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eternal hell makes no sense in Christianity

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User Info: YHWH_Saves

YHWH_Saves
1 month ago#61
dhalsimrocks posted...
I'm also going to call you out on a possible false dichotomy. "Seek God" or "Seek the world". Now, this does depend on what you mean by "seek the world". If by that you mean seeking riches, fame, notoriety, luxuries, hedonistic pleasure, etc, then you definitely have a false dichotomy. Because there are people who neither seek God, nor any of those things "of the world". But they seek to make the world a better place for other human beings, to love and care for others, to spend good time with family, to learn and discover the nature of the universe, to write inspiring music, make beautiful art, find cures for diseases, promote peaceful diplomacy instead of war, etc.

I'm going to respond very haphazardly and sporadic, because I'm doing this at work in between processing. Forgive me.

What I would argue in this instance is something you may not like, or agree with. And it will reek of the typical apologetic, "Gotcha" variety of intellectual trapping. But it's not my intent.

If your life is spent in pursuit of charity, honesty, personal growth, betterment of others, etc., that is awesome...and it is consistent with being a tenant in the Kingdom of God. Every good thing stems from God, and we share in this goodness by being molded in His creative image. We seek higher purpose because we are ultimately - in whatever diluted/distorted variety - children of God, at least in promise.

The argument can quickly become, "If I can be "good" apart from God, then of what value does He have in my life?" But that's besides the point.

We are not in competitive pursuit of the good against God. We are, at our best, representations of His intention and character.

My wedding ring is engraved with 1 John 4:12.

"No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us."

Anyone who abides in love will eventually come to recognize that God is love. I cannot prove that, but I do posit it for you. Maybe you've looked for God intellectually, but He is not a piece of knowledge to be obtained. He is the light that we long for; the light that we seek to create for others.

By "world," I mean one who seeks to serve himself. The contrast is between living for God's purpose and living for one's own purpose. If one is continuously involved in pursuing goodness and truth, it's only a matter of time before that person has a head on collision with God.
"Man will not live off of bread alone, but by every word proceeding through the mouth of God." "You are not able to serve God and wealth.".

User Info: SilentStare

SilentStare
1 month ago#62
@JoeyBowey - Ah. I see. Yes. It was my intention to deflect all along, even though it was the theists in this thread who posited that atheists/anti-dogmatics/whatevers being so due to selfishness. You see right through me, sir. Surely you didn't bring the point up originally to deflect criticism of your dogma. It couldn't be that.
Resident Self-Improvement Junkie.

User Info: YHWH_Saves

YHWH_Saves
1 month ago#63
dhalsimrocks posted...


Lots of stuff


First of all, I appreciate that heartfelt transparency. It's refreshing.

Secondly, I consider myself a most fundie of fundies sort of "Christian," and I would never be arrogant enough to suggest that you're destined for eternal damnation because you're struggling with belief. One of my biggest qualms with the faith is the incessant need of its vocal followers to pass judgment on others as if they were somehow sharing God's throne.

Thirdly, it is not an unusual thing to hear: that the now unbeliever once partook in Y and Z religious rituals for X number of years, only to find the stench of BS through some intellectual pursuit. But I won't claim what others do - that you were insincere and now you need to try it this way, and oh boy - you'll find it!

Doubt, unbelief and struggle in general are characteristic in even my most spirit-filled days. The scriptures, contradictory to what some believe, are a 1,500 year old testimony to God's absence moreso than His presence. The prophets, the saints, and even Jesus called out for God's assistance during troubled times. I do it almost daily.

Jesus told the religious folk that they had best start looking outside of the scriptures and their manmade rituals, because God's Kingdom had already come and required labor (rather than extensive theology).

My point?

Arguments and apologetics will not lead to God. They simply won't. My entire faith life has consisted of hearing arguments, finding out - through independent study - how wrong they are, and learning to let go, as I learn to simply be an agent of God's love. Less head, more heart/spirit.

My current interpretation of the Gospel, which I think is more orthodox than any I've heard from any pulpit or established author, is simply this:

Mankind has an innate longing for God/the divine, because he originates in God. However, mankind also has an annoying tendency to use his power and systems to crush his neighbor. The GOOD NEWS of God is that we no longer have vague depictions of God; we now have SEEN Him in Christ. We now know that:

God "desire[s] mercy and not sacrifice."


