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Old 04-02-2002, 03:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing:
DISCLAIMER: I realize this is all very literal. Indulge me
People betray others. They get to the gates. They spend a fair portion of eternity serving time in Purgatory, working off their sins.

People lie, cheat, steal. They go to Purgatory and are tortured until they can be let through the pearly gates.

I don't understand this. I never have.
Purgatory was "invented" by the Church hierarchy in the early centuries of Christianity in order to provide an alternative to the stark choice between heaven and hell. Therefore, whether or not Purgatory is "factual" is debatable.

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Old 04-02-2002, 04:44 AM   #22
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Just some random thoughts before hopping off to bed....hope they make sense

Isn't purgatory at odds with the whole concept of grace? You either can work your way to heaven, or you cannot. I don't think you can--that was the whole purpose of Jesus' death, right? So even if purgatory was real...how's it gonna do jack for anybody? If you don't believe in the whole grace deal, you don't have much to go on.

Although I was raised in a Catholic home, I'd never heard that the mention of Jesus' descent to hell was for the souls. I thought it was simply (ha) to conquer death...not necessarily to retrieve anything while there.

While Judas' final words could not possibly be recorded (who was there?) I think his death by his own hand clearly showed his remorse over the whole situation. Perhaps he did cry out to God for forgiveness. Perhaps, like so many of us, he failed to hear that "still, small voice" tell him it was alright, he could still be forgiven, and he went ahead with the suicide. Who knows?

Along the "pawn" lines...in the Old Testament, it mentions that God hardened Pharoah's heart....does God hold him responsible for that? I believe in free will, but there are definitely times when God does intervene...its all over the Bible. When He does stuff like that, does he hold us resonsible for His actions? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

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Old 04-02-2002, 09:52 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing:
So, if Judas/a murderer accepted Jesus at the last minute, he/she would go to heaven like nothing had ever happened?

If God knew that Judas was to betray Jesus, did he plan this? If so, then does God plan everything else/ Does he plan for car aciidents, disease? Does he plan that So-and-so will murder you-know-who?? If so, then why would so-and-so be punished? God knew...
I don't know what happened to Judas after he died, but I don't think he was "beyond salvation". As to your question about "death bed repentance", the theif on the cross next to Jesus was saved by his last-minute faith. I believe that could happen to anyone.

Regarding the second question about God's foreknowledge of evil acts, I would say there's a major difference between knowing something will happen and causing it to happen. God knew that Judas would betray Jesus, but I don't think he caused him to betray him. That was his choice.

Speedracer, I totally know what you're saying, and I have a number of friends who agree totally with you. I'm not so sure. I still tend to believe that God has complete knowledge of the future. But I don't think that limits our free will. I know that if I go home tonight and give my wife the choice between a bowl of tomato soup or a bowl of broccoli cheese soup, she will choose the tomato soup. She has the free choice, but I know, beyond any doubt, which she will choose. I believe that God knows everything he created that well. He knows what every person will choose/do in every situation, so he knows the future. But that doesn't mean he makes our choices for us.

But of course, I also believe that God is involved in the world, and doesn't just sit back and watch it all happen, so then you could say that just by influencing which choices we have, he is limiting our free will. For example, by offering my wife tomato or broccoli cheese soup, I'm preventing her from choosing chicken noodle. Hmmm...I guess don't have all the answers...I could have sworn I did....
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Old 04-02-2002, 10:11 AM   #24
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A few things:

Bbug
--Perhaps this story is one that have just passed down, but has no Biblical reference. Isn't that how most stories are? Just folklore passed through generations until tehy're documented?

BTW--I heard the Peter thing too.

Angell--You know, I never thought about your view. I mean, we're supposed to strive for perfection. To go to heaven. Not mediocricy. Not Purgatory. Doesn't this contradict God's plans for us?

AS well, Judas hung himself, right? My religion is a bit fuzzy.

Spiral
--I see what you're saying about God 'knowing' and not 'causing.' And about salvation. It's good to get questiosn answered...

Does God know everything that will happen? Or just the main things? Does he know that I'll die at 70 because of this....or does he know that I'll choose to skip dinner tonight in favour of studying.

SO we have free will. But if what Angell says is true--about the Pharoah--then God does interevene. How then, can he punish us for certain actions?


I ask too many questions.
Foray--what do you mean by 'Going back to basics?'
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Old 04-02-2002, 06:08 PM   #25
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Your all dancing around the issue here..thusly I must unsurface it!!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing:
[b]A few things:


AS well, Judas hung himself, right? My religion is a bit fuzzy.
'

the correct tense usage of the verb in that sense is hanged!!!!

that settles this debate as far as I'm concerned

[This message has been edited by Arun V (edited 04-02-2002).]
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Old 04-02-2002, 10:46 PM   #26
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have you ever also read any of "The Course in Miracles?" Certainly considered blasphemous by any who strictly follow any church's doctrine, but it offers a lot of insight, just like the "lost books of the Bible" do also. Far too lengthy to even give a synopsis of, but it is sold in most bookstores, and has been published at cost since it was transcribed, so it is not that expensive. Could not even begin to explain it, as it must be "experienced" as well, just as the Bible is the Holy Ghost, the Living Water. http://www.miraclecenter.org is devoted to "The Course in Miracles." Atonement, which is covered in the book, and of course the Holy book, is just one of the gifts God gave to people, the ability to "go and sin no more." Jesus said "my house has many mansions." And to the thieves on the cross with him he said "today you shall be with me in Paradise." Many books, including the Course, tell that there are many levels or areas of life after death, Paradise being one, Heaven another. Remember what he said when Lazarus was trying to give the rich man who was in pergatory some water, he had been the begger with Leprosy the rich man had walked over day after day, and there after death Lazarus wanted to help him while he was in hell burning, and he was told that it would not be possible because he could not reach through to that level from the level he was on.
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Old 04-03-2002, 04:38 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by The_Sweetest_Thing:
[b]A few things:

Angell--You know, I never thought about your view. I mean, we're supposed to strive for perfection. To go to heaven. Not mediocricy. Not Purgatory. Doesn't this contradict God's plans for us?

Being created in God's image, we are supposed to strive to "live up" to it in a way, I suppose. We don't pursue perfection in order to gain heaven, we pursue God in order to gain heaven. Pursuit of perfection (God's image) brings us closer to Him, because in order to pursue it, we have to keep our eyes on Him, right? The eyes on the prize and all that sort of thing. Temptation can lead us not only to mediocrity, but downright badness (the whole sin deal)...part and parcel of "being human". But purgatory implies there is some way you can "earn" God's favor...wtf? Grace is where its at...He will catch us when we stumble....He will catch us when we fall....as long as we keep moving toward Him, even if all we can muster is a crawl. Our actions are what go against His plan, but they don't change the plan.....ya know?



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