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Saved from What?

  1. Disappearinghead profile image90
    Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago

    It's the central theme of Christian doctrine that unless someone believes in Jesus they are going to hell when they die, which is primarily based on John 3:16 "For God so loved the World........".

    According to Judaism there is no original sin and nothing to be saved from. A common prayer goes along the lines of "Thank you Lord that my soul is pure." Now considering that Jesus was Jewish one would expect him to be about confirming what had been said before, not inventing doctrines that were unknown. He even states that the entire OT talks about him. If one needed saving from hell due to their inherent sin, which would be of vital importance to mankind, why does he wait 4000 years before telling anyone about it?

    Now to John 3:16. The word translated as perish 'apollymi' is also translated as 'lost' elsewhere. As in 'lost sheep of Israel' and the lost prodigal son. We do not see this 'lost' as eternal torment or death, but as Earthly states of being in the wrong place, confused, without a leader or direction. In fact apollymi is translated as 'lost' 31 times.

    I therefore suggest that John 3:16 can be understood that whoever believes in Jesus will live a life without confusion, with direction, in the right place. It is this that we are saved from, not being thrown into hell. Ironically I believe that the popular translation of John 3:16 shows that the Church is itself lost and confused.

    1. jonnycomelately profile image87
      jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Powerful information, thank you.

    2. aka-dj profile image80
      aka-djposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Very limited view.
      Seems to contradict many passages from scripture.

      2 Thess. 1;9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the
      presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power ...
      Matth 25:41-46 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

      44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

      45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

      46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

      Just to quote a couple.

      I see a pretty clear distinction here, and it says nothing about some (present) "confusion".

      1. Disappearinghead profile image90
        Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Lets look at eternity:
        'Aionios' is the adjective form of the noun 'aion', from where we get the English 'eon' or 'age'. An age is an unspecified but finite length of time. A fundamental linguistic rule is that when an adjective form of a noun is used, one cannot change its meaning. We cannot use the adjective ‘aionios’ by changing its meaning from describing something lasting a finite period of time to mean eternal.
        If we have an hourly timetable, it tells us about events that occur hour by hour. Similarly a yearly planner allows us to record events that may last from days to years. Neither of these things are eternal. So if scripture tells us about an event using 'aionios' it is something that occurs age by age or lasts an age. If we had an English adjective form of the noun 'age' such as 'agely' then perhaps our doctrines would be different.

        Titus 1:2 ….a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.

        Here is a literal translation from the Greek:
        ….on hope of eternal [aionios] life which the God that does not lie promised before eternal [aionios] times.

        We have above a contradiction in the meaning of 'aionios'. The second use applies to the past, but a past eternity makes no sense as it was a finite point in time that that creation began. The translators seeing that this made no sense, just made something up like ‘the beginning of time’ with no regard to rules of language. Other bibles use ‘before the world began’ which is an even worse translation. So as the same word in the same verse can refer to one thing that is ‘eternal’ and one thing that is ‘finite’, then 'aionios' should not always mean forever.

        Revelation 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."

        The literal Greek has this:
        ........, and He shall reign to the ages [aion] of the ages [aion].

        Jesus will NOT reign for an eternity, and here’s the proof.
        1 Corinthians 15:22-25 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

        Notice the words ‘reign until’, that means Christ’s reign will come to an end, it is not eternal. He will hand the kingdom to God. Therefore in Revelation and anywhere else we see Christ reigning forever, it simply is not true, and to translate ‘aion’ as ever or forever is incorrect.

        A Word on Punishment
        Many different Greek words are rendered as punish in English, but here are the verses referring to unbelievers:
        2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 He will punish [giving full vengeance] those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished [penalty will pay tino] with everlasting [aionios] destruction [olethros] and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.
        (By the way, the Greek does not say 'shut out' so that's been added. You might also want to read from verse 3 and you'll see Paul is talking about the fate of those that are persecuting that Church not necessarily those that don't believe in the 21st century.)

        The word 'tino' Strong's #5099. This is the single occurrence of this word in the NT. It means to pay a price by way of return or recompense, pay a penalty.
        http://old.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt … D%23104041

        The word 'olethros' Strong's #3639 is the same word Paul uses to describe what was to happen someone guilty of fornication with his father's wife in the Corinthian Church:
        1 Cor 5:4-6 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature[a] may be destroyed [olethros] and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

        It is interesting that Paul said that the unbeliever would be destroyed by God's vengeance but then he hands over a believer for destruction by Satan. Which is the worst sin, not believing in God or believing in God and fornicating with one's step mother? Is it sensible that an unbeliever is thrown into a Christian hell but believing fornicator still gets away with it before God?

        2 Peter 2:9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment [kolazô].

        [kolazô, κολάζω] Strong's #2849 check, chastise, to be corrected, chastened, of a drastic method of checking the growth of the almond-tree

        http://old.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt … 3D%2358542

        Matthew 25:46 Then they will go away to eternal [aiõnios] punishment [kolasis], but the righteous to eternal [aiõnios] life."

        [kolasis, κόλασιν] Strong's #2851, checking the growth of trees, esp. almond-trees, chastisement, correction

        http://old.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/pt … 3D%2358558

        The word here 'kolasis' refers to a punishment that is chastisement. Chastisement is always intended to bring about a change in behaviour. Chastisement implies that the LoF experience is of finite duration with the unbeliever coming to their senses.

        1. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          You are advancing speedily down the road to 'Universalism' and as I have already 'lost' one good believing friend to that particular heresy, I will suggest that you review it fully before you totally declare.

          "Chastisement implies that the LoF (Lake of Fire) experience is of finite duration with the unbeliever coming to their senses."

          OK, so coming to their senses means what?

          My former believing friend has travelled so far down the road that he no longer has any faith in Christ, nor is he an atheist, he is just involved in stuff that is "too deep to explain" (so I have no idea where he is spiritually any longer, and he cannot explain).

          Once we give house room to the enemy, we are on the slippery slope to outright rebellion and rejection.

          Be VERY sure what you are entering into.

          1. Disappearinghead profile image90
            Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            John, not everyone is the same as your friend. I would count myself in the company of James, Melissa, pennyofheaven, and others who do not subscribe to an exclusive strings attached gospel. For the record I do not believe that the Christian enemy aka Satan exists.,

            1. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Hope you are correct! smile

            2. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Forgot to remind you to answer....

              "OK, so coming to their senses means what?"

              1. Disappearinghead profile image90
                Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                That Jesus saved them and already dealt with their sin; removed it as far as the East is from tge West. This is the gospel.

            3. 0
              Jesshubpagesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Are you confused disappearing head?

          2. MelissaBarrett profile image60
            MelissaBarrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Woot!  I have finally been called a heretic!  (It was on my bucket list)

            1. kirstenblog profile image77
              kirstenblogposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              You lucky duck! tongue

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                MelissaBarrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I know right smile  There are just a few more names I need to be called to finish up that section.  I keep waiting to be called a fustilarian but alas no one seems to read Shakespeare any more... On the bright side I was actually called a curmudgeon by my grandmother a few months ago.

            2. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Glad you got there Melissa, however you are in good company, as being a heretic is almost essential to change things, I cite Christ (He was a heretic to the Pharisees), Martin Luther (heretic to the RCC) and Wesley (a heretic to the Church of England) as good examples.

              But we can pick our heresies!

              Universalism has a lot going for it, but as a 'doctrine' it is dangerous, chew the fat and spit out the bones.... smile

              1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                MelissaBarrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                UU isn't a doctrine at all.  As a matter of fact it's sort of an anti-doctrine.

                I don't really do doctrine nor do I do dogma.  Both are beneficial to organized religion but neither are necessary or really even helpful to faith. 

