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Free gift of Salvation?


Casey

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The "Free" Gift

By Brad

 

An often quoted, and very effective line for producing converts to the cult of Jesus(Christianity) is as follows:

 

What is so hard about accepting a FREE gift of salvation from the Lord Jesus Christ?

It doesn't require anything on your part, but to accept it.

 

If this gift truly required nothing as the claim says, then you wouldn't have to accept it to be saved.

This line of reasoning is used repeatedly by those trolling for converts in schools, offices, on TV, and just about anywhere else you find an aggressive member of the cult of Jesus.

It's the same nonsense that is spewed and taught in Bible study classrooms in most churches.

 

It sounds wonderful doesn't it? Everybody loves free gifts.

The problem is that the gift of salvation as taught in the Bible is anything but free.

It first requires that you perform a work. That work is believing Jesus is your Savior and that only he can serve as your intermediary with God. Of course it also means that you accept all the baggage that goes along with that.

It means you accept as truth that this "God" will punish people for the "sin" of disbelief(Mark 16:16, John 3:18, John 3:36, Heb 3:12, 1 John 2:22), it requires that you worship a God who will provide infinite punishment for finite sins, and it requires that you accept a God with the behavior of a rather manipulative, power hungry, petty tyrant.

It means you must abandon your mind to save your soul. You must confess Jesus is your Lord and worship him as such.

That act is a "work" in itself. Faith is also a work.

 

Make no mistake concerning the actual nature of this so-called "free" gift.

Salvation is exchanged for worship and it's nothing more than a holy barter system where you say the magic words and you are saved. On the surface it's cheap, easy, and painless. It appeals to anyone who doesn't want to be burdened with thinking for themselves, but it's in no sense "free".

 

This form of holy fire insurance is nothing more than false advertising and should be treated with the same regard one would have when he opens a box of Cracker Jacks and digs out the cheap trinket that came as a "free" gift when you purchased the box it came in.

http://www.geocities.com/b_r_a_d_99/index.html

 

 

To this I'd like to add that it appears to me becoming a christian is like enlisting as a Regular Soldier in an Army. Surely no one would be so naive as to believe that the uniforms, accoutrements, weapons and equipment one is issued on acceptance are all "free", to say nothing of the "free" medical care, "free" accomodation and (if you qualify for it) "free" education that are offered.

 

Anyone who was so naive as to believe these things were "free" would surely be so stupid that they couldn't pass the basic intelligence tests required for admission. One would have to think therefore, that most of those who enlist are "in it for what they can get", or that they are of the curious tribe of people who actually enjoy soldiering so much that they would have signed on whether the "free" benefits (on top of one's salary) were offered or not.

 

Try as I will however, I can't bring myself to think that anyone would soldier for absolutely nothing in the way of pay and emoluments, unless they were enlisted at pistol point.

 

I may add, to keep with the Regular Soldiering analogy, that christians are expected to die for their faith, desert their parents and children if that should be necessary, and pay a tenth of their wordly earnings for the upkeep of their church. All this in return for the "free" gift of salvation? Mind you there are a few other "free" things thrown in; one's prayers are supposed to be answered, etc etc.

 

In conclusion I'd say most fundamentalists didn't convert to christianity because they so to speak enjoyed the idea of soldiering; rather they were enlisted into its ranks at pistol point, the pistol being their own fear of death and eternal damnation, adroitly manipulated by some preacher or other, or in other words, the holy fire insurance alluded to earlier by the author of the quote I've cited here. And then they, being convinced in their own minds of the truth of the scam for which they've fallen, spend the rest of their lives trying to convince others to fall for it.

Casey

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If it's a "free gift", why does anyone even have to crack-open a bible in order to find out about it? :shrug:

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I do not fear death. I very selfishly lean on God to help me in my daily toil. Sometimes He helps me, most times He tests me. I don't even evangelise well. I simply sow the seed, and leave the rest to Him.

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Well said Casey.

 

However, I do think SOME people sign up to be chrisitans because they enjoy soldiering.

 

One of the things I've always thought is that some people have a natural propensity toward being spiritual (Christian, in this case). Just like some people enjoy accounting very much, others love being a doctor, and others love being a shady salesman. Christians just looove being christians. It's in their genes. But it's not in my genes, I can tell.

 

Trouble is, those with the most christian genes see things through christian eyes, and then they go make the rules and set the standards according to their version of Correct. They perpetuate things like Hell, and Free Gift, because it's so natural for them--and we get left holding the Guilt Bag because we dont see things the same way--until we become ex's.

 

Just a thought. Could be wrong.

