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Question For The Christians


LastKing
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I've got a question, as I haven't read the diaries/ book. Did she discuss in her writings about her belief(s) in God?

So it's only belief in God that's important then? Not Jesus specifically?

 

I don't know how God would handle this truthfully, her being a Jew, yet faithful. I revert back to the natural branches vs. the grafted branches explanation.....and that effectively God hardened Israel so that the Gentiles could come in. I am not sure if many theologians even have a definitive answer.

I'm not writing this in an angry, hostile voice. Please don't take my post as a personal attack on you.

 

You actually DO know how god would handle this, but it makes you terribly uncomfortable. You want to believe that god is loving, but are having a hard time accepting that your god would burn someone in hell on the basis of a criterion as fickle as belief in jesus.

 

The definitive answer is that Anne Frank would burn in hell, because she is did not believe in jesus. The bible is pretty clear on that.

 

I used to be very disturbed by this too when I was a christian and had muslim friends. Knowing they loved god, but that they would burn in hell when they died, really undermined my concept of god as a loving being. You can invent all sorts of apologetics to try to circumvent what the bible says, but ultimately, you KNOW what the bible says on this issue, and you're just faced with a crisis. Belief that god is loving and good versus knowledge that god will burn people who love him because they don't believe in jesus.

 

If belief in god was the criterion, then muslims, followers of bahai, jews, and anyone else who believes in the monotheistic god of abraham would be saved. But christian practice and mainstream belief tells you otherwise. The criterion is belief in jesus, because jesus is supposedly the way to salvation. Nobody comes to the father but through him, right? You KNOW this, but you don't want to believe it and accept the moral consequences for it -- that the god you worship purports to be loving, but is quite content with millions failing his requirement (belief in jesus) and letting them burn for eternity in hell.

 

It was stuff like this that seriously undermined my concept of god as a loving being. Apparently he's loving, but his actions tell us otherwise. This is something that nudged me towards deconversion. I could not reconcile a loving god with the eternal torture of millions, many of whom loved him but simply followed a different code.

 

You can be honest with yourself, and with us, and just accept that your 'loving' god would do this horrible thing, or you can keep trying to dig up apologetics to help yourself sleep at night. But its only you that you're kidding. We've all seen this and realised that the apologetics are unsatisfying half answers for a big question you're not ready to ask yourself yet. "Why are you more moral, kind, and compassionate, than god?"

 

It's a difficult proposition Donna. It's entirely possible that hell is a possibility. I reserve faith for these type of things. That is the best answer I can give.

 

 

FAITH – magical thinking that lets the religionist believe in ANY unbelievable and/or absurd belief.

 

"It's a difficult proposition Donna. It's entirely possible that the Islamic suicide bomber will have 72 virgins to himself in paradise. I reserve faith for these types of things." (Or insert any ridiculous unsubstantiated religious belief)

 

What a bunch of horse-shit.

 

I do know that there are many Christians that feel the if the Jewish people don't accept Christ, then hell is the expectation. I personally believe that because God used Jews as he did, that there might be an acception. And there was a large portion of Israel that didn't go into the promise land....so you might be right. It is certainly a difficult concept. I am still trying to reconcile some of the this myself.

 

And what about the other Jews of the Holocaust – the ones who lost their faith? After they were brutalized, tortured, and burned to death – does your ALL-loving christian god send them to hell to suffer for an eternity?

 

--S.

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Of course, you didn't bother to mention that S set up the law and the fine to begin with. And that P is either condemned because of things his ancestors did and/or that he has no option of not breaking the law because he was born a sinner.

 

 

So, S makes the law and makes sure P breaks it, then imposes a drastic fine of eternal damnation, then comes along and offers P the option of accepting the forgiveness from someone invisible for crimes against someone invisible (which would be illogical in any other aspect of P's life). Sounds like S is running a pretty rigged game. Or, more likely, doesn't exist in the first place.

 

I don't think it matters who set up the law, the question is whether the law is just, justly applied and whether S is required to pay the penalty for P. As I see it, given that God created the world, he is full y justified in creating rules for that world. He didn't make people sin, he gave them a completely free choice and made it such that there was no compulsion (i.e., he didn't create a bunch of trees and make it difficult to avoid them, he only made one out of potentially thousands of trees). So, you actually misrepresent the case by saying that S rigged the game or made sure that P broke the law; that wasn't the case at all. Also, P could be justified by living a perfect life as that is what the Law stipulated, but no one except Jesus has been able to do that. The punishment is fully in keeping with the law. If a person were to rebel against a sovereign in ancient times, it meant instant death. The same holds here, although the death is a spiritual one and, better yet, it is one from which the guilty party can be set free. So, if God is rigging the game, it is by sending his Son to pay the penalty that we rightly deserve and have earned.

 

LNC

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I've got a question, as I haven't read the diaries/ book. Did she discuss in her writings about her belief(s) in God?

So it's only belief in God that's important then? Not Jesus specifically?

 

I don't know how God would handle this truthfully, her being a Jew, yet faithful. I revert back to the natural branches vs. the grafted branches explanation.....and that effectively God hardened Israel so that the Gentiles could come in. I am not sure if many theologians even have a definitive answer.

 

Depends on which denomination of theology the person attends. Augustine uplifted the Jews and claimed they have there part with God.

