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Whatever You Bind On Earth....


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Matthew 18:18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

 

Christians often see this verse as a privilege. As in... “God gave us the right and responsibility to judge here on earth. And we gleefully accept this ability and dispense judgment regularly and abundantly where we see fit. It makes us feel better about ourselves and our beliefs.”

 

But, there is another way to see this verse. Freeday and Amy Marie – another way to look at this verse is to recognize that you are the face of Jesus to people around you. What you display to them is what they will see of Jesus. Following is just a quick example of the face of Jesus you have been displaying on this board.

 

Freeday - http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?s=&a...st&p=197844

 

(Freeday) would it be correct to say that before anyone goes to heaven, everyone will be judged. i think where the leaway is, is in his mercifull judgement.
i honnestly believe the only ones going to hell are the people who blatently refute the word
. i could be wrong, Jesus said the road to hell is wide and the road to heaven is narrow. but that could mean that it takes more effort to go to heaven. is this so far fetched. that the creater might want something in return.
(Antlerman) You mean all modern scholars? I would be one of those who deny the Bible as the word of God absolute. So I guess I would be one of those you have just sent to hell. If you don't mean that, you should be careful in how you say things.
(Freeday)
i am not saying that, you can take that up with the religion. i didn't make the rules of the religion, i just follow them.
you seem like an outstanding person, as most on here. that is not for me to judge. it is just up to me to tell you that wether you believe in him or not Jesus loves you! nothing more, nothing less.

 

Amy Marie - http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?s=&a...t&p=197810:

 

(Asuryan) None of us here ever thought about it THAT way. Thanks for your insight. God sent you here for sure.
(Amy Marie) Perhaps He did send me here. So you don't think I was being "deep" by pointing out the fact that no one here can prove what waits beyond the grave and
you continue to play Russian roulette with your eternal soul?

 

O what fools these mortals be. Thinking they know better than Almighty God.

 

Quite frankly I’ve been following the different threads and doing my best to remain silent. I can’t even imagine what it is like to believe in the kind of god that one has to go through so many different hoops for. :(

 

And most of the time – I don’t think either one of you fully comprehends what you are saying – or the way it is coming across to people who do not share your understanding of God. I sit here typing out this new thread topic – knowing full well that you will not comprehend why the preceding quotes are so --- well --- arrogant and demeaning and belittling and anything but what you should be projecting as TRUE followers of Christ.

 

You are so caught up in defending your beliefs and will defend them at all costs – even at the cost of judging others in your own heart – rather than grappling with the reality that everything is not as simple and black and white as you would like it to be. That there really are moral and good people who are not Christian, and do NOT WANT to be Christian, and fully reject Christianity because of rational and reasonable thought processes.

 

Your attitudes, your willingness to bind others on earth, are a snapshot of a much larger problem in Christianity – and well in other world religions as well. As humans – if we feel we have the right – nay the god given responsibility – to judge others then that gives us the right to commit about any vicious act our little hearts can come up with in defense of our god. Hence so many of the wars and violence we witness on the nightly news and in our daily lives.

 

So... I’m calling you out on your attitudes. On the one hand you profess not to judge people – but your posts reflect that judgment is still going on within your hearts. And you should be held accountable.

 

Answer up.... :shrug:

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This is exactly why i said im an Open_Mindedtian :lmao: Youre my savior :grin: .

Well, I won't go THAT far! But...to Open_Minded I do offer this... :wub:

 

Thank you for saying (in a MUCH nicer way than I can manage) PRECISELY the same message that I have been attempting to convey in other threads. Here's hoping these people will read and understand your words. (Although it seems like Amy Marie has finally quit hanging around. :shrug: )

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This is exactly why i said im an Open_Mindedtian :lmao: Youre my savior :grin: .

