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The "justice" Of God


riverbank
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Okay, well when I was a fundie, I believed that people who didn't believe in Jesus would go to hell, and it never used to bother my conscience, because I believed that God was a just God and that in his holiness he could not tolerate sin. Sin was such a terrible thing that it was only punishable by everlasting torture, you know....

 

Now when I think of all this I cannot see any justice in sending people to hell. Any loving God, even a God without sin, would surely not punish his creations. The idea of the typical fundamentalist belief of hell is hideous beyond belief.

 

I guess what I want to know is, for those of you (like me) who used to believe in hell, did you always think it was just for God to send people to hell for their sins? Or did the idea of hell bother you when you were Christian?

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I was raised to believe in a literal heaven and hell. While I was young, with the typical mindset of 'it's all about me!', I didn't give hell much thought since I knew I was saved and would go to heaven. When I became a teenager and was much more actively witnessing--fear of hell for the unsaved was a strong motivation. The rationalization I was taught was that God is holy and perfect and cannot be in communion with imperfection. Like there was some larger overriding spiritual law that even God had to abide by. Basically 'he would if he could but he can't so he won't'

 

The thing that made me really question hell was the spiritual status of my uncle. My uncle was like a second father to me. He was a quirky-tinkerer-basement scientist-renaissance man-hobbyist. Think Doc Brown from Back to the Future. He was drawn to bizarro paranormal beliefs (ancient astronauts, perpetual motion machines, Technocracy, Edgar Caycee etc). Not only was he not saved but he believed that Jesus only fainted on the cross, was taken down "went to the see of Galilee, got married and had three kids".

 

I loved this man with my whole heart. He was loving and giving and helped his neighbors--and every other good work that didn't do a darn thing according to my fundie beliefs. But he had a secret that he promised not to reveal to my brother and I while we were young. So when I was 21 my mom died and my dear uncle wasted no time in bringing out his neo-nazi, KKK, 'there was no holocaust' beliefs. In a distorted way I understood it was because he loved us so much he didn't want us to be "brainwashed by the jewish media" but gaaaa it was an awful revelation. Well I could dither and rationalize about hell all I wanted but I knew this was bad. About 15 years later, he died and I imagined him in hell. And that's when I really really began to question hell. Who goes to hell? An unsaved neo-nazi? Check! And why exactly? Because he was ignorant? Because his simplistic vile beliefs outweighed the good guy that he also was? No, because he didn't accept Christ! And I was to believe that my dear, sweet dichotomist uncle was burning in flames....for eternity?

 

The hell belief then gets watered down into 'separation from God' which is apparently so horrific that it's the emotional equivalent of a lake of fire. Eternity is an unfathomably long time to torture someone. And since the eternal torture does not have a remedial value for the person being tortured, it must have some value for the deity that created it. That makes God sadistic.

So no, dear reader I don't believe in hell and it didn't take me long to see the injustice of it once it became a real issue in my head. Before it was a real issue, it was just a dogma.

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Okay, well when I was a fundie, I believed that people who didn't believe in Jesus would go to hell, and it never used to bother my conscience, because I believed that God was a just God and that in his holiness he could not tolerate sin. Sin was such a terrible thing that it was only punishable by everlasting torture, you know....

 

Now when I think of all this I cannot see any justice in sending people to hell. Any loving God, even a God without sin, would surely not punish his creations. The idea of the typical fundamentalist belief of hell is hideous beyond belief.

 

I guess what I want to know is, for those of you (like me) who used to believe in hell, did you always think it was just for God to send people to hell for their sins? Or did the idea of hell bother you when you were Christian?

 

Listen, mac, God can do whatever he wants. So quite whining.

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If there is a cruel and vengeful god who wants to send me to Hell for not believing in him, then he can just kiss my ass. I'ld rather burn in Hell than serve such a god. Infinite punishment equals infinite cruelty.

