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If you were God, would you forgive me?

  1. maestrowhit profile image59
    maestrowhitposted 8 years ago

    If you were God, and had the power to forgive or condemn whomever you chose, would you let people go to Hell?

    Would there be a single person you would not forgive?

    If your answer is yes, then who would that be? and why?

    1. mohitmisra profile image53
      mohitmisraposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Its not that God doesnt want to forgive and that he likes seeing you in a hell.Understand there is One -God or the light from where everything comes including every single human.God is your home.This is all a big joke since now you are split into two-God and you.The reality is you are One.Offcourse god wants everything back or rather the supersoul is incomplete without every soul.When you understand  all is you then you will forgive anyone and everyone.

      Who am I to give?
      Who am I to forgive?

      The binding force is love,
      The symbol being  a white dove. smile

      1. Eng.M profile image76
        Eng.Mposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I think forgiveness and justice must go together

        I mean you don't forgive somebody if justice wont be maitained

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          How does this answer my question?

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            I think he is saying that sometimes the ends justify the means.  smile

            1. maestrowhit profile image59
              maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Yeah, I see what he's saying, it just doesn't answer the question of what would he do if he were God. What about you, Sandra. Are there people you would let burn in Hell? Just wondering smile

              1. profile image0
                sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                no way hosay!!!  I think the only thing to burn in Hell is the thought of it. lol.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  I cannot imagine a more ludicrous idea than heaven and hell in an afterlife, but if I was god, all the people who thought they were going to heaven would go to hell, and vice versa.

                  Imagine the confusion and outrage lol

                  Of course, heaven would be a very different place to the one I have had described to me.

                  There would be a lot of pleasures of the flesh, carousing, and generally fun behavior.

                  1. maestrowhit profile image59
                    maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    you'd make a better God than the one most people believe in, from what I hear. LOL

                2. maestrowhit profile image59
                  maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  Hell yeah!

      2. maestrowhit profile image59
        maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I agree with you M. I'm looking for people who believe that you and I are going to Hell to answer me. Those people who think that just because you aren't a christian, you're going to Hell. I want to hear if they would send you to Hell if they were God. Thanks, though.

    2. TravelMonkey profile image60
      TravelMonkeyposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      fantastic question

  2. t.keeley profile image83
    t.keeleyposted 8 years ago

    I believe some people choose to not be forgiven. They simply don't like the idea of it. I'm not God, glad I'm not, because if I were I'd probably have a  hard time forgiving many, many people. I mean...come on....OJ SImpson? He doesn't, in my opinion, deserve it.

    But then that's why I'm not God....

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Good answer. Not to toot my own horn, but I honestly wouldn't have a problem forgiving everyone in the world. OJ, Bundy, Dahmer, Hitler.....all of them. That's why I don't believe in Hell. I don't think that God would be less forgiving than me - a mere human. I think people who believe in Hell are people who want Hell to exist.They want a God who punishes people who don't agree with them. They want to feel like their actions are somehow more right than someone else's, and they want that to be proven.

      1. profile image0
        jaimelinus0316posted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Really? You don't have any icky feelings towards a single person? I'm not asking if you have someone you haven't forgiven - I'm going for the lighter side of the same subject.

        Even I, who can't hold a grudge even though I've tried, believe in Hell. And it's not because I want Hell to exist. I want a just and merciful God. No, I don't want people to go to Hell. Even talking to you about Hell, I'm not sure that I'm "more right". I just know what I believe.

        You know, somewhere in my head are all these great answers, but whenever I try to talk or write about what I feel and believe, it comes out as gibberish. Sorry - I keep trying anyway. :-)

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Of course I have icky feeling about people. I get pissed off at people all the time. But I would never in a million years feel that a person's actions warranted them a place in eternal Hell.

  3. t.keeley profile image83
    t.keeleyposted 8 years ago

    It doesn't come down to God being less forgiving, he's just more Holy. There's a riff drawn in our minds on the subject because we cannot comprehend true holiness...absolute unadulterated purity. So pure in fact that a justice we cannot understand rules the universe we so desperately try to grasp. I would say things are a lot more complex with God than you and I realise, and hell is [probably] one of those facets that we just cannot understand.

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      There are some words of Jesus that talk about us sharing His mind. He talks about when He is in us and we are in Him that He will share with us all that the Father shares with Him. I believe that we CAN understand all of these things. I believe that we were made TO understand them. The first step is allowing yourself to believe that you deserve it. That's what forgiveness is all about.

      1. t.keeley profile image83
        t.keeleyposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Right. This is called sanctification, something completed when we die. It's a process, one started and finished by the Holy Spirit. We're so finite we cannot fully understand the ways of God, the Bible even says that. We can learn to forgive, yes, but we can't learn to figure out what God's plan is. Even Christ is said to not know the full plan of God in Revelation. I figure that's a pretty difficult thing to know, considering the God-man Christ isn't even aware of the finality of the plan of God.

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          you're saying things in a way I haven't heard exactly. Interesting. However, I'd like to know how you derived your statement that sanctification is something that is completed when we die. I don't believe in an afterlife. I don't believe the the Bible talks about it, even though it is interpreted otherwise by most. I don't necessarily have all the evidence to back this up just yet, though. But I know it's there.

          1. Ben Bush profile image55
            Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Hebrews 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but, after this the judgment."

            Jesus said in John 5:28, ".....for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves will hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection unto damnation."

            1. maestrowhit profile image59
              maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Yeah, I know what it appears to be, but I don't believe it.

              1. Ben Bush profile image55
                Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Those would be appropriate words at the next funeral you attend.

                1. maestrowhit profile image59
                  maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  what is that supposed to mean?

                  1. maestrowhit profile image59
                    maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    care to tell me what you mean by this?

                2. Ben Bush profile image55
                  Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  I would presume, by your comment above, that you do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Am I correct that his resurrection was also just mere appearance? And you don't believe that it occurred?

                  1. maestrowhit profile image59
                    maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    I'm not quite sure what I believe about that. There is a lot of speculative evidence concerning it. I know that people rising from the dead is simply impossible, so I'm inclined to not believe it. There are theories that Jesus didn't really die on the cross. But I don't know. All I can tell you is that I have the Holy Spirit in me. That's my source. That's what I rely on for finding truth. But as you've expressed repeatedly in past posts, you don't believe that I have the Holy Spirit. So you can save your breath telling me that again.

    2. profile image0
      jaimelinus0316posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      That's what was in my head that I couldn't spit out, ha ha.

  4. t.keeley profile image83
    t.keeleyposted 8 years ago

    I guess it depends on how literally or figuratively you perceive the word "heaven" to be. The Bible does mention specifically a perpetually eternal afterlife. If you take it very figuratively I suppose you could manage a theory similar to your's. I generally don't take everything literally, but there's very little fudging you can do in reference to heaven, especially in Revelation.

  5. gamergirl profile image60
    gamergirlposted 8 years ago

    Sounds like heaven to me!

  6. AEvans profile image71
    AEvansposted 8 years ago

    mmmmmmmmm... This is an interesting question because I am not God , nor could I ever be so based on the type of person I am , I would forgive as I have an insatiable way of forgiving others so of course I would forgive you. smile

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      So does that mean you would forgive everyone?

      1. AEvans profile image71
        AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I would be hard for me to forgive pedophiles, and murderers as that is something that is hard for me to deal with.sad

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I'm with you on that. I really hate those behaviors as they are needlessly harmful to a great extent.

        2. AEvans profile image71
          AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          And rapists I cannot forgive sad So thank you for understanding. smile

  7. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 8 years ago

    Don't worry Maestro, Ben read the wrong book! lol.  You know and I know that there are two books written in the Bible and I am not talking about OT and NT.  *wink, wink*.

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, exactly! Good way to put it. smile

      1. Ben Bush profile image55
        Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        You know, Maestro knows and I know that I've read the Book correctly. The dark side of the spirit is opposed to the Light. Jesus has a way of reproving our deeds when we come to Him for Truth. But many don't like that.

