August 10, 2020, 06:40:41 am

So on the topic of hell

Started by JakeELee, July 21, 2020, 03:20:18 pm

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JakeELee

As the title says - hell.

Is this loving? Is it correct or right? Again I am curious as to what you believe?

Thanks

JEL

Pete

I believe there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun.

Not exactly sure what you mean by "is this loving"? I'll presume that you mean is it loving to believe that a person will face eternal damnation in hell if they die unrepentant. I suppose this depends on your perspective.

I'll use an example. If I tell my child, don't touch that hot stove, you'll get burned, but they touch the stove anyway, I didn't burn them. In fact, I tried to stop them. I tried to warn them. But they still face the consequence of their own actions.

If your perspective is that Jesus Christ came to restore our relationship with God and to save us from death and hell, then it is easy to believe that He is just, merciful and full of Love and grace, giving us every opportunity to simply accept the free gift of salvation that He has provided to us.

OTOH, if your perspective is that God is sitting up in heaven just waiting to zap you into hell the moment you screw up, then it wouldn't seem very loving.

I believe God, in His unconditional and unending Love for us, has provided his Son as a sacrifice for our sin, and we need only receive it. Should we choose to reject this, we are warned of the consequences. If we suffer those consequences, it's not because our Father doesn't Love us, but because we chose to disregard His warnings.

My kids used to watch VeggieTales, and I remember an exceprt from A Snoodle's Tale that said;


Quote from: undefinedBut Sir, if you made this incredible land, can't you make snoodles obey your command?
The big one smiled warmly. Then said to the small.
 A gift that's demanded is no gift at all.

IOW, God gives a choice. We all must make our choice. The gift is not demanded of us. We must accept it.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

JakeELee

Thanks for your reply Pete.

I suppose the thought that I have as a parent would be "If my child chose to disobey and walk away from me would I build an eternal torture chamber in my basement and would I then burn them and torment them forever"?

From my perspective - absolutely not - that would be the act of a monster.

I would imagine that the reply could be "But you don't understand the hatred that a Holy God has for sin"?

Yes of course I don't - because I am a human being and not a "Holy God".

Yet even in my human experience who's only child has rejected me for six years and been so hateful towards me that at times I can hardly cope - I would still say that would I consign that child to punishment?

No! Never! I would forgive in an instant. I would not require blood sacrifice nor would I hold "hell" as a threat. Believe me this is very real for me - my daughter has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and has terrible mental issues and hates me terribly - would I forgive her in an instant? Yes! Would I forgive her without her even asking? Yes! Of course!.

Therefore I conclude that I am more morally just than the God of the Bible. Even if my daughter continued to hate me I would continue to love her, and never punish her.

This to me flies in the face of the concept of hell. An eternal punishment for a wrong attitude. To me it's the Father that prepares a place of eternal torture for a child that rejects the Father.

Thoughts welcome.

Pete

I have no idea what you must have to deal with, and I'm sorry that you have had a strained relationship with your daughter.

Your situation with your daughter sounds a little bit like the parable of the prodigal son. A child who takes his inheritance, leaves his father, and wastes it all on riotous living. Yet the father in the parable Jesus told ran to the son while he saw him a long way off. The father was waiting for his son to return and ran to him, embraced him, and covered his shame. He did all of this before the son said a word to his father. And Jesus said this is what the Kingdom of God is like.

I will admit that I don't have all the answers about hell and your points are absolutely valid from a human reasoning perspective, but I choose to believe that God is good. All the time. Even when I don't understand.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

JakeELee

Quote from: Pete on July 21, 2020, 07:25:29 pmI have no idea what you must have to deal with, and I'm sorry that you have had a strained relationship with your daughter.

Your situation with your daughter sounds a little bit like the parable of the prodigal son. A child who takes his inheritance, leaves his father, and wastes it all on riotous living. Yet the father in the parable Jesus told ran to the son while he saw him a long way off. The father was waiting for his son to return and ran to him, embraced him, and covered his shame. He did all of this before the son said a word to his father. And Jesus said this is what the Kingdom of God is like.

I will admit that I don't have all the answers about hell and your points are absolutely valid from a human reasoning perspective, but I choose to believe that God is good. All the time. Even when I don't understand.

O0

Yes I know the story about the prodigal son, on my facebook page my profile is a picture of me and my daughter - in  the hope that she will see it and get in touch.

But you're dodging my question - if my daughter resolved to have nothing to do with me - would I then choose to torment her forever?

Absolutely not - therefore my morality is greater than the "God of the Bible".

I rest my case.

Pete

I'm not dodging your question. I answered by saying I don't have all the answers. ;)

It's OK to not know the answers.

One thing you'll find with me is that I'm not pleading a case or trying to win an argument with you. I'm happy to discuss things and explain why I believe what I believe, but don't be surprised if my answer is "I don't know", because I freely admit that I don't have all the answers.

Likewise, I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I believe that a person's faith is a very personal thing, and while I can share with you my experiences, testimonies and beliefs, my goal is not to convince you that I'm right.

If you're looking for different perspectives, I can give you that. If you're looking for definitive answers, I don't know anyone who can provide that.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

JakeELee

So back to my question :

Do you think it would be moral to torment someone forever because they decided to not follow you?

In the case of my daughter no matter what she did to me, I would never choose to torment her forever, I would simply forgive her.

In that example I would be more moral than the God of the Bible would I not?

Thanks JEL

Pete

As I said in the last post, your human reasoning is sound.

I know that Jesus illustrated exactly what you're saying in the parable of the prodigal son. 

I do not fully understand hell, and you raise a valid objection. Nevertheless, I choose to believe that God is good all the time. Even when I don't understand it and even when it may not seem like it to me.

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

jiminpa

Simple. God offered a way to eternity with Him. If someone doesn't want that eternity with God they can have that eternity without God, and eternity without God and His attributes is Hell.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.

JakeELee

Quote from: jiminpa on July 22, 2020, 01:33:14 pmSimple. God offered a way to eternity with Him. If someone doesn't want that eternity with God they can have that eternity without God, and eternity without God and His attributes is Hell.

That sounds wonderful Jiminpa, but Oh so cold.

I'd appreciate if you could answer within the context that I asked the original question - if you had a child that treated you terribly and went their own way, would you just forgive them anyway because it's the "human, kind, decent and loving thing to do" or would you build a torture chamber in your basement and burn them alive forever, with no chance of escape?

The simple answer would be to say that "I am seeing things through human eyes and not God's" - absolutely correct.

But in my human experience the unconditional forgiveness that I would and do offer to my child is so far morally superior above that of the God of the Bible that it beggars belief that you could supply such a cold answer.

I am honestly chilled to the bone by your reply. It's not at all "simple".

And honestly - as someone here who is asking questions - I have to ask if following the Christian "God" for what I presume are many years leads you to this sort of abhorrent viewpoint that you write off the majority of the human race into a furnace far worse than that of Auschwitz then I am honestly lost for words.

In your answer I see no compassion, no love, just one statement that damns most of humanity.

I am sorry if I sound so harsh but if this is what following "Christ" leads to, then I am delighted that I am an atheist and going to the hell that you seem so quick to point me towards.

If I have misunderstood you or your views then please take the time to compassionately and reasonably explain if that's even possible for you - if a further reply will lead to the same tone then let's park it.


jiminpa

July 25, 2020, 01:11:14 am #10 Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 08:56:11 am by jiminpa
It took me a while to realize who you are. Now that I realize, it doesn't matter what I say or how I say it, so I will just take a break for a while.
I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.