IF you could believe, even for a moment, that the Bible's really true, that God Almighty is All-Powerful, the God of Love, Judgement, Salvation, Author of all that's good, and that Satan is the epitome of evil....that, in the end, he loses the fight in rebellion against God,
That you have an immortal soul that will one day go to Heaven or an everlasting lake of fire,
I agree with what you have said. I do not agree with the 10,000 diffrent interpretations of what is written in scripture. If what the bible says is true, Why can't we believe what it says without interpretating it to say something diffrent.
That's a fair question to ask and deserves a fair answer.
The problem is that there are too many answers and too many explanations to consider.
The first one to consider is whether or not one is going to scrutinize the bible or simply accept it entirely on faith.
Once one begins scrutinizing the bible, they also have to take into consideration other religions and other gods, past and present, the problems with the supernatural, miracles and extraordinary events that contradict physics, biology, cosmology, to name a few, the fact that mankind was driven primarily on myths and superstitions centuries ago.
There simply is nothing at all occurring in the world today that would agree with those ideas, none whatsoever. There's just us and nature.
If one was to believe in a soul and that soul had a chance to burn in a lake of fire for eternity if a god so deemed, then it would be far better off not believing in a soul then risk having to roast for an eternity. Going to heaven isn't worth the trouble.
Before any of that, you have to decide what "The Bible" is. The "devine word of God" is the result of centuries of careless, (or sometimes deliberate), bad transaltion, political influence, and creative editing. Even today's versions don't agree on such basics as the ten commandments.
After a brief glance at the responses to this thread, it looks like a lot of unbelievers (in Christianity) are having a hard time suspending their disbelief. It seems to me that anyone who genuinely believed the Bible was true would then go on to accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour and enter into Heaven. This is what I would do if I believed in the Bible, but there just isn't any good reason to believe.
The argument defeats itself from the outset, in any case. For God to have created a Lake of Fire for regular Joes like you and me, who try to mind their own business, and sometimes spread a little cheer when they can, he must be a pretty mean dude. And nothing like the guy who used to hang out with lepers and prostitutes, and children. At which point the whole thing falls apart.
exactly...which is why someone who cares to take the time to find out what hell actually IS will find that the Bible does NOT mention a place where HUMANS are tortured eternally. *slaps forehead* I can't STAND it when Christians don't read their own book.
Jesus has uplifted many humans to saints. those who are one with god the cosmic force or spirit, the intelligence that creates and destroys universes.This intelligence man needs to merge with through meditation.
I find it appalling that the Christian church has thrived for thousands of years on the basis of blasphemous filth that Jesus (and others in the Bible) DID NOT teach. It's no wonder that people like earnestshub and cagsil think God's psychotic and religion is a business: Because that's how they portray themselves AND God.
Then so-called "Christians" (god it makes me ill to be lumped in with them just because I believe in Christ) want to come on here making inflammatory remarks about whose going to burn in a lake of fire and who needs to be saved, but then will turn around and tell you Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins. God how can people be so stupid and blind?
Yep, I am sure I'd have taken more time to examine the depiction of Jesus and weighed it up more carefully if it weren't for the firestorm of vitriol going both ways (and to which I contribute ) regarding religion.
Jesus was never straight about the whole Messiah, Son of God, Salvation, etc thing, but always dodged the issue. And how the Old Testament got mixed up in this I'll never know.
And we could do without the apostles Paul and John giving their two cents' worth... though Paul did say one thing worth saying... morality is written on our hearts, ie., the spirit of the law is more important than the letter (two quotes in one actually)... too bad some "Christians" missed that bit...
There's a guy running around the forums (I'm sure you've seen) making silly statements that can only be paraphrased as "being better than the Bible." You see how the forums react to him?
If Jesus had run around saying he was the Son of God, the Messiah sent to save everyone, I contend he would have met with the same fate. Would it not be better to merely BE who and what one IS, and let actions speak louder than words--as they do in men's hearts anyway?
Oh, sure, Christianity is all love and fluff and cuddles if you throw out the parts that are murder and torture and hatred. The whole thing becomes a lot less offensive if you do that.
But it isn't exactly rational.
