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First of all TAP, I can tell your a really cool person, non judgemental, you dont demonize us into ChildrenofSatan.

Which gives me lots of warm feelings that ( I assume) you understand we exchristians are just normal non threatening people.

And most of all I really respect that you dont seem to have a Us vs. Them mentality.

From my point of view you represent a real positive aspect of Faith.. that is the absence of Fear.

You remind me of my wife in many ways that she doesnt feel irrational fear of hanging out with the apostates.. In this respect, I hope to never offend you. If I do its unintentional and never meant personaly.

But Ill probably still remain negatively critical of christianity, but its not meant to be directed towards you as a person of quality character.

 

 

So I was wanting to ask you directly what your opinions and thoughts are

on Hell and how you

reconcile God/ Jesuses Love with the doctrine of hell?

 

I ask this because I am convinced the doctrine of Hell is the crux of christianity.

That is without hell, christianity crumbles away.

 

So I wanted to ask your opinions on hell, freewill,

if you think people choose hell ( or choose hell out of ignorance?)

if you beleive hell is eternal?

etc ect ect.

. Thanks

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So I was wanting to ask you directly what your opinions and thoughts are

on Hell and how you

reconcile God/ Jesuses Love with the doctrine of hell?

 

Congratulations. I've been here about 9 months and you are the first to ask. I knew it would come one day and I also knew when the questions came, I would answer them honestly and not waver, nor compromise my beliefs.

 

So, here we are....... (deep breath)

 

I will answer your questions to the best of my ability but I want to ask a favor if you don't mind. I don't want anyone running to my defense and protecting me from what's about to occur here. I know what's coming. I'm ready to handle it myself and when I've had enough, I will be honest and tell you so.

 

One other thing.....I am not strong in apologetics and when I don't know the answer, I will tell you so. But you also need to remember one thing. This is also about Faith. I have very strong Faith and faith cannot be proven.

 

Should I answer the first couple of questions or do you want to forget this now?

 

Tap

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So I was wanting to ask you directly what your opinions and thoughts are

on Hell and how you reconcile God/ Jesus' Love with the doctrine of hell?

 

I believe there is a heaven and a hell. The Bible speaks clearly of both. I could post scripture but you already know it and I'd rather keep this a simple conversation.

 

How I do personally reconcile the "love of God, send 'em to hell doctrine"? It's actually very simple to me. We were created with free will and he offers every single person the same choice; an eternity with Him or an eternity without Him. I've made the choice to believe the word of God and accept Christ as Lord and it comes with the promise of eternity with Him. The Bible also teaches that if you reject Christ as Lord that you are hell-bound. This is what Christianity teaches, with the exception of those that have thrown away the hell doctrine to appease those that are uncomfortable hearing it.

 

Where does the love come in? He offers a way of escape and it's really very simple. To most here, Christianity was probably anything but simple to them, but I would ask you then, was the difficulty of the Faith from calling him Lord or from the people within the faith who also call Him Lord? (What you call fundies, etc)

 

if you think people choose hell ( or choose hell out of ignorance?)

 

Many here say they would rather be in hell then in heaven with a Christian. That sounds like a choice to me. Out of ignorance? No. I believe that if you have heard the message, understood it and rejected it, it comes with consequences.

 

If the message has not been heard or understood, I don't believe you are accountable to it then. (Mentally retarded, your jungle folks, etc) Many Christians would disagree with me on that, believing everyone has heard and all are accountable.

 

if you believe hell is eternal?

 

Good question. I have always thought that it is. I prefer to think that life is just over, but it's not what the Bible says.

 

I want to add one more thing..............What I have said is what Christianity teaches and if my faith is Truth...................this will be what happens.

 

IF, my faith is the Truth.

 

 

 

I need a breather..........

 

Tap

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Sorry TAP, but I could never worship someone as petty as a God that needs everyone to acknowledge him or die. That someone like you can bow down to such a creature does and always will mystify me. :shrug:

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Sorry TAP, but I could never worship someone as petty as a God that needs everyone to acknowledge him or die.  That someone like you can bow down to such a creature does and always will mystify me. :shrug:

 

I understand your perspective. One of the reasons I joined this site was so I can understand your perspective.

 

From the Christian perspective, he is not asking to be acknowledged, he is asking for the entire person to belong to Him. I have no problem worshiping the One who created me.

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But those who do have a problem with it...well they'll just have to writhe for eternity?

