1. Standard memberCalJust
    It is what it is
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    11 Feb '14 13:08
    This post is in response to recent posts in various threads referring to salvation and eternal damnation, e.g. In Revelations 20.

    Consider the worst murderers you know: Manson, Jack the Ripper, Hitler.

    OK, let's take Hitler. He killed 6 million people. Let's say he tortured those 6million and then burned them in gas ovens. Now multiply that by a thousand, no, by a billion zillion - let's say he raised them from the dead, tortured and killed them again, over, and over, and over and over. For a billion years.

    Even then he would not be as cruel as the picture of God many Christians have, for then there would not be an end even after a billion years, but this would go on forever.

    Or consider another picture: Romeo loves Juliet, and he woes her for her heart. Does she love him back? If yes, then celebrations! But if she does not return his love, he will come in the night and burn her house down, and then torture her mercilessly - because she did not give him her love out of her own free will!

    The picture of the cruel tormentor or the jealous, unrequited lover is one we all know and despise. Yet that is how many (yes, maybe even most) in the Christian church see God without question.

    If you reply to this OP, please do NOT just say: "This is what it says in the Bible!" I grant you that there are scriptures which tend to point to that taken literally, although the concept of a burning hell and lake of fire only date from the Middle Ages.

    What I would like you to do, is wrap your God-given mind logically around this concept, and see if there maybe something really abhorrent about that idea, which demands another explanation.
  2. rebel city
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    11 Feb '14 13:272 edits
    Originally posted by CalJust
    This post is in response to recent posts in various threads referring to salvation and eternal damnation, e.g. In Revelations 20.

    Consider the worst murderers you know: Manson, Jack the Ripper, Hitler.

    OK, let's take Hitler. He killed 6 million people. Let's say he tortured those 6million and then burned them in gas ovens. Now multiply that by a thous ...[text shortened]... ee if there maybe something really abhorrent about that idea, which demands another explanation.
    Your thread came when I was just wondering (and ready to start a new thread) on god's justice, which is something so incomprehensible to me that I would even go to the extent to say that if ever I got a sensible answer to that, I would respect the so-called "faith in god". As it stands, and your examples illustrate quite clearly, I struggle to be polite in face of the world (planet earth) us humans have been living in from the start.
  3. Territories Unknown
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    11 Feb '14 13:27
    Originally posted by CalJust
    This post is in response to recent posts in various threads referring to salvation and eternal damnation, e.g. In Revelations 20.

    Consider the worst murderers you know: Manson, Jack the Ripper, Hitler.

    OK, let's take Hitler. He killed 6 million people. Let's say he tortured those 6million and then burned them in gas ovens. Now multiply that by a thous ...[text shortened]... ee if there maybe something really abhorrent about that idea, which demands another explanation.
    "The roof the roof the roof is on fire
    The roof the roof the roof is on fire
    The roof the roof the roof is on fire
    We don't need no water let the motherf----r burn
    Burn motherf----r burn"

    There you sit, warm and getting hotter in your house-on-fire.
    Ever faithful, ever diligent, Fireman God stands outside your property line, asking: do you want to be saved?
    Chanting away, full of bravado and manufactured swagger, you refuse any assistance.
    Would you have Him trespass?
    Break down your door, find you in the smoke and heat?
    Drag your ass, kicking and screaming, out of the melting mess?
    Ought He turn a deaf ear to your defiance, override your rejection and do what's best despite all protest?
  4. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '14 13:312 edits
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Ought He turn a deaf ear to your defiance, override your rejection and do what's best despite all protest?
    If he has an ounce of morality - yes. I too would save someone form a burning building despite their protests. What would you do?

    But you are of course missing the point. The OP is talking about a scenario where God locked the doors an lit the fires himself. If that's not the God you believe in, then by all means say so.
  5. Standard memberRajk999
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    11 Feb '14 13:361 edit
    Originally posted by CalJust
    This post is in response to recent posts in various threads referring to salvation and eternal damnation, e.g. In Revelations 20.

