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  1. #11  
    Senior Member Rebel Yell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    the biggest problem is that people get stupid and start connecting temporal attributes to something that is celestial. FIRE has more in meaning than just a physical flame.
    Exactly, it's a very complex code for YOU WON'T LIKE BEING THERE.
    I feel that once a black fella has referred to white foks as "honky paleface devil white-trash cracker redneck Caspers," he's abdicated the right to get upset about the "N" word. But that's just me. -- Jim Goad
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  2. #12  
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel Yell View Post
    Were you molested by a priest as a child or something? I wish more Christians were as obsessed with their religion as you are.
    No. Fortunately, the priests and nuns I've known in my life were, as far as I know, decent human beings.
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  3. #13  
    Senior Member enslaved1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    Like most things in Christianity, doctrine on hell has been fluid and changing... and the various branches treat it very differently.

    Whats amazing is that belief in it's traditional form (fire, eternal suffering) has persisted so long.... there is no rationalizing an all good, all loving, all forgiving God, as compatible with such a concept no matter how hard one tries.

    That being the case, we've seen a shift to a more benign conception of hell... as just annihilation, not eternal suffering.

    And where have you been TNO? Welcome back.
    I'm sure you have a hundred well worded rebuttals from all the other times you have been told this, but I'll say it again anyway. You forgot a very important word in your list of God's attributes. Just. God is absolutely just. He set down the rules, and in that justice, those who break the rules suffer the consequences. Sin is breaking the rules. Fortunately for us, He is also all the other things you listed, good, loving and forgiving. That is why Jesus came, lived a sinless life as a man, and willingly gave Himself up as the final sacrifice for all sins. Justice was meted out. Now we are given a choice. Accept that justice, or take it on ourselves.

    As far as Hell goes, Jesus mentioned fire in it's description several times Matt. 5:22, Mark 9:43, and Luke 16:19-31 the story of Lazarus and the rich man. Revelation also describes the second death, the lake of fire where those who are not in the Book of Life are thrown for refusing the aforementioned mercy, 20:14-15. The only thing that has changed over time is people's interpretations, often trying to deny Hell like the preacher in the OP, usually so they don't have to think about ending up there.
    Romans 6:18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

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  4. #14  
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    the biggest problem is that people get stupid and start connecting temporal attributes to something that is celestial. FIRE has more in meaning than just a physical flame.
    Reverend Pearson's argument against Hell isn't that it's too hot. His argument, in a nutshell, is that a god which would allow a soul to suffer for eternity is a monster. I agree with him.
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  5. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoliCon View Post
    wilbur - since as an athiest you are as about as qualified to speak to the truths of Christianity as I am as a man am qualified to speak to the discomforts of a period.
    The typical escape route when irreconcilable problems of a faith are brought to light.

    I can examine the claims just as well as anybody... you can certainly criticize liberalism without being a liberal... just like one can criticize and point out problems of a belief system without adhering to it. You'd be sadly mistaken if you didn't think the problem of Hell has been a very real and severe one for the church philosophers and theologians over the centuries... and still is. You'd also be sadly mistaken if you think anyone has come up with a sound, coherent proof that can reconcile the traditional view of the Christian God with Hell (the eternal suffering version, that is).
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  6. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by enslaved1 View Post
    I'm sure you have a hundred well worded rebuttals from all the other times you have been told this, but I'll say it again anyway. You forgot a very important word in your list of God's attributes. Just. God is absolutely just. He set down the rules, and in that justice, those who break the rules suffer the consequences. Sin is breaking the rules. Fortunately for us, He is also all the other things you listed, good, loving and forgiving. That is why Jesus came, lived a sinless life as a man, and willingly gave Himself up as the final sacrifice for all sins. Justice was meted out. Now we are given a choice. Accept that justice, or take it on ourselves.
    Its really simple. There is no conceivable misdeed for which eternal suffering could be a just punishment. Therefore, God is not just, or Hell is not eternal suffering.... it can be one or the other... or neither... but it can't be both.

