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Old 09-21-2010, 04:02 PM
Status: "What Impeachment?" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Southern Willamette Valley, Oregon
7,099 posts, read 8,098,078 times
Reputation: 13009

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I recently read Wiese's book 23 Minutes in Hell and couldn't help but write him a few lines. I truly was not expecting to get a response, but I did. The response seemed more like a marketing tool than anything else. I'll let you be the judge. I welcome any and all users on this forum to answer the questions that I posed to Bill in my letter. I asked some very specific questions, and did not get the response I was looking for. I value any and all responses that people could provide. My letter went as follows:

Hello Bill,

I write to you today not as an enemy of Christianity, but as a person that struggles with his faith. To begin, I will give a brief history of myself. I was raised in a die-hard Christian home. As a youth, I was raised in the church, and I attended AWANA's for many years, ultimately achieving the Timothy Trophy before leaving the program. I attended Calvary Bible Church in Burbank throughout my childhood. The current pastor is a person you might be familiar with, Dr. Jack Hughes. But in the end, my mother was so hardcore that she diverted me away from religion. As an adult, I still went to church, but not for the right reasons. I went out of obligation, not because it captivated my interest or because I wanted to grow with my knowledge of the Lord. I have said the sinners prayer many times in my life, but felt no change. I never understood people's fascination with going to church. I never "wanted" to be there. It seemed like an unwanted task verses a desired event. I have prayed many times that God just put the "Vulcan Mind Melt" on me so that I can appreciate the lifestyle that a "true" Christian does. I have never experienced any kind of change in attitude or desire to walk the walk. I bought your book for $13 dollars because the title caught my interest at the supermarket.

I am now beginning to believe that I have the tendencies of a Deist (verses a Monotheist). I believe that God created the universe, but has since washed his hands of his affairs with humans. What else can possibly explain the atrocities that we see in daily life? Just recently, a strong Christian entity in my town lost his son in a car accident. Why would God allow this to happen to a dedicated Christian man, while evil people thrive in every aspect of their lives? I'm so tired of the "You just gotta have faith" mentality. Is this how God rewards his faithful? Why did God allow YOU to have this experience of Hell? Would it not make infinitely more sense to drop that kind of bomb on a wildly popular devout atheist the likes of Christopher Hitchens or Bill Maher, who control the publicity side of the Atheistic fight? They have mega-millions of unsaved followers. Don't you think that would have been a much more realistic approach to the problem? I mean, after all, he is an omniscient God, yes? What makes you think that people will believe you more than any other hellfire and brimstone preacher? If God really wanted to make an impact, he would have allowed an extreme disbeliever this revelation, not you. Heck, I wish that I could experience what you did, as it would surely change my life. You see, I believe in things that I can feel, taste, smell, touch, and understand. The Trinity is one of the major things that does not fall into that catagory for me, amongst many other pieces of Christian doctrine.

I have watched people struggle with faith in God throughout their lives. They try so hard, yet fail in the end. I crunched some numbers recently. There are 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet. There is roughly an equal ammount of Hindus and Buddhists. That right there is half of the worlds population. They say that there are roughly 2 billion "Chistians" on the planet. This, of course, includes many faiths that are not going to Heaven according to Biblical definitions of Christianity, such as Mormons, JW's, and Catholics. That leaves 2 billion people to be accounted for, which are "other" faiths and atheists and agnostics. I last read that 70% of Americans identify with Christianity. We all know, though, that the TRUE number is roughly 20%, if that, per the Bible's definition of "Christianity". We are nowhere near being a "Christian" nation in the U.S. That would mean that, in an optimistic estimate, only 1/14 of the worlds population at any given time in the history of our civilization is going to make it into the "Kingdom of God". That would be roughly 500 million out of 7 billion people. I have a hard time believing that a "loving" God would damn 13/14 of his population to hell. And if this is really true, this is not a God that I feel I can associate with, nor want to spend eternity with. If He was truly omniscient, He would have known at the time of creaton what his creation would divert to, and if he was truly "loving", he would have put a countermeasure in place. Remember, according to the 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet, you're the one going to hell. Now, I'm not trying to stand up for Islam. I'm just stating a point. They were brought onto this earth knowing only Islam. Who is correct by telling them they're wrong. This is all they know. This is just one example.

It seems so simple for "Christians". Jesus is the "Be all and end all" of discussion. There is no other. All other religions are going to eternal damnation except for them, right? I'm sorry, as this just does not "compute" with me. I cannot hold logical debate with my mother, as she ends all discussions with me when she gets flustered. She proves the validity of the Bible with the Bible, and that ends all arguments as far as she is concerned. Once complex issues enter the equation, she ends the conversation, as it is a threat to her belief system.

I could write thirty pages on why I struggle with my faith. Unfortunately, I am a fairly busy individual that regrets he does not have the time to do so. I am not naive enough to believe that I will get a response to this e-mail, but if you choose to respond, I thank you in advance. Any "advice" that you can give before I completely convert to "the dark side" would be appreciated.

