Do you agree with this? It seems to me that some of the holier than thou christians on this site legitimately believe with all their heart that those who do not believe in their god will have special front row tickets to hell/eternal punishment, yet still try to play off that their god is just and loving.
As I was browsing a post in the Q&A section that was asking why would someone want to go to heaven when the only other alternative is hell (AKA, an ultimatum that is meant for you to choose the better), I saw at least four people on there that see absolutely nothing wrong with the "Believe in my god or burn forever" mentality. One of the people actually said that the poster was going directly to hell and started throwing personal attacks, to which 2 other people agreed that it was a perfect answer.
My question is, if these are the kind of people to base even a small amount of the population of devout christians on who believe that this life is nothing more than a transition into paradise...what are you living for? "Spreading the good word" is an absolute atrocious reason, a referral program that gives you bonus goodies comes to mind. I also find it difficult to believe anyone with this mindset when they say that they live to do good in the world. Would these kind of people still do good in the world if it didnt mean getting into heaven?
Your thoughts are welcome.
Would they still do good? Probably not. One devout Christian of that variety told me yesterday her life was a virtual hell prior to becoming a Christian. She blamed it on satanic forces. But, she also said she was drawn to the behavior patterns. So, without the fear of hell I think she would not have been able to learn how to do the right thing.
In such an instance, I suppose such is needed. Maybe, with time and maturity, those who used such a route to help them make better personal choices will be able to abandon the hate filled philosophy which was necessary to help them confront personal problems.
It's difficult, though, when you think about it. Few can view their own behavior patterns with loathing without attempting to project them out on the world, at large. No one wants to perceive themselves as different, in a bad way. These warnings of hell are simply their way of coping with the reality of who they were. They remain unforgiven, by themselves and somehow blame us for the fact.
Sinless Jesus warned of hell more than once. And he has earned your respect. But I guess if you really knew him, you'd probably not be so...
Yes the same lame old defense. It is as dishonest at the moment as it has been at every moment. Simply because you chose to follow a very hateful interpretation which turns the figure of Jesus into some ax wielding maniac; bent on destroying the better part of humanity doesn't mean anyone has to take your word for it.
They can enjoy things in life like anyone else. Carnivals, outings, nature, etc etc
It's sad when there's forums like this
I don't like arguments
Did anyone say they couldn't go to a carnival, have an outing, enjoy nature, etc? Your reply here makes no sense. Unless, you read the thread title, didn't bother to actually read the OP then simply made a beeline to see what I had said in order to find offense?
Very good questions. I suspect you will find that some people are helped and yet hindered by religion while others are nether helped or hindered. The ethically immature may need religion to stop them from hurting others (they still hurt others, but don't recognize the harm), but ironically in some cases it was the indoctrination that led to being ethically immature. These people you can recognize by their questions. Eg. "If you don't believe in God what's stoping you from killing people or dong anything you want". These people never matured past the "we don't do bad things because we may get caught" maturity level which is kind of what is taught in the bible.
You will also find ethically mature people among the religious, you can recognize these people by their compassion and understanding towards others. These people understood the compassion aspect of the bible and they are no fun to argue with, we find ourselves agreeing with these people. I only wish we had more people here like those people.
I have often wondered about this. It isn't very Christian to feel indifferent to the idea of someone burning in hell for all eternity. Luckily, it's all hog wash, but still.
You ask: ... if (devout christians... who believe that this life is nothing more than a transition into paradise) are the kind of people to base even a small amount of the population of devout christians on ...what are you living for? (I just shifted the phrase around for my own clarity.)
The question you ask, 'what are you living for?' and I take the question to mean, "what are you living for if the only reason for living is to occupy time until you reach your final destination? ~which for Christians would/should mean ...heaven.
I cannot answer for others, since I do not know what 'brand of Christianity' another person holds to, in the truer sense of that application. In other words, if a person calls themselves a Christian, do they understand the title enough to respect what that title means? If not, then that individual would have a difficult time representing the role, just as a police officer who lives to commit crimes outside the Police Station/Office is misrepresenting that office. However, if a person, who takes that title seriously, meaning there is a commitment to follow JESUS' teachings in action and reaction, at every possible opportunity (some circumstances will make such a commitment difficult to keep~ unless the dedication is what The Bible calls, 'in spirit and in truth' ~which could be defined as, 'doing what is right, despite the cost and threat~), then that person, who, being human will err at times, but will use each failure as a life lesson for future application.
My view of 'living' is one that encompasses a vast number of awesome descriptions. I write. I sing. I paint. I cook. I clean. I care-give. I learn from others who are wiser, stronger, more resilient, more capable, more passionate, more profound, less guarded, less inhibited, less sensitive, less anxious. I choose to make my home a place of comfort; yet, I often discover 'comfort' has different definitions for different people. My faith offends others at times. Not because I push it anymore. I have learned pushing principles of faith is pointless. Yet, my faith offends at times, simply because I am who I am.
I strive for excellence. I often miss the mark. I live and love and struggle and fuss. I toss. I churn. I reflect. I research. I try to teach others what I found difficult learning myself. I look for something extra in others so that I can consider implementing that good thing in my world.
I could go on and on. What is my point? Christians have EVERYTHING to live for. The transition from this life to the next is not one that should be taken lightly. What we learn here will reflect on us in eternity. There is so much to embrace. There is so much to escape. There is so much to encumber. There is so much to enjoy.
I live to make choices that will enhance, not only my life, but the lives of those around me whom I love and have dedicated myself to helping grow. From those who show a growth I cannot fault, I make every attempt to garnish knowledge and learn.
I fail often. However, I have learned that failure is a vital part of success. Without the one, the other will be less appreciated.
Christians like all other human beings have so much to live for, notwithstanding their faults and weaknesses. Those with greater faults have more to live for, in fact; for living, especially when an undercurrent of pain or suffering is present, has a way of teaching what really matters to those who are hungry for more: the principle that EVERY SINGLE PERSON on the face of this earth HAS WORTH. No matter who thinks them unworthy. No matter who thinks their life worthless.