    As far as Hell goes, Jesus mentioned fire in it's description several times Matt. 5:22, Mark 9:43, and Luke 16:19-31 the story of Lazarus and the rich man. Revelation also describes the second death, the lake of fire where those who are not in the Book of Life are thrown for refusing the aforementioned mercy, 20:14-15. The only thing that has changed over time is people's interpretations, often trying to deny Hell like the preacher in the OP, usually so they don't have to think about ending up there.
    The problem of hell isnt one that you can't just dismiss, clap your hands and call it solved.. its been struggled with for centuries. Its that very problem that has lead people to postulate the 'annihilation' version of hell.
    Last edited by wilbur; 12-08-2008 at 04:34 PM.
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  7. #17  
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wilbur View Post
    The problem of hell isnt one that you can't just dismiss, clap your hands and call it solved.. its been struggled with for centuries. Its that very problem that has lead people to postulate the 'annihilation' version of hell.
    ...or that infants who die unbaptized go to Hell.
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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Night Owl View Post
    Reverend Pearson's argument against Hell isn't that it's too hot. His argument, in a nutshell, is that a god which would allow a soul to suffer for eternity is a monster. I agree with him.
    Except God doesn't cause souls to suffer for eternity, he allows us to make our own choice to accept God or not. If you do not accept God, you choose life away from God, which is torment to the human soul.

    We were given free choice, and the potential for torment in Hell can't be removed without removing that gift.

    CS Lewis once said "the doors of hell are locked from the inside," I think that is a very apt description.
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  9. #19  
    Senior Member The Night Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biccat View Post
    Except God doesn't cause souls to suffer for eternity, he allows us to make our own choice to accept God or not. If you do not accept God, you choose life away from God, which is torment to the human soul.

    We were given free choice, and the potential for torment in Hell can't be removed without removing that gift.

    CS Lewis once said "the doors of hell are locked from the inside," I think that is a very apt description.
    I didn't claim that God causes souls to suffer for eternity. What I'm claiming is that the god described in the Bible allows souls to suffer for eternity.

    If your god is loving and merciful, then why does it not offer the opportunity for redemption to a soul which has suffered for say... 5 million years?
    Last edited by The Night Owl; 12-08-2008 at 04:46 PM.
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  10. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by biccat View Post
    Except God doesn't cause souls to suffer for eternity, he allows us to make our own choice to accept God or not. If you do not accept God, you choose life away from God, which is torment to the human soul.

    We were given free choice, and the potential for torment in Hell can't be removed without removing that gift.

    CS Lewis once said "the doors of hell are locked from the inside," I think that is a very apt description.
    No appeals to free will can escape the problem adequately. An all powerful being that possesses every desirable trait in infinite and most perfect amounts possible, with total comprehension and full knowledge of everything supposedly offers us a 'choice'... A choice that has consequences which cannot be fully comprehended by our finite mind. No perfectly just being could let you freely choose eternal suffering, knowing full well you lack the ability to fully comprehend your choice, knowing full well that if you had perfect comprehension you would make a different choice... while possessing all the power in the universe to help you comprehend, just as easily as he could make his face appear on a piece of toast (or sprinkle gold dust and gemstones from the sky).

    Can anyone here seriously say that a momentary lapse or suspension of free will is a greater evil than an eternity of suffering... or that letting someone 'choose' an eternity of suffering is a greater good than maybe showing them information that would change their mind, which God could easily do? That is just?

    Furthermore, the 'choice' is still contingent on specific courses of action one takes in life, and beliefs one chooses to hold.... so its not really a choice at all... more like a threat or ultimatum. God chose to create us, God with full foreknowledge of the choices we would make... just as it is said he knows before we are even in the womb how many hairs we will have on our head, he would know whether we are born just to choose hell or to go to heaven. No appeals to free will can dismiss this God's culpability for our ultimate fate. So again, if this Hell exists, God is not just.

    This conception of the God who gives us the rope to hang ourselves reminds me of the serial killer from the Saw movie series. He puts people into elaborate traps that will bring certain death... he offers ways to escape, but the escape routes are only slightly less desirable than death.. and sometimes, to the victim, death is more desirable. The victim is forced to retrieve a key in the bottom of a tub of acid, in order to escape a timed trap or some such thing.... they've gotten quite creative with the scenarios.

    The killer, named Jigsaw, is fond of saying that he never actually killed anyone. He gave them a choice.
    Last edited by wilbur; 12-08-2008 at 05:36 PM.
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