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I used to accept it and never questioned it. It never even crossed my mind that a being who would create such a place and send people to it could be considered wrathful, evil, unjust and cruel. The thing is you have to open your mind to really see that. Most Christians will refuse to do that.

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I guess what I want to know is, for those of you (like me) who used to believe in hell, did you always think it was just for God to send people to hell for their sins? Or did the idea of hell bother you when you were Christian?

 

I never was a christian, but was quite close to becoming one. But yeah, the protestant view on hell did not make sense, especially since the criteria of who will goto hell is not defined. (Faith alone or works also count). I could not worship a God who would send my everyone I love to hell.

 

As I examined into the Christian claims about hell, I discovered that there is no scriptural basis for it in the Old Testament, just like in the case of the devil.

 

Jews do not believe in hell or Devil(but in Satan), because there is no scriptural justification for it in their scripture

http://p069.ezboard.com/fmessiahtruthfrm7....icID=1033.topic

 

So the question is, where the heck did it come from? Well we do know that the Greeks had a concept of hades and also the God of the underworld(whatever his name was). Could it possible it hell was taken from pagan, just like baptism , christmas, and the devil?

 

Think about it.

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Obviously, there is no justification for Hell. There need not be. Narcissists lack the ability to think contextually, and as such, lack the ability to justify. Hell is a knee-jerk reaction to an inability to deal with the real world and threats to a delicate, fragile ego. I've always said it as those who agree with the Christians get to put their hands in the Eternal Cookie Jar; those that do not are punished forever and ever while the Christians masturbate to violent fantasies of submission and control generated by the thought of said infidel being punished forever and ever.

 

When I believed in the Bible, I never thought the idea of Hell was just, fair or reasonable, and I treated it as such. It apalled (sp?) my basic sense of justice, fairness and reason, even at the age of fourteen when I finally read the Bible from front to back.

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I was raised to believe in literal hell also, but as I got older, I couldn't accept it as justice. For example, my cousin committed suicide. If you believe in a literal hell, you also have to believe that people who commit suicide will be tortured there for all of eternity. But guess what? Turns out most people who commit suicide have a physical condition, depression, that if untreated, leads them to kill themselves. So how is it justice to torture an ill person forever and ever and ever?

 

I also had a mother who threatened me with hell simply because she was a perfectionist and I couldn't live up to her impossible standards, no matter what I did. I couldn't believe that a god who was supposed to be kind and loving would torture a child for all of eternity. For a while I did, yeah, but not when I got older.

 

How is it just to torture a child, any child, for any reason at all? It's not. And, btw, don't anyone throw out the age thing, Lutherans aren't raised with that. Some Christian sects believe in it, some of them don't, it's all dependent on how you were raised and there is no proof anyway. Even if you believe in that, how do you get past the suicide bit?

 

Second, what about people -- adults -- who were born in non-Christian countries? What about people on other planets? How is it justice to torture someone just because they were born and raised somewhere where Christianity isn't the predominant religion? Of course it isn't.

 

Even if you take into account those who are actually guilty of things like murder, even serial killing, how is it justice to torture them for all of eternity for acts committed in one lifetime? I could see a thousand years of punishment for each murder victim. Maybe ten thousand if the acts were especially violent. But all of eternity? That just doesn't make sense. It's not retribution then. It's just mindless torture and violence.

 

Eternal torture just doesn't compute with a god who is supposedly kind and loving. It seems to me like the whole hell thing was just thrown in by the church leaders to keep their followers under control. I mean, it is a very good mind-control mechanism if you think about it. You've got the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell. And again, there's no proof of any of it being real, but yet we're supposed to believe in it, or we'll be tortured forever, even when we're already dead.

 

Eternal torture is the most unjust concept I have ever heard of in my life. It was the main reason why I left the cult.