        So, they search for their Truth in the deep recesses of darkness. And God tends to take on their own image. And, of course, their dark deeds are easily explained...........and forgiven, whatever that might mean.

        That depends upon what the "spirit" shows them, plain Truth notwistanding.

  8. profile image0
    Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years ago

    This entire topic is highly arrogant.

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      It drew your interest, though. Do you have an answer to it? Would you allow people to go to Hell if you had the power to stop it? Or would you show mercy on some, but let others burn in Hell?

      1. profile image0
        Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Again, your arrogant for even posting this topic.  And your arrogance disgusts me.

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          I don't see what's so arrogant about it. I'm just asking you if you would forgive people or send people to Hell if it were up to you. You must be having trouble answering it. Same as Ben Bush. There's nothing arrogant about this question.

          1. Ben Bush profile image55
            Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Maestro,
            The question is completely irrelevant. We don't have the authority to send people to Hell. That authority resides solely with God.

            So, answering the question is a meaningless exercise.

            1. maestrowhit profile image59
              maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              Of course that's what one would say who is trying to avoid something. You just don't want to face a few facts, Ben. You want to get right up to the edge of it, but you don't want to go in.

              1. Ben Bush profile image55
                Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Avoid something? What in the world could that "something" be?

                I have no problem facing facts.

                The facts are that neither you nor I have the authority to cast anyone into Hell. That authority resides elsewhere. I have no problem abiding within all authority given to me to exercise. When I proceed outside the parameters of my own authority, I'm asking for serious trouble.

                When you start the sort of considerations you are engaging in, you are stepping into areas that are, at best, unprofitable. You are attempting to think and act like God, while at the same time, ignoring the facts of His Scripture. And that Scripture delineates the parameters of the process of casting into hell. And you are outside those parameters. And any contemplation to the contrary cannot change that fact.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  Come on Ben, be honest. Address the unspoken question that maestrowhit is asking. smile

                  1. maestrowhit profile image59
                    maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    Thanks Mark.

                    Ben - Do you know what the purpose of a hypothetical question is? The purpose of any such question is not to accomplish something in deed, but to reveal something about yourself. That's what is profitable about it. You're pretending to think that answering my question would be the same thing as stepping into God's shoes and doing His work - as though just by exploring the hypothetical scenario, you're somehow elevating yourself to the position of God. You pretend to be afraid of God's wrath on you for having such blasphemous thoughts, but what you're really afraid of is what you see when you look inside yourself. This question doesn't do anything except reveal what is inside of you. It's called being honest with yourself and others - and God. If you never intended on answering this question, then why did you come onto the forum in the first place?

                  2. Ben Bush profile image55
                    Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    Leave me alone Mark! I'm cold here in Texas and I'm cranky!tongue

                    Seriously, I am being honest.

                    Anyone serious about considering such a proposition cannot honestly consider it while ignoring the context. Why contemplate casting into hell while ignoring the fact that the One casting onto hell in Scripture is perfect in every way. For a vastly imperfect being to take on this formidable task and attempt to reach any conclusion while using his own imperfect standards is incongruity of the highest order. One must attempt, at least, to apply the standards of Scripture in a manner Scripture actually details.

                    To proceed otherwise is a charade.

  9. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    "Would you allow people to go to Hell if you had the power to stop it?" The christian one life and one shot at understanding - hell is a bit harsh don't you think?

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I don't get what you're saying. Yes, Hell is extremely harsh - ridiculously so. I wouldn't have created Hell to begin with if I were God.

    2. AEvans profile image71
      AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      knoly, I admire you for that thought but I don't personally think hell is harsh for pedophiles, murderers and rapists, just my opinion and please don't take it wrong, but some I would send straight to the gas chambers for all of eternity as they choose to be horrible and not find God.sad

      1. VENUGOPAL SIVAGNA profile image58
        VENUGOPAL SIVAGNAposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        That is why you are not God.  God will certainly have some perseverance, and will not act in haste.  Think twice before you act.

        1. AEvans profile image71
          AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          But the question is ."If you were God would you forgive me?" , God doesn't forgive for some of those things and I am certainly not God you are correct, but crimes to children, rapes and murders to me are unforgiven sins, so the only thing I am stating is it depends on the situation. I am happy to not be God as I would caught off the you no what's of men for doing what they do to children, I would go from the old testament and do an eye for an eye, if you commit the crime you pay for it,with your soul.

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            My dad says, kill em all and let God sort them out!!! lol- these ones anyways.  He worked in the prison system for a long time, as well as law enforcement, detective and drug and narcatic intradiction (something like that). 

            He said there really are evil people out there, should they be forgiven?  My dad would say yes but if they are cold blooded murderes and they get the death penatly for their crimes, then let God sort them out. 

            My dad had always hated his job his lot or calling, if you will, he said someone has to do it because there really are evil people out there, pedifiles, child molesters, rapist, cold blooded murderes and people that would kill you for a dollar, people who give small children drugs and even terrorist. 

            He said no matter how hard I wish to ignore it, it can't be ignored but he does it for me and all his family and for people like you too.  I have a great dad, God bless his soul but trust me if my dad had it his way he would be out on a lake fishing till he was too old to hold a pole.  smile

            1. maestrowhit profile image59
              maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              It's interesting that you mention your Dad and his profession. I worked inside a maximum security state prison for three years. It was the only prison in the state that actually executed death row inmates, so there were at least five to ten executions per year. I supervised the most evil, offensive, intolerable human beings you could ever imagine. I was in fear for my life on a regular basis. I've seen the pit of humanity. And I can still say confidently that I would never condemn a man or woman to eternal suffering in the mythical pace known as Hell. God, being greater than me, is surely not less forgiving than me, since He is the source of love and all that is good.

              1. Ben Bush profile image55
                Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Maestro,
                You seem to limit the consideration of forgiveness to a matter of the quantity of forgiveness, thus God is "more" forgiving than you.

                Please don't forget that the term "greater" that you use also refers to the "quality" of forgiveness. The nature of God's forgiveness is much higher than yours. Because of this higher nature, the components of God's forgiveness cannot be overlooked.

                Does God freely offer forgiveness? Yes, He does.

                But His forgiveness is not free.

                1. maestrowhit profile image59
                  maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  This is just word play, because when you use your brain and really think about what it is saying, it doesn't work as a logical thought.

                  God freely offers. Ok, lets see. That means that God is not restricted by anything, and he has nothing stopping him from offering. 

                  That's inconsequential to the point you're trying to make.

                  God offers forgiveness. This means that God's forgiveness is like an object that he holds out to us, which we can either accept or reject.

                  But forgiveness doesn't work like that. When Jesus teaches us to forgive, what does He describe that forgiveness as? He says things like "turn the other cheek," and when asked how many times we should forgive one who offends us, he says " seventy times seven," which in context means we should never stop forgiving.

                  That's the kind of forgiveness that God's Son taught. I didn't read anywhere that we should forgive seventy times seven, but only if the person we're forgiving does something in return. I didn't read Him say that when we are struck on one cheek, we are to ask for an apology before we turn the other cheek. He describes forgiveness as what it actually is. You forgive a person in your heart. That is an action that is completely independent of any second party. Forgiveness is one person, or being, acting completely alone on the behalf of someone else - out of love.

                  If God's forgiveness isn't free, then why should our forgiveness of others be free? Jesus tells us to "forgive others even as the Father has forgiven you." That clearly defines God's forgiveness as the same kind of forgiveness Jesus taught us about. And if you still think God's forgiveness isn't free, then tell me what exactly does it cost?

            2. AEvans profile image71
              AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              It sounds like you have an absolutely wonderful dad and I salute him and thank him for doing what he does, we need people to do that job and it is a tough one, so you tell him I thank him smile

              1. profile image0
                sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                You know... I will be sure to do that, thank you.  smile

  10. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    "The christian one life and one shot at understanding" If you are born into a family that does not fit the criterion for the achievement of heaven, you do not have much time (one life), to
    come to that understanding that would get you into heaven.

