Most conservative Christians will tell you that there can be no sin in heaven. Jesus died for our sins, and the only way those sins can be forgiven is if we accept this "free gift" offered. Otherwise, we burn in hell. However, there are two problems with this view. It assumes a contradictory stance on libertarian free will, and it also does not accord with heaven being a place of perfection.
Free will is seen as paramount to the traditional story. The thinking goes, if we did not have free will, then we would all be robots, and who wants to be a robot? That isn't true love! Love involves an element of choice.
Free will is also seen as why people do bad things. We can all be more moral, if we just try harder and believe in Jesus; yet, it is also said we have an inherently sinful nature that does not even allow us NOT to sin. It isn't even theoretically possible. So it is entirely inconsistent to claim morals are about choices on one hand, and at the same time say part of being human is to sin. If God created us, it would be immoral to hold us responsible for EVERY immoral action we do, since we have no choice in the matter. There can be some choice, as some are more moral than others, but original sin cannot be escaped. It is the anchor dragging down the ship.
What about heaven? It is claimed by conservative Christians that sin cannot be in heaven, and that is why not everyone can go. The magical process of saying a simple prayer that is "free" somehow erases all past and future transgressions, and allows one to have eternal bliss (claiming there is a "judgment" where one has to answer for all the bad things done doesn't negate the fact the person still gets eternal bliss!). Putting aside the questionable nature of this process, there is a more serious problem, and it again involves free will.
This is a fundamental problem with the conservative Christian worldview. In 1st Corinthians, Paul claims, "If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man." What does Paul mean by "heavenly man?"
Paul seems to be suggesting here that human nature must fundamentally change. It transforms into something more advanced when people go to heaven. Is it incapable of sin? If so, then free will is completely abolished when one goes to heaven, and the Christian insistence on free will becomes obsolete as a way to explain evil, because God is perfectly willing to fundamentally alter man after he goes to heaven, so why not before? There would be no morally sufficient reason for God refusing doing so. God must in fact want robots that MUST love him according to this line of reasoning. Free will can no longer be used as a defense of evil.
On the other hand, if the changed nature of man still allows him to sin, then heaven is no longer a place of perfection, for it allows immorality to occur. Therefore, there is a dilemma here. Either free will is completely abolished when the saved go to heaven, or heaven is not a place of perfection.
For those of you who are more liberal, and don't believe in a fiery eternal damnation for unbelievers like myself, the heaven problem wouldn't apply to you.
The quality of our internal life is what dictates whether we go to 'heaven' or some variant thereof or hell or some variant of it.
We decide for ourselves our place in the spiritual world by how we live our life and the quality of our inner life. Our spiritual life is as much a part of our earthly life now as it will be when we 'die'. Crudely put there is a hierarchy in heaven based on the quality of one's love or loves.
If you primarily delight in and are continually drawn to acts of cruelty and malice this is what you 'love'. and when you die, you will find yourself amongst similar types in, I'd argue a form of hell, although you would not think it was hell, you would actually feel right at home. (I'm being extreme here to make a point).
It is quite possible to 'behave badly' in the spiritual world and find oneself falling back into more hellish states, God knows here on earth, we're doing that all the time and one hopes for the most part, struggling with ourselves to avert this from happening.
Heaven is not some sort of final resting place, just like Earth is not some sort of final resting place. It too is an arena for the transformation of energies, hopefully into something 'better'. What I think of as 'better' and what you consider 'better' however is largely determined by the quality of our internal love, none can be seen to be 'right' or 'wrong'.
In the end we judge ourselves--this is free will.
Is this pure subjectivity, in the sense that, like you mentioned, a masochist would be in heaven by undergoing just the right amount of pain, whereas Jesus would be in heaven in a place where everyone loved everyone else?
As I'm not dead yet, it's a bit hard to be subjective. I base my response to your question on what I've come to understand of the spiritual world. Heaven is not one distinct place, it's a multitude of places with varying degrees of 'heavenliness', depending on what you consider to be heavenliness. Your hell could be my heaven and vice versa. My main point is that we are not sent to heaven or hell by any outside force, we decide for ourselves where in the heavenly or infernal realms we best fit. Once we have shed our bodies and our personalities it is no longer possible to hide who we really are as our internal selves become the most striking thing about us. We gravitate towards like minded souls and 'end up' (although we never really 'end up') in the place that best suits our internal qualities. We decide what kind of people we are every waking moment of our lives, and that's why self-knowledge becomes the most valuable thing we can hope to achieve whilst still incarnate.
There is no sin in heaven, definitely true. As for "Free Will" Only God has free will. No other being has the power to simply "Will" something into being so, but God.
All do have "Free Choice" though, the right to choose for oneself.
@dave so all r slave and god is slave master....so god is primarly responsible for all sins because he uses his will to let people sin...it looks like religious god was more dangerous than devil...
