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mulls
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So, I believe Christianity is exclusively inclusive, or inclusively exclusive....something like that. It's for anyone who believes, regardless of where they come from.

So if someone happened to not "believe" (perhaps they found the Bible stories of talking snakes, zombies, flying horses, dragons, etc. a bit too wacky to accept as fact), does that mean they are excluded? In other words, when they die are the cast into the lake of fire, to be brutally and sadistically tortured and burned alive forever, as the Bible states? Just trying to get a better understanding of your beliefs here....

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I'm a big fan of honesty, and asking hard questions.

 

Welcome Sean!

 

You can't go wrong with an outlook like that. I look forward to discussions with you.

 

Peace

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man, server failure.....

 

 

This thread got to 5 or 6 pages long, and it seemed like some folks were warming up to me, and I to them.

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The feelings havent change nor what you have learned.

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So, I believe Christianity is exclusively inclusive, or inclusively exclusive....something like that. It's for anyone who believes, regardless of where they come from.

So if someone happened to not "believe" (perhaps they found the Bible stories of talking snakes, zombies, flying horses, dragons, etc. a bit too wacky to accept as fact), does that mean they are excluded? In other words, when they die are the cast into the lake of fire, to be brutally and sadistically tortured and burned alive forever, as the Bible states? Just trying to get a better understanding of your beliefs here....

 

And that's the rub.

 

It's what makes Xianity so absolutely disgusting - the "turn or burn" ultimatium of the Gospels. Jebus says that he is the way and the truth and the light, and no one gets into Heaven but by him, so it's pretty clear that Xianity makes no allowances for those who choose to believe in different religions or no religion at all, or those who lead lifestyles which are not condoned in the Babble.

 

Jebus also says that all who are not in support of him are against him, further reinforcing this concept. Today, he'd be called a whacko cult leader and have the ATF sicced on him; but because it happened in a book that claims to report ancient and true events, it's considered factual and even noble to believe in this nonsense.

 

Xianity is hated for many reasons, and this is high amongst them. It's pure garbage.

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Mulls,

 

I have some questions for you, and I'm asking you because you seem to be honest enough to think about it and give some reasonable answer. I make a couple of statements from how I understand the Christian theology, and then come to the question. If the statements are wrong in any way, let me know.

 

1) In Christianity the unbeliever, or sinner, is thought of to be separated from God.

 

2) Hell is considered by many Christians to be the ultimate separation from God.

 

Q) Doesn't it mean that the sinners are in Hell right now, or actually feel the way it is, and Hell won't be much worse than what can be experienced at this moment?

 

If that's so, why fear Hell?

 

 

1) If you chose to become Christian because you fear Hell, then you were scared into believing and it's not true faith.

 

2) If you chose to become Christian because you want to go to Heaven, then you made the choice out of selfishness and it isn't true faith.

 

3) If you chose to become Christian because you believe Jesus paid for you sins, that means you already believed before you chose and you never chose but you were only guillable.

 

Q) What is the true and real reason someone would choose Christianity as a belief?

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1) If you chose to become Christian because you fear Hell, then you were scared into believing and it's not true faith.

 

2) If you chose to become Christian because you want to go to Heaven, then you made the choice out of selfishness and it isn't true faith.

 

3) If you chose to become Christian because you believe Jesus paid for you sins, that means you already believed before you chose and you never chose but you were only guillable.

 

Q) What is the true and real reason someone would choose Christianity as a belief?

Christians would have you believe that they converted merely because they love Jesus. Is it true love to proclaim devotion to a sadist? If a big meatwad came up to me and told me that I'd better love him or he's going to anally fist me, what's my motivation to love him? Fear of the alternative. However, in order for Christians to not come off as selfish or fearful (as you pointed out), they have to assert that they hold to "the truth" simply because they love Jesus. Some Christians even go so far as to claim that they would be a "Christian" and live "the Christian life" even if there were no such thing as heaven or hell, angels or demons, God or Satan.

 

On a completely unrelated note... I just thought of a great object lesson that I was taught while I was in the church. I can't find the thread where we were keeping track of these. If there are no objections, I'll just post it randomly in here rather than trying to hunt down the correct thread. I'll check back a little later in the day. Be well, all.

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FF,

 

Good point. I missed the "Love Jesus" version of it. But even that one requires a belief in a Jesus to love before you believe in the same Jesus you want to love... So it kind of fits into the 3rd rule there, someone choose to become Christian because they love Jesus, which they already have to believe in or start to believe in at the same moment, and it still makes someone gullible to fall for such a claim that there is a person/entity/deity Jesus to begin with.

