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Old 03-23-2011, 02:57 PM   #256
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but i don't pretend my opinion has cosmic, eternal ramifications. no one actually cares what i think.
I was limiting my perspective to here within FYM, where a lot of people care what you think. (Myself included.)

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i really haven't made any definitive claims about the afterlife in here
I was referring to the larger world of FYM as opposed to this thread. Sorry that wasn't clear; you're right. The tone for a large part of the discussion on this thread has been refreshingly civil, straightforward, and intellectual, which I've enjoyed. But the ship feels like it's starting to list a little, which means it may be time for me to jump out again.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:38 PM   #257
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i have no doubt that your intentions are sincere, but the structure under which you are operating is incredibly patronizing and self-righteous.

just look at your language. there's you, and then there's "the lost."
Exactly. This is what I hate. Religious people who think I just haven't "arrived" at an understanding of Jesus and that they're going to kindly and patiently deliver the message to people like me who are "lost" until the day I'm blessed with the knowledge of Christ and all the good he can bring into my life.

I'm sorry 80s, but simply saying "those are not my intentions" doesn't make it any less accurate in describing what you're saying. Maybe you aren't unconsciously looking down on me, but your rhetoric is, whether you want to think so or not. How else am I supposed to interpret it?
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:26 PM   #258
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I'm sorry 80s, but simply saying "those are not my intentions" doesn't make it any less accurate in describing what you're saying. Maybe you aren't unconsciously looking down on me, but your rhetoric is, whether you want to think so or not. How else am I supposed to interpret it?
How are you supposed to interpret what?

Do you think I am portraying myself as "better than anyone"? I'm not. I have consistently said that all people sin and therefore all people need Christ. I have never said nor implied that Christians are better people than nonbelievers. I have consistently pointed to the grace of God as the reason I am saved, nothing that I have done.

You will take it however you want, but I am not calling you or anyone else inferior. Not only is that "not my intention"; I simply am not doing it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:35 PM   #259
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Not to stay off topic but this one interest me. But in order to get the hide one has to handle the corpse so isn't that "dirty" as well?
An observant Jew wouldn't be the one skinning the pig, if that's what you mean. But handling and tanning the hide, the removed skin, that's fine, and products made with it are ritually neutral, except on Yom Kippur and Tisha B'Av when leather of any animal is avoided (though it's a rather arcane question, since for obvious reasons Jews haven't historically done much swineherding). It is NOT a question of pigs somehow being elementally vile, where anything and everything pertaining to them imparts (gasp! shudder!) spiritual cooties--pigs are, presumably, part of creation, and everything created was found good. It's a question of Jewish ritual law forbidding the eating of pigs' flesh (edible parts) and the handling of their carcasses--period.
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Now obviously my football example was extreme but I've had Jewish friends tell me that any touching of pig product was against the very fundamental follower's religion. Is that not true?
The haredim? Well, clearly I don't know every Jew nor have I read every rabbinic opinion, but I did have a traditional Orthodox education and I've never heard of anything like that. For many years my family lived in southwest Brooklyn, which is Haredi Central USA, and I can tell you people there like their pigskin Hush Puppies loafers and oxfords as much as any other Americans. Footballs haven't actually been made of pigskin since long before our time, so that one's probably a moot point; nonetheless, I can confidently generalize that haredim do buy their kids standard-issue footballs from Wal-Mart without a thought. Now, I have occasionally heard of people asking their rabbi whether porcine insulin is kosher for diabetics in situations where alternatives are available (answer: yes, injections aren't eating), but never about touching pigskin--the answer there is really so obvious to anyone who knows Jewish law that it strains credulity to imagine an observant Jew, who presumably has some background in Jewish law, asking the question seriously. If there is some group, some subsect out there who actually practice this, then that would be a matter of minhag, custom, not halakha, law--along the lines of how certain Catholics bury statues of St. Joseph in their lawns when praying for help with household-related problems: OK, you can kinda, sorta see the relationship to official doctrine concerning St. Joseph's sphere of 'patronage' here, but no one familiar with canon law is going to take the idea that this is somehow actively prescribed seriously, even though they'd probably also say doing so is fine, so long as one understands it isn't required and why.
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And that some do have seperate beds for times of menstruation?
Sure, and not just the haredim in this case--Modern Orthodox and many Conservative Jews also practice taharat hamishpachah, the ritual discipline of refraining from sexual intimacy during menstruation. It's the perception of its meaning which you were implicitly ascribing to them that I was objecting to. In halakha, the responsibility for observing this one explicitly devolves on women--you kick your husband out of your bed, not the other way around! But it's not really about that, either; halakhically the point is one of spiritual discipline--you periodically practice together the sublimation of our second strongest drive after hunger; the specific occasion is chukkim, fiat, logically arbitrary but accepted as ritually required. A Modern Orthodox or Conservative Jew might observe that, in origin, this practice has obvious similarities to menstrual taboos found in 'primitive' societies worldwide, the sense that this mysterious flow of 'blood' without harm or injury must be a divine doing, and that therefore it's spiritually dangerous to others for a woman in this potent state to participate in the rituals of ordinary community life (e.g. temple sacrifices)--or for anyone who has come into contact with her 'blood' to do so, either. Nonetheless, in rabbinic Judaism, whatever exactly our ancestors might or might not have perceived as 'justifying' this practice is considered beside the point for our own spiritual purposes. We follow ritual laws (or not) because of the spiritual value we find (or not) in observance for its own sake, not because we believe God finds pigs or menstrual fluid, like, seriously disgusting and shall smite you with unimaginable suffering should your actions suggest you disagree.



