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Old 12-21-2006, 09:41 PM   #46
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Why would an unconditional loving God send humans to hell to burn in eternal damnation?
He wouldn't. You do understand that not all Christians believe in burning forever in hell, don't you?
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:55 AM   #47
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I don't believe in the stereotypical devil with the pointy tail and pitchfork in the sea of fire, but I do believe there are evil forces in the world as well as good ones. (kind of like the dark and light sides of the force in Star Wars)
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:09 PM   #48
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Originally posted by maycocksean


He wouldn't. You do understand that not all Christians believe in burning forever in hell, don't you?
I thought hell was a basic Christian belief. As is heaven.
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:16 PM   #49
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I thought hell was a basic Christian belief. As is heaven.
It is. But it doesn't mean your interpretation of hell is universally correct and accepted by all forms of Christianity.
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:47 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally posted by cstar


I believe God = Everything.
I don't believe in Satan or Hell

Why would an unconditional loving God send humans to hell to burn in eternal damnation?
God doesn't send people to hell.

People send themselves.

God is perfectly holy righteous, and as such cannot abide in the presence of anything less than perfect holiness and righteousness. It's his very nature. God can't do everything; he can't live contrary to his own nature.

The very first time a person understands the difference between right and wrong and realizes he is guilty of wrong, he is guilty of sin. His spirit is imperfect - not holy and righteous like God. Man's spirit is immortal, so when that person's physical body dies, his spirit has to live somewhere. But imperfect man cannot abide in the presence of God, so the spirit lives in hell. Whether hell is a place of fire and brimstone or just darkness, any place that doesn't know the presence of God is hell.

But God is not happy with that. He wants everyone to have life eternal with him. People blame God and say that he "sends people to hell", but rather, it's the exact opposite that is true. God so loves the people of the world that he devised a rescue plan. He sent his only son, Jesus to Earth. The price of sin is death. Christ willingly paid that price for us by allowing himself to be crucified in our place. It only worked because Christ is perfect and holy not only in spirit, but also in flesh, unlike man. Christ paid the debt that we could not pay. He rose again on the third day, thereby defeating death.

Man can "try and try and try to be good enough" to earn his way into Heaven, but it will never be good enough; he will never make it by his own good works. And why? Because God's standard is absolute perfection and holiness, and no man can be good enough to attain that perfect righteous state.

But God's answer, his "rescue plan", his method of bringing people into his good graces, is quite simple. Put your faith in Christ and what he has done for you, and your sins will be forgiven, and Christ will make of you a new spirit clothed in his holiness and righteousness. When God looks at you from that point on, he will not see sin; he will see the blood of Christ that has washed away all guilt.

Consider some lines from the Christmas carol "Away In A Manger":

"Bless all the dear children in thy tender care
And fit us for Heaven, to live with you there"

Because of God's perfect holiness and his absolutely sinless nature, he cannot live in the presence of sin. Therefore, only those whom God has made "fit for Heaven" can live eternally with him. But the thing is, that offer is open to anyone who will exercise his free will and accept it.

In a few months, there will be a new website up, www.new-creation.us, that deals more in depth with the issue of salvation.

Merry Christmas
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Old 12-22-2006, 03:53 PM   #51
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


God doesn't send people to hell.

People send themselves.

God is perfectly holy righteous, and as such cannot abide in the presence of anything less than perfect holiness and righteousness. It's his very nature. God can't do everything; he can't live contrary to his own nature.
Oh man you were sound like such a good Calvinist there

Welcome back
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:06 PM   #52
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Oh man you were sound like such a good Calvinist there
I'm not a Calvinist (in that I don't believe anyone's salvation is predestinated; ask me about foreknowledge and my reply would be totally different), but Calvinists have ideas I do believe are true, so thank you for the compliment. However, I am not an Armenian, either, as I believe in "once saved, always saved."

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Welcome back
Thanks! I won't be around much, and I'm going to try my darnedest to not get in arguments. I am going to try to speak only when I have something helpful to say.

