Can a belief of anything short of universal salvation, fill the soul with "joy and peace?"
How can you fill something that's never been shown to exist?
Nonsense. Something doesn't have to be "shown to exist" to exist.
Did protons exist before they were "shown to exist" ?
no it can't
joy and peace lies with the perfect.
and perfect is perfect nothing less.
Yep, something can. The knowledge of true salvation that can be obtained by accepting Jesus as Savior.
If someone does not accept Jesus into their hearts and as a reward the Father wilfully tortures them for eternity, then what do you really think of that Brenda? Search your heart on this one. Would you pour gasoline over you child and set them on fire because they didn't thank you for forgiving them for stealing a bar of chocolate? If you think that is a heinous crime, why do you think a loving Father would do that to Wilderness or ATM? Do you love these two Hubbers more that God does?
Nobody loves anybody more than God does.
God IS Love.
And He doesn't want anyone to go to hell.
People make choices.
God's not gonna make the choice for them. They make it themselves.
Brenda nobody would choose to go to this hell, and if God does not want to send them there, why do you think he goes against his own will? At the end of the day it would be his decision, nobody is forcing his hand.
However will you try something for me? Put down your Hubpages and English bible for half an hour and just think about what you believe hell is. Sit quietly and simply think it over. Imagine that you are an unbeliever who is now facing God and he is telling you you are going to hell. Turn around and watch the other victims burning and screaming. Look back into God's eyes, can you still see love and compassion? Imagine that God has turned to your own mother and is asking her what she thinks, and to watch and listen as your own mother says "throw her in Lord, Brenda deserves hell.".
If hell is difficult, imagine yourself in Medieval Europe, you have been found guilty by the Church for questioning its authority over your life and now you are being burnt at the stake. At this point it would be good to read some accounts of what happens to the human body as the flames rise higher. Watch the baying mob hurling abuses at you, feel the agony of the fat melting in your lower body, the skin drying, tearing and pealing away from your flesh, and oh the stench. At least whilst still conscious you take comfort that this will last for only half an hour.
But wait, hell will be like this for eternity. After a million years, the experience will be exactly the same, and you know that in more million years, you will still be there. Your look through the flames and you see God watching you. He's been watching you for a million years, can you still see love and compassion in his eyes?
But of course you are saved aren't you Brenda. So imagine you are standing next to God and your unbelieving little child, your own flesh and blood is standing before God, trembling in fear and terror. God asks your opinion. Do you say, "throw him/her in Lord", or do you plead for mercy? Can you condemn your own child to that fate, will you block out your own pain and motherly instincts for eternity? Or are you more compassionate and loving than God?
The more you think Brenda, the less any of this actually makes sense. If you can put aside what has been drummed into you, the hell interpretations from the bible given to you from the pulpit, you should see that there is something very very wrong with this picture. Will you entertain the possibility that you have been taught things tat simply might not be true? Will you seek the truth for yourself?
Wow, DH. After reading what you just wrote, I can only hope it opens up the eyes of the open minded. You should make a hub out of this my friend. It's good.
First of all, I don't believe my Mother is aware of earthly life anymore. I believe she's in the hand of the God she served, and He would have no reason to ask her what she thinks about souls here on earth. I believe she's in a place where there are no more tears, no worry, no hardship, no pain. That's what the Lord promises us in the Bible!
I have no reason to believe that God would put anyone that He has already taken to be with Him, in such a situation of worrying about lost loved ones on earth. So.....the scenario you've asked me to imagine isn't feasible because it's not Biblical, unless you want to think that the story of Lazarus in the Old Testament is literal and an ongoing reality (which I do not; that was a parable or perhaps a real story, but it was told only for a specific purpose at that time).
Matter of fact, the Bible says there will be no such thing as marrying and etc. in heaven, and I take that to mean that we will not be aware of past earthly connections. When I see my Father and my Mother in heaven, I believe we will recognize each other as brothers/sisters-in-Christ, not as earthly family.
I'm not Catholic. It's Catholics who believe that dead people (especially Mary) have some sort of awareness of the status of people who are left here on earth, and that somehow God listens to her opinion and supposed powers of persuasion to have mercy on them.
When I go to visit my parents' grave, I may "talk" to them for a bit, but that's for my benefit; I don't believe they hear me; there's no reason for them to. I do believe that God hears every word I say, though, and every thought that I think.
No, I will not entertain the idea that things I've been taught concerning hell are false! It will do you no good to even try that with me. Because I've already considered those things before, and every time that I did, I remembered Genesis 1:1, and that brought me back to Spiritual reality and even earthly reality! The God who created this earth and who created Adam and Eve and set all of mankind in motion is soooooo powerful that we really cannot even imagine how awesome, how august, how great He even is! He is Sovreign! I believe He literally did what the Bible says----He made Adam from the dust of the earth! And that God has the right to do whatever He wants to with me or anyone else!... BUT....I'm soooo glad that He's the God of LOVE as well as Judgement. Because I also always remember John 3:16 if I'm struggling with any doubt about hell. That tells me that I"m a "whosoever", that even I have the opportunity to not perish!