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      ok, I see. Totally agree. It is virtually impossible for a deeply cultured Muslim to convert entirely to Christianity. Same for any other non-christian religious devotee. Good point.

  11. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    Life is but a brief instant in time. Soul is forever.

  12. royalblkrose profile image61
    royalblkroseposted 8 years ago

    I can't answer that question. Because I'm not God. And God wants to forgive all. The Bible lells us that God sent His only Son into the world for ALL of us, not just a select few. The next step is yours. To accept the sacrfice Jesus made. Then God forgives you of everything. The Bible tells us that God will forget ON PURPOSE all the wrong that you've done and WILL DO. The issue is the finite fallible human mind, will and emotions. We are unwilling to admit that God's love is so simple and so amazing that we just accept His love and if we allow it, it will transform us. We have a tendency to think that this transformation will leave us in a lesser, or weaker position as individuals but, that's just so wrong.  But... if you want to wallow in doubt, guilt, self pity... go right ahead.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      This rather seems like you are saying that it doesn't matter what you have done, god will forgive you as long as you accept Jesus as your personal savior. What a wonderful cop out big_smile

      But if you want to wallow in fantasy, and a complete lack of responsibility for your actions ............... go right ahead.

      I do have a question though -

      Why are you so scared of this question?

      1. maestrowhit profile image59
        maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        apparently for some people this is a really scary question to answer. It forces one to really look at themselves, which is probably the most terrifying thing one can ever do.

  13. profile image0
    Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years ago

    This whole topic is a mindgame of "let's play God".  I refuse to put myself in the shoes of a God who more than likely doesn't exist and who if it did exist certainly couldn't help but laugh or something at the futility of the people who think they know better than he about his designs than he would.  Such a "God" would by definition have an intelligence and a plan far above their comprehension.  This is laughable and highly arrogant.  What is the point of "God" if you can just put yourself into "God's" shoes and fancy your own decisions about what you would or wouldn't do in regards "Hell" as having any semblance of authority in the stead of a being greatly vaster and more wise than yourself?  The sheer thought is disgusting, stupid and highly arrogant even without a "God".

    No, I won't play "God" and refuse to talk about "Hell", but I will tell everyone this much.  If I had a choice to put someone in a place of eternal punishment "forever and ever" whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, I would clearly not as such a thing is not proportionate to the consequences of any action.  Of course I can forgive people, but I find coercive punishment to be a bad form of trying to get an apology from people. They either will or they will not, and if they will then not my forgiveness can by definition never be complete for that person or persons.  If I were a King in a non democratic society and I knew someone who murdered a close relative of mine and indicated to me that they were never going to change their mind and I believed such a person to be sincere then I would have that person immediately executed if that person did not have a good reason to murder my relative.  I think putting such a person in jail perhaps might be a solution, but trying to simulate "eternity" and put such a person in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives is cruel and unusual punishment with no corrective aspect to it and a purely vindictive reason in mind.  Execution would be vindictive no doubt, but the ideas behind it are retribution and the good of society, if you have remorseless killers running around in a monarchy they might just murder someone body else' relative too if they are sadistic enough.

    I hope that answers your question and I still think the original question is highly arrogant, because if there somehow is/was a "God" who teaches Hell then who the hell are you to say you know better than it?  If there is/was a "God" who didn't teach "Hell" then your question is moot.  If there is/was no "God" then it still smacks me as arrogant and disrespectful to ask such a question as such a question is a pointless mindgame that only serves to get people thinking about something like "What if Santa Claus could stick you in his Toy Factory dungeon for all eternity and let you rot for killing your neighbor, if you were Santa Claus then would you do this?".  Or, "If you knew a bad little boy that hurt you would you like Saint Nick to take away his toys next X-mas, or would you forgive him and ask St. Nick to give him toys if St. Nick let you call the shots".  I won't play your ridiculous mindgame anymore than I will turn over my garden to see if fairys are at the bottom of it.

    There is no point to the doctrine of Hell other than for idiots to claim with the Apostle Paul that "they cannot know the mind of God" in defense of such an abomination, and other than to try to psychologically coerce people with a mindgame that makes believing in "God" and his "plans" a matter of raw and unstoppable fear.

    There is no "forever and ever".  To even admit such a thing does exist would also constitute hubris of the highest order considering the human mind cannot even adequately conceive of such an incoherent idea, and there is no proof that such a place exists other than in the fear stricken minds of those who believe it.  Also, Jesus telling people about it in the Bible doesn't count either, and neither do idiots who claim to represent him.

    1. Ben Bush profile image55
      Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      And ya'll thought I was cranky!big_smile

    2. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Wow. Well, you did answer the question. Thanks. You're obviously embittered and angry about something, and I just want you to know that I am not that something. I actually agree with you about most of this. I wrote a Hub about the ridiculousness of Hell. Read it and you'll see that I am with you on this.

      I made clear my intentions in posting this question. This is not a mind game. Sorry it seems that way to you. Thanks for the answer, though.

  14. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    It is said what the God created the heavens and the earth. Since earth is all we got, and nothing is going to exist if we destroy the earth, how about hell for anti-environmentalists?

    1. profile image0
      Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      LOL

    2. AEvans profile image71
      AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      mmm.. good question I hope someone answers this one,.smile

  15. knolyourself profile image60
    knolyourselfposted 8 years ago

    "It forces one to really look at themselves, which is probably the most terrifying thing one can ever do." The fear of self is probably the hardest thing to overcome, in the effort to raise one's consciousness and transcend one's conditioning.

  16. maestrowhit profile image59
    maestrowhitposted 8 years ago

    This is funny. I'm getting this strange picture from a few of you. You're saying that God cannot, or will not forgive someone unless they allow Him to.

    Forgiveness is a one-sided act of love that doesn't require cooperation from the forgiven party.

    A friend of mine once stole several hundred dollars from me, and I caught him. I went to a police detective and reported him, but the detective needed a little more evidence in order to arrest him. I went to get the evidence and my friend's mother came to me and begged me to drop the charges. I thought about it for a while, and after swallowing a lot of anger, I went back to that detective and dropped the charges. I didn't have to do that - I had every right to prosecute my friend. But on my own accord, I forgave him. He didn't need to accept it. In fact, he could have gone to the detective himself and turned himself in, but unless I agreed to press charges, he would've had no say in the matter. That's what true forgiveness is. My friend benefited from it whether he wanted to or not.

    The one doing the forgiving - God in this case - has total and complete power to suspend judgment and sentencing. He does not need us to do anything in order for Him to forgive us. It is in His power completely.

    My question is this: If you had complete power to override the consequences of a person's efforts, intentions, and personal choices in order to save them from a punishment of eternal flames and torment, would you? Or is there some condition that you would require in order to find it in your heart to love someone regardless of whatever their actions and personality may be, and pull them out of harm's way completely on your own accord?

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      maestrowhit - I fear you are reading your bible incorrectly. big_smile

      Forgiveness as defined in the bible is not as you describe it. It requires one to accept one's in-built failings, kneel before god and grovel for it, after accepting the proffered gift.

      This is one of the main reasons I discarded the christian religion as a plausible explanation for anything.

      1. Ben Bush profile image55
        Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Mark,
        Traditional teaching aside, I fear that you, too, are reading your Bible incorrectly. God requires no "kneeling and groveling" after accepting his proffered gift.........Which is a good thing!smile

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          It is written:
          " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
          every knee will bow before me;
          every tongue will confess to God.' "

          Romans 14:11

          Sorry, I equate kneeling and confessing with grovelling.

          And every church I have ever been in gave me something to kneel on.

          Why is that?

          How can you cast traditional teaching aside?

          The entire basis of your entire belief system is based on traditional teaching....... big_smile

          1. Ben Bush profile image55
            Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Mark,
            The context of the verse you quote is Believers in Christ willingly bowing before Him. This is in no way a groveling or a confession in order to earn or retain God's graceful forgiveness. The Believers before Him have already received it.