Well, I won't go THAT far! But...to Open_Minded I do offer this... :wub:

 

Thank you for saying (in a MUCH nicer way than I can manage) PRECISELY the same message that I have been attempting to convey in other threads. Here's hoping these people will read and understand your words. (Although it seems like Amy Marie has finally quit hanging around. :shrug: )

 

(Blushing ... Really I am) Thanks you guys - but RHEMtron - I have to agree with Mr. Grinch. Let's not go THAT far. :lmao:

 

Anyway - back to the original OP.

 

How did I miss this gem from Kevin H.

http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?s=&a...st&p=197619

Of course I don't know the depth of your sincerity. But since when is sincerity a guage for truth? Besides, I am not the one who says it. Jesus said it and the apostle John said it. They gave some explanatory options.

 

Biblically, I think there are three options:

 

 

1). A person was never truly converted to Christ.

 

2). A person was truly converted to Christ but has fallen into a carnal state of doubt, rebellion, anger, false philosophy, etc. (this happens to all of us to varying degrees).

 

3). The doctrine of the Security of the Believer is false and a person can genuinely lose his salvation.

 

I think the first two are the most legitimate options but good Christians disagree.

 

And yes, few things can harm a person like legalistic extremism. But the issue is the claims of Christ - not someone's fun-bashing aunt or theocratic fundy uncle.

 

Ahh ... and they all act like this for the LOVE OF CHRIST.

 

Aren't we all blessed with their presence? And don't their actions all show us how loving and gracious and compassionate Jesus is?

 

BTW ... Mr. Grinch ... Amy is still hanging out on the board. She just hasn't bothered to come into this particular parlor. I wonder why? :scratch:

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you have read the bible. would you disagree with me in the statement i made. Jesus says the only unforgivable sin is blashemy against the holy spirit. i interpret that as someone going around, persistently talking bad about God. i am sorry if it sounded like i said you guys are going to hell. i am not the judge, it is not for me to make that desicion. personally i find you guys are pretty cool dudes and dudets.

 

just asking, if you don't believe in God or hell, why are you trying to convay the message that your feelings are hurt by me telling you, you are going to hell. (which i didn't say, it was implied)

 

but i do agree with you on one subject. i think the message of christianity should be one of love and not condeming people for thier actions.

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woohoo! good job freeday! quoting Jesus :lmao:

 

anyhow, i think the offense comes from the ol' saying- it's the thought that counts.

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... just asking, if you don't believe in God or hell, why are you trying to convay the message that your feelings are hurt by me telling you, you are going to hell. (which i didn't say, it was implied ...

 

Just my personal viewpoint: When a christian tells me about hell, it doesn't scare me or motivate me to abandon logical thinking and replace it with their religion. But it does offend me and gives me a very negative view of that person because it sounds like the christian is implying he/she is better than me, and we all know that christians have no justifiable claim to moral superiority.

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... just asking, if you don't believe in God or hell, why are you trying to convay the message that your feelings are hurt by me telling you, you are going to hell. (which i didn't say, it was implied ...

 

Just my personal viewpoint: When a christian tells me about hell, it doesn't scare me or motivate me to abandon logical thinking and replace it with their religion. But it does offend me and gives me a very negative view of that person because it sounds like the christian is implying he/she is better than me, and we all know that christians have no justifiable claim to moral superiority.

 

and no christian should say they are morally superior. Jesus says the least on earth will be the greatest in heaven. we should be very humble. i am sorry people were trying to scare you into christianity, sounds like the small church syndrome. the message should be one of love and forgiveness.

 

i promise in no way am i saying i am better than any person on here, i have broken every commandment setforth except the murder one. and you could technically say i have broken that one. this is why i have faith that i am in need of a savior. Jesus offers forgiveness that can not be found elsewhere!

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.... i promise in no way am i saying i am better than any person on here, i have broken every commandment setforth except the murder one. and you could technically say i have broken that one. this is why i have faith that i am in need of a savior. Jesus offers forgiveness that can not be found elsewhere!

 

Well, if you feel you are in need of a savior, I guess you're getting something out of your religion that I personally neither need nor want. I think the concept of sin, original or otherwise, is just an absurd theological construct.