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Considering most of us on this site believe the bible to be a work of fiction, I think most of us are more concerned with what christians actually believe than weather or not christians properly interpret the bible in a manner that gives them its intended meaning. However, different writings have various degrees of ambiguity, and even the best experts may not know with absolute certainty what the bible says. One may find ambiguity in the constitution. I think the constitution should be as strictly interpreted as possible, but I'm not sure we can know its intended meaning perfectly. I wish the judicial system did a better job of trying than they seem to do. Unfortunately, the constitution is an important document, and understanding its meaning is much more important than understanding works of fiction, like the bible (no disrespect intended, but we(well many of us on this site) do view the bible as fiction).

 

I think we all know that the modern interpretation of the Constitution is not what the authors intended. I doubt that they ever had the notion that a Supreme Court Justice would interpret the U.S. Constitution by looking at foreign case law. Nor do I think that they would have agreed that the Constitution is a "living document". It doesn't seem that for the first 150 years that justices had a difficult time interpreting the Constitution. It seems that much of that began with the FDR administration when he packed the court. It has been down hill from there. As to the Bible, I don't think that many NT scholars would agree with you that it is a work of fiction. Most would agree that there was a real person by the name of Jesus who lived, taught, called himself a Rabbi, was crucified and buried, and that his followers claimed to have seen him risen from the dead. That would be true of the vast majority of scholars who are experts in the study of the NT. I don't think that there is even question as to how the vast majority of the NT is to be interpreted. Sure there are people who come out with various interpretations for certain doctrines, but there is a correct interpretation and it is our job to work at understanding it in the context in which it was written, and I believe that that is possible, just like I believe it is possible for the Constitution.

 

I thought this might have been what you were getting at. But that means it is still essentially true that, according to christianity, one must believe in jesus to be saved considering, according to christianity, every one has sinned. So Anne Frank, who is theoretically a sinner who no doubt has not accepted jesus's sacrifice, would have gone to hell. And god would have sent her there, regardless of weather or not he's to blame for her being there. You can say she sent herself there by rebelling against god, but only in a indirect sense. According to christian theory, it was god who decided she has to go there based on her supposed rebellion. The original post had nothing to do with where to place the blame for her damnation.

 

 

But, I'll give you my opinion about who would have the blame, assuming for the sake of argument that the basic beliefs of christianity are true. If god created people who are inherently imperfect, held them to a perfect standard, condemned them to hell for being imperfect, and created a way to escape damnation, but made the information for finding that escape extremely obscure, then god would be to blame for their damnation. I know you believe the bible to be the truth, and you think it's message is not obscure. For the vast majority of people on this planet, who are born without knowledge of god's supposed word, and with so many other competing religions out there, none of which have more or less credibility than christianity, it cannot be obvious that bible god's message is the only true one. If god did exist, and jesus came to every person at whatever age they were old enough to understand and said, "I'm jesus, my message is xyz, and you need to do xyz to be saved. I will not violate your free will, but your choices have consequences. If you choose to follow me, you get to go to heaven. If not, you go to hell", then maybe such a god could be excused for sending people to hell.

 

So, who is to blame when a convicted criminal goes to jail, the criminal who committed the crimes or the legislative body who wrote the laws and the judge who convicted the criminal? It seems by your scenario that it would be the legislature and the judge who are directly guilty and the criminal only indirectly. That seems to be strained logic to me. Anne Frank was Jewish, which means that she was exposed to at least the OT Scriptures. Suppose that she really believed those and God sent Messiah to her in a dream and she trusted in Messiah? She would be in heaven now. None of us can know for sure whether that happened or not; however, if she was open to what she knew from the OT, then I believe that God would have revealed himself in this way to her, just as he does to Muslims living in closed countries in the Middle East in our days.

 

You make a fatal assumption in your argument. God didn't make people who were inherently imperfect. The Bible says that when God created man he said, "It is very good." God created man good, it was the fall that marred that goodness. God doesn't condemn anyone to hell for being imperfect, it is because we rebel against him. He also doesn't make the gospel obscure or hard to find. In fact, I have given the gospel message on this site many times. The message is that we were created in God's image to have relationship with him. Man was created with free will and given work to do, with one simple rule. Don't eat from one tree among potentially thousands of trees. Man ate from that tree and died spiritually, breaking relationship with God. God had mercy on man and reached out to him many times in the OT, only to have nearly every prophet killed. God then sent his own son to earth, only to have his own son killed by his creation; however, in that death, God secured the payment for man's sins that would fulfill the law. Man, by trusting in Jesus, can have that payment apply to his life. If man rejects that free offer and gift, then God can do no more to save the person from his just condemnation. Every person, except Jesus, has sinned and rebelled against God and only by trusting in Jesus can man have his sins paid for and dealt with. If man rejects that offer, he is condemning himself to pay his own penalty.

 

There, now you cannot claim that you didn't know the gospel. I made it very plain and clear. Now you have the choice as to whether you will receive that gift and trust in Jesus or reject that gift and suffer the penalty that you have already earned and are due. In essence, Jesus lives within every believer, so Jesus has come to you and to everyone who reads this message and said, "trust in me for forgiveness of sins, lest you suffer the punishment that you rightly deserve." What will you answer?

 

LNC

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There, now you cannot claim that you didn't know the gospel. I made it very plain and clear. Now you have the choice as to whether you will receive that gift and trust in Jesus or reject that gift and suffer the penalty that you have already earned and are due. In essence, Jesus lives within every believer, so Jesus has come to you and to everyone who reads this message and said, "trust in me for forgiveness of sins, lest you suffer the punishment that you rightly deserve." What will you answer?

 

LNC

 

But LNC, that goes back to the Jews. So, in short, Anne Frank will be punished in your opinion, right? You said earlier that you didn't think she would go to hell, in which I agree. Ironically, I hold a good deal of Catholic theology within my independant Christian walk. But, now I'm a little confused with where you stand on the topic?

