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Old 01-27-2009, 03:26 PM
 
3,650 posts, read 8,613,823 times
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Have struggled w/this one a time or 3. How does a God with a love and forgiving nature so off the charts we can't even comprehend it send those He loves to unbearable pain, misery etc forever?

Typically the responses I get are along the lines of "because you made the wrong choice by turning against God" (or not believing in Him etc). My contention is that's weak because it was a largely uninformed choice...ie was made based on a severe lack of knowledge and/or understanding of the real deal. ie it's one thing to talk about Heaven and Hell in a detached philosophical way, but the concepts of eternal bliss or it's opposite, even for a brief moment, never mind "forever" - are concepts we cannot truly grasp (in fact you can add the concept of "forever" in there as well). So here we are, ill-informed, no experience or true insight into either "place," and we're going to be condemned forever in ways we don't even get by the one who loves us more than we can even comprehend??

Sounds pretty dicey to me.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Earth
1,114 posts, read 1,972,791 times
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Why assume this god is so loving.
Father, son and holy ghost. This god is already Schizophrenic.

Last edited by Aeroman; 01-27-2009 at 04:25 PM.. Reason: I’m glad we don’t get negative reps anymore ;)
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:14 PM
BST
 
Location: Powell, TN
451 posts, read 1,097,147 times
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Admittedly it's a tough one to swallow. Skeptics have a hard time accepting anything on faith. Understanding spiritual concepts do require a willingness to believe more than what your five senses tell you. Basically, here's my understanding in a nutshell...

God wants company...makes animals...they're cute but still no company...makes man "in His image" with a cognitive brain and a spiritual sense of self-awareness...God is very happy with man...man wants company...God makes woman from man...everyone is happy. Satan is jealous (he's already pissed God off and gotten ejected from heaven)...Satan plots to spoil God's fun...man and woman disobey God...curses come...animals have to die to pay for disobedience...man screws up the ceremonial cleansing sacrifices...God asks 'when will they ever learn?'...decides if you want it done right you have to do it yourself...God comes to earth to live as a man...33 years later is crucified, buried, and resurrected...God says "OK, this is enough to cover anybody who will accept it as their sacrifice"...some do, some don't...those who did enjoy God's company...those who didn't are rejected by God.

That's an oversimplification of my faith...but I believe the key point is that God offers to reconcile with every one of us. He's extending the invitation. The choice to accept it or not is up to each of us.

If that can't be quantified with one of the five senses, it probably seems like foolishness to you. That's OK...it's not the first time Christians have been called fools.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:18 PM
 
995 posts, read 1,252,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BST View Post
Admittedly it's a tough one to swallow. Skeptics have a hard time accepting anything on faith. Understanding spiritual concepts do require a willingness to believe more than what your five senses tell you. Basically, here's my understanding in a nutshell...

God wants company...makes animals...they're cute but still no company...makes man "in His image" with a cognitive brain and a spiritual sense of self-awareness...God is very happy with man...man wants company...God makes woman from man...everyone is happy. Satan is jealous (he's already pissed God off and gotten ejected from heaven)...Satan plots to spoil God's fun...man and woman disobey God...curses come...animals have to die to pay for disobedience...man screws up the ceremonial cleansing sacrifices...God asks 'when will they ever learn?'...decides if you want it done right you have to do it yourself...God comes to earth to live as a man...33 years later is crucified, buried, and resurrected...God says "OK, this is enough to cover anybody who will accept it as their sacrifice"...some do, some don't...those who did enjoy God's company...those who didn't are rejected by God.

That's an oversimplification of my faith...but I believe the key point is that God offers to reconcile with every one of us. He's extending the invitation. The choice to accept it or not is up to each of us.

