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Calvinism, Predestination, The Elect

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Is Calvinism Biblical? Does the concept of the 'elect' square with John 3:16 and the Great Commission?

 

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Here, have a video:

 

 

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How many gods have to vote "Yea" in order to elect a person?  Will a simple majority suffice?  A 2/3 majority?  Or does it need to be unanimous?

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1 hour ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

How many gods have to vote "Yea" in order to elect a person?  Will a simple majority suffice?  A 2/3 majority?  Or does it need to be unanimous?

 

Christianity does not recognize democracy.

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2 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

How many gods have to vote "Yea" in order to elect a person?  Will a simple majority suffice?  A 2/3 majority?  Or does it need to be unanimous?

 

Maybe God has an electoral college. It's probably not accredited, though.

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On 7/12/2019 at 12:37 PM, midniterider said:

Is Calvinism Biblical? Does the concept of the 'elect' square with John 3:16 and the Great Commission?

 

 

Interesting video. The pastor didn't really like being put on the spot like that. His excuse, or apology if you will, seems to be to shift the attention and claim that everyone in hell will be deserving. Likewise, the elect will be deserving as well and no one will question god's judgment. But that excuse fails to acknowledge many things. 

 

The people who are so deserving of hell, were predestined to be so deserving of hell. The question isn't whether according to biblical standard they deserve to burn for rejecting god, the question is how does it glorify god to predestine people to be deserving of hell in the first place, knowing full well the outcome in advance of any of it happening and doing it anyways. He completely side stepped the issue, surprise everyone! 

 

As to John 3:16 and similar verses in the NT that suggest that "belief" in god, through Jesus and his resurrection is what equals salvation, the idea is that people can make choices in the matter and that people can change. From pagan to christian, for instance. That people can hear the gospel and change their ways. That they have some free will in the matter and are personally responsible for their own outcome. So that the dammed and unelect, are dammed or unelect by their own choices and not predestination. And not to the blame of god for shafting or exalting them in advance against their own choices. 

 

But this predestination thing gives a scenario where god has already predetermined who will be the elect and saved and who will not be elect and dammed. The idea being that the elect can't make it otherwise, nor can the dammed as far as that goes if we stick to what it means. It seems to suggest go ahead and spread the gospel, but in doing so it's just going the through the motions and allowing this predestination to play itself out through time accordingly. And those who will be saved will be saved, and those who will be lost will be lost. The pastors excuses about "grace" fly in the face of the above. What grace? The grace in predetermining an elect number of people and then following through bringing them all into existence along with the dammed and then saying, 'look at me and my grace, I am very just! Look at what I've done for a portion of my own creation!' The bible seems to suggest that grace is there for the taking for those who CHOOSE to accept it. 

 

At face value, it seems easily dismissed as non-biblical and unsound doctrine for a christian to take up as far as being internally consistent with the bible. Not that anyone else aside from the Calvinist's do a better job of being internally consistent. That just is what it is. One more internally inconsistent belief to add to the pile. The problem is when these Calvinist's claim to be doctrinally sound above and beyond their christian peers, which, looks like a spurious claim. 

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"No one will be in hell who's not in a state of rebellion against God."

 

Cool. I've got nothing to worry about. ;)

 

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5 hours ago, Citsonga said:

"No one will be in hell who's not in a state of rebellion against God."

 

Cool. I've got nothing to worry about. ;)

 

 

Me neither. Pretty hard to rebel against something you don't think exists. :D 

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10 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Interesting video. The pastor didn't really like being put on the spot like that. His excuse, or apology if you will, seems to be to shift the attention and claim that everyone in hell will be deserving. Likewise, the elect will be deserving as well and no one will question god's judgment. But that excuse fails to acknowledge many things. 

 

The people who are so deserving of hell, were predestined to be so deserving of hell. The question isn't whether according to biblical standard they deserve to burn for rejecting god, the question is how does it glorify god to predestine people to be deserving of hell in the first place, knowing full well the outcome in advance of any of it happening and doing it anyways. He completely side stepped the issue, surprise everyone! 

 

As to John 3:16 and similar verses in the NT that suggest that "belief" in god, through Jesus and his resurrection is what equals salvation, the idea is that people can make choices in the matter and that people can change. From pagan to christian, for instance. That people can hear the gospel and change their ways. That they have some free will in the matter and are personally responsible for their own outcome. So that the dammed and unelect, are dammed or unelect by their own choices and not predestination. And not to the blame of god for shafting or exalting them in advance against their own choices. 