                I'm all for the wrangling of verses as an academic exercise...if you want to try and nail down a specific reason/meaning of any particular verse then have at it.  It can be useful to flesh out your own personal belief system.

                However the way I look at the whole "the bible is God's breathed words" thought process is that it very well be.  However I think if he wanted it to be a literal rule book then there would be no room for interpretation at all... therefore there would be no disagreement at all among believers and no reason to have these sort of conversations.  To me it is more likely that the book was intended to be individually interpreted and applied to each person's beliefs in a way that is unique to them.  It would seem that the only group that wouldn't benefit from this personal relationship with the Word would be groups with a vested interest in having large groups of people who think exactly alike.

      2. 0
        Sophia Angeliqueposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Ever read the original in Hebrew? You should try it some time. The Hebrew reads differently to the Christian translations - or should I say 'interpretations.

        smile

        1. 0
          Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          That's actually quite funny. I doubt you have read the original in the original language it was written in. Because, unless you speak ancient Hebrew, aramaic or greek (depending on what portion of the text you are viewing) as your primary tongue, all you are  still doing is interpreting. You chose the word to replace with the word you view. Your word choice flavors the meaning. Which may not be in line with the original meaning.

          What you have more probably done is read something written by someone else who made the same claim you are making, or studied under someone else who helped you determine what they perceive as the original meaning. Which isn't the same thing you are attempting to imply with that statement.

    3. aguasilver profile image87
      aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Much as I would like it to read otherwise, what it contextually states is:

      For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

      For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.

      He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]


      Which reads pretty surely that there is some stronger relevance to these verses (spoken by Christ) that we should pay attention to.

      I agree that believers live a life without confusion, with direction, in the right place, but that does not detract from the conditional situation of non believers.

      1. jonnycomelately profile image87
        jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Aquasilver, I don't see that you have addressed the question, "saved from what?"

        In fact no one here has done so.   A few are still open to hearing an explanation, yours truly included.  Yet one of the stumbling blocks of christianity, for me, has been that nebulus suggestion that after my death, if I have not been a good boy or accepted "Jesus' salvation," something pretty nasty will happen to me, for the rest of eternity.

        Can you answer this question?   Clearly?  Without a shadow of a doubt?  Can anyone?

        1. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Nobody could answer that question until they were there... in that place, the only guidance we have from scripture is in parable:

          Luke 16:19-31
          Amplified Bible (AMP)

          [i]There was a certain rich man who [habitually] clothed himself in purple and fine linen and revelled and feasted and made merry in splendor every day.

          And at his gate there was [carelessly] dropped down and left a certain utterly destitute man named Lazarus, [reduced to begging alms and] covered with [ulcerated] sores.

          He [eagerly] desired to be satisfied with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover, the dogs even came and licked his sores.

          And it occurred that the man [reduced to] begging died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

          And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.

          And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.


          But Abraham said, Child, remember that you in your lifetime fully received [what is due you in] comforts and delights, and Lazarus in like manner the discomforts and distresses; but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish.

          And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who want to pass from this [place] to you may not be able, and no one may pass from there to us.

          And [the man] said, Then, father, I beseech you to send him to my father’s house—

          For I have five brothers—so that he may give [solemn] testimony and warn them, lest they too come into this place of torment.

          But Abraham said, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear and listen to them.

          But he answered, No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent (change their minds for the better and heartily amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins).

          He said to him, If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead.


          Seems that SOMEWHERE exists that may not be the best place to be, we can deny it, ignore it or hope it is untrue.

          But DH seemed to indicate that those who died are forgiven for their sin automatically; even when they do not wish or request to be forgiven, in fact even when they adamantly stand opposed to God, Christ and redemption, denying the need or ability for redemption or any need to be redeemed.

          Somehow, much as it is attractive (and I could probably get many more folk to 'believe' if we stripped a place of penalty from scripture) I cannot see the verity in the statements made.

          What do you say about DH's answer: "That Jesus saved them and already dealt with their sin."

          Do you, as a former believer now an antichrist, not object to your mandatory and currently unrequested salvation being foisted upon you?

          1. jonnycomelately profile image87
            jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I am NOT antichrist.   I am anti-human nonsense.

            1. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              So you profess that Christ is who He said he was?

              John 1 22:23

              Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

              Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

              Do you fit the bill?

              I guessed identifying you as an antichrist may bring a response! - I am not trying to be antagonistic, just stating what you stand for in Gods eyes.

              In my book you are a sincere nice bloke who has lost the plot, but in Gods book.... you are an antichrist.

              1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Thanks for your assessment of myself..... not sure that I have lost the plot yet, because I have no plot.   That is the domain of christians who want to convert me.

                There is not god, except the imaginary one in your mind.   That god is one of 7 billion others around the world.

                For "christ" read "messiah."    You look to a human being who lived approx. 2000 years ago.  You try to pile supernatural, god-like qualities and abilities onto that basically mythical person, in the hope that that person, now dead yet somehow able to influence you still, will be able to give you everlasting life. I cannot and do not accept this.   It is so illogical it's not worth worrying about. For me, anyway.  You can stick to it if you wish of course.

                You believe that "he" will be able to assure you a lovely life in paradise for the whole of eternity.  What exactly constitutes Paradise I have no idea.   Sunning yourself on the beach in the Bahamas, maybe, as opposed to the eternal hell, fire and brimstone of Hell?  This is again totally illogical for me. 

                The "christ" or "saviour" or "messiah" for me is the clear revelation that this finite physical life for me is IT.  Nothing of consciousness beyond it.  The revelation comes from the process of going into my inner being, learning to be fully aware, adopting total (or as near as I can get to total) consciousness, and living this life as best I can.  Of course not perfect.   Yet I have found freedom from the dogmatic mumbo-jumbo assertions of the christian church.   Of this I am so glad.

                If there is such a thing as the "antichrist," look no further than the hypocritical churchiness seen in the United States of America and all it's off-shoot missions around the world.   "We are god's children, we are saved, everyone needs to become like us."  "Praise the Lord."  "Hallelujah."

                BS  IMHO !

                1. WD Curry 111 profile image61
                  WD Curry 111posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  johnnycomelately - You forgot to mention that the church in the USA has a tendency to carry the Lord's money in a leaky bucket.

                  May I suggest that you not delare, "There is no God." to someone who believes in one (or more). In these times, we need mutual respect and cooperation, not division. Now, I know it is hard to find common ground with people of different faiths.

                  Yes, you have faith in what you believe, and I don't believe you are devoid of spirituality. I get the feeling that you just don't adhere to what others would have you believe. I have had similar experiences as you in church. Those creepy hypocrites can kiss my booty. Jesus didn't like that ilk who crushed your tender heart (or mine), either.

                  Anyway, when I came to the cross, the Lord filled my gnarly heart with love. Then I wondered. Does this mean I have to like  the 700  club? Nope, "Go be friends with johnnycomelately, you both could use one."

                  If you don't buy into it, that's okay with me. I will keep my mouth shut and trust God to do his job. Meanwhile, let's go fishing or have a BBQ or something.

                  1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                    jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    WD, all that you and aquasilver have written in response to my posts is fine, for you and those that believe as you do.  They are your Statements of Faith.  Any reader knows exactly where you are coming from and that is fair.

                    Where I mentioned the people of Haiti, and similarly with other oppressed peoples around the world who are in any way "living in the gutter of life," there is no way I would go around telling them "there is not god."  Their beliefs, even if they are of the voodoo nature, are important supports for their everyday life, just as your Christianity is the appropriate support for yourselves at this time in your lives.  Honestly though, I feel those people will improve their living standards to the extent they can lift themselves into the practical solutions of life.  I am not impressed with magic but they also make their own choices and we are not empowered to interfere.

                    However, in specific discussions like we have here in HubPages, where each of us has the freedom to choose what we wish to discuss and reply to, you are free to tell me "God exists," without qualifying your statement with "I believe that...."   