....I'll try to re-read your post again and see if I can respond more, in a way that might answer your question more fully.......
Brenda, I never suggested talking to dead people. I was suggesting a scenario that is popularly called the final judgement. In the reference to your mother, I was trying to get you to think about the attitude of some Christians, that dismissive attitude they have that 'sinners' only have themselves to blame, and what it might feel like to be on the receiving end of that attitude, completely devoid of love and compassion.
I'm not suggesting there is any marriage in heaven but I wouldn't presume to think that God would wipe our memories of life on Earth either.
I completely fail to understand how anyone can reconcile the everlasting love of the Father with the imagery and concept of hell promoted in church. I do not believe that Christians can do this either, but it seems easier for them to avoid the contradiction by the dismissive "God can do as he pleases" or "his ways are not our ways". If you will not even entertain the idea, even in the privacy of your own mind, that what you have been taught is false, then it seems to me that you do not wish to use your own God given mind. The route of personal integrity is to always question what we are taught, then search the scriptures to see if an alternative scenario is better demonstrated; a better match for what is written. This is not a matter for personal pride.
I think.......you're asking me to look at it from the perspective of a sinner who wants to find a different way "out" instead of what's in the Bible...........or....to set aside the Bible's words about hell and try to fit a different scenario in place of those verses.....
? Is that correct? Which is correct?
Because..........the Bible provides no other way out besides repentance for our sins for which Christ died.
No no no. I'm trying to get you to see that your hell makes no logical sense either in terms of love, compassion, justice, balanced judgement, or historical accuracy. Your visions of hell were not invented by the church until at least the 2nd century, possibly the 4th, but embellished over the centuries since.
Maybe you have the wrong impression about my view of hell........
If you're talking about how you think "hell" was a made-up concept that Christianity "borrowed", well,
I don't see the Devil as a bright-red cartoon being with a forked tail and a pitchfork. I see him as the Bible says he was and is----an angel who rebelled against God and who will try to take anyone he can to hell with him.
And hell is a place of eternal torment where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, and what else the Bible says it is.
except that the Bible never describes the "devil" that way. The story of Lucifer's fall, being the most beautiful angel and rebelling against god and being kicked out are extrabiblical. They're not found in the bible at all. Isaiah references the King of Tyre - not a fallen angel. So it appears that you believe in something that you THINK is biblical but actually isn't.
No. I've read the passages. They are indeed in the Bible. Yes, I know you're saying Lucifer isn't Satan. But indeed those passages are also a reference to Satan. The Bible contains many passages that have meaning that refers to multiple incidents. Things aren't always as they appear to the nondiscerning eye.
since the passages that you THINK are about the devil are in the old testament (where it describes something falling from heaven like lightning) and they're actually in reference to the king of Tyre and not some kind of fallen angel, and the old testament is (for the most part) a jewish holy book, lets look at what the jews have to say about it, shall we?
Again, some have claimed that that chapter talks about Satan the Devil. Some have even claimed that it shows that Satan had been a “beautiful arch-angel” who “overshadowed the throne of God”. But, that chapter actually tells a different story.
First, let us check who was being addressed. We read:
Ezekiel 28:1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, This is what the Lord has said: Because your heart has been lifted up, and you have said, I am a god, I am seated on the seat of God in the heart of the seas; but you are man and not God, though you have made your heart as the heart of God (BBE, highlighting added)
Verse 2 shows that this prophecy referred to a man, the king of Tyre, who had become extremely proud. That verse especially states that he was a man. (Some have identified him as Ethbaal II of Tyre, but the timing does not seem to fit. Perhaps Ezekiel 28 refers to some later ruler of that ancient Phoenician trading town which was located in what today is Lebanon.)
Regarding the claim that the ruler of Tyre was or had been “a beautiful arch-angel” or “a cherub” – the question is, how does an angel, or a flying creature, become a mortal man, adam as the Hebrew text of verse 2 has it? – A note: Some have claimed that that chapter “first talks about a man, but then about Satan”. This article considers how it is with that matter.
The story of Ezekiel 28 really begins in the two preceding chapters.
You can read Ezekiel 26:1-21 in your own Bible. It contains a prophecy regarding the fall of Tyre. In chapter 27, we find this, regarding that town:
Ezekiel 27:1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 And you, son of man, make a song of grief for Tyre; 3 And say to Tyre, O you who are seated at the doorway of the sea, trading for the peoples with the great sea-lands, these are the words of the Lord: You, O Tyre, have said, I am a ship completely beautiful. 4 Your builders have made your outlines in the heart of the seas, they have made you completely beautiful. (BBE)
And so on. This was a “song of grief” regarding the town Tyre (verse 2), and it is easy to understand that it contained mocking words. Songs, especially mocking ones, use poetic language which often contains hyperbole instead of being fully literal in its meaning. Obviously, that trading town was not “completely beautiful” (verse 3), but perhaps those who had built it or lived there, felt that way.
