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Old 01-02-2011, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herefornow View Post
I'm just so angry. I will do anything in my power to help those out there to understand who Christ is and what he taught.
Why are you so angry and why do you care if other people have misconceptions about Christ and his teachings?

You seem to have things figured out pretty well and I'm sure other people can do it on their own if they care enough.

How about just being happy with your own beliefs and let others think whatever they want. If they can't reach the correct conclusions, maybe it is because god didn't give them enough brains. So it is his fault, not yours.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Originally Posted by ditchlights View Post
I enjoy reading the posts of those who believe in ET as well as UR, but I feel that I fall somewhere in the middle. The entire subject plagues my conscience, as I can't believe that either is true. Let me explain. Will both sides please help me with understanding this better?

ET'ers (the belief structure I was raised in) believe that only those who are washed with the blood of the Lamb by the acceptance of Christ as their personal Lord and Savior will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyone that falls short of this will experience Hell.

UR's believe that EVERYONE, regardless of their spiritual background, will be with Christ in Heaven (please correct me if I'm wrong on this understanding).
Okay, you've made a leap of faith based on reason and good common sense that there could be a third option -- annihilation. I'm going to ask that you consider a fourth option, which I will explain as I respond to your comments.

Quote:
I will start by saying that I believe in Heaven, as well as Hell. There is a majority of humans in this world (past,present, and future) who live wonderful, decent lives, that according to the ET'ers, will never be saved. Would a LOVING GOD not have another plan for them, as annihilation is much more merciful than eternal damnation? To me, annihilation means nothingness, just like it was before birth. I am perfectly OK with that. I don't care if I make it to Heaven. I just don't want to burn in Hell. But the concept of a god that damns everyone except ET'ers to Hell just does not compute with me. It makes me not want to believe in such a cruel deity.
I suspect you're really "OK with annihilation," only if the alternative would be burning in Hell. Granted, nothingness wouldn't be all that bad, but being with God and Christ and your loved ones would be a whole lot better, don't you think?

Quote:
On the flipside, I have seen the evil that exists in our world, and I recognize that there are people that commit despicable acts without any type of conscience or remorse for their actions. They are the sick, the twisted, the wretched, the truly evil and wicked that live this life purely to spite and deny anything good in nature. With the same lack of belief that I have in the ET doctrine of Hell for all those that do not meet the "standard", I believe that the utterly wicked will NEVER see Heaven. I do believe that Hell will be a reality for SOME.
You may be right about the eternal fate of the "utterly wicked." On the other hand, neither you nor I know what made them become the depraved people they were. Were they really any worse than the people who tortured Jesus Christ and put Him to death by one of the worst possible means known to man? Even as He hung on the cross dying, He asked His Father to forgive them? Why? Because "they know not what they do." Billions of people have lived their lives never knowing that there was a way whereby they could be forgiven of their sins. Maybe they lived before Christ. Maybe they lived after Christ but in a part of the world Christianity had not yet spread. Maybe they lived in a modern-day Islamic state where Christianity was known but not accurately taught and not an option. The doctrine of Eternal Torment doesn't take any of these things into consideration. To people who believe it, there are no extenuating circumstances. It doesn't matter if a person never heard of Jesus Christ. If he didn't accept Jesus Christ, he's going to become part of God's eternal firewood.

Quote:
So, in closing, I ask this. Why would a LOVING God not have annihilation as the fate for those people who fall in between these extremes? I know the ET'ers will just paste more scripture. This is not what I want, as it just gets SO old, SO fast, time after time. I want there to be a certain level of common sense and personal feeling attatched to the posts.
Consider the possibility that during the time between death and the resurrection, a loving God would allow people who had not repented of their sins and accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ to hear the good news and accept it then. The Bible speaks of Christ's visit during the time His body lay in the tomb to the wicked who were in "Prison." He taught them His gospel there (he was in spirit form as He had not yet been resurrected). Common sense would tell us that He didn't do this so that He could say, "Too bad you didn't know about my sacrifice for you while you were alive. Oh well..." He taught them so that they, too, would have a chance to make the decision to accept His gift. There is no indication anywhere in the Bible that this "Prison" has ceased to exist. I don't believe it has. There are so many, many reasons why a person might not have accepted Christ during his lifetime. I believe that a truly loving God would make sure that everybody has had the opportunity to play on a level playing field before judging him. The Bible teaches that there is only one sin that cannot and will not be forgiven. Most of the people you have referred to in your post have probably not committed that sin. If you stop to think about it, 70 or 80 years is a pretty short period of time when compared to eternity. A loving Father in Heaven would want to give us every conceivable shot at getting it right. He is not bound by the time restrictions we place on Him. If you think I might be on to something, let me know and we can talk some more.