                    I am equally free to declare that "There is no god."  I have no intentions of hurting anyone's feelings, and if they are indeed hurt by my statement, then maybe their "faith" and "belief" is not as strong as we are led to believe.  I prefer to make the statement, "I do not accept the existence of a god."  The question "Do you believe in.... " is so much a christian construct that I prefer not to use it.  I have not heard people of other religions using it. 

                    If I was susceptible to the fear which is at the basis of all christian theology, then your emphatic statements about god and salvation would be leading me into great anxiety.   You would probably be successful in drawing me back into Christianity.   In this respect, we have a level playing field here, don't you think?

                    There seems to be a certain amount of elitism within the christian church which puts it above all other religions.  I mean amongst certain Christians; the churches are only made up of mortal humans.   This is also true of the other mono-theist religion.

                2. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Not interested in converting anybody Jonny, that is solely the task of the Holy Spirit, and if you have not received Him, or rejected Him, well, that is your perogative.

                  I am only concerned with ensuring that folk KNOW that they make that choice, to accept or reject Christ, in the full knowledge of what they choose.



                  Your conclusion, which obviously you must have reached on the experiences you have had; whereas myself, and every other believer, reached a different conclusion.... and started a relationship with God, through Christ and the Holy Spirit.

                  Anybody who has achieved that knows that what you conclude is incorrect..... for them.... you are entitled to believe or not believe as you wish, that is the beauty of our Gods world, He gave us free will to recognise Him, or recognise ourselves or whoever we choose, as the guiding light in our lives.



                  I look to a living Christ who, daily, via the Holy Spirit, guides me, it is a real relationship, and one which grows as I mature into faith, but I accept that if for you it was impossible or undesirable to meet with God, then your only conclusion must be the one you have reached.

                  IMHO that is a sad situation, but if it provides solace for you to believe what you do, so be it.



                  You presume that you know what I believe, but you are incorrect.

                  I live in a tropical paradise already, courtesy of God in His wisdom, and I never sun myself on the beach in this life, to see that as the epitome of existence is again sad.

                  I look forward to full time communion with God, as a spiritual entity, once my tasks here are completed.

                  Nobody can say what 'heaven' may actually comprise, and I am content to see what happens when I get wherever I am bound for.

                  As for the hell you mention, I have no firm stance on that issue, but logically I presume that if I were God, I would exclude those who had rejected my love from spending eternity with me, if only to grant them their wishes (for Gods exclusion from their existences) and therefore I also presume that God must have made some provision about what to do with them.

                  Fortunately, I am not God so I have no say in what actually happens at death.

                  It may well be that for you "Nothing of consciousness beyond life" will be your destination, after all the parable of the sower states that some seed falls on stoney ground and cannot grow, and obviously a dead plant produces no seed or fruit to guarantee the continuity of life.



                  Your choice, I hope that you are correct, but of course we will only know that when we shake off this mortal coil.



                  As you may be aware, I am a keen opponent of Churchianity, belong to no official church body or doctrine and dislike the hirelings who promote what you and I find so offensive, but they serve their purpose, eliminating those who seek Christ for the wrong reasons, and hiding amongst their number those who are the remnant that God has retained since time began to serve Him whilst they abide here in temporal life.

                  By definition, anybody who rejects or denies Christ, is an antichrist, it's a description that is self explanatory, there will be an individual who will be THE ANTICHRIST, but you are undoubtedly not him, though I suspect he is alive as we speak, being groomed for his role in the whole end times scenario, there have been many possible contenders for the title, but to date none have fulfilled all the requirements.

                  We will clearly know when he appears, and most of the world will worship him in their ignorance.

              2. jonnycomelately profile image87
                jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                One further point, or a couple maybe.

                In the aftermath of the big earthquake in Haiti, two years ago, you can imagine the pathos of people who have lost their loved ones; their home; their entire world possessions.  Some of them were pretty well destitute anyway, even before the earthquake, but things were 100-fold worse after it.

                If an individual or a community finds solace and inspiration and encouragement from or within the church and the message it brings, I have absolutely no quarrel with that.   Every respect.  It is not for me to judge whether they should believe this, or believe that, it's none of my business.  It's most unlikely they will be trying to shove their beliefs at this time down my throat!

                However, if there are individuals with ulterior motives, who are keeping the people tied to religious beliefs, and thereby delaying the people from good, solid practical measures to lift them out of their difficulties, then I see the religious push as evil, even as an "anti-christ," if you like to call it that.

                1. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Agreed, indeed folk I was associated with raised $34,000 to send to the relief funds for Haiti, and I particularly agree that "individuals with ulterior motives, who are keeping the people tied to religious beliefs, and thereby delaying the people from good, solid practical measures to lift them out of their difficulties, then I see the religious push as evil"

                  The religious push that prevailed prior to the earthquake was Voodoo, and the Voodoo priests had declared Haiti a Voodoo entity, controlled by Voodoo spiritual forces, even the Government had declared that Voodoo was the official 'religion' of Haiti, and the Catholic Church had turned a blind eye to their congregations adulterous spiritual desires.

                  Then the earthquake came, and the Christian relief agencies flooded into the island, and an astounding number of folk rejected Voodoo and Catholicism, but turned instead to Christ alone.

                  God works in mysterious ways, the folk of Haiti had been in Voodoos clutches for years, and their half of the island was destitute and getting worse, whereas the Dominican republic, which makes up the other half of the island was virtually untouched, and has long been a prosperous island to live in. The majority of Dominicans are Christians.... go figure!

    4. pennyofheaven profile image83
      pennyofheavenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Makes sense to me.

    5. graceomalley profile image87
      graceomalleyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      What you are saying fits perfectly with my experience of Jesus. When he came into my life I was adrift in the world, I had no plan, I had no stability. I was 14, and a good deal of this could be chalked up to being raised by a bipolar alcoholic. By definition, there is no stability, and even reality is up for grabs. My internal experience of Jesus was one of calm, sanity and direction. He saved me. After committing myself to him, a whole new world opened up to me, I began to plan an education, I had a future for the first time. When I connected with the church ( I found him outside church), I heard all the doctrines about being lost in sin and so forth. That didn't really match my experience, though I wasn't much inclined to argue. I grew up lost because my father was gone to PTSD after Viet Nam, and my mother was mentally ill. Well, and all the drinking. Some of this could be described as 'sin' but alot of it was just how things were. And none of it was anything I had done.

      I think for me, I think of sin more broadly, as anything which separates us from God and his ways. Jesus does save us from this type of sin, the chaos of the world. But most think of sin as specific actions.

    6. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
      HeadlyvonNogginposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Genesis 3:22-24 - And the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become as one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live for ever”—
      therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden to till the ground from whence he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


      I know you and I differ in opinion as far as early Genesis and whether or not it's a literal telling, but I think we both agree that the creation of Adam is tied to the emergence of the human ego. Many of the more negative traits of humanity did not exist in primitive man, and that still appears to be the case in many of the indigenous populations still in existence; war and violence, separating people by classes, treating women as inferior, slavery, etc. That all began around 6000 years ago and it started in Mesopotamia.

      According to Genesis, once Adam and Eve were 'like God' in knowing good and evil, they were cast out of the garden so that they could not also eat of the tree of life. They were given a lifespan with an expiration date. I relate this to a cancerous cell. What makes cancerous cells dangerous is that they don't adhere to the behavior dictated by the DNA code, including dying when they're supposed to. For the body to function, all the cells of the body must behave a particular way. When a cell no longer behaves as it's supposed to, it no longer serves its intended purpose and becomes a danger to the rest of the body.