You see, statement such as, "devout Christians have nothing to live for"... devalues the lives of those individuals who, perhaps, while still parading their faith structure imperfections, have not yet reached the place beyond life lessons that teach us how to appreciate others, thus diminishing the desire to make others feel devalued as a result of differing opinions. That may often be the case.
Question is: do you know anyone who is perfect? Are you? Moreover, by claiming 'devout Christians have nothing to live for', does this make the statement sound in any sense of that context? Or does such a statement merely prove you still have much to learn about human weaknesses and how imperfections influence negatively?
What do you live for? I pray you do not live to undermine your fellow human. After all, you never know who is hiding behind a facade of boldness, in a moment/season of intense weakness... or who, by your diminishing comment you may be cutting down for the final count.
GOD Bless you.
People should strive to be more like you then.
The title of this thread isn't a statement, rather than bait to get people to read it and actually answer the questions posed. The people I mentioned in the OP quite literally seem to take this life as a transition stage, and their words have not only presented an odd detachment from reality but a willingness to have this life end as soon as possible in order to reach heaven. Not just for themselves, but for all of humanity. Scary stuff
Striving to be more like me would be of no avail. Remember I mentioned that I err, have weaknesses, fail and am constantly searching to discover ways to better my walk with JESUS. However, I do know what you are referring to, now that you have elaborated.
Calypso02 is right by saying, "When people say they want Jesus to come now, it is not that they want this life to end" (at least not the Believers in CHRIST JESUS I know personally). What is sought after, is that promise GOD has made us that when JESUS RETURNS life on earth will be a manifestation of HIS GOOD WILL for humanity, as intended before the 'fall'.
You see how wicked the world (in general) has become. Corruption is commonplace. Most individuals are out to find ways to further themselves, no matter who is hurt in the process. The fall of humanity caused an errant flaw in mortal DNA. And while such a blanket statement could be disputed, consider this: do parents have to teach their children to lie, or steal, or hit their siblings/friends when they want something the other has? And have moral standards, ethics and manners not been reduced to situational applications with the progression of time, to the place where almost ANYTHING goes?
If so, why? Why does humanity insist on denying the fact that this world is rampant with evil... that 'humanity' can never be 'perfect' driven by 'themselves'... that GOD (The GOD of The Bible) may actually be The Only TRUE ANSWER to the human dilemma'?
People I speak to sometimes try to tell me that the world is not 'more corrupt' than ever it was, the difference is that now we have media to share the ugliness in rapid spitfire detail. That may be true. Perhaps the world is not filled with more wickedness, but I suggest that on an individual basis, humanity has lost innocence, has changed the focus, and has redirected attention to a more demanding, vicious god~ the god of 'self'. "It's all about, me..." now. Even in this community ~ it's more often about 'who' is right than 'what is true'.
The ill effects of our societal demise are all around us... flagrant, shameless acts of violence, corruption and immorality surface daily in response to challenges established by the last flagrant, shameless act; and even if no one agrees with my brief overview, the fact is, denial, acceptance and tolerance of evil causes everyone to suffer. For this reason, those who hold to THE PROMISES of JESUS, Whose Model of life was both vital and influential, providing spiritual strength to the broken hearted, the physically abused, abased and abhorrent, the lost, the lonely, the naked, the weakened, and the blind ... everyone and anyone sincerely searching for an answer, latching onto a Standard and Believing there is a better way, because there is a GOD, our Creator Whose Love for us defies expression and Whose Intention for our lives has been mocked, but Who Promises, nevertheless, to Return, and to invite all who TRUST HIM to share in HIS Kingdom and to be HIS Friend... well, if you believe ... such a promise is true, would you not desire to see the promise fulfilled?
Therefore, striving to be like me, would be like trying to piece together a broken glass, of no avail. However, striving to be like JESUS, and knowing that even if you will never achieve that goal, HE PROMISES that one day, HE WILL take all that which is corrupt, imperfect, flawed and unholy away, replacing what humanity has destroyed with what HE Alone can restore ... if you think such a promise is possible, you might choose to understand the desire Christians have to see HIM RETURN and to see HIS Dominion.
Most of humanity wants the chaos we are experiencing in our century to end. The difference between a Christian (a true follower of JESUS CHRIST) and the rest of the world, is that the hope of achieving that goal includes GOD, instead of wanting to be independent of HIM. GOD is engraved in the hearts of those who choose not to deny HIS Existence (or HIS Sovereignty). Moreover, the Christian who truly knows WHO GOD IS, has an ongoing, spiritually tangible, and otherwise irreplaceable relationship with what the world thinks is a figment of the imagination. The relationship seals the deal by making denial of HIS Existence equivalent to denying one's own existence.
Plausible? Probable? Something to consider perhaps. A little something to help understand, perhaps....
GOD Bless you, Link.
Mankind might find a better path if the validity of the Christian God, or any God for that matter, could actually be proven.
I am all for people believing in what they wish if it makes them happy, provided it doesn't harm others, but what I can't quite stand is when they assert their beliefs as fact when the only thing backing up their "facts" are personal experiences.
If you wish the world to strive upon a better path due to faith in your God, you must prove he exists beyond a shadow of a doubt to even the most ardent non believer. "You just gotta believe" will simply not cut it for the majority of people. I could put all my faith in Santa Claus being real, but it will not make him real.
Mankind, nature, and the universe do not constitute as definitive proof of any God, let alone a specific one. Obviously the possibility of a creator exists, but the possibility of there not being one is just as likely if not more so as our knowledge of our existence progresses.
I hear you, Link. You're not alone in expressing the need to 'have proof'. The world wants proof in general; and individuals seek 'proof' as well, but for the most part, the proof people seek is tangible evidence; and, that was the reason JESUS Came to this earth in the first place. While HE Existed, HE PROVED, point blank, without any hinderances, that HE Healed those who were infirm, HE CAST OUT devils (as evidenced by those who lived in the territories where demoniacs ~or people possessed dwelt), and HE RAISED the DEAD... eight recorded in The Gospels of The New Testament; and did a host of other miracles... (so many in fact, the Gospel of John says the world of books would not be able to contain them all if it were possible to record them all).