The same kind of pride was found with the ruler of that town, as can be seen in Ezekiel 28:1-2 which was quoted earlier. That ruler was a man of flesh, but it appears that he felt or claimed that he was a “god” – see even the earlier quoted Ezekiel 28:2 and 9 – just as many kings have done, even in more recent times.
Regarding Ezekiel 28:3 – that king was not really “wiser than Daniel”, for had he been wise, he and the town which he was the ruler of, would not have ended up in such trouble. But, it may be that that puffed-up man felt or claimed that he was the wisest man of all, and that it was for this reason that he was called “wise” in that mocking song.
So, is Satan mentioned in Ezekiel 28?
Some writers have, painting Satan as “all-wise and completely beautiful”, claimed that Ezekiel 28 is about Satan. But no, as verses 1-2 make it clear, that chapter is about the mortal man who was the ruler of the trading town Tyre. That chapter does not mention the Devil.
Some might say that that man “could have served as a type of Satan” (and his ways) – but, if we stick to facts, then we will note that the Bible does not say anything of that kind. That chapter clearly states that the person who was being addressed, was a man of flesh, the ruler of Tyre. Satan is not mentioned.
Some writers have tried to use even Isaiah 14 for painting Satan (the ruler of darkness) in glowing colours, as some kind of a “light-bringer”. However, the facts are that the (now fulfilled) prophecy which is recorded in that chapter, pointed to a man, the last king of Babylon (Belshazzar). – The kingdom of Babylon came to its end, because of Belshazzar’s pride. We read:
Isaiah 14:4 That you will take up this bitter song l against the king of Babylon, m and say, How has the cruel overseer come to an end! He who was lifted up in pride is cut off; 5 The stick of the evil-doers, the rod of the rulers, is broken by the Lord; 6 He whose rod was on the peoples with an unending wrath, ruling the nations in passion, with an uncontrolled rule. 7 All the earth is at rest and is quiet: they are bursting into song. 8 Even the trees of the wood are glad over you, the trees of Lebanon, saying, From the time of your fall no wood-cutter has come up against us with an axe. 9 The underworld is moved at your coming: the shades of the dead are awake before you, even the strong ones of the earth; all the kings of the world have got up from their seats. 10 They all make answer and say to you, Have you become feeble like us? have you been made even as we are? 11 Your pride has gone down into the underworld, and the noise of your instruments of music; the worms are under you, and your body is covered with them. 12 How great is your fall from heaven, O shining one, n son of the morning! o How are you cut down to the earth, low among the dead bodies! (BBE, note signs added)
l Verse 4: Note the words “this bitter song”. Just as in Ezekiel 27-28, even here we have a mocking song regarding a proud ruler.
m Verse 4, “Babylon”: As you can see, this prophecy was about a person here on Earth – the king of Babylon, a mortal man.
n Verse 12, “shining one, son of the morning” – the words in the Hebrew text of this verse are helel ben shachar. Some translate that as “shining son of the morning”, but some interpret the Hebrew wording as “wail, son of the morning”. Here is an excerpt from a note on Isaiah 14:12, in Adam Clarke’s commentary:
[…] “although the context speaks explicitly concerning Nebuchadnezzar, yet this has been, I know not why, applied to the chief of the fallen angels, who is most incongruously denominated Lucifer, (the bringer of light!) an epithet as common to him as those of Satan and Devil. That the Holy Spirit by his prophets should call this arch-enemy of God and man the light-bringer, would be strange indeed. But the truth is, the text speaks nothing at all concerning Satan nor his fall, nor the occasion of that fall, which many divines have with great confidence deduced from this text. O how necessary it is to understand the literal meaning of Scripture, that preposterous comments may be prevented! Besides, I doubt much whether our translation be correct. הילל (heilel), which we translate Lucifer, comes from ילל (yalal), yell, howl, or shriek, and should be translated, ‘Howl, son of the morning;’ and so the Syriac has understood it; and for this meaning Michaelis contends: see his reasons in Parkhurst, under הלל (halal).”
And indeed, it is likely that the word helel (heilel) in the Hebrew text of Isaiah 14:12 refers to howling (wailing). That prophecy was regarding what was going to happen to the (last) king of Babylon. (The reason why some bible-versions have in that verse the word “lucifer”, is considered under the next heading.)
o Verse 12: The meaning of the words ben shachar, “son of the morning” is not explained in the context, but that may have referred to titles and symbols that were used by the kings of Babylon. – Later, that prophecy came to be fulfilled. Isaiah 14 foretold what was to happen to the (last) king of Babylon. The last ruler of the Babylonian empire came to be Belshazzar, the (grand-)son of Nebuchadnezzar. The end of him and his reign is recorded in the book of Daniel, chapter 5.