 

But this predestination thing gives a scenario where god has already predetermined who will be the elect and saved and who will not be elect and dammed. The idea being that the elect can't make it otherwise, nor can the dammed as far as that goes if we stick to what it means. It seems to suggest go ahead and spread the gospel, but in doing so it's just going the through the motions and allowing this predestination to play itself out through time accordingly. And those who will be saved will be saved, and those who will be lost will be lost. The pastors excuses about "grace" fly in the face of the above. What grace? The grace in predetermining an elect number of people and then following through bringing them all into existence along with the dammed and then saying, 'look at me and my grace, I am very just! Look at what I've done for a portion of my own creation!' The bible seems to suggest that grace is there for the taking for those who CHOOSE to accept it. 

 

At face value, it seems easily dismissed as non-biblical and unsound doctrine for a christian to take up as far as being internally consistent with the bible. Not that anyone else aside from the Calvinist's do a better job of being internally consistent. That just is what it is. One more internally inconsistent belief to add to the pile. The problem is when these Calvinist's claim to be doctrinally sound above and beyond their christian peers, which, looks like a spurious claim. 

 

^^ Some great points to ponder there, Sir. 

 

I wonder why a loving, intelligent God would bring people into the world as pre-condemned? 

 

In any case (elect or precondemned), you could certainly behave any way you like and get into heaven...though, I'm not sure I'd wanna go there with this wacky God in charge of the place. 

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     The word is used in a number of places.  It seems pretty straight-forward too.  It's essentially about choosing the best from the lot.  Like an election (is ideally supposed to work) but not so specific (as an election).

 

     But it works a little more strangely in this situation.  Jesus talks about choosing the disciples (or apostles as the case may be).  He could have chosen anyone but he chose them.  And they certainly wouldn't have become the apostles unless they were presented with that opportunity.  The two events had to occur together.  Jesus had to choose them and they had to have the opportunity from jesus.  No jesus no apostles.  Other people must have been around jesus prior to them but they weren't chosen to be the apostles so, as such, they heard or saw jesus and did not become apostles.  They were not elected to the position.

 

     Seems simple but no one really cares that there wasn't a string of apostles a mile long behind jesus.  That everyone whoever met the guy wasn't an apostle.  So why only 12?  Same thing.  They were the chosen.  Did jesus make them believe?  DId jesus make the others not believe?  Or did jesus just skip everyone he knew wasn't going to go along with he scheme and head straight for the ones he knew would?  

 

     Jesus comments later that he had chosen his group but had one that would betray him.  It was his doing to have this setup.  To have it all rigged this way.

 

     So xians are the ones that are chosen.  They need to have the gospel told to them in the same way that the apostles needed to have jesus come by the lake (or other places).  They made be chosen but they need to have the event happen so they can simply accept the position just like the apostles did.  And like the apostles there's plenty of "Judas'" in the bunch.  Duds that are just there to fail.  They're elected too but not really to get the glory but to serve the shit jobs.  The means to the ends.  

 

          mwc

 

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I would think that all Bible believers can agree on at least one thing, that God is omniscient. It plainly says so in the book.

 

He knows everything. He would know which babies are born as elect and he allows the others to be born anyway as their first step on their journey to Hell. Free will and omniscience are mutually exclusive. While claiming that God/Jesus wants everyone to be saved and that none should perish, it's already a done deal. What would be the point of preaching the "good news" to those already destined for eternal punishment before their birth?

 

I'm beginning to think this whole thing might not make any sense. :shrug:

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     That's why I've seen the terms "foreknowledge" and "predestination."  Foreknowledge means that god knows what's going to happen but that he didn't actually make it happen like predestination would indicate.

 

     This sort of works but it has problems almost like time travel loops do.  What I mean is that it would seem to me that god wouldn't actually be able to know anything at all, just like we do, until that thing were to happen.  So we actually need to live all things so that god can "know" it.  This is what happens in some time travel scenarios.  So we would actually have one loop where god is not omniscient.  God would have known nothing at all.  We went through it and god learned what was what.  Then we looped.  This time god knew everything and this time around god was omniscient but only if everything went the same.  The problem is it doesn't have to go exactly the same.  So god is mostly omniscient.  Probably close enough when it comes to who will believe what but not so much as to know the position of atoms.  Maybe run the loop a few times and he'd be pretty spot on in the former but still not so much the latter.

 

     If god is some sort of higher dimensional being then time could work differently but it would still amount to the same thing.  God couldn't just know.  Even if all of our time were to play out at the same time to him we'd still have to do a thing.  And the problem is we'd likely do that thing in a probabilistic fashion meaning we wouldn't just believe or not but we'd believe or not in some statistical fashion which is just weird.