That's not even close to the way the word is defined, even by Christian thinkers, but I will just use your vernacular and say "choice."
You have no choice but to love God in heaven and no choice but to be moral. God has no qualms about taking away our free will after we die, so why not just make us all moral here on earth and end the fighting and misery?
God desires us to chose to love Him always; God can wait for us to decide as long as he desires. God shall intervene at His timing, and end all the BS.
Who can question an Eternal Being on how He is making His eternal humans?
Atheist live on the lives of faithful believers, since atheist have nothing but the opposing of believers. They act as bad spirits. But, I love everyone; no one is perfect even if I hate some things that they do.
We may initially make the choice, but we don't continue to do so once we get to heaven; therefore free will is gone.
Unfortunately, you are applying finite reasoning to an infinite entity. Plus, what about the situation where you are perfectly fine in heaven, and desire nothing else because God has this power. When God says no tears, no sadness, only glorious joy, He honors His Word beyond human capabilities.
Each human continues in this world attempting to synthesis a life that God would give freely if they would only ask and believe, but their self centerness persist, denying such.
Man always has a choice. It's stupid to ask questions like shall I have free will in heaven. God does everything perfect; complaints from the occupants does not exist; all is perfectly fine eternally.
I better way to look at it is that the will has been completely and permanently fulfilled. It is there as proved by satan who decided to will himself to be equal to God.
Most will remain on earth but, if you go to heaven or stay on earth, you will not sin, There won't be any.
what about alcohol?
will there be alcohol?
and if so, will drinks be priced economically?
Drinks are 2 for1...some nights free.
No drinking on the Sabbath.
Only if you are single and never married. I think this leaves you out.
@greek contact other big religion...they sell 72 virgin concept..in end all r concepts , so why not choose which makes u feel good...
Name any sin and I bet you, without the flesh, it would be a moot point. But I think the concept of sin has been grossly misunderstood and perverted by religion. I don't believe in heaven in the usual sense. I think we all move on, but we probably don't retain a sense of unique identity. Heaven is little more than a simplistic concept of continuity of life that was all the religious of the time could understand. Too bad many of the religious today won't allow their thoughts to evolve past the thoughts of ancient man.
I assume, the only option left for the afterlife is probably some type of absorbtion back into the conscious energy source we have yet to identify. I think it may be similar to how we see the way death affects the physical body. Decomposition deteriorates the whole, but all that was of the body still remains, simply separated into different forms. The energy that drives the body goes on to other tasks within the system of energy that collectively drives life in the universe.
Lust(want of another persons items), Jealousy and Hate...Not sure if these would require flesh...Thoughts?
I realize that there are ample places in the Bible where they attribute God with strong emotions. If you assume this to be true, then you would obviously assume any spiritual form we might take would be the same. I simply think the references are little more than attempts to humanize God in the minds of a primitive people. To help those who read the text and followed the religion understand their rituals and laws on the only level they were capable of. Maybe it was necessary for them to view it in that manner so their minds could rationalize the behavior patterns that were expected. But it makes no sense if you view a Creator as if a great deal of that were true.
I assume an absence of the flesh implies the absence of chemical reactions, pheromones, the five senses in the manner in which we percieve them and everything else that goes with this physical form.
Without the emotions, testosterone and the pheromones...etc, etc, would lust be possible?
Jealousy. In the absence of an attachment to the material, what would you be jealous of? Without emotion, who would you be jealous of?
Hate. I don't know. In the absence of emotion, I wouldn't think hate would exist.
I wonder if a "spirit" would lust for a new body...be jealous of those who do have a physical body...or maybe even hate (or has distain) for those who are still locked in a physical body...
It is something interesting to think about...
I suppose until we lose our bodys and become pure "spirits" I guess we will never know.
Would require flesh. I believe in the spirit, firstly as a potential of something material. I do believe that all thought is base on something material. Intangibles are no except. This is why we must release our grip on the material world, and worship God in spirit who has always existed in Spirit and is our purpose in life. The material world is our cultivator to become to recognize God's Spirit.
Then how do you explain dark entities and demons? Aren't they capable of hatred, jealousy, lust, envy?
This is two phase, satan was kicked out of heaven and took 1/3 of the angles with him. So, demons need a body to do their will in the natural world. They use our and enter human thought. Human thought is based on the material developing to a point of recognizing God's Spirit which comes from above. Of course, each individual must recognized God (some sooner than others), repent, and accept God's Spirit who is in the form of Jesus, the Son of God.
Demons or any other form of evil needs a body...flesh. One or more demons can become our god or gods.
Now, God getting our attention is another series of events.