If that can't be quantified with one of the five senses, it probably seems like foolishness to you. That's OK...it's not the first time Christians have been called fools.
Have you heard of the Council of Nicea?
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:20 PM
BST
 
Location: Powell, TN
451 posts, read 1,097,147 times
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Originally Posted by braderjoe View Post
Have you heard of the Council of Nicea?
Heard of it...but know nothing about it. Is that where the Nicene Creed is derived?
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:22 PM
 
1,050 posts, read 3,248,522 times
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I do not believe in the concept of a Hell. I don't know for sure of course, but I believe in Reincarnation. It makes more sense to me. I grew up Catholic and could never understand "Purgatory" which was where you went if you committed a venial sin. I remember being taught by the nuns that going to a church other than Catholic was a mortal sin. That meant "Hell". In third grade I went to a friend's church and thought "That's it I am doomed". Also Original Sin and babies having to be baptized. Dying before being baptized meant Purgatory. A supposedly forgiving creator would not want children to grow up as fearful as I was.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
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It's my opinion that hell is meant to scare us into becoming Christians in much the same way that our legal system has instituted serious consequences if we commit a crime. The only difference is that if I am convicted of a crime I'm probably going to go to jail, depending on how serious it is, but no one is going to hell because there is no such thing.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:56 PM
 
Location: In the North Idaho woods, still surrounded by terriers
2,178 posts, read 6,536,093 times
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Nor is there Heaven, at least not a place where people congregate and spend eternity in bliss. Where our souls go after we die is a mystery to me...I have my ideas but nothing "concrete".
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:38 PM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,879 posts, read 6,434,955 times
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Well the main reason I actually believe in hell, simply is that God told us it exists. Now, that's enough of an argument for some and not enough for others but I don't believe that is what this thread is discussing.

Modern "feel good" megachurchs of today really only focus on the loving side of God. They are correct in that God is loves all people and hope that all turn to him. The thing they de-emphasize is that God is also just. He is holy, sinless, so when people sin they distance themselves from him. Because of his holy nature he cannot tolerate sinful people with him in heaven. I believe that to not accept Jesus Christ as savior (if you are a sinner of course) is a sin that God sends you to hell for. Hence the Lord is a just God. But the other side of the coin is that he is a loving God and sent his Son to die and rise again for our sins. Sounds pretty loving to me.
Bill545, you use the argument that some people live in ignorance, well you don't seem very ignorant in the concept of heaven and hell and the death of Jesus Christ. Regardless of what happens to the natives on remote islands (that is a whole other discussion), you have heard the truth and are without excuse.

To sum it up, we shouldn't think of God as this Morgan Freeman type old man that has nothing but love for the world. He hates sin and will not tolerate it in his presence. So when we accept Christ, he gets the punishment we deserve so God will see true believers as clean.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,725 posts, read 1,505,334 times
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My own opinion is that hell is a place you create for yourself by continious bad thoughts and actions in this life. Like attracts like, good people tend to hang around good people, rich people tend to hang around other rich folks, negative people tend to hang around with other negative people. If you've ever been around someone who just bugs you due to them being negative, malicious, always angry, mean spirited or whatever, you probably after a very short time couldn't wait to get away from them.

I believe it's the same in the afterlife. There is no "hell" that some vengful god or spirt sends you to....but rather you just gravitate to those who are like you. It's just a very natural process....you only feel comfortable with those who are like you. If you were the nastiest type of person on earth, guess what ? You'll be hanging around with others just like you. Can you imagine what existance would be with everybody around you being mean, depraved, nasty, negative, angry all the time etc. Guess you could almost call that hell couldn't you.

I don't think there are only heaven and hell as two places, but rather a continious plane of existance from the worst(hell if you will) to the best(heaven if you will). There is not external judgement upon death, but rather internal judgement of our own actions seen from the perspectives of others. Every action or word we speak affects others....some good, some bad. We'll experience those from the perspective of others...and feel great about some actions that made others feel hope when they felt hopeless before, or good advice that changed their lives for the better, helping your neighbor when he's struggling etc... Likewise we've all at times said or done mean things that demoralize others, to heap more hurt onto them, or gotten revenge on someone. It felt good at the time maybe...but some day we'll see our words and actions from others point of view.

How much more fair could things be designed ? You see all your worldy actions from the point of view of those who you interacted with and socialized with, did business with, family, friends, the grocery store clerk who you were friendly with for two seconds but brightened her day.

You're the person you are due to your thoughts and actions up to now....and nothing will change once you die. You'll still have the same personality and temprement you do here.

Once you die, rest assured, you'll fit in with others like you. If that worries you, maybe you'd better change some of your ways, if that thought makes you happy, keep on learning, growing, loving those around you and you'll be a blessing to those around you.

People can and do change whether it's in this life or the next. No one is ever given up on and all have a chance to redeam their past bad actions. In the next life anyone in a bad situation will always have a chance to move forward if the will and desire is strong enough....just like in this life.
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