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Old 06-15-2007, 06:43 AM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,513 posts, read 3,086,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerZ View Post
I know this is all about hell, so...no, I can't believe an all-knowing God would sentence people to hell that he knew, before they were even born, would be the Monopoly losers, unless He's way sadistic, in which case we're all scr*wed, because then the people who wind up in "heaven" will eternally be with a sadist...who knows what He might do up there if this is what He'd be willing to do down here???
Actually, JerZ, I think the Monopoly game you described could be a kick! If I knew the end from the beginning, I wouldn't be the least bit bored or put out. Since I know I'm going to win, I'm also going to tell all the other players. It will be amusing to see them try to outwit me and form alliances against me. I might even help out the underdog in order to prolong the game. There are all kinds of moves I could make in this game that I might not otherwise simply because I know I am going to win. Actually, the way I'd play the game, it might not end for a long, long time! (But that's me. I don't think it's at all a good analogy of how God operates.)

I'm going to attempt to answer your question about a loving God who would allow certain people to live knowing they were destined for hell. It's going to be a poor analogy, I think, because God transcends my understanding in so many ways. Hopefully, you can see what I'm getting at.

Have you ever known or heard of a woman who wanted a baby so she would have someone to love her? Or what about a young couple who wants a child. Most people who consciously decide to have children know that those children aren't always going to be perfect little angels. The children will undoubtedly do some really mean things somewhere along the line, and they will bring heartache as well as joy. The realistic parents will realize there is a good chance the children will bring more heartache than joy. Why do they go ahead and have children? Most do because they can't imagine a life without children. Parents invest a whole lot of time, money, energy, and love into these selfish little creatures hoping that they turn into something that will make the world a better place. Parents are eternally optimistic, so they keep having children.

Well, to a very small extent, God is like that. He knew the children of the earth would bring heartache and they would need to be disciplined. However, amidst the heartache is great joy in watching their antics. Even better is when one or two of them wake up one day and realize what a truly great dad they have! Those one or two will be a great reward and comfort; they will make all the pain and suffering He's experienced with the others worth it.

Even the other children can bring joy at times although, realistically, they are on a path to destruction. No good parent wants to see his child on such a path. Parents will do everything in their power to provide a way for the self-destructive child to get off the path, yet the child will often refuse to take the easy way out. He will continue blindly (sometimes knowingly) to his doom to the everlasting sorrow of the parent. But there may be a silver lining in this dark cloud! This doomed child might have a child of his own that turns from his fathers evil deeds and follows the good path established by the grandfather. What joy! There will always be sorrow that the son chose destruction. However, his brothers and sisters have chosen life! Yes, they make mistakes, but they genuinely want to do good, and they are exceedingly grateful to a father who provided excellent opportunities for them. They, too, are grieved at the doom of their brother.

Should this God, knowing his son would take a path that led to destruction, have never allowed his existence? But, that son brought him much joy at times! And what about the grandchild that was produced from the doomed one? Should that one not have a chance to exist because his father chose the wrong path? And succeeding generations that will undoubtedly have some good and well as some bad? The good should be deprived of life just so the bad can't exist?

The Christian God does know the beginning from the end. He does know some lives will end in destruction. I believe He grieves over each one. However, God is also a God of vengeance and justice. We applaud the human parent who takes vengeance in his own hands and kills the murderer of his children (yes, it has happened!), yet we don't expect a perfect God to? That doesn't make sense. We give kudos to a human parent who sees the flaws and imperfections of his children, and disciplines accordingly, yet we rebel against a just God who does the same?

I read a crime story a few months ago (unfortunately, I don't remember the details) where a man had done horrific things to a child. The child died, and the perpetrator was caught. When this man's parent found out what his son had done, he said something to the extent: "I love my child. However, if he did what the police are saying he did, he deserves to die." While I don't remember the details of the story, the parent's statement stands out in my memory. It must be a gut wrenching moment to realize one's child deserves death. A just parent will acknowledge the truth however painful it may be; an unjust parent will say, "But my child deserves to live. He made a mistake. This is a miscarriage of justice!" I don't know about you, but I'd rather be friends with the parent who acknowledges his child deserves to die.

The Christian God is not sadistic. He takes no joy in the death of anyone. However, He is a God of justice and vengeance as well as a God of love and mercy. He is a righteous judge who far surpasses human understanding. His ways aren't our ways. We say "NO!" to the idea of hell, but I far prefer that to the idea that justice will never be served and the vile of the earth will share the blessings of paradise. I think our human minds rebel at the idea of "good" people going to hell. However, God's perspective is not the same as ours, His ways are not our ways. I know Him to be righteous, so I will trust His judgment!

Last edited by Blueberry; 06-15-2007 at 06:58 AM.. Reason: hit the submit button before previewing

 
Old 06-15-2007, 08:54 AM
 
25,740 posts, read 25,375,241 times
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Thanks, Blueberry, the way you put that was really good.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Somewhere along the path to where I'd like to be.
2,180 posts, read 4,997,059 times
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Great post, Blueberry - interesting and wise perspective. I wish I could say things so eloquently.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
We give kudos to a human parent who sees the flaws and imperfections of his children, and disciplines accordingly, yet we rebel against a just God who does the same?
I honestly appreciate your post and understand what you are saying. But the human parent above (I hope) would punish the child in order to correct the behaviour, not simply to be vindictive. And (I hope) they certainly wouldn't punish their child forever!

We were made in the likeness of God. If we can't fathom eternal punishment for our children, how can God? IMHO, and I absolutely mean NO disrespect, I think when Christians use the tried and true "we can't understand God's ways", while true in a general sense, simply doesn't cover hurting people for all eternity. Again, IMHO.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 10:57 PM
 
25,740 posts, read 25,375,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffncandace View Post
I honestly appreciate your post and understand what you are saying. But the human parent above (I hope) would punish the child in order to correct the behaviour, not simply to be vindictive. And (I hope) they certainly wouldn't punish their child forever!