 

Do you not find that sick? Do you not find that disturbing?

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Cerise~

 

As I said above. It is a choice whether you believe or not. You have the same choice that I have. You do not believe there is a God in heaven to even bow down to. If that is true..................you're only looking at becoming dust again someday.

 

If Christianity is true, you're looking at hell.

 

How does that make me feel? Bad enough that I've almost walked away from it. And then I remember.........................he made you the same offer he made me.

 

I cannot convince you no matter what, (nor will I try) to believe in Christ, but I also have not been shown enough evidence for me not to. That's where faith comes in. In fact, there is enough outside evidence to accompany my inner faith, that it would be impossible for me to walk away at this point.

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If there is a cosmic plan that every thing is a part of, then really, there are no choices.

 

But then, I'm not the one who believe in such things as cosmic plans.

 

Anyway TAP, I don't know whether a god exists or not. What I know is that the god described by your holy book isn't worth my praise. Nor is it worth my regard.

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... While I have came here in another unusal manner. I wish to know why God doesn't represent some dream chick as the way I would like to look at this Biosphere Earth in it's Natural Beauty and Aesthetics. By this I have always wanted Eternal Life, with a perception I know I can admire. But I see nothing respecting these Aesthetical ideas and that such a Biblical God in my mind is masochist to getting people to support a jewish culture to domenate the world.

 

... I feel I'm in hell now, unless I got to see such promises of this Eternal Life with a better character of a God that would be the idea of wanting that kind of Eternal existance with it. My choice would be for a heaven if it had a better representation about it. The Christian God danggles (Sp?) this heaven with man concepts of fraud in the way I see it.

 

(I hope I'm not interupting this?)

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It is an admirable thing to speak the truth as you understand it, even when it is an unpopular of monsterous truth.

 

In response to a few of your questions and comments:

 

The Bible also teaches that if you reject Christ as Lord that you are hell-bound. This is what Christianity teaches, with the exception of those that have thrown away the hell doctrine to appease these that are uncomfortable hearing it.

 

I think you may find that you are mistaken about what the Bible or Christianity teaches. There is a difference between the "destruction" and "fire" prophecied for unbelievers in the gospels and the eternal torment prophecied for the demons in Revelation - many English translations gloss over this distinction (which is very clear in the Greek) in deference to tradition. It is, in fact, longstanding Christian doctrine (more popular in the Eastern than Western church, but strong in both, that hell is annihilation or punishment followed by annihilation (rather than eternal torture).

 

FWIW.

 

Where does the love come in? He offers a way of escape and it's really very simple. To  most here, Christianity was probably anything but simple to them, but I would ask you then, was the difficulty of the Faith from calling him Lord or from the people within the faith who also call Him Lord? (What you call fundies, etc)

 

I was forced to leave Christian orthodoxy against the truest desires of my heart, because I was convinced by the Bible itself that the person of Jesus was neither God nor a Sinless Sacrifice. I stopped believing in God because of the failures of his prophets and the promises in the Bible. It was a very long time before I didn't have to re-read the scriptures every day to remind myself of the reasons of integrity I walked away. I never wanted, nor demanded, anything more from God than the ability to say "thank you" and the confidence that what I believed about him was true. I can no longer believe, for reasons of basic integrity. But "thank you" is still ever upon my lips, for any God that may exist to hear. My opinion of Christianity has deteriorated since then, as I have seen the destruction and heartache that it has caused in others. But that had nothing to do with my leaving the faith.

 

I left because I was (and still am) convinced that it is untrue. And when I left, I cried for a long, long time - the structure undergirding my life, my very reasons for being who I am, had fallen away. But, worse than that, I felt like my dearest friend had died.

 

But, thankfully, mourning doesn't last forever, and Joy and hope come again. But this time the light in my life is the light of life itself rather than the light of faith. In the end, I prefer this light, but the effect on my soul is much the same. Even in despair, there is hope.

 

Thank you for your honesty, TAP.

 

May the rest of the thread be civil :)

-Lokmer

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Tap-

 

a few questions from me, if you dont mind. Why is it that you believe Christianity is right and all the other world religions are wrong? Obviously they cant all be correct.

 

Imagine this: A young girl is born the same day as you in India. She is raised in a decent family, like you, but brought up in Hinduism. Now, your Jesus returns tommorow to take away only those who have accepted him as their Lord and Savior...She is left to burn in Hell for worshipping "false" Gods.