 

That is, there is no such thing as sin, though there are bad acts. If I commit a bad act that is a crime, I deserve the legal punishment for it. If I commit a bad act that hurts someone, I should seek forgiveness from that real-life human. If I commit a bad act that hurts myself, I bear the consequences without looking to some supernatural force to save me. But, I happen to be guilt-free at the moment and don't feel the need for forgiveness or love from a "savior/friend" that exists only in one's imagination.

 

I am curious, though: If you don't mind telling us, how are you "technically" guilty of murder?

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and no christian should say they are morally superior. Jesus says the least on earth will be the greatest in heaven. we should be very humble. i am sorry people were trying to scare you into christianity, sounds like the small church syndrome. the message should be one of love and forgiveness.

 

i promise in no way am i saying i am better than any person on here, i have broken every commandment setforth except the murder one. and you could technically say i have broken that one. this is why i have faith that i am in need of a savior. Jesus offers forgiveness that can not be found elsewhere!

But you see freeday that when you claim to know "The Truth", it by default makes all other beliefs "Untruth". That is an attitude that claims the morally superior position. That is arrogant.

 

I tried to point out in the other thread that even things like the "Core" truths of the bible as you call them are not agreed upon amongst Christians. The church I was in believed if you weren't baptized properly and died you would go to hell. The Catholics believe that you need to work out your sins in purgatory after you die before you can get into heaven (not a waiting station for heaven like you presumed - but a place that during Martin Luther's day you could pay the church money to expedite your entrance into heaven! Women not being allowed to preach is also a very core value of the faith.

 

If they cannot even agree upon what is necessary for something as CORE as salvation, how can any Christian claim the superior position of knowing "The Truth". If you can't know that, then we come full circle back to my complaint about people who believe in the doctrine of hell: We CHOOSE teachings that are closest to our own attitudes, teachings which reflect something about us. So.... when you believe you God sends people to indescribable torture which serves no purpose for anything other than vengeance, this is a curious view you have about your fellow man, and leaves us with a rather unsavory taste in our mouths about you.

 

Think about it this way, let's say you were friends with someone who thinks it perfectly justifiable and right for conquering armies to rape and enslave the women and children of a foreign culture. What does this say about the character of your friend??? Ditto. Except hell is infinitely worse than that.

 

I think you’re a great person from what I've heard, but there is this issue that not only me, but I'd say almost everyone takes offense at when we hear this theology being embraced by Christians. And Amy, of course you are framing the argument saying "Jesus said this". Again, other Christians don't agree with you, and you are therefore embracing a truth that either you fully agree with, or are at a loss how to reconcile what you have been taught with what's in your heart. I suspect in most people, it's the latter.

 

But here's the real call to action: you should understand by now from what others are saying, and from the illustrations I've just offered that this is something that is offense. If it is offense then it is divisive. If it is divisive, then it is anti-spiritual. If it is anti-spiritual, then why are you embracing it? We are judged by the attitudes of our heart, not by our theology. There is no agreement on any "core" "truths".

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My first point is that I don't interpret the scripture you quote the way you suggested. I see it purely as a spiritual binding of demonic powers.

 

The second point is you don't believe the statements Jesus made about hell are true. There are parts of the Gospel you don't take literally so you would think that warning someone about danger is actually judgemental and not loving.

 

Amy Marie:

 

Firstly...I agree with Fwee ... an explanation of your statement "I see it purely as a spiritual binding of demonic powers", would be interesting. Beyond that...

 

About the second half of your last post.... "so you would think that warning someone about danger is actually judgemental and not loving"...

 

Where to start :scratch:

 

Please remember you are on a board full of ex-Christians. Unlike you, these people have actually know what it's like to be in your shoes. They've been Christian. They have lived with the fear of hell, they know (on a very personal level) what it means to live with the fear of hell. They know what it is like to lie in bed wondering if someone they loved went to hell.