We were made in the likeness of God. If we can't fathom eternal punishment for our children, how can God? IMHO, and I absolutely mean NO disrespect, I think when Christians use the tried and true "we can't understand God's ways", while true in a general sense, simply doesn't cover hurting people for all eternity. Again, IMHO.
I agree with this. As a parent, I personally would pretty much draw the line at throwing my children into a pit to have their skin melted off for eternity.

Well, I mean...unless they went through every piece of laundry I'd just folded one at a time, and unfold it. Just kidding! My kids did exactly that tonight and I didn't melt their skin off.
 
Old 06-15-2007, 11:36 PM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,513 posts, read 3,086,671 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffncandace View Post
I honestly appreciate your post and understand what you are saying. But the human parent above (I hope) would punish the child in order to correct the behaviour, not simply to be vindictive. And (I hope) they certainly wouldn't punish their child forever!

We were made in the likeness of God. If we can't fathom eternal punishment for our children, how can God? IMHO, and I absolutely mean NO disrespect, I think when Christians use the tried and true "we can't understand God's ways", while true in a general sense, simply doesn't cover hurting people for all eternity. Again, IMHO.
After death, it is too late to correct the behavior. God attempts to correct the behavior while we are still alive. He even left us with a rule book! But what happens? After the game is played, we say, "But you never told us! Show us the rule!" "I never liked that rule!" "I thought you were joking, so I made up my own rules!" "But Reverend So-and-So told us that rule was changed!" "There were too many different versions of the rule book, and I was confused. Yeah, I know they all said basically the same thing, but still...! I didn't know what one to use." "You mean I don't get a second chance?"

Well, the tried and true "God's ways are not our ways" is Biblical. Yes, it may seem like a cop out, but that's the way it is. I'll be the first to state that I don't know everything there is to know about God, and I certainly don't understand everything presented in the Bible. However, that doesn't mean I throw out the parts I don't understand or agree with and create God in my image!

I, too, find the concept of eternal punishment is beyond my comprehension. However, I will disagree that God is being vindictive; He is being just. By no means have I made an exhaustive examination of the Biblical teaching on hell, but I recognize these teachings do exist and I cannot sweep them under the rug. Even Jesus mentioned hell in several instances. The one I seem to remember the most is found in Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." I have heard some Christians express the idea of soul annihilation. Again, I don't know the validity of that position, but the verse I quoted seems to indicate that is a possibility. But even if the soul is eventually destroyed, note where that happens--in hell! Enemies of God cannot escape hell! Perhaps eternity is reserved for Satan and his demons. However, humans will be consigned there for at least a time. Personally, I think even one minute is too long for my liking! The sober question is, "Am I prepared to escape this terrible place?"
 
Old 06-16-2007, 02:38 AM
 
Location: Between Here and There
3,684 posts, read 10,998,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
Enemies of God cannot escape hell! Perhaps eternity is reserved for Satan and his demons. However, humans will be consigned there for at least a time. Personally, I think even one minute is too long for my liking! The sober question is, "Am I prepared to escape this terrible place?"
Um I don't know if you realized this, but this is actually what Jeff is saying. That he believes those people will go to hell also, for a period of time. And that yes you should follow the "rule book" in order to avoid it.
 
Old 06-16-2007, 06:17 AM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,153 posts, read 17,416,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishmom View Post
Um I don't know if you realized this, but this is actually what Jeff is saying. That he believes those people will go to hell also, for a period of time. And that yes you should follow the "rule book" in order to avoid it.
um...I don't think so.

There's a difference - -a big difference between what Blueberry is saying and what Jeff says. Jeff says people will go to hell for a period of time for "correction" - like a juvenile detention, or correctional facility, and then will be "saved" along with everybody else.

Blueberry is scriptural without much speculation or complex interpretation - the verse she quotes is very clear. Note that Jesus speaks of the destruction of both body and soul in hell. That's not redirection, or correction or pre-heaven, like pre-school, to prepare one for heaven. That's destruction. Along with Blueberry, I also don't know about the idea of annihilation, but that's another topic.

Here's Blueberry's post (bolding is mine):

The one I seem to remember the most is found in Matthew 10:28, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." I have heard some Christians express the idea of soul annihilation. Again, I don't know the validity of that position, but the verse I quoted seems to indicate that is a possibility. But even if the soul is eventually destroyed, note where that happens--in hell!
 
Old 06-16-2007, 06:29 AM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,153 posts, read 17,416,008 times
Reputation: 5026
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffncandace View Post
Awwww....so typical. Start asking the hard questions and the hell-believing Christians bow out. ...
Be nice, Jeff. It's unbecoming for a moderator to jab at participants like that.

WCRob has done an excellent job of explaining his position. You should be able to graciously accept that, and agree to disagree so that you can encourage continued participation for the vibrancy of the forum, not discourage people by remarks like that.

Like I said, it's unbecoming to a moderator. BTW, how come it doesn't say under your name that you're a moderator? I believe other moderators are openly identified as such. Are you trying to subvert us surreptitiously?

Last edited by southward bound; 06-16-2007 at 06:30 AM.. Reason: word
 
Old 06-16-2007, 08:40 AM
 
Location: land of quail, bunnies, and red tail hawks
1,513 posts, read 3,086,671 times
Reputation: 3525
southward bound,

Thanks, you saved me some work!

(I tried to rep you, but I've got to spread the love!)

Last edited by Blueberry; 06-16-2007 at 08:42 AM.. Reason: to add a thought
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