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How can God's love be unconditional if it requires the follower to repent and...

#81SystemafunkPosted 11/8/2012 7:59:52 AM
I thought you were smarter than that Thuggernautz. God is God, regardless of the name, and in fact, God is referred to in the Bible by many names. But people who actually believe in Thor or Zeus or Allah don't actually believe in the same being, the God with the character of universal love shown in the character of Christ. They believe in a God that does not ever speak of grace or mercy. Only power, or only justice, or only punishment. And, quite frankly, God loves those people despite their being mistaken every bit as much as ANY OTHER mistaken person that is not saved. So I have no idea why you think that example is more than trivially different. Just like a (good) parent loves their children, even if their children disown them for some reason, God loves EVERYONE, even if they do not accept the offer of salvation.

Do you even understand the Prodigal Son story? I mean, sure, obviously you don't believe the theology, but you are actually capable of understanding the point of the story, and thus capable of understanding that it is entirely possible to love someone without approving of what they are doing, right?

God always has a seat for you at the table. Always. Whether you choose to come back home is entirely up to you, but if you go to a different house, then you won't be eating there. Nothing about the doctrine of salvation, that it is actually conditional on one thing, faith, suggests that God's love itself is conditional. That is the point. Everything else is beside the point.
#82SystemafunkPosted 11/8/2012 8:08:24 AM
And, lol @ the part about human advancement. What has that got to do with anything? We aren't all Amish, you realize. If you are talking about social progress or something, you have to understand that a Christian does not see a society that is purely "all accepting" as being socially progressed. That we have some differing views of what it means to progress does not mean that Christians do not care about or welcome progress.

That said, if you imply that we cannot love it AS MUCH AS God, well, then you just don't understand God. God, if such a being exists, is responsible for everything. Thus, any person who is coherent in their belief in God understands that they MUST love the Creator more than any of the created. It is entirely a logical premise. Like I said, even if you do not actually believe in God yourself, then you must accept this as true in a theological worldview or discussion.

And part of the reason that Christianity trumps other theologies is because it actually makes sense (given only the one objectionable assumption of belief in God in the first place). That is why we accept the Gospels of Jesus Christ, and not the prophecies of Mohammed. Everything that Christ said makes complete sense. When Christ says that the most important thing is to love God with all of your heart, and then immediately follows it with loving everyone else as yourself, he is making a statement FAR MORE PROFOUND than all other instances of the Golden Rule. Especially in light of the character of Christ himself, being an example for us to follow. Christ, both all aspects of his life AND death, was literally that message, of loving God and then loving others as yourself, exemplified and lived, in complete perfection, as only God could do.
#83ThuggernautzPosted 11/8/2012 8:23:49 AM
You have a strange idea of love. If I was to be the absolute best person that one could possibly be; as good in action as Jesus, and didn't swear fealty and become one of God's sheep, would I or would I not be denied entry to heaven according to the Bible?

Imagine I had a child whom I wanted to follow in my footsteps and become, say, a doctor. (Analogous to human/Jesus relationship obviously). But instead they chose to be a biomolecular scientist in order to cure diseases, and lived one of the nicest, most 'good' lives possible. In this analogy, were I God, I would cut him off and kick him out of the family for refusing to follow my ideals and trying to fit my image; despite his obvious good choices and good life. That's not loving; that's incredibly selfish, narcissistic and megalomaniacal.

Now, about the part about loving without approving. Eternal damnation is not, in any way, the action of a loving being. It is the exact opposite. There is no finite indiscretion that could possibly equal that of eternal damnation. It is not just, it is not love. It's a scary story told to people in order to get them to fear the results of their actions and thoughts, even if they are perfectly harmless and natural. You say God's love is not conditional, but what is ETERNAL damnation if not a condition. ETERNAL doesn't mean 'for X amount of time', it means forever. And damnation is the retraction of God, and his 'love' from your soul. For eternity. Based on whether you have faith in a being which has provided no good reason to do so.


And part of the reason that Christianity trumps other theologies is because it actually makes sense (given only the one objectionable assumption of belief in God in the first place).