 

There's a real 4th option though, someone doesn't choose freely to become a Christian, but by upbringing, culture and social influence becomes one and then falls into the delusion that they made a voluntary decision to become Christian, when in fact they didn't but were indoctrinated into it. (This probably covers 99.99% of any Christian or religious belief)

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1) In Christianity the unbeliever, or sinner, is thought of to be separated from God.

 

Agreed.

 

2) Hell is considered by many Christians to be the ultimate separation from God.

 

You're right in that this is the way hell is considered by many Christians. I don't think this is a complete understanding, however. Hell, I believe, is more the expression of God's wrath. It's not some arbitrarily bad place that people get sent, where God is not. Since Christians would agree that God is omnipresent, it wouldn't make sense to say God's presence isn't in hell. I think his presence is there, in the form of his wrath in anger.

 

But "ultimate separation" I think is still a good way of putting it....it clicks for people, but I think we should go further in our understanding.

 

Q) Doesn't it mean that the sinners are in Hell right now, or actually feel the way it is, and Hell won't be much worse than what can be experienced at this moment?

 

If that's so, why fear Hell?

 

Well, by the "ultimate separation" definition of hell, there's still a good answer to this question. While on earth, in this life, everyone experiences God's grace in many ways. We all breathe the same air, we can admire beauty, we have the blessings of food and shelter and family and friends and some wealth and the ability to love each other and create and share and enjoy some of these good things. Believers and non-believers alike take part in this. This is a doctrine called "common grace," in that it's common to all people.

 

In hell, there is no more grace, no opportunity to change, no forgiveness. Yes, people are separated from God in this world, but still experience grace and blessings that are common to all people, as we're all created in God's image. Hell is the complete absence of any good thing, is the complete separation from the grace and mercy of God, and the expression of his wrath and anger.

 

So even as bad as it can get for a person on earth, hell is still way, way worse.

 

 

 

1) If you chose to become Christian because you fear Hell, then you were scared into believing and it's not true faith.

 

2) If you chose to become Christian because you want to go to Heaven, then you made the choice out of selfishness and it isn't true faith.

 

3) If you chose to become Christian because you believe Jesus paid for you sins, that means you already believed before you chose and you never chose but you were only guillable.

 

Q) What is the true and real reason someone would choose Christianity as a belief?

 

I guess I would have to ask for your definition of "true faith" before I can respond to this part. Christ asks that we believe, and we follow him. He doesn't ask for a reason for why we believe, though he does ask us to count the cost before committing to him (realize what we're getting into before we give up our lives to him).

 

Fear of hell and desire for eternal life are, I think, pretty practical and reasonable reasons for believing. If Christ didn't want us to believe out of fear, he wouldn't have warned us. And if he didn't warn us, but still made us responsible for avoiding it and we ended up there anyway.....well, that wouldn't be much love on his part. I'm glad he warns us.

 

*edit

 

And while fear of hell and desire for eternal life are decent reasons for believing, they shouldn't sustain our believing. What I mean is, once one comes into a relationship with God, it should no longer be based on consequence of sin and fear of hell....that's why assurance of salvation is such an important doctrine to grasp. Once you honestly come to Christ, repent and believe, and embrace God's forgiveness, it's a done deal. Otherwise, every time we screwed up, we would fear hell and beg for forgiveness over and over, and the faith would be strictly based on fear. But because the sin issue has been dealt with, we should follow after and imitate Christ based on love. In the book of 1 John, there are some tests he gives to the readers to see whether they are in the faith. The tests are all based on love....whether we love God and love our fellow believers more than we loved our old way of life and the world.

 

So, I would maintain that the way one initially comes to faith isn't that important, so long as it's genuine. After that, the subsequent life of faith should be marked by one's love for his savior.

 

 

How's that for you Hans....those were good questions you asked, I hope my answers did some justice.

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Hi notblinded...(is there an easier way to address you?_

 

Thanks for the welcome.

 

Yes, in all honesty I do believe in the exclusive claims of Christianity. Salvation by grace through faith in Christ, that he is the way, truth, life, etc etc.

 

But at the same time, I also believe that Christianity is all-inclusive. It's for anyone, the "whosoever" that is found in John 3:16. The Holy Spirit, while not being a part of the life of a non-believer, is at work among all types of people. He's the one who draws people to Christ, according to the bible.

 

So, I believe Christianity is exclusively inclusive, or inclusively exclusive....something like that. It's for anyone who believes, regardless of where they come from.

 

So, why does the HS have so little sucking power? Millions of people are unaffected by it for life. Why does the HS need the trappings of Western Culture to be effective? If God is no respecter of person, why isn't scripture readable for all people? Why don't Christians ask themselves these obvious questions?

 

When you get right done to it, the Spirit of Coke is much more effective than the Spirit of God at spreading it's message and drawing people to its use. Coke's claim to be "The Real Thing" seems much more substantial than God's claim.

