1. Standard memberwittywonka
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    18 Mar '07 03:03
    Although it may be considered radical in Christianity, I sincerely believe that...

    -Hell doesn't exist, and that God's unconditional love will result in everyone going to heaven even if they don't repent.

    -The story of Adam and Eve, as well as many others in the Old Testament, are metaphoric and not literal.

    I'll post other ideas as I think about them, but I wanted to openly and honestly ask if this was soooo radical afterall...maybe I really, genuinely am missing something...as I say in my profile, I'm strongly opinionated but willing to debate...
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    18 Mar '07 04:04
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Although it may be considered radical in Christianity, I sincerely believe that...

    -Hell doesn't exist, and that God's unconditional love will result in everyone going to heaven even if they don't repent.

    -The story of Adam and Eve, as well as many others in the Old Testament, are metaphoric and not literal.

    I'll post other i ...[text shortened]... omething...as I say in my profile, I'm strongly opinionated but willing to debate...
    Based upon what authority do you draw your conclusions?
  3. Standard memberwittywonka
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    18 Mar '07 05:004 edits
    This response will most likely be sloppy, but I will attempt to supplement it tomorrow...

    The mere fact that God sent his son to save the world demonstrates his "unconditional" love for humans. So, under "no condition whatsoever" would God ever condemn any human, no matter what their circumstance (or religion) might be. I should probably ammend my earlier post: I don't know if there is a hell, but if there is one, I think it is pointless because of my point above. On the issue of repentance: I believe repentance is important to Christianity, but I believe it serves more of a purpose to humans...it strengthens our relationship with God because it is reassuring, but God's "unconditional" love cannot have degrees, so He loves those who repent and don't repent equally.

    On the issue of metaphorical passages in the New Testament: let us take a look at Genesis. For example, in the creation story: God theoretically creates "light" on the first day but does not create the sun, stars, or moon until the fourth day. Literally, this would not make sense. In the story of Adam and Eve, although I respect beliefs that Eve actually initiated sin for humans for eternity, I believe the story of Adam and Eve was created (by humans) as an explanation for the origin of sin, not a story in which God actually participated. For example, it is also quite likely that the story of Eve originating from Adam's rib was an explanation of why men have one less rib than women. Also, although again remotely possible, I highly doubt that a 600+ year old man named Noah actually filled a boat with an animal of every species that ever lived...I actually believe that in the context in which Noah and The Ark was written, it was simply another flood epic comparable to Gilgamesh, etc.
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    18 Mar '07 07:20
    Originally posted by josephw
    Based upon what authority do you draw your conclusions?
    If one has a personal relationship with god, is not that person's interpretation authoritative?
  5. Standard memberknightmeister
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    18 Mar '07 09:32
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Although it may be considered radical in Christianity, I sincerely believe that...

    -Hell doesn't exist, and that God's unconditional love will result in everyone going to heaven even if they don't repent.

    -The story of Adam and Eve, as well as many others in the Old Testament, are metaphoric and not literal.

    I'll post other i ...[text shortened]... omething...as I say in my profile, I'm strongly opinionated but willing to debate...
    Witty , I hear what you are saying. I think your ideas are very valid. Would you profess to be a Christian? I think some of your ideas are radical and some are not . I think the idea that Adam and Eve didn't really exist is not that radical and shared by a lot of Christians. I would agree with you that many of the events in the OT may well be metaphorical and mythical. For example , I think there was a flood of some kind but it was in Mesopotamia and the whole Noah story grew up around it. I absolutely agree with you in the way you stress God's unconditional love but would not agree that God can save someone against their will. To me God does not condemn , we condemn ourselves.

    You have opened up a whole rich vein of debate here though and one that is needed.
  6. Standard memberknightmeister
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    18 Mar '07 09:43
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    This response will most likely be sloppy, but I will attempt to supplement it tomorrow...

