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Old 04-16-2006, 05:51 AM   #46
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Now, a further question. As a Christian, am I obligated to accept any other Biblical authority other than the Gospels--and even then, more than the teachings of Jesus? Are they not sufficient?

(Crusader may, as he has in the past, make the argument that if I do not accept the rest of the Bible, why accept the "red words"? And that's not a bad logical argument and I have no answer to that logically. So for the sake of discussion, assume I accept the "red words" on faith, but I do not believe that all of the Bible speaks with authority.)

I'm just curious as to what others believe.
Depends on what you mean by "accept." In terms of accepting that the entire Bible is God's message to us, the "Word of God" if you will, then I think yes, it would only be consistent to accept all and not pick and choose. There are those that will argue: "Well, the church fathers picked and chose, and got rid of stuff like the Gnostic Gospels etc. Why can't I?" My best answer to that would be that as Christians (at leat if you're Protestant--Catholics might add church authority as well) the Bible is the foundation of our faith. It's the sourcebook. What we accept on faith is that God somehow over the millenia has guided in what has been "accepted" as part of the canon. Unless we claim direct "instruction" from God to add or subtract from it (as say Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS, did), we aren't in a position to pick and choose.

But I think there is a LOT of room inside of that "accepting" the whole Bible as the "Word of God." Does that mean that everything in the Bible is literally true or happened exactly as described? Maybe, maybe not. I don't think it's crucial that any Christian accept one "orthodox" interpretation of things like whether the Flood was worldwide etc.

For example, when I was a kid, I'd read in the Bible I'd read where they'd say things like "the children of Israel raised an alter to the LORD, and it is still there today" (not an exact quote by a long shot, but you get the idea) and I would think, "wow, it's still there!" Of course, it's not (though maybe it was at the time of that scripture's writing). And I think most Christian readers of the Bible understand this. So when the scripture talks about the "whole world" knowing about something it's not actually the "whole world." And when scripture says the "sun stood still" the sun didn't actually stand still. So at this point, it becomes how far do you take this? That's up to each Christian to decide using their own common sense and trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Christianity is essentially about accepting Jesus as God and Savior. Beyond that I think there is a lot of wiggle room.

I think Jesus would support accepting the value, validity, and authority (to a degree) of the entire Bible. You know all that "I have not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it" and so on.
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Old 04-16-2006, 07:28 AM   #47
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I appreciate your articulate and thoughtful responses, both here and earlier in this thread.
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #48
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Excellent discussion everyone

I've really enjoyed the sharing.
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Old 04-17-2006, 02:33 AM   #49
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I appreciate your articulate and thoughtful responses, both here and earlier in this thread.
Thanks! I always enjoy these discussions.
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:50 AM   #50
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I have problems with god creating us in his image especialy when i think the god is ( supposed ) love. If god is love, why did he created hell ? Or did we created hell ?( because we like to punish people for what they do )

If god created hell, we are more like god than i want to be.

Personaly, i don`think i have a responsibillity before god because he did not created the same conditions for everyone,....i have responsibillity before other ( weaker ) people, nature ( even without the discusion global warming, yes or no ) and freedom of the free will. ( i am not a dictator ). What God decide to with me, i will find out myself.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:23 PM   #51
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How does the existence of Hell negate the Scripture describing mankind as created in His image?
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Old 04-18-2006, 02:48 AM   #52
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I have problems with god creating us in his image especialy when i think the god is ( supposed ) love. If god is love, why did he created hell ? Or did we created hell ?( because we like to punish people for what they do )
I think this is a really good question, and I think Christians would do well to think about this.

I'm a Christian but I don't believe in eternal hell.

I know there are scriptures that seem to suggest the existence of such a thing, but there are other scriptures that would argue against it. Weighing the two and factoring in my belief that God IS a God of love, I conclude that there is no everlasting torment in hell.

I can comprehend a God of love "destroying the wicked" (for to leave them to live forever apart from his goodness--per their choice-- WOULD be hell). I cannot comprehend or accept a God of love roasting people on a spit (or any other kind of suffering) for a week, or a year, or 100 much less forever. I mean when you really, really think about it that's just crazy! Sick!