 

bongo

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I do not fear death. I very selfishly lean on God to help me in my daily toil. Sometimes He helps me, most times He tests me. I don't even evangelise well. I simply sow the seed, and leave the rest to Him.

Tests you? Again, what part of "free" is this?

 

If this salvation thing is FREE, and your sin debt has been "paid in full", then WHY MUST YOU STRIVE, BE TESTED AND CONTINUE IN YOUR FAITH in order to receive?

 

What is FREE about any of this?

 

I pointed this out on another thread and it bears repeating: If someone has PAID my DEBT for FREE, then why must I do ANYTHING to ASSURE that this FREE PAYMENT is honored? I should not even have to ACKNOWLEDGE this FREE GIFT for it to go into effect.

 

It's either PAID or it ISN'T. My debt is either satisfied, or it isn't.

 

Now...explain WHY God expects ANYONE to do ANYTHING since Jesus allegedly did it ALL?

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Surely no one would be so naive as to believe that the uniforms, accoutrements, weapons and equipment one is issued on acceptance are all "free", to say nothing of the "free" medical care, "free" accomodation and (if you qualify for it) "free" education that are offered.

 

Anyone who was so naive as to believe these things were "free" would surely be so stupid that they couldn't pass the basic intelligence tests required for admission. One would have to think therefore, that most of those who enlist are "in it for what they can get", or that they are of the curious tribe of people who actually  enjoy soldiering so much that they would have signed on whether the "free" benefits (on top of one's salary) were offered or not.

 

Try as I will however, I can't bring myself to think that anyone would soldier for absolutely nothing in the way of pay and emoluments, unless they were enlisted at pistol point.

 

Casey, here is where I differ with many of my fine and wonderful Christian friends, yet not all. I use to think as you have stated, until my teacher/friend told me he believed EVERYONE was going to be saved. I spent many, many hours researching the Bible to prove him wrong... when I suddenly realized he was right! I felt like Saul on the road to Demascus, and now I'm Paul. Salvation, IMO, is a done deal for EVERYONE! It's true! It's more free than the air you breathe. Many religions are starting to realize this now, too. ( I know, I know some of you don't want to be saved... please bear with me on this one for sake of argument. :thanks: )

 

IMO, The benefits one receives is a matter of accepting principles that make internal transformations. To be carnally minded is death, and to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Things like unforgiveness, jealousy, envy, guilt, condemnation, irresponsibility, etc. are emotional/mental states that seem to bring death to the spirit, an internal force/energy. Love, mercy, compassion, personal responibility, integrity, forgiveness, all parts of grace, seem to fortify the spirit with a positive energy and enhancing its well-being. These gifts seem evident and speak for themselves. :shrug:

 

Casey, I'm curious to know... that if Christians take on the stand that ALL are going to be 'saved', everyone in the end gets the same thing, no one gets any more or less... would that change your stand in any way about Christianity?

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I spent many, many hours researching the Bible to prove him wrong... when I suddenly realized he was right! I felt like Saul on the road to Demascus, and now I'm Paul. Salvation, IMO, is a done deal for EVERYONE! It's true! It's more free than the air you breathe. Many religions are starting to realize this now, too. ( I know, I know some of you don't want to be saved... please bear with me on this one for sake of argument:thanks: )

 

Most of us don't believe the bible is valid in the first place, so we can't bear with you, sorry.

 

To be carnally minded is death, and to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

 

So that's why mosquitoes and rabbits are so abundant! I thought they were screwing like crazy, when really they are spiritually minded and therefore praying like mad!! (yeah, if mosquitoes did that, they wouldn't have so much time to spend with their probiscuses in MY ASS)

Things like unforgiveness, jealousy, envy, guilt, condemnation, irresponsibility, etc. are emotional/mental states that seem to bring death to the spirit, an internal force/energy. Love, mercy, compassion, personal responibility, integrity, forgiveness, all parts of grace, seem to fortify the spirit with a positive energy and enhancing its well-being. These gifts seem evident and speak for themselves:shrug:

 

NOTHING speaks for itself! I hate that cliche! Especially after someone has obviously already spoken something, THEN declaring it to "speak for itself". For something that speaks for itself, someone is sure saying an awful lot for it.

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I do not fear death. I very selfishly lean on God to help me in my daily toil. Sometimes He helps me, most times He tests me. I don't even evangelise well. I simply sow the seed, and leave the rest to Him.

 

Every time I read pug's posts, I am SO glad that I no longer live in that silly little pre-packaged, robotic world where the party line is dutifully recited like so many stepford wife automatons.

 

Here's to rationality and being able to think for one's self. :beer:

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Every time I read Mythra's posts, I am SO glad that I am here in ex-C.net, picking up Mythra's acumen and insight.

