Jump to content


Photo

A Loving God.


  • Please log in to reply
76 replies to this topic

#1 Tubal

Tubal

    Junior Member

  • Banned
  • PipPip
  • 69 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 20
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Massachusetts

Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:37 AM

Atheists don't seem to have a problem with religion but Christianity in specific. The main argument they use is that a loving God does not command genocide and that he wouldn't burn people eternally for petty things. In this thread we will be looking at two issues. The first is when God commands the children of Israel to dispossess the people of the land of Canaan and slay them, man, women and child. The second is eternal hell fire and is it really eternal? Lets begin.

When God commands a judgement against a people or person it is usually carried out by someone or another group of people. We see that in the camp of Israel in the wilderness the penalty for sin was death and justly so. After all the miracles and wonders God had done for them, for them to sin even after all that was a sign of no return and a definite decision of perdition. God is love and patient but he is also consuming fire and justice.

Exodus 32:8

They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Amazing isn't it? That after all that they had experienced they so quickly ignore God. How does God deal with this?

Exodus 32:27

And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.

God commanded to kill those that apostatized because they had chosen consciously to disobey God knowing him full well and seeing his mighty power, anyone that does this is irremediable and God will dispose of them before they infect the others. Is this genocide? No. God is just disciplining and purifying his people who had perverted themselves with the pagan in Egypt.

Understanding the judgements of God lets move to the "genocide" of the Canaanites. First the promise of the land unto Abraham.
Genesis 12:1-2

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing


Genesis 15:13-18

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates


So God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham. God didn't want to want to give it to Abraham just yet because the evil of the inhabitants of the land had not reached a point to which he could no longer tolerate. It did not take long for sin and corruption to take firm root after the flood, stronger than even how things were before the flood. Sodom and Gomorrah make fine examples of when God has had enough. Not a single righteous was found among them so they were destroyed. Such perversions had to be eradicated early on in history because if not God knew that it would grow exponentially so he did it to hinder the wicked works of Satan.

400 years the descendants of Abraham are in bondage to the Egyptians while the inhabitants of Canaan grow in perversion while God reaches his limits. What exactly fueled the anger of God to cast judgement against the peoples of Canaan? Was it genocide?

Deuteronomy 12:29-31

When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.


Human sacrifices of virgins and babies was very prominent in those days. People worshiped their gods and appeased them by killing their new born and slaying a virgin. Some ceremonies they did to their gods have persisted and have been promoted by that harlot, Catholicism. Easter is the feast of Ishtar where people would color eggs in the blood of their children to offer them to their god. So this was enough for God to utterly destroy them. The children too? Yes because they would have been raised in the same way of their parents. Children who are sinless are commanded to death by God for their own good to save them from the sins of their parents. This was not a race issue. God created all men. No one is saved by race, Moses himself was married to an Ethiopian (see Numbers 12:1). So God used the children of Israel to carry his justice upon the inhabitants of Canaan who were ripe with sin.

Atheists that argue that God is not love must then accept that there is a God and that there is a heaven to make this argument. If there is a God and there is a heaven then those children that died will surely be there. So the argument dismantles itself with a bit of logic.


Will sinners be burning for ever and ever?

Revelation 14:10-11

The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.


This text is not what it may seem at first, for this we need a parallel.

Isaiah 34:5-10

For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood, it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever.

Question. Is Idumea still burning? No. The consequences however of God's judgements are forever.

Is the fire eternal? Well lets go to where eternal fire is mentioned in the Bible.

Jude 1:7

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Question. Is Sodom or Gomorrha still burning? No. How about the consequences of their sins? Forever. Sodom and Gomorrha are gone for ever.

So the doctrine of eternal torture of sinners is not Biblical nor sounds like God. God judges you but after that, its over.

Question. If the people are going to be burning on earth forever when will the saved inhabit the planet? Doesn't make sense right? This is just one of many example to show how illogical and silly the lie of eternal hell fire is.

God Bless and happy Sabbath.

#2 Dig4gold

Dig4gold

    Banned

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1045 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 53
  • Judaism non-orthodox
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Raleigh, NC

Posted 03 January 2013 - 05:28 PM

When God commands a judgement [sic] against a people or person it is usually carried out by someone or another group of people”. Tubal

This is very true most of the time.