Now, JESUS Came to the earth, The Bible tells us, to 'fulfill' prophecy. Part of that fulfillment was to do exactly what has just been cited. Thing is, a few others, known as prophets (before HE Existed) had also provided evidence of their being sent by GOD, through signs and miracles... the miracles JESUS performed had one exclusivity. NO OTHER PROPHET on the face of the planet ever accomplished such a task until JESUS: this was the act of casting OUT demons. Of course, those who do not read Scripture, or historical records of people who lived during that period, will choose not to believe JESUS did any of this; however, the records exist. The proof of the fulfillment of that aspect of HIS Life Mission is irrefutable.
There was something else HE Came to this earth to fulfill though. That something was to provide a Substitutionary Death, as a SINLESS, PURE, Sacrifice to reverse the 'debt of sin' Adam fell into when he chose to disobey GOD in The Garden of Eden. Hear me out, please (since I know you may be shaking your head right about now, thinking, 'right~ I'm supposed to believe there was a literal Garden of Eden'. Because, IF GOD DID CREATE the Universe, earth included, then The Garden of Eden event and circumstances attached are nothing in comparison. THE GOD WHO COULD CREATE THE UNIVERSE could create a Garden, a man and everything else we see. The task would require a mere blink of HIS Eye, a breath of HIS Nostrils. Please allow me to me continue...)
So... in the Garden, GOD told Adam he was being given 'dominion' over the earth. Everything he saw, he (Adam) had the choice to name. But, by a certain day (in the Creation calendar) Adam showed signs of loneliness. Therefore, GOD made a mate for him. This mate was not created from the dust of the earth, as Adam was. Instead, GOD selected a rib from Adam's side and out of that rib, HE Formed woman. Eve was not given a direct mandate from GOD not to eat from The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam was the one to whom GOD gave that command. The 'rule' was handed down to Eve by her man. The fact that the serpent, (who represents or IS the incarnation of evil/Satan/GOD's enemy) approached Eve to offer a temptation of fruit from one of only two trees in the whole garden these two were not supposed to eat from, was a calculated strategy. If Satan could get Eve to disobey GOD, or to just 'doubt' GOD's Word, then he could get her to do what he did, in heaven (act in disobedience that cost him eternal exile) ...desire to be 'god'. What's more, if he could get Eve to disobey GOD, the man, who held dominion over all the earth, and whose attention was now turned to woman (instead of GOD), then, he should be able to get Adam to disobey as well. The Bible says, satan was successful.
Now, the temptation Satan presented to Eve was truly subtle. That's what The Bible calls it; but if a person were to consider the strategy, the genius and simplicity with which that offer was made, is so deep, yet so uncomplicated, it is no wonder Eve 'BELIEVED Satan's lie'. You see, Satan offered Eve what he himself coveted in heaven... he offered her, something she immediately understood was being withheld from her by GOD, though this was untrue. The temptation went like this: "...has GOD said, 'you shall not eat of every tree of the garden?' Eve responded (which opened her up to his deception), and once Eve responded, Satan had a captive audience. Immediately, he challenged the reason behind why GOD told them not to eat of the tree by saying, "God knows that the day you eat of that tree, YOUR EYES WILL BE OPENED and YOU WILL BE as gods, knowing good and evil."
What Eve didn't realize was that she was already as GOD, because The Bible tells us, GOD MADE Adam in HIS Image, and gave Adam dominion over the entire planet. The only thing GOD was keeping from Adam and Eve, was the ability to KNOW EVIL. Good they already knew. Evil was foreign to them.
Now... the devil trapped them into disobeying GOD because there are particular spiritual laws that GOD MUST ADHERE to, in order to run a PERFECT Kingdom. The devil, who once dwelt in heaven, as the highest ranking angel (an archangel) understood the principles of GOD'S Kingdom Laws. Therefore, he knew that in order to TAKE DOMINION away from Adam, he had to get Adam to DISOBEY GOD.
Adam had no clue. Neither did Eve. However, once Adam ate of that forbidden fruit, THEIR EYES WERE OPENED and THEY KNEW THEY WERE NAKED. Of course, they were naked the whole time and nakedness never made them feel shame; but once they acted in disobedience, the act alone proved they 1. believed Satan's word over GOD's Word 2. they doubted GOD 3. they placed their confidence in another 'god'. What was worse is that they didn't die physically. THEY DIED SPIRITUALLY. That is why 'their eyes were opened'. This debt of sin, (the act of disobedience = sin) could only be paid for (according to the spiritual laws in GOD's Kingdom) by the outpouring of blood. But, since Adam had sinned, his blood could not repay the debt. A SINLESS specimen would have to be provided. Instead, GOD COVERED their sin, (analogous of sweeping the dirt under the rug) for a season of time, until such time, when HE SAID, HE WOULD PROVIDE THE SUBSTITUTIONAL BLOOD OFFERING. That is THE REASON JESUS CAME TO THIS EARTH. HE WAS/IS that Perfect, Pure, Sinless Substitutional Offering of BLOOD that REPAID the debt of sin incurred by Adam, (a debt that caused all humanity to be born in a corrupted DNA bloodline) and SETTLED THE CLAIMS/ACCUSATION against any human being that the devil would proclaim a sinner and unworthy of relationship with GOD. The fact is, Adam broke the perfect friendship he had with GOD, when he disobeyed and trusted GOD's enemy instead. (Sorry this is so long... trust me, I could write books because what I am writing is not even the tip of the iceberg, but I am coming to the 'evidence part' soon.)
So, JESUS, WHO CAME to pay that debt of sin, also had other functions to fulfill, because over 4,000 years had passed since Adam's guffaw and humanity had so fallen into corruption that GOD made plans to provide a Royal Priesthood (The Jews), a people called OUT from among the heathen/corrupted nations, to tell the world about HIM; except, they too, went the way of the world, for the most part (and that is a whole other branch of apologetics); except for a select few individuals, that The Jews came to know as 'men of GOD called to turn the eyes of the nation back to The Creator. These men were also given special capabilities... in order to prove they were sent by GOD; but as the movie, "The Ten Commandments" so aptly shows, the devil was at work also teaching 'his chosen vessels' tricks of the spiritual sort that might cause many to think the 'men of GOD' were just magicians. The only 'sign' the priest of Pharoah could not perform included the signs in which life was made out of dust (ex: the lice) and life was taken (as per the edict of Pharoah when he decided that he was going to take the lives of the Hebrew children, pronouncing the last plague from GOD out of his own mouth).