            An altar in a church is a completely unnecessary piece of furniture. Why? Ask any particular institution or denomination. They might be able to furnish you their peculiar reason.

            I have cast aside certain traditional teachings in the past simply because they disagreed with the Bible.........which means that my entire belief system is not based on traditional teaching.

            However, having read some of your personal story about being raised in the church, I can understand why you would say that. But sorry, I am not traditional in the traditional sense.smile

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              As far as I am concerned, the entire building is unnecessary big_smile

              But the context is not as you describe it. The context is that "all of us will stand before the judgment seat of God." and "each of us will give an account of himself to God"

              Which sounds just a tad judgmental to me.

              I have cast aside traditional teachings because they do not make sense. smile I have also come to the conclusion that no one has access to an original bible - and every single bible in the world is written by a man for personal gain. And this was not without some effort on my part.

              I do not need a bible to know what is right. I do not claim that the spirit speaks through me either lol

              But your beliefs are based on "some" version of the bible and you have chosen to make your own interpretations, that disagree with "traditional" teachings. Which is what you are accusing maestrowhit of doing........

              1. Ben Bush profile image55
                Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                I disagree with your assessment. The Bible, by its own admission, interprets itself. Maestro is using parts of the Bible in isolation from other parts which are essential in coming to a sound understanding of the Truths it details and promotes. I am simply promoting some consistency in this area.smile

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  But this is just an excuse to gloss over contradictions in the bible. Please look at this discussion to see what I mean:

                  http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/9344

                  When one starts to question the "editing" as a valid reason to dismiss an obvious contradiction, this calls the entire thing into question. If it was the word of god, it would not have any contradictions........

      2. maestrowhit profile image59
        maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I don't see it in there as you put it. Care to show me the corresponding scriptures for this? Plus, I'm not necessarily talking about the Biblical definition of forgiveness. I'm talking about THE definition of forgiveness that can be seen clearly by anyone. I'm pretty sure that's the same one as what's in the Bible. But you could prove me wrong, and I wouldn't refuse it. So, I'm curious now - where in the Bible does it say this?

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          oh, sorry. I posted this before I read your scriptural quote. But that quote still doesn't describe forgiveness as something different than what I describe it as.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image60
            Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Yes it does. It is clear that an act of repentance and confession is required. Which requires "co-operation from the forgiven party."

        2. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

          The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21

          whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Prov 28:13

          Clearly, one must confess and repent before god to be forgiven and accepted into the kingdom of god.

          Now, my definition of forgiveness, requires nothing on the part of the forgiven.  Not so in the bible. There are rules that must be followed.

          Now, I don't know if you have ever confessed something to some one, but kneeling and grovelling are a big part of that.

          Not a casual, "Oh, by the way, I killed a few children last week," lol

          1. maestrowhit profile image59
            maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            hmmm. Well, I can certainly see how the first verse you quote would seem to indicate a condition of God's forgiveness. However, I don't see it as meaning exactly that.

            Other than that, you're implying that forgiveness is what admits a person into the Kingdom of God - as if the Kingdom of God is like a club with a bouncer outside who only lets people in who have their forgiveness cards. I know that's a massively agreed upon interpretation, but it isn't the true meaning. The Kingdom of God is a state of reality that exists in this life, and in this world. It is not the afterlife alternative to Hell. And it is a state of being that is NOT reached as a result of one's actions, but entirely as a result of God's actions. (the word God I use here for lack of a better word)

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              hehe,

              Yes I agree. This life, and the only forgiveness I require is from myself.

              Hence the atheism big_smile

              But most christians see it as an afterlife. Not this life. Ans feel the need to inflict it on others as this. 

              I am more concerned with this life. It is the only one I am getting, and I have already forgiven myself for being stupid and human. lol

              1. Ben Bush profile image55
                Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Since man seems to be the standard here in this discussion, why not release all prisoners as a show of compassion and forgiveness?

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  You are missing the point. It is about forgiving yourself, not others.

                  Like it says in the bible.................. The kingdom of heaven is within.

                  1. Ben Bush profile image55
                    Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    But if those incarcerated get the point and forgive themselves, their enlightened state should be recognized by everyone else, especially the powers that be, and released pronto.

                    And if the powers that be are also enlightened, and have forgiven themselves, what right do they have to hold another against their will, especially if those being held have been forgiven by themselves? Sounds a tad judgmental, don't you think?smile



                    The word you are referrring to as "within" can also be translated as "among."  Or both.

                    Ultimately, it doesn't matter because of the use of the term kingdom of God or heaven. Rather than limit it to the spiritual realm, like Maestro and some others, it also encompasses the present as well as the future.

                    For example, Jesus told the Pharisees and other religious leaders in Matthew 21:43, ".....The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."  This speaks of the current kingdom.

                    The verses quoted earlier by you, I believe, speak of a future time for the kingdom.

                    Regardless, they speak of a spiritual realm as well as a physical realm. It is both within and without, which speaks of the pervasiveness of God's reign over His creation. It is not limited to spiritual mysteries, but includes the tangible.

    2. Ben Bush profile image55
      Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Maestro,
      Did you retain or recover the several hundred dollars?

      1. maestrowhit profile image59
        maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        No, I sure didn't.

  17. BDazzler profile image83
    BDazzlerposted 8 years ago

    If I were God, I would not be me.  I would not have my limitations in knowledge.  I would not have my limitations in judgment.  I would not have my limitations in love.

    My limitations are, in part, what defines me.

    I think the best popular commentary on this subject is Bruce Almighty.  It is a brilliant work. Morgan Freeman plays God extremely well.

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      yes, but if you, with your limitations, had the power to save everyone in existence from Hell, regardless of their actions, would you do it?

      The key word here is IF. Can you find it in yourself to come up with an answer?

      1. BDazzler profile image83
        BDazzlerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I suspect my definition of hell, does not match the popular perception. If God is good, and only God is good, any place that God is not is bad, and the more separated it is from God, the worse it is.  I think Hell is probably a metaphor for complete separation from God. I think the fire etc. is emotional, not physical.   The best definition of hell I can come up with was presented by CS Lewis in his book, "The Great Divorce".  So, based on the fact that my understanding of hell is actually eternal separation for God and everything good ...

        Even if I could force everyone to love me.  I would not. I would do everything in my power to provide an escape. I might even give my own son to  satisfy my need for justice, so I could save everyone ...  But I wold not force them to live in my house, if they truly --- I mean truly preferred to live elsewhere. 

        I would give them every chance. Provide every opportunity. Every logical and emotional reason. No body would be there by accident. Nobody would be there for making a mistake. But a true choice would be made and I would not force them to love me, nor force them to stay with me, even if I knew it would be more pleasant for them to do so.

    2. AEvans profile image71
      AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I own it and I love that move , I also love his cane and the initials "G" Morgan Freeman is brillant!!smile

  18. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 8 years ago

    Cranky Ben!!!

    The Bible says that what you forgive of others will be forgiven of you.  So maybe you don't have to forgive anyone at all but if even just one person can forgive a man of his sins then your vote doesn't count.  lol.  Jesus forgave a man (the jews) his murder- murder has been forgiven, maybe not by us but it was by Jesus. 

    The women caught cheating on her husband (bible story) Jesus forgave her.  so we don't have to forgive anyone of adultery, Jesus already did. 

    The theif- the theives at the temple who made trade in the house of worship- Jesus was pissed, but Jesus forgave- we don't have to but Jesus already did.

    The Romans- thou shall have no other God before God the Creator of Heaven...Jesus forgave Caesar and everyone else who looked to the other gods- we don't have to forgive them, Jesus already did.

    As a man, Jesus already forgave everything. 

    I would forgive anyone, why?  Because Jesus found it in his heart to forgive and so there must be something pretty decent about people, maybe our ignorance, maybe because he feels sorry for us, I don't know, but where you can't Jesus did. 