 

And Amy - they have rejected the whole idea.

 

On a personal level - I was not raised to think of hell literally. But, I do have very vivid memories of the torment my grandmother suffered, worrying whether her eldest grand-daughter would go to hell for marrying a Lutheran. I have very vivid memories of that - I was 10, 11 years old at the time. I rejected the concept of literal hell at that age - and I've never looked back.

 

The people on this board have never looked back either, they don't intend to look back. They've lived with that fear and they don't intend to live with it ever again.

 

You know this. And instead of reminding yourself that you were on a board full of ex-Christians - and behaving accordingly - with respect for where you are and who it is that you are posting to - you posted the following:

 

you continue to play Russian roulette with your eternal soul.

 

And ... here's what get's me ... you posted it in a thread where Ricky 18 was looking for support in dealing with his own fears as he leaves Christianity. Not only that - but you fed his fears with your statement ...

 

The fact that we don’t know for sure is the 1% of it being real.
You're right.

 

Amy Marie - it is obvious that you are dealing with a boat-load of your own fears. And for that, I am sorry. But, see Ricky doesn't want to live life with those fears anymore. He has made a conscious decision to leave them behind.

 

I've said this to you before, and I will continue to say it...

 

What are you really here for? You have not been able to convince one person to go back to the "faith". The possibility that you ever will convince one person to go back to your particular brand of Christianity is about the same as a snowball's chance in a non-existent hell. So... what are you really here for Amy Marie?

 

You need to answer that question in your own heart - and at least have the compassion to watch your tonque and remind yourself - that you really DO NOT KNOW what it is like to walk in the shoes the people on this board have walked in. Especially when people come here seeking support. You can at least do that much. :shrug:

 

------------------------

 

Antlerman ... your post is awsome ... I couldn't add another word.

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But here's the real call to action: you should understand by now from what others are saying, and from the illustrations I've just offered that this is something that is offense. If it is offense then it is divisive. If it is divisive, then it is anti-spiritual. If it is anti-spiritual, then why are you embracing it? We are judged by the attitudes of our heart, not by our theology. There is no agreement on any "core" "truths".

 

Antlerman, you're awesome. Seriously, I think you need to write a book or something - call it 'Rationalist Apologetics' or something. :woohoo:

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Antlerman, you're awesome. Seriously, I think you need to write a book or something - call it 'Rationalist Apologetics' or something. :woohoo:

I rather call it "Un-apologetics", i.e. No Excuses.

 

un·a·pol·o·get·ic ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-pl-jtk)

adj.

Unwilling to make or express an apology.

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What about those who have not committed any so-called sins? Those of us who lead good lives and don't hurt people or commit crimes, so Christianity has to make up sins like thought crime, like doubting the religion, or listening to rock and roll music, or watching any movie that isn't made by Disney, or reading Harry Potter books?

 

Why should we be tortured forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever when we are basically good and decent people, and are basically moral enough that Christianity really has to stretch to make up sins that we are guilty for, when we shouldn't feel guilty because we did not hurt anyone? What about reading a Harry Potter book and liking the fantasy genre makes someone deserve to be tortured for All of Eternity? Or as my mother used to say, being a few pounds overweight would get me sent straight to hell? Why must I be tortured forever and ever because I'm a size 14 and not a size 6? Why should I be tortured because I was never good enough for her uber perfectionistic standards?

 

Why should anyone who is basically a good and decent person be tortured for all of eternity (or if you take the view that hell is death, murdered), simply because they reject a religion for lack of evidence and that the religion itself isn't moral? HOW FAIR IS THAT?

 

There is no justice in Christianity. That is why I reject the cult.

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The analogy and scenario is a little off. It shouldve been:

 

My friend was cured of cancer a while back. Now they monitor cured cancer patients for about 5 years. If it doesnt come back, it generally, but not always, is considered a complete remission. In other words, they are deemed cancer free. My friend is 4 years 11 months into remission. The last month is scaring my her. She's scared that for because there's 1 month to go, and not past the 5 year mark, she has cancer.

