalli> An eternity in Hell isn't so bad if you can guarantee your loved ones a place in Heaven. <henry> lalli - what of your salvation? <lalli> henry: Assuring myself of my salvation by gambling the salvations of my children is greedy. <henry> You cannot say that about Hell - you have no idea of the torment it will be. No one does <lalli> henry: Are you saying that I should risk my children turning away from the faith and dying repentanceless, just to keep myself assured of my future in Heaven? <henry> lalli - No. The choice is yours to make for yourself. And your children must make the choice for themselves! <lalli> henry: So I should jeapordise my children's salvations? <lalli> I know that if I kill them, they get automatic entrance to eternal bliss in Heaven. <henry> But that is not what God wants - He has a plan for them <lalli> If I raise them, even in the faith, there is still the chance that they will turn away from God. <henry> indeed <lalli> And end up burning in Hell for eternity. <henry> but once they are saved - they *cannot* lose their salvation <lalli> henry: So you are saying that I was never saved in the first place? <lalli> That what I believed was not true? <henry> woah <henry> hang on <henry> lemme clarify <lalli> My entire family converted to Christianity several decades ago, and I was raised in the faith. <lalli> I went to a Baptist church every week throughout my childhood and youth. <lalli> I was raised in the faith. <henry> that's wonderful news <lalli> And yet I denounced it a few years ago. <henry> why? <lalli> If the God of the Bible exists, I'm sorry to say I would have to be a maltheist. <lalli> So. <henry> maltheist? Not heard that term before <lalli> My parents want the best for me. <lalli> Should they not have killed me at birth? <lalli> I would have gone to heaven then. (And for you people who believe that children need to be baptised before they go to heaven, I was also christened at birth so that should do it). <henry> Baptism does not guarantee a place in Heaven <lalli> And yet, for all my family and church's efforts to "train him up in the way he should go", I fell away. <lalli> henry: I was a born again Christian, accepted jesus as my saviour, yadiyadiya. <lalli> And now I'm not. <lalli> So if I died now, I'd go to Hell, according to the books. <lalli> By all accounts, my parents should have killed me as an infant. <henry> lalli no, you would not go to hell <henry> if you truly believed <lalli> henry: So you're in the OSAS camp? <henry> OSAS??? <lalli> henry: Once Saved Always Saved. Not everyone believes as you do, you know. <henry> I know not everyone agrees with me <lalli> henry: So you believe that if you raise a child as a Christian, and they later fall away from the faith but were saved once, they still go to Heaven? <henry> If my child truly believed that Jesus died for his sins - then yes <lalli> henry: Okay. What about other people's children? <lalli> Let's say I wander into a Muslim country. <lalli> The children there are extremely likely to grow up and die Muslims. <lalli> Should I not kill all the infants I can find? <henry> No! Murder is a sin! <lalli> This ensures they have a place in Heaven, whereas if they live and grow up, they will most likely go to Hell. <henry> and therefore wrong <lalli> henry: Is not leaving all those infants to grow into people who will die sinners and go to hell also wrong? <lalli> Murder is wrong. Murder will earn me a place in Hell for sure. <lalli> Murder is a sin. <lalli> But murder will ensure all those infants go to heaven. <lalli> As opposed to growing up and living their lives and dying as Muslims, which ensures they go to Hell. <henry> You cannot give up your place. The place is for YOU to choose <lalli> henry: Where I go is irrelevant. Where all those infants go is important. <henry> Then you assume God does not care about them <lalli> henry: What I assume is irrelevant. Where they go is important. <lalli> henry: Of course I would be meddling and sinning by killing them. BUT I ensure they go to Heaven. <lalli> I ensure they spend their eternity in bliss, with God. <henry> God cares about YOU too! as well as the children <lalli> henry: So? The souls of the millions of Muslim children outweigh my own. <henry> how do you come to that conclusion? <lalli> If it were my own children, I could say I'll raise them Christian and it's highly likely they'll be saved once, so saved always. <henry> God cares about YOU too! as well as the children <lalli> henry: So you are saying I should leave the Muslim children to their own devices? <lalli> Even if I go to them and teach them the gospel, the statistics are highly against me. <lalli> If I tell them the gospel, there will undoubtedly be at least a few, if not the majority, who do not accept it. <henry> I'm saying you should shgre the Gospel message with them - as the command has been given by God <lalli> henry: And what of those who do not accept? <lalli> Are they not to be precious to me? <lalli> Would I want them to burn in torment forever? <lalli> If I knew that by killing them as infants, they would avoid that torment and go to heavenly bliss, would I not commit that sin? <henry> If you're that concerned - go and share the gospel message with them. As God hasd commanded <lalli> henry: Even the best missionary with the best case history cannot send as many souls to heaven as a single fanatic with a bomb in a children's hospital. <lalli> Why should I not allow, say, atheists to abort their child if they want? <henry> you seem to ignore the fact that it's a sin and wrong. If you are a follower of Christ you will obey and try not to sin. <lalli> henry: I am not ignoring that fact. <lalli> henry: Say you meet a whole horde of Muslim infants. <henry> no child should be aborted - the child is being given no chance to speak <lalli> henry: And there are many. Millions of muslim children. <lalli> You cannot hope to win all their souls. <lalli> And yes, it would be a sin to blow up that hospital. <lalli> It would be wrong. <henry> Then I would do my utmost to save as many as possible <lalli> But it would grant them all Heaven. <lalli> henry: And would not your utmost be to kill them? <henry> no - cos I obey God and try not to sin <lalli> henry: So you are saying that you love God more than you love those infants. <henry> yes <lalli> You are saying that you would rather please God by obeying him rather than saving those infants by killing them. <henry> yes <lalli> henry: If you somehow knew that your own child would never truly accept the Gospel, would you kill him while he's an infant? <lalli> I know that you can never truly know, which is why I'm stating it as a hypothetical question. <henry> lalli - no, never. <lalli> henry: So you would sentence your child to eternal torment in order to obey God? <henry> I would share the Gospel with my child to the best of my ability, but would obey God first. <lalli> henry: This is in the hypothetical situation where you somehow found out that your child would never accept the Gospel you share with him. <henry> Mat28:19 <lalli> You thus know that if you kill your child, he will go to Heaven, whereas if you let him grow up, he will surely go to Hell. <henry> lalli - my answer still stands. No I would not kill him <lalli> henry: Thank you. That will be all. <henry> k <henry> I enjoyed the conversation <lalli> henry: Can I have your permission to reproduce my log of this conversation? Editing out names of course. <henry> lalli - yes you can * lalli thanks. <henry> are you writing a study of some sort? <lalli> Nah, I'm just an ex-Christian. <lalli> And as an ex-Christian, I've only just recovered. <lalli> And I find the above conversation to actually be a perfect example of why I cannot become a Christian again, and still be able to live with myself.
