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euphgeek

Five Questions That Christians Can't Answer

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This might be a good topic to pin. Every Christian I have ever posed these questions to has never been able to give me a straight answer:

 

1) Which one better describes an all-loving God: a.) One that gives human beings one chance only to get it right and if you don't condemns you to an eternal hell, or b.) One that allows you multiple chances to get it right so that you can spend eternity in the best place possible?

 

2) People who speak of "hell" associate it with divine punishment, but punishment is usually used as a corrective measure. How do people suffering in an eternal hell learn their lesson? Doesn't that make hell mere torture with absolutely no point to it?

 

3) There are thousands of different denominations in Christianity, each thinking they have it right. All other religions think that they have it right, as well. How can you be sure that you have it right, when the odds are that you are actually wrong?

 

4) Where in the Bible does Jesus say that people must worship him or pray to him? Doesn't he identify himself as the "Son of Man" who was sent by the Father?

 

5) Jesus himself and his disciples seem to believe in reincarnation, as evidenced in Matthew 11:10-15, Matthew 17:10-13 and John 9:1-2. Why is the word of Paul in Hebrews 9:27 taken over Jesus in Christian doctrine?

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This might be a good topic to pin. Every Christian I have ever posed these questions to has never been able to give me a straight answer:

 

1) Which one better describes an all-loving God: a.) One that gives human beings one chance only to get it right and if you don't condemns you to an eternal hell, or b.) One that allows you multiple chances to get it right so that you can spend eternity in the best place possible?

 

2) People who speak of "hell" associate it with divine punishment, but punishment is usually used as a corrective measure. How do people suffering in an eternal hell learn their lesson? Doesn't that make hell mere torture with absolutely no point to it?

 

3) There are thousands of different denominations in Christianity, each thinking they have it right. All other religions think that they have it right, as well. How can you be sure that you have it right, when the odds are that you are actually wrong?

 

4) Where in the Bible does Jesus say that people must worship him or pray to him? Doesn't he identify himself as the "Son of Man" who was sent by the Father?

 

5) Jesus himself and his disciples seem to believe in reincarnation, as evidenced in Matthew 11:10-15, Matthew 17:10-13 and John 9:1-2. Why is the word of Paul in Hebrews 9:27 taken over Jesus in Christian doctrine?

 

Hi euphgeek,

 

I don't understand what you mean by a "straight answer". Is it your understanding that humans are meant to comprehend everything there is about the universe, eternity, heaven / hell from what only what is contained in the Bible? or that the Bible claims to give the full explanation of such unanswerable questions? Is there anybody who actually believes they know and understand everything there is to know? What constitutes a "straigh answer" that you are looking for?

 

Are you under the impression that there are "thousands of different denominations" and each believes they are they only true denomination and the others are false? What else do you mean by "it right"? Don't most denominations agree to disagree on peripheral topics that are not essential to salvation?

 

Can you explain why #4 appears to be two unrelated questions? I have never heard of Jesus insisting that he be worshipped, which is the concept of behind free choice. Are you referring to the "every knee shall bow"?

 

Can you explain how those scriptures support reincarnation? I really want to understand your questions and it's important to understand clearly what you are asking.

 

thanks, I'll check back later.

td

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Hi euphgeek,

 

I don't understand what you mean by a "straight answer". Is it your understanding that humans are meant to comprehend everything there is about the universe, eternity, heaven / hell from what only what is contained in the Bible? or that the Bible claims to give the full explanation of such unanswerable questions? Is there anybody who actually believes they know and understand everything there is to know? What constitutes a "straigh answer" that you are looking for?

Christians claim that the Bible is the answer to everything, yet they can't answer questions about their beliefs. By "straight answer" I mean one that is well thought out and makes sense to all involved.

Are you under the impression that there are "thousands of different denominations" and each believes they are they only true denomination and the others are false? What else do you mean by "it right"? Don't most denominations agree to disagree on peripheral topics that are not essential to salvation?
There are many denominations that feel that theirs is the only way to salvation. The entire Christian religion is based on their way being the only way to salvation. But many other religions also claim the same thing.
Can you explain why #4 appears to be two unrelated questions? I have never heard of Jesus insisting that he be worshipped, which is the concept of behind free choice. Are you referring to the "every knee shall bow"?

Christians insist that Jesus is a part of the Trinity that is God, and therefore must be worshiped.