God commanded to kill those that apostatized because they had chosen consciously to disobey God knowing him full well and seeing his mighty power, anyone that does this is irremediable and God will dispose of them before they infect the others. Is this genocide? No. God is just disciplining and purifying his people who had perverted themselves with the pagan in Egypt.” Tubal

I agree with this. (although I had to look up “irremediable”).

Question. Is Idumea still burning? No. The consequences however of God's judgements [sic] are forever.Tubal on Isaiah 34:5-10

From my understanding this is a future judgment (near/far) from the Lord Himself. This is an exception from the first point that God uses other people/nations for His judgment.

Question. Is Sodom or Gomorrha still burning? No. How about the consequences of their sins? Forever. Sodom and Gomorrha are gone for ever.

So the doctrine of eternal torture of sinners is not Biblical nor sounds like God. God judges you but after that, its over
.Tubal on Jude 1:7


Jude 1:5-7 5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that [e]the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, [f]subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after [g]strange flesh, are exhibited as an [h]example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

I notice that Sodom and Gomorrah are compared to the angels who did not keep their own domain. Angels are eternal beings. This brings into question if humans are eternal beings or perhaps better said “everlasting beings”. If we are made in the image of God then we certainly do have a spirit which is everlasting. The body is temporal but the spirit is not.

Question. If the people are going to be burning on earth forever when will the saved inhabit the planet?Tubal

Rev 14:10-12 10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed [a]in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and [b]brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and [c]whoever receives the mark of his name.” 12 Here is the [d]perseverance of the [e]saints who keep the commandments of God and [f]their faith in Jesus.

Rev 20:11-15 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose [g]presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and [h]books were opened; and another [i]book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the [j]books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if [k]anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

It seems that after their earthly death the eternal judgment may not necessarily be on our physical earth/plane.

I do believe that it says somewhere that they will be burying their dead for a number of years after the Lord’s judgment. But that is the physical bodies the everlasting spirits will be in torment for ever because they are “everlasting beings”. It is appointed unto man to die once and then after that the judgment. Heb 9:27How do we interpret that in a temporal sense?

#3 Hawkins

Hawkins

    Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Age: 43
  • Christian
  • Old Earth Creationist
  • Hong Kong

Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Ancient Israel acts as a planted seed for God's salvation to humans till today. Without ancient Israel, the message of Christianity cannot reach today's humans. If Israel was destroyed, there won't be any existence of Christianity. As a result, if God foresees that Israel is in a risk of being destroyed, then its enemy will eradicated before hand.

If the inhabitants of Canaan grow wicked and wicked day by day till no one can be saved. Then Israel is allowed to destroyed them at will. Abraham's descendents will be given the lands as promised.

God is completely incompatible with sin. He however promised Noah to bear with human sins till each of us finished our life on earth. Then He will no longer bear with our sin. Which means, sinners must leave God after finishing their earthly life. Then where would they be. They will be in a complete separation from God such that God will not be in touch with them such that He doesn't need to bear with sin.

Then what will these humans be? Without God, just like the angels without God, they will all turn to the devils and to be burnt forever. This is the possible outcome.

#4 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5799 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:25 AM

I have heard that hell may not be about fire and brimstone, rather just a detachment / absence of God. Since it's claimed that from God stems all good things a detachment from God would mean a loss of such things. Imagine an eternity without love, friendship, compassion, generosity etc sounds very much like hell to me :-)

This interpretation of hell does away with the atheist complaints since its a fair call if God wishes to disassociate himself from someone who doesn't believe in him. The unbearable nature of their existence after that is a mere side effect.

I personally like the irony. All that will be left is an eternity full of sin, the very thing they couldn't give up in mortal life.

However this can be totally wrong.

#5 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:32 AM

Yeah, I once saw a documentary series about people who get in trouble abroad. This episode is about a couple of young guys that got involved in smuggling drugs in Venesuela:



When they were caught they wound up in a prison where there was absolutely no control over what happened behind the prison walls. There were constant gang wars and people were getting stabbed to death all the time. These poor guys lived in constant fear, not to mention the other inhumane conditions they had to live under.

I often think about what Jesus said about believers being the "salt of the earth", and that if the earth lost its saltiness then it would deteriorate and become worthess. Perhaps it is a reference to the rapture where atheists get their wishes and finally rid the earth of all those pesky christians.