 

Now, if this was Ricky, you essentially telling Ricky, to paraphrase due to the context of the analogy, "I agree. You have a month to go. You probably do have cancer."

 

Or let's not even say there is a time limit on remission. The cancer was cured, but there's a 1% chance it can come back. Youre not doing anything to give her emotional support. Instead, youre just adding to her fear.

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There are places on this board where the rules say that Christians are not welcomed to post their opinions but only encourage those seeking to leave Christianity and I repectfully don't post there. Correct? If Ricky didn't want the opinion of a Christian he shouldn't have posted in a place opened to debate.

 

Pretty stinking cheap Amy. You justify fear-mongering with "well I didn't break any forum ruuuuules".

 

Yeah. It's within the rules for you to try and re-infect someone with the hell- fear you live with in this forum.

 

But being "within the rules" doesn't make it RIGHT, or HONORABLE in light of the intent of this site.

 

To a point, I do agree with you in a sense, Ricky18 probably should have posted that in 'Ex-Christian Life'. HE made an easy newbie posting error, and like a hyena to a fresh kill, you ran right in and ripped across his jugular.

 

Yeah...it's within the rules. But we would have respected you more if you'd left well enough alone, OR if you we simply supportive of him as a person, leaving religion out of it for a moment.

 

You chose not to do that. Scavenging may well be withing the "rules" for nature....and it is. But among human civilization and social morality, the hyena is viewed as a stinking, sly, loathsome skulker for it's behavior despite being withing natural law.

 

Really, if people don't want Christians to post their opinions concerning these topics the ex-Christian forum should be locked. Keep the forum available for those who agree that any talk of Jesus, Hell etc should only fit the doctrine of unbelief.

 

Oh quit beating your breast! You know damn well Ricky18's thread, despite being in the Lion's Den, was not constructed with debate in mind. And before you say it....yes....perhaps a Mod should have moved it somewhere where a sleazy skulking inconsiderate christian wouldn't mess with it.

 

But the Mods have this weakness see. It's the same weakness most decent worthwhile people have. WE tend to assume that others will treat those around them with consideration and discretion regardless of their religious position. We assume people will communicate with decency and understanding.....until someone does us the "favor" of proving us wrong by being a scavenging blood drawing ass, and then wrapping themselves in the "But it's not against the ruuuuules" banner.

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Pretty stinking cheap Amy. You justify fear-mongering with "well I didn't break any forum ruuuuules".

Of course. She learned from Jesus rhemember white_raven? You know... the whole "Can any of YOU convict me of sin?" routine. The oldest trick in the book!!

 

<edit>

 

amy: listen to what white_raven said. you know that wasnt the right thing to do. or at least the approach was wrong. also, take a lesson from freeday. he tried his best to comfort ricky18... to do whatever he could to give him a peace of mind.

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I see it purely as a spiritual binding of demonic powers.
I would really like to hear an explanation to this. No sarcasm this time. I'm serious now.
Thanks anyway, Amy. Apology to you, OM. It seems that both of us got overlooked this time.
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But here's the real call to action: you should understand by now from what others are saying, and from the illustrations I've just offered that this is something that is offense. If it is offense then it is divisive. If it is divisive, then it is anti-spiritual. If it is anti-spiritual, then why are you embracing it? We are judged by the attitudes of our heart, not by our theology. There is no agreement on any "core" "truths".

 

Antlerman, you're awesome. Seriously, I think you need to write a book or something - call it 'Rationalist Apologetics' or something. :woohoo:

Ahhh shucks... thanks so much :thanks: Perhaps in time something like that might happen. I haven't really given it thought. My time here on these forums has given me lots to process in my own thoughts and they are always evolving. It's kind of fun to look back at the process. In fact this forum itself would make a great topic for the book, were I to do that. We are all part of something important here, I feel. But I don't know that I have the discipline to do something like that, but it's a provoking thought. Shouldn't let all those years of Bible training go to waste, you know! :grin:

 

Amy Marie: White Raven's post was right on target. I have to agree pretty much 100% with her. Even though you were within your right you should have respected Ricky for where he was coming from. He is a sincere man struggling with issues of faith and fear in his home in Africa. I feel a great deal of compassion for him. I'm surprised that theological correctness blinded you to his heart. Shame on you.