On why some bible-translators have put the word ‘lucifer’ into Isaiah 14:12.
The reason why some English bible-translators put into Isaiah 14:12 the word “lucifer”, is simply that they have copied that from the Catholic Vulgate version where the Latin text has lucifer qui mane oriebaris which meant “light-bringer who rise in the morning”. As was mentioned earlier, it appears that that is a mistranslation, and that the word helel in the Hebrew text probably means “to howl” or “to wail”, and not “light-bringer” or “shining one”.
Some writers have wanted people to believe that the word lucifer supposedly was “a name of Satan”. But, let us face the facts: It is a Latin word. The Bible was not written in Latin. Also: Isaiah 14 does not mention Satan. Again, that chapter records a (now fulfilled) prophecy regarding the fate of the king of Babylon (the last of them, Belshazzar). Satan is not mentioned; the king of Babylon is. And again, the Hebrew word in question probably referred to howling, wailing – “wail, ‘son of the morning’” – said regarding a proud king who was headed to death.
Why was the king of Babylon called ben shachar, ‘son of the morning’?
The words ben shachar, “son of the morning”, in that mocking “song of grief”, may have referred to the manner how many kings, since ancient times, have referred to themselves as “the sun”, “the enlightener”, and so on. Also, many rulers have used the (rising) sun as their symbol, even in recent centuries, and some still do.
Sorry, but I don't buy it. And I don't go by the Old Testament alone.
Revelation chapter 12 also confirms the series of events leading up to, and following, the casting out of Satan from heaven that's described in Ezekiel.
This is why the written word of God includes both the Old and New Testaments. Both are the story of who God/Jesus is, the history of mankind, the data about heaven and hell, who the Adversary (Satan) is, etc. Religions that dismiss the New Testament are in grave error. Continuity is imperative.
so you reject the interpretation for thousands of years by the group of people that originally had claim to the scriptures that you now claim are exclusively yours? You know better than they do? Do you not see that as arrogant?
Revelation is considered by biblical scholars to be future prophecy - not history. The passages in Revelation that you're using are describing things that will happen in the end times - not that happened back in the days of the old testament. You're not only going against jewish teaching, you're also going against the consensus of the majority of the scholarship in your own faith.
What people would that be?
And there are many passages in Revelation that are "past", and many that are "present", and many that are "future".
As far as arrogance, no I don't consider my interpretation arrogant at all. I consider myself an "average" Christian, and the average Christian's interpretation is as good as anyone else's. It makes no difference if they clash with the preachers in my own denomination. Because let me tell you something----I've found that the preachers (in any denomination), especially the ones who've gone to theological seminaries, are the ones who are most in error; anyone can be in error about some interpretations. From listening to several preachers "explain" Revelation and other passages, I've concluded that most preachers should stick to the main message of the Gospel-------John the Baptist's and Jesus's message of REPENT ye, be born again, receive salvation. They all try to be viewed as so wise, so learned, but the average Christian like me can debunk their interpretation quickly when we compare it to the Bible in context with the overall meaning and intent of the Scriptures.
The jews regarding the Old Testament, the Consensus of New Testament Scholars for Revelation.
I'll take the word of the disciples who literally walked the earth with Jesus. Jesus knew the Old Testament, often quoted it, and was actually the fulfillment of its prophesies.
except the prophecies that christians point to and say that jesus fulfilled weren't actually prophecies. That's why the jews don't accept the fact that Jesus is the Messiah at all. He did not fulfill the list of prophecies that they consider to be actual, messianic prophecies, and the early christian church quote mined the old testament to find "prophecies" that would fit the supposed life of Jesus that they already had.
furthermore, you don't have the words of the actual disciples that walked and talked with Jesus. None of the gospels were written by apostles. Paul was not an apostle, and he never met Jesus in person - only had a vision of him later on - and claimed that Peter and the other Jerusalem apostles were false teachers and that HE knew the teachings of Jesus better than the people who actually walked with him.
How could you know that the Bible wasn't written by those disciples? I see no reason to think they weren't.
I don't claim to have studied this enough to explain it very well. I believe Peter later gave in to Paul's rebuke and accepted Paul's ministry because he realized Paul was correct; and Peter even had a dream where God told him (in metaphor/comparison terms) that the Gentiles were also able to become recipients of Christ's salvation, not just the Jews who chose to follow Him.
I don't take every scholar's word for anything without due consideration, but I will post a link to an article that seems to explain this better than I can at this time. Maybe we can both read it over fully and gain insight into it.
http://bible.org/seriespage/peter%E2%80 … ans-211-21
As far as when you said Paul "only" had a vision of the Lord...........well, honestly, that can be just as real and certainly as powerful as if he had literally met Jesus! Why? Because the Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity; Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit to the believers; the Holy Spirit is Jesus/God! So there is no lack of meaning or effectiveness or power there. Matter of fact, that is how we Christians today "meet" Jesus----we receive that Spirit into our hearts/minds etc.
