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FAO brainout and others - Christian Hell

 
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Sanitarium
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:06 pm    Post subject: FAO brainout and others - Christian Hell  Reply with quote

Greetings brainout,

You seem to have a good idea as to what Christianity is and and is not, so I have a question for you. What do you believe about the Christian Hell? Is it as Christian parents scare their kids into line with? The endless torture, like Islam? Or do you understand it differently? I was raised in a (hypocritical) Christian family, and it really soured me on ANY religion, but in that time I learnt of two "understandings" of hell which are:

1. Endless horrible torture, lakes of fire, heat, you know typical Islamic description. This was my parents favourite Very Happy

2. None of that, but an eternity seperated from God. However eternal consciousness.

Both of these however, I did not think fair however, because to me, the free will aspect really doesn't work! Someone "creates' you without your agreement and then says "Okay you have free will, but you HAVE to choose (a) or (b)" you know? What if you don't want EITHER of them? I don't know if I am explaining it correctly, but its like if either of the two above are correct, you don't really have free will, just two paths you HAVE to choose from.

Anyway, then recently I was reading an article by Fathom (of FFI) that I was most interested in It is here. It would seem if we truly have free will, it would be more likely that "hell" is non-existence.

Anyway, sorry for asking this question in a long way, but I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on this. Everyone else is free to weigh in also.

Thanks

-Sanitarium
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I came across a similar question in a Christian forum, they responded:

Quote:
No such thing as 'hell fire'. Gehenna Fire, yes, but that has nothing to do with the Lake of Fire in the Book of Revelation.

The Lake of Fire and "hell" are two totally different things. The Lake of Fire is a cleansing, purifying fire. Hell, death, and the grave are destroyed in the fire. It is a spiritual fire, not a literal physical fire. Unbelievers will be cast into this fire as well, to die the Second Death, but it is not literal death.


I responded:
Quote:
So where will the disbelievers be?
They will be in the "spiritual fire"?



They replied:
Quote:
Yes, all unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire to be cleansed and purged of their sins and iniquties. Our God is a consuming fire. They will only remain in that fire until they have fully repented and all of their sins have been washed away and are perfected into who God wants them to be.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks coolway!

Although their answer discounts the possibility of free will also. Its still a "Go here OR there" deal, you know? you can't choose NEITHER.

Quote:
Yes, all unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire to be cleansed and purged of their sins and iniquties. Our God is a consuming fire. They will only remain in that fire until they have fully repented and all of their sins have been washed away and are perfected into who God wants them to be.


-Sani
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My take is different from both yours, Sani, and of the person who Cooolway was talking to. I think that person may have the Universalist viewpoint, and for me then the idea that God gave us Himself in the person of Jesus to pay our debt is moot if all you do is get "purged" of sin and then released. What would be the point of Jesus dying on the cross?

I believe that we have free will to choose to accept the payment of debt that God gave. God set up the "rules" for payment, and so only He can set the terms for acceptance. So, our free-will only lasts as long as we live here to decide whether we want to accept it or not.

I agree with most of you that a just God wouldn't torture someone simply for not accepting his method of payment. If you choose to reject Jesus for who he said he was, and you don't choose to accept God as your ultimate authority, Heaven would be Hell for you! Wink Don't you think it a kind of mercy that God won't make you be in His presence for eternity if during this life you didn't want to accept Him?

So, since you "know" that the wages of sin are death, and you choose not to accept it, then dead you'll be. I also believe in some type of "resurrection" as stated in Revelation, as well as the Jewish idea of Sheol. Paul talks about "those who are asleep" until the resurrection, and I do believe that's where everyone goes. It's not a conscious state, it's "like" you're asleep without dreams. One minute, one hour, a hundred years will be meaningless. Then at the resurrection (the 2nd one) all those who died will be judged, and then either you are with God forever, or gone.

It's very late for me, so if I missed something or you want me to elaborate, I can do so tomorrow (hopefully). I just had to post because Sani, I swear, I almost started this same thread yesterday! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:19 pm    Post subject: Re: FAO brainout and others - Christian Hell Reply with quote

Sanitarium wrote:
Greetings brainout,

You seem to have a good idea as to what Christianity is and and is not, so I have a question for you. What do you believe about the Christian Hell? Is it as Christian parents scare their kids into line with? The endless torture, like Islam? Or do you understand it differently? I was raised in a (hypocritical) Christian family, and it really soured me on ANY religion, but in that time I learnt of two "understandings" of hell which are:

1. Endless horrible torture, lakes of fire, heat, you know typical Islamic description. This was my parents favourite Very Happy

2. None of that, but an eternity seperated from God. However eternal consciousness.

Both of these however, I did not think fair however, because to me, the free will aspect really doesn't work! Someone "creates' you without your agreement and then says "Okay you have free will, but you HAVE to choose (a) or (b)" you know? What if you don't want EITHER of them? I don't know if I am explaining it correctly, but its like if either of the two above are correct, you don't really have free will, just two paths you HAVE to choose from.