 

How could this be the way it works? She only believes her religion because it was taught to her by her parents. What if you had been that girl? Doesnt seem fair to me. That is one of the main points that forced me to leave Xtianity. I would hate to believe that an all powerful God would be as cheesy and childish as that of the bible. Seems more like humans giving God human characteristics in order to twist his words so that people will do what you want them to. :shrug:

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I have a question for you, TAP. Do you believe that righteous and good-hearted unbelievers will go to Heaven, or will they end up in Hell?

 

Another question that ties in with my first: What exactly, according to what you believe, quantifies punishment in Hell?

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You do not believe there is a God in heaven to even bow down to. If that is true..................you're only looking at becoming dust again someday. 

 

If Christianity is true, you're looking at hell.

 

TAP, first I want to give you Kudos for stepping out like this. I respect your point of view even though I do not share it.

 

And I really do understand the sentiment behind the above quote by you. I was there myself once, and oddly, it was a pastor that helped push me the rest of the way out when he gave a sermon railing against "just in case" christians.

 

I'll bet I don't even have to tell you what that means, you've probably had to wrestle with that yourself. But for the benefit of those who have not had sufficeint caffine today, "just in case" christians refers to people who believe in christianity "just in case" it is true.

 

Seems harmless enough. If you believe, you're eternally safe in the bosom of god. If the afterlife turns out to be something entirely different than expected, or doesn't exist at all, then there really hasn't been any harm done by believing anyway....right?

 

The pastor mentioned in his sermon that this was a very cheap and shallow way to treat the son of god who died for our sins. Those of us who were guilty of such poor faith were denying Jesus the love and respect that he gave us by his sellfless sacrifice.

 

That pastor made it clear that to him (and apparently others agreed) "just in case" christianity wasn't GOOD enough.

 

I left for a lot of reasons, and one of them happened to be that I did not think it was anyone's (including this jerk pastor) business to tell me how I should and shouldn't feel about Jesus....or my faith.

 

I guess you could say I left christianity to protect and defend my christianity.

 

That meant it was me and the bible....which is all I needed. But the more I read of the bible, the harder it got to accept it as the unfailing word of god.

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Yeah, I didn't leave because of the people I met. Yeah, hypocrisy is there but it is everywhere. It isn't something I associate with Christianity. I left because it doesn't make sense any way I put it together unless I completely deny some of the history, science, and logic I know, and thus deny myself.

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Thanks for the input TAP,

 

I just wanted to say that I rememebr

as a christian the whole eternal hell vs. unconditional love thing really caused alot of inner turmoil in my christian life.

It was like the ultimate oxymoron which eventualy led to Doubt, ect. and deconverting.

 

So I want to do something that would encourage and strengthen your faith instead of tear it down, in helping to to resolve a inner confict I see so many christians have with the concept of eternal hell vs. Love.

No I am not playing mind games with you or anything.

I just wanted you to Google the phrase " Origins of Hell Doctrine"

because you will find a few online essays and books by respected christian scholars that study the issue in depth and show that the common interpretation of eternal fire and brimstone is inaccurate and a doctrine that solidified during the medival ages and a confusion over Jewish words, Idioms, and analogy ( idiom= a cultural phrase like "Its raining cats and dogs")

I wont bother posting the details cuz its too complicated to post greek words and stuff, but its a real facinating topic of study. And again these are by christian scholars , so nothing " antichristian" in the books

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I think the following quote nails the problem about the hell doctrine.

 

(1) It is God's redemptive purpose for the world (and therefore his will) to reconcile all sinners to himself;

 

(2) It is within God's power to achieve his redemptive purpose for the world;

 

(3) Some sinners will never be reconciled to God, and God will therefore either consign them to a place of eternal punishment, from which there will be no hope of escape, or put them out of existence altogether.

 

If this is indeed an inconsistent set of propositions, as I believe it is, then at least one of the propositions is false. Calvinists reject proposition (1); Arminians reject proposition (2); and universalists reject proposition (3). But in fact we can also find *prima facie* support in the Bible for each of the three propositions. So one day I sat down and, setting aside disputes over translation and sophisticated theological arguments, began to review the obvious. Tom Talbott

 

Universalism, Calvinism and Arminianism: Some preliminary refelctions

 

The author of the article suggests, that universalism is the solution. I don't think so, because universalism doesn't solve the problem of evil, but that's another story.