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and no christian should say they are morally superior. Jesus says the least on earth will be the greatest in heaven. we should be very humble. i am sorry people were trying to scare you into christianity, sounds like the small church syndrome. the message should be one of love and forgiveness.

 

i promise in no way am i saying i am better than any person on here, i have broken every commandment setforth except the murder one. and you could technically say i have broken that one. this is why i have faith that i am in need of a savior. Jesus offers forgiveness that can not be found elsewhere!

But you see freeday that when you claim to know "The Truth", it by default makes all other beliefs "Untruth". That is an attitude that claims the morally superior position. That is arrogant.

 

i guess i claim to have a belief, not the truth. it is my percieved truth.

 

I tried to point out in the other thread that even things like the "Core" truths of the bible as you call them are not agreed upon amongst Christians. The church I was in believed if you weren't baptized properly and died you would go to hell. The Catholics believe that you need to work out your sins in purgatory after you die before you can get into heaven (not a waiting station for heaven like you presumed - but a place that during Martin Luther's day you could pay the church money to expedite your entrance into heaven! Women not being allowed to preach is also a very core value of the faith.

 

If they cannot even agree upon what is necessary for something as CORE as salvation, how can any Christian claim the superior position of knowing "The Truth". If you can't know that, then we come full circle back to my complaint about people who believe in the doctrine of hell: We CHOOSE teachings that are closest to our own attitudes, teachings which reflect something about us. So.... when you believe you God sends people to indescribable torture which serves no purpose for anything other than vengeance, this is a curious view you have about your fellow man, and leaves us with a rather unsavory taste in our mouths about you.

 

i guess i am not as much of a literalist as i thought. i believe the only core truth that matters is faith that Christ is the son of God. and he is the way, truth and light.

 

Think about it this way, let's say you were friends with someone who thinks it perfectly justifiable and right for conquering armies to rape and enslave the women and children of a foreign culture. What does this say about the character of your friend??? Ditto. Except hell is infinitely worse than that.

 

unfortunately, i can't dance around the subject. it is not a nice thing to think a person is going to hell. but i still don't comprehend how it is offensive. you either believe in it or not. if you beleive in a hell, shouldn't you believe in a higher power to keep you from getting there. makes sense to me.

 

I think you’re a great person from what I've heard, but there is this issue that not only me, but I'd say almost everyone takes offense at when we hear this theology being embraced by Christians. And Amy, of course you are framing the argument saying "Jesus said this". Again, other Christians don't agree with you, and you are therefore embracing a truth that either you fully agree with, or are at a loss how to reconcile what you have been taught with what's in your heart. I suspect in most people, it's the latter.

 

i believe in a hell, i guess i would call it my own personall hell. it is what i concluded after reading the bible. i think different people will believe different things that get you there.

 

But here's the real call to action: you should understand by now from what others are saying, and from the illustrations I've just offered that this is something that is offense. If it is offense then it is divisive. If it is divisive, then it is anti-spiritual. If it is anti-spiritual, then why are you embracing it? We are judged by the attitudes of our heart, not by our theology. There is no agreement on any "core" "truths".

 

i think Jesus anticipated it dividing people, i believe he said it would split families.

 

 

 

.... i promise in no way am i saying i am better than any person on here, i have broken every commandment setforth except the murder one. and you could technically say i have broken that one. this is why i have faith that i am in need of a savior. Jesus offers forgiveness that can not be found elsewhere!