 

     So moving from making us do something from the very start to waiting for us to do it but then also knowing from the start changes things in strange ways.

 

          mwc

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 10:03 PM, mwc said:

That's why I've seen the terms "foreknowledge" and "predestination."  Foreknowledge means that god knows what's going to happen but that he didn't actually make it happen like predestination would indicate.

 

 

I think foreknowledge is generally the way they looked at it when I was growing up. The idea was that god knows the outcome, but has to allow it all to play out accordingly even though he knows how the final judgement would end. But SDA's draw from extra biblical material on this issue. The idea that the earth is but one of many living planet's, all of which went through their own "Eden" test, but passed. Whereas we failed. So everyone's watching the wages of sin play itself out. God could have cut it short, but then others could say he's unjust and didn't give it a fair shake. So it plays on until a time that god the father alone knows the day and hour. 

 

But all the same problems remain as far as I can tell. If a god knows the outcome of a future final judgement, then any which way we spin it foreknowledge and predestination don't have much of a distinction. If allowing it play out for others to witness, the issue still remains that he is the judge of the final judgement and has foreknowledge of what that final judgement will be. The god still allows countless people to be born knowing in advance who he himself will judge worthy or unworthy at the final judgement. That's the same as predetermining who will be elect and who will be dammed anyways, regardless of the free will or determinist views as long as they both subscribe to the belief that god is omniscient, which, they both seem to believe. 

 

And how does that glorify this god? The question remains the very same.

 

Deterministic Calvinist's don't escape it. Free will SDA's (or any other free will variety) don't seem to escape it either. And it looks like no one can escape it unless they don't believe that god is omniscient. In not believing that god omniscient, they deny the claims of omniscience which are taken from the bible. That would make them deniers of the bible at least in part. And hang them with being internally inconsistent with the bible.

 

The curve ball being that the bible is internally inconsistent with itself, so bible believers are in actuality predetermined to be internally inconsistent along with the bible, by default.......

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

I think foreknowledge is generally the way they looked at it when I was growing up. The idea was that god knows the outcome, but has to allow it all to play out accordingly even though he knows how the final judgement would end. But SDA's draw from extra biblical material on this issue. The idea that the earth is but one of many living planet's, all of which went through their own "Eden" test, but passed. Whereas we failed. So everyone's watching the wages of sin play itself out. God could have cut it short, but then others could say he's unjust and didn't give it a fair shake. So it plays on until a time that god the father alone knows the day and hour. 

 

But all the same problems remain as far as I can tell. If a god knows the outcome of a future final judgement, then any which way we spin it foreknowledge and predestination don't have much of a distinction. If allowing it play out for others to witness, the issue still remains that he is the judge of the final judgement and has foreknowledge of what that final judgement will be. The god still allows countless people to be born knowing in advance who he himself will judge worthy or unworthy at the final judgement. That's the same as predetermining who will be elect and who will be dammed anyways, regardless of the free will or determinist views as long as they both subscribe to the belief that god is omniscient, which, they both seem to believe. 

     Predestination is active while foreknowledge is passive.  The former has god making choices while the latter tries to shift it away from god by his inactivity.

 

     I can see how these are different and how people think one is superior over the other but past a certain point they're equally poor.  For example, xians love to compare god and humans to parents and kids.  So if you have a child a parent might need to let that child experiment to learn lessons.  Fair enough.  Children need to test the world to learn.  So if you actively force your child to touch something hot then that's wrong but if you passively stand-by while they do it so they learn a lesson then that's okay.

 

     But what if a parent passively stands-by, with full and total knowledge of the activity and the ability to intervene, while a child slits their wrists with razor blades?  Or while they jump off an overpass?  Or while they drink a jug of bleach?  These aren't little life lessons they imagine where they can quickly pull their hand away and maybe have a little pain for awhile but things that will end that kids life.  A parent that is passive in these types of situations are no different than if they had played an active role.

 

 

2 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

And how does that glorify this god? The question remains the very same.

     I really don't know how anything glorifies this god for most folks.  The term seems ambiguous.  Seems like people want it to mean something special like pious praise but it just sort of seems to mean something like "fame."  So making god famous.  Looks kind of like that's happened.  This god is pretty famous even though no one actually knows anything about this recluse.

 

2 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

Deterministic Calvinist's don't escape it. Free will SDA's (or any other free will variety) don't seem to escape it either. And it looks like no one can escape it unless they don't believe that god is omniscient. In not believing that god omniscient, they deny the claims of omniscience which are taken from the bible. That would make them deniers of the bible at least in part. And hang them with being internally inconsistent with the bible.