Can you explain how those scriptures support reincarnation? I really want to understand your questions and it's important to understand clearly what you are asking.

Just read the verses. It's easy to see how they support reincarnation. Is your answer to deny that they support reincarnation like every other Christian does?

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Hi euphgeek,

 

I don't understand what you mean by a "straight answer". Is it your understanding that humans are meant to comprehend everything there is about the universe, eternity, heaven / hell from what only what is contained in the Bible? or that the Bible claims to give the full explanation of such unanswerable questions? Is there anybody who actually believes they know and understand everything there is to know? What constitutes a "straigh answer" that you are looking for?

Christians claim that the Bible is the answer to everything, yet they can't answer questions about their beliefs. By "straight answer" I mean one that is well thought out and makes sense to all involved.

 

I think personally that Christians who claim to know everything are mislead. I generally run in what would be called "charismatic" circles, maybe even "fundamentalist", not that I subscribe to everything they do. I think most of them would agree that there are questions about heaven and hell and God's eternal purposes in some of the things He decides that we simply cannot understand with our finite minds. I dare say that no religion or science for that matter can make such a claim.

 

Are you under the impression that there are "thousands of different denominations" and each believes they are they only true denomination and the others are false? What else do you mean by "it right"? Don't most denominations agree to disagree on peripheral topics that are not essential to salvation?
There are many denominations that feel that theirs is the only way to salvation. The entire Christian religion is based on their way being the only way to salvation. But many other religions also claim the same thing.

 

All "Christians" agree that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Can you tell me which denomination claims to be the only true one? I would venture that it is classified more as a cult by Christians and has not Biblical basis. The RCC is a good example of that and many people classify it as a cult.

 

Can you explain why #4 appears to be two unrelated questions? I have never heard of Jesus insisting that he be worshipped, which is the concept of behind free choice. Are you referring to the "every knee shall bow"?
Christians insist that Jesus is a part of the Trinity that is God, and therefore must be worshiped.

 

I have never heard anybody say it that way. "You MUST worship Him". It seems like a distorted view to me. Worhsip in Christianity should be one of free will, not compulsion. There is only one true worship and that is "in spirit and in truth". Not at the edge of a sword.

 

Can you explain how those scriptures support reincarnation? I really want to understand your questions and it's important to understand clearly what you are asking.
Just read the verses. It's easy to see how they support reincarnation. Is your answer to deny that they support reincarnation like every other Christian does? I will pick this up tomorrow when I have a chance to read the scriptures. g'night.

td

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Hi euphgeek,

 

I don't understand what you mean by a "straight answer". Is it your understanding that humans are meant to comprehend everything there is about the universe, eternity, heaven / hell from what only what is contained in the Bible? or that the Bible claims to give the full explanation of such unanswerable questions? Is there anybody who actually believes they know and understand everything there is to know? What constitutes a "straigh answer" that you are looking for?

Christians claim that the Bible is the answer to everything, yet they can't answer questions about their beliefs. By "straight answer" I mean one that is well thought out and makes sense to all involved.

 

I think personally that Christians who claim to know everything are mislead. I generally run in what would be called "charismatic" circles, maybe even "fundamentalist", not that I subscribe to everything they do. I think most of them would agree that there are questions about heaven and hell and God's eternal purposes in some of the things He decides that we simply cannot understand with our finite minds. I dare say that no religion or science for that matter can make such a claim.

 

Are you under the impression that there are "thousands of different denominations" and each believes they are they only true denomination and the others are false? What else do you mean by "it right"? Don't most denominations agree to disagree on peripheral topics that are not essential to salvation?
There are many denominations that feel that theirs is the only way to salvation. The entire Christian religion is based on their way being the only way to salvation. But many other religions also claim the same thing.

 

All "Christians" agree that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Can you tell me which denomination claims to be the only true one? I would venture that it is classified more as a cult by Christians and has not Biblical basis. The RCC is a good example of that and many people classify it as a cult.

 

Can you explain why #4 appears to be two unrelated questions? I have never heard of Jesus insisting that he be worshipped, which is the concept of behind free choice. Are you referring to the "every knee shall bow"?
Christians insist that Jesus is a part of the Trinity that is God, and therefore must be worshiped.