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Since I can conveniently read Attic Greek, the parent language to the Koine Greek of the New Testament, would you mind posting the SPECIFIC verse or verses that you say were not found in the original? I would like to see how this material was rendered in it's original greek.

 

From my cursory examination of Mark 16:16 in the original Koine Greek, it is evident that the exact meaning of that verse is that belief is the criteria for salvation, and without belief, there is no salvation. Do you have any other verses to back up your interpretation of the bible? I would also like to examine them in the original Koine Greek.

 

I don't need a "good English translation", as I am quite competent with the original Greek. And for the record, I was a christian for decades, and I have never met a christian who would not accept belief as the SOLE criteria for salvation. According to standard christian doctrine, as I am aware of it, Anne Frank would burn in hell, because she did not believe in jesus christ as her lord and saviour. The question is not whether she was an ethnic jew, but whether she was a practicing jew, and it is her identity as a practicing jew that precludes her from salvation. If she accepted jesus christ as her lord and saviour, she would no longer be a jew, but a christian.

 

Hey, that's great. Why in the world do you know Attic Greek? Are you studying ancient documents? There are three that come to mind immediately, two found in most English NTs and one that is only in the KJV. The two found in all English NTs are John 7:53-8:11 (woman caught in adultery), and Mark 16:9-20 (called the long ending of Mark's Gospel). The passage included in the KJV, but not in other English NTs is 1 John 5:7-8. I believe those are the only ones, but I may be mistaken on that.

 

Now, I'm not sure what your understanding of Greek will do for you since these are not considered to be texts that Christians use in defense of doctrines regarding the Christian tradition. Again, it is not the criteria for salvation that was in question here, it was the criteria for condemnation; at least, that was with what the original question dealt. I too would say that salvation is based upon Jesus finished work on the cross and our trust in him. So, neither Anne Frank nor anyone else will go to hell for not trusting in Jesus; however, trusting in Jesus can spare a person from hell. Can you see the distinction?

 

LNC

Reading the text in it's original language will remove the problem of ambiguity caused by approximations in translation. If something is translated into another language, it can lose some of it's meaning, because not all languages have words that are exact synonyms for words in other languages. Checking which word is used removes any ambiguity that might exist because of translations.

 

The passage in John, involving the woman caught in adultery, indicates that jesus was simply teaching the woman's accusers that it is not their place to punish her, but rather that role was reserved for someone who was without sin. The word used for what is commonly translated as 'condemn' in the English translation, is a form of 'krino' the verb for judge. The Greeks had a word for condemn, but it was not this word that they used in this passage. However, it is often translated as condemn in English. Jesus is saying he won't judge her, not that he won't condemn her.

 

I honestly think you are grasping at scriptural straws to back up your claims. These verses do not abrogate in any way the emphatic and clear explanation of salvation given in Mark. You are just producing these verses to try to support your interpretation of salvation, when they are insufficient to counteract more valid and explicit explanations given elsewhere.

 

You feel uncomfortable that Anne Frank burns in hell, because you can't reconcile it with your concept of god as a loving being. That is why you are producing these verses in an attempt to challenge it. However, the reality is that the bible explicitly says that people who don't believe in jesus will burn in hell. That is the ONLY way you gain access to salvation. This makes you feel uncomfortable, because you, being a moral, kind person, recognise the inherent injustice and unfairness of this. You are seeing the side of god we all saw when we read the bible and noticed that god's press (that he's loving and kind) does not match his behaviour (that he burns people in hell who worship him because they don't worship him the right way).

 

I stopped clutching at straws and saw this for what it is -- a major inconsistency in the character of god. I stopped trying to find convoluted apologetics for why things were this way, and just accepted that god does crappy things. I shouldn't need to defend god's character if I'm a christian by using elaborate apologetics. If god was real, and he was all he was cracked up to be, then he wouldn't send people to hell. You know this, it just makes you uncomfortable.

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Let's simplify things a little for a second.

 

LNC, what does cause/result in a person being sent/ending up in/earning hell?

 

I did post earlier that the reason that a person is sent to hell is because of sin and rebellion against God.

 

LNC

Do you mean because the individual sins, or because of Original Sin (the sin of Adam and Eve)?

 

Because if you think people are not sent to hell because of Original Sin, you are denying that the fall of man brought sin into the world, and in fact the only other explanation for this would be if god put sin into the world, so that he could send people to hell for sinning. Without original sin, there would be no reason for salvation. We'd all be happy as proverbial Larry in the garden of eden. Jesus would be unnecessary. We would need no salvation, because we wouldn't be contaminated by sin.

 

The doctrine of original sin is repulsive because it ascribes guilt on someone for the actions of another. It basically puts the individual in a shitty position and then says "dig yourself out". What kind of god puts humanity in such an awful position? A loving god would never have engineered reality to allow that to happen.

 

If a person is sent to hell for sin, why would rebelling against god do anything? They are already going to hell for original sin, which they can't undo. It's like sending someone to hell for a murder someone else committed, and also because the person stole a packet of paper clips from the stationary cupboard at work. It's overkill. Infinite punishment for a finite crime.

 

So, are people sent to hell because of original sin, or because they rebel against god? Which one is it?

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Let's simplify things a little for a second.

 

LNC, what does cause/result in a person being sent/ending up in/earning hell?

 

I did post earlier that the reason that a person is sent to hell is because of sin and rebellion against God.

 

LNC

Do you mean because the individual sins, or because of Original Sin (the sin of Adam and Eve)?