      Personally, I don't read the passages about an 'eternal flame' as eternal punishment. The whole idea of eternal damnation works much better as a scare tactic for organized religion than anything else. I read that to mean it's the flame itself that is eternal. But I do think that those that do not choose to acknowledge God as the authority are not allowed to move on. Like a cancerous cell, they are dangerous because the knowledge of good and evil and the ability to choose our own behavior outside of God's will is a powerful capability.

      Belief in Jesus acknowledges God as the authority to adhere to by acknowledging the purpose of Jesus being for us and our sin. No matter behavior, as long as that acknowledgement is there, all is forgiven. It's the choice that matters. The acknowledgement that we do not know better than Him and that He is the ultimate authority. And I think that when you do acknowledge that, as many believers I'm sure can attest, there are times that you feel more connected/less lost. Other times you feel distant. So I do think there's something to how you're reading John 3:16.

      That's my take, anyway.

      1. aguasilver profile image87
        aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Good take on things. +1!

    7. Chris Neal profile image84
      Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Who waited 4000 years? The OT Prophecies were pointing to Him, and then He fulfilled them.

    8. AntonOfTheNorth profile image60
      AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      "I therefore suggest that John 3:16 can be understood. . ."
      This is the problem with any written text professing to be the word of god.  People will always INTERPRET it.  My interpretation will almost certainly be different from yours.  My opinion will always tell you more about me than about what I'm interpreting.

      "Truth is only that which is taken to be true."   Tom Stoppard

      cheers

      1. Disappearinghead profile image90
        Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Very true. The trouble is the Church has historically attempted to stop anyone from interpreting the bible. When it couldn't stop the bible being published in people's vernacular, they then tried to insist that the Church's interpretations we're the correct ones, hence were born it's doctrines and 'correct thinking'.

        1. AntonOfTheNorth profile image60
          AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It is not just the church that does that though.  It is every individual who spends any time at all reading the bible, or the quoran or . . . (pick your book).

          In any other form of writing the only (ONLY) entity who knows what is meant by the word is the writer of that word.  Everyone else will interpret what they think it means.  This is true of every document ever written, in any language we have ever written in. 

          The bible is no different.  The book I can read now was written by a man, regardless of what we believe about the original source. 

          Everyone who reads interprets meaning based on their own bias.

          Hence, any book I can read means to me what I think it does. 

          If you and I agree on enough things, we have a religion.

          What has that to do with the truth?

          cheers

    9. PseudoLogic profile image59
      PseudoLogicposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Saved from ceasing to exist forever. IE "eternal death" and "burning up". There are countless examples of this in the old and new testament, all you have to do is look.

      1. PseudoLogic profile image59
        PseudoLogicposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Also, probably the biggest theme of the old testament is about sin and evil. Why do you think sacrifices were constantly being made to God? It was so that they would not be punished, so they could be saved. Judaism's basis is that we are saved and redeemed through keeping the law. That is why they would pray "thank you for making my soul pure" because originally it was not, but by following God's revealed law it has been made pure, and thus been saved from its impurity and God's judgement. I suggest you do a little more research next time.

        1. Sawfishlagoon profile image60
          Sawfishlagoonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Actually, the biggest theme of the old testament is human nature and and interaction with each other and God.

  2. 0
    Emile Rposted 4 years ago

    I think you are on to something. One of the problems I see in dogmatic religion is it doesn't allow ideas to evolve. They take snippets of information that were pasted together by powers that be in an ancient world...ideas presented to a world with a drastically different understanding...to a society  accustomed to brutish practices and insist the 'truths' as understood then are true now.  It reminds me of why I didn't buy into the Better Baby Institute. Rote memory is not knowledge and stands in the way of wisdom.

    If you can't see the benchmark that was set firmly in place then it's easy to pick and choose passages to support a particular viewpoint. The benchmark I see is 'the why'. What is the purpose?

    Why was Jesus' ministry necessary? Because the why needed to be placed at the forefront of the mind. Never forgotten. Your explanation plays to my understanding of the why.

    1. lone77star profile image91
      lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Emile, logical as always. But you ignore one possibility: the Bible wasn't meant to "evolve," but be understood. Dogmatic religion prevents that understanding. People get lazy and depend upon their elders to "interpret" it all for them.

      If you had children who were running around deliriously on some unknown drug, you might have a hard time convincing them they needed to escape the building that was on fire. The drug might have them murdering the rescuers (like Jesus). They might think that everything was merely warm and cozy and no need to do anything about it.

      I know that I don't know everything there is about the Bible, even though it's been a part of my entire life. My grandfather was a Southern Baptist minister and missionary, but I disagreed with his dogma. I saw things in the Bible he never would admit to.

      Perhaps the biggest stumbling block for most people (believers and non-believers alike) is that they think they are their bodies. God created "man" in His own image and likeness, but He is not Homo sapiens.

      1. pennyofheaven profile image83
        pennyofheavenposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Yes agree God is not homo sapien

      2. 0
        Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I think we agree on one point. I am simply an advocate of the evolution of understanding. We teach basic concepts to children. We don't expect them to understand the importance, at first. How many kids have scoffed that they will never have a use for algebra in their adult life?

        Understanding of the spiritual, to me, is similar. Humanity is taught lessons for the level humanity can deal with. Foolish laws in Deuteronomy, but foolishness to us wasn't foolishness to them. We have evolved in our understanding of the world around us. We have grown beyond the need for a deity to tell us backing up to animals is bizarre behavior that should be refrained from.

        That is what I see the ministry of Jesus as. The first step in a higher understanding. To be mired in the understanding of Paul and his contemporaries leaves no room for further thought. Two thousand years is a very long time not to move forward. One of the primary problems I have with Islam is that it appears to me that the faith is stagnant. I honestly don't believe that type of behavior is what Jesus was advocating.

        I get a little squeamish with your 'homo sapien body' argument. Something about the term is a turn off. Not sure why. But I am beginning to think it is simply an unfortunate term that plays to an idea I do share with you on some levels.

        1. lone77star profile image91
          lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Emile, I'm humbled. Very nicely put!

          I'm not sure I understand the turn-off by "Homo sapiens body." I would like to understand what you mean. Even speaking hypothetically, any "creator" of the physical universe cannot be made of the same stuff; thus that creator is not Homo sapiens or even space-time-energy-mass. It is pure source -- the perfection of cause without any spot of "effect." This is the Buddhist "paramita" or Zen "one-sided coin."

          From my own viewpoint and understanding, Christianity was shredded and perverted. Constantine and Justinian may have helped the word persist, but their ecumenical councils stifled dissent and free thinking. Heretics were later burned at the stake. I seem to remember one of those cookouts. Later generations had to try to make some sense of the perversion and that may be why we have so many denominations.

          From my own viewpoint and understanding, original Christianity was fresh and still is, because it is the font of creation itself. Such cannot become stale or stagnant. But when ego becomes involved, all manner of stagnation can occur. Perverted truth is not truth.

          I agree that the "Foolish laws in Deuteronomy" were not foolish to them. Perhaps Moses was being a bit harsh, but you have to remember, God isn't interested in these Homo sapiens bodies. What is done to these vessels is of little consequence. That does not get us off the hook in the area of compassion and common sense. Delirious, dead asleep spirit cannot think clearly without the continuity of consciousness provided by these human bodies. We have to protect them as much as is wise to do, but we cannot become too attached to them.

          And the discovery that this continuity of consciousness was once threatened by genetic pollution was a real shock to me. But destroying most of the Homo sapiens bodies and their half-breed offspring was a righteous thing to do.

          Long after the children of God have left this planet, the bodies will still be here doing their thing, descending from civilization into relative chaos -- the wailing and gnashing of victim-perpetrator. And that truly is Hell.