In relation to that I also think about when Abraham was concerned about Lot and kept on nagging the Lord whether or not he would destroy Sodom if there were righteous people living there. (Genesis 18:16-33)

To any of the atheists out there: be careful what you wish for!
  • gilbo12345 likes this

#6 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5799 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:37 PM

That state prison is somewhat what I think is Hell. Somewhat since even in there there is still the ability for friendship (those guys he got the gun from), etc. I see Hell as that atmosphere and absolutely no good whatsoever within.

#7 MacTownie

MacTownie

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 186 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 55
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Washington, DC

Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:07 AM

I have heard that hell may not be about fire and brimstone, rather just a detachment / absence of God. Since it's claimed that from God stems all good things a detachment from God would mean a loss of such things. Imagine an eternity without love, friendship, compassion, generosity etc sounds very much like hell to me :-)

This interpretation of hell does away with the atheist complaints since its a fair call if God wishes to disassociate himself from someone who doesn't believe in him. The unbearable nature of their existence after that is a mere side effect.

I personally like the irony. All that will be left is an eternity full of sin, the very thing they couldn't give up in mortal life.

However this can be totally wrong.

Hello Gilbo,

 

There were several different subjects in this discussion but I thought that the eternal punishment portion is being talked about the most.  Besides, it is interesting in that the God of Christianity is called a loving God.  But that same God administers eternal punishment for disobeying Him during our short existence on Earth.  That seems contradictory to me.  That's like giving life in prison for a parking ticket but on a much more terrifying scale because life is not forever and in prison you are not being constantly tortured.  How is that kind of punishment considered Loving or even Just?



#8 usafjay1976

usafjay1976

    Member

  • Moderator Team
  • PipPipPip
  • 335 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Religion, Creation, Air Force, Traveling, Cooking, Movies
  • Age: 37
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • New Jersey

Posted 12 July 2013 - 12:39 PM

Hi MacTownie,

 

I hope you don't mind me attempting to answer your question.

 

Hello Gilbo,

 

There were several different subjects in this discussion but I thought that the eternal punishment portion is being talked about the most.  Besides, it is interesting in that the God of Christianity is called a loving God.  But that same God administers eternal punishment for disobeying Him during our short existence on Earth.  That seems contradictory to me.  That's like giving life in prison for a parking ticket but on a much more terrifying scale because life is not forever and in prison you are not being constantly tortured.  How is that kind of punishment considered Loving or even Just?

 

 

It’s not contradictory at all once you have an understanding of why this is.  God sent His Son…His only Son…to die for us… for everyone on this planet.  That’s a powerful statement when you truly think on it.  God is perfect.  As infallible, sinful humans, we cannot fathom or understand the mind of God.  Yet if there wasn’t a hell, what would be the point of Christ’s death on the cross?  Everybody could just do what they wanted, believe what they wanted, with no fear of consequences, right?

 

The constant theme in the New Testament is about Christ, His death, and His resurrection and for those that believe, will be granted eternal life.  This is the core of Christianity.     

 

Although the bible doesn’t say why God created man specifically (not that it had to), we can assume it was so man could serve God.  We are His creation, made in His image.  We have all sinned and all fall short of the glory of God.  Christ’s bloodshed changed that.  It’s a matter of understanding and believing in that bloodshed, that we too may see heaven when we leave this earth.

 

Here are a couple of links to some really good articles that might explain things a bit better than me.  I hope you check them out.

 

http://www.apologeti...12&article=4194

 

http://christianansw...l-and-god.html'> http://christiananswers.net/q-grace/hell-and-god.html

 

If you really want to know God and His word, I would urge you to read the bible.  Pray to God for wisdom and understanding Him and His word.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

God bless.



#9 MacTownie

MacTownie

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 186 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 55
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Washington, DC

Posted 15 July 2013 - 06:36 AM

Hi MacTownie,

 

I hope you don't mind me attempting to answer your question.

 

It’s not contradictory at all once you have an understanding of why this is.  God sent His Son…His only Son…to die for us… for everyone on this planet.  That’s a powerful statement when you truly think on it.  God is perfect.  As infallible, sinful humans, we cannot fathom or understand the mind of God.  Yet if there wasn’t a hell, what would be the point of Christ’s death on the cross?  Everybody could just do what they wanted, believe what they wanted, with no fear of consequences, right?

 

The constant theme in the New Testament is about Christ, His death, and His resurrection and for those that believe, will be granted eternal life.  This is the core of Christianity.     