    And you can say that my blaspemies will not be forgiven, but the only "sin" Jesus said would not be forgive is the blasphemy of the Spirit.  And most people understand what the Spirit is, not just a lot of Christians, Muslims, Pagans, Atheist, Wiccans, Jews, Agnostics etc.  They understand, so I wonder what you don't?
    Just a though.  smile

    1. Ben Bush profile image55
      Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Cranky Ben at your service.smile
      Jesus, as well as Paul, commanded Believers followers to forgive others.

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        and that is exactly the point, I already forgive and forgave, Jesus a did, Maestro did and so many others have too. 

        But for your agruement about people who are just awful and evil down right cold blooded, why should you forgive them???  Well, sometimes we can't and but Jesus did. 

        smile

    2. AEvans profile image71
      AEvansposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      You go Girl!!!big_smile

    3. Ben Bush profile image55
      Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Sandra,
      I'm surprised at you. Being the enlightened person that you are, I would expect you to understand the varieties of spirits out there......not all associated with the light.

      I would also expect you to understand the need to make sure that any particular spirit be identified as to its origin, darkness or light........For all spirits are not created equal.........some are fallen.......and tend to......shall we say........deal with the Truth in a rather cavalier manner.............................And their allegiance to Jesus the Messiah, the Eternal Truth is...........well, it's..........non existent...........And so..........the perceived crankiness on your part.smile

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        It's ok Ben, you still don't understand it and thus is why Jesus forgave.  smile  Oh, before you cut me down...lol...yes this also includes myself.  I don't understand everything, I am not God but I do understand forgiveness and love and the Holy Spirit. 

        Something that I think you really don't get yet.  I am serious too and it aint nothing bad but you are hating on Maestro for being set free and I don't understand why. 

        He recieved the Spirit and he is free.  But it's ok, you can think whatever you want to, and meastro will probably just shake his head in pitty. 

        But it is true, when you really do recieve the Spirit, the scriptures read differently, the words don't change (well you know what I mean)  but somehow the message does, and the message is the Good News and it is always the Good News, and Meastro has his own way of sharing the Good News and some people understand him. 

        It's all good!  Cheer up Cranky Poo! lol.

  19. lionswhelp profile image77
    lionswhelpposted 8 years ago

    If I were God would I forgive you? Well, first God would need to show you what sin is. If you already know what it is, good. Otherwise you can observe what happens when people break the Laws of God. Are you listening to God or are you listening to the god of this world, Satan the devil who deceived our first humans parents Adam and Eve. They did not listen to God. Do you believe God? This is the first step, the next step is to repent and be baptized then receive the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will lead youinto all the truths that you need to follow. Even after you receive the HS you will still be tempted by the Devil and may slip back into sin again.  Repent again because your human spirit will continue to war against the Spirit of God. You will become an overcomer and will grow in grace through the knowledge given you by the HS. See: Acts 4:38, Romans 7:9--26, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16. If you will do these things God will forgive you as long as you are willing to overcome sin. If you do God will give you everlasting life, Revelations 22:12, Matthew 28:17-20.

    The Lionswhelp

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Would you allow people to go to Hell if you had the power to prevent it?

    2. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Here you Ben, big_smile

      Strings attached.

      "As long as you are willing,"

      This is not forgiveness, this is following a set of rules. Those that do are acceptable, and those that do not are not forgiven.

      This makes no sense, and it is thinking like this that has convinced me that the christian religion is not the word of god, and indeed that god is a construct of the human mind.

      As to your earlier point. Sorry, you are wrong. The bible speaks exclusively of "within."

      Some men have decided to interpret this to mean some sort of external, personal god that requires appeasement, kneeling, bowing and worshiping. These men are invariably the ones who manipulate the wording of the bible to persuade ignorant people that they have god on their side in whatever they are doing. Be it fighting a war or introducing legislation that curbs the freedom of the people or giving money to the church. These men invariable wrap their god up in national pride as a tool to manipulate people. The government and the church work hand in hand to this end and have done since the word "god," was invented. Which was a damn sight earlier than the christian religion decided to take the "best" bits from all the other religions it encountered and turn it into a mega religion. If history teaches us anything, it is this.

      And if the bible has taught me anything, it is that this will continue to happen, and it is my choice to recognize this, speak out against it and be "forgiven" or I can choose to "live in sin" and ignore it.

      http://markpknowles.com/wp-content/uploads/Fascist-Palin-.jpg 

      Forgiving prisoners - what has this to do with anything? We make our own rules, and always have done, in an attempt to live together harmoniously. People who break those rules are punished when caught. (Unless they are powerful enough not to have to follow the rules.)

      1. Ben Bush profile image55
        Ben Bushposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Mark
        Therein lies the point I am making.

        We are talking as if we are God, yet as men, we don't forgive freely. When men break relationship with society, we penalize them for the breach. There's a price they must pay. We don't just say, "That's OK, just because you eliminated my family, you are free to accomplish the same feat with others". We don't just say, "You are free to go about your business." There's a price to pay for eliminating segments of society. And, as men, we make those determinations. And we protect the right to make them as a society.

        Yet, when the proposition is applied to the realm of deity, it seems to be a different matter. God seems to have been stripped of the right to judge us and impose any kind of penalty.

        Could it be that man acts the way he does because of what the Bible says, that man is made in the image of God. As imperfect as man is, and as much as man has perverted the Bible, could it be that he still acts the way he does because it's his nature to judge and impose penalties for destroying relationships? Isn't prison all about paying the price to society for the breach?

        As I said, Man forbid that God should be allowed to act as man currently does. I supposed we should forgive God for His aspirations of being like man.big_smile

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          lol

          And therein lies the point I was making. Although this brings up several points.

          1. There is no such thing as an external god.

          As you can see, whichever way one chooses to take it, you either have a situation where god is judging and punishing his own creation for behaving in the fashion which it was created to behave in, or you have a situation where god is so loving of his creation, he forgives it no matter what.

          This is what is known as "cognitive dissonance." big_smile

          2. There is a distinction between forgiving and not punishing. My personal experience of christianity and listening to the words of many on these forums, god favors the "tough love" approach.

          According to many here, I am going to burn in hell for all eternity. I will not be forgiven, despite the fact that your god has given me a brain to think with, and this brain has reached the conclusion that there is no such thing as god, and I choose to spend some of my energy devoted to dispelling the myths that surround christianity in the hope of making the world we live in a better place.

          Kind of a self-fulfilling logic which rather leaves me no options and furthermore leads me back to no1.

          3. What sense does it make to me that I choose to create something. I then choose to specifically give it certain powers and encourage it to behave in a certain way. Then I destroy and torture it because it does so? See no1.

          4. The original question raises a number of other questions. Not least of which is why you feel the need to fight against a simple question like this?

          And I feel the answer is this:

          This wqs the original question -


          A simple enough question. A hypothetical exercise, that non-believers such as myself have little trouble answering, and believers do have trouble with.

          Because the real question is this:

          "How on earth does it make sense that there is a god who would create us and then condemn the majority of us to hell for not being able to see through the labyrinth of religious and political crap around his supposed existence?"

          See no1 big_smile

          I know what I would do if I was god. Exactly what "god" did. Create it and let it get on with itself with absolutely zero interference and if the puddle wants to decide the hole in the ground was created specifically for it, then so be it. big_smile

        2. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Ben, prison isn't about paying the price for one's crimes. It is about correction. The people who pay the price are the victims of the crimes, not the perpetrators. Prison exists as a means to an end - it accomplishes something. It takes away from society those who impose the costs of their crimes upon others. It cleans society by removing those who hurt it while deterring others who would potentially hurt it. There is nothing vindictive about it. The founders of our wondereful constitution made sure of that.

          So, the comaprison you make between God's fabled Hell, and Man's criminal justice system is not a working comparison. You can drive past a prison facility, or visit one, and see for yourself that it does indeed exist, and there are indeed people living extremely unhappy lives there. In fact, our criminal justice system puts a lot of effort into making the penalty for crimes known to the public. It is effective. People are far less likely to steal yor truck or murder your spouse when they know where it will land them. The laws are clear. There's no question as to how to behave in order to remain in society and live a happy life.