          When man has only the action-reaction laws of physical reality, then that is all that he will have to work with. Things like forgiveness, inspiration and the like will no longer be around to help rebuild civilization. Check out Genesis 6:3. Man is "also" flesh, and God won't be around with him (the flesh part) forever.

          1. 0
            Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I think, we aren't that special but more a part of the whole, in the grand scheme if things. I do think that which we label consciousness, that part that drives the functions of our brain in these 'homo sapien bodies' is a part of a greater network of consciousness. I think it is the manipulation of our unique brain that causes us to be aware of the spiritual, but the disconnect that somehow exists between the two keeps us from accessing. But, how to think without also factoring in perceptions caused by that very manipulation of our unique brain?

            The only way is, as you say, release the ego. But how do we accomplish that? There are so many ideas floating around, and people making tons of money offering to help us do just that. But, they all focus on self. I'm beginning to believe the breakthrough will come when we find a way of recognizing it in others. The spirit within has to believe in the spirit within others. We have to make that connection in order to empower ourselves to use that connection.

            And we are, so quickly, moving away from connectivity. It's as if technology and science pulls us together in some ways and we use those advances to push away from each other. Sometimes I think we are desperately working against ourselves. At others I think maybe we are reaching the top of the hill so the going is more difficult, but we are  on the cusp of greater understanding.

            1. AntonOfTheNorth profile image60
              AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              "It's as if technology and science pulls us together in some ways and we use those advances to push away from each other. "

              I agree.  It is not easy to make a spiritual connection if we put things in the way.
              Often email, voice mail, texting, internet, facebook and etc impose a filter on communication.  I can communicate with more people faster, but I say so much less than I could by being in the same room and simply breathing with you.


              Technology is only a tool.

              Books are technology.

              If you seek communion with a higher power, one must depend less on the lower power that wrote that book.

              cheers

            2. jonnycomelately profile image87
              jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Emile, on these questions, the best and most useful advice I have obtained is from Eckhart Tolle's books, "The Power of Now" and "A New Earth."  The jist of his theses is that the simple act of being aware of the ego is the road to its demise.  The ego is hungry for negative food; it is invasive in one's life; it's clever; manipulative; demands attention.  Just my becoming fully aware, i.e., conscious of my ego, allows me to open up the horizon of my own understanding.

              My ego wants my point of view to be right, as opposed to the views of, say, Chris or Sawfish or Headly.  Their egos want their point of view to be superior to mine.  And so the egos battle it out.

              Once I am aware of the ego, I can actually listen to the opposition without the fear of my being right or wrong... it does not matter.   The new outlook, the new learning, the new consciousness is in essence the most helpful and far reaching purpose.

              Maybe the writer(s) of the Adam and Eve story in the garden did not want man to be happy about knowing the difference between good and evil.   With that knowledge any power over other people goes right out the window.   Keep people ignorant and fearful of knowing the truth, then you have them right where you want them.... under your thumb!

              1. Sawfishlagoon profile image60
                Sawfishlagoonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Under your thumb?

                Why are you so eager to crush me? I am alone here, and not a member of a group. You are not an enlightened man. Your ego is running rampant. You are very contentious. This will bring you no peace.

                1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
                  MelissaBarrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Um... I think you need to re-read Jonny's post... he didn't say that HE wanted anyone under his thumb... he said that God/and or Religion did... and a good way to do that is to keep people ignorant.

                  You owe him an apology for your misunderstanding and over-reaction.

                  1. Sawfishlagoon profile image60
                    Sawfishlagoonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I can't find the post to read it over. A little help, please.

                2. jonnycomelately profile image87
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  "Under your thumb?" My previous post was not directed at you singularly, Sawfish.  However if seems like it did, maybe you have some in-searching to do.

                  "Why are you so eager to crush me?"  In no way would I wish to crush you, Sir.  Your freedom to express your opinion and point of view is paramount.  But surely it does not preclude me from putting an opposite point of view?

                  " I am alone here, and not a member of a group." I understand that, and you have said in your profile that you are a gentle man.  I very much respect that and your choice to live alone is a beautiful thing.

                  " You are not an enlightened man." You are correct.   I have never claimed to be an enlightened man.

                  " Your ego is running rampant." My own ego is something only I can contend with.  It is for me to battle.

                  " You are very contentious."  It takes 2 to tango!

                  " This will bring you no peace."  My path in life can be peaceful or otherwise, depending on the circumstances.   I don't expect any peace or otherwise after my death.... it will be as nothing.

                  1. Sawfishlagoon profile image60
                    Sawfishlagoonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    1. Good luck with that.

                    2, Let's dance.

                    3.Good luck with that.

              2. 0
                Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I agree that ego is always the problem. But, I don't think people want their opinion to be right, as opposed to others being wrong. I think they want their opinion to be heard, discussed, considered, etc.  Since we don't have firm answers, we are interested. I find my ego gets in the way when I believe your belief stomps on others people's rights or feelings. When I can see how your belief terrorizes others on an emotional level. Otherwise, I try to remember that it's simply idle speculation.

                However, I think you do the Adam and Eve story a disservice. That interpretation is short sighted and sad. I think the story was an incredibly ingenious way to answer a multitude of questions ancient man couldn't answer in any other way.

                1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                  jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Fair comment, I had not thought of that aspect.

    2. Disappearinghead profile image90
      Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with you about interpreting what was written in the light of the times. If Paul is writing to Churches that are being persecuted and members murdered, he is going to want to encourage them that it will end abd the guilty will not get away with it. I'm sure that he let his zeal get the better of him sometimes because in other places he talks about universal salvation.

    3. Chris Neal profile image84
      Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, "dogmatic" religion is constantly evolving. New ideas and techniques and methods are introduced all the time. But there are some points on which we can't digress. Jesus is The Son of God. He came to die for our sins. He rose again on the third day. He was born of a virgin. These are non-negotiables.

      1. SwordofManticorE profile image72
        SwordofManticorEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Is He the saviour of all, or only some? Is that negotiable?

        1. Chris Neal profile image84
          Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          He is the savior of all, and no, that isn't negotiable.

          1. SwordofManticorE profile image72
            SwordofManticorEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            So what you are saying is that He has saved all?

            1. Chris Neal profile image84
              Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Yes, but we must accept that salvation and follow His dictates.

              Is that Arabic in your icon? What does it mean?

              1. SwordofManticorE profile image72
                SwordofManticorEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                So according to your theology, Christ will only save some. Not much of a victory if you ask me. And to answer your question, مانتيكور means manticore!

                1. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Which is some creature in a video game.....!

                  It's not about 'victory', Christ has won that already at the cross, it's about us deciding whether we want to be under the victors authority or the losers authority.

                  Once that has been determined, our life and actions and beliefs will come into line with the victors.

                  Your comment that the relevant thing is acknowledging WHO God is (earlier post) is the relevant aspect, sums it up.

                  We are born (by default) into the enemies 'team' and need to make the choice to 'defect' to the victors 'team'.....

                  It all comes down to making the choice to accept the authority of Christ over our lives, once we have done that, God will remove the enemies hold over our lives. smile

                  1. SwordofManticorE profile image72
                    SwordofManticorEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    It has been estimated that since the time of Adam, there have been about 160 billion people that have lived and live today, and only about 5 billion of them were and are now Christians. If 155 billion souls are lost to Adam, it doesn't sound like a victory for Christ.

                2. Chris Neal profile image84
                  Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  No, according to "my" theology Christ save everyone, just some people don't accept it!

                  May seem like a fine line, but it's not.

                  The analogy I've used in the past is that it's like you're living in a small town in a valley. There's been a heavy winter and the spring is unusually wet, and a man who's been up in the mountains has seen that a flood is surely coming. Some people will heed the warning, and some won't because it's never flooded before, so why would it now? The fact is that the man saved everyone, just some people chose not to accept it.