    The mere fact that God sent his son to save the world demonstrates his "unconditional" love for humans. So, under "no condition whatsoever" would God ever condemn any human, no matter what their circumstance (or religion) might be. I should probably ammend my ea ...[text shortened]... k was written, it was simply another flood epic comparable to Gilgamesh, etc.
    On the issue of repentance: I believe repentance is important to Christianity, but I believe it serves more of a purpose to humans...it strengthens our relationship with God because it is reassuring, but God's "unconditional" love cannot have degrees, so He loves those who repent and don't repent equally. WITTY

    I think this could be a mistake. The problem here is that , yes , I agree that God loves those who don't repent just the same as those who do. There are no conditions placed on God's love. He loves Hitler and Saddam Hussain with the same passion and unconditionality as Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa. However , God's love alone however incredible and gracious is not enough. It is still left open to us to respond or not respond. One way of thinking about hell is that God still loves those who go there but that they have placed themselves outside of his reach. However , unconditional his love is he will not force us to choose him because that would make us robots with no free will. He has to persuade and win us over and but also watch in agony if someone choses against him. Without free choice there can be no love. It is God's love that carries one to heaven but one still has to allow oneself to be carried , this then becomes our choice , he has left it open to us to resist this process if we choose.
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    18 Mar '07 11:041 edit
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    Witty , I hear what you are saying. I think your ideas are very valid. Would you profess to be a Christian? I think some of your ideas are radical and some are not . I think the idea that Adam and Eve didn't really exist is not that radical and shared by a lot of Christians. I would agree with you that many of the events in the OT may well be metaphor selves.

    You have opened up a whole rich vein of debate here though and one that is needed.
    Is this what you are saying, knightmeister?

    O SON OF BEING!
    Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.
  8. Standard memberknightmeister
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    18 Mar '07 11:29
    Originally posted by Varqa
    Is this what you are saying, knightmeister?

    O SON OF BEING!
    Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.
    I don't think this is what I am saying. I think it's more a case of saying that God loves us but can't force us to love him or choose him. He also can't force us to choose heaven therefore. This then implies some kind of oppositie choice. I think the whole idea of God sending people to hell can be misleading.
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    18 Mar '07 12:09
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Although it may be considered radical in Christianity, I sincerely believe that...

    -Hell doesn't exist, and that God's unconditional love will result in everyone going to heaven even if they don't repent.

    -The story of Adam and Eve, as well as many others in the Old Testament, are metaphoric and not literal.

    I'll post other i ...[text shortened]... omething...as I say in my profile, I'm strongly opinionated but willing to debate...
    Witty, on what basis are you picking and choosing which bits of the Bible to take as literal truth?
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    18 Mar '07 13:40
    Originally posted by Starrman
    If one has a personal relationship with god, is not that person's interpretation authoritative?
    No! Just because someone believes in God doesn't make them an authority. God is the sole authority.
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    18 Mar '07 13:57
    Originally posted by josephw
    No! Just because someone believes in God doesn't make them an authority. God is the sole authority.
    So how can anyone ever hope to know what he intends if he is the only one capable of imparting that understanding?
  12. Standard memberwittywonka
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    18 Mar '07 14:31
    Originally posted by Tyto
    Witty, on what basis are you picking and choosing which bits of the Bible to take as literal truth?
    I'm using deductive thinking...God gave us brains for a reason...

    If you disagree with what I said, I'm open to debate...
  13. Standard memberwittywonka
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    18 Mar '07 14:32
    Originally posted by knightmeister
    On the issue of repentance: I believe repentance is important to Christianity, but I believe it serves more of a purpose to humans...it strengthens our relationship with God because it is reassuring, but God's "unconditional" love cannot have degrees, so He loves those who repent and don't repent equally. WITTY

    I think this could be a mistake. The p ...[text shortened]... then becomes our choice , he has left it open to us to resist this process if we choose.
    I think your points are very valid and very interesting, a point of view I have never noticed. Let me wrestle with them for a while...
  14. Standard memberreader1107
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    18 Mar '07 14:35
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    Although it may be considered radical in Christianity, I sincerely believe that...

    -Hell doesn't exist, and that God's unconditional love will result in everyone going to heaven even if they don't repent.

    -The story of Adam and Eve, as well as many others in the Old Testament, are metaphoric and not literal.

    I'll post other i ...[text shortened]... omething...as I say in my profile, I'm strongly opinionated but willing to debate...
    There's nothing radical about the second one and many people believe that. I've also known some who believe the first as well.
  15. Standard memberwittywonka
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    18 Mar '07 14:482 edits
    Here's another concept in which I believe...

    The trinity does not exist...it is a manmade symbol that Christians created after Jesus' life...

    I think masscat explained this idea far better than I have in Thread 65239.
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