The biblical basis for Hell is sketchy, sure, but it's not as if that's the only terrible thing in there. It does describe a god who creates mankind imperfect, then insists they beg forgiveness for the imperfection he inflicted upon them, and he does regularly engage in deal out horrific punishments to humankind for those imperfections. That flood business, for instance.
He also commands a few genocides, forces the Egyptians to enslave the Jews so that he can show off how bad ass he is, inflicting horrors on the Egyptians as punishment for the crimes he forced them commit...
...the god of the bible is not a nice guy, even when you take Hell out of the equation.
So one has to wonder where you're getting the idea of this god of fluff and cuddles.
Exactly by throwing out most of the Bible. As for God, I wasn't talking about God, I was talking about Jesus... who, as I suggested, was very cagey about the whole Son-of-God thing anyway. In any case, welcome to the forums
I agree, God is NOT fluff and cuddles. Neither are we, and we're made in His image.
Check it out: The commandment does NOT say thou shalt not KILL. It says, thou shalt not MURDER. I'm sure everyone will think I'm just the most horrific person who ever lived, but you know what? Sometimes, there's a reason to kill something, and sometimes when it happens, it's not murder. And if there is a God (I am intelligent enough to admit that I might be wrong in my BELIEF), I believe He's capable of knowing, better than we are, when something needs to be put out of its misery.
What do you do with a weed in your garden? You kill it. What do you do with poisonous insect in your house? You kill it. A wild animal tearing through your neighborhood: kill it.
On a separate, but related note: The laws of God are good not because God says they are, but in an of themselves. The law is conducive to life, physically, emotionally, and spiritually--for all of humanity and the earth. If you don't believe it--attempt to live by those laws to the best of your ability (you don't have to accept God or Jesus to do this, just look at the laws like a list of health rules, particularly the ones to do with cleanliness, eating, and clothes, etc.), and take note of the very real health and mood benefits you'll notice (even if you can only manage to live up to some of them). People who are disobeying the laws are LITERALLY bringing death upon themselves; this is the reason "the wages of sin is death." Not because God's angry. When the Lord ordered the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, he wasn't doing it out of hatred--he did it so that those people wouldn't desecrate themselves anymore, so that there was SOMETHING left of their spirits to save at the time of resurrection. Look it up.
In order to give the miraculous gift of free will, which is what allows each of us to be a unique, creative individual--God of necessity introduced evil into the world. He wants a family (us and the rest of creation) who could learn the difference between good and evil/right and wrong for themselves, and who would ultimately choose His path out of love for creation and its Creator.
If you cannot see Him now, He does not condemn you. God does not require that you believe in Him now. Later, he will-and the Bible talks about this...But later, He will reveal himself fully, and there will be NO debate, because it will be as obvious as the fact that the sky is blue. God is looking for the people who can see him NOW; He has a particular job for them. In many instances that are confusing in the Bible, it is THAT GROUP OF PEOPLE to whom God or Jesus is speaking. That's not everyone, and He KNOWS that. When He's found those people (who can see Him now), He will establish an undeniable law of peace. Creation has not yet ended. The finished result will be worth the wait.
Yes. God has been angry, and so have we. People have been quite maddening in His sight, and have truly sought to destroy ourselves even in spirit. Yes, he's completely destroyed civilizations, punished the Israelites harshly, and made the ignorance of Pharoah picture for all the world to see, but careful examination will show that He did these things as a result of interaction with, and the choices of, the people with whom he was working at the time. God allows us-LIKE ANY PARENT MUST--to make our own mistakes from which to learn, even when he knows we're being dumb as hell.
He is not interested in torturing people.
*sigh* I feel very sad now.
These are only my beliefs. It would take a very long time, and a very thorough exegetical paper to show you why I feel this way, and I have to get to work soon. Believers: Pay attention to what the atheists are saying! they are asking questions that can be answered, and they are asking VALID questions. If you cannot answer them, you haven't learned enough of your Bible or your God...who has a name that isn't "God." Pray about it. Get a Strong's Concordance.
The Bible has been mutilated by man-made churches; this is historical fact. But some of what they have removed and most of what they have changed can be found. Learn a little about Hebrew and the Jewish calendar, this will help you follow a time line that eventually coincides with secular history. Get out some maps and check out the ancient cities.