 

I have never heard anybody say it that way. "You MUST worship Him". It seems like a distorted view to me. Worhsip in Christianity should be one of free will, not compulsion. There is only one true worship and that is "in spirit and in truth". Not at the edge of a sword.

 

Can you explain how those scriptures support reincarnation? I really want to understand your questions and it's important to understand clearly what you are asking.
Just read the verses. It's easy to see how they support reincarnation. Is your answer to deny that they support reincarnation like every other Christian does? I will pick this up tomorrow when I have a chance to read the scriptures. g'night.

td

 

I hit send instead of review. Sorry but I messed up the quote /quote sequence.

td

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All "Christians" agree that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Can you tell me which denomination claims to be the only true one? I would venture that it is classified more as a cult by Christians and has not Biblical basis. The RCC is a good example of that and many people classify it as a cult.

If that's the case, then the entire Christian religion can be classified as a cult, as they believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. And you may think that the RCC is a cult, but they are ultimately the ones who decided what all Christians believe.

I have never heard anybody say it that way. "You MUST worship Him". It seems like a distorted view to me. Worhsip in Christianity should be one of free will, not compulsion. There is only one true worship and that is "in spirit and in truth". Not at the edge of a sword.

You know what I mean. Christians believe that you must worship Jesus in order to get into heaven.

 

Now are you going to actually attempt to answer the questions I put forth, or are you just going to continue to tap dance around them under the guise of "clarifying their meaning" like every other Christian I've talked to has?

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This might be a good topic to pin. Every Christian I have ever posed these questions to has never been able to give me a straight answer:

 

I don't exactly qualify to speak as a Christian, but I have been steeped in Christianity all my life and I am presently studying Christian theology. Perhaps I can speak for Christians. Or at the very least, I will try to provide explanations that some Christians might agree with. I identify as an exChristian.

 

1) Which one better describes an all-loving God: a.) One that gives human beings one chance only to get it right and if you don't condemns you to an eternal hell, or b.) One that allows you multiple chances to get it right so that you can spend eternity in the best place possible?

My answer, whether straight or crooked or otherwise, is that neither of those two options captures a loving God. An analogy that came to me many years ago when I was securely inside the Christian faith community with barely any outside contact was this: Just as I accept the bungling attempts of a two-year-old to "help" me with shelling peas, so does God accept my bungling attempts to live a righteous life. It's the sincerity that counts, the dedication to learning and improving and doing one's best; not the actual performance itself. That, in my opinion, is love--whether in the divine-human relationship or in the adult-child relationship.

 

2) People who speak of "hell" associate it with divine punishment, but punishment is usually used as a corrective measure. How do people suffering in an eternal hell learn their lesson? Doesn't that make hell mere torture with absolutely no point to it?

 

I don't understand punishment to mean a corrective measure; I understand it to mean the natural outcome of wrong living in the case of divine justice. In the case of human punishment meted out to fellow humans has always seemed to me to be the "paying back" for the wrong done. I'm a child of the fifties. Maybe meanings have shifted since then.

 

3) There are thousands of different denominations in Christianity, each thinking they have it right. All other religions think that they have it right, as well. How can you be sure that you have it right, when the odds are that you are actually wrong?
I think I was raised with a mixed message in this particular area. Over the pulpit they would preach that we are not the only people who are saved. However, on the practical level of everyday life anyone who left our specific church for another one, whether more liberal or more conservative, was judged negatively in strong terms. The message that stuck was that there are many ways of being Christian but our way is the best way.

 

4) Where in the Bible does Jesus say that people must worship him or pray to him? Doesn't he identify himself as the "Son of Man" who was sent by the Father?

 

Now that you raise the question I really couldn't tell. Neither do I remember being specifically taught that we should pray to Jesus. I was taught that Jesus gave us the model prayer i.e. the Lord's Prayer. It is directed to the Father. Jesus promises that whoever asks something in his name would have his prayer answered. It seems to me he meant we had his permission to pray to God in his (Jesus' name). I don't understand the logistics of that. Does it mean I have a right to approach God is his office or holy sanctum and put down a plea signed by Jesus and expect to get my wishes granted? I have never been able to actually get at the real meaning of that. It seemed to me that I can speak for myself only and that others must likewise approach God personally with their needs.

 

5) Jesus himself and his disciples seem to believe in reincarnation, as evidenced in Matthew 11:10-15, Matthew 17:10-13 and John 9:1-2. Why is the word of Paul in Hebrews 9:27 taken over Jesus in Christian doctrine?