Merry Christmas
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Old 12-22-2006, 05:47 PM   #53
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Welcome back '80's.
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Old 12-22-2006, 06:28 PM   #54
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


I'm not a Calvinist (in that I don't believe anyone's salvation is predestinated; ask me about foreknowledge and my reply would be totally different), but Calvinists have ideas I do believe are true, so thank you for the compliment. However, I am not an Armenian, either, as I believe in "once saved, always saved."
Yeah, I figured as much from your other posts. Don't worry, I'm not one of those that assumes you are of Armenian thought if you are not a Calvinist My beliefs on predestination are also a lot different than common neo-Calvinist thought. The purpose of predestination in Calvin's theology was almost more of a mathematical proof than a doctrine. I'm still intrigued as to how it became THE defining issue of our sect when it was merely an afterthought to Calvin. Like a lot of religious doctrine these days, it was those who came later, after Calvin's death, that twisted and bastardized his original work into what we're left with today. What you said earlier about perfect holiness being the nature of God basically sums up the God aspect of Calvinism perfectly. That's all we're really getting after - God's perfection and absolute power, holiness, and love. I will not speculate as to whether I believe I am pre-saved or was given a pass into Heaven before I was born because, IMO, such assumptions are blasphemous (maybe you would agree?).
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:57 PM   #55
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I thought hell was a basic Christian belief. As is heaven.
It depends on what you mean by hell. I believe that those who don't choose life (i.e. heaven), will of course be left the the alternative, death. The "death process"--the "destruction of the wicked" if you will is what I consider to hell. It's RESULTS are permanant, eternal, and irreversable, but the process itself is not. In my Christian tradition we call this the second death, from which there will be no resurrection.

To avoid arguing with 80's (because I don't want him to stop posting on account of me ) let me make it clear that I'm simply articulating that there are differing views on these issues within Christianity.

My denomination, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, teaches (and I believe) that the soul is NOT immortal but is intrinsically tied to the physical body. The "spirit" that returns to God is not a conscious, sentient entity of any sort.

Because of this, there is no need for the existence of a hell, a place of eternal torment. So we do not believe in such a place either.

We believe this to be the correct Scripture-based theology (of course) but I can assure you that 80's and other Christians who share his theology also have Scriptures that support their point of view. The best I could recommend for you is to prayerfully study the Bible, weigh the varying perspectives, and decide for yourself

80's has done a good job of articulating another Christian theological perspective. And besides his views on immortality and hell, I'm solidly in agreement with him on his explanation of God's "rescue plan."

It's just important to understand that on many theological issues there are very few agreed upon perspectives that ALL Christians see exactly the same way.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:04 PM   #56
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If Satan does not exist then who was Jesus talking to up on the parapet wall? Who tempted Jesus in the desert?
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:45 PM   #57
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If Satan does not exist then who was Jesus talking to up on the parapet wall? Who tempted Jesus in the desert?
Is it possible analogies were used?
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:23 PM   #58
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Originally posted by cstar


I thought hell was a basic Christian belief. As is heaven.
Not at all. I do not wish to actually join in on this discussion properly, as I am not confident in theological debates at the present time, but I would just like to chime in and add that there are Christians such as myself who are universalists. The upshot of it all is that everyone ends up in Heaven, though it is of course far more nuanced than that (my form of universalism involves something that could be considered akin to a Purgatory). Universalism, despite some false perceptions, has a very long and rich history in Christianity, and its Scriptural arguments are strong. It is also believed by a diverse group of people; it isn't some hippy belief confined to extremely liberal Christians. Both my girlfriend and I are universalists (and were before we even met each other), even though I come from a liberal Anglican tradition while she comes from a family that's half Catholic and half Baptist.

I'd just like to reiterate that I am making this post merely for informative purposes. I hope I am not repeating what has already been said as I have only read some of this thread. I just wished to offer some clarification on the diversity of Christian perspectives rather than enter into a debate, so this will probably be my only post in this thread. Have a good one, folks.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:40 PM   #59
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I just wished to offer some clarification on the diversity of Christian perspectives rather than enter into a debate, so this will probably be my only post in this thread. Have a good one, folks.


Your post reminded me of a story my mom tells that also proves not all Christians are the same and some of the most theologically strict can be the most bigoted. She used to work in a doctors office and the conservative Christian doctor was rude and stingy, not willing to help patience with no money or insurance, while the Universalist doctor, who did not attend church *gasp* was very kind and patient and went out of his way to help people.

I'm sure this extends even beyond sects of Christianity. Our theological and doctrinal convictions really are no indication of how much compassion we actually show towards people. Some of the most religiously pious people I know would cheat a poor person of their last dime.
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:05 PM   #60
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I'm sure this extends even beyond sects of Christianity. Our theological and doctrinal convictions really are no indication of how much compassion we actually show towards people. Some of the most religiously pious people I know would cheat a poor person of their last dime.
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