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Thank You All, and Happy New Year!
You too!
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
3,381 posts, read 3,384,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Why are you so angry and why do you care if other people have misconceptions about Christ and his teachings?

You seem to have things figured out pretty well and I'm sure other people can do it on their own if they care enough.

How about just being happy with your own beliefs and let others think whatever they want. If they can't reach the correct conclusions, maybe it is because god didn't give them enough brains. So it is his fault, not yours.

Lol, hiker. If I wasn't this angry (about eternal torment) I would just sit back and say nothing, just like many do. Where would that leave those who want out of this mess? Maybe I should say "passionate" instead of "angry?"

(I was brought up Independent Fundamental Baptist---Maybe that's where the passion to unravel all of this comes from)
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,610 posts, read 3,965,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herefornow View Post
(I was brought up Independent Fundamental Baptist---Maybe that's where the passion to unravel all of this comes from)
Seriously, I do understand.

I have never thought much about religion, but I am a very avid golfer (92 rounds last year) and I have made a serious effort trying to understand how to best hit a golf ball. When people advocate certain techniques that I KNOW are wrong, I get very passionate arguing with them.

Kind of silly, isn't it? Well, that's what separates us from the animals. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge said in 'Thanatopsis', we all "chase our favorite phantoms".
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:02 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
I am a very avid golfer (92 rounds last year) and I have made a serious effort trying to understand how to best hit a golf ball.
Oh my gosh! Someone is right up there with my husband!
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Seriously, I do understand.

I have never thought much about religion, but I am a very avid golfer (92 rounds last year) and I have made a serious effort trying to understand how to best hit a golf ball. When people advocate certain techniques that I KNOW are wrong, I get very passionate arguing with them.

Kind of silly, isn't it? Well, that's what separates us from the animals. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge said in 'Thanatopsis', we all "chase our favorite phantoms".

92 rounds?! Yeah. I can see why you would be passionate about telling others how to do it right.

Did you mean Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant?

(See. It's what I do. Sorry, hiker. I can't seem to help myself )
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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The Problem of Evil Revisited

"Annihilation itself is no death to evil. Only good where evil was, is evil dead. An evil thing must live with its evil until it chooses to be good. That alone is the slaying of evil."-- Lilith, by George MacDonald


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Old 01-02-2011, 11:05 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 1,722,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .sparrow. View Post
This is going to be long. and this this is my view, I'm sharing, not debating. It took many years, much praying, much tearing apart and dissecting and much, much, much thought. If you don't see it the way I do, that's totally fine. Just sharing what is inside of me as one human being to another:



I believe in universal reconcilation. I believe this is the only possible outcome which glorifies God. I firmly believe in "Love conquers ALL."
Annihilation does not glorify God. To me, it says that God has failed. That LOVE has failed. That there is something MORE powerful than Love. I don't believe there is anything MORE powerful than Love for GOD IS LOVE.


Those who hate God do not yet know His true character. I hated God for many years.. (and told him so often.) I did not know Him. The God I hated did not exist.

Those who "reject God" do not yet know His true character. The God they reject does not exist.


There is nowhere that anyone of us can go that is "too far" into the darkness that His hand cannot reach. It is impossible. He is the Good Shepherd who is not satisifed with just 99%. He will ALWAYS go after the ONE that is lost.

The ones who went furthest in the darkness... are those who are the MOST in need of HIS LOVE. Those who went the FURTHEST in the darkness are those who will be the MOST HEALED. THIS is the picture of Victory. That LOVE CONQUERS ALL.


Once the POWER of LOVE starts to unfold and starts to really manifest in your heart and in your mind and in your spirit, once you taste it and smell it, hold it in your hands, turn it over and really LOOK AT IT, then you will start to understand how anything less than 100% reconciled is impossible.
It's like a spiritual law that cannot be broken. There is ZERO chance that not all will be reconciled. Otherwise... something IS more powerful than God. God is LOVE.

And that is IMPOSSIBLE.
NOTHING is more powerful than God.