 

Although the bible doesn’t say why God created man specifically (not that it had to), we can assume it was so man could serve God.  We are His creation, made in His image.  We have all sinned and all fall short of the glory of God.  Christ’s bloodshed changed that.  It’s a matter of understanding and believing in that bloodshed, that we too may see heaven when we leave this earth.

 

Here are a couple of links to some really good articles that might explain things a bit better than me.  I hope you check them out.

 

http://www.apologeti...12&article=4194

 

http://christianansw...l-and-god.html'> http://christianansw...ll-and-god.html

 

If you really want to know God and His word, I would urge you to read the bible.  Pray to God for wisdom and understanding Him and His word.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

God bless.

Greetings usafjay,

 

Both the articles and you claim that the problem is not God's love failing but the choice made by the sinner.  That choice is what condemns them to an eternity of torture.  I say that neither you nor the articles addressed the issue.  Punishment I expect. It is the extremely lopsided scale of the punishment that bothers me.

 

As an aside, I contend that Belief is not something you can choose.  However, for this discussion, let's presume that believing in Christ and God and the salvation of the Cross is a choice that a human can make.  Additionally, assume I choose to believe that God exists and Christ is the way to salvation.

 

1. So, I can choose to serve God or serve my own selfish desires.  In the same way, your teenager can choose to obey your rules of their own selfish desires.

 

2. I believe that God is the judge and the judgement standard is His commanded requirements yet I choose to reject Christ as my Savior, then I would expect to be punished for disobeying.  Your teenager uses alcohol and beats up his younger brother, then gets caught by you, and, of  course, expects to be punished by you.

 

3. God punishes my disobedience by eternal torture.  Using that scale of punishment as your guidline, what punishment would be appropriate for your teenager? Maybe 5 lashes with a bullwhip every day until he is 18? I am sure you would think that is too severe and even somewhat horrifying.  But you agree that eternal torture is appropriate for a person who did not ask for Christ's forgiveness before he died.  On top of that, you believe the being handing out that punishment is a Loving God.

 

I don't contend that a loving God would not punish disobedience.  I contend that the severity of the punishment calls into question the very idea that He is a loving God.  Wouldn't a loving God simply make your soul cease to exist, for instance?  That would be a punishment for non-believers which would both retain the reward for believers and not be exceedingly harsh.



#10 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 15 July 2013 - 10:22 AM

Hi Mac, just throwing in a few cents of my own here, so I hope you don't mind. I understand your objection about the severity of the punishment and so on, but there are a couple of things here that should be put on the table that I think are often neglected in discussions such as these.

 

To start with, since some of the references to the punishment of the unsaved are found in scriptures that use symbolic language it is an issue that is subject to quite a bit of debate and disagreement. Some believe in eternal torture whereas others are more inclined to believe, just as you pointed out, that the souls of those who reject God will eventually cease to be.

 

Secondly, there are more issue involved in the fate of the unsaved than merely punishing them for rejecting God. Just as I think you pointed out, punishment of evil is hardly the grounds for anyone to disqualify God as being a loving God, but, on the other hand, disproportionate punishment without having any correctional benefits definitely does seem contradictory.

 

I think the problem here though, is that no differentiation is being made between punishment, which I think God uses for correctional purposes, and the eternal and inevitable consequences of sin, which have absolutely no correctional value whatsoever. Punishment is not meted out as the solution for sin, but merely a tool to point people towards the solution. Punishment can have two effects. It can either produce repentence or have a hardening effect. When someone continually refuses to submit to correction then all they will be left with eventually is the consequence of sin, which is eternal separation from God and from the people who love him. This separation is necessary - not in order to punish evil, but in order to protect good.

 

God is preparing a kingdom. If he were to allow evil to enter that kingdom then there would be no difference between that kingdom, and the situation we have today. In order to have such a kingdom it is necessary that those who interit that kingdom have proven that they react favorably to correction.


  • gilbo12345 likes this

#11 MacTownie

MacTownie

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 186 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 55
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Washington, DC

Posted 15 July 2013 - 11:16 AM

 

Hi Mac, just throwing in a few cents of my own here, so I hope you don't mind. I understand your objection about the severity of the punishment and so on, but there are a couple of things here that should be put on the table that I think are often neglected in discussions such as these.
 
To start with, since some of the references to the punishment of the unsaved are found in scriptures that use symbolic language it is an issue that is subject to quite a bit of debate and disagreement. Some believe in eternal torture whereas others are more inclined to believe, just as you pointed out, that the souls of those who reject God will eventually cease to be.