Thank You,

Mark (Oregon)

And the following is the response that I got from Bill's wife Annette:

Thanks for writing. Most of your questions are addressed in Bill’s new book, “23 Questions about hell” which comes with a bonus DVD. If you don’t want to spend the $10-15 for the book/DVD, I’m sure you can read it while at Wal-mart or a bookstore. We encourage you to get scriptural information first, before falsely accusing God of being unfair. Mark Twain even said, “We’re all ignorant, it’s just about different things.” Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish for a lack of knowledge… because they have rejected knowledge (God’s Word).

Annette
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
3,381 posts, read 3,552,791 times
Reputation: 439
Truly, a sorry state of affairs down here on our blue dot.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:15 PM
 
7,374 posts, read 7,523,279 times
Reputation: 899
Quote:
Originally Posted by ditchlights View Post
I recently read Wiese's book 23 Minutes in Hell and couldn't help but write him a few lines. I truly was not expecting to get a response, but I did. The response seemed more like a marketing tool than anything else. I'll let you be the judge. I welcome any and all users on this forum to answer the questions that I posed to Bill in my letter. I asked some very specific questions, and did not get the response I was looking for. I value any and all responses that people could provide. My letter went as follows:

Hello Bill,

I write to you today not as an enemy of Christianity, but as a person that struggles with his faith. To begin, I will give a brief history of myself. I was raised in a die-hard Christian home. As a youth, I was raised in the church, and I attended AWANA's for many years, ultimately achieving the Timothy Trophy before leaving the program. I attended Calvary Bible Church in Burbank throughout my childhood. The current pastor is a person you might be familiar with, Dr. Jack Hughes. But in the end, my mother was so hardcore that she diverted me away from religion. As an adult, I still went to church, but not for the right reasons. I went out of obligation, not because it captivated my interest or because I wanted to grow with my knowledge of the Lord. I have said the sinners prayer many times in my life, but felt no change. I never understood people's fascination with going to church. I never "wanted" to be there. It seemed like an unwanted task verses a desired event. I have prayed many times that God just put the "Vulcan Mind Melt" on me so that I can appreciate the lifestyle that a "true" Christian does. I have never experienced any kind of change in attitude or desire to walk the walk. I bought your book for $13 dollars because the title caught my interest at the supermarket.

I am now beginning to believe that I have the tendencies of a Deist (verses a Monotheist). I believe that God created the universe, but has since washed his hands of his affairs with humans. What else can possibly explain the atrocities that we see in daily life? Just recently, a strong Christian entity in my town lost his son in a car accident. Why would God allow this to happen to a dedicated Christian man, while evil people thrive in every aspect of their lives? I'm so tired of the "You just gotta have faith" mentality. Is this how God rewards his faithful? Why did God allow YOU to have this experience of Hell? Would it not make infinitely more sense to drop that kind of bomb on a wildly popular devout atheist the likes of Christopher Hitchens or Bill Maher, who control the publicity side of the Atheistic fight? They have mega-millions of unsaved followers. Don't you think that would have been a much more realistic approach to the problem? I mean, after all, he is an omniscient God, yes? What makes you think that people will believe you more than any other hellfire and brimstone preacher? If God really wanted to make an impact, he would have allowed an extreme disbeliever this revelation, not you. Heck, I wish that I could experience what you did, as it would surely change my life. You see, I believe in things that I can feel, taste, smell, touch, and understand. The Trinity is one of the major things that does not fall into that catagory for me, amongst many other pieces of Christian doctrine.

I have watched people struggle with faith in God throughout their lives. They try so hard, yet fail in the end. I crunched some numbers recently. There are 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet. There is roughly an equal ammount of Hindus and Buddhists. That right there is half of the worlds population. They say that there are roughly 2 billion "Chistians" on the planet. This, of course, includes many faiths that are not going to Heaven according to Biblical definitions of Christianity, such as Mormons, JW's, and Catholics. That leaves 2 billion people to be accounted for, which are "other" faiths and atheists and agnostics. I last read that 70% of Americans identify with Christianity. We all know, though, that the TRUE number is roughly 20%, if that, per the Bible's definition of "Christianity". We are nowhere near being a "Christian" nation in the U.S. That would mean that, in an optimistic estimate, only 1/14 of the worlds population at any given time in the history of our civilization is going to make it into the "Kingdom of God". That would be roughly 500 million out of 7 billion people. I have a hard time believing that a "loving" God would damn 13/14 of his population to hell. And if this is really true, this is not a God that I feel I can associate with, nor want to spend eternity with. If He was truly omniscient, He would have known at the time of creaton what his creation would divert to, and if he was truly "loving", he would have put a countermeasure in place. Remember, according to the 1.5 billion Muslims on the planet, you're the one going to hell. Now, I'm not trying to stand up for Islam. I'm just stating a point. They were brought onto this earth knowing only Islam. Who is correct by telling them they're wrong. This is all they know. This is just one example.

It seems so simple for "Christians". Jesus is the "Be all and end all" of discussion. There is no other. All other religions are going to eternal damnation except for them, right? I'm sorry, as this just does not "compute" with me. I cannot hold logical debate with my mother, as she ends all discussions with me when she gets flustered. She proves the validity of the Bible with the Bible, and that ends all arguments as far as she is concerned. Once complex issues enter the equation, she ends the conversation, as it is a threat to her belief system.