Movies and storybooks have been written as 'fairytales' to speak of the lives of individuals in The Bible, like David and Goliath, or Samson, or Solomon; but the stories never really tie the 'character' to the purpose of their lives. Those men GOD Called out from among the JewishTribes, were to be men who brought The Royal Priesthood BACK to their calling... something they have not yet experienced as a nation.
Once the hardness of their hearts was established (because the Old Testament writings ended 700 years before JESUS came to this earth), GOD Wrote a New Covenant. In that New Testament (that is what Covenant is...) GOD teaches us how HE INTENDED us to live. JESUS SHOWED us through the model of HIS Own Life. But HE CAME because the time had arrived for HIS PROMISE of a Substitutional Offering of Blood, PURE and SINLESS, to TAKE BACK DOMINION of this earth from Satan ACCORDING TO THE SPIRITUAL LAWS of GOD's heavenly Kingdom.
In other words, JESUS HAD TO DIE. If the Jewish Religious Leaders of HIS day had not pushed for HIS death, the Romans would have killed HIM for having been lauded as The Jewish King. The difference is: if HE Had been accepted by The Royal Priesthood, three days later when HE Rose from the dead, HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN BACK DOMINION then.
But before HE Died, HE HAD TO LIVE a sinless life; and, during that lifetime, HE WAS GIVEN the opportunity to SAVE the blinded ones (The Jews) from the rhetoric humanity imposed on them over centuries of 'pretending to know what GOD wanted'... The name, 'YESHUA" which is the real name of our Saviour (in Hebrew) means Salvation/Restoration. YESHUA came to Save those who wanted to be restored to the original pattern/intention of GOD's Creation. The beauty of this deal, for those who are not Jews is that Satan got shafted by killing JESUS. You see, he thought that by killing JESUS he would put an end to GOD's Promise; but, the fact is, he created a venue by which GOD INCORPORATED the rest of the world into that offer/invitation to be HIS Royal Priesthood or at least HIS Friend, and Citizen of HIS Kingdom once HE COMES into Dominion.
The evidence you seek has been spread over millennia. Although, that general platform could be contested, and rightly so. For every true act of GOODNESS/MERCY/COMPASSION/LIFE GIVING GRACE that GOD extended toward humanity over the course of existence, Satan had a counterfeit. That counterfeit lives to call itself after HIS Name (Christianity~followers of Christ). However, Satan is not original or omnipotent; therefore, one counterfeit doesn't cut it for him. That's the reason for a myriad of religious platforms. All of them... each of them... containing a form of truth...intermixed with enough deception so as to keep a person blinded to THE LIVING GOD, and the fact that GOD WANTS HUMANITY to HAVE LIFE ABUNDANT, not corrupted, not mutilated by disgusting facets of evil that defy expression, but LIFE... REAL LIFE.
So... the myriad of religions obscure THE TRUTH; however, GOD PROMISED that for ANYONE and EVERYONE who wants THE TRUTH, HE WILL MAKE THAT TRUTH KNOWN. Therefore, those who HOLD TO 'KNOWING GOD' through personal experience are not lying. I HAVE A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP/FRIENDSHIP with THE GOD of CREATION, through THE SACRIFICE of YESHUA, WHOSE BLOOD PAID my debt of sin (that I got through the ancestral bloodline of Adam) and WHO ANSWERED my heart's cry to KNOW HIM, by MAKING HIMSELF KNOWN to me.
The fact is, HIS PROMISES ARE TRUE. Anyone who asks HIM, YESHUA/JESUS to make HIMSELF REAL, HE WILL MAKE HIMSELF REAL. The sin debt is not a conglomerate deal.
Each of us is guilty once we have committed our first sin. Doesn't take us long either. We are usually still children when we take that first bite of forbidden fruit. I was just a little girl who wanted a marker from the corner store... mom couldn't afford it, so I stole it. Never did use it. Didn't even break open the package, because I KNEW I had done something wrong. I guess my mom found it hidden under the bed when she changed the sheets. But, I DID IT. I sinned; and once I did, Adam's curse/debt of sin was no longer the only reason I was a sinner in GOD's eyes. ... once I did it I was a sinner in my own right, and Satan had SPIRITUAL LAWS upon which to base his ownership of me.
I no longer belong to that accuser. I now belong to THE SAVIOUR YESHUA. HE IS REAL. HE LIVES in me. I don't want to write a book, but if I did, my life alone, all the circumstances, events and patterns that show, proof positive, that GOD IS mine and I am HIS ...
However, HE OFFERS PROOF of HIS Existence to those who INVITE HIM to make HIMSELF REAL. Don't believe me. Don't believe anyone.
Ask HIM to make HIMSELF REAL to you. If HE does not... go on believing HE does not exist. That would then be your SPIRITUAL RIGHT, for HE IS BOUND by the SPIRITUAL LAWS of HIS KINGDOM to KEEP HIS PROMISE, and HE PROMISES TO ANSWER EVERY SINCERE CRY to KNOW HIM.
I hope this helps. Sorry for the length.
GOD BLESS you, Link.
God is kind and loving, and he does not send people to hell--they send themselves there by rejecting Him. Devout Christians have plenty to live for--and most do good deeds simply because it is the good thing to do, not because they want to get into heaven. I feel good when I help others, and I don't help just so I can get in heaven--it does not work that way.
When people say they want Jesus to come now, it is not that they want this life to end--they just want Him to come back! Most of all, we want EVERYONE to be saved.
Except if jesus ever returns, everyone won't be saved. In fact, it's probable that several billion people won't even make it to heaven. The people I mentioned in the OP always attribute the return of jesus with the end of the world and that all non believers will receive rightful judgement.