Can you provide those references and point out what in those verses indicate they are not to be read literally?

Secondly, there are more issue involved in the fate of the unsaved than merely punishing them for rejecting God. Just as I think you pointed out, punishment of evil is hardly the grounds for anyone to disqualify God as being a loving God, but, on the other hand, disproportionate punishment without having any correctional benefits definitely does seem contradictory.
 
I think the problem here though, is that no differentiation is being made between punishment, which I think God uses for correctional purposes, and the eternal and inevitable consequences of sin, which have absolutely no correctional value whatsoever. Punishment is not meted out as the solution for sin, but merely a tool to point people towards the solution. Punishment can have two effects. It can either produce repentence or have a hardening effect. When someone continually refuses to submit to correction then all they will be left with eventually is the consequence of sin, which is eternal separation from God and from the people who love him. This separation is necessary - not in order to punish evil, but in order to protect good.

Unless you have some Bible references to support that God is protecting good by putting people in eternal torment, I have to consider these statements as mere conjecture. Besides, all this does is support the idea that bad people don't get to go to heaven. I don't have a problem with that. He can accomplish that by removing the bad people (soul and all) from existence.

Just a thought: Why would God, who can defeat all evil, have to worry about evil in heaven even if He forgave everyone of all they did in life? He has defeated evil. Maybe He could punish bad people for a period of time, till they conformed to His will, then let them in.
 

God is preparing a kingdom. If he were to allow evil to enter that kingdom then there would be no difference between that kingdom, and the situation we have today. In order to have such a kingdom it is necessary that those who interit that kingdom have proven that they react favorably to correction.

Again conjecture without Biblical support and not really addressing the excessive punishment issue.

So a soul cannot react favorably to correction? A person can be an exceedingly sinful, murdering, raping, blaphemous, hedonist for 60 years, repent, then die 2 months later and he would go to heaven. However, if he repented after he died, it's "Too bad, God can't correct you"? What is the difference between one repentence and another? How is evil getting into heaven if Christ were to pay for the sins of everyone and accept repentence from people after they die?

It seems that you don't have much faith in God's omnipotence.

#12 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 15 July 2013 - 01:04 PM

 Can you provide those references and point out what in those verses indicate they are not to be read literally?

 

I offered to "throw in a few cents", and made no claim that everything I wrote was free from my own thoughts and, if you like, "conjecture". I don't mind having a stricter discussion, but not on one-sided terms. If you want such a discussion then first provide your scriptures that back up your claims. You might start by providing what scriptures you think indicate that God will punish unbelievers by tormenting them for eternity and demonstrate why these scriptures must be taken literally.

 

Otherwise, the Bible does not come with any instructions about what is to be taken literally or not, it demands judgement, so I'm not really sure what you expect me to do here. If your intention here is just to be argumentative then I think I will bow out of this discussion. Thanks.



#13 MacTownie

MacTownie

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 186 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 55
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Washington, DC

Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:32 AM

 

I offered to "throw in a few cents", and made no claim that everything I wrote was free from my own thoughts and, if you like, "conjecture". I don't mind having a stricter discussion, but not on one-sided terms. If you want such a discussion then first provide your scriptures that back up your claims. You might start by providing what scriptures you think indicate that God will punish unbelievers by tormenting them for eternity and demonstrate why these scriptures must be taken literally.

Matthew 25:45 and 46 -- 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I would take this literally because Jesus is speaking about judgement of the righteous and unrighteous after the Son of Man comes in all his glory.

Revelation 14:10 and 11 -- 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

If this is not literal then nothing in Revelation is literal.
 

Otherwise, the Bible does not come with any instructions about what is to be taken literally or not, it demands judgement, so I'm not really sure what you expect me to do here.

This is confusing. Are you saying that a believer can determine for himself what is literally true in the Bible and that would make it true? That can't be right.
Then the whole of Genesis could be consider some long just-so story rather than a history of the first several thousand years of Earth's existence and that would be ok with God? Then why does this website even exist?

If your intention here is just to be argumentative then I think I will bow out of this discussion. Thanks.

This topic is about atheists hating the Christian God, which I don't. One of the reasons put forth in the opening post was that a loving God would not punish forever. I agree that the God of Christianity is not a loving God because of that everlasting punishment.
You put forth the idea that the punishment may not be forever because some passages may not be literally true. Of couse I am going to argue back. If I don't, you and others will think I agree...which I don't.