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wow thats wierd Zoe, we were thinking the exact same thing.

awesome link too.

With people like Tap and a few other christians I know, like my wife, who I see thier christian faith as a positive thing. I would much rather be a positive influence. As compared to someone, say MACGYVER, who told me he would laugh at me in hell, then I feel compeled to knock it down cuz hes a jerk, and obviously for someone to think they would be laughing in hysterics over my eternal suffering, then their faith has resulted in nothing but negative things

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yea I know exactly what you mean ZOE,

I run across the same things.

The other day I had an awesome talk with my little sister, who returned from a fundy mission trip in Japan last year. she told me she hasnt gone to church in a year, because she is burned out on the whole fundy culture.

She is in a vulnerable position, and open to deconverting.

it would have been a good opportunity to tell her my real opinions about christianity.

but I found myself trying to talk her into attending a more liberal church like Vineyard. because her faith is still so important to her.

I dare not be responsible for her deconverting and make her life more complicated.

I want no Karma-- good or bad

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TAP,

 

Thnaks for stating your thoughts and beliefs as clearly as you have. Took some serious stones to do that, and you have some serious respect from me for doing that, despite any differences in belief we may have.

 

For reference, I left for two resons, one was that I found that I could not believe in the Christian god, it just seemed wrong. What I learned was self-contradictory, and for lack of a better way of describing it, just felt flat-out wrong to me, almost an instinctive knowledge that that was not what divinity is, every fiber of my being saying that this is wrong. Second was that I found a view of the divine that works for me, that seems to match what is actually going on. Essentially a better deal.

 

Perhaps I am built to go to hell. So be it, if that is my job, but I don't think so.

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I will answer your questions to the best of my ability but I want to ask a favor if you don't mind. I don't want anyone running to my defense and protecting me from what's about to occur here. I know what's coming. I'm ready to handle it myself and when I've had enough, I will be honest and tell you so.

TAP, I think you have failed to consider two things:

 

1.) It's God's responsibility to give you the words to speak, via the agency of the Holy Spirit, at the exact time that you have need of them. Your inability is irrelevant. Your abilities are nothing in view of God's omnipotence.

 

2.) It's God's responsibility to defend you. If he can't or won't do so, then you may have something new to consider about your god.

 

Do you need scriptural references for all of that?

 

And what do you think is going to happen here? What is coming?

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I believe there is a heaven and a hell.[...]

 

The Bible also teaches that if you reject Christ as Lord that you are hell-bound.

 

What I have said is what Christianity teaches and if my faith is Truth...................this will be what happens.

 

IF, my faith is the Truth.

I need a breather..........

 

Tap

I don't believe you, TAP. I don't believe you believe what you say you believe. If you really believed we were heading for hell, wouldn't your posting habits be different on this board? Out of 786 total posts, at this moment, you have posted in Totally Off Topic 574 times which represents 73% of your active posts. Most of these posts are in game threads so one might draw the conclusion that 73% of your activity here is about fun and games. That's the statistical part of your testimony on this board.

 

Are you doing the work of an evangelist here or are you heartless about the fact that you believe we are going to hell for all eternity?

 

Either you don't really care about us or you don't really believe in hell. You can't have it both ways.

 

I'm just trying to be honest and not play games. I don't think there is anything funny at all about an eternity in hell. That damnable doctrine is what opened my eyes to the wickedness of Christianity in the first place.

 

TAP, I don't intend any disrespect towards you at all, in any way, but sometimes we have to wake up and smell the coffee and I think the coffee is burnt.

 

Breathe fresh air.

-Reach

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I think that this thread should have been titled...

 

Tap Dance on Hell.

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Thanks a bunch, Reach.

You're welcome, TAP. The truth is not always easy to hear, but it's important that it be spoken. I have spoken what I believe to be the truth.

 

It would have been nice to throw in a bunch of cute emoticons so other readers can tell that we apparently have a decent relationship, but that might appear like I was less serious about this hell doctrine by trivializing it and I don't think there's anything funny about an eternity in hell. What the fear of hell has done to people and how it has destroyed many Christians, former Christians and their minds is testimony to what Christianity offers its believers: death. Some people here call it a "mind-fuck." Crude, but appropriate. Loren explained it as neurological sabotage. Imagine that! Christianity screws with our minds in a way that is biochemical.

 

-Reach

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