...Not to stay off topic, of course!
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:39 PM   #260
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...Not to stay off topic, of course!
"Oh, look at that, I've just gone cross-eyed." ~ Austin Powers

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:46 PM   #261
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I have a sincere and heartfelt love for the lost.
That, right there. Calling me the lost. Saying I'm lost because I haven't accepted Christ.

You may not mean to do it, but you're doing it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:38 PM   #262
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That, right there. Calling me the lost. Saying I'm lost because I haven't accepted Christ.

You may not mean to do it, but you're doing it.
I am sorry if you think my use of the term "lost" is my way of putting you down. I swear to you that it is not.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:23 AM   #263
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That entire post is everything I'm saying you're doing. You're saying you need to spread the word to me because I'm lost and don't get it yet. You're enlightened to God's gift and I'm not. You pray to God in hopes I'll become like you one day, sharing in God's gift.

It's not just the term "lost." It's the attitude behind it. It's the belief that you know something I don't know, and you need to make sure I have every opportunity to become enlightened like you. Your viewpoint is entirely based on the idea that you are correct and I am incorrect.

And it's incredibly condescending.

EDIT: You edited your post, so now this doesn't make much sense. I wish you had left it up. It was a great representation of what I think is the problem I'm having with this.

To your simpler post, I ask: if it's not that, what could it possibly be?
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:16 AM   #264
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yeah, there's a hell. there's a comfy chair there with my name on it. and when i die satan's going to say shit, iwb's here, pack his bags, and turn the place over to me.

nah...just kidding. i think this is it. no heaven, no hell, no afterlife, no meaning of life, no purpose other than we do stuff to keep us busy while we're alive and then we die. i'm not special, you're not special, my friends and family, celebrities, strangers, no one is special or unique. 6 billion people on the planet. if we were all wiped out, the rest of the universe would keep going as it did before we ever showed up.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:06 AM   #265
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That entire post is everything I'm saying you're doing. You're saying you need to spread the word to me because I'm lost and don't get it yet. You're enlightened to God's gift and I'm not. You pray to God in hopes I'll become like you one day, sharing in God's gift.

It's not just the term "lost." It's the attitude behind it. It's the belief that you know something I don't know, and you need to make sure I have every opportunity to become enlightened like you. Your viewpoint is entirely based on the idea that you are correct and I am incorrect.

And it's incredibly condescending.

EDIT: You edited your post, so now this doesn't make much sense. I wish you had left it up. It was a great representation of what I think is the problem I'm having with this.

To your simpler post, I ask: if it's not that, what could it possibly be?
I don't think that's particuarly fair.

Non believers also often consider themselves the enlightened ones while believers are often considered 'delusional' or 'irrational.' They believe that they know things that believers don't want to comprehend. Their viewpoint can also sometimes be based on the idea that they are correct and believers are not. They can also be condescending looking down on believers as intellectually inferior with their beliefs being akin to a child's belief in Santa.