Since this is about the Biblical God and the root source of information is the Bible, I would expect that support for a position can be pointed to in the Bible. If you can't support a teaching with Bible passages, then it is not a Biblical teaching.

#14 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:47 AM

 Matthew 25:45 and 46 -- 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

I would take this literally because Jesus is speaking about judgement of the righteous and unrighteous after the Son of Man comes in all his glory.

Revelation 14:10 and 11 -- 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

 

As I said, this is a topic that is subject to debate among Christians. I am undecided so far, but for the purpose of this discussion I will present some of the arguments of those that subscribe to the doctrine of anihilation.

 

Now you have presented the english translation of these verses, but a proponent of anihilation for example would reject what you are saying here due to the fact that the word "eternal" (aiōnios) does not necessarily have the same meaning in the original Greek as we associate with it today. It could simply indicate a long period of time rather than being infinite.

 

They would probably also give other arguments that suggest that these verses are not to be taken literally, for example that torment does not produce smoke.. and so on. That does not mean that there isn't a literal hell, but exactly what it is is not know to us.

 

This is confusing. Are you saying that a believer can determine for himself what is literally true in the Bible and that would make it true? That can't be right.
Then the whole of Genesis could be consider some long just-so story rather than a history of the first several thousand years of Earth's existence and that would be ok with God? Then why does this website even exist?

 

What is so confusing about that? The Bible is a mixture of different types of litterature including history, poetry, epistles, and prophecy. The parts that need to be taken literally can be determined by what type of literature one is reading. Literature demands interpretation and ancient texts written in other languages often require careful study.

 

Since this is about the Biblical God and the root source of information is the Bible, I would expect that support for a position can be pointed to in the Bible. If you can't support a teaching with Bible passages, then it is not a Biblical teaching.

 

Sure, I can support what I say with scripture, but I will only do so with someone who has a genuine interest in this and is willing to recognize that there are language and cultural issues involved in reading a modern English translation. What I am trying to aviod is wasting time on someone who is only interested in having an endless discussion because all they really want to do is justify themselves for God.



#15 MacTownie

MacTownie

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 186 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 55
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Washington, DC

Posted 16 July 2013 - 07:33 AM

 

As I said, this is a topic that is subject to debate among Christians. I am undecided so far, but for the purpose of this discussion I will present some of the arguments of those that subscribe to the doctrine of anihilation.
 
Now you have presented the english translation of these verses, but a proponent of anihilation for example would reject what you are saying here due to the fact that the word "eternal" (aiōnios) does not necessarily have the same meaning in the original Greek as we associate with it today. It could simply indicate a long period of time rather than being infinite.
 
They would probably also give other arguments that suggest that these verses are not to be taken literally, for example that torment does not produce smoke.. and so on. That does not mean that there isn't a literal hell, but exactly what it is is not know to us.

Am I to respond to this with an attempt at rebuttal or wait until a proponent of anihilation writes in this topic? Regardless, I would like to note that in Matt 25:46, the same Greek word being used to describe the length of torment punishment is also used to describe the length of reward in the same verse. If it only means for a long time then the reward is also not eternal. 
 

What is so confusing about that? The Bible is a mixture of different types of litterature including history, poetry, epistles, and prophecy. The parts that need to be taken literally can be determined by what type of literature one is reading. Literature demands interpretation and ancient texts written in other languages often require careful study.

Yet the experts in the interpretation cannot agree on which parts are to be taken as literal and which are to be considered metaphor. How am I supposed to make that distinction?
  
 

Sure, I can support what I say with scripture, but I will only do so with someone who has a genuine interest in this and is willing to recognize that there are language and cultural issues involved in reading a modern English translation. What I am trying to aviod is wasting time on someone who is only interested in having an endless discussion because all they really want to do is justify themselves for God.

 I can't justify myself for a God that I don't believe in. I may be justifying my lack of belief but everyone justifies their belief system and argues for it. That is not an endless discussion for its own sake. It takes a lot to change a belief system especially if the person is not looking to change it.

#16 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:01 PM

 Am I to respond to this with an attempt at rebuttal or wait until a proponent of anihilation writes in this topic?

 

You are free to do what you want with it. However, since your argument presupposes eternal torture rather than anihilation so I suggest you continue to defend that stance, which I see you are doing.