 

Because if you think people are not sent to hell because of Original Sin, you are denying that the fall of man brought sin into the world, and in fact the only other explanation for this would be if god put sin into the world, so that he could send people to hell for sinning. Without original sin, there would be no reason for salvation. We'd all be happy as proverbial Larry in the garden of eden. Jesus would be unnecessary. We would need no salvation, because we wouldn't be contaminated by sin.

 

The doctrine of original sin is repulsive because it ascribes guilt on someone for the actions of another. It basically puts the individual in a shitty position and then says "dig yourself out". What kind of god puts humanity in such an awful position? A loving god would never have engineered reality to allow that to happen.

 

If a person is sent to hell for sin, why would rebelling against god do anything? They are already going to hell for original sin, which they can't undo. It's like sending someone to hell for a murder someone else committed, and also because the person stole a packet of paper clips from the stationary cupboard at work. It's overkill. Infinite punishment for a finite crime.

 

So, are people sent to hell because of original sin, or because they rebel against god? Which one is it?

 

Welcome to LNC's world of theology mind games.

 

He can't think for himself. He's constantly appealing to some doctrine or accepted interpretation or another. The dude cannot look at the bible himself and use his own brain, his comments are constantly filtered through the approved doctrines and thoughts of other theologians.

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God then sent his own son to earth, only to have his own son killed by his creation; however, in that death, God secured the payment for man's sins that would fulfill the law. Man, by trusting in Jesus, can have that payment apply to his life. If man rejects that free offer and gift, then God can do no more to save the person from his just condemnation. Every person, except Jesus, has sinned and rebelled against God and only by trusting in Jesus can man have his sins paid for and dealt with. If man rejects that offer, he is condemning himself to pay his own penalty.

 

What does it mean, exactly, to "trust in Jesus"? What does that look like?

 

I think I know the answer to this question, but I'm going to ask anyway: Why did Jesus' death not automatically cover everybody? Why the requirement of trust? What is it that makes trusting necessary?

 

Phanta

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I don't think that there is even question as to how the vast majority of the NT is to be interpreted.

That would explain the several hundred different denominations, sects and offshoots of Christianity, no doubt! As well as the competing schools of thought even within a given denomination. Pre, post or a-millenialist, Calvinist or Armenian, literal or figurative, dispensationalist, hyperdispensationalist, charismatic, pentecostal, or not ... why, it's not even clear to the Seventh Day Adventists which day the Lord's Day is. Do we baptize infants or not? Do we allow modern technology or not? Even regarding fundamentals: is there a literal hell? Should we put any serious effort into evangelism or are we more of a social club? What about the "social gospel" -- are we trying to gradually usher in the Kingdom of God in society or just in individual hearts? It goes on, and on, and on, and on, yet it seems that society as a whole is in much more fundamental agreement about the Constitution.

 

The only thing Christians have in common is some level of respect for the Bible and the Jesus mythology.

God doesn't condemn anyone to hell for being imperfect, it is because we rebel against him.

Yet "all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God"; "there is none righteous, no, not one". If god sent us to hell for having two legs, yet we all have two legs, it seems disingenuous to say "god made us perfect". I suppose in my analogy, Adam and Eve would have been legless until Satan tempted them with the ability to get around, with the result that they grew legs and all their offspring had them. But this seems quite beside the point; god knew in advance this would happen, with all the resulting consequences for billions of souls.

 

God holds man to an impossible standard and then condemns him for being unable to live up to it.

There, now you cannot claim that you didn't know the gospel. I made it very plain and clear. Now you have the choice as to whether you will receive that gift and trust in Jesus or reject that gift and suffer the penalty that you have already earned and are due. In essence, Jesus lives within every believer, so Jesus has come to you and to everyone who reads this message and said, "trust in me for forgiveness of sins, lest you suffer the punishment that you rightly deserve." What will you answer?

My answer was "yes", at the age of not-quite-six, and I held to it very faithfully for the next twenty years, and with decreasing enthusiasm for yet another twenty. But my answer now is, if I had it to do over again, I could not respond one way or the other to a being who isn't real, or at the very least, not engaged or interested.

 

Since my camp within Christianity believed in eternal security, if it turns out that if Christianity is substantially correct after all, I have the unfair advantage of being a heaven-bound atheist, though presumably destined to clean celestial toilets or sweep celestial streets.

 

Heaven, though, is too convenient. It panders to man's desire to have his existence ordered according to his whims and absolves him from fully contemplating the reality of his own mortality and holding life sufficiently precious.

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There, now you cannot claim that you didn't know the gospel. I made it very plain and clear. Now you have the choice as to whether you will receive that gift and trust in Jesus or reject that gift and suffer the penalty that you have already earned and are due. In essence, Jesus lives within every believer, so Jesus has come to you and to everyone who reads this message and said, "trust in me for forgiveness of sins, lest you suffer the punishment that you rightly deserve." What will you answer?

 

LNC

 

Your evangelistic appeal here is quite condescending. It betrays what seems to be a willful misunderstanding of the people on this site. If you read MagicMonkey's testimony on this site, you will see that he had been a Christian for a number of years. He knew the gospel clearly. Yet , knowing his "ex-christian" position, you say "now you cannot claim you did not know the gospel" and you arrogantly and pridefully declare "I made it plain and clear. . ."

 

You don't need to present the gospel "plain and clear." Most of us already know the gospel "plain and clear." After years of being in Christianity many of us realized the gospel and christianity as a whole is false. We came to that conclusion from many directions, but it was not from a lack of understanding.