                  1. SwordofManticorE profile image72
                    SwordofManticorEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    This a more accurate theology. The believers are blessed with the knowledge of love, and the rest will be awakened from their sleep in their graves to learne the truth about God, and with that truth, they will see His absolute unconditional mercy, forgiveness and love as all ours and their sins have been forgotten. Keep in mind that the wage of sin is death and only death, and Christ saved us all from it.

      2. MelissaBarrett profile image60
        MelissaBarrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Or... none of those things are literal but his teachings were wise enough to build a faith around and follow.  And... if you follow his teachings you are...by definition... a Christian.

        1. Chris Neal profile image84
          Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          But He taught that He is God. Either He did and He is, or He didn't and the book lies. And if it's the latter, then anyone who has ever called themselves Christian is the biggest fool of all. That's you and me both.

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
            MelissaBarrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            If he is not God then your interpretation of the book lies... not the book itself.

            I personally don't believe Jesus is God.  It doesn't really matter to my belief system though so it's not a biggie for me.  Nor is the virgin birth thing the resurrection or the dying for our sins.  Those things I guess are handy to prove is divinity but... again... his divinity is a non-requirement to my faith.  That doesn't make me a fool... it just means that I don't need someone to walk on water to acknowledge their wisdom.

            1. Chris Neal profile image84
              Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I think you're missing the point, no offense intended. He claimed divinity for Himself, that's in the book. So either the book is stating the fact or it's stating a lie. It must be one or the other. To say that it's not necessary to believe His divinity in order to believe in His wisdom would, to paraphrase C.S. Lewis, be foolish. He didn't leave us that option. Either we believe He is God or we believe He isn't. If He's not, then He's a liar and we're just not that bright, no matter what shine you want to put on the coin.

              1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Of course, the people down the ages have written the book could have been so biased in their thinking that they wanted to lead you believe that he was divine.

                If fact no enlightened person could say such a thing about him or her self.  That statement, "I am the way the truth and the life," means the oneness of now, the OM, the Christ within us, the Divinity which is the "I AM."  That man Jesus, or whatever his name was, in what ever language he was known, did not declare that he was "God Above All Creation." 

                The "God Within," synonymous with the Pure Self, Pure Consciousness, has been known by every enlightened person throughout history.  We are, each one of us, ONE with the entire creation.  NOT separate. 

                The "Book" which you are relying on has been mis-interpreted.  Chris, you are deceived.  The path to "salvation" is through your inner being, your awareness, your total consciousness. Every thing that Jesus is quoted as saying to people around him was directing the individual to look inside of him or herself for the answers.  He was not encouraging them to look to him personally for their salvation.  Why would he?

                1. Sawfishlagoon profile image60
                  Sawfishlagoonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, sir he did. The book has not been embellished. I understand that many do not accept the book. The book is not God.The book is not really necessary, it is a blessing. Each person can seek God face to face. If you do not see God, you have your back turned. "I am" is his name.

                  The book says, "let every man be found a liar." That much is true. Your inner voice is a liar too. Yours is telling you that you do not need redemption.

                  1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                    jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I will continue to rely on my Inner Voice, thank you.   Much more reliable than the opinions of a "believer," like yourself.  I respect your right to have that belief.  But you don't scare me.

                    But I see you are a gentle person, so please don't become extinct!

                2. Chris Neal profile image84
                  Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  You're right, no truly enlightened person would say such a thing.

                  But God would!

                  1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                    jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    In your mind only. (And the minds of others, of course.)

                3. jacharless profile image81
                  jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  +1  Are they getting that message {Good News} yet or holding on to their doctrines for dear life?
                  Some of my studies/interactions, post-ministry, are lining up pretty well, in that people either believe without the attachments {sinner, salvation, books, mechanics -whatever} cannot really survive and accomplish the immortal stasis or dismiss everything about the doctrine including their potential for immortality. I do not think it is a laziness, per say, on the part of either. There is this safety net or bungee cord snap-back that happens. It is the 'ultimate' fear. A piece of the mind -ego, that believes if loosed, would result in oblivion. Like the mind saying, "Don't kill me! I can help you." Like stepping off the edge in the darkest deep, not knowing where they will end up -on solid ground or falling spiral, into infinity.

                  James.

                  1. Chris Neal profile image84
                    Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Just out of curiosity, where do you stand on the inerrancy of Scripture?

                4. Jerami profile image78
                  Jeramiposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Gotta agree with this post. Some people believe that when others disagree with the interpretations of the  Church, this is heresy!!!!     And maybe it is?  And maybe Heresy is a good thing in Gods eyes.

                  To deny the authority of Church to interpret Holy Scripture any way it wants to do so?
                  We know how the church feels about Heretics;  I wonder what Gods view is/will be?

                  1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image86
                    HeadlyvonNogginposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Galileo was found 'vehemently suspect of heresy' and spent the rest of his life under house arrest for re-interpreting verses in the bible pertaining to his discovery that the sun was at the center of our planetary system. Heretics are in good company.

                5. Sawfishlagoon profile image60
                  Sawfishlagoonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Jesus was not an "enlightened person". He is God. God can do all sorts of stuff that you can't get your mind around. He took up the flesh and came in person. Somehow, he still stayed home. He suffered rejection and apparent defeat. He was treated like garbage. There is still a lot of that going around. If you want to throw away your gift, it is your prerogative, but don't malign me for receiving mine.

                  I suspect that your conscience is bothering you and you are trying to shut it up. You are holding a one way ticket to nowhere. Cash it in for a good one. It isn't too late.

                6. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Jonny, those words Christ spoke were the words that condemned Him to death by crucifixion, because in Exodus God clearly identified Himself as I AM, and when Christ stated that he was the ONLY way to the Father, the Sanhedrin condemned Him for blasphemy.

                  When He stood before Pilate, He could have walked free if only He had retracted those words, but He chose to be beaten, scourged, abused and crucified rather than deny His divinity. (attained or otherwise)

                  Deepak Chopra makes a good case that Christ started of human and reached the anointing through His ability to defeat the enemy who sought to 'destroy' Him. (as he still seeks to destroy all of us)

                  It can be argued that the enemy was seeking to destroy the 'inner self' that Christ had managed to elevate to the anointing by His ability to resist the world and sin, but even in Chopra's supposition, Christ reached the status of 'the anointed one' and became the ONLY human being to defeat death because He was perfect.

                  That perfection, which defeated once and for all the power of the enemy, will never be attained again, and was only attained because Christ did the complete will of God in His life.

                  Christ having reached that level, there was no reason for any other human to contest the enemy, Christ had defeated death and there was no changing that fact.

                  But of course in order to defeat death, Christ needed to be killed without reason, i.e. He needed to be innocent of the 'offence' He was killed for.

                  That was and is the significance of the words "I am the way the truth and the life," .

                  That statement condemned Him, unless it was the truth, so that His death and resurrection was essential to show that the enemy had been defeated for all time.

                  Attempting to reach the anointing personally is good, but unessential, Christ did it all, and although we should all seek to receive the anointing personally, we will never succeed, for we have all sinned, nor is it required that we should.

                  Christ has already defeated death, the enemy and every lie that is stated against us.

                  This topic has been about love, the love of God and the concept that God would condemn any human to eternal damnation and torture, and has been a good topic.

                  DH has sent me material I am studying, for truth can be revealed that changes our perceptions and we all should be open to changing what we find to be in error.

                  Once we have identified something as error.

                  I ask you the question, if God exists, and offers you the opportunity to accept His love, when you met with Him, would you?

                  1. jonnycomelately profile image87
                    jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    "IF"  .....  you know my answer to this.   Your question is irrelevant to me.

      3. 0
        Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Judging by Melissa's response, it appears you are wrong. smile

        1. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Much as I cherish Melissa, neither her or mine or anyone else's response except Gods is valid.