 

The curve ball being that the bible is internally inconsistent with itself, so bible believers are in actuality predetermined to be internally inconsistent along with the bible, by default.......

     I like the one where god is omniscient, but, this very same god wills itself to not know things.  A magical compartmentalization.  This is just crazy.  For some reason this whole explanation just seems like projection.  Someone who is just fighting to put aside any "bad thoughts" and focus only on the good imagines that god is doing something similar just in a perfect fashion.  If this were compartmentalization like most people experience then it would happen at an unconscious level but god can't do that.  So god would have to will itself to not know.  Then god would have to know that it has a repository of information "hidden" from itself that it also must "reveal" at select times.  This makes god look, I don't know, just weird and pretty awful if we consider some of the information it has hidden from itself is the condemnation of its own creation.

 

          mwc

 

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3 hours ago, mwc said:

I like the one where god is omniscient, but, this very same god wills itself to not know things.  A magical compartmentalization.  This is just crazy.  For some reason this whole explanation just seems like projection.  Someone who is just fighting to put aside any "bad thoughts" and focus only on the good imagines that god is doing something similar just in a perfect fashion.  If this were compartmentalization like most people experience then it would happen at an unconscious level but god can't do that.  So god would have to will itself to not know.  Then god would have to know that it has a repository of information "hidden" from itself that it also must "reveal" at select times.  This makes god look, I don't know, just weird and pretty awful if we consider some of the information it has hidden from itself is the condemnation of its own creation.

 

 

They dig a deeper hole. An all knowing god, wills itself not to know things. Therefore becomes less than all knowing, and can't be omniscient.

 

This isn't different than when they flounder around about omnipresence. It's either present everywhere or it isn't. Because anything less than everywhere, isn't everywhere. But they don't like what present everywhere renders, so they start floundering around and trying to make excuses. Taken altogether, the omniscient and omnipresent god has to know everything because it has to be everything. Because being everywhere requires being in the very structure of space and matter, which, makes up everything in existence. If we grant them souls, well, then god would have to be present in space, matter and soul and the issue remains. 

 

So then who and what exactly has the god predetermined through foreknowledge of a final judgement either to damnation or election aside from bits and pieces of itself, a necessary omnipresent totality? So then we're all parts of the omnipresent (space, matter and soul) god picking and choosing what of itself it will choose to exalt and praise itself forever, or burn and torture forever ever for rejecting itself???

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And isn't hell supposed to be a place outside of god's presence?  How does omnipresent work if god takes little pieces of his presence and places them outside of his presence?  I am where I ain't? 

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Well in the above-posted video, only those who rebel against God will go to hell.  How does one rebel against something that doesn't exist?  I don't rebel against god,  or rebel against unicorns, mermaids, big foot, Zeus - or any other product of human imagination.  I guess I'm safe!  What I really want Pastor John to answer is how my mother - an ardent Calvinist -  will enjoy heaven for all eternity knowing that her daughter is roasting in hell.

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2 minutes ago, freshstart said:

Well in the above-posted video, only those who rebel against God will go to hell.  How does one rebel against something that doesn't exist?  I don't rebel against god,  or rebel against unicorns, mermaids, big foot, Zeus - or any other product of human imagination.  I guess I'm safe!  What I really want Pastor John to answer is how my mother - an ardent Calvinist -  will enjoy heaven for all eternity knowing that her daughter is roasting in hell.

     This shit sounds like rebel talk. ;)

 

          mwc

 

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19 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

And isn't hell supposed to be a place outside of god's presence?  How does omnipresent work if god takes little pieces of his presence and places them outside of his presence?  I am where I ain't? 

     God probably willed himself to forget about hell so he's everywhere he remembers is a place to be.  Since god knows everything if god doesn't know it then it isn't a thing.  Problem solved.

 

         mwc

 

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33 minutes ago, mwc said:

     God probably willed himself to forget about hell so he's everywhere he remembers is a place to be.  Since god knows everything if god doesn't know it then it isn't a thing.  Problem solved.

 

         mwc

 

Doesn't god say something like " Depart from me, thou evil-doer, for I never knew you" before throwing somebody in hell?  How does he know he never knew you?

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5 hours ago, freshstart said:

Well in the above-posted video, only those who rebel against God will go to hell.  How does one rebel against something that doesn't exist?  I don't rebel against god,  or rebel against unicorns, mermaids, big foot, Zeus - or any other product of human imagination.  I guess I'm safe! 

 

They have to try and conflate a simple lack of belief, with rebellion. Another inconsistency to note. 