 

I think this one is beyond my abilities, except for the widely accepted fact that Paul is probably not the author of Hebrews.

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Oh dear Euphgeek I don,t think you will get an answer to even question 1! Just more spin on the monster god. Good luck!

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All "Christians" agree that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Can you tell me which denomination claims to be the only true one? I would venture that it is classified more as a cult by Christians and has not Biblical basis. The RCC is a good example of that and many people classify it as a cult.

 

 

It's odd that you say the RCC is a 'cult'. RCC is the foundation of all Christianity ( Greek orthodox of course will debate this and say they are) in any case, They are the original creators of Christianity. Go ahead and do a study of the foundation of the religion if you doubt this.

 

Protestants are much younger and broke off from the RCC, it adopted it's dogma just tweaked it a little. So claiming they are a 'cult', you are admitting that you ascribe to dogma that was founded by a cult.

 

 

 

I have never heard anybody say it that way. "You MUST worship Him". It seems like a distorted view to me. Worhsip in Christianity should be one of free will, not compulsion. There is only one true worship and that is "in spirit and in truth". Not at the edge of a sword.

 

What about the commandment of no other gods before him and so forth? What about the part of you must accept him as your personal savior to win the afterlife lotto?

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What about the part of you must accept him as your personal savior to win the afterlife lotto?

:lmao: Girl, you have a way with words. lol.

 

 

TrueGrit wrote: Is it your understanding that humans are meant to comprehend everything there is about the universe,

 

No, but they are capable of understanding the evidence that has been uncovered over the years and they will continue to do so and perhaps one day, they will know all there is to know about the universe.

 

 

eternity, heaven / hell from what only what is contained in the Bible?
Actually yes, I understand exactly what the bible says about eternity. In Torah there is nothing about eternity with god or an eternity suffering in hell...only earthly blessings and earthly curses. Much of the OT remains silent on the issue and you may be able to pull a verse or two from the Old to support it but basically, the majority of Jews doesn't believe in an afterlife of any sort and with good reason, it isn't taught in the OT.

 

Enter the gospel writers and all of a sudden there is a big scary place awaiting those who refuse gods "free" (laugh, cough, laugh) gift of salvation or who are "sinners". Yes hell, that horrible place that Paul (who wrote the majority of the NT) seems to never mention it or even warn anyone of it, nope, nothing from the man who most Christians hold in high esteem.

 

]Is there anybody who actually believes they know and understand everything there is to know?

 

No but yet you claim that your religion is the religion. Have you looked into how religion started? Have you looked into religions prior to Judaism and Christianity? Isn't it obvious to you that religion was started by one myth that was built upon by other cultures? How can you ignore that OR do you adhere to the dogma of the RCC which states that earlier religions are from the devil? How can you pick and choose what part of the CULT you adhere to and which to discard?

 

All "Christians" agree that Jesus is the only way to heaven.
No they don't, you don't get around much do you? Have you ever heard of monotheistic messianics? They are messiah followers but do not believe that Jesus is God incarnate. They believe being obedient to Torah is the way to get to heaven. Torah Observant Messianic Jews believe that just believing in Jesus isn't the key to getting into heaven either, it must be coupled with obedience to Torah. The older sect of Church of God did not have a trinity belief. Unitarian Christians who follow Jesus are no less of Christian than anyone else who says that they are a follower of the Christ/Messiah.

 

You probably aren't aware that there are followers of Christ who believe that Paul is the anti-christ, are you? BTW, did you know that the Christian icon and founding father, Thomas Jefferson cut out all of the apostle Pauls teachings and made his own bible? The Jefferson Bible.

 

Even if they did all agree, so what? Jesus doesn't fit the messianic requirements for messiah in any way, shape or form. Messiah Truth

 

The RCC is a good example of that and many people classify it as a cult.

 

True, the cult that is responsible for starting Christianity, who put the bible together as we know it. who started Christmas, Easter and Sunday worship that the people claiming that the RCC is the cult still adhere to.

 

Worship in Christianity should be one of free will (SNIP). There is only one true worship and that is "in spirit and in truth". Not at the edge of a sword.

 

And the threat of eternal torture for not worshipping God then is what? The edge the soft petal of a flower? There is NO FREE WILL when there is a threat of punishment!