          That's not the case with your popular God figure. First off, there is no clearly agreed upon definition of Hell. Secondly, there is no way to know for sure that it even exists. As it is, it only really exists in the sick imaginations of those who live in fear of it. Thirdly, and most importantly, there is no clear laws that outline how one is to avoid it. You cannot tell me what exactly I have to do in order to escape Hell. Go ahead and try. If you can tell me one clear, understandable method that I can actually adhere to, you will be the first in the history of my life. And I promise you I will hear you out with an open mind. I am eternally curious about this, so please enthrall me.

      2. maestrowhit profile image59
        maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        good stuff, Mark! Epecially that last part. I identify very much with that.

  20. profile image0
    Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years ago

    Some people just can't have the carrot without the stick.

  21. lionswhelp profile image77
    lionswhelpposted 8 years ago

    You are right Mark,

    We humans are not God and have a problem forgiving sin. But the Question was "If you were God would you forgive my sin? Yes I would. God made us to make choices. If you are sincere about wanting forgiveness then you should be forgiven 70 times 7 if necassary and even more 777. Yes there are strings, if God forgives you and you keep going back 'willingly' to try it again to see howe much you can get away with, eventually God will have to let you go. It takes work to overcome sin. Your attitude will decided where you will end up. God made us, do you believe this or do you think humans came from nowhere? Eternal life is a great reward. Eternal death, absence of life is the final reward of sinners.

    Hell can be a place were food is stored in the ground or a grave were the dead are placed when they die. Eternal hell, that is were unrepentant sinners go but they are dead forever not suffering for everafter. God is a God of choices and mercy not revenge. if you want to be evil then God doesn't want you around to create hell for others. No more death or sin or dying! this sounds great to me. How about you? Would you like to go on living forever or be dead forever, Revelation 20:11-15?

    The Lionswhelp

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, you must have mis-read what I said.

      Eternal life lol lol

      Good one ! I like to see a sense of humor about these things.

    2. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      God is a God of choices? Not true. I'll tell you like I did Ben Bush. If Jesus taught us to forgive people endlessly, why would God's forgiveness be any different? When you put conditions on God's love, you restrict certain people from obtaining it. God's love and forgiveness are both unconditional.

      The Bible is very clear that we do NOT rid ourselves of sin by working at it. Your statement that it takes work to overcome sin is only half true. The work is done by God 100% - not man. I get angry with people like you because you are like the pharisees of Jesus' time. You have it all worked out how a person is to receive salvation - through works. And by spreading this system of yours, you prevent people from coming to the beautiful truth of life. You're like a bully sitting at the gates of heaven telling people they need a key in order to get in - a key they have to go work for. But the gates are wide open and God is drawing us in - regardless of our own wills. The Bible is not a users manual and rule book on life and salvation. If you don't want to live in the light of freedom, then keep it to yourself and let others enter as they please.

  22. profile image0
    Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years ago

    If Santa walked up to a young child with a bag over his shoulder and pulled out a nice big crystal ball with the tag "Free Gift" dangling from it and then proceeded to bend down and show it to the child; and this child caught a glimpse of the sawed off shotgun Santa had stashed behind his back with his other hand, do you think the Child would take the "free" gift if he had heard other people talking about the fate of children who don't take that gift in relation to Santa's sawed off shotgun?  Would the child be wrong to mistrust Santa if Santa then said "Well there I know you seem to have noticed the shotgun I am holding, no need to worry as it is only used on people who do not accept this free gift of mine".

    Of course the child wouldn't if it had any brains and stood courageous in refusal to give into fear based on an attempted coercion, and neither will I accept "salvation".

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Nice illustration.

      Salvation isn't something that you have to accept. I'll give an illustration of my own. God's salvation is like this:

      You are drowning, thrashing about for life, and He reaches into the water, grabs you by your armpits and lifts you out. You can fight against it all you want, and you most likely will, because you think your life is how it should be; you don't know you're drowning. His salvation feels like you're being torn away from everything you hold dear. It is frightening and you can't help but reject it. But nothing you do can stop the process once it's begun. You don't make any choices about whether or not you're going to cooperate. You simply get pulled out of the water AGAINST your will. Then when you're out, you see that all the things you held dear are still there, only much much more. You see that you were drowning, which you didn't and couldn't see before. And then your new life begins. That's salvation. You don't need to call it Jesus or God or the Holy Spirit. You can call it RIchard Geere if you want. Hell, you can even call it Satan if you want. It makes no difference what rules you follow, or what names you pledge allegiance to. God just is - and the only names He has are the names that men have used to describe Him.

      1. profile image0
        Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Lack of choice is still coercion.

        Whatever happened to a God that would be like someone's old grandma?

        You mow the lawn for her and she gives you some of her best homemade cookies because she cares so much about you.  She doesn't want you to worship her or follow her precepts, she just loves you for who you are, and you did something good for her and in her wise and grandmotherly love she repays you.

        Of course that wouldn't fit too well into the "power structure" that is inherent in every religion, formally organized or not.

        There's no power to be had from the "top down" if one can or cannot do something and get a nice reward for it without fear of torture.

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          would you say that the doctor who pulled you from your mother's womb coerced you, since he did so against your will and you had no choice about it? Did your parents coerce you when you were conceived? Would you rather them come down to your level and ask your permission? I guess by definition, coercion is an appropriate word. But not by tone and connotation.

          1. profile image0
            Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Your analogy is very poorly conceived unfortunately.  Adults have reason, children in a womb do not.  Even if you compare receiving salvation to rescuing an adult on a mountainside who was knocked unconscious from falling rocks and is about to be crushed by a great big boulder, in neither case does being aware of being rescued or needing to be rescued, (in other words rational consciousness), play a part in being "saved" on the part of the pseron receiving "salvation" in the form of physical aid.

            It is a moot point.

            1. maestrowhit profile image59
              maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              The point is not that we are unaware of salvation, but that we are unaware of our current state. It isn't moot because it helps to describe the nature of this salvation. Most people will tell you that you have a choice in the matter. You called it coercion when I said that people do NOT have a choice. So my showing that "rational consciousness" - or lack thereof in this case- does indeed play a role in the nature of salvation. When this fact is considered, it takes away the negative outlook of this salvation being coercive.

              Just as an adult has reason and an unborn child does not, the same goes for the spirit of God in comparison to a spiritually unborn person. No longer am I talking about reason. You can liken reason of men in comparison to the reason of God, with the mentality of fetus in comparison to the mentality of a grown man. Have you ever read the Allegory of the Cave? That is a very good illustration of what I'm talking about.

              1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Care to attempt to describe the nature of this "salvation," you talk of?

                And what exactly are you being saved from?

                Do you have the rules for this "salvation,"?

                'cause this is sounding awfully familiar....... big_smile

                1. maestrowhit profile image59
                  maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  I described it in another post. The one about the drowning guy. There are no rules for it. It just happens. You're being saved from darkness. Salvation isn't necessarily the best word for it. Think rebirth. A baby is delivered from the darkness of the womb. It's just like that. So I guess deliverance is a better word.

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                    Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    It just happens?

                    And you are reborn?

                    As what?

                    Delivered from what?

                    What is wrong with darkness?

                    Although being reborn and delivered from darkness is also sounding rather familiar.

              2. profile image0
                Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                Ironically I know you cannot see what I am saying, but that's ok.  You have still failed to show how rational consciousness has a role in a baby being forcibly removed from the womb for it's survival, so your analogy is incomplete.  You are talking to rational human beings, not helpless children in a womb or a mountain climber on a rock.  Also, if we are somehow the equivalent of that "child in the womb", it does you a lot of good to talk to us about it now doesn't it?  I suppose we will just have to wait for that moment where we are "born again" against our will, now won't we?  I for one won't be holding my breath or giving it a second thought AT ALL.