The fact of Paul's and Peter's argument also shows that Christians should not be "politically correct" nor tolerate each other's doctrine if the doctrine isn't in line with the Gospel. We should call our brothers and sisters out when they perpetuate a false doctrine. Of course it would be best if we did it in private if that's possible, but sometimes things are so outright wrong that it's necessary to discuss it publicly, because the whole thing is serious business-------it is a matter of spiritual life and death..
how do I know that the bible wasn't written by those apostles? Easy. Any amount of biblical scholarship will show you that. Only Two of the gospels share names with possible disciples - Matthew and John. Neither of those two gospels claim to be written by those people - they're written down as TOLD by those disciples by unnamed, unsourced people over 30 years later. The names were added at least a century later and then commonly adopted by the early christian church. Most bibles even say so in the introductions to each individual gospel, and the consensus of early church scholarship (from religious and secular biblical scholars) says that the authorship of the gospels is unknown, but that it's extremely unlikely that ANY of the original disciples actually wrote the gospels based on their dates, their circulation and their own words.
Whether Paul eventually reconciled with the leaders of the Jerusalem church or not doesn't really matter. Throughout his epistles (at least the ones that are actually believed to be his by scholars - and not all of them are) he continually blasts the jerusalem church and its leadership as false teachers, and his way to truth is the only true way. You can claim that receiving a "vision" is just as viable as spending three years with someone, listening to everything they say and spending a significant chunk of time with them, but it's not. Not to mention, Paul never mentions Jesus' miracles, his teachings or his life - and only mentions his death and resurrection. He never mentions the virgin birth, he never recounts any of the events of Jesus' life that make up the gospels at all, never mentions that Jesus was recently alive and executed in jerusalem, nothing. His accounts don't line up with the gospel accounts, which in turn do not line up with each other. they even have Jesus dying on two completely different days.
I'm not understanding why you think it would be necessary for Paul to expound upon the virgin birth, etc.....
He walked with Peter and other disciples who, I'm sure, had told him about Jesus's history. He had heard Stephen preach about the Old Testament prophets and also Jesus; that account is written in Paul's books.
I've heard several people around here speak against Paul. I don't understand why they're so adamant about Paul being supposedly false.
Unless it's because those people are Jewish, perhaps, and since Paul's ministry was mainly to take the Gospel of salvation to the Gentiles, they don't like to see him honored as a true Apostle...........
Plus, Paul's been discounted by some people because they can't fathom the fact that a murderer got forgiveness...........
I'm saying that Paul's accounts of Jesus do not line up with the teachings found in the gospels, and I find it ironic that the majority of the New Testament is written by a man who never even met the person that he was talking about, who vehemently disagreed and argued with the people who did and who never intended his letters to be universal or considered scripture at all. Pauls letters were exactly that - letters. They were written to a specific, target audience to discuss issues that particular group of people was experiencing. You cannot take a letter that I wrote to one group of friends and universally apply it to everyone all over the world. I would say things to one group of people to relate to issues they were experiencing that I wouldn't say the same way to another group. Paul's teachings are controversial in the modern church - and they've been controversial ever since they were written. Not to mention, Paul was not an apostle. He was not one of the 12. He was never inducted into being one of the twelve. When Judas committed suicide, they named Matthias as his replacement - not Paul. Paul's apostleship seems completely self-imposed. I can call myself an apostle too, but that doesn't make it true. All of Paul's writings were claimed to be inspired by the spirit - but there's no way to verify that they were - and even at the time of Paul's writings, he mentioned that false teachers were writing in his name - and biblical scholarship has pretty much agreed (or at least disputed) that some of the new testament epistles attributed to paul were not written by paul at all. (There is wide consensus, in modern New Testament scholarship, on a core group of authentic Pauline epistles whose authorship is rarely contested: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Several additional letters bearing Paul's name lack academic consensus: Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus. Scholarly opinion is sharply divided on whether the former two epistles are the letters of Paul; however, the latter four - 2 Thessalonians, as well as the three known as the "Pastoral Epistles" - are widely regarded to be pseudepigraphical works, though a very small minority of scholars do consider Paul to be the author)
Where does Paul say that others were writing in his name?
I believe it's in Thessalonians which is funny, because it's a book where the authorship is in question in the first place. i don't have the reference readily in hand right now to be able to look it up.
Usually I can find specific verses, resorting to the Concordance when I can't find them at first, but I haven't found that specifically yet.......
At any rate, I'm still mulling on the article I linked to. I find the explanation below to ring true to what I know of Paul's teachings....