Are you kidding me? It's really a literary load of nonsense. It's a book filled with talking snakes, dudes rising from the dead, people who are both man and god, worldwide floods which allegedly happened but left no evidence, false prophecies, historical falsehoods, conflicting testimonies and filled with more brutality and depravity than its supposed message of love and peace.

Especially in light of the character of Christ himself, being an example for us to follow. Christ, both all aspects of his life AND death, was literally that message, of loving God and then loving others as yourself, exemplified and lived, in complete perfection, as only God could do.


Christ's death accomplished absolutely nothing aside from giving people all over the world a get out of jail free card for feeling guilty when they do something which is decreed as a sin by a 2000 year old book. Even in terms of the mythology, it doesn't make any sense. God briefly and temporarily transmuted himself into a man in order to suffer punishment for man's sins, and immediately rejoined himself upon death. Nothing was sacrificed, nothing was gained aside from an incredible amount of power and wealth for the church founders and their protege. People sin just as much now as they ever did, maybe moreso. Since recorded history and observation, and the scientific method have become more important and widespread, all those amazing miracles and visions, prophecies and divine revelations written about in the book seem to have disappeared. Funny, that.
#84SystemafunkPosted 11/8/2012 10:17:04 AM
You have a strange idea of love. If I was to be the absolute best person that one could possibly be; as good in action as Jesus, and didn't swear fealty and become one of God's sheep, would I or would I not be denied entry to heaven according to the Bible?

You are again mistaking Salvation for love. God loves the unsaved as well as the saved. You also don't understand what Heaven even is. Heaven is the state of being in God's full presence forever. The Bible explains this over and over again in multiple different analogies through both the OT and the NT. So how exactly do you think it is possible for you to persist in such a state when you don't even want to be there? How exactly are you supposed to be let in to God's house if you don't actually go to it? You like to selectively apply free will apparently. Just because salvation is "unearned" doesn't mean you don't have to do at least something, and just because someone out there doesn't seek after God, it doesn't mean that God does not love them. Period. It's just a matter of logical (again, under the assumption of the existence of a God) consistency.


Imagine I had a child whom I wanted to follow in my footsteps and become, say, a doctor. (Analogous to human/Jesus relationship obviously). But instead they chose to be a biomolecular scientist in order to cure diseases, and lived one of the nicest, most 'good' lives possible. In this analogy, were I God, I would cut him off and kick him out of the family for refusing to follow my ideals and trying to fit my image; despite his obvious good choices and good life. That's not loving; that's incredibly selfish, narcissistic and megalomaniacal.


This is a horrible analogy. The ONLY thing that salvation is conditional upon is having a relationship with God. God does not "kick you out." God does not condemn you for any single transgression or choice. God continuously allows you to come back home, no matter how far you go or what you do. The things you are trying to imply are simply not an accurate representation of any self consistent Christian worldview, and not consistent with what the Bible actually says. Unless of course you take things radically out of context.

Now, I'm not interested in having more of a discussion with you unless we can cross this bridge. You are more than free to not actually believe in this worldview. No one is forcing you to. But, you had better actually accurately represent and understand it if you want to continue a mature discussion. And that means not selectively mixing your views of Christianity with an actually self consistent understanding, or selectively mixing a theological perspective with an atheistic perspective at your own convenience. If you are not interested in actually understanding the basic tenets of Christian theology, then you should take your angstheism elsewhere.
#85IamvegitoPosted 11/8/2012 10:38:10 AM
Covenantal nomism.
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"A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you'll know the debt is paid."
#86ThuggernautzPosted 11/8/2012 10:54:05 AM
Systemafunk posted...


You are again mistaking Salvation for love. God loves the unsaved as well as the saved. You also don't understand what Heaven even is. Heaven is the state of being in God's full presence forever. The Bible explains this over and over again in multiple different analogies through both the OT and the NT. So how exactly do you think it is possible for you to persist in such a state when you don't even want to be there? How exactly are you supposed to be let in to God's house if you don't actually go to it? You like to selectively apply free will apparently. Just because salvation is "unearned" doesn't mean you don't have to do at least something, and just because someone out there doesn't seek after God, it doesn't mean that God does not love them. Period. It's just a matter of logical (again, under the assumption of the existence of a God) consistency.