  3. I think you might have confused Reconstructionist Jews (who are generally quite liberal) with Reconstructionst Christians (who are about as fundamentalist as you can get)...
  4. JP, as someone who also has various mental health issues, I can definitely sympathise. While religion can sometimes help those of us with mental illness, it can also make things far worse. (In fact, the rather adverse way in which my mental illness reacted to Christianity was what started me questioning my faith. How could something supposedly holy and good make me feel so incredibly bad?) One of the few Biblical teachings I still hold dear to my heart is that you can judge a tree by its fruit: Now this is actually pretty good advice, especially in your case. Like Zoe Grace said, Mr. Brady has only brought you anxiety and obsessive fear. His 'fruit' has been your pain and suffering, without one iota of "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control", which are the fruits of the holy spirit (Galations 5:22). I hope you don't mind me quoting the Bible at you, but I've found that sometimes if you can't attack false fears from the outside, you can attack them from the inside; in this case, from the point of view of a (fearful) Bible believer. It's clear, from your experiences, that Mr. Brady's fruits are completely opposite to those of the holy spirit, and since good trees cannot bear bad fruit, Mr. Brady is one of the false prophets that Jesus was warning about: a wolf in sheep's clothing. Now, I don't know how much all of that will have been, but hopefully it'll get even the obsessively anxious side of you to start realising that Mr. Brady, whatever he's filled with, is not the holy spirit. Maybe he's a self-proclaimed prophet, but he bears the fruit of a false one. And finally, I would join Japedo in urging you to see a doctor about your anxiety problems. I don't know much at all about OCD (I'm hailing from the depression-disassociation end of the spectrum), but it does sound to me like a lot of your symptoms are definitely treatable. Having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, and you have every right to seek help for it. If the first doctor you see isn't helpful (and there are many doctors out there who really do not deserve to hold an MD), then try another, and if necessary, keep trying different doctors until you find one who is sensible and helpful. Trust me, a good doctor is worth the search. Be well, Lalli
  5. It sounds to me like you're trapped by fear. (Please do correct me if I'm wrong; I'm making an educated guess based on your one post after all.) It's extremely difficult to think clearly and honestly about your beliefs when fear and guilt have your mind prisoner. I can empathise with that, as I grew up in a Baptist church and switched to a student-geared evangelical church when I moved away for college, so I had the hell doctrine well and truly drummed into me. Now, there are many variants on the hell doctrine amongst Christians, the most common being: the unsaved go to a place of eternal torment; the unsaved go to a place of eternal seperation from God; the unsaved simply cease to exist. I'll proceed on the assumption that you believe in the first and most terrifying variant, as I used to. (I'm basing this on the fact that we were both raised Baptist, but I might be wrong). This oft-quoted verse neatly divides the universe into black and white, good and evil, saved and damned. Combined with the doctrine that the unsaved spend their afterlife in eternal pain, it provides a convenient, fear-fuelled incentive for those who are questioning their beliefs to stay put on Jesus' side and toe the line. Now, there are many Christians who believe as they do out of a genuine love for Jesus. It's not fear that drives them away from the 'dark' side, it's love that pulls them towards the 'light' side. However, many people like you who have lost that pull towards Jesus are nevertheless kept in limbo, bound by the fear of falling away into punishment. This fear can be eventually overcome, but it is especially difficult if it was drummed into you from an early age. It takes time and patience, but I think it's worth it. After all, if Jesus really is the son of God and the saviour of the world, would he really want you to believe in him just because you're scared of the alternative? And if Jesus isn't the son of God, isn't the saviour of the world, then isn't it a huge waste of your life and spirituality to cling to him just out of fear? Here's a few articles to help you free yourself of the chains of fear: http://www.losingmyreligion.com/essays/abo...vangelists.html # Belief in eternal torment for the unsaved leads to some interesting conclusions. http://www.losingmyreligion.com/essays/hell.html # Eternal punishment is unjust no matter how you interpret it. The website I got those essays from has a lot of good essays challenging evangelical/fundamentalist Christian beliefs; I found it very helpful for my deconversion. Good luck, and stick around!
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