"Verses 15-17 move from Peter’s problem (actually just a symptom) to the very root of the problem, the pride which the Judaizers had in their Jewishness that caused them to feel smugly superior to the Gentile Christians. Verse 15 is virtually the slogan of the Judaizers, mirroring the arrogance which was at the root of the refusal of the men “from James” to eat with the Gentiles: “We are Jews by nature, and not sinners from among the Gentiles"
I have different opinions about Paul on different days. I'll say today, that I am suspicious.
I wouldn't put my faith in the NT being 100% the infallible word of God either. I do have faith in God for my own personal reasons. I do not have faith in the RCC. I don't think that I am supposed to have total faith in any church. Church is not God. I have been taught that the RCC assembled these writings into what we call the bible.
I have been taught that the Roman Empire constructed the RCC in 326 AD. From what I understand, the first 1000 years of its existence (... ??), well! let's just say it didn't appear to be so Godly.
Then came Martin Luther and Tyndale and others who challenged the church, which brought about the reformation. The church was fragmented into several denominations. Which eventually brought about some changes in the Catholic church itself. What most people don't want to think about is that the RCC is the mother of all Christian doctrine.
I also think that Matthew 23 & 24 should be read exactly as written with NO interpretations. To interpret these chapters creates the necessity to misinterpret much of the N.T. And many people have been doing just that ever since. Any time we read something that shakes our beliefs to their foundations, all we have to do is to interpret it to mean what we want it to mean. Problem solved, except for all the confusion that is created.
I beg to differ. I don't believe the RCC is the mother of all Christian doctrine at all.
My personal faith in the Lord has nothing to do with the Catholic Church nor any other denomination's origin. It has to do with the Bible's teachings. If I were to call anything of mankind's doing or any mortal the originator of the Christian faith, the first preacher, I'd say it was John the Baptist. And indeed the disciples followed that teaching, which paved the way for Christ's exact same teachings. Not the Catholic Church's teachings! The disciples weren't Catholic. But they were the first "church" that Jesus built.
It's a fallacy to say that the RCC built the first Church of Christianity. The disciples had "church" in people's homes, from what I understand. And later, if they had actual church buildings, etc., then okay. But those were not Roman Catholic churches. While there were temples even when Jesus was a child (he even taught in those temples), they weren't his church that he set up.
What you say is true ... according to how the RCC recorded those facts. Which is what you and I read in our bibles
I'm blessed to be a recipient of the written word of God, period. It doesn't matter what specific group handed down copies of it.........
And I am sure that in another 1000 years, Gods faithful will feel the same way regardless of who handed it down to them, with or without a few minor changes.
I agree that we are blessed to have these copies. Truly!
And I wouldn't want to cause any doubt about the reality of God of Abraham, or that Jesus Christ is the Messiah foretold in the OT. I think that blind faith in God is a requirement “most of the time” before he is revealed to us in his entirety. However I do not have blind faith in the absolute accuracy of a book which the RCC constructed 1650 years ago or the translated copies which have been handed down to us.
And I don’t think that it is required of God that I do so.
Brenda you said "I consider myself an "average" Christian, and the average Christian's interpretation is as good as anyone else's. ". Really this the root of your problem, pride and lack of humility. If two people disagree, they cannot both be right. So who do we believe? The one who says they believe something so it must be true, or the one who has studied and made it their life's purpose to dig out the truth?
Who do you think has the correct understanding of satan? You because you believe your pastor or the Jewish scholars for whom the bible was written with their cultural references at their heart and an interpretation that was accepted for some 1500 years before the NT was written?
It seems you would rather believe myths that aren't actually in the bible than accounts that are written in the plain text. Concerning Revelation, it was argued over for 300 years before the Church accepted it by a vote on a manmade Roman Catholic committee. That is NOT a sound reason for calling it scripture.
Sorry, I Never Knew You
Last night as I lay sleeping a dream came to me
I dreamed about the end of time about eternity
I saw a million sinners fall on their face and pray
the Lord just sadly looked at them and this I heard Him say
Sorry, I never knew you, I have no record of your birth
sorry, I never knew you
go serve the one that you served while on earth
Well I thought that the time has surely come when I must face my trials
and I told the Lord that I had been a Christian all the while
and through his book he took a look and sadly shook his head
he placed me over on the left and this is what he said
Sorry, I never knew you, I have no record of your birth
sorry, I never knew you
go serve the one that you served while on earth
Well I saw my wife and children, I heard their loving voice
they must have been so happy, O how they did rejoice
their robes of white around them, a crown upon their head
my little girl looked up to me and this is what she said
Daddy, we can't go with you, we must dwell in the joy of our Lord
Sorry, but we still love you, but you'll never be our Daddy anymore
And then I awakened, the tears were in my eyes
and looking all around me and there to my surprise
there was my wife and children, I knew it was a dream
so kneeling at my bedside you should have heard me pray
Father who art in Heaven, I know you gave your only son
forgive me and let me serve thee, for I want to be ready when He comes
Is this where you get your doctrines from?