There is arrogance, intolerance and preaching on both sides. One can be just as blindly dogmatic and indoctrinated against religion as by it.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:10 AM   #266
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I believe in hell, although I believe that you can repent for your sins.'

Oh, and I also believe the bible is outdated in some places.
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:15 AM   #267
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It's not just the term "lost." It's the attitude behind it. It's the belief that you know something I don't know, Your viewpoint is entirely based on the idea that you are correct and I am incorrect
What is wrong with thinking that someone is incorrect or that you know something that someone else doesn't?

You have never thought that you were correct about something while someone else was incorrect, and then tried to share your "knowledge" with someone? Never? You think it's wrong to do that?

You've done it repeatedly in this very thread, Phil.

But here's the thing, Phil and I say this with 100% honesty: I take no pleasure in being correct for the sake of being correct, as in "Yippee, I'm right, he's wrong. I'll win this argument, by gum".

My only motive and aim when I share the Gospel is so that people will hear the Gospel and maybe get saved.

By the way, I don't take "every opportunity" to preach to you. I've said it as a whole to the people reading this thread, because it is a vital part of my thoughts on Hell, which is the topic of this discussion.

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and you need to make sure I have every opportunity to become enlightened like you.

You keep coming back to this "enlightened" thing. There is no "like me" involved. I don't want you to become a Christian because I am a Christian. I want you to become a Christian so that you can have eternal life with God. That's it. That's the only reason. I don't really care if you believe me. It is the 100% honest truth.

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EDIT: You edited your post, so now this doesn't make much sense. I wish you had left it up. It was a great representation of what I think is the problem I'm having with this.
I edited my post because I wanted to let this issue lie. But now I'll go ahead and post it in its entirety because it actually gives further support to my stated motivations.

I am sorry if you think my use of the term "lost" is my way of putting you down. I swear to you that it is not.

According to the Bible, every person who has not put his faith in Christ is "lost". Every single person who is not "lost" only has God to thank for that, not themselves. Therefore, since salvation is a free gift, earned only by sacrifice Christ made, the fact that some are lost and some are not does not elevate those who are not lost to any higher level. If we are both offered a free gift, and you accept it, and I don't, surely that wouldn't cause you think that you were better than me. In the same way, I do not see myself as better than anyone who has not accepted the free gift.

I can not hoard that free gift. I must tell others so that they can get reborn and share God's gracious gift.

I do not apologize for saying "lost" because if you are "lost", I want you to know you are lost so that you will see that you need Christ the Savior, just like I need a Savior and just like every person needs the Savior.

Indeed, if the Gospel is true, and you are lost, wouldn't you want someone to tell you? Or would you rather they sit on the knowledge, less concerned with your eternity than with the possibility that you might disapprove of the term "lost"?

If you thought I were lost, I would hope you would tell me.

I thank God that someone told me I was lost.

I won't beat you over the head with it, though. If you do not wish to be a Christian, I can't force it. All I can do is continue to do what I consistently do - pray that people all over the place will get saved
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:46 AM   #268
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If an atheist leads a virtuous life filled that improves the happiness of the world and doesn't accept Christ into their hearts before they die do you think that they will go to hell?
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #269
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^ If one believes that humans as we are (i.e. flawed, and guilty of at least occasional wrongs) are unworthy of God's presence without a redeeming intermediary, then I don't see how it could be otherwise.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:04 PM   #270
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I have to say I feel that what's missing in the discussion between Phil and 80's is the practice of putting yourself in the other's shoes--especially with Phil. 80's tone has been nothing but gentle almost apologetic (though I grant that his actual words may not seem so gentle) whereas Phil seems to feel increasingly free reign to post in a more vitriolic manner, as if the wrongness of 80's positions makes it acceptable for him to "knock him around" a bit verbally.

I'd suggest, Phil, that whether you agree with the position or not, put yourself in 80's shoes. Imagine that you really believe that people can be "lost" and suffer for eternity. What kind of person would you be if you believed that sincerely and then shrugged your shoulders and said "Oh well, I don't want to be preachy or anything. . .let 'em fry. . ."? You're judging 80s views about "the lost" based on YOUR perspective, not his, which strikes me as deeply unfair.

Implicit in this is a slightly different issue, though one that is certainly connected to the topic of hell, which is the appropriateness of what Christans call evangelism or "witnessing."
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