Anyway, then recently I was reading an article by Fathom (of FFI) that I was most interested in It is here. It would seem if we truly have free will, it would be more likely that "hell" is non-existence.

Anyway, sorry for asking this question in a long way, but I am genuinely interested in your thoughts on this. Everyone else is free to weigh in also.

Thanks

-Sanitarium


I wrote extensively on hell in my websites, the core argument being that no one has to stay there, in http://www.geocities.com/brainout1/LordvSatan5.htm#Lake. Most Christians tag me a heretic for that. But I can only report what I see in Bible thus far, and if I'm wrong, then hopefully someday someone will correct me. I wish I had 50K as a challenge to offer to anyone who can prove from Bible that God FORCES you to stay there, because there's not a verse in Bible which makes that claim. Rather, the opposite, as the url will demonstrate.

That, of course, gets to the heart of Free Will. Obviously we have free will. The Calvinists and dimwits like them always ASSume that if God ordains something that must somehow FORCE existences. No, because what He can ordain, is FREEDOM. All truth: good truth, bad truth, any truth, because truth -- ordained to freely exist and have its free consequences.

So, all the opportunity cost for that was paid on the Cross (I wrote a long website on that too), with the result that even hell itself is free to exist. Else, there couldn't even be a creation, for it wouldn't be free, if not free to reject. Further, since Christ did die on the Cross for all the sins, then there would be no time constraint on belief in Him. So if I never believed in him, and I go to hell, I can still believe. You see evidence of that option in Luke 16:20 and following -- and notice how the guy in Torments STILL chooses not to believe. No one is twisting his arm, there.

Koran seems to teach that you can't get out of hell, once you get in. I don't see any verses explicitly saying ALLAH keeps you there, but I've only examined parts of the Koran in Arabic, and barely skimmed through it in bursts of study, in English. But Bible I'm sure of, been studying it for 35 years, and accounting for the "hell" thingy was near the top of my list. Because, GOD has to live with all that suffering forever, being that He is omniscient. So why did He elect it? I even made up a website, dedicated to explaining "God elected Hell for Himself and everyone else." So on Bible, I can speak somewhat more authoritatively (though a reader should vet my claims on his own).

So here's the upshot, disclosed in more detail, in that url: Bible teaches that hell lasts forever. But again, there are no verses saying YOU ARE FORCED to stay there. Koran seems to delight in the torment people receive in hell. Bible doesn't.

Some wacked-out Christians and unbelievers just LOVE the idea of certain people being tortured for what they do wrong; some of these idiots are in my own family, and I avoid them as much as possible. A Righteous God of any definition would not love it, but would have to provide for it, if creation is to be free.

The problem is FREEDOM. If you shave even a bit of freedom, you're shaving Truth, and then truth isn't truth anymore, God isn't God anymore, and Camus was right. Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your replies! I must take some time to think about this before replying.

Thanks for your patience.

-Sani
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey wait Stewie !!! Don't forget about me !!!

Seems to me that Jesus talks about failed crops (weeds) being thrown into the fire at harvest time. Although it says the fire is unquenchable, it doesn't specifically say someone will burn in hell forever. This seems to come more from Dante's Inferno. There was a saying somewhere in the NT, and I can't remember where, but it said something like, it is miraculous for the spirit to create the body, but even more miraculous for the body to create the spirit. Maybe this means that we create our spirit and if we don't, then we die. Jesus used a lot of analogies, obviously. In fact, you can't find many things he said that weren't either analogies or parables. Some point to this unquenchable flame and mentions of worms crawling through the body to refer to a known cremation dump that existed back then in his area. The honored were buried, the dishonored were cremated. Therefore, he may have been using a analogous visual that they knew too well in order to get his point across.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is Hell not mentioned in the Old Testament? Did Jesus make it up? And how is a spirit going to feel pain without nerve endings?

I think Hell is a scare tactic made up to keep the masses in line. Death is a litle scarey, but an eternity of burning, much more so. If there is an all powerful God, why would he need to create a place such as Hell? Couldn't he come up with better options? Why punish people for his failure?

Of course I believe none of it, so I believe when we die we just go away, much like before we were born, only later.
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

noncredo wrote:
Why is Hell not mentioned in the Old Testament?


The jews did not have such an idea Smile


And how is a spirit going to feel pain without nerve endings?

noncredo wrote:
I think Hell is a scare tactic made up to keep the masses in line. Death is a litle scarey, but an eternity of burning, much more so. If there is an all powerful God, why would he need to create a place such as Hell? Couldn't he come up with better options? Why punish people for his failure?


of course it's a scaretactic, and based on an absurd philosophy of a sadistic god if I might add. In that way the jewish (or maybe it's just some jews) concept is more logical. The righteous people get eternal life in the afterlife and those not living by the law is just dead when they are dead Smile.


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