 

Mythra, 'so glad that you are back.

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Free's ass.

 

In the words of Geezus himself:

 

Luke 14:33 "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple".

 

So, when someone comes on here claiming to be a true christian, you can automatically call bullshit, because they still have a computer. They haven't given up everything they have, as commanded by the LAWD.

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Casey, I'm curious to know... that if Christians take on the stand that ALL are going to be 'saved', everyone in the end gets the same thing, no one gets any more or less... would that change your stand in any way about Christianity?

 

I know this was for Casey, but I would like to comment if I may...

 

If everyone is saved, where is justice? How is it right that a serial killer and mother theresea both end up the same? And what happened to "narrow is the path", etc?

 

Please understand, I believe "justice", "evil" and "good" to be purely man-made constructs. So for me, there is no conflict, but I wonder how you can reconcile this?

 

IMOHO,

:thanks:

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The only thing that's free is the torment, trouble, fear, and other fun things that Christianity fills you with.

 

Not exactly the things I like to get free.

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If everyone is saved, where is justice?  How is it right that a serial killer and mother theresea both end up the same?  And what happened to "narrow is the path", etc? 

 

Please understand, I believe "justice", "evil" and "good" to be purely man-made constructs.  So for me, there is no conflict, but I wonder how you can reconcile this?

Hi Skankboy! I always enjoy your comments!

 

IMO, EVERYONE is eventually saved, NO ONE gets 'thrown away' to anywhere in the end, yet ALL people have to be accountable and responsible for their actions! There are repercussions for our behavior/thinking, we just aren't going to be cast out or separated forever because of it.

 

I would love to hear about your belief in how justice, evil, and good are purely man-made constructs. :thanks:

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Casey, I'm curious to know... that if Christians take on the stand that ALL are going to be 'saved', everyone in the end gets the same thing, no one gets any more or less... would that change your stand in any way about Christianity?

 

Perhaps you should ask christians about that.

 

In any case here is an rebuttal from a christian apologetic site which provides rebuttal to your answer.

 

Not All Will Be Saved

 

Scriptures that say not all are saved

 

 

    Universalists believe all people will be saved.  They often complain against the contrary teaching that people go to hell by posing questions such as

 

"Do you really believe that God is going to lose most of mankind in hell and that only a few are going to be saved?"

"If most go to hell, doesn't that mean that Satan wins since God only gets a few compared to the majority who are lost?"

 

  Of course, these kinds of questions are the wrong ones to ask.  What they are doing is using emotionalism to sway someone's beliefs.  What they should be asking are questions like these:

"What does the Bible teach about damnation?"

"Does the Bible tell us if most will be lost or saved?"

"Does it tell us that all will be saved?"

      The means to good biblical theology is to examine the whole of scriptures without bias so that proper and correct doctrines can be determined.  Of course, no one is without bias.  But, that does not mean that we should give up trying to be objective.  We must endeavor to let God's word lead us rather than our emotionalism and personal preferences make decisions for us, especially about doctrine.  At least, that should be the goal.

    What matters is what God has revealed in His word.  So, are there scriptures in the Bible that plainly state that not all are saved?  Yes, there are.

 

"Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14"For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it," (Matt. 7:13-14).

 

"For many are called, but few are chosen," (Matt. 22:14).

 

"And He was passing through from one city and village to another, teaching, and proceeding on His way to Jerusalem. 23And someone said to Him, "Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?" And He said to them, 24"Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25"Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 26"Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 27and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers,'" (Luke 13:22-27).

 

"And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, "Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved; 28for the Lord will execute His word upon the earth, thoroughly and quickly," (Rom. 9:27).

    These verses are plain and clear.  Not all are saved; in fact, few are.  Whether or not we think this makes God a failure, or that it makes us sad, or upsets us, isn't really that important.  If the Bible says it, that settles it.  What is left is to make adjustments in our understanding and feelings in order to bring more in line with what God has stated.

    After all, we do not know the mind of God.  His ways are higher than our ways.  I prefer to accept what it says than feel my way through theology.

 

The idea that all will be saved is a concept of Universalism.

 

Although I appreciate your optimistic view, but i have to agree with this guy. According to the Protestant Christian theology not everybody will be saved.

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Hi Skankboy! I always enjoy your comments!

 

IMO, EVERYONE is eventually saved, NO ONE gets 'thrown away' to anywhere in the end, yet ALL people have to be accountable and responsible for their actions! There are repercussions for our behavior/thinking, we just aren't going to be cast out or separated forever because of it.