Demons require a body...flesh in the natural world. There are spirits that have existed w/o a body. Those spirits were in heaven with satan who was a good angle until he rebelled against God, wanting to be equal to God. God kicked him out of heaven and 1/3 of the angles followed satan. This is where the demon spirits came to take up residence in an Earthly body, than hate and all other evil manifestations became to exist because their goal became one of revenge against God in the form of destroying God's love ones.
Btw, when satan was kicked out of heaven 1/3 of the angles followed him. These entities were always a spirit created by God and supported by God. Although, these spirits need a body in the natural realm. When they began to enter the body and influence thought, they then had a goal of revenge against God; thereby, evil flourished. The revenge was in the form of killing all of God's love ones. This of course established hate, envy, greed, and all other foulness.
Spirits need a body or they are inoperative.
Curious of something...Where does it say in the bible that satan was kicked out of heaven and took a third of the angels with him...??
But they (demons) influence humans, not residing in someone's body, but using that person to do their work. Sometimes a single demon can influence several human beings. Therefore they are a separate evil energy which thrives on negative feelings.
They must have a body. One bad spirit with a certain evil nature can enter more than one body. That's when the influence begin to happen. Hopefully, all good looking, beautiful spirits already have a body. These must multiply!
Lord, Lord let these beautiful spirits spread the face of Earth.
Wilmiers77, out of curiousity, and with all due respect... where do you get this thinking from? I'm not saying you're wrong and I'm right, or trying to have my fun at your expense... on the contrary, I'm only wanting to know if there is a specific scripture where you base your beliefs.
See, I'm a medium. And although I don't follow any specific religion, if you were to pin me down to one, you could say I'm a Spiritualist. I believe that spirits (good and bad) are a separate entity that can help or harm human beings. I would appreciate your honest response. Thanks.
Demons must possess a body before they can do anything. As I said before, demons are inoperative, and is in search of a body.
I have studied psychologist's treatise on dreams, spirits, and visions.
I accepted the belief that the mind creates ghost or apparitions and spirits if you wish, when they are sensed outside the body. There is always a tricker mechanism, such as a smell, a shadow, flicker of light, or even quick change of temperature. A phenomenon in the mind called closure creates the most probable image which usually is a life form. Of course, you say that you are a spiritualist, and I challenge you not because I know nothing about being a spiritualist. I am only presenting info that you nicely asked.
Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’
Matthew 7:21-23 (in Context) Matthew 7 (Whole Chapter)
The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
Matthew 8:30-32 (in Context) Matthew 8 (Whole Chapter)
But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”
Matthew 9:33-35 (in Context) Matthew 9 (Whole Chapter)
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.
Matthew 10:7-9 (in Context) Matthew 10 (Whole Chapter)
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
Matthew 12:23-25 (in Context) Matthew 12 (Whole Chapter)
Would you use your free will to oppose a woman that you are deeply in love and she loving you perfectly to the degree that you have no complaint?
If two people love each other, they continually choose to stay together and work on the relationship. In the traditional conception of heaven, God is forcing believers to love him and be perfect.
You said "...decide to continually live together.."; I didn't.
God has never forced anyone to do anything. God has never breached his giving man freedom of choice even in this sinful world. We are those who desire heavenly state. It's ludicrous to think that God has to force us to love Him.
I don't believe God forces us to do anything. Otherwise, the concept of free will, heaven or hell would be irrelevant. Free will give us choice to act as we choose, believe or disbelieve what we feel. Our Creator gave us the ability to be accountable for our choices, because our lives would have no meaning without this freedom and our maker's plan would have no meaning. The story of Adam and Eve (if you believe)relays an originally different plan, with everyone living in utopia, without sin, sickness or death and without the fear of hell. Since God knows all, he must have known how events would transpire. The fact that there are no surprises with knowing all means he knows our path before we are conceived. Why then, do we exist? What is our purpose? Why do we struggle with this question, as our fate is sealed before we are born? Why do we continue to try to be better if it is only in accepting God as our Savior that gets us to Heaven? And, in the premise that our destination is a known entity anyway, where and how does free will matter? The truth is that we cannot know definitely until the hereafter. Do my questions seal my fate into hell? Accepting God as my savior, who died for my sins, would mean I do not question, but believe.
Jesus died for our sins, and the only way those sins can be forgiven is if we accept this "free gift" offered.
= = - - = =
Just playing devils advotate for a minute.
Wouldn't Ya think that Not accepting this free will gift would be a sin ??
In which You would think that this sin also would be included with the rest of the sins which Jesus died on the cross for ???
In 1st Corinthians, Paul claims, "If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man." What does Paul mean by "heavenly man?"
Paul seems to be suggesting here . If so, then free will is completely abolished when one goes to heaven, and the Christian insistence on free will becomes obsolete as a way to explain evil, because God is perfectly willing to fundamentally alter man after he goes to heaven, so why not before? There would be no morally sufficient reason for God refusing doing so. God must in fact want robots that MUST love him according to this line of reasoning. Free will can no longer be used as a defense of evil.