And sorry, if God is all powerful, then it means he created hell. Saying that God doesn't send them but the people themselves choose hell (even those that have never heard of the Christian God?) is like me saying the toddler chose to burn his hand in the fireplace I set him directly in front of. I set the fire, and I set the toddler in front of the fire without warning of the dangers of fire, but with your logic it would still be the toddlers fault and not mine.
Doesn't quite add up, but when human logic is applied to God, suddenly God's logic is higher than our own and cannot be comprehended. Its oddly convenient that God is completely blameless for the bad stuff, but is always praised for the good. Both if which he supposedly created mind you.
Link, you said: Except if jesus ever returns, everyone won't be saved. In fact, it's probable that several billion people won't even make it to heaven.
That is partly true. When JESUS Returns, everyone won't be saved. Several billion people may not make it to heaven; however, those people who do not make it to heaven, will have made a choice to reject JESUS by whom humanity is intended to be reconciled to GOD.
You said: 'And sorry, if God is all powerful, then it means he created hell.'.
The Bible teaches that hell was created for the devil and his horde of fallen angels, not for humans.
Let's take apart the next phrase you said, because you ask a very interesting question there.
Saying that God doesn't send them but the people themselves choose hell (even those that have never heard of the Christian God?)
GOD does not send anyone to hell. The onus is on GOD to reveal something of HIMSELF to those who have never heard of HIM. Certainly throughout the centuries there have been groups of people, tribes perhaps, loners out in distant lands, in no-man's land perhaps... even individuals cut off from all society for periods of time. But, let's be honest... EVERYONE, at some point during the course of life, (except babies) will look up to the sky at some point, or at a waterfall, an ocean, a forest, a creature that is so delicate, or intricate, or astoundingly beautiful, or majestically crafted and wonder: who made that? The question and answer most definitely, almost always, points to a Supreme Being. Now, not everyone will know HIM as the GOD of The Bible, or The God of The Jews, or The Christians, or any other people group. Right? But HE DOES NOT NEED us to identify HIM. HE WILL IDENTIFY HIMSELF to any heart that seriously and honestly wants to know HIM. That is HIS Promise. Check out You Tube and see how many people have been having dreams and visions in which JESUS REVEALS HIMSELF to those who never even heard of HIM. One NDE (near death experience) I really found tremendous was a monk who didn't even know such a person/character as JESUS ever walked the planet, died and three days later, just before his body was to be burned in the custom of a monk burial, came back to life, expounding on the parameters and horrors of hell.
You said, Saying that God doesn't send them ... is like me saying the toddler chose to burn his hand in the fireplace I set him directly in front of. I set the fire, and I set the toddler in front of the fire without warning of the dangers of fire, but ...
But... now analyze your logic. You place a toddler in front of the fire without warning of the dangers of the fire. Two things: 1. GOD does not set us in front of a fire. 2. IF HE DID, HE WOULD WARN us by 3. making the fire hot enough that we should NOT WANT TO GO NEAR. 4. ALWAYS MAKING A WAY OF ESCAPE (this is another of HIS Promises) ...in other words, would give us the option of NOT GOING NEAR THE FIRE, or turning in the opposite direction away from the fire.
You said, '...with your logic it would still be the toddlers fault and not mine.' Is that truly a fair calculation? Do you really believe GOD WOULD HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT to blame 'us' if HE DIDN'T PROVIDE A WAY TO KNOW THE TRUTH????
If this were in any way true, then GOD, or at least 'the god' you are referring to/painting a picture of, would not deserve to be LOVED, REVERED or CALLED GOD.
You said, Doesn't quite add up, but when human logic is applied to God, suddenly God's logic is higher than our own and cannot be comprehended.
GOD's Ways are higher than our ways, and most certainly we cannot comprehend HIS Logic... after all, what would it take for you to give up your life? Would you care for a complete stranger, or a murderer's eternal destiny enough to die in that person's place? Perhaps you would. So, let me ask the question this way: let's say you wrote a book, and you were required to die as a result of that book. You created it. Would you be willing to die for your creation? That is what GOD CHOSE to do, instead of just wiping us off the planet and starting over. (Of course, there are spiritual laws attached to HIS Decision and those laws are the reason we cannot possibly judge HIS Actions, Logic or know HIS Thoughts.)
You said, 'Its oddly convenient that God is completely blameless for the bad stuff, but is always praised for the good.'
Actually I am more easily surprised to discover that the same individuals who are so quick to blame GOD for everything, don't believe there is a counterpart character, watching, listening and waiting on the sidelines, loving every blinded heart and mind that accuses GOD for the evil 'he' commits.
You said, "Both if which he supposedly created mind you.' Can you prove that?
Finally, I would like to address one other thing you said. (And please don't take my viewpoint as an attempt to shoot down your views. I don't mean any of this as an attack. I am merely presenting an alternative to how you have viewed the circumstances/concepts presented here.)
The people I mentioned in the OP always attribute the return of jesus with the end of the world and that all non believers will receive rightful judgement.
Here is my take on this aspect of why JESUS' Return Will bring rightful judgment:
A DIVINE, POWERFUL, MAJESTIC and CREATIVE GOD, WHO IS so unlike us as a result of HIS HOLINESS, that HE CANNOT EXIST where evil exists, will return to take back DOMINION of the earth that HE Created to share with humanity; and, that HE DIED TO REDEEM. When HE RETURNS to establish HIS Kingdom on earth, nothing evil will be allowed in. The forces of darkness that have been allowed to work their wiles up until HIS Return, according to the spiritual laws that HE Laid down in heaven, will face HIM then, for the final time, only this time HE WILL not be faced as a Sacrificial Lamb; this time those forces will face The LION of Judah, THE PROMISED MESSIAH; and, as a result, all evil, as we know it, will be annihilated.
JUDGMENT for all that the enemy of GOD has done over the course of time since he corrupted the first man will be pronounced. And, as per the same spiritual laws... ALL humans under satan's jurisdiction, according to their own free choice, will also be brought to face THE ONE Whom they either denied, or Believed. Now, remember, every single individual will be accountable only for him/herself. There will be no outside influences to base HIS Justice upon.