God says: "Reason with me." in Isaiah. Do it.
Anyway, please accept the above rant with absolutely no disrespect meant to anyone, or sarcasm. These are merely my beliefs-perhaps they'll touch someone, somewhere, in some way.
God's blessings ARE with you all.
There is nothing anyone can take from me that actually belongs to me...that includes my life.
Is is this sort of worthless nonsense that persuaded me there is no god when I was about 11. God was angry? Dear me. How arrogant of you to imagine a god that gets angry. What a pathetic god. Sad, pathetic and no better than me.
Surely you could imagine a better god than this? Oh - that is right - you are going with the bronze age sheep herder's god.
Reason with yourself first. Who made who in who's image again?
Glass Spider: All of this is going a little off topic, the original post invites readers to imagine the god of the bible exists, I think actually doing so quickly leads to the conclusion the god of the bible does not exist. You argue that the bible is distorted and can't be trusted as a source of information about god, so you're not really contending with that...
...but I take issue with this analogy between any sort of god and mortal parents.
If God is truly worthy of being called God then it must be much greater, in at least some respects, than humans. If God is analogous to a human parent, in what way is it greater?
If you truly love someone, in any sense, you may think it best to allow them the freedom to make grievous mistakes and learn from them, but you will at least attempt to warn them against those mistakes first, and if they are going to kill or permanently harm themselves you will take action to prevent it.
The touching the hot stove analogy is popular. Sooner or later most children grab a hot cookie sheet and learn the hard way not to do it. Some parents might even stand by and let that happen if their warnings to the contrary have been ignored several times.
But no parent who loves their child would ever turn a burner on at full power, let it get red-skin-melting-hot and then allow their child to touch it. If they did the state would probably seize their child, as society would regard them as unfit to be a parent at all.
This is the sort of thing that God seems to always be doing as a "loving parent" who is "teaching us an important lesson," in these God as a parent analogies.
The majority of ordinary, mortal parents can prevent their children from inflicting that kind of harm on themselves. Why can't (or won't) a god?
It's a shame common sense like this couldn't be spread through worldwide institutions like churches and religions instead of the garbled stuff that asks us to ignore our own propensity for logical thought.
Is there really a difference between the parent that stands by to watch it happen compared with the parent who turns on the burner? Aren't they both cases of the child having inflicted an unnecessary burn? Are there no better alternatives to teaching a child this lesson that don't include the child having to physically experience the burn?
I would never allow my children to touch a hot stove! What's next? Throw them into a deep lake to teach them about the possibility of drowning or throwing them in front of cars to show them the dangers of being struck by a moving vehicle?
My children learned about the dangers of life because I took the time to sit down and explain them. While they did go onto experience some of these dangers on their own it's not because they weren't forewarned and not because I chose to stand idly by.
No loving parent willingly *allows* their child to be harmed for the sake of 'learning a lesson'. In a court of law, such behavior from a parent is given a name when the child becomes injured ... it's called negligence.
I'm sure you had good intentions with this thread - hoping to save someone from eternal torment. Please understand that many of the "atheists" who post here have been tormented in the past by well meaning but ignorant clergy who were also trying to "save their soul." Believe me, I know too well.
It doesn't matter what the bible threatens if the reader doesn't believe it. Yes, I believe there is great comfort to be had in spiritual beliefs but many posters here have had that taken from them by acts of cruelty in the Lord's name.
In my short time here I don't think that I've seen anyone convince anyone else to change their beliefs by posting in this forum. The truth will always become evident in due time. There really is no need to argue one side or the other if one believes in their own truth.
Sorry if I got preachy but I hope you understand. Take care.
You didn't get too preachy! But of course I do disagree that "it doesn't matter" because of unbelief. The spirit/soul is the eternal part of a person, and it matters immensely. And there's another thing about the Bible----what good is having The Gospel if one doesn't "preach" it?
However, my questions have been asked, and answered by many, so I'm willing to let it go for now. Whoever wishes to continue discussing is for sure welcome to. I'm actually gonna go do a search to see if there's a specific "Christian Discussion" thread around here anywhere; if not, I wanna start one....most Christians love a good discussion on the Bible, etc.....