Brenda, I have a question for you. Would heaven be appealing for you if you learned that all mankind would join you there forever?
Sure it would. Because I trust God's judgement.
However, your scenario is unBiblical and therefore not gonna happen.
But if you simply wanted to ask whether I'm capable of loving everyone's soul, then yes I am. With the help of God who Loves everyone!
Again today I saw the love of Jesus Christ in folks that did not know Him. I saw a good Christian lift up one who was not. And I asked Jesus. If this Christian does this: How much more will you do?
Can I turn my back on a man for he is not Christian but in need of my love and grace and abundance. I say no, that I can not. I am bound by love to love even my enemy. And I cannot even do that but I try. The Lord of Lords must also try and He can. So how can He leave one soul behind? How could it be so. ... Because we in our ignorance choose so? I would not let my son walk into fire for it was his choice. Oh how I want others to know my joy, here and now, but I am convinced they will know it some how. For my GOD LOVES
Of course. Few people will believe in something that makes them unhappy unless it is absolutely forced on them by reality.
As "salvation" is a belief only, without substantiation, any belief that produces joy and happiness is quite acceptable and millions of people do believe in just such a thing. In the case of religious beliefs, the belief that billions will suffer eternal torment doesn't particularly mar their happiness in the belief that they, personally, will have an eternity of joy.
Wow, wilderness, I could't agree more about what you wrote about eternal torment and joy in Christianity.
I didn't mention Christianity. Muslims are pretty much the same - you either get your virgins or hell, depending on what you do in this life - and there may be others as well. Maybe earth is the hell, and you keep coming back until you're good enough for heaven.
Whatever the specific belief, understanding that most will go to hell doesn't seem to mar the happiness in believing you're going to heaven.
You do misunderstand, whether willfully or not, I dunno......
It doesn't "mar" our personal security and happiness, no, because we know that God is the only one who truly knows where each person ultimately ends up. But it's not a competition like you seem to hint.
Christians take NO joy in the thought of anyone going to hell.
What we take joy and peace in is the fact that ANYONE and everyone DOES have the opportunity to go to Heaven. We grieve for loved ones, friends, and even enemies who refuse to accept Christ, but we always hold onto the last bit of hope that they will do so before they die.
I don't misunderstand, but do think you've misunderstood my words (or least their intent).
It's certainly not a competition, unless you want to count the battle between good and evil. It's not a competition between people at all, even though some sects think the number of heaven bound is strictly limited.
And no, Christians don't like to think that people will suffer eternally - I certainly have no intention of insinuating that. I will take exception to the idea that everyone can win; although I know you will not agree, some people are simply not constructed in such a way they can believe whatever they want to. It just doesn't happen for them whether you think it can or not.
And yes, the grief is probably there; it just doesn't matter much when compared with the level of happiness at the idea of sitting eternally at God's feet.
I understand your point better now, thanks.
And I think I recall us having one part of this discussion before, a long time ago........
And yes, I am an "eternal optimist" in a way----I do still believe that everyone can be saved, everyone, if they will give their hearts to Jesus.
My heart along with my a$$ belong to the brotherhood of Marines. We already work for Jesus. Here's the deal. He sees to it that we can freely roam the planet as jolly green giants and we keep heaven packed with souls. Works for Him.
I understand that you believe everyone can be saved. It's almost a necessity (or maybe it IS a necessity) to maintain the concept of a loving God.
But you will have to forgive me if I say that it simply isn't possible for some to set aside all rational, reasoning, searching and questioning thought in favor of a belief that has zero evidence to support it. I cannot do that.
I could put on a false front, I could talk the talk and walk the walk, but I cannot convince myself, deep inside, that there is a God out there any more than you could convince yourself that He is NOT there. You know better, just as I do - we just "know" different things.
At that point you can either accept my word on that or you can rationalize, without knowing it to be true, that I could change any day. It is the difference between our ways of thinking.
I recall, yes, you and I going through this before.
And I still maintain that you can indeed do it.
But if your mind is made up, then I know of no way to convince you, except to repeat what I know and what the Bible says--------that God loved everyone so much that He sent His son to die for our sins, so that we can be saved. You can choose to Love Him.
We can choose to love anyone. Our enemies, even. We can pray and ask God to give us Love for even our enemies. I hope that someday you will find it in your heart to want to Love the Lord..........
I'm not giving up on that. I wish you wouldn't.
LOL. Not at you, Brenda, but at our mutual differences for I remember this topic before, too.
Because I feel much the same about you. That you choose to believe a book of lies, that you will make up stories to change reality into something that agrees with that book, that you will never, ever change your mind and approach the question analytically is sad.
And, just like you, I will always wish that everyone had that ability and willingness to objectively question rather than simply believe. I will forever be disappointed, just as you will.