 

Yet, you still approach ex-christians with your own agenda and look at us through a very biased and distorted lens. You don't know atheists. You don't understand agnostics and freethinkers. You only think you know them through the caricatures and stereotypes your ideology wishes we were like.

 

That is why Vigile was wondering about your emotional aptitude. Perhaps you should take him more seriously.

 

AND, speaking of biases and distortions. You STILL haven't answered the many responses calling for you to reconcile John 3:18 with your statement that the bible does not indicate that one is sent to hell for not believing in Jesus.

 

Here's a reminder of what you said.

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But, now I'm a little confused with where you stand on the topic?

Me too. I had the same impression as you, and his statement, now, seems to contradict it. I'm confused too.

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What does it mean, exactly, to "trust in Jesus"? What does that look like?

 

I think I know the answer to this question, but I'm going to ask anyway: Why did Jesus' death not automatically cover everybody? Why the requirement of trust? What is it that makes trusting necessary?

Here's my view on it, and I might be wrong, and I'm sure LNC would disagree (because he always does). Faith is a word that really means "to trust." To have faith in someone or something is to trust that it always will be the way you expect it to be, it's the old reliable thing or person you never have to doubt.

 

So in the context of religion (I think this is mostly Christianity) there's this idea that the believer must trust in God and Jesus to be who they are, and to have faith in their abilities to save you and be there for you.

 

And that's the trust/faith a person must have to gain salvation.

 

I find it a bit difficult to accept too. I can totally see the relationship between trusting and gaining some positive experience from it. Or that, to make some limping allegory, if you trust (have faith) in your friends, you will call your friends when you're in need and you will help your friends when they need you. In other words, faith/trust has immediate effects on your life and well-being. It strengthens the relationship and benefits both parties.

 

But I can't see how it applies to salvation. Why is it necessary to trust that God gave us a salvation before we can have the benefit of that salvation? It sounds like magical trickery. Either Jesus gave the salvation to the whole world, or the salvation is to believe in a salvation, regardless if the Jesus died or not.

 

Let me explain the last part. If Jesus's act (dying and risen) was the part that saves us, then belief in it is not necessary because his work was complete. But, if belief is what is necessary to get salvation, then the work by Jesus was unnecessary. Can you see what I'm saying? If belief is what turns the real key to the path of salvation, then it doesn't matter if the act of dying and rising from the dead is real or not! It's the act of believing it that really saves a person, not the acts of Jesus. So it means, if salvation is the act of having faith or believing, then it's more of the internal change of a person's "spirit" than Jesus's death and resurrection. It's more about the magical part of a person's change of heart than God's fancy drama 2,000 years ago. Does this make any sense?

 

If you want to, perhaps we should examine the old analogy Christians use to exemplify salvation. They claim that it's like a court case. You're in court as a defendant for a crime you committed. The judge lets his son take your punishment, so you can go free.

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You make a fatal assumption in your argument. God didn't make people who were inherently imperfect. The Bible says that when God created man he said, "It is very good." God created man good, it was the fall that marred that goodness. God doesn't condemn anyone to hell for being imperfect, it is because we rebel against him. He also doesn't make the gospel obscure or hard to find. In fact, I have given the gospel message on this site many times. The message is that we were created in God's image to have relationship with him. Man was created with free will and given work to do, with one simple rule. Don't eat from one tree among potentially thousands of trees. Man ate from that tree and died spiritually, breaking relationship with God. God had mercy on man and reached out to him many times in the OT, only to have nearly every prophet killed. God then sent his own son to earth, only to have his own son killed by his creation; however, in that death, God secured the payment for man's sins that would fulfill the law. Man, by trusting in Jesus, can have that payment apply to his life. If man rejects that free offer and gift, then God can do no more to save the person from his just condemnation. Every person, except Jesus, has sinned and rebelled against God and only by trusting in Jesus can man have his sins paid for and dealt with. If man rejects that offer, he is condemning himself to pay his own penalty.

 

Nothing new here. Heard it a thousand times.

 

There, now you cannot claim that you didn't know the gospel. I made it very plain and clear. Now you have the choice as to whether you will receive that gift and trust in Jesus or reject that gift and suffer the penalty that you have already earned and are due. In essence, Jesus lives within every believer, so Jesus has come to you and to everyone who reads this message and said, "trust in me for forgiveness of sins, lest you suffer the punishment that you rightly deserve." What will you answer?

 

I reject the lies of the bible. And seriously, LNC, these are arrogant and condescending words as others have pointed out. Try real hard and maybe you can understand why so many of us have said this.

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seriously, LNC, these are arrogant and condescending words as others have pointed out. Try real hard and maybe you can understand why so many of us have said this.

 

LNC has been on this site for so long, trying to affect an intellectual basis, attempting to build from philosophical and scientific platforms, but in the end he's just another evangelist, no better than Justyna, with nothing better than 'the bible says so.'

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Hey! Thanks to this thread I now know what happens when irresistible force (John 3:18) meets immovable object (LNC)! The result ain't pretty! :scratch:

 

BAA.

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...Also, P could be justified by living a perfect life as that is what the Law stipulated, but no one except Jesus has been able to do that.

The law did not stipulate that you had to lead a perfect life.

If it did, there would be no statutes in the law for atonement.

Jesus did not lead a perfect life.

He violated the law by undermining parts of it.

 

You make a fatal assumption in your argument. God didn't make people who were inherently imperfect. The Bible says that when God created man he said, "It is very good." God created man good, it was the fall that marred that goodness. God doesn't condemn anyone to hell for being imperfect, it is because we rebel against him.