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This might be a good topic to pin. Every Christian I have ever posed these questions to has never been able to give me a straight answer:

 

1) Which one better describes an all-loving God: a.) One that gives human beings one chance only to get it right and if you don't condemns you to an eternal hell, or b.) One that allows you multiple chances to get it right so that you can spend eternity in the best place possible?

Again, this is my pov and I don't claim to be 100% correct. We don't have just "one chance". Every moment is an opportunity to accept Him and when it is all said and done you will look back on your life and realize you had a multitude of "chances".

 

The term "get it right" doesn't seem accurate to me. It connotates that there is something we must do or achieve for salvation. Salvation comes from surrender/acceptance that there is nothing we can do and therefore we require grace and mercy.

2) People who speak of "hell" associate it with divine punishment, but punishment is usually used as a corrective measure. How do people suffering in an eternal hell learn their lesson? Doesn't that make hell mere torture with absolutely no point to it?

It's important we agree that how "people" conceive of hell is not important because everybody can give their own interpretation. We are told certain things about hell, but not everything about it. In my understanding, the main characteristic of hell would be the absence of God's presence. I think we can have a taste of it here on earth when it seems as though everything has gone wrong in life. Have you ever had that feeling or maybe you feel that way right now. That would not be the whole picture of hell because we are currently still surrounded by enough of His presence to keep things intact, which Satan is combating in our daily lives but when His power which holds all things together is removed it will be a most miserable existence, intolerable and unimaginable.

 

The key to this is that we do not cease to exist, we simply choose to be removed from His presence. Wouldn't that a pretty accurate description of what most ex-Christian regulars desire, to NOT be in His presence?

3) There are thousands of different denominations in Christianity, each thinking they have it right. All other religions think that they have it right, as well. How can you be sure that you have it right, when the odds are that you are actually wrong?

There are so many errors in this statement and subsequent ones on the subject, I dont know where to begin. The RCC invented Christianity? Are you making funny?

4) Where in the Bible does Jesus say that people must worship him or pray to him? Doesn't he identify himself as the "Son of Man" who was sent by the Father?

You mean like "no man comes to the Father except through me". Are you talking about exclusivity of Christ for salvation?

5) Jesus himself and his disciples seem to believe in reincarnation, as evidenced in Matthew 11:10-15, Matthew 17:10-13 and John 9:1-2. Why is the word of Paul in Hebrews 9:27 taken over Jesus in Christian doctrine?

When I read these verses I don't see reincarnation. I think what you mean, and again I am left to interpret your question without your assistance, is why does Jesus refer to JTB as Elijah. (?)

 

At this point I think it is important to understand the necessity of hermaneutics, which is how did the people we are studying speak and what did they mean by specific terminology or phrases being used? This will be a lengthy topic deserving it's own thread but in a nutshell, reincarnation is not what he was teaching.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics

 

later,

td

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It's important we agree that how "people" conceive of hell is not important because everybody can give their own interpretation. We are told certain things about hell, but not everything about it. In my understanding, the main characteristic of hell would be the absence of God's presence.

 

But I thought god was omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Oh, I understand now! God is everywhere, but he's not everywhere. That sure makes sense!

 

edit: Added link to omnipresent

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It's important we agree that how "people" conceive of hell is not important because everybody can give their own interpretation. We are told certain things about hell, but not everything about it. In my understanding, the main characteristic of hell would be the absence of God's presence.

 

But I thought god was omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Oh, I understand now! God is everywhere, but he's not everywhere. That sure makes sense!

 

edit: Added link to omnipresent

 

It's understandably difficult to construct a box that God can fit in. It's nearly as impossible to get two people to agree to the dimensions of it.

 

I try not to lean on the 'everything has to make sense' way of thinking. We are told we are looking through a glass darkly so the ambiguity of life's "mysteries" is not just a cop-out, it's an acceptable part of Christian thinking. BTW, it is also accepted in every other circle of humanity, especially true in science. We Christians, like scientist, believe that someday we will have answers to these questions. We also read in the Bible that some things are spiritually discerned only, not knowable to the natural man. You must agree that even in the natural world "there are some people you just can't reach" to quote a popular film.