    Consider the worst murderers you know: Manson, Jack the Ripper, Hitler.

    OK, let's take Hitler. He killed 6 million people. Let's say he tortured those 6million and then burned them in gas ovens. Now multiply that by a thous ...[text shortened]... ee if there maybe something really abhorrent about that idea, which demands another explanation.
    'Eternal damnation' does not mean 'eternal torment'. The failure to understand the difference between these two expressions is the source of the false doctrine.
    In addition on many occasions when the Bible says 'eternal' or 'everlasting' or 'for ever' or 'for ever and ever and ever', it almost always means for a period or era. Using Youngs Literal Translation or similar translation or going back to the Greek or Hebrew words helps with understanding this.

    Many will live their lives and will simply not be raised from the dead, neither for punishment nor for reward. Some will be raised for punishment and this will mean some torment and then death ie permanant death, never to be raised. The reason for this is that they have done evil and have hurt others so badly that God cannot [being the just God] allow them to sleep without feeling some of what they have done to others.
  6. Territories Unknown
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    11 Feb '14 13:47
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    If he has an ounce of morality - yes. I too would save someone form a burning building despite their protests. What would you do?

    But you are of course missing the point. The OP is talking about a scenario where God locked the doors an lit the fires himself.
    I will not quibble on this fact: in an effort to simplify the matter of salvation, Christianity has muddled it into a quagmire of emotionalism and incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo.

    Adding to these missteps, an overwhelming majority of Christians are prit-near clueless with respect to the particulars of salvation.
    What's a burning soul to do, really?

    First, a correction on the painfully obvious point you are missing (doesn't it just feel soooo good to say something so smug?).
    A moral agent is NEVER in a morally superior position to override another sentient being's express wishes.
    EVER.

    Here is the essence of salvation.
    God is perfect.
    He accepts only what is perfect.
    God made man perfect.
    Man rejected that perfection, and was thus rejected by God.
    Instead of ending the matter there, God had previously considered the concept of man's rejection and accommodated for that eventuality.
    God's solution for man's rejection was to absorb the failure onto His own physical body.
    That sacrifice erased the penalty of all failure (sin).
    No one is separated from God on the basis of sin.
    The only caveat, the only contingency: man must reject his own work and accept the work completed by the Lord Jesus Christ performed on the cross.

    Those who refuse that offer are the loose equivalent to the man sitting in his burning house, refusing the help from the benevolent Fireman.
  7. Donationrwingett
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    11 Feb '14 13:49
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    "The roof the roof the roof is on fire
    The roof the roof the roof is on fire
    The roof the roof the roof is on fire
    We don't need no water let the motherf----r burn
    Burn motherf----r burn"

    There you sit, warm and getting hotter in your house-on-fire.
    Ever faithful, ever diligent, Fireman God stands outside your property line, asking: do you want to ...[text shortened]... urn a deaf ear to your defiance, override your rejection and do what's best despite all protest?
    Well, since it was god who set the fire in the first place, it's not really much of an offer.
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    11 Feb '14 14:00
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    I will not quibble on this fact: in an effort to simplify the matter of salvation, Christianity has muddled it into a quagmire of emotionalism and incomprehensible mumbo-jumbo.

    Adding to these missteps, an overwhelming majority of Christians are prit-near clueless with respect to the particulars of salvation.
    What's a burning soul to do, really?

    Fir ...[text shortened]... uivalent to the man sitting in his burning house, refusing the help from the benevolent Fireman.
    TW said, " If that's not the God you believe in, then by all means say so."

    It seems you are saying. "Yes, that's not the God I believe in."
  9. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '14 14:121 edit
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    A moral agent is NEVER in a morally superior position to override another sentient being's express wishes.
    EVER.
    I disagree. If another sentient being is walking into a burning building but is not aware that it is burning or of the pain and suffering it will endure, and it assures me that it is its express wish to enter said building, I think I will be morally obliged to obstruct its progress.
    If it is however aware that the building is burning and that it will suffer immensely, I need to ask myself why it is walking in - the answers to which may determine my actions - which may yet again, go against the beings express wishes.