God is a God of love, sans all rituals.

Don't take offense, but in taking off your Christian filter, is it possible that you've experienced what I - as a rabid fanboy of Jesus - have experienced? That MANY perverse interpretations of God's faith exist, and that following the Spirit (you probably wouldn't call it that) within is the best way to find God? I am constantly removing the filth I've picked up in churches and among believers in order to arrive at the Kingdom.

Here's an example. Try being a Christian and abhorring guns, desiring to help refugees, not agreeing with capitalism, not being anti-Islam, not hating gays, not following Trump, not believing that Revelation was written to modern civilizations, etc. You'll find that an orthodox view doesn't have a home in today's churches.

My final point? You can reject 99% of the church and the modern conception of nationalism/organized religion and still be 100% in line with God and His Messiah.
"Man will not live off of bread alone, but by every word proceeding through the mouth of God." "You are not able to serve God and wealth.".

User Info: JoeyBowey

JoeyBowey
1 month ago#64
SilentStare posted...
@JoeyBowey - Ah. I see. Yes. It was my intention to deflect all along, even though it was the theists in this thread who posited that atheists/anti-dogmatics/whatevers being so due to selfishness. You see right through me, sir. Surely you didn't bring the point up originally to deflect criticism of your dogma. It couldn't be that.


A+ for sarcasm, F for reading comprehension.

My original reply to dhal was regarding the implication that no atheists choose their belief system due to selfishness. I even clarified that not all people choose atheism for selfish reasons.

Odd that you think I'm deflecting criticism of "my" dogma when you haven't put forth a criticism yet.

User Info: SilentStare

SilentStare
1 month ago#65
JoeyBowey posted...
SilentStare posted...
@JoeyBowey - Ah. I see. Yes. It was my intention to deflect all along, even though it was the theists in this thread who posited that atheists/anti-dogmatics/whatevers being so due to selfishness. You see right through me, sir. Surely you didn't bring the point up originally to deflect criticism of your dogma. It couldn't be that.


A+ for sarcasm, F for reading comprehension.

My original reply to dhal was regarding the implication that no atheists choose their belief system due to selfishness. I even clarified that not all people choose atheism for selfish reasons.

Odd that you think I'm deflecting criticism of "my" dogma when you haven't put forth a criticism yet.

Ah. So it is, then.
Resident Self-Improvement Junkie.

User Info: dhalsimrocks

dhalsimrocks
1 month ago#66
I think we might be getting pretty off topic at this point, so putting this out there to anyone reading: if you think YHWH_Saves and I ought to go off-board for this, just say the word.

First of all, I appreciate your willingness to consider that I reached non-belief for non-selfish reasons. That makes a big difference.

It sounds like you and I both have taken similar journeys. We've both considered that established Christian sects could be wrong, as well as ourselves, and sought to find new answers. When I first started, I figured that one of the possible outcomes of my journey would be to discover some variation of Christianity that hardly anybody else believed in. I didn't assume that would be the outcome, just that it was a possible one. Just as maybe I might have discovered that Catholicism or Jehovah's Witnesses may have been right all along.

Where you and I diverge, however, is that I don't think any scripture is divine, neither the Old or New testaments. This is part of what I came to discover in my own journey. I doubt Jesus existed at all, and that if he did, was not the Jesus of any of the gospels.

Now, don't assume that I think someone made it all up as some con-job. I think the authors of the Bible had various motivations for writing what they did, very few if any of which were nefarious. But I don't think they were writing what they considered to be accurate history. I think some of the New Testament, for example, was written by authors who sincerely believed in Jesus, just not a historical one.

In any case, I don't think God is necessary to explain the tendency for humans to believe in gods and the supernatural, nor moral behavior, nor immoral actions. I think all if it is a product of the evolution of our species. We're social beings, which benefits greatly from what we call "moral" behavior. This is in direct competition, however, with our baser mammalian survival instincts. To put it simply, I think there are perfectly reasonable natural explanations for why we have selfish tendencies, why we try to counteract these selfish tendencies with virtues, morals and