= - = - = - =
It just came to me as I was reading this.
In all of the letters written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; they quoted the things which Jesus said,
However in all of the letters written by Paul, he seems to make statements much like these posts written here in these forums where he speculates as to what is right and wrong by using the same logical analasis of his own mind.
Paul speaks from his own authority in a way Matthew, Mark, Luke, John never did, and if Jesus did this at all, it was very selfom; where Paul does it all of the time.
Maybe? Christianity is built upon the speculations and interpretations of Paul more than we would like to admit.
If Paul was here on HP forums, he would fit in splindidly.
He would look like and sound like all of the rest of us, speculating about WWJD.
You are correct it is based on Paul. Mainline Christianity would be more aptly called Paulinity, with followers being called Paulinites. I was simply addressing beliefs many people subscribe to.
This seems like such a little thing when we become too intelectual and justify doing the things which we do In the name of Paul ... or ... in the name of Jewus Christ, But is it really such a little thing?
Maybe so ... Maybe Not.
What does the simplistic mind say? (that of a Child)
What does the mind which has faith in it's intelect say?
Some how it seems that faith in god has transformed into faith in Paul.
I have often wondered as to how much documentation exists as to the existance of Paul.
I do not recall any of the letters from the four apostles ever making reference to Paul.
I do not intend to be mean, I honestly wonder exactly how much of the NT is real and how much is not.
Kinda like; how much chili pepper can we add to a cake recipe, when all else is correct, before it becomes corupted beyond repair.
Change one thing in the cake recipe and when we take it out of the oven and put it on the table and just because we still call it a cake ... doesn't mean it is a cake.
Only reading Jesus gives me a different perspective than the one I learned about in church.
Actually, Before I started studying the bible I began by reading only the words which were written in red letters several times.
I did this before I ever started going to church.
What I was hearing in church never made any sense.
I'm not talking about the "Jesus loves me" part or any of the teachings as how to live a Godly life. That part is all good.
I'm talking about the part about Jesus is coming back, any day now. and he is going to take all of his good little soldiers )Christians only) out of this world while the "BAD" people are going to have to endure 21 different judgments within a 3 1/2 year period.
Jesus said he was comming back in the clouds during "THAT" generation, BUT We don't understand what he meant SSOOooo Jesus must be wrong or lying.
SSOooo we preach Pauls teachings instead, taking our minds off of these things which Jesus keeps talking about.
I guess what I'm talking about is that if we could undo all the brainwashing that we have been enduring over the past 1650 years and begin again, reading only these things which Jesus taught, and take these to heart; Read these red words repetidly until we understand them.
We would see EVERY Thing through different eyes,
It really is simple! Study the words your Savior spoke. Study them until they become the rock which we stand upon. (Firmly)
Then understand everything else such that they agree with the words of Christ... Not the other way around.
I could only get this far into the thread before I quit reading.
You really believe people burn in hell? And they burn in hell because they didn't accept a free gift? And you teach this to children?
NO. I'm an almost atheist, as my hubs will show.. I was attacking the reasoning process of the people who do believe in hell and such, showing what kind of logical problems it leads to. Lots of people seem to be misunderstanding me and think I am endorsing such a position.
I in no way believe in conservative or liberal Christian theology. I'm not a Christian. I simply took the assumptions of many conservative Christians and drew out logical implications. I'm sorry for not being more clear.
I understand. I didn't take a look at your hubs.. I usually do, but I'm cooking ...
I don't generally enter the religious forums, but wondered how anyone could possibly answer a question like this. I just don't understand how seemingly conservative human beings have such radical beliefs, and yes, it is a radical belief to believe every non-Christian will burn in a fire forever.
Oh I totally agree. I am a former conservative Christian, so I grew up in it and know the general vernacular. They are very explicit that, no matter what, if you don't believe in Jesus, you go to hell. So, according to them, Ghandi is in hell right now, but Jeffrey Dahmer, who claimed to "accept Jesus" into his life before he died (assuming he was sincere), is in heaven. It's a strange ethical system for sure.
Don't misunderstand my stanse either.
However I am not Atheist. I believe in the God which conversed with Abraham.
I believe that Jesus is the messiah spoken of in Daniel 9.
However, I wish more of the teachings of Christ were included in the bible.
It seems that it would have been better if that had been done rather than including so much of what a Roman citizen had to say about that which the teacher would have said in such and such situation.
Kinda like ... I'd rather read that which you have to say about Plato rather than to read what plato said. No difference.
Why did the council of Nicea include the books which were included?
Surely there were other letters which quoted Jesus on many other things than that which was included in out bible.
I'm not comunicating my thoughts very well so I'll SHUD-UP and listen a bit.
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