          The Apostles Creed is quite details and specific on what constitutes saving faith according to Gods word, any deviation from that creed is personal choice, but all that have deviated have been seen and declared as heretic cults, and normally end up badly.

          People can interpret the bible however they wish, but the combined consideration of many generations of theologians, scholars, men of faith and God,  as well as the Church Fathers:

          Tertullian
          Origen
          Irenaeus
          Jerome
          Athanasius
          Clement of Alexandria
          Justin Martyr
          Ambrose
          John Chrysostom
          Luther
          Calvin
          Wesley
          and many others, have all agreed to the basics that define faith and salvation through Grace.

          I do not deny that God can always reveal or change perceptions, but think it unlikely that He will at this late stage of the end times scenario.

          Yes acknowledging who God is, by believing in Christ, is probably/possibly sufficient for Gods Grace to triumph over justice, but I personally would not rely on what was unsubstantiated by 2000 years of preceding believers.

          1. MelissaBarrett profile image60
            MelissaBarrettposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            The problem with the Apostles Creed... theologically... is that it is not biblical.  It was designed by committee several centuries after the events in the NT were claimed to have happened and re-revised several decades later.

            If you look over the political situation at the time you will see that there were several things that MAY have contributed to it's drafting.  In particular the trinity idea was stressed as Jesus as a divinity violated the concepts of monotheism.  Tensions between Jews (the vast majority at the time) and Christians (who were largely seen as cultish) were considerably eased by the idea that the trinity were indeed one entity hence still monotheistic... at least technically.

            It should also be noted that several established Christian religions with different views on several of the points of the Apostles Creed (notably Unitarianism) actually predate the protestant religions... and were actually well established and thriving before Luther ever nailed anything to a door.

            1. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Point/s taken.

              Personally I believe that God is totally capable of having delivered what He wanted to be known and accepted through history, and that anybody, possessing nothing more than a bible (any bible) and a comprehensive understanding of the language it was written in, or a dictionary in that language, can find God, through Christ sufficiently to accept their salvation and become a new creation in Christ.

              We sometimes forget that even the non believers are guided and controlled to a degree by God and His actions, so I have no doubt that a gathering of all the acknowledged branches of Christianity were capable of defining Gods word to a degree where what was agreed was in line with what God wanted agreed.

              It seems absurd to think that God was/has been/is incapable of achieving the delivery of His central themes to His church.

              On the other hand, long ago God answered e that we would be more surprised about who WAS in eternity, rather than who was not. smile

              I only make my decisions, and from the start have accepted that all I could do was my best to serve Him, and if that was insufficient, then so be it, I would still accept His decision on my fate.

              I've read the end of the book, and God wins, our task is to not stand in the way or assist the enemy.

          2. 0
            Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            My point wasn't what God may, or may not, think.  The point was that Chris' statement wasn't one agreed upon across the board by Christians.

            And, you give your opinion too much credit. It is not backed by two thousand years of agreement on the topic. If the truth be known, if you look at all the believers who have every lived, all of the opinions across the board from all of the sects throughout that time.....yours would, most likely, be in the minority.

            I know, I know. You think God speaks to you daily. So, if a spiritual realm does exist (considering the information supplied above), you should seriously question what entity you might be calling God.  It might not be the one you think it is. smile

            1. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              If we get it wrong, we get it wrong, that is what making a decision is all about, being prepared to stake your eternity on what you believe.

              1. 0
                Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                You really attempt to play to the dramatic. roll

                I simply cannot understand how anyone could believe a deity existed who was willing to deny humans access after death because they don't believe something so obviously preposterous and because they don't buy into Chicken Little religious beliefs and foolish interpretations of an ancient book.

                I have more respect for the idea than making a mockery of Love, Compassion and Reason.  If God exists, he is better than such beliefs.

                1. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Late reply, but I need to sleep sometimes!

                  So do not believe it.... your choice.

                  It's not because " they don't buy into Chicken Little religious beliefs and foolish interpretations of an ancient book." - It's because they refuse to acknowledge that God is who He states and live in rebellion against God.

                  The book tells us how to understand God and get closer to Him, it will give that understanding to anyone who accepts that God is the authority in their lives, but is obscured from those who deny God and want to be their own authority over their life.

                  The big problem seems to be that some folk view Gods Creation as a place where things are fair, and it's not.

                  There are no free lunches.

                  Just like our own bodies, humanity contains some cancer cells, indeed we all carry the capacity to have cells turn cancerous.

                  Some folk take care to avoid creating situations where cancer can thrive, the stay alkaline and avoid things that cause them to turn acidic, and they never get cancer.

                  Others make lifestyle choices, by their will or in ignorance, that cause their cells to turn cancerous.

                  When they are diagnosed as having cancer, they either turn to the doctor to cut, poison and burn them, in the hope that they 'cure' their cancer, or they set about changing their lives to bring their body to a state where their immune system does it's job of protecting them and destroys the cancer.

                  Now view sin as cancer and Gods authority as the immune system, and the comparison comes to life.

                  If we ignore or seek to destroy our immune system by our choices, we will 'die'.

                  Love, Compassion and Reason don't count when we don't love our immune system, show no compassion to our bodies and live lives that defy reason, then try to blame God, who in His Love, Compassion and Reason, gave us the 'immune system' that we have, but deny or abuse in our quest to do it 'our way'

                  I am not "playing to the dramatic", I am simply stating things clearly, we all have a choice, do it our way and reap the rewards and consequences, or do it Gods way and receive what He desires to give us, if we do not refuse it.

                  Why would God want to invite 'cancerous' humans into His greater body? - when they had never made the choice to stay healthy and respect their 'immune system'?

                  Just like with cancer, if you change your lifestyle, your immune system can defeat it, but once you are too far gone, it or your attempts to fight it whilst still destroying your immune system with chemo etc will kill you, and once dead, the question becomes irrelevant,

                  God is JUST,,,,,,  not FAIR.

                  1. 0
                    Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I don't see myself as cancer. But, whatever helps you sleep at night aqua.

                  2. SwordofManticorE profile image72
                    SwordofManticorEposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    @Auquasilver. God is Just? Or is you friend that demands justice?

                2. Chris Neal profile image84
                  Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, He absolutely is.

                  1. 0
                    Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Hi Chris. smile

                    I have to admit to a little confusion here. I'm no different from anyone else. I enjoy people agreeing with me. But, aren't you a Calvinist? How does my statement fit into your philosophy?

          3. Disappearinghead profile image90
            Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            John what makes someone a theologian or a scholar? Someone who accepts Church orthodoxy because to disagree is heresy. Heresy is to condemn oneself to a burning hell.

            Some of those you listed I think are highly questionable:
            - Jerome first coined 'Lucifer' and added the term to the Latin Vulgate bible, and invented a character not present in the Hebrew.
            - Origen linked this Lucifer to Satan, misread Isaiah 14, and first concocted the story of Satan being cast out of Heaven because of pride. Oh how this unbiblical myth continues.
            - Irenaeus said there could only be four gospels because the Earth had four corners and four winds. Thus all other gospels were dismissed. Obviously logic and objective rational thought were not his strong points?
            - Tertullian “At that greatest of all spectacles, that last and eternal judgment how shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness;  so many magistrates liquefying in fiercer flames than they ever kindled against the Christians; so many sages philosophers blushing in red-hot fires with their deluded pupils; so many tragedians more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings; so many dancers tripping more nimbly from anguish then ever before from applause."
            - Calvin who invented the sick doctrine that God only ever intended to save a few chosen elect and that all along God intended that the vast majority of humanity would only serve as fuel from the fires of hell. He also allegedly had some of his theological enemies burned to death in green slow burning wood.

            I cannot for the life of me understand why the Church holds so many of these Church Fathers in such high regard when we see now how bigoted, ignorant, blind and uneducated they were.