The Bible says God’s works are perfect.

A perfect work cannot “fall”, rebel, or perform an imperfect action.

 

He also doesn't make the gospel obscure or hard to find. In fact, I have given the gospel message on this site many times. The message is that we were created in God's image to have relationship with him. Man was created with free will and given work to do, with one simple rule. Don't eat from one tree among potentially thousands of trees. Man ate from that tree and died spiritually, breaking relationship with God.

And you’ve preached the same faulty claims over and over again.

The free will myth is one of them.

The Bible undermines that claim in many verses.

A perfect work cannot make an imperfect decision, regardless of how much “free will” you think it has.

As soon as it performs an imperfect action, it shows that it wasn’t made perfect in the first place.

 

God had mercy on man and reached out to him many times in the OT, only to have nearly every prophet killed. God then sent his own son to earth, only to have his own son killed by his creation; however, in that death, God secured the payment for man's sins that would fulfill the law.

It fulfilled no such thing.

There is no provision in the law for a human to serve as a sin sacrifice.

It’s illegal according to God’s law.

 

Man, by trusting in Jesus, can have that payment apply to his life. If man rejects that free offer and gift, then God can do no more to save the person from his just condemnation.

There is no need for a human sacrifice to pay for sins.

It’s illegal according to God’s law.

God made it clear that each person could redeem themselves by repenting and keeping the law.

It’s also not a “free” offer or gift.

Various affirmative actions must be taken in order to qualify for the “free” gift.

 

Every person, except Jesus, has sinned and rebelled against God and only by trusting in Jesus can man have his sins paid for and dealt with. If man rejects that offer, he is condemning himself to pay his own penalty.

This is standard Christian mythology that replaces the rules set down in the Old Testament.

However, Jesus was not sinless.

Jesus also sinned and rebelled against God.

Nor can Jesus save anyone.

Salvation according to God's word in the OT doesn't have anything to do with believing in an invalid human sin sacrifice covering your sins with his blood.

Such a sacrifice isn't even legal according to God's standards.

 

There, now you cannot claim that you didn't know the gospel. I made it very plain and clear. Now you have the choice as to whether you will receive that gift and trust in Jesus or reject that gift and suffer the penalty that you have already earned and are due. In essence, Jesus lives within every believer, so Jesus has come to you and to everyone who reads this message and said, "trust in me for forgiveness of sins, lest you suffer the punishment that you rightly deserve." What will you answer?

Propaganda isn't reality, no matter how many times you preach it.

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If Jesus's act (dying and risen) was the part that saves us, then belief in it is not necessary because his work was complete. But, if belief is what is necessary to get salvation, then the work by Jesus was unnecessary.

Technically the part that is supposed to save is not Jesus' death and resurrection as such, but the fact that he took upon himself the wrath of God -- it's always depicted as a transaction, using words translated like "reckoned" or "imputed": God treats innocent Jesus as if he were guilty, and therefore can transfer Jesus' innocence to, in theory, were they all to accept it, all of humanity.

 

If this infusion of innocence were able to handle the entire human race, past present and future, why artificially limit it to those who hear about, comprehend, and accept the offer? The answer is usually couched in terms of respect for our free will -- believe it or not, god is actually being courteous!

 

But is he? Suppose that one of those Hollywood movie scenarios were playing out, and all of humanity were being wiped out or turned to zombies or whatever by some super virus. I develop an antidote that is capable of 100% protecting (or if need be, curing) everyone who receives it. It could be delivered in drinking water, dispersed in the air, but I'm very concerned about being disrespectful of people's autonomy, so instead I set up inoculation centers and start an ad campaign that says, "Drink the Kool-Aid! For Bob so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten vaccine, that whosoever drinketh of it shall not become a zombie, but shall live a normal life!" All people would have to do is ask for it by saying a little prayer to me.

 

Of course some people, inexplicably, would be suspicious of the offer ... some would never get the message, or it would be unavailable in their obscure dialect ... others would misunderstand or have their own brand of Kool-Aid to market. Even in this scenario where the Kool-Aid is at least empirically verifiable and not just a concept being hawked, would it not be self-centered and foolish of me -- indeed, downright evil -- to set up this bizarro scheme instead of just getting it out there for everyone ASAP? Could I really claim to care about people and love them and not want to see them suffer if I did not act with the urgency appropriate to my claim that I am "not willing that any should perish"? Could anyone claim with a straight face that this was a moral scheme?

 

It gets even more monstrous if you consider that the message of the gospel went into the world thousands of years after the first sinner fell short of the glory of god (there are complex tap dances about this, where the pre-resurrection faithful get to accept the sacrifice of the Messiah retroactively, but it feels like a bolted-on fix to me) and also, the gospel went into the world at a time where the vast majority of the populace was functionally or totally illiterate, where the only source of this crucial information would have been first hand experience, word of mouth, or a few tattered manuscripts -- the fact is, most of humanity, for most of human history, have not had the printing press, much less mass media and the Internet and the other trappings of the information age, so the fact that the gospel message existed was ineffectual and beside the point for most of the human race anyway.

 

No, inserting a requirement for a personal acceptance ritual is immoral on its face. Maybe a little less so in the 21st century, but not by much. If god so loved the world, let him act loving. Put up or shut up.

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If Jesus's act (dying and risen) was the part that saves us, then belief in it is not necessary because his work was complete. But, if belief is what is necessary to get salvation, then the work by Jesus was unnecessary.