Theists like to accuse atheists of lacking imagination, but every time they do they seem to reveal a lack of imagination on their own part. What if the bible was real, what if the omnipotent, insecure, tyranical god of judgement it describes really existed...
Easy to imagine. The world would be different than it is, though. That's how I know that god isn't out there.
Makes me wonder if theists can actually imagine the god they claim to worship.
"Do you see your brains?"
How do you think people came to believe their skulls contained brains? Did an angel made of light and fire descend from the sky and tell them? Did they just get a feeling deep down in their hearts that let them "know" their skulls contain brains? Was there a prophetic vision, do you think?
These attempts to compare gods to things we can't easily see all fail. All these other things we can detect in some way. Same goes for love, beauty, whatever other feel-good words you'd like to dredge up. Believing in a god is not reasonable or rational. If someone you knew believed a person loves them and truly had no evidence for such (and in fact evidence to the contrary, as is the case for most gods) you would be very concerned about this person, worried for them, fearful they were not in a right state of mind.
Yeah, this is so stupid. What the hell was this person trying to get to anyways? Besides all the illogical mayhem and back and forth bantering? I really get tired of seeing this kind of conversation in the HubPage forums. It is just a stupid two sided mess. No one has the right answers. You'd think that people posting this crap would have hubs to write, that were worth something more than this....
Let's just say that the bible was true. That all of the stories, the people... all existed. That we are all descendants from Adam and Eve. That Jesus was the son of God and God's words and rules were laid out in that book. And that whatever God said was what we were supposed to do. And if we didn't do it we'd end up in hell...
welcome to the abandoned land come on in child, take my hand here there's no work or play only one bill to pay there's just five words to say as you go down, down, down you're gonna burn in hell Twisted Sister
Written words are nothing but someone else's thoughts. We all enjoy reading other's thoughts. Reading other's thoughts expands our own thought process, nothing more. To take a written word from ANYONE as gospel is foolish. You should ONLY ever trust your OWN thoughts when making your own life choices.
I do not trust my self sometimes. We have been influenced in ways that we are not aware of. The point that I was attempting to get at is that if we COULD read scripture unprejudicedly, un affected by previous teachings, we would understand differently. Due to previous interpretations that we were taught, we have lost the ability to correctly understand what we are reading. My sincere apologies if you thought that my statement was aimed personally.
I think that "trusting" that we tend to do with what some others say happens when we hear something (or read something they've said) that rings true with what we ourselves believe. If it doesn't strike a chord with us, we don't trust it. It still comes down to trusting oneself.
No apology necessary. My point is that there pretty much isn't a way to have someone read the Bible with absolutely no prejudice, previous knowledge or insight. Don't you think God thought of that? Or knew that that would happen?
I do believe that there is a way to refraim from interpretating scripture. It is necessary to begin in the right place, do not interpretate these verses in any way no mater what. Acdcept this to be true exactly as stated and proceed. If we can reframe from starting we can reframe from continueing.
I understand tori. I'm Italian and when I read stuff in Italian I get confused to! I went to college at WatsamataU!
Also i think its perfectly understandable that you thought there were only seven levels cause your Young and probably haven't gone as Low as us older folks... By the way,I heard there's a trap door at the ninth level that leads to a special place for Lawyers but that could be a rumor...
Ok nice topic.if you %#@ in a field it will attract flies. your asking unbelievers to believe in a sense. (That is so wrong).. thats like asking Believers to believe that the unbelievers have outreach programs to feed the starving.or that they are not of self. keep it real ummmmm so long/?
I actually know some pretty nice Christians. I went to a church on Xmas Eve that had WOMEN PRIESTS (of course, I am in Canada, so this sort of thing is only to be expected; heck we have universal health care, for God's sake)
Ah yes the whole metric thingy I would like to roast some marshmallows on my Lake O'Fire. I shall call the lake "S'mores" Lake. Why not give the place of eternal damnation a positive title? Now where are the graham crackers...
"I actually know some pretty nice Christians. I went to a church on Xmas Eve that had WOMEN PRIESTS (of course, I am in Canada, so this sort of thing is only to be expected; heck we have universal health care, for God's sake)"
... we have female ministers right here in the USA. It's not unusual.