I could write thirty pages on why I struggle with my faith. Unfortunately, I am a fairly busy individual that regrets he does not have the time to do so. I am not naive enough to believe that I will get a response to this e-mail, but if you choose to respond, I thank you in advance. Any "advice" that you can give before I completely convert to "the dark side" would be appreciated.

Thank You,

Mark (Oregon)

And the following is the response that I got from Bill's wife Annette:

Thanks for writing. Most of your questions are addressed in Bill’s new book, “23 Questions about hell” which comes with a bonus DVD. If you don’t want to spend the $10-15 for the book/DVD, I’m sure you can read it while at Wal-mart or a bookstore. We encourage you to get scriptural information first, before falsely accusing God of being unfair. Mark Twain even said, “We’re all ignorant, it’s just about different things.” Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish for a lack of knowledge… because they have rejected knowledge (God’s Word).

Annette
Its all about the money ... They don't care to answer the obvious logical and theological contradictions of their "testimony" concerning his personal experience of hell. If God really had given him a vision of hell and had given him a command to get the word out to as many people as possible to warn them of the impending doom of most of humanity, he would not be selling books and DVD's, he would be freely distributing his writings on the internet or through any means possible. If you ask me, the fact that they are marketing and selling this "message" is the greatest evidence of the lies they are getting rich off of.


Peace ...
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Pikeville, Ky.
13,607 posts, read 22,020,392 times
Reputation: 18332
"Show me you money," That is what she 'REALLY" said
__________________
Moderator of:
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Dayton, Akron-Canton in Ohio
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:06 PM
 
7,374 posts, read 7,523,279 times
Reputation: 899
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Blue View Post
"Show me you money," That is what she 'REALLY" said
Right ...

"Want answers? Get all the answers you want for the new low price of $8.59(was $15.99). Otherwise you'll have to be sneaky and try to read the whole thing while in the store and hope that the manager doesn't notice and kick you out for violating store policy by reading the whole of a book you have not purchased."








Peace ...
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:27 PM
 
5,501 posts, read 4,667,960 times
Reputation: 5156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Blue View Post
"Show me you money," That is what she 'REALLY" said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironmaw1776 View Post
Right ...

"Want answers? Get all the answers you want for the new low price of $8.59(was $15.99). Otherwise you'll have to be sneaky and try to read the whole thing while in the store and hope that the manager doesn't notice and kick you out for violating store policy by reading the whole of a book you have not purchased."








Peace ...
If anyone thinks that "organized religion" is after saving ones soul....you're sadly mistaken...it's after how deep your pocket is without any thoughts of where you're soul is going...for they don't know themselves...

This is what Jesus meant in the parable of a hired shepherd...when the wolf comes...he runs and leaves his flock behind. My soul is so precious to me that I make sure I hand carry it to God!

No offense meant...just stating some hard facts!
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Old 09-21-2010, 06:04 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
4,833 posts, read 805,752 times
Reputation: 534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Blue View Post
"Show me you money," That is what she 'REALLY" said
True.....
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
702 posts, read 877,484 times
Reputation: 207
If you were drag racing with another car and didn't know what the other driver knows, that you both are headed over a cliff in a very short time, it wouldn't make much difference. Ignorant or aware, you're both done for. Jesus spoke of few stripes for those that knew not and didn't prepare as distinguished between those getting many stripes who knew and prepared not. Of course, no one was given never-ending stripes in this story.

My reason for pointing this out is, whether Bill Wiese actually experienced something by some kind of spirit or he's just making it up makes little difference, except for him. What he's saying is just so unscriptural it is ridiculous. Here's some good research on the topic:

Bill Wiese "Hell"
23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese
23 Minutes in hell, a witness or no?
Pastor has some questions
What is going on!?!?!
from:
Login

here Weise is debunked by somebody who believes in the unbiblical ceaseless torture for ever:
Did Bill Wiese Really Go To Hell?

In newer versions of the Bible, the English "hell" is pasted over Greek words 12 or 13 times. It is never once used in the Old Testament. I wonder why it is so difficult to think of looking up the words and passages on this topic to find out for yourself the truth of what the Bible teaches!

Here's some of the best writings on the topic gathered together in one place:
Scholar's Corner: The Center for Bible studies in Christian Universalism

Here's a good recent treatment in a hardcopy book. Hope Beyond Hell comes as a long or a short version that's offered free or for a voluntary donation:
http://www.tentmaker.org/books/hope_beyond_hell.pdf
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:13 AM
 
2,940 posts, read 3,759,001 times
Reputation: 1217
Its pretty funny they would quote mark twain considering his lifelong roasting of the religious.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:37 AM
 
1,492 posts, read 2,336,191 times
Reputation: 252
23 minutes in hell? why not 30 minutes...why not one hour? why not 5 hours?? God can do anything,right?
oh,but 23 minutes makes it sound so techinical!

obviously as lie,starting with the title.
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