 

5 hours ago, freshstart said:

What I really want Pastor John to answer is how my mother - an ardent Calvinist -  will enjoy heaven for all eternity knowing that her daughter is roasting in hell.

 

In this situation the parent would have to be more about themselves than their children. They come #1, the child #2. Otherwise you'd think that the parent would reject going to heaven if their child wasn't deemed worthy. That would at least be more honorable a stand to take.

 

One of my own pet theories about christianity in general is that it's an appeal to the human ego. The ego wants to live forever without end. It wants to feel special and privileged. All this business about an elect is nothing more than a tool to draw in ego's. And what we find are all of these various narcissist's and similar self righteous, self interested folks crowded around the religion. Believing they have absolute truth. Stubbing their noses at the rest. And spewing hatred towards anyone who dare not believe as they do. Taking delight, at times, over the promises of hell fire damnation in the texts for any who do not believe in this ego stroking religion.

 

Why?

 

Because their ego's take a hit when people don't believe their claims. That goes right back to the writers and the ego's that went into doing the initial writing. Then spans out through the crowds of believers falling in behind the initial writers....

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32 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Doesn't god say something like " Depart from me, thou evil-doer, for I never knew you" before throwing somebody in hell?  How does he know he never knew you?

     He probably scheduled himself to remember that he knew both of those things so he could do.  So he's like "Life is good.  Everything is perfect."  Then <ding> "I'll toss mwc in hell.  Imperfections everywhere.  Argh!"  Immediately after <ding> and back we go into the mental vault and he's all "Life is good.  Everything is perfect."  I guess this is why we can't know the mind of god?  It's a mess.

 

          mwc

 

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4 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

They dig a deeper hole. An all knowing god, wills itself not to know things. Therefore becomes less than all knowing, and can't be omniscient.

 

This isn't different than when they flounder around about omnipresence. It's either present everywhere or it isn't. Because anything less than everywhere, isn't everywhere. But they don't like what present everywhere renders, so they start floundering around and trying to make excuses. Taken altogether, the omniscient and omnipresent god has to know everything because it has to be everything. Because being everywhere requires being in the very structure of space and matter, which, makes up everything in existence. If we grant them souls, well, then god would have to be present in space, matter and soul and the issue remains. 

 

So then who and what exactly has the god predetermined through foreknowledge of a final judgement either to damnation or election aside from bits and pieces of itself, a necessary omnipresent totality? So then we're all parts of the omnipresent (space, matter and soul) god picking and choosing what of itself it will choose to exalt and praise itself forever, or burn and torture forever ever for rejecting itself???

 

 

That's a superb point, Josh. What could God send to hell, but pieces of his own infinite self (us)? 

 

Jeremiah 23:23: I am a God who is everywhere and not in one place only. God is everywhere. I am somewhere. Therefore, God must be where I am. God cannot be separate or elsewhere.

Luke 17:21: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Confirms what I just said above. God being everywhere permeates me and all things.

Psalm 82:6: I have said, You are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. Confirms we are of the same essence of the omnipresent God.

John 10:34: Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are "gods"'? Later reiteration of Ps 82:6.

John 14:11: Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me. God is everywhere. God is in me. God is in Jesus. We are all of the same essence. 

 

Since God is everywhere he must also be everything. (Unless someone feels like pulling out some mental gymnastic BS to say  that God is everywhere, yet separate from me...so therefore not everywhere.) Everywhere would include every single atom of everything and the space in between. He's not just standing beside me. He has to BE me to be omnipresent and that omnipresence is confirmed in Jeremiah. If God meant something other than this then he would have written something else, right? Being of the essence of God, I'm pretty damn sure I'm right about this (haha). 

 

Your point above has a ton of implications. Since God is everywhere, not only 'is' he the heavens and the earth, but he is also hell. He is in every fiber of Satan, is he not? He has to be. He's omnipresent. Good news, for the pro-God-in-schools people. He's there. He's been there. :) Attention Christians, God is in every non-believer and every believer. You could have a lot of fun with this. 

 

I think some of the things Jesus (supposedly) said  have more to do with monistic idealism than the idea of sin and substitutionary atonement that's taught in churches. 

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5 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

So then we're all parts of the omnipresent (space, matter and soul) god picking and choosing what of itself it will choose to exalt and praise itself forever, or burn and torture forever ever for rejecting itself???

 

 

Seems like a waste of time, doesnt it. LoL. :)

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5 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

And isn't hell supposed to be a place outside of god's presence?  How does omnipresent work if god takes little pieces of his presence and places them outside of his presence?  I am where I ain't? 

 

You and MWC and Josh are fricken logic geniuses. :)

 

 

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