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Like pyro, I wasn't going there, so I never thought about the injustice of it. I really didn't know what it was like not to be "saved" or not be a Christian. I thought people who rejected Jesus were pure evil. Sure, they may act nice and do kind things sometimes, but deep down inside they were ruled by Satan until they gave their hearts to Jesus. So, because non-Christians were evil beings, they belonged in hell.

 

It wasn't until after I deconverted and realised that I, now a non-Christian who rejected jesus, wasn't evil or ruled by Satan, that I started to see the injustice of hell.

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Infinite punishment for finite infractions never seemed like justice to me...

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Obviously there is no way on earth that an eternal place of torment (whatever the form) can be considered just. The only defence that can be presented is that "god's ways are not ours and we cannot understand them". The argument is one of "god said it, I believe it, that settles it".

 

Equally obvious is the fact that this answer is absolute nonsense and unworthy of any reasoned response. The blind continue to lead the blind and their hell is the self bondage they submit to during this lifetime. :Wendywhatever:

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I'm with those who have posted that infinite punishment for finite "sins" simply doesn't compute. The logical absurdity of it makes it impossible for me to believe, and I'm thankful for that. I don't have to worry about a recurring fear of Hell. Predictably enough though, there are those who will try to defend the idea that infinite punishment is justified. A common argument goes something like this: "All sin is ultimately a sin against God, and since God is infinitely greater than we mere mortals, when we sin, we sin against and infinite being, which makes our sins infinitely bad; thus infinite punishment is justified." Thoughts?

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I was taught a literal hell. I always got the "God doesn't send people to hell, he made it for the angels, but then man sinned, and god can't be in the presence of anything sinful. so man chooses to go there by disbelief".

 

For years I accepted this, until recently, when I began to question it. I mean, people make it sound like god doesn't have a choice in the matter, that he has to send us to hell if we don't believe because we aren't purified. This seems so ridiculous to me now! He's god so he can do whatever he wants, right? So why not make something else for us? N

 

None of it really makes any sense when you think about it. Oh wait- but then, "his ways aren't our ways". Well HALLELUJAH! I'm more compassionate! :D

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I'm with those who have posted that infinite punishment for finite "sins" simply doesn't compute. The logical absurdity of it makes it impossible for me to believe, and I'm thankful for that. I don't have to worry about a recurring fear of Hell. Predictably enough though, there are those who will try to defend the idea that infinite punishment is justified. A common argument goes something like this: "All sin is ultimately a sin against God, and since God is infinitely greater than we mere mortals, when we sin, we sin against and infinite being, which makes our sins infinitely bad; thus infinite punishment is justified." Thoughts?

 

That argument is pretty circular, IMO. And circular logic isn't good logic.

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I was taught a literal hell. I always got the "God doesn't send people to hell, he made it for the angels, but then man sinned, and god can't be in the presence of anything sinful."

 

Hi sithprincess. There's a ready response for this particular line of thinking. Just point the fundagelicals to Job 1:6-12. In this passage, we have a clear example of Satan himself waltzing into the presence of God. If God is so allergic to sin that he can't possibly be in the presence of anything sinful, it seems odd that he would tolerate the presence of Satan.

 

That argument is pretty circular, IMO. And circular logic isn't good logic.

 

Hi Amethyst. I don't see the circularity that you are referring to. Perhaps you could elaborate.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to confess I'm afraid of hell. It has to do with a couple of experiences I had. One in late 2004. It was early in the morning and I was just awaking out of sleep. Suddenly I heard a sound like wind rushing through my room (the windows were closed) and something, I don't know what it was - a spirit blew through my whole being and I was gripped with terror. Then I felt something inside me pressing down on my conscience, and yes, it hurt. The whole thing must have lasted only a few seconds but it was unforgettable.

 

I interpreted it as a warning from God, or a foretaste of hell. Thinking about it, it could have been both.

 

That was before my breakdown near Easter of the following year.

 

If the first experience was bad enough, I dread to think what will happen when I die.