 

Regardless, I would like to note that in Matt 25:46, the same Greek word being used to describe the length of torment punishment is also used to describe the length of reward in the same verse. If it only means for a long time then the reward is also not eternal.

 

http://www.saviourof...ick1Mt2546.html

 

 

Yet the experts in the interpretation cannot agree on which parts are to be taken as literal and which are to be considered metaphor. How am I supposed to make that distinction?

 

You make the distinction by going to the one who inspired the Bible in the first place and praying for wisdom. Then you read the Bible with an open mind and a repentant heart. After that you work hard at studying scripture, checking up facts, consulting the work of scholars, considering different arguments and so on. In that order.

 

 

I can't justify myself for a God that I don't believe in.

 

Well that's your claim, but I'm sorry, I don't buy it for a second. I don't believe that there is anyone on this planet that doesn't have a testimony in their hearts. It is a testimony that might be easy to shout down in different ways, but it is still there. That is what I believe.



#17 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5799 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:36 PM

Hello Gilbo,

 

There were several different subjects in this discussion but I thought that the eternal punishment portion is being talked about the most.  Besides, it is interesting in that the God of Christianity is called a loving God.  But that same God administers eternal punishment for disobeying Him during our short existence on Earth.  That seems contradictory to me.  That's like giving life in prison for a parking ticket but on a much more terrifying scale because life is not forever and in prison you are not being constantly tortured.  How is that kind of punishment considered Loving or even Just?

 

So a father or mother who punishes his / her / their children can be considered unloving also? Is such a thing contradictory too? Or do you just want it to be contradictory in order to attempt to justify yourself.

 

 

 
1. Just a thought: Why would God, who can defeat all evil, have to worry about evil in heaven even if He forgave everyone of all they did in life? He has defeated evil. Maybe He could punish bad people for a period of time, till they conformed to His will, then let them in.
 Again conjecture without Biblical support and not really addressing the excessive punishment issue.

2. So a soul cannot react favorably to correction? A person can be an exceedingly sinful, murdering, raping, blaphemous, hedonist for 60 years, repent, then die 2 months later and he would go to heaven. However, if he repented after he died, it's "Too bad, God can't correct you"? What is the difference between one repentence and another? How is evil getting into heaven if Christ were to pay for the sins of everyone and accept repentence from people after they die?
 

 

1. This is the "problem" of evil, of which the logical version has been all but abandoned by atheist thinkers, the emotional version is still used somewhat mainly by the late Christopher Hitchens who has prepared entire debates centered around pulling the emotional heart-strings.

 

The reason why God has allowed evil to exist is due to our freewill, allowing us freewill to choose our own path will inevitably lead to some measure of evil since God cannot force people to freely choose to be good, (when you force something then its not done freely, isn't it).

 

 

2. When I was a teenager I had issues with this too, and on the face of it it does seem unfair... That was until I read this parable.

 

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

 

http://en.wikipedia....in_the_Vineyard

 

 

God's forgiveness is God's forgiveness. You nor I cannot dictate what He does with it, he has given some instruction on how to obtain it, and if someone is rotten for most of their life but then realises their folly and repents then God can very well allow that person to receive his forgiveness because it is his to give, is it not lawful for God to do what God wills with his own?


  • Salsa and Bonedigger like this

#18 Salsa

Salsa

    Veteran Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1231 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 57
  • Christian
  • Young Earth Creationist
  • Uppsala, Sweden

Posted 17 July 2013 - 01:34 AM

Wow, great stuff gilbo! I think the parable you mention illustrates what so many people have a problem with - God's sovereignty. Everything good a man has in his life has been given to him by God, and yet people refuse to give thanks to him or to acknowledge the fact that he can do exactly what he wants to do. That is why they "murmer against the goodman of the house", because they go around with the idea that God owes them something. They make up their own rules and preconditions for what God is supposed to do in order to win their approval.

 

I reminds me of the story of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 when he was driven away from his kingdom and "forced to live with the wild animals" until he made an acknowledgement:

 

"Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."

 

As soon as Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged this he was blessed and his life restored.

 

I think there is a parallell here. Consider the fate of the Jews. They were driven out into the wilderness, and they are now cut off from their Messiah until they make the following acknowledgement:

 

"you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

 

When this happens Israel will be reunited with their true Messiah, just as the apostle Paul predicted. The lesson learned - God is sovereign. He can take on whatever form he wants. His truth does not need to appeal to anyone. What he says does not have to conform with either our morals and ideas.