                Again your point is moot.  You can claim all kinds of arrogant assertions to "secret" knowledge by being "born again" in the spirit of "God", but that is not a rational argument for something that you, using bad analogies, claims happens whether you like it or not or are aware of it or not, and then turn around and try to argue "for it" when you just allegedly demonstrated the nature of it being something that happens whether you are aware of it or not and whether you choose it or not.

                Mindgames are fun for some people, but only till they get caught with their pants down.  One doesn't have to play a mindgame with malicious intentions to have very bad results.  There are plenty of examples where good intentions completely undo things for people, which is why I don't follow the "Golden Rule".  I don't treat others as I would like them to treat me, because I see the inherent flaws in such a principle and how it can easily be used to take advantage of people who believe in it, hence if I believed in it it can and would be used to take advantage of me.  Not only that, it has, and as one grows up in physical age versus "growing up in spiritual maturity and being born again", one can come to realize the foolishness that resides in claims of occultic knowledge of ANY sort.  Whether it is the basic form or more ritualized and complex forms, whether it is Jesus, Satan, or my pet dog.

                I see that I am imperfect because <<I>> recognize MY imperfections, not because "God" tells me too.

                1. maestrowhit profile image59
                  maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  look, I'm not aiming to convince you of something. I'm not trying to preach some special knowledge that I have. If the things I'm saying to you do not resemble your own experiences in any way, then fine. I have no problem with that. My original intention in posting this thread was to provoke responses from Christians who believe in Hell. The only reason I have attempted to explain this salvation, or rebirth, or enlightenment, to you is because I thought you were interested. I think you've identified me with some brand of Christian or religious devotee. I'm not that. You're treating this like a fight, but that's not what it is. I'm on your side, man. I'm not out to disprove or discredit you.

                  By the way, I never said that rational consciousness plays a role in a baby's birth. I said that it does not play a role. It is that condition that plays a role - get it? No mind games here. If you don't want to talk about it, then you don't have to. I'm not playing games. I'm making an honest effort to explain myself in the most understandable way.

                  1. profile image0
                    Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    Your not aiming to convince me of something?  Tsk Tsk, liar liar.



                    Yet you are trying to convince others and somehow you aren't trying to convince me even after posting repeatedly to my posts?  If you were not trying to convince me of something then what exactly was it you were trying to do?  Explain something?

                    That smells kind of funny especially seeing as how you are now trying to convince Mark....

                    If I have "offended" you, I am indeed NOT sorry, and please don't "explain" things to me when you are "not" trying to convince me.  I am quite sure that if I do indeed get "born again" and I have no choice in the matter, it will not have anything to do with you....

                    Just drop it.

        2. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          It's unfortunate that the most popularly shared image of God is that He is a person. He is not a person. He isn't even a He. He's an "it." But He has properties and functions that render Him describable only by means of personification.

          Religious "top down" structures of spirituality are all, every one of them, just lame attempts at self-salvation. None of them mean a  thing.

          1. profile image0
            Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            If I ever meet this "It" then "It" better have some pretty damned good way of defending itself otherwise it risks being utterly annihilated by me.

            Gnosticism and dualism repackaged into Christianity for a broader audience do not interest me, and if I could have spoken to whomever first started the whole invisible friend-turned into boy king's Narcissist "God"-turned into public worship for the sake of power-individual I would have executed them personally and stop the spread before the infection went any further, and probably saved humanity a few thousand years of serious trouble, agony, and slavery.  A little "artificial selection" for you, if you will.  That is a pointless "what if" anyway though.

            1. maestrowhit profile image59
              maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              then you should go out to your beloved nature (referring to your spirituality hub) with a chain-saw and start ripping it up. While you're at it, kill yourself and everyone else on the planet. That would be a pretty forward step toward your desired goal. Kill the connection you have to nature and that might satisfy.  That is after all the "it" that I'm talking about.

              1. profile image0
                Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                "My beloved Nature".

                Wow, what a pathetic attempt there by someone who has to resort to such tactics to try to "convince" people.  It's just so too bad that I don't "worship" it and literally believe I am "saved" by it like you do about your "It".  I only believe those things emotionally, Nature doesn't "save and nurture" people any more than it "destroys and annihilates" and I don't bow before it's presence.  Indeed there is no reason to bow at all, as Nature actually exists and your hokey mindgames don't outside your own mind and the minds of others that believe it.  Please do show me your "God".  Wait that's right, you can't.  I can bring you outside and show you the blades of grass however, who don't care anymore or any less about me than they do about what dead bones they cover.  I don't even have to bring you outside because we are all part of Nature.  Just take a look at yourself, that's a part of Nature too, and it is hardly "God".

                Believe whatever you want, just don't come in here trying to convince people they need to believe what you believe and then talk out the other side of your mouth and say it's going to happen whether they realize it or not.  You need to find people who didn't finish Highschool if you want to accomplish that (in all seriousness).  I am quite sure you could get yourself quite the "following", hehehe that's how it starts....

  23. Junkster profile image56
    Junksterposted 8 years ago

    If I were god then I would not forgive Cliff Richard for crimes against music.

    Damn I hate that man lol

  24. gamergirl profile image60
    gamergirlposted 8 years ago

    maestro-

    If the bible is to be believed as the source of the Word, then you are doing wrongs here.

    The way is narrow, the gates are not thrown wide open, and in this day and age, EVERYONE, even YOU, has to WORK to remain as free of sin as possible.

    That is, if you're a Christian and believe in Jesus and the Christian God and all that as the path to religious harmony.

    As an aside, please refrain from referring to Pharisees in a negative light.  Remember well that the Pharisees and the teachings of Jesus take different paths based on the writers of the Bible picking and choosing ways to differ Christianity from the "heathens" while keeping enough similarities included for optimal conversion.

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      The Bible isn't the Word that the Bible itself refers to. The Word is God, which exists independently of any book, and did so long before any books were written. I am not a Christian. I referred to Pharisees in a negative light the same way I would refer to anyone who would hinder a person from living a free, happy life. My only knowledge of the Pharisees is based on the little bit of information about them contained in the Bible. So, my apologies for possibly offending you. I'm sure there is a lot more to be learned about the Pharisees. It wasn't fair for me to make a negative statement about them having not interacted with them personally. I have no way of knowing what they were actually like in person.

  25. LayDominican profile image56
    LayDominicanposted 8 years ago

    What we  forget is that God does not send anyone to hell. You do that yourself. He sent Jesus to tell us what we had to do to enter heaven. And he told us what would happen if we did not abide by what Jesus had said. So the choice of where you would like your immortal soul to rest, is up to you. As Thomas Aquinas once said, it is better to live you life each day as if you were to meet  God that day, and you would not even think of sinning.

    1. BDazzler profile image83
      BDazzlerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Evidently, LD, the originator of this hub does not believe in free will or choice. Addtionally he seems to be very upset that anybody would disagree with him.

      " I get angry with people like you because ...You have it all worked out ...But the gates are wide open and God is drawing us in - regardless of our own wills. "

      I'm not exatly sure why he posted the question asking for opinions and then became angry when people with differing opinons posted. 

      But one thing is clear, by his own words, he is quite angry, and feels that it is righteous anger, when people disagree with him.

      1. maestrowhit profile image59
        maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        I did not start this forum asking for opinions. I was asking for answers. Do you have an opinion about whether or not you would send someone to Hell, given the power to do so, or do you just have an answer. You don't have an opinion about your own heart - you have knowledge about it; that is if you've gotten to know it.

        I do have anger towards certain lines of thinking and teaching that harm people.

        1. BDazzler profile image83
          BDazzlerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          "IF You were God" requires an opinion, not an answer.  Since nobody here is God they can only speculate and give opinions.

          And any answer that varies from your specific revelation must be wrong ... but you see, that's OK, because I don't have any choice but to believe I have a choice, it's how God predesdened me, see.... .  And you have no responsbility, so we're all good!

          1. maestrowhit profile image59
            maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            so, what you're saying is that you are not certain if you would or wouldn't send people to Hell? Maybe I should rephrase for you. If you were just exactly how you are right now, and the only difference was that you had the power to decide who goes to Hell and who goes to Heaven, would you send everyone to Heaven, or would you only let some in, and send the rest to Hell?