The doctrine of hell is one of the worst theologies ever developed by mankind (or the devil, if you believe in such) and foisted on the world.
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:13 PM   #53
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Have you ever read Dante's "Inferno"? Good Lord, the things he put in his Hell! He was a great poet but I think a tortured soul. It might be cruel to expect anything else to someone who'd been kicked out of his home town on pain of execution, but that thing gave me the creeps.
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:35 PM   #54
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Well the question about hell and God have been seriously discussed thruout the centuries, and many answer have been given.
The one I prefer is tha evil, hell devils and all the negative things are not created by God, but they are not-being, they are because God, in order to mantain free will (that is the GREATEST gift we have since make us conscious or selfconscious and responsible for what we do, autonomous) "retired" himself a while to let us be free...
this freedom is where the evils hides itself, it's the only place it can be...
but we have the chance to get close to God if we want, to get close to the Love, and when we do, we no longer fear evils...we no longer fear at all!
This freedom is actually made to make the love for God stronger....which kind of love is stronger than the FREE one? You FREELY choose to love Him, nothing force you to, and so it's the stronger, the purest kind of love...but this freedom may be misinterpreted and let you fall in the jails of sins blinding your eyes to the lights that your eyes are made to see...it's a matter of choose...
do you want the light of the shadows of no hope?
seen this way the choice is almost obvious, but in reality we are confused since we all are born in the original sin and we are all followers of the grea mistificator, that in the cristian tradition is the devil...
The ideas of evil as "not-being" is created by st. augustine, and the idea of a "retiring God" is from jewish scholars...
but also if you remember the devil
himself FREELY choose to rebel against God, so he volontarly created a distance between he and God...and still now he works in the free will area, illuding and creating hallucinations or inducted needs that make us feels unhappy and incomplete while actually WE ARE.... but there's another way of using the free will that let us be happy...just choose a direction...closer or further to God? God loves too much his creature, and respect them too much to cancel the free will or bloc a decision that we choose...even if it's wrong...just as a smart daddy would do...at the end, everything turns out to be allright since he is stronger and more powerful than we are...but we still are free to be wrong, so that when we are right we really are respinsible and really can be HAPPY...
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Old 04-18-2006, 01:39 PM   #55
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Have you ever read Dante's "Inferno"?
he's our biggest poet, no doubt...
I absolute love him and just listening to his verse...they're pure music...
believe me...
if you got a chance to listen to them in italian, do!
it's actually a wonderful experience...
you actually can feel the words going through yopur body and caressing you....
i don't know how to describe it but...
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:27 PM   #56
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they are because God, in order to mantain free will (that is the GREATEST gift we have since make us conscious or selfconscious and responsible for what we do, autonomous)
Agreed. But what kind of free will is there for those who are forced to roast in eternity in hell?
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:59 PM   #57
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Agreed. But what kind of free will is there for those who are forced to roast in eternity in hell?
One word: Jesus
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:38 AM   #58
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One word: Jesus
Are you saying that those in hell can choose to accept Christ at any time be "sprung" from torment?

If so, I'd imagine hell would empty out pretty fast. "One the one hand I can stay here and be tortured for eternity or I can accept Jesus and end the pain. " Not much of a choice there.

Again what kind of God, says "Choose my Son, Jesus or rot in hell?"


What bugs me about the doctrine of eternal torment is the intentionality of it. God is keeping these people alive to suffer, to what end?

Choosing the sleep of death (i.e. an unconscious state of non-existance), the "destruction", over having to live in heaven under God's law of love. Well, now that's a choice. As I understand it, God is love. God is life. Apart from God there can be no life, no love. For a created being to live apart from God would mean that God would have to "artificially" keep that person living. And to live apart from God, in an existence devoid of love. . well, that would be hell. (One could argue you that Satan and his devils live hell. . .but even for them it won't be eternal). Is it possible to have love apart from God who is the essence of love. No? So the choice is simple. Live under God's law of love or don't live at all. Because the "don't live at all" does not involve unending, psychic and physical torment, then we have an actual choice.

No one should be a Christian because they are afraid of hell. And Christians should NEVER try scare people into faith through threatening them with hell. No relationship built on fear is sound or healthy, including a relationship with God.
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Old 04-19-2006, 02:49 AM   #59
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No one should be a Christian because they are afraid of hell. And Christians should NEVER try scare people into faith through threatening them with hell. No relationship built on fear is sound or healthy, including a relationship with God.
Fear is all they got

that is why they are not living fully realized lives now.
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Old 04-19-2006, 05:31 AM   #60
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Well we just don't know what the hell is hell....
eeheheh!!!sorry for the joke, i couldn't resist... but still we cannot understand what hell is...everyone has had the chance of free will in life, and if they choose not to live for love, well they decided by themselves to go to hell, to remain faraway from god, ok?
I actually think that it's the greatest freedom of all to choose not to believe in God (i'm not referring to atheist here, but to the ones who doesn't believe in love, i mean god as love...)...and referring to my personal thought, life here it's enough hard for everyone, i think that hell is empty right now, and probably will be, since the glory of God it's just too big compared to the evils made...he has mercy toward everyone at the end...
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