If HE IS TRULY GOD, and if the ten commandments are the earthly laws HE SET for humans to follow, then those who have FOLLOWED ALL TEN COMMANDMENTS without fault, will have legal ground to proclaim innocence, and may stand outside the corridors of judgment, because HE would not have any ground by which to judge them; but, IF HE TRULY IS GOD, and those ten commandments were given to humanity in order to provide a guideline and a standard by which we could truly see how much we need HIS BLOOD SACRIFICE to pay our debt of sin, then... HIS GIFT of Substitutionary Death which would have wiped away the sin of debt, will have also been rejected with HIM, leaving each individual to pay their own debt. But how? What would there be to offer? A HOLY GOD cannot take an unholy payment.
I consider HIS OFFER WORTH checking out. Of course... the choice is yours. Always has been. Always will be.
GOD BLESS you, Link.
I would address your points, but I already see the back and forth getting tiresome, and I have been getting extra tired of the back and forth as of late.
You seem to be a little more level headed than most I have seen on this site, and you certainly don't seem to be promoting Armageddon anytime soon, which is good signs all around.
Your faith makes you content. Good. Others require more than just blind faith, and the fact that there are multiple denominations within Christianity itself let alone multiple religions shows that God does in fact not present himself to all in the same manner, or there would be only one religion.
Since you have yet to spew threats of hell fire at me, I feel I can ask you this question and get a serious response. Have you ever Considered the possibility that you are wrong in your faith? That what you believe could very well be wrong, or at least not 100% correct?
You said, "Have you ever Considered the possibility that you are wrong in your faith? That what you believe could very well be wrong, or at least not 100% correct?"
A great question, Link. The human mind is the most fierce battlefield any warrior of faith will ever find themselves guarding. For this reason, like every other human being on the face of this earth, I have, from time to time, wondered if what I have believed is 100% correct. This is what I have discovered:
...though I obviously will have conceptual boundaries and theological questions no one can answer, I have wrestled the 'doubt' demon for more years, and in more circumstances than I can track...what my years of struggle have proven, beyond any doubt is plain: my humanity causes me to waver at times (I am not proud of this) but the faith upon which I have based my confidence in is TRUE. My GOD, YESHUA, The Anointed Son of GOD is TRUE.
I pray circumstance will one day help you resolve whatever issues may be keeping you from delving further into the discovery. Especially since The Bible has been 100% accurate in providing those of us who study the Book, with signs to look for, so that we may understand The Last Days. Those signs are coming to pass in shapes and forms that are all too difficult to ignore. One of the 'signs' will be a world leader who will present himself as a saviour from the chaos that no other will seem to have answers to resolve. The Bible tells us, the world 'at large' will accept this saviour, where they will not accept JESUS.
Different interpretations formulate the basis for different 'faith structures' or denominations. There won't be any schisms in The Kingdom of GOD. All our misinterpretations and misunderstandings will be resolved if/when we finally are in HIS Presence.
GOD BLESS you, Link. May you find what you are looking for... I know eternity will REJOICE with you if what you are looking for is TRUE.
You lost me at, "Why would one choose heaven, when hell is available?"
I am at least, "holier" than THOU...wouldn't you say yourself???
I mean, look at us!!! Lol...
Ok, I get a lil silly sometimes.
Sincerely though, "What am I living for? Here's the nutshell version:
My God introduced himself to me, many years ago. Now before your query kicks into high gear, no, he did not walk up to me and say, "Hi, I'm the God of Abraham." He whispered often.
In each "prayer line", I was singled out. (Black people in the Church of God in Christ, had a LOT of prayer lines in the 80's) as a kid, I heard, "Great work for you..." even up until my adult years. I had dreams when I was a kid, even up until adulthood. As a kid, I was alwsys pursued in my dreams. As an adult, dreams happened, as predicted. A word spoken from a stranger, came true once. Oh! Lots of words from strangers, over the years...
Why I live...? For you...
Your actions in other threads don't entirely live up to that last part, which still doesn't really answer the question I posed considering how we are all random people on the internet.
I am also not sure how any of that actually addresses the topic at hand either.
I think what people on the outside looking in, as well as one or two on the inside, want to see is the meek and humble side of Jesus, that the bible boasts of. They forget that he was a real man. With real emotion. And a denier of his message was simply bypassed...
But he had a lot of ground to cover, and the lions were closing in. He had no time to waste.
On the internet, we are stationary. We are here daily. We speak on what is important; which makes me wonder why you spend any time on these topics...
Now, the bible tells us who will/will not be
in heaven. Also, who will/will not live eternity in hell.
No believer should come right out and declare it, for there is power in the tongue. But it is possible to test a spirit to see if it is of God. It aligns to his message.
Not many people know the temperment of God. But Jesus kinda showed us how far he will go to straighten what isn't right within his kingdom. Outside, seems disregarded or sent away.
He came to save us all. Not all want it...
Provided I understood this correctly, not only are you implying that none of what I say is of any importance compared to your "message", but you still avoid addressing the primary topic of this thread.
I cannot say I am surprised though. It seems to be a theme with more than one person on this site. So much for breaking the trend.
Oh shoot! To answer the question as to whether or not I'd do it without the promise of Heaven? Absolutely. I may be entirely wrong about what I think Heaven may be, but whats happening here on Earth is pretty clear, and the only thing I can hope to affect.
"What are you living for? "Spreading the good word" is an absolute atrocious reason, Believe in my god or burn forever" mentality. It seems to me that some of the holier than thou christians on this site legitimately believe with all their heart that those who do not believe in their god will have special front row tickets to hell/eternal punishment, yet still try to play off that their god is just and loving."
Ok, you seem to be trending with your fellows as well. I addressed each of these topics. You ignored it and accused me of dodging your bullets. Lol... why should YOUR uncertainty and misunderstanding be any different?
The bible is the deciding force for me.
I wil say again that I speak what the bible says. Gentleness and respect are not reserved for the temptor. See Jesus on the mountain after the forty day fast. He spoke to his tempter a few minutes correcting; then he dismissed the temptor with a wave of the hand. No gentleness or respect. Just getcho ass outta here! Or something like that...