            1. jonnycomelately profile image87
              jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Disappearinghead, it's good to see a different perspective on all these religious ramblings in Hub Pages. 

              Thanks for doing your research.....questions can only come from personal recognition that: 

              "I have lots more to learn."

              1. Disappearinghead profile image90
                Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                JCL, it seems to me that one does not need to have a particularly high IQ or acquainted with a rational mind to be a Church leader, scholar, pastor or pope. One only needs to talk the party line with authority and make claims such as "God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit has shown me.......". It is rare that anyone is called out. Oh there is so much Emperor's new clothes.

            2. a49eracct profile image61
              a49eracctposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Amen to that

        2. Chris Neal profile image84
          Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          smile

          I guess by now I should have learned that there's no arguing with Melissa!

      4. jonnycomelately profile image87
        jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Stating so clearly the reasons I am not christian.

        1. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Great, you made your choice, I respect that.

  3. lone77star profile image91
    lone77starposted 4 years ago

    @Disappearinghead, you pose a powerful question and give some thought-provoking information to kick off the discussion, but I'm not sure how accurate your facts are.

    You said, "According to Judaism there is no original sin and nothing to be saved from." Okay, that may apply to certain parts of Judaism, but perhaps not all of it. There have long been numerous denominations of Judaism, though not as many as are in Christianity. Some Jews believe in reincarnation and the Kabbalah.

    Look at the description of Adam and Eve being kicked out of Eden. They were being condemned and their offspring were being condemned along with them. That condemnation is the original sin. That's in Genesis! Not the New Testament!

    But Eden wasn't a physical place. Despite all of the descriptions, those "physical" trappings were metaphorical. God said that Adam would die on the day he ate of the forbidden fruit, but did he literally, physically die? No, he and Eve were escorted out of the Garden and Adam lived to the ripe old age of 930 years. But was that Adam an individual? No! Genesis 5:2 tells us that Adam was male and female and a group -- all of humanity.

    Genesis 1:26-27 tells us that man was created in the image and likeness of God. But I have to remind you that God is not Homo sapiens. Man is created again in Genesis 2:7, but this time from the dust of the ground. God is not made of dust, either. This second creation is Homo sapiens. Dust is chemical elements. Genesis 6:3 emphasizes this dual nature when it says, "And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh." If man is "also" flesh, then he must be something else, too. That other thing is spirit -- in the image and likeness of God.

    Very few in the Bible actually walked with God. So many got into trouble, even amongst His chosen people, because they were living of this world, rather than being of God and His world.

    Jesus clears this up by hinting what the forbidden fruit was all about. When he said that those who try to save their life will surely lose it, he was talking about ego. Ego is easily bruised and needs protection. This is the self-centered nature of most Homo sapiens. And ego is the root of all evil.

    Ego is the forbidden fruit. Look at how it's described in Genesis. Fruit is also another word for product or end result, as in "fruits of your labor." The tree it came from was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What are good and evil? They are two sides of a dichotomy. And in human experience there are many dichotomies -- good-evil, right-wrong, generous-selfish, compassion-indifference, wisdom-stupidity and many more.

    Jesus pointed out that even though the Pharisees were being so "good," they had it all wrong. But why? They were following the letter of the law. It seems they were missing the spirit of the law -- the reason behind it. "Good" for the sake of ego is evil. So, anyone can do all manner of good deeds, but if they seek adulation, they are merely trapping themselves in this world.

    Understand this. Hell is a decision. You decide whether or not you will take on hell. Let me give you an analogy:

    If you stand on the roof of a 20-story building and then step off, you go splat on the pavement. God created the laws of physical reality -- gravity, electron-shells in atomic structure, repulsive force of electron shells in adjacent atoms (which gives us solidity), and much more. When you purposefully destroy your own body by such suicide, your collision with the ground is God "hating" you at the velocity of impact. Understand?

    God doesn't "hate" at all, in the normal, human sense.

    And whatever happens to these Homo sapiens bodies is of little consequence. It's the dead asleep immortals within that He is interested in -- His sleeping children. That's who He is attempting to rescue. And it can't happen without a decision by the individual child of God.

    Eternal torment? Read Genesis 6:3 again (above). God will not always remain with man (the physical part). What happens when humans are left to the mechanics of physical reality alone? The Bible describes it as "wailing and gnashing" -- victim and perpetrator. Blood feuds! Civilization won't last. Humanity will descend into relative anarchy. Without the guidance and wisdom of things like forgiveness (which breaks with the bonds of continuity), it all hinges on action-reaction. Sounds like Hell, to me.

    1. Disappearinghead profile image90
      Disappearingheadposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Lonestar you pose a couple interesting ideas I have not previously considered. Are you suggesting that God first made the spirit man then the physical body with a period in between? I shall have to think them over and read up a bit.

      Sure there was an original son in the sense of a first sin, but Augustine went way off in another direction. Because he struggled with sin he thought there was something inherently wrong with him, and if him, then everyone else too. The Church liked this idea because it enabled a greater degree of control over people. But God told Cain that he could have mastery over sin and according to David God knit us together in the womb and thus that which God directly made cannot be sinful in nature.

      If Adam sinned and so death came, then yes we too die because we are from Adam. But in Christ ALL are made alive.

    2. a49eracct profile image61
      a49eracctposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Gale does not create man twice...the Bible reads this way because Genesis has many authors and waswritten in 3 different disciplines. As proof of my statement look at the story of Noah. In one verse he sends out a dove to check the water level, then he sends a raven. In one chapter the flood lasts 40 days and nights. The next chapter reads 150 years. Researchers believe that the authors of Genesis mixed up two different stories on the very same page. However the end result is still the same. Also, Genesis is not metaphorically written. It primarily is in poetic form.

      1. a49eracct profile image61
        a49eracctposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        God*

  4. SwordofManticorE profile image72
    SwordofManticorEposted 4 years ago

    Saved from the long sleep of death in our graves.

  5. WD Curry 111 profile image61
    WD Curry 111posted 4 years ago

    We are saved from the penalty of our sin. We are being saved from the power of sin, and we will be saved from the presence of sin.

    If you see it otherwise, more power to you. We can sit and watch the sunset together. We will see it the same.

    1. jonnycomelately profile image87
      jonnycomelatelyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      WD, does that mean we  can't have any more fun in the presence of god?

      1. WD Curry 111 profile image61
        WD Curry 111posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I hate to answer a question with a question, but it is all I can think of. Is sin the only thing that is fun?

        Of course, I know you are "pulling my leg", brother. Good to see ya!

      2. Chris Neal profile image84
        Chris Nealposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It means that if you truly know God, your definition of fun changes!

  6. Druid Dude profile image61
    Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago

    God, male and female, does exist, and is better than such beliefs. Trust me.smile

  7. Mary Mahorney profile image78
    Mary Mahorneyposted 4 years ago

    Have you read the law?? There is no original sin?  Abraham had the promise, He was a hebrew before the law. We, as christians, are the children of promise.

  8. Mary Mahorney profile image78
    Mary Mahorneyposted 4 years ago

    He said I did not come to destroy the law but fulfill it.
    He also said the law is fulfilled in this
    That you love the Lord your God with all your heart soul and mind
    And that you love your neighbor as yourself.
    That still doesn't elminate us from the follow the bible. It was written by men who actually knew jesus. The gospels were all written within the first 100 years,  no time for legend to appear, there were eye witnesses still alive when they were written.

  9. Sawfishlagoon profile image60
    Sawfishlagoonposted 4 years ago

    In Judaism, there is original sin. Adam was the original sinner. I don't know about church doctrines that say you are born in sin. In Ezekial it says each person does there own sinning the child is not tainted by the sins of the father. My kids are happy about that, I can assure you.

 
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