            Now, what I'm looking for is what is inside you. Can you find in yourself the desire for people to go to Hell? You don't need to formulate an opinion for this. You either do see the reason in sending people to Hell, or you do not. If it were you who had to decide, what would your decision be?

            1. BDazzler profile image83
              BDazzlerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

              With my limitations?  With my anger? Oh yeah, I know I'd send people to hell. I got a whole list. That guy Steve on MistyHorizon2003's hub is near the top right now... but you see, since I'm NOT God ... I DON"T get to judge.  And it's a good thing too.  I'd probably let Mark into heaven, becasue eventually he'd see that I'm real and deal with it.  The only reason I don't hurt people really, really bad, is because I Know that God's opinion is better than my opinion. And I choose subimit myself to the God of mercy. And helps me become merciful.

              But ... even if I were angry, I would give them a choice. I would give everyone as many chances as I could. From Inside me, I would let people choose. I would not stop anybody who wanted to go there.

              I honestly don't understand your anger, though.  You said that God draws people to himself.  Surely you don't believe then, that people who don't have your "correct interpretation" who are, in your estimation, like the Pharasees are powerful enough to stand in the way of what God wants?  Seriously?  You seem to be angry that people who say "choice" are somehow stopping God's work.

              1. maestrowhit profile image59
                maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                thanks. That's all I wanted to hear. You would send people to Hell. You do have the desire to see certain people suffer. So, to you, a God who sends people to Hell seems reasonable. IT makes sense to you because you can relate to it.

                Do you really think anyone in the world really wants to go into a burning pit of fire? Is that really what you think? Is there even one person in all of history who would actually find the fires of Hell appealing enough to WANT it? I'm afraid one of us has a seriously flawed understanding of human nature.

                1. BDazzler profile image83
                  BDazzlerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                  You've still projected more into what I said, than what I said.  I do KNOW that God DOES NOT want to see people suffer. And I've said that before.  You continue to put words in people's mouths.

                  It's not human nature we disagree on .  It's Divine nature.

                  1. maestrowhit profile image59
                    maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    you said that if you were God, you would let people who wanted to go to Hell go there. You wouldn't stop people from doing what they wanted to do.

                    hence my question and my comment about human nature.

                    One of us is very misinformed. I can't imagine a person actually wanting to burn with fire for eternity. Man, I need to meet more people! smile

                  2. profile image0
                    Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                    I think this guy maestrowhit hasn't quite figured out how he is trying to "persuade" people and how he is doing a pretty bad job of putting words into peoples' mouths in his attempt to "convince" them with his explanations.  It might dawn on him eventually.  It's not like we have a "choice" though.

                    hahahahahha

                    lol

              2. profile image0
                Zarm Nefilinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

                This maestro guy is angry?

                Naaaawww it couldn't be?

                lol

  26. profile image51
    msmholtposted 8 years ago

    If I were God as I know Him, I would have to honor My Words and according to God’s Words, we have the right to choose. So He created heaven and hell on earth and beyond, now it is up to me to choose the life I want to live.

    Forgiveness is not for the person causing the offense but rather the offended. Forgiveness releases the victim from bondage so they can move beyond the offense. Just because one has forgiven another for their actions does not mean their actions go unpunished.

    Could I condemn someone if I were God? Absolutely yes; who? An un-repented person who takes pleasure in purposely and systematically destroying another’s spirit, life and innocence.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      What if you do it without taking pleasure?

      1. profile image51
        msmholtposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        Good question and all I have to say to that is, "Thank God, I'm not God."

    2. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      great answer!
      very decisive.

      But you make it sound like everyone in the world will be ultimately punished. You can't split humanity into a dichotomy of victims and perpetrators. If you follow the Bible, you believe we are all perpetrators, right? So if that's the case, then we are all victims as well. You've done wrong and so has everyone. So whose wrongs are greater? Who qualifies as victims only?

      1. profile image51
        msmholtposted 8 years agoin reply to this

        True, ultimately we are all punished for our actions. Haven't you done something that you regreted yet suffered consequences. We all fall short but some of us sincerely repent and keep trying to do better by our neighbors.

        So whose wrongs are greater? An un-repented person who takes pleasure in purposely and systematically destroying another’s spirit, life and innocence.

        1. maestrowhit profile image59
          maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

          Jesus would say that no man's sins are greater or lesser. Do you not believe this? Or are you just expressing how you personally feel about it?

          1. BDazzler profile image83
            BDazzlerposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            I'm a ltittle confused on where you're getting your information on what Jesus would say.  It says clearly in John 19:11: Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."

            So, evidenlty Judas had a greater sin than Pilate.

          2. profile image51
            msmholtposted 8 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, and Jesus also said that no one comes to the Father but through Him and that He came so that we  could live life more abundantly. Jesus said, He who is without sin cast the first stone. Jesus said a lot and I believe.

            But when you ask mere mortals would they condemn someone if they were God, the only answer one could truly give is personal and not perfect.

  27. maestrowhit profile image59
    maestrowhitposted 8 years ago

    Hey Zarm - I see you're still on a tirade against me. I still don't know why that is. Maybe you're just on a tirade in general and I am the lucky target of it at this particular juncture.

    Do you mind telling me what it is I am trying to convince people of? I mean, you're so determined to bulldoze your accusation as far as it will go, so could you just please tell me what I am trying to persuade people of? What exactly is it?

    I never had any hard feelings against you, really. I don't know what your big problem is. I never had a problem with you until you started this idiotic fight. But I still don't care that much. I just would really like to know what you are talking about. You're saying that I'm dong something that I never set out to do. I don't see it. Why can't you just accept my stated purpose? What are you so ruffled about?

    You know what is really funny is how much you resemble this other guy on these pages who treated me almost exactly the way you are treating me. The funny thing about it is he is a hard core Christian down to his roots, and you are about the opposite as far as beliefs go. But you both behave almost identically. I won't name him because he and I have made peace since then. But maybe some of the other readers here will know what I'm talking about.

    How ironic.

    The only reason I can think of why you're using me for target practice is what you keep saying over and over and over like a broken record. You say I'm on here to convince and persuade and I say that I am not on here for those reasons. Is that what you're having a heart attack about? If so, man just ease your mind. I don't give a crap if anyone comes around to seeing things the way I do. That has never been my aim. I'll tell you again what my aim has been. Even though I feel kindof like a dog returning to its vomit.

    I started this thread to gather information. When the thread continued and I got responses, I expressed my ideas and opinions to those who posted who had views that I disagree with. I wasn't trying to persuade or convince. I was only trying to seek answers. This is the last time I'll say this to you. I'm not saying this as an attempt to fight back at you. I'm only saying it because I really think you just don't understand why I'm on here. I want to help clear that up for you.

    can we call a truce or something?

  28. gamergirl profile image60
    gamergirlposted 8 years ago

    I'd be more interested in reading some of the responses if it didn't take forever to scroll down all the massive and unnecessary quotes.  Can we cut those down in the interest of readability?

    1. maestrowhit profile image59
      maestrowhitposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      sorry about that gamegirl. I'll do my part. Thanks for reading

  29. lionswhelp profile image77
    lionswhelpposted 8 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Yes, there are string attached. There are Ten Big Strings, take hold of these and you can be a winner not a loser. They are the Big Ten Commandments but you cannot do it on your own terms. The free gift is Eternal life but it does take some effort, no pain no gain, Romans 6:23. It's not hard but be careful there are other people that call themselves Christians too. These  people think the Big Ten have been done away with. They will try to tell you that they are done away with and not to worry. 

    Yes, yes I know there are always stipulations. But being lawless will not get you there. So you are not there yet? Even a race horse has to run to win a race and you as a human are much better than a race horse. This is a corrupt world now. Okay, I understand but this is how you can do it, see Acts 2:38 - Repent and be baptized and you can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit to help you, Romans 8:.1-11.

    The Lionswhelp

 
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