 

cheers,

td

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I try not to lean on the 'everything has to make sense' way of thinking. We are told we are looking through a glass darkly so the ambiguity of life's "mysteries" is not just a cop-out, it's an acceptable part of Christian thinking. BTW, it is also accepted in every other circle of humanity, especially true in science. We Christians, like scientist, believe that someday we will have answers to these questions. We also read in the Bible that some things are spiritually discerned only, not knowable to the natural man. You must agree that even in the natural world "there are some people you just can't reach" to quote a popular film.

 

cheers,

td

 

Well, ya sold me! Lord I'm comin' glory hallelujah! :jesus:

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It's important we agree that how "people" conceive of hell is not important because everybody can give their own interpretation. We are told certain things about hell, but not everything about it. In my understanding, the main characteristic of hell would be the absence of God's presence.

 

But I thought god was omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Oh, I understand now! God is everywhere, but he's not everywhere. That sure makes sense!

 

edit: Added link to omnipresent

 

Hi Friendly Mis, I just noticed and followed the link you provided.

 

I think there is a simple explanation for your question. We read that in Psalms God's presence is also in Hell currently. "If I make my bed in hell thou art there". We also believe there will be a judgement day when His presence will be removed.

 

thanks,

td

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I try not to lean on the 'everything has to make sense' way of thinking. We are told we are looking through a glass darkly so the ambiguity of life's "mysteries" is not just a cop-out, it's an acceptable part of Christian thinking. BTW, it is also accepted in every other circle of humanity, especially true in science. We Christians, like scientist, believe that someday we will have answers to these questions. We also read in the Bible that some things are spiritually discerned only, not knowable to the natural man. You must agree that even in the natural world "there are some people you just can't reach" to quote a popular film.

 

cheers,

td

 

Please don't try and put religious belief on a par with science. Science is a way of finding things out and has nothing to do with religion. We accept that we havn't found out everything yet and come up with the most likely answers. We test these ideas as soon as it becomes possible and we then upgrade them to theories if they survive rigorous testing. That is in no way similar to saying, "ahhhh but perhaps we're not ment to know" or "we can't know everything". And no, I don't think it's a cop out, I think its a safety net, to catch those falling into the sinful pits of reason. If you find a huge hole in the mythology then you can say, "you arn't ment to understand everything" and it gives you back the warm bliss of ignorance you were in the process of losing.

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It's important we agree that how "people" conceive of hell is not important because everybody can give their own interpretation. We are told certain things about hell, but not everything about it. In my understanding, the main characteristic of hell would be the absence of God's presence. I think we can have a taste of it here on earth when it seems as though everything has gone wrong in life. Have you ever had that feeling or maybe you feel that way right now. That would not be the whole picture of hell because we are currently still surrounded by enough of His presence to keep things intact, which Satan is combating in our daily lives but when His power which holds all things together is removed it will be a most miserable existence, intolerable and unimaginable.

So, the entire universe and everything in it will fall apart the second that last person rejects the Christian notion of God and Satan? Now you're being funny!

 

The key to this is that we do not cease to exist, we simply choose to be removed from His presence. Wouldn't that a pretty accurate description of what most ex-Christian regulars desire, to NOT be in His presence?

No, not at all. How narrow-minded of you to assume that most of us want to be removed from the presence of God. We just want to be removed from the myth about God that fundamental Christians believe. You just assume that God belongs to your understanding, or any understanding. Shame on you...

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I think there is a simple explanation for your question. We read that in Psalms God's presence is also in Hell currently. "If I make my bed in hell thou art there". We also believe there will be a judgement day when His presence will be removed.

 

thanks,

td

 

So how is hell defined NOW, if it is not an absence of god, as I thought that was hell's primary attribute?

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Ugh!

 

WR will now parody most of the christians who come in here:

 

*Looking wide-eyed and innocent"

"I don't understand these "christians" you speak of....I certainly don't do any of the things you describe christians as doing. They must not be true christians like me. These verses you speak of? Where do they come from? I'm not familiar with any of them, but of course the bible is true. What? Of course I've read the bible! I just don't happen to be familiar with any of the verses or stories you are talking about from it, but I've read it anyway....really. Christianity is all about love. Why don't any of you want the love. Feel the love. It's all your's. You just have to believe. Why won't you believe?"