Human beings are all in various levels of darkness. Darkness is ignorance. Nothing more. Just sheer ignorance. We are NOT KNOWING something.
We are all slowly walking OUT of the darkness, and it is all happening as it should. The problem comes when you look at another human being and think to yourself "Well they have no excuse! There are preachers and churches everywhere. Everyone knows who God is."

NO. NO THEY DO NOT.

I had no idea who God was the first 30 years of my life. For all I knew He was some arrogant, psychotic, immature, weak, schizophrenic, homicidal megalomaniac who didn't know the first thing about love but claimed to BE LOVE. That's pretty much what is seemed like a whole heck of a lot of the "God knowers" were basically preaching. Once you looked past the pretty hats and plastered smiles. That was at the core. A madman.

That God does not exist. Except for in the dark recesses of the human mind.


There are many who do not believe in God, yet they LOVE their neighbor as theirselves. These people KNOW God, they just do not yet KNOW that they KNOW Him. But they do know Him. They WILL recognize Him.

There are many who believe in God yet do NOT know His TRUE character. And they will NOT recognize Him.

Hitler, yes... Hitler will be reconciled. If He were annihilated, then Hitler's evil will have proven to be MORE POWERFUL than God's love. Hitler's NON-LOVE will have OVERPOWERED GOD and God will have had no choice but to pretend like He never existed. Well, that doesn't work. Because that only means that it could happen again. That somewhere in the future existence that another Hitler could eventually rise up again. Afterall, that non-love was never conquered! That NON-LOVE was never subdued, overcome!
ALL non-love WILL be and MUST be overcome BY LOVE.


He is weaving a tapestry, and everything happening (great and small) are threads in that tapestry. All lives are threads. It is slowly being woven. When this tapestry is finally finished, and we see the big picture, we will all learn and understand just WHAT the darkness was, just WHAT non-love was and we will see it finally for what it was. WEAK. POWERLESS. NOTHING. It was the DESTROYER. It was the ENEMY. and it never stood a chance against the POWER of LOVE.

LOVE CONQUERS ALL. We are in the MIDST of it. So we cannot yet see it. But we WILL. All lives are precious. All lives are part of it. We are ALL brothers and sisters.

Those who lived in the MOST darkness, may end up, in the end teaching us the MOST about the power of love. The power of God.

This is what I see.
I see 100% complete and TOTAL victory.
Anything less... and He wouldn't be a God that I could trust or call "all powerful" or call "LOVE". I don't have to worry about that, though. and for that, I am eternally grateful.

It has changed my entire life and my entire way of viewing our Creator, of viewing others and this world in which we live and our future, together.


peace,
sparrow

P.S. I also have to say that I believe, FIRMLY believe, once we pass from this life in this world, THAT is where the REAL learning will begin, in my eyes. Our lives here, OUR SUFFERINGS here are creating a GLORY that cannot be compared. Think on that. AS A WHOLE And as individuals, but ESPECIALLY AS A WHOLE!!!! OUR (COLLECTIVE) sufferings (as we WALK along in this world being "separated" from God, immersed in this contrast of LOVE and NON-LOVE) these sufferings are creating something for us....
Think about it. Think about what that might be.
sparrow, I love your post! Part of what you said reminded me of the movie, "You've Got Mail." If you've seen it you'll know that Meg Ryan's character and Tom Hanks' character (somebody Fox), fell in love through e-mail. This was a while back and it was too cool back then to watch a movie about e-mail. LOL!

Anyway, she knew who Mr. Fox was because his big box bookstore was running her small bookstore out of business. She thought she hated him. Little did she know, it was Mr. Fox she was falling in love with through the e-mails. Her perception of the man was not who he really was. She hated who she THOUGHT he was, but like you said about God, THAT man didn't exist. The person she loved was the REAL man.

So, I wonder if in that same way, someone who does not love or believe in their perception of God, could, by loving others as themselves, appreciating nature, and living in such a way that they have the fruit of Spirit, in fact, know God, even though they don't realize that the love in their heart is actually God because God IS love.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:07 PM
 
1,897 posts, read 1,722,808 times
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Originally Posted by herefornow View Post
The Problem of Evil Revisited

"Annihilation itself is no death to evil. Only good where evil was, is evil dead. An evil thing must live with its evil until it chooses to be good. That alone is the slaying of evil."-- Lilith, by George MacDonald


We need a "like" button like on facebook!
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Originally Posted by Bright Hope for Tomorrow View Post
We need a "like" button like on facebook!
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