 

I thought I had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. My conscience was completely broken, like a flame burning out the centre of a strip of paper. According to the Bible, satan has no conscience.

 

Is there any other way of explaining all this? I'm having difficulty believing there is.

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I have to confess I'm afraid of hell. It has to do with a couple of experiences I had. One in late 2004. It was early in the morning and I was just awaking out of sleep. Suddenly I heard a sound like wind rushing through my room (the windows were closed) and something, I don't know what it was - a spirit blew through my whole being and I was gripped with terror. Then I felt something inside me pressing down on my conscience, and yes, it hurt. The whole thing must have lasted only a few seconds but it was unforgettable.

 

Hey frank. The experience you describe sounds very similar to experiences reported in another thread a month or so ago. It sounds a lot like sleep paralysis, accompanied by hypnopompic hallucinations. The experience is not at all uncommon, and while the physiological causes of sleep paralysis are difficult to nail down, there exists a large body of literature dealing with the experience.

 

I hope that helps.

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I take it you were still a Christian when these two events happened, or at least were trying to hang on to your faith. Whilst I never experienced anything quite like what you experienced back in 2004, I still had some extremely nasty things happen to me during my breakdown, and when I was reading the bible, I happened to come to verses which seemed to confirm that I was condemned forever, or even that I was going to murder someone (when I was so screwed up early this year thoughts of murder entered my mind briefly, thankfully they didn't last).

 

Now, less than a year later, I am doing well and have recovered quicker than I expected. The main thing that helped me more or less get over the fear of hell was this site, even though I don't post much I have been on this site a lot and reading the various topics and thoughts of like minded ex-christians have really helped me. As for blaspheming the Holy Spirit, heck I've done it many times and it doesn't bother me in the least.

 

I hope you manage to get through your fears somehow. I know it's hard, but I believe it's possible. Look after yourself mate.

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When I was a Christian, I was so brainwashed into thinking that God sending people to Hell was just. I thought it was an appropriate way of conducting justice, because after all, who are we to question the almighty? Even if what he does doesn't seem "good" or "righteous" to us, it's "God" that we're talking about, so he must be "just" in every conceivable way, right? That's what I used to think.

 

Now, I think "God" is nothing but a big asshole. Talk about an entity that can't even forgive and forget the mistake of the first two people that we were never responsible in sharing sin with. Even if we do sin without believing in that whole "original sin" crap, it's quite ridiculous how we have to burn in Hell for eternity. We're practically placed on the same scale as murderers if we lie. I mean, what kind of "love" is that? This "God" says that he doesn't want to send people to Hell and wants everyone to repent? Well, you're freakin' GOD! Why don't you leave people be? Why don't you do something about Hell and all that unnecessary shit? Stop toying with people's lives. Sorry, I kind of went offtopic there. Anyway, Hell and the ten commandments was what got me convicted of my "sins" and it's what made me start believing in the whole Christian nonsense.

 

Hell is a scare tactic concept. Perhaps one of the early scholars decided to use it repeatedly, because it was so psychologically disturbing and in turn, people would buy into the delusions in order to believe that they were on the safe side. I think it's garbage. There are so many former Christians out there suffering from this recurring thought about Hell and what the afterlife would be like if Hell was real.

 

It's too non-sensical to believe. All of it.

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I have to confess I'm afraid of hell. It has to do with a couple of experiences I had. One in late 2004. It was early in the morning and I was just awaking out of sleep. Suddenly I heard a sound like wind rushing through my room (the windows were closed) and something, I don't know what it was - a spirit blew through my whole being and I was gripped with terror. Then I felt something inside me pressing down on my conscience, and yes, it hurt. The whole thing must have lasted only a few seconds but it was unforgettable.

 

Hell is not real. It does not exist. When you've accepted that simple fact, such experiences will trouble you no more.

 

"When the demon is at your door,

In the morning it won't be there no more,

Any major dude will tell you." (Steely Dan)

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