 

<same christian after several Ex-C member's ask too many hard questions>

 

*Looking contorted by snarling fury*

 

"None of you ever were really christians! If you don't accept my word...(oops)...I mean god's word as true, then you are going to go to hell, and I'm going to watch! I'll be right and you'll all be wrong...you'll see! I don't care if I get banned! Go on....ban me for telling the truth! You all hate Jesus! I'm going to heaven! You're all wrong and I'm going to enjoy watching you fall! I can't believe you hate Jesus so much! You all just hate Jesus."

 

End.

 

:Hmm:

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It's important we agree that how "people" conceive of hell is not important because everybody can give their own interpretation. We are told certain things about hell, but not everything about it. In my understanding, the main characteristic of hell would be the absence of God's presence.

 

But I thought god was omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Oh, I understand now! God is everywhere, but he's not everywhere. That sure makes sense!

 

edit: Added link to omnipresent

 

It's understandably difficult to construct a box that God can fit in. It's nearly as impossible to get two people to agree to the dimensions of it.

 

I try not to lean on the 'everything has to make sense' way of thinking. We are told we are looking through a glass darkly so the ambiguity of life's "mysteries" is not just a cop-out, it's an acceptable part of Christian thinking. BTW, it is also accepted in every other circle of humanity, especially true in science. We Christians, like scientist, believe that someday we will have answers to these questions. We also read in the Bible that some things are spiritually discerned only, not knowable to the natural man. You must agree that even in the natural world "there are some people you just can't reach" to quote a popular film.

 

cheers,

td

Do you claim that Christianity is the only way to experience God? If so, you are stuffing God into a box. If you are claiming that all stories about God and all people's feelings about what God might have equal merit, then we are on equal grounds.

 

I wonder why anyone thinks that they can confine God to a certain group of people's understanding when there is a world of wonder out there. Why choose one if some things are not knowable? We are not talking science here, we are talking about the metaphysical.

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Please don't try and put religious belief on a par with science. Science is a way of finding things out and has nothing to do with religion. We accept that we havn't found out everything yet and come up with the most likely answers. We test these ideas as soon as it becomes possible and we then upgrade them to theories if they survive rigorous testing. That is in no way similar to saying, "ahhhh but perhaps we're not ment to know" or "we can't know everything". And no, I don't think it's a cop out, I think its a safety net, to catch those falling into the sinful pits of reason. If you find a huge hole in the mythology then you can say, "you arn't ment to understand everything" and it gives you back the warm bliss of ignorance you were in the process of losing.

 

I agree they usually operate differently. Scientists rely on discovery. Christians rely on revelation. Do most scientists believe everything is discoverable? I know philosophers dont agree on the question. Also, does every scientist believe there is no God? Is there room for revelation in science?

 

cheers,

td

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The key to this is that we do not cease to exist, we simply choose to be removed from His presence. Wouldn't that a pretty accurate description of what most ex-Christian regulars desire, to NOT be in His presence?

No, not at all. How narrow-minded of you to assume that most of us want to be removed from the presence of God. We just want to be removed from the myth about God that fundamental Christians believe. You just assume that God belongs to your understanding, or any understanding. Shame on you...

 

Hi "notblindedby thelight", yes I agree that would be very narrow minded of me to assume and I hope I never jump to conclusions about people here. However I believe there is a recent poll on the ex-C website where the overwhelming majority picked to have nothing to do with the creator, given an opportunity.

 

cheers,

td

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This might be a good topic to pin. Every Christian I have ever posed these questions to has never been able to give me a straight answer:

 

1) Which one better describes an all-loving God: a.) One that gives human beings one chance only to get it right and if you don't condemns you to an eternal hell, or b.) One that allows you multiple chances to get it right so that you can spend eternity in the best place possible?

Again, this is my pov and I don't claim to be 100% correct. We don't have just "one chance". Every moment is an opportunity to accept Him and when it is all said and done you will look back on your life and realize you had a multitude of "chances".

 

The term "get it right" doesn't seem accurate to me. It connotates that there is something we must do or achieve for salvation. Salvation comes from surrender/acceptance that there is nothing we can do and therefore we require grace and mercy.

I'm not talking about many chances over one lifetime, but many lifetimes to get it right. Wouldn't a loving God let you retake the test as many times as possible, especially when the consequences of failing are so dire? And there is something we must do for salvation, according to Christians, and that is to accept Jesus as their savior.