Motown addressed the primary topic perfectly in her first response, the secondary topic in her second. Clear as day, all without doing the preaching you seem to be doing. Heck, i dont think she mentioned the Bible or even Jesus.
Do not blame your own inability to convey your thoughts, which isn't even exclusive to this thread, on me or anyone else.
I'm going to answer this before I read any of the responses so as not to color my words with impatience or frustration.
I am a devout Christian, and I find that I most often live for the same things as everyone else I know. I live to make my world a better place through kindness and compassionate love, to deepen the interpersonal relationships with which I have been blessed, to enjoy the unquestionable and incomparable beauty of nature and music and literature and the awesome moment of watching g life come to its natural end and then begin again with the birth of a child.
I live to be grateful for the life and the world I've been given and to reflect that gratitude in my actions. Most importantly, I live to love the way I've been loves and share what I have so that everyone can experience the joy and beauty of life.
I just love ya, Mo. Beautiful sentiments. We should all be more like you <3
Oh no! The world would be a really messy place if we were all like me!
But I think we complicate things sometimes for no reason, and if I've learned anything as I get older, it's that simple is better.
And it's a pleasure to have you back around.
And in this corner we have the ethically mature religious.
And you were finally right!!! Not ONE word about Jesus, or what the bible says...
Is that what makes it so mature???
I get that...
And in this corning we have someone who has no idea what was mature about Mo's comment.
I just wanted to be sure I knew what elevated it to the "acceptable" status of mature. I guess I know why it was more acceptable. But my thing is different. Unacceptable. Bible is a no. I do get that.
So my corning is still the same.
Do me a favor, Genaea. Aside from the fact that I didn't say Jesus or quote a scripture, please point out what is unbiblical about my comment. I'm just curious what's so objectionable to you about what I said.
And I'm sure not trying to be contrary. Really just curious.
Absolutely no objection from me on any of what you said. Why do you feel that I objected? I expressed that there was no scriptural passage, no mentions of what Jesus said.
I think that is the magical thing that makes the Christian messages more palatable???
I see nothing against biblical teaching in your post either.
But what makes my reaction seem as if I objected? I wanted Rad to say whether or not the absence of the Jesus/bible part was the reason for the high praises.
The fact that it was on topic and answered the posed questions had something to do with it I am sure..
And she didn't even HAVE to use a mouthful of Scripture, or even a single word of it actually, to "prove" her walk with Jesus. It was clear in every sentence she "spoke".
That's the real deal.
How do you distinguish her walk with the Lord, from one who has figured out the rules of life on their own and are also grateful for all and peaceful in all?
I'm sorry I don't understand what you're asking.
You seemed to have stated that her response oozed her walk with the Lord without the scripture/Jesus mention.
According to many atheists, "no God needed" to reach the status of all things good and wonderful. And anyone who can think, can come up with good moral character, gratefulness to self for being so great, "no God needed".
How do you distinguish the two?
Yes on your first statement.
And again, I still don't understand on the second part.
Are you asking how Atheists find what religious people have without religion? If so, I don't know. Ask an Atheist.
If that is what your meaning, I can only guess. Atheists, I assume, strive to be good people too...help their fellow man too, and live genuinely according to what rings true for them too. Just like everyone else. They don't look to or rely on outer influence or guidance to reach or for help with such goals. They just do it because it's the right thing(s) to do as a human being. That's my guess.
Being at peace isn't inclusive or exclusive. You either are or you aren't. Why, is up to the individual.
You do know that the sweet sounds of her post, sang a holy spirit picture. But you have no idea why??? Atheism has nothing to do with it.
I asked a simple question. TWICE... and since I do not have a "blender" I cannot break it down any further.
No, you did not answer how you distinguish an Atheist practicing his own thing which looks like goodness, from a Christian who will leave out Jesus and the scripture for you. What is the difference in the two? Nevermind, incoherence is incoherence.
Ahh, nice of you to admit that. It's no wonder no one knows what you are saying half the time if that is the case.
I never said Atheism had anything to do with it, that was your baby. YOU brought it up and for the life of me, I cannot fathom why you did, it made no sense to me so I was guessing at where you were headed with it and responded in kind.
Believe it or not, not everyone can decipher what exactly it is that you are asking at times. You are VERY difficult to get meaning from at times and frankly, that is not necessarily indicative of a failure on my part. You become very insulting when people can't understand where you're headed in your line of thinking and at that point, I no longer wish to engage in conversation with you.
NO ONE left out Scripture FOR ME.
Incoherence is incoherence is right. I wasn't addressing you when I made the statement earlier and often make effort not to actually. Per usual, when you join a conversation, it becomes almost always solely about you and I'm not interested. Hijack away.
I brought up atheists because they have a saying, "No God required." I KNOW I mentioned that in my post, specifically. Went right over your head, huh???
Hey, I get it. When one makes one absolutely nuts, it tends to color things a bit. It is not my intention to drive anyone batty, I simply speak what the bible says. I never knew it would be received so poorly, but I knew it wouldn't be good.
Though I have no problem with the reception, I just hate being disliked. But I'll get over it. I've been toughened a bit. The word of the Lord is important. The spirit of the Lord is sent simply to remind us...
But some deny that spirit... even professed Christians. Deny what Jesus said...
I won't. I can't.
I am so glad you broke your rule to acknowledge my presence. It means a lot...
Yeah, sure, right over my head *eyeroll*
Just so you know, I've read the Bible. You don't have to speak it to me. I know what it says.
I do not dislike you, Cgenaea.
So, are you the entity who decides appropriate discussion, or inappropriate content?
What if I say to you, that I was instructed to say only what he says, AND write it down? Would you issue me a pass and allow me to discuss, as I am led, instead???
I don't dislike you either, Mel.
No. Are you?
I would say that's a cop out. You're not God. Your words are yours. If you think that you must use what "he" says to talk at someone, that's just your way of not taking responsibility for what gets said. I do not engage in conversations of such manner.
The person who started this thread wishes, I think, to get back on topic. I respect those wishes and will not engage further unless it's directly addressing the OP. Party on.
I'm the one who decides what is right for me. And you have the same luxury.