 

He is the one who dictates the terms and conditions. Then it is up to us to do the conforming.



#19 gilbo12345

gilbo12345

    Honorable Member

  • Veteran Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 5799 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Completed BBiotech (Honours)

    Currently studying Masters of Teaching.

    Enjoys games of tactics and strategy.
  • Age: 25
  • (private)
  • Creationist
  • Australia

Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:52 AM

Wow, great stuff gilbo! I think the parable you mention illustrates what so many people have a problem with - God's sovereignty. Everything good a man has in his life has been given to him by God, and yet people refuse to give thanks to him or to acknowledge the fact that he can do exactly what he wants to do. That is why they "murmer against the goodman of the house", because they go around with the idea that God owes them something. They make up their own rules and preconditions for what God is supposed to do in order to win their approval.

 

I reminds me of the story of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4 when he was driven away from his kingdom and "forced to live with the wild animals" until he made an acknowledgement:

 

"Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes."

 

As soon as Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged this he was blessed and his life restored.

 

I think there is a parallell here. Consider the fate of the Jews. They were driven out into the wilderness, and they are now cut off from their Messiah until they make the following acknowledgement:

 

"you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

 

When this happens Israel will be reunited with their true Messiah, just as the apostle Paul predicted. The lesson learned - God is sovereign. He can take on whatever form he wants. His truth does not need to appeal to anyone. What he says does not have to conform with either our morals and ideas.

 

He is the one who dictates the terms and conditions. Then it is up to us to do the conforming.

 

I agree, people do think God owes them something. Dawkins seems to think that God owes him a personal visitation since he used to (and may continue to), claim that God has not revealed himself to me and therefore He doesn't exist.

 

 

Additionally to add to my reply before.

 

The reason, (I think), why God doesn't forgive after death is because its the same as someone saying sorry after you tell them to say sorry. Its not a display of true faith or love of God, its simply someone repenting because he / she doesn't want to be punished.

 

Other similar examples

 

- confessing of a crime AFTER you've been found out

- admitting to a lie AFTER its been shown to be false



#20 MacTownie

MacTownie

    Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 186 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Age: 55
  • no affiliation
  • Atheist
  • Washington, DC

Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:27 AM

 

So a father or mother who punishes his / her / their children can be considered unloving also? Is such a thing contradictory too? Or do you just want it to be contradictory in order to attempt to justify yourself.

That's not what I meant and you know it if you read what I have written so far. Parents punish children to correct their behavior. If a parent was beating a child with a broomstick every day because that child disobeyed them 6 month ago, you would probably agree that the punishment was excessive.

God punishes people who don't believe in Him with an eternity of torture. That torture is not used to correct behaviour problems. It is just never ending torture.
 
 

1. This is the "problem" of evil, of which the logical version has been all but abandoned by atheist thinkers, the emotional version is still used somewhat mainly by the late Christopher Hitchens who has prepared entire debates centered around pulling the emotional heart-strings.
 
The reason why God has allowed evil to exist is due to our freewill, allowing us freewill to choose our own path will inevitably lead to some measure of evil since God cannot force people to freely choose to be good, (when you force something then its not done freely, isn't it).

Huh? I thought the "problem of evil" was the idea that if God were good He could make a world without evil. I am not disputing the idea that evil is a consequence of allowing free will. I am not writing about that and am not really concerned about that either. If there is a God and He is loving, He can use bad things to help people move closer to what he wants them to be.

My concern is that the punishment this God gives out for evil is so excessive that I cannot believe He could be called a Loving God.


BTW: I don't call it free will if the consequences for not choosing God are such a punishment.
 
 

2. When I was a teenager I had issues with this too, and on the face of it it does seem unfair... That was until I read this parable.
 
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
 
http://en.wikipedia....in_the_Vineyard
 
 
God's forgiveness is God's forgiveness. You nor I cannot dictate what He does with it, he has given some instruction on how to obtain it, and if someone is rotten for most of their life but then realises their folly and repents then God can very well allow that person to receive his forgiveness because it is his to give, is it not lawful for God to do what God wills with his own?

I have no problem with deathbed conversions. I have a problem with removing forgiveness once the threshold of death has been crossed, which was the point I was making. So the parable does not address what I was saying.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users