I will have to be satisfied with the accepted fact that you are happy the way you are (and that's wonderful) and you...perhaps you will one day decide that there are many roads to heaven, that one does not have to believe to one day bask in the joy and happiness there. That God created some of us unable to set aside our analytical minds, but that he loves us anyway and will welcome us, too, into His home. Certainly I would welcome you into mine...
It's not that I'm necessarily happy about it.
I'm pretty sure I, or any person, would be much happier (in a human way) if we didn't know the seriousness of life and death, right and wrong, sin and repentance, if I could just float through life without having a burden for lost souls, if I could just live in benign serenity, if there was no need to worry or think about eternity.
But that's an imaginary world; like John Lennon's dream of ignoring life's realities. Life on earth isn't about happiness, at least not just about happiness.
Life is serious. I'm a realist. I face reality. Sometimes not well, but I do face it. Both literal reality and spiritual reality. And I believe that IS analytical. Both analytical and sensory (feeling). The facts of the creation that we see every day calls for an analytical approach as to what/who could've possibly caused it to be, backed up by the realities of life and death and spiritual evidence we see every day.
And there ya have it.
Ahh - miscommunication is such a wonderful thing! I meant to say that you are happy with your belief in God and the afterlife, not necessarily with life being the way it is.
There is analytical and there is analytical. You may attempt to analyze the "facts of creation" but you come to a conclusion (God) that cannot be supported by any evidence ever found to date. It is a default position, based on our ignorance; you (nor anyone else) understands what the innermost workings of creation might be, so it has to be God. We see realities of life and death, but nothing of spiritual evidence - that part of it is much like God in that it is assumed to be there, but assumed without evidence.
But that's MY analysis, of course. Yours is obviously different, but to my mind your conclusions are completely unsupported and I simply cannot make a conclusion without evidence.
Then eternity will stink. What those believing in an eternity of joy and happiness forget is that without God's help in making a massive change in the mind and psyche of humans, they cannot be happy for eternity. A lobotomy, maybe, or the inability to remember past a few years ago.
No thinking being could enjoy that - within a very few thousand years utter boredom will set in, to the point that death or even hell is preferable to the experience they are suffering through. When every possible scrap of knowledge is known, when every possible experience has been repeated a thousand times, utter and complete boredom will be the result. As all that will be achieved in the first baby step towards eternity it leaves the rest of eternity as torment.
Yeah, an eternity in heaven, or anywhere else for that matter, would absolutely stink. Death is freedom, not something to be wished for.
I've been thinking about something like that for a long time; which is why God would have to create a place like earth so we could cross over to spend a life time ( kinda like a vacation) to break that boredom.
A lifetime - certainly. Maybe 10 lifetimes, or a hundred or 10,000 "vacations". When that gets tiresome, maybe another 10,000 "vacations (between periods in heaven) on a different planet.
No matter how many times it was done, though, eventually every possible experience as been done 1000's of times and you're right back to incredible boredom.
Few people actually think about what "eternity" means - they just think of a long time. Eternity doesn't mean a long time, it means a long time squared. Then squared again, again and again. At that point you have taken the first tiny step towards eternity and have a million steps to go before reaching the first street corner; the first street corner of the millions of street corners in one city. The first city out of billions of cities and so on. Experiences without end cannot result in anything but boredom and insanity.
Eternity is a difficult concept to wrap our mind around.
Sorry about the delay in answering your post. I can't sit long so A.D.D. is a good thing in my world. lol
I get a lot done around here but seldom finish anything. anyway ...
I kinda agree. When we get right down to it ? nothing seems logical to me ... though there has to be some logic someplace. I think I found it once; put up a mailbox and called that place home; got up the next morning and "IT" was gone.
Not always - logic is often available if we are willing to accept it.
Here, I'm saying that eternal life is NOT something we want, but that brings the old fear of death to the surface again. We don't want to die; we want to live. But that want is so seldom analyzed for what it will produce, partially because we want it.
Logic does not allow for subjective feelings and wants; those must be set aside for the time being if we are to make use of logic. Unfortunately logic, as is the case here, does not always give the answer we want to hear, so we declare it wrong, ignore it, or in some other way decide that it isn't there or doesn't work. It's there all right, we just don't want to accept what it tells us.
Wildrness, that is the sorriest and most depressing thing I have ever read. But then I realized if I were you with no hope and love and charity and appreciation of a new day --- Hell I would just want to die and be done too.
I almost pray for your death from this tedium of life, or already perhaps walking death to beauty and love.
Thank you I just realized why folks like you do not want to accept Christ. OMG you would be so bored!
Just perhaps only boring people get bored.
Let me put it this way, if afterlife is like waking up with a bad hangover every morning, then that means the rest of the day can only get better. But in your sad case, -- only worse?
Just because something is unseen does not mean it isn't in existence.
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