 

I would love to hear about your belief in how justice, evil, and good are purely man-made constructs.   :thanks:

 

Thank you Amanda, for your comments. Personally I should think matters to be rather like this; I am indebted to the mystic Emmanuel Swedenbourg for this view by the way.

 

I cannot say I believe what he had to say; I am an agnostic and thus hold to the opinion that I cannot know the truth of matters related to the afterlife, but merely that if an afterlife exists, that I'd hope it would be like this.

 

When we die, our spirits (what is left of us) gravitate towards others of our ilk. Thus if one had been a selfish, criminal type in one's life, one would go with others that had been the same. You wouldn't end up with any better class of people; that wouldn't be because there was any law stopping you from being with better people, but rather because "birds of a feather flock together", and with these people who had been just like you (or worse) you would remain for as long as it took you to shed the attitudes that put you with them in the first place, after which time you might be admitted and received into better company.

 

To give a couple more earthly examples, if you went to a party or other social occasion where there happened to be several very big business people present, would you feel at home in their company if you were not of their sort? Similarly, consider Memorial Day or the like times when war Veterans gather. If you were not yourself a Veteran, would you really feel as one with them?

 

Again this is not because the businessmen or the Veterans were being in any way stand-offish or snobbish; it would be simply because your experiences and the way you had led your life were totally different, to the point where you would have little or anything in common.

 

I believe this to be why it is said there are "circles" of heaven and hell, or as some would have it, different degrees or intensities in both places, again assuming they exist. As it is with the worse side of the afterlife, so it is (I would hope) with the better side. It would operate on the same principle; if you had attained a certain level of goodness in your life, you would be attracted to those who had attained more or less the same, and so on and so forth.

 

Once again, thanks Amanda and Skankboy. Some may scoff, and the christians may call me a heretic, but as I said that's what I'd hope would or will happen in an afterlife.

Casey

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Some may scoff, and the christians may call me a heretic, but as I said that's what I'd hope would or will happen in an afterlife.

Casey

That's the closest thing to Ultimate Justice that I've ever read in my life.

 

Me? Scoff at that?

 

Hell no!

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If Jesus was/real and his message of eternal torture was not misunderstood, it breaks my heart that someone as uplifting and kind hearted as yourself will be frying with me.  :(

 

Serenity Now, IF what you think is true about the Bible, I'd rather fry with you. Either way, I plan on being around people like you for all eternity... and that's a good thing for me! Maybe we can have one 'HOT' time! :wicked:

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Perhaps you should ask christians about that.

 

Pritish, why not go to the source? That's what I did. I use to believe like them, and studied for many days to prove their case against the way I believe now. The revelation of it being true just JUMPED out at me as I was intently pursuing it as a lie. The more I read the Bible, the more I see its evidence of being true, ALL are saved.

Although I appreciate your optimistic view, but i have to agree with this guy. According to the Protestant Christian theology not everybody will be saved.

We're not going to bore everyone with having a LONG Bible Study on this site. :eek: Yet, if you want to PM, please feel free to do so... or anyone for that matter.

 

I found this site interesting: http://www.frimmin.com/faith/godislove.html

 

Yet let me ask just a couple of questions about the whole concept of Christianity. Can Christ fail? Can God fail? IMHO, no they can't. If Jesus came to save the world, he did. God said if he has a 100 sheep and if one gets lost, he'll leave the 99 to go get the 1... and I think God will succeed!

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I believe this to be why it is said there are "circles" of heaven and hell, or as some would have it, different degrees or intensities in both places, again assuming they exist. As it is with the worse side of the afterlife, so it is (I would hope) with the better side. It would operate on the same principle; if you had attained a certain level of goodness in your life, you would be attracted to those who had attained more or less the same, and so on and so forth.

 

Casey, thank you for sharing with me such a wonderful post! :thanks:

 

FWIW, I also believe in levels or intensities of both realms, with no elitism attached to any. I believe that if I had walked in anyone's 'shoes,' given their same circumstances, that I would of probably done exactly as they had done. How can I condemn them then? I am very thankful for people who have interceded in my life and made it better.

 

There does seem to be a purifying process to 'goodness', and in so doing... gives us a much deeper appreciation of 'goodness'. I do think that all things are acceptable, as long as one does it in a respectful manner to all... including self. Life is meant to have lots of laughter/happiness!

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Serenity Now, IF what you think is true about the Bible, I'd rather fry with you. Either way, I plan on being around people like you for all eternity... and that's a good thing for me! Maybe we can have one 'HOT' time!  :wicked:

Yeah Baby! ;)

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Including happiness.

 

ESPECIALLY happiness. Plus, you have to swallow a ton of lies, and if God never answers your prayers? You gotta be ready to blame yourself for it.

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