2) People who speak of "hell" associate it with divine punishment, but punishment is usually used as a corrective measure. How do people suffering in an eternal hell learn their lesson? Doesn't that make hell mere torture with absolutely no point to it?
It's important we agree that how "people" conceive of hell is not important because everybody can give their own interpretation. We are told certain things about hell, but not everything about it. In my understanding, the main characteristic of hell would be the absence of God's presence. I think we can have a taste of it here on earth when it seems as though everything has gone wrong in life. Have you ever had that feeling or maybe you feel that way right now. That would not be the whole picture of hell because we are currently still surrounded by enough of His presence to keep things intact, which Satan is combating in our daily lives but when His power which holds all things together is removed it will be a most miserable existence, intolerable and unimaginable.

 

The key to this is that we do not cease to exist, we simply choose to be removed from His presence. Wouldn't that a pretty accurate description of what most ex-Christian regulars desire, to NOT be in His presence?

But if after having a taste of the real hell, wouldn't a person change their mind and want to be with God? Why do choices we make during this lifetime necessitate eternal consequences?

3) There are thousands of different denominations in Christianity, each thinking they have it right. All other religions think that they have it right, as well. How can you be sure that you have it right, when the odds are that you are actually wrong?

There are so many errors in this statement and subsequent ones on the subject, I dont know where to begin. The RCC invented Christianity? Are you making funny?

I didn't say they did, but they are the ones who ultimately decided what you and all mainstream Christian denominations believe. Are you going to answer the question or not?

4) Where in the Bible does Jesus say that people must worship him or pray to him? Doesn't he identify himself as the "Son of Man" who was sent by the Father?
You mean like "no man comes to the Father except through me". Are you talking about exclusivity of Christ for salvation?

That's part of it, but I'm also talking about the worship of Jesus that Christian churches adhere to.

5) Jesus himself and his disciples seem to believe in reincarnation, as evidenced in Matthew 11:10-15, Matthew 17:10-13 and John 9:1-2. Why is the word of Paul in Hebrews 9:27 taken over Jesus in Christian doctrine?

When I read these verses I don't see reincarnation. I think what you mean, and again I am left to interpret your question without your assistance, is why does Jesus refer to JTB as Elijah. (?)

 

At this point I think it is important to understand the necessity of hermaneutics, which is how did the people we are studying speak and what did they mean by specific terminology or phrases being used? This will be a lengthy topic deserving it's own thread but in a nutshell, reincarnation is not what he was teaching.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics

How can you be so sure, especially given John 9:1-2? And either JTB was Elijah according to the prophecy, or Jesus was not the messiah.

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How can you be so sure, especially given John 9:1-2? And either JTB was Elijah according to the prophecy, or Jesus was not the messiah.

 

euphgeek, I have also asked all the questions you are asking. I have often wished that something like reincarnation were true and the finality of Hell appears dogmatic to the mind. The only answer I have ever received from God is "trust me on this one" and so I do. I can accept that or reject it. I have dearly loved ones who I am not sure are in heaven. If I were to get to heaven and find that there are people I love who are in hell I would devote eternity to pleading with God to provide a way out. I cry even as I think about this.

 

sad,

td

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I agree they usually operate differently. Scientists rely on discovery. Christians rely on revelation. Do most scientists believe everything is discoverable? I know philosophers dont agree on the question. Also, does every scientist believe there is no God? Is there room for revelation in science?

 

cheers,

td

 

Some things are currently and possibly always unprovable, such as string theory. It is imposible to "see" the smallest component of the universe as to "see" something you must bounce something smaller off of it. By revelation do you mean god comes out of the clouds and tells you things? I would say some scientists beleive there may be some form of god. One thing we agree on is that the genesis description of the origins of the universe are entirely inaccurate. There is really no big discussion about it anymore. It was examined in great detail long ago and unless god came down and said that he'd falsified the physical evidense (which would not be very nice) then there really is no chance.

I have not seen evidense that no god could possibly exist. More importantly I have not seen evidense that one does exist. There are areas of advanced physics that are not yet explained and allow for philosophical debate. I have yet to see a christian bring them up. So far every arguement from that camp (and those of the new agers, muslims, etc.) have been fairly easy to debunk.

 

P.S. we don't always rely on discovery. In fact we rarely do anymore. We generally find out what we can, make predictions based on available data and then test to see if they are right. If every prediction comes out correctly then your idea becomes a theory. If not, you examine why, possibly correct your origonal idea and continue testing until it does.

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