Did you miss the part where I wrote that hell is the withdrawal of God's presence/love (which is the exact opposite of heaven)? And clearly you've missed my point, also. Whether or not I believe in God is absolutely, completely, 100% irrelevant to how good a person I am. To punish me, or anyone else, for that (especially with the complete dearth of evidence or reason to believe that way in the first place) is NOT the action of a loving being.


This is a horrible analogy. The ONLY thing that salvation is conditional upon is having a relationship with God. God does not "kick you out." God does not condemn you for any single transgression or choice. God continuously allows you to come back home, no matter how far you go or what you do. The things you are trying to imply are simply not an accurate representation of any self consistent Christian worldview, and not consistent with what the Bible actually says. Unless of course you take things radically out of context.

Now, I'm not interested in having more of a discussion with you unless we can cross this bridge. You are more than free to not actually believe in this worldview. No one is forcing you to. But, you had better actually accurately represent and understand it if you want to continue a mature discussion. And that means not selectively mixing your views of Christianity with an actually self consistent understanding, or selectively mixing a theological perspective with an atheistic perspective at your own convenience. If you are not interested in actually understanding the basic tenets of Christian theology, then you should take your angstheism elsewhere.


What kind of arrogant, narcissistic being would demand that condition for salvation? Eternal damnation because of non-worship, even if the non-worshipper is the greatest human to have ever lived? I can't think of a more selfish, unjust, malicious action. You say God continuously allows people to come home, but if that were true then where does the 'eternal' part come into it? Is it another thing that you ascribe to God, where you (he) can just change the definition of when he feels fit, like morality?

It seems to me like you are disagreeing with my notion of eternal salvation or damnation, and if I'm incorrect about that, please cite me the verses which say otherwise.
#87DoGCyNPosted 11/8/2012 11:30:05 AM(edited)
Thugg, question.

Say a murdering pedophile who eats animals (vegan joke there lol) ends up curing cancer (please fill in the blank with your own personal "miracle/good work"). Is this a bad person with good actions? Or a good person with bad decisions? Does this person deserve heaven or hell, and/or is this person innocent or guilty?
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2 Corinthians 12:7-10
#88ThuggernautzPosted 11/8/2012 11:42:43 AM(edited)
DoGCyN posted...
Thugg, question.

Say a murdering pedophile who eats animals (vegan joke there lol) ends up curing cancer (please fill in the blank with your own personal "miracle/good work"). Is this a bad person with good actions? Or a good person with bad decisions? Does this person deserve heaven or hell, and/or is this person innocent or guilty?


That is up for a jury to decide, and we'd need a hell of a lot more information than a one sentence description of their actions. If I was on the panel at his trial, I would have to judge his sincerity, history, character testimony and a whole range of other factors. With as little information as you've provided, I can't say which way I would go on that. With what little you've given me, I will however make a snap judgement and say that it's a very bad person who has done a good action, and would argue that he still be punished for his bad actions. Murder and paedophilia are against the law, curing cancer is not and it does not give you free reign to do whatever else you want. Do they deserve heaven or hell? I can't answer that either, I don't believe in either of those things.

I know where you're heading with this, and I've already stated my position on it. There is no earthly action which is deserving of eternal damnation. And the eternal part is not the result of a loving action. This topic is about God's 'unconditional' love; but I'm arguing that throwing someone to eternal damnation on the condition that they have absolute faith in a being which has given zero reason to do so, or even zero reason to believe they exist, is not a loving action. That's my stance.
#89DoGCyNPosted 11/8/2012 11:43:28 AM
Thuggernautz posted...
I know where you're heading with this, and I've already stated my position on it. There is no earthly action which is deserving of eternal damnation. And the eternal part is not the result of a loving action. This topic is about God's 'unconditional' love; but I'm arguing that throwing someone to eternal damnation on the condition that they have absolute faith in a being which has given zero reason to do so, or even zero reason to believe they exist, is not a loving action. That's my stance.


Fair enough. Welp...good luck! :D
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2 Corinthians 12:7-10
#90ThuggernautzPosted 11/8/2012 11:44:40 AM
DoGCyN posted...


Fair enough. Welp...good luck! :D


To you too! Hope your weekend is as awesome as mine should be! :D