    May I ask how you reconcile your statement with scenario where you see a young child running into busy traffic. Do you stop the child? Is it not a sentient being? Or do you believe it does not actually wish to run into busy traffic?
  10. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '14 14:16
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    God cannot [being the just God] allow them to sleep without feeling some of what they have done to others.
    I am curious as to why this is. You seem to take it as obvious that justice requires the suffering of evil doers. Yet closer inspection reveals the fact that it is not obvious, it requires justification. I have actually asked this many times on this forum and have not had a satisfactory answer.
  11. Standard memberRajk999
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    11 Feb '14 14:37
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I am curious as to why this is. You seem to take it as obvious that justice requires the suffering of evil doers. Yet closer inspection reveals the fact that it is not obvious, it requires justification. I have actually asked this many times on this forum and have not had a satisfactory answer.
    Justice in the Bible requires the death of evil and evil doers. On occasion the concept of suffering and torment is introduced and cannot be ignored. The idea of suffering for all eternity without end is not Biblical except for three people mentioned in Revelation. Christ said this about a rich greedy man that ignored his fellowman as he suffered:

    And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (Luke 16:23-25 KJV)
  12. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '14 14:51
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    Justice in the Bible requires the death of evil and evil doers.
    So it is simply dictated by the Bible that that is the way it is?
  13. Standard memberRajk999
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    11 Feb '14 14:53
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So it is simply dictated by the Bible that that is the way it is?
    It is dictated by Jesus Christ. I believe in the Bible. You do not. I cannot think like an atheist. I answered your question from a Biblical standpoint. Were you expecting something else?
  14. Cape Town
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    11 Feb '14 15:22
    Originally posted by Rajk999
    It is dictated by Jesus Christ. I believe in the Bible. You do not. I cannot think like an atheist. I answered your question from a Biblical standpoint. Were you expecting something else?
    Your answer is fine. I had thought there might be some explanation where punishment serves some known purpose, but it appears not. Its just dictated by Jesus that that is the way it is and you accept it.
    So I guess the follow up question would be, if Jesus dictated that the most horrendous punishments (such as those in the OP) should be dished out for even minor sins, would you still view him as morally good since he is after all Jesus, and he says thats the way it is? I guess what I am now asking is whether there is a limit to what you will accept being dictated to.
  15. Standard memberCalJust
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    11 Feb '14 15:231 edit
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH

    Man rejected that perfection, and was thus rejected by God.
    God's solution for man's rejection was to absorb the failure onto His own physical body.....
    The only caveat, the only contingency: man must reject his own work and accept the work completed by the Lord Jesus Christ performed on the cross.

    Those who refuse that offer are the loose equivalent to the man sitting in his burning house, refusing the help from the benevolent Fireman.
    You have stated the orthodox position, which claims that God sends nobody to hell, people go to hell because THEY CHOSE to reject god's free offer of salvation.

    However, as I pointed out in another thread, if you were born into a Muslim, Hindu or any other religion, then the odds would be overwhelming that you would be of that persuasion, and to change your religion is factually statistically very rare and highly costly. This is no trivial matter.

    My point is that the people who "reject God" do so for a variety of very logical reasons, and not just to be bloody-minded. ESPECIALLY if that god is like the one being touted by many on RHP!

    To come back to the "choice" being offered, with the "rejecting party" being deserving of the most terrible punishment imaginable, let me paraphrase Rob Bell, who says: "God is Love, and he wants you to be with Him forever. Unless, however, if you don't respond in a certain prescribed way, in which case He will reject you and punish you forever with terrible torments."

    THAT is the issue I want you to consider. Given all the caveats that Man sinned, God is just and cannot condone sin, and in His love He made a way, but ALL THAT IS REQUIRED is that man must accept that way..... Is it still reasonable that such a terrible judgement should follow if what is required is not done?

    Humanly speaking, would we consider that the punishment fits the crime?
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