 

Well, if you feel you are in need of a savior, I guess you're getting something out of your religion that I personally neither need nor want. I think the concept of sin, original or otherwise, is just an absurd theological construct.

 

That is, there is no such thing as sin, though there are bad acts. If I commit a bad act that is a crime, I deserve the legal punishment for it. If I commit a bad act that hurts someone, I should seek forgiveness from that real-life human. If I commit a bad act that hurts myself, I bear the consequences without looking to some supernatural force to save me. But, I happen to be guilt-free at the moment and don't feel the need for forgiveness or love from a "savior/friend" that exists only in one's imagination.

 

I am curious, though: If you don't mind telling us, how are you "technically" guilty of murder?

 

its work related, part of the job, some family members don't want to wait for the inevitable, so i just speed things along. and please don't confuse this with euthenasia. it's totally different.

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if you don't believe in God or hell, why are you trying to convay the message that your feelings are hurt by me telling you, you are going to hell.

Who says that hurts our feelings? We know it's a load of shit (and that you and Amy Marie are utterly full of it), so what's the problem? :Hmm:

 

And OM - you rock. I bow down to you. :thanks:

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But you see freeday that when you claim to know "The Truth", it by default makes all other beliefs "Untruth". That is an attitude that claims the morally superior position. That is arrogant.

i guess i claim to have a belief, not the truth. it is my percieved truth.

Well that’s a big concession on your part. As I’ve always said there are as many truths as there are people. But now we have a problem about what is in your truth.

 

i guess i am not as much of a literalist as i thought. i believe the only core truth that matters is faith that Christ is the son of God. and he is the way, truth and light.

I hate to do this to you, but even that is not very core. What is “The Son of God”? The Trinitarians see that as one thing. The Jehovah’s Witnesses see that as another thing. The Oneness churches see that as another thing. That he is “the way, truth and life,” (not “light”) means a lot of different thing to a lot of different people.

 

So you see freeday, this is what makes the Bible useful to humans as a book of religious faith. It can be used to say many different things to many different people, yet have not any one single meaning. This is why saying it is “The Truth”, singular, is to lessen its real power as a book of faiths. Obviously in what you see in the world, a single religious “truth” on any level is never seen.

 

Think about it this way, let's say you were friends with someone who thinks it perfectly justifiable and right for conquering armies to rape and enslave the women and children of a foreign culture. What does this say about the character of your friend??? Ditto. Except hell is infinitely worse than that.

unfortunately, i can't dance around the subject. it is not a nice thing to think a person is going to hell. but i still don't comprehend how it is offensive. you either believe in it or not. if you beleive in a hell, shouldn't you believe in a higher power to keep you from getting there. makes sense to me.

I’m not sure how you’re missing what I pointed out how it is offensive to me and everyone else? Perhaps you are reluctant to really accept what we are saying because it spells a confrontation for you with your own adopted beliefs? I don’t know how I could be clearer that what I was in that entire post. Re-read it again, except setting aside your ideas of “but it’s what God says”. If you do that, maybe you will hear the hearts of others, and learn something about your own beliefs.

i believe in a hell, i guess i would call it my own personall hell. it is what i concluded after reading the bible. i think different people will believe different things that get you there.

If you are now saying that you believe that “hell” is metaphorical for a personal state of discord, of disharmony, conflict, etc, then I don’t have a problem with this. That does not offend me. I will use hell in this context also.

 

But what we have been discussing is the eternal afterlife where your best friend tortures trillions of human beings in never ended agony for not believing a set of doctrines from him that no two people on this planet have ever really agreed on. You certainly haven’t identified it successfully, backing all the way out to one single “core truth”, that I have just shown isn’t even really valid.

 

But here's the real call to action: you should understand by now from what others are saying, and from the illustrations I've just offered that this is something that is offense. If it is offense then it is divisive. If it is divisive, then it is anti-spiritual. If it is anti-spiritual, then why are you embracing it? We are judged by the attitudes of our heart, not by our theology. There is no agreement on any "core" "truths".

i think Jesus anticipated it dividing people, i believe he said it would split families.