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You're right in that this is the way hell is considered by many Christians. I don't think this is a complete understanding, however. Hell, I believe, is more the expression of God's wrath. It's not some arbitrarily bad place that people get sent, where God is not. Since Christians would agree that God is omnipresent, it wouldn't make sense to say God's presence isn't in hell. I think his presence is there, in the form of his wrath in anger.

 

But "ultimate separation" I think is still a good way of putting it....it clicks for people, but I think we should go further in our understanding.

 

 

First let me ask how is it you arrive at your understanding of hell? What leads you to believe its an expression of gods wrath?

 

Secondly, Wrath over what? Are their varying degrees of hell? If someone as bad as Hitler asks Christ into his life before his last breath he is granted a free pass to heaven? On the other hand an upstanding humanitarian who's biggest 'sin' is doubt gets a free ticket to hell? Let me ask you this Mulls.

 

Does doubt equal sin? If one is not allowed to doubt and look for answers how are they to be sure they have found the truth?

 

Thirdly, Do you see Justice in hell? Let me ask it this way, If my child doubts I gave birth to them and denies I'm his mother, Is it Justice for me to toss them into torture chamber for the rest of his life because of a lack of belief? Is my wrath justified, If not.. why do you allow such an incredibly low standard for your god, who is suppose to be better then us mere mortals?

 

This is battered spouse syndrome that many Christians have. They claim their god is love all the while spouting how much he'll hurt you if you don't love him. I wouldn't tolerate this from a person, forget a deity. :Wendywhatever:

 

 

 

Well, by the "ultimate separation" definition of hell, there's still a good answer to this question. While on earth, in this life, everyone experiences God's grace in many ways. We all breathe the same air, we can admire beauty, we have the blessings of food and shelter and family and friends and some wealth and the ability to love each other and create and share and enjoy some of these good things. Believers and non-believers alike take part in this. This is a doctrine called "common grace," in that it's common to all people.

 

 

I would argue that ................

 

A)people living in smog filled LA do not breath the same Clean Mountain Air I do in NH. Also, Not everyone experiences 'gods grace' as you say, some are cursed with many breathing aliments.

 

B ) Do the blind get to Admire Beauty? Do the Deaf get to admire the sounds of birds or music?

 

C) Do homeless starving people around the entire world get to share the blessing of food and shelter?

 

D) What if that ability to love has been taken from a person who suffered sever abuse?

 

The Doctrine called 'common grace', is common BS. There are many who don't have... would you blame their sin or your graceful 'gawd' who forgot them? It's easy to love a god thru rose colored glasses. It's easy to attribute anything and everything that's good to him, meanwhile putting your head in the sand to the reality of this world. Making excuses for gods lack of grace is something I'd like Christians to address. The fact of the matter is, there is much greatness, good and beauty in this world, there is also lots of strife, illness and ugliness none of it has anything to do with any gods.

 

In hell, there is no more grace, no opportunity to change, no forgiveness. Yes, people are separated from God in this world, but still experience grace and blessings that are common to all people, as we're all created in God's image. Hell is the complete absence of any good thing, is the complete separation from the grace and mercy of God, and the expression of his wrath and anger.

 

Can you please site for us what the image of god is? are you talking Physical or emotional or spiritual?

 

So even as bad as it can get for a person on earth, hell is still way, way worse.

 

Proof?

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1) In Christianity the unbeliever, or sinner, is thought of to be separated from God.

 

Agreed.

 

2) Hell is considered by many Christians to be the ultimate separation from God.

 

You're right in that this is the way hell is considered by many Christians. I don't think this is a complete understanding, however. Hell, I believe, is more the expression of God's wrath. It's not some arbitrarily bad place that people get sent, where God is not. Since Christians would agree that God is omnipresent, it wouldn't make sense to say God's presence isn't in hell. I think his presence is there, in the form of his wrath in anger.

Mulls,

 

Number 2 is in contradiction to number 1.

 

If God's presence is everywhere then that includes humans that are supposedly separated from It. The "sin" is in thinking that we are separate from God (ref. the allegory of Adam and Eve). :scratch:

 

Most Christians believe that they are separate from God. God is out there somewhere and they are here. You believe that too:

 

Yes, people are separated from God in this world, but still experience grace and blessings that are common to all people, as we're all created in God's image.

 

You only think people are separated... :) Nothing can be separated and you agree to that. One can only be separated in thought. "It" never goes anywhere.

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Fear of hell and desire for eternal life are, I think, pretty practical and reasonable reasons for believing. If Christ didn't want us to believe out of fear, he wouldn't have warned us. And if he didn't warn us, but still made us responsible for avoiding it and we ended up there anyway.....well, that wouldn't be much love on his part. I'm glad he warns us.