Technically the part that is supposed to save is not Jesus' death and resurrection as such, but the fact that he took upon himself the wrath of God -- it's always depicted as a transaction, using words translated like "reckoned" or "imputed": God treats innocent Jesus as if he were guilty, and therefore can transfer Jesus' innocence to, in theory, were they all to accept it, all of humanity.

Sure, but the act doesn't have any effect unless you believe in it. In other words, it doesn't apply unless someone trust it to be true. Why is that?

 

If someone paid for my car, just to surprise me and give me a gift, I don't have to believe the person did it for the bank to admit that it is paid. It is paid. End of story. If it requires me to somehow trust the person to be telling the truth for it to work, then it's not a free gift, nor is it something that was automatically done or even completely done at that time.

 

If Jesus in fact did (past tense) take on God's wrath, why are we suffering God's wrath still? Or is it that Jesus only takes it on (present tense) while we feed it with our faith and belief in the act?

 

If this infusion of innocence were able to handle the entire human race, past present and future, why artificially limit it to those who hear about, comprehend, and accept the offer? The answer is usually couched in terms of respect for our free will -- believe it or not, god is actually being courteous!

But I don't see "receive a gift" to be the same as "believe an invisible gift was given to someone else in your name."

 

If the act was what it is portrayed to be, then the act should be enough. There shouldn't be a requirement to "receive it" in any shape or form.

 

Besides, how can an "act" (verb) done in the past be a gift that can only be received now?

 

But is he? Suppose that one of those Hollywood movie scenarios were playing out, and all of humanity were being wiped out or turned to zombies or whatever by some super virus. I develop an antidote that is capable of 100% protecting (or if need be, curing) everyone who receives it. It could be delivered in drinking water, dispersed in the air, but I'm very concerned about being disrespectful of people's autonomy, so instead I set up inoculation centers and start an ad campaign that says, "Drink the Kool-Aid! For Bob so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten vaccine, that whosoever drinketh of it shall not become a zombie, but shall live a normal life!" All people would have to do is ask for it by saying a little prayer to me.

But Christianity goes a bit further, they say believe that you drank it, and your life after death is secured. Things you can't see like sin are removed by receiving something in faith, that you can't see, to give you something that you can't see now (only when you die), because of someone you can't see did something you can't see. It's all about what you can imagine and believe in those imaginations. Nothing real or tangible is received here. Nothing is given in a sense that you can touch it or smell it. It's just to emotionally accept ideas on a piece of paper to treat some idea that is also given on a piece of paper.

 

 

Of course some people, inexplicably, would be suspicious of the offer ... some would never get the message, or it would be unavailable in their obscure dialect ... others would misunderstand or have their own brand of Kool-Aid to market. Even in this scenario where the Kool-Aid is at least empirically verifiable and not just a concept being hawked, would it not be self-centered and foolish of me -- indeed, downright evil -- to set up this bizarro scheme instead of just getting it out there for everyone ASAP? Could I really claim to care about people and love them and not want to see them suffer if I did not act with the urgency appropriate to my claim that I am "not willing that any should perish"? Could anyone claim with a straight face that this was a moral scheme?

I think the allegory would fit better if the "Kool-aid" was just accepting an idea that you gave, to treat a disease that you explained on paper, and their acceptance is to trust you. And that would make them "receive" the gift to treat they "illness."

 

It gets even more monstrous if you consider that the message of the gospel went into the world thousands of years after the first sinner fell short of the glory of god (there are complex tap dances about this, where the pre-resurrection faithful get to accept the sacrifice of the Messiah retroactively, but it feels like a bolted-on fix to me) and also, the gospel went into the world at a time where the vast majority of the populace was functionally or totally illiterate, where the only source of this crucial information would have been first hand experience, word of mouth, or a few tattered manuscripts -- the fact is, most of humanity, for most of human history, have not had the printing press, much less mass media and the Internet and the other trappings of the information age, so the fact that the gospel message existed was ineffectual and beside the point for most of the human race anyway.

True. I agree.

 

No, inserting a requirement for a personal acceptance ritual is immoral on its face. Maybe a little less so in the 21st century, but not by much. If god so loved the world, let him act loving. Put up or shut up.

Amen to that! :HaHa:

 

Do you have kids? If you do, then you know that you give kids things and help without asking for something in return. Sometimes you do, but if it is something life threatening, you don't demand a return.

 

Put it this way, I have a son that has gone through some really bad stuff. He was in the hospital again last two weeks. He's back again, but under medication. He's been close to death many times over the last 14 years. My wife, I, and my other kids we visit him at the hospital, and we make sure the doctors do a good job, and we take care of things... but not once, not one f-ing time have we demanded that our son somehow have to believe in what we're doing or give anything back to us. We give 110% in everything to make sure he will get well again. And no one will ever ask for anything in return.

 

So what kind of sick "Father" is God to condemn humanity to eternal torture and only give us salvation if we jump through the right hoops!?

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Do you have kids? If you do, then you know that you give kids things and help without asking for something in return. Sometimes you do, but if it is something life threatening, you don't demand a return.

Yes -- a 24 year old son and a 31 year old daughter, and two grandsons, 5 and 7. And I'm living with a woman who has her own 17 and 18 year old still at home. So I definitely understand the heart of a father -- and as much as I can without actually being one, the heart of a mother.

 

Jesus is said to have asked rhetorically, "what father among you, if his son asked for bread, would give him a scorpion? ... if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good things to those who ask of him?"