There’s lots I could say about this one, like how it can be used to justify ANY offensive belief or action, such as the crusades, but let’s start with the logic of it. Jesus says that his teachings will cause division. I guess maybe he saw his church being split into 30,000 different groups because they could not agree on what this “Truth” was? Really in what I have been talking about, this is what you have to say he was suggesting.

 

It’s all good and fine for the Gospel writers to have thought there was only one truth back then. Clearly as time goes on, that belief gave way to the reality of the evolution of ideas and this truth became 30,000 general groups of truth, that is further broken out into each single member of these general truth groups.

 

Here’s a homework assignment for you freeday. This Sunday at church just ask a couple people what their thoughts are about hell and see what sorts of answers you get? Don’t tell them your thoughts, just let them share theirs; just encourage them to really talk about how they feel. Then look at how diverse of views there are about it. Then ask yourself, “what is truth”?

 

I’ll leave it with one thought: The only “core” truth is what is in our hearts. It is our conscience to ourselves and before the world. Worshipping a God that tortures people speaks of the values of your own heart. Being afraid of such a God and doing everything to cover your own ass, is less than worshipping, and frankly is rather cowardly before your fellow man. Again, in either case, your character is diminished and others are offended by it. We’re not talking the damning of criminals here, we’re talking regular human beings – your neighbors, who don’t share your particular understandings of “the Truth”.

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and no christian should say they are morally superior. Jesus says the least on earth will be the greatest in heaven. we should be very humble. i am sorry people were trying to scare you into christianity, sounds like the small church syndrome. the message should be one of love and forgiveness.

 

i promise in no way am i saying i am better than any person on here, i have broken every commandment setforth except the murder one. and you could technically say i have broken that one. this is why i have faith that i am in need of a savior. Jesus offers forgiveness that can not be found elsewhere!

But you see freeday that when you claim to know "The Truth", it by default makes all other beliefs "Untruth". That is an attitude that claims the morally superior position. That is arrogant.

 

I tried to point out in the other thread that even things like the "Core" truths of the bible as you call them are not agreed upon amongst Christians. The church I was in believed if you weren't baptized properly and died you would go to hell. The Catholics believe that you need to work out your sins in purgatory after you die before you can get into heaven (not a waiting station for heaven like you presumed - but a place that during Martin Luther's day you could pay the church money to expedite your entrance into heaven! Women not being allowed to preach is also a very core value of the faith.

 

If they cannot even agree upon what is necessary for something as CORE as salvation, how can any Christian claim the superior position of knowing "The Truth". If you can't know that, then we come full circle back to my complaint about people who believe in the doctrine of hell: We CHOOSE teachings that are closest to our own attitudes, teachings which reflect something about us. So.... when you believe you God sends people to indescribable torture which serves no purpose for anything other than vengeance, this is a curious view you have about your fellow man, and leaves us with a rather unsavory taste in our mouths about you.

 

Think about it this way, let's say you were friends with someone who thinks it perfectly justifiable and right for conquering armies to rape and enslave the women and children of a foreign culture. What does this say about the character of your friend??? Ditto. Except hell is infinitely worse than that.

 

I think you’re a great person from what I've heard, but there is this issue that not only me, but I'd say almost everyone takes offense at when we hear this theology being embraced by Christians. And Amy, of course you are framing the argument saying "Jesus said this". Again, other Christians don't agree with you, and you are therefore embracing a truth that either you fully agree with, or are at a loss how to reconcile what you have been taught with what's in your heart. I suspect in most people, it's the latter.

 

But here's the real call to action: you should understand by now from what others are saying, and from the illustrations I've just offered that this is something that is offense. If it is offense then it is divisive. If it is divisive, then it is anti-spiritual. If it is anti-spiritual, then why are you embracing it? We are judged by the attitudes of our heart, not by our theology. There is no agreement on any "core" "truths".

God...I love your posts.

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