They are egoic reasons mulls. I don't think this is what is meant at all by his teachings. The meanings have been misunderstood and/or used as a means to power. Paul was friends with Rome afterall... ;)

 

What kind of life do we encounter when we live strictly by the ego? It could be compared to hell. The ego doesn't recognize any unity at all, it is there so we can develop separate identities. It's just a tool though and shouldn't be used to run one's life, IMO.

 

The word hell is disappearing from bibles. I think it had to do with Gehenna, a place where children were burned as a sacrifice and where trash and dead animals were burnt. This is what Jesus references many times. It is an earthly, physical place that is symbolic of suffering. If you think it might be eternal, then you should check into what the words "olam" (Hebrew) and "aion" (Greek) meant before they were translated as eternal, forever and everlasting. Article regarding the Greek word Aion

 

The word "hell" also was used to denote "a covering": The Eng. word may be in part from O.N. Hel (from P.Gmc. *khalija "one who covers up or hides something").

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Once you honestly come to Christ, repent and believe, and embrace God's forgiveness, it's a done deal.

 

Then how do you explain us? :wicked:

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Once you honestly come to Christ, repent and believe, and embrace God's forgiveness, it's a done deal.

 

Then how do you explain us? :wicked:

That's a nice fishin' pole you got there! :HaHa:

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Like I still the college students I work with in ministry.....JUST BE NICE AND LOVE PEOPLE AND TREAT THEM LIKE YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!!

 

Well, I used to believe that too. Then I realized one could do that without having to be Christian and worshipping a tyrannical being who will send people to be tortured forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever for not being Christian.

 

Are you one of the cherry-picker types who don't believe in a literal hell? And if so, how do you justify your cherry-picking and still calling yourself Christian? And how can you worship a being who murders people (if you don't believe in torture, you still have to believe that hell is death) for not following your religion? And if you do believe in the torture version of hell, why are you here since according to your beliefs, we will be tortured forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever for disagreeing with you?

 

I tried the cherry picking for a while and realized how hypocritical it was and that I was only doing it to fit in, and I couldn't do that for the rest of my life. Either way, if hell is just "separation" or "death" instead of torture, the Christian god is still a bully and a tyrant for mudering people. If a Christian killed someone in real life for being something other than Christian, we would call that a hate crime and they would be prosecuted. But apparently it's okay because it's all in your god's eeevil, top-secret plan that he won't even tell the pope or put in a secret code in the Bible for someone to find, because nobody knows it, yet they all refer to it. Wow, premeditated murder. God is sure kind and loving, huh? Yes, it's like the Christians believe let's just be nice to people, and treat them like we will be treated, because God's going to kill them in the end for us anyway so....bwa ha ha ha ha.

 

And if you don't believe in any version of hell at all, then you're not really Christian, you are just Christian-in-name-only.

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This is battered spouse syndrome that many Christians have. They claim their god is love all the while spouting how much he'll hurt you if you don't love him. I wouldn't tolerate this from a person, forget a deity. :Wendywhatever:

 

Exactly. To enter into the Xian mindset of loving God is to adopt the exact same mentality as an abused spouse who claims their beloved is nothing but goodness and sweetness while always being afraid (even if in the backs of their minds) that they will be punished if they don't obey him - and that God is right to torment them anyway he sees fit because God is always right and they are always wrong.

 

Mulls, I know you don't realize, but that's precisely what you're promoting. If not, then you wouldn't believe your god would punish you for anything but would instead try to help you learn what you did wrong when you make a mistake.

 

I would try to help my wife in such fashion, and I do so when she makes an error. She does the same for me. We don't go all apeshit and start torturing each other or threatening to do so. But, Jebus does precisely that; he threatens to send us all to Hell if we don't believe, and claims only he knows the truth.

 

Jebus is an arrogant little prick and you posit we should return to being his battered "spouses"? Oh man, that's rich :lmao:

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Jebus also says that all who are not in support of him are against him, further reinforcing this concept.

Yes, I find it rather unbelievable that Jesus rose from the dead and was launched into deep space (my question: since escape velocity is roughly 25,000 MPH, how did Jesus manage to leave earth's atmosphere at that speed without being ripped to shreds, since the Bible says he rose in his earthly body?). Can any Christian honestly blame us for our disbelief of something this preposterous (and not to mention just flat out silly)? But none of this matters........we're skeptical of the claim - therefore we are against Jeezbus! :Wendywhatever:

 

It's a good thing santa claus doesn't also accuse us of being against him if we don't believe there's a jolly old man who slides down every chimney in the world (including apartments) on Christmas, or we would really have problems :HaHa:

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