 

I have always held god to his own standard here. When my wife was dying in the most creatively painful ways through no fault of her own, despite her religious family storming the gates of heaven on her behalf, I marked it well. I thought often of how I would gladly take a bullet for any of my family members, and of god's promise that he would do even better than me, and I would just shake my head and wonder how I ever bought into any of that fanciful BS. And lest some Christian reading this thinks I'm angry at God, I refer them to the scene in Patch Adams where the title character had just lost his lover through a violent crime, and he was standing on a cliff contemplating ending it all. He looks up at the last second, and says to god, "You're not worth it" and walks away from the cliff.

 

How can I be angry at someone who isn't even there? My point is that it's all a house of cards. Life is to short for anger -- especially anger at imaginary friends or lost illusions. I'm beyond disappointment, too ... how can you be wistful for something you never had anyway? The only thing I'm disappointed in is myself, for being such a credulous chump.

 

At any rate, you can apply the same line of reasoning to God's insistence upon assent as a precondition of his forgiveness having any efficacy for salvation ... the kindest face you can put on it is that he's a preening, egotistical bastard who craves worship on pain of eternal damnation rather than just showing how much and how selflessly he loves and cares about his children.

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Do you have kids? If you do, then you know that you give kids things and help without asking for something in return. Sometimes you do, but if it is something life threatening, you don't demand a return.

Yes -- a 24 year old son and a 31 year old daughter, and two grandsons, 5 and 7. And I'm living with a woman who has her own 17 and 18 year old still at home. So I definitely understand the heart of a father -- and as much as I can without actually being one, the heart of a mother.

 

Jesus is said to have asked rhetorically, "what father among you, if his son asked for bread, would give him a scorpion? ... if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly father give good things to those who ask of him?"

Exactly. Even Jesus supposedly knew this, so it's really strange that the religion turned out to be only for the elected few--those who dotted the i's and crossed the t's, just because God "loved" us so much. Hmmm....

 

I have always held god to his own standard here. When my wife was dying in the most creatively painful ways through no fault of her own, despite her religious family storming the gates of heaven on her behalf, I marked it well. I thought often of how I would gladly take a bullet for any of my family members, and of god's promise that he would do even better than me, and I would just shake my head and wonder how I ever bought into any of that fanciful BS. And lest some Christian reading this thinks I'm angry at God, I refer them to the scene in Patch Adams where the title character had just lost his lover through a violent crime, and he was standing on a cliff contemplating ending it all. He looks up at the last second, and says to god, "You're not worth it" and walks away from the cliff.

:HaHa: That's so true.

 

And I can feel your pain. I didn't lose my son, but he's paraplegic since 14 years ago. It still took me many years after the event before I made the same realization as you did. How could I believe this stuff? It was just made-up stuff.

 

How can I be angry at someone who isn't even there? My point is that it's all a house of cards. Life is to short for anger -- especially anger at imaginary friends or lost illusions. I'm beyond disappointment, too ... how can you be wistful for something you never had anyway? The only thing I'm disappointed in is myself, for being such a credulous chump.

I hear ya'.

 

At any rate, you can apply the same line of reasoning to God's insistence upon assent as a precondition of his forgiveness having any efficacy for salvation ... the kindest face you can put on it is that he's a preening, egotistical bastard who craves worship on pain of eternal damnation rather than just showing how much and how selflessly he loves and cares about his children.

Again, amen to that. It's the truth.

 

And also, think of that Jesus supposedly took God's wrath, which means Jesus somehow in 36 hours (not completely 3 days) took on all eternal punishment? How is that possible? If Jesus really paid the price, he would still be there. The resurrection was God's little cheap trick to get out of his own punishment. If he was serious about it, Jesus should have stayed in Hell.

 

When I think about it, I keep on getting that image of some kid who glues the coin on a string and then puts the coin in the vending machine. When he receives the item, he just pull up the coin again. That's Jesus death and resurrection in a nutshell.

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And also, think of that Jesus supposedly took God's wrath, which means Jesus somehow in 36 hours (not completely 3 days) took on all eternal punishment? How is that possible?

Well I think that is fruitless to wonder about. If you buy the rest of the enchilada then you easily buy that Jesus was so innocent and good that he could withstand the wrath of god in such a concentrated fashion.

If Jesus really paid the price, he would still be there. The resurrection was God's little cheap trick to get out of his own punishment. If he was serious about it, Jesus should have stayed in Hell.

O,IC where you are going with this. I recall hearing preaching to the effect that Hell could not hold him. Jesus is whatever he needs to be to address whatever question is at hand. He's meek and mild, he's raising the dead, he's scourging the money changers, he's busting the gates of hell. By turns gentle, magical, rageaholic and judgemental, omnipotent ... what do you want him to be? Or perhaps more to the point, what point does the clergy need to trot him out to prove today?

 

Remember, this is the guy who said out of one side of his mouth, "I am meek an lowly and gentle of heart" and out of the other, "I am not come to bring peace, but a sword ..." to turn family members against each other, even. I've given up trying to sort it out. In retrospect, I had to have my mind in neutral the whole time I was a Christian to keep all this conflicting stuff in my head at the same time. Maybe that's the whole point.

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In retrospect, I had to have my mind in neutral the whole time I was a Christian to keep all this conflicting stuff in my head at the same time. Maybe that's the whole point.

I think I read some apologist (one of those founders of the early Church, I think) that argued that the "mystery" was the idea itself. God has contradictory features, and the religion has bunches of contradictory dogma, and that was the "beautiful" idea of it all. We are supposed to wonder and never understand.

 

But that kind of view contradicts the modern apologists who tries to use logic and even some crappy attempts of science to explain the ideas of God. Either God is a mystery, or you can explain God with the limited tools we have. But as with many things I've noticed religion does, they want to eat the cake and have it too.

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