I am of God. I say what HE says as instructed. So no, I cannot take responsibility for what is said. They are not my words. We may not lean to our own understanding of things, we must acknowledge the spirit (contained in BIBLICAL words) so that we keep on track. But with the idea that those words cannot be trusted, we miss the spirit (as many often see to be a good thing - I won't tell... ) and rely on how we FEEL about them. Too egotistical... He said, "Say what I say." Not, "Take responsibility for my words so that YOU can now be the focus."
Couple the Bible, which makes little to no sense when looked at objectively, with yourself, whom cannot seem to ever get a point across without devolving the entire topic into needless preaching and subtle insults, well it's no wonder things fly over heads so often.
Sounds like a personal problem on your end.
But to get things back on topic and a shot at redemption for hijacking the thread and insulting people, can you answer these 2 questions as clearly as possible?
1. What do you live for?
2. Do you think most Christians would still do good in the world if heaven wasn't an added incentive?
1. I live to be a vessel for God on the behalf of others.
2. I know that they would not ever do good enough to be worthy of the benefits offered through Christ Jesus.
They do what they can, because of the love they have found.
I, personally, would be a theif/murderer/manipulative liar.
So maybe it is only the scum of the earth who seeks/realizes a need for God and grabs hold. Everyone else is good enough on their own... congratulations
Would you look at that. It only took 3 pages of comments to get direct and hopefully honest answers from you.
Feel free to leave the thread if you like, since I am getting sick of your crap attitude, subtle insults, and unwarranted sarcasm due to your own problems with communication, which again doesn't seem to be limited to this thread.
Just a suggestion, since obviously you are free to do as you like, but I know I won't be responding to you anymore unless you miraculously continue with these straightforward comments so proper discussions can be had.
Link, I could not care less about your desire or undesire to be my friend. Your "religion" is divisive and causes a lot of conflicts.
I'm just about done with your crap as well. You set up your questions to the tune of manipulative. You are the temptor. You have no right to that. I'm sick of your crap too. So leave the thread and all others, if real Jesus/bible comments hurt your feelings or continue to confuse you to no end.
I'm here... do what you like.
Lol, telling me to leave my own thread. Your pedestal seems to be pretty high up there, but it seems we are making progress since your comment was understandable.
Tell me, what was manipulative about my questions? You are the only one on here who has had trouble answering those 2 questions. The only thing that was manipulative was the title thread, which was to get people to read and answer the posed questions. That is a common tactic used in all forms of media if you didn't already know.
Stop acting like a child, answer things clearly and as straightforward as you can, and no one would ever have legitimate problems with you. You can quote the Bible and talk about Jesus all you want, that wasn't where the problem was. The problem was that you started preaching without ever answering the questions asked and then started getting upset at people because you couldn't communicate properly.
I am glad that I am open minded enough not to generalize all Christians based on your actions alone. You paint a very negative picture for others of your faith.
No matter the problem you have with me and my conversation, we get to the point eventually, with all the misunderstanding of scripture anyway. I speak biblically.
So, if there is a phrase that totally flies over your head, as well, look it up. it's most likely a verse of a chapter in that thing that confounds you so. My reproof. My judge. My mirror. My bible. I'm not making this stuff up... I'm remembering...
I know that it is most unfamiliar to you and a few others. But it is needed. Keep listening as well as you can. Something may stick...
And here we go again. I ask you a question, you ignore it to then talk about your amazing understanding of the Bible which has nothing to do with your ability to communicate properly.
Hoo boy. At least I can say I tried.
You make me wanna screech, "Hey, Moe!!!"
Maybe you may understand stoogese... I'll try it. It will be MUCH more entertaining.
As a general statement I don't think that I agree, as I know several Christians/religious people who live this life to the fullest and embrace the opportunity to experience all that this world has to offer. But I have definitely wondered if some people take this life for granted because they're just waiting for the next part (which I don't believe anyone can say they know exists for sure). The thread asking atheists what the point of life is comes to mind... so much negativity and disdain for this world, I think it's such a shame.
As for "spreading the word of God"... if I'm honest, I think people who need a pedestal to stand on are naturally drawn to religion so that they can have something to preach about. I think some need to pretend that they're in on some big secret in order to feel like their lives are meaningful. I haven't known any Christians in real life to try to push their religion, but the ones who do it here strike me as being pretty insincere for the most part. It seems like it's driven by a need to be right, or better, or more enlightened than others rather than any actual concern for anyone else.
Y'all crack me up textually storming away tantrum-style AFTER you have had YOUR say... and then returning... quite often with a new name and face... same spirit...
So many of you die to me...then resurrect. Kinda like my Jesus...
Just genaea... wonder, no more.
They've checked me out here. More than once. some of us actually know a lot about me.
I've thought the same. If so, she is stellar at it.
I sometimes wonder if "she who shall not be named" is really a Muslim attempting to make Christianity look bad.
Wouldn't be surprised. The longer I'm here the more I realize that if these people aren't kidding around we should start being scared.
I already came to that conclusion about someone else on here. Might even be the same person Rad Man is talking about.
"She" please use my name, is not Muslim, she follows Christ wholeheartedly, no additives for taste. No shame in my game. Christ gave me his wishes long ago... it is time for it to STOP looking/smelling bad to him. Christianity has added sugar much too long. Salt is what he asked for...
What did I do with that dictionary link so kindly provided for me, a while back???...
I think good people will tend to do good things, regardless of their justifications. And I'm skeptical as to whether "scaring straight" actually works. Maybe a little bit, for a little while. If these people one day woke up without any knowledge of Christianity, most of them would be just as good/bad as ever.
Well, maybe less bad, since they wouldn't be self-riteously threatening others with hellfire, but close enough.
With the amount of people on this site alone that I have seen that believe in Jesus primarily because they don't want to spend eternity regretting choosing otherwise, I think the "scaring straight" works all too well sadly.
I find it odd how those kind of people don't really bat an eye at the millions upon millions of people that will supposedly be condemned to eternal damnation
I think the title of this thread is not true. I also notice lumping a lot of people together.
Well, in the purview of devout Christians, they DO have SOMETHING to LIVE FOR. It's THEIR business....not anyone's else what they...BELIEVE!
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