"I'm sure Brenda is nice, too. (I think she's just pretending here, a lot of them do that)"
Pretending? At what? Obviously she's being nice, she's just posing a question and waiting to see what kind of responses she gets. She hasn't called anyone a name, belittled anyone (I mean, you'd probably have a fit if someone said you were "just pretending"), or anything of that sort. That comment makes no sense at all.
Hey Brenda, my sympathies. The forums are no place for believers. For some reason the idea of a being who personifies love scares these people into a defensive mess.
The idea of a being who personifies love is not, of course, aversive. The idea of a being who personifies love but will send you to hell for being gay is literally a contradiction in terms, n'est-ce pas? (sorry for the French; it's my Canadianness)
You know... I wish we could get together in the forums just once and have everyone be civil and respectful and just talk without fear that somebody's going to take everything to heart and go people-bashing.
Maybe my earlier comment was meant to provoke a little, but 99.99% of the time I try to just talk to people like they're people, and all they do is sink to the level of calling names and going to people's profiles to find reasons to personally insult them.
Guys, okay, okay, okay guys, okay. Imagine, JUST IMAGINE, that werewolf dragons are real. Would you rather ride one into glorious battle where you will receive your own personal amusement park at the end or would you PREFER to be eaten alive by the werewolf dragon? Just a little thought exercise.
Yeah! And everyone knows it's the highest of honors to be eaten alive by the Great Werewolf Dragon Sartezza!! How dare you suggest that there could be something greater than being crunched like roasted bones between His mighty teeth??
I'm a bit surprised by this statement, as you are clearly one of the more intellectual posters on this site, it seems to me. Who in their right mind would rather be eternally unhappy. I mean, maybe there are some people out there like that, I guess, but "eternally"? I mean, that's a long time.
Maybe some of these people simply cannot square the notion of "all-compassionate" and "all-merciful" with "weeping and gnashing of teeth" for all eternity. I mean, please, why would God endow us with common sense, and then ask us to ignore it when it came to (what is asserted to be) the most important question of all?
I don't think it is illogical, per se, to hold the beliefs you list, Q. I just don't think you can square those beliefs with an all-compassionate God capable of intervening in human affairs. If I was an all-compassionate, loving father, I might send my kids to hellfire, or to outer darkness, for, say, ten minutes, but eternity? Too long. Social services really should step in...
I'm being facetious, but for a reason. Either ditch (a) all-compassionate, all-merciful God, or (b) all-powerful, all-seeing God, and keep the outer darkness stuff, or ditch the outer darkness stuff and keep (a) and/or (b).
But don't ask me to ditch the rules of linguistic logic (is that a valid term?). I mean, why would God try to communicate to us but at the same time contradict the basic logic we need to make sense of the world?
It is just a useless conversation. If you knew the Bible was true, would you believe in God or make a bizarre decision to suffer for eternity? No one can take that seriously.
If Christians knew for a fact that Buddhism was actually the correct religion, would they still post about Jesus? No. That would be stupid. There's nothing beyond flippancy that can be added to the discussion.
hmmm. i would say a different point of view. not necessarily less intelligent. Assigning human traits conveys a different understanding or relatability (I hope that's a real word). In some cultures, people assign a masculine form to the word consistent with 'God' just to denote the gender of the speaker, and not the God.
well that's only one part of intelligence. there are plenty of people who don't understand Abstracts but DO understand different aspects of duality. There are many successful people living life making products of their environments who relate God in this way. There are many people who understand abstracts who can't explain them, and are not living productive worthwhile lives. Who is more intelligent in that sense?
Why are you limiting yourself ion this fashion? Duality? Why only two? Do you need to be intelligent to be "successful"? I know some pretty dumb actors and singers who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
Duality, though containing a root that implies two, was meant in this sense as linear belief from one object to the other in relatable terms. I should have but didn't use a broader term because I didn't think of the word at the time. Plus i hate speaking in infinites and absolutes and things, because people tend to attack your words instead of your meanining.
I think success is intentional execution of one's desires. One has to be intelligent in order to execute their desires. As for the actors you mentioned, it wasn't there intention to be so, so they are not executing their desires, they are just taking an easy route, which in and of itself, could also be called intelligent i think. It puts them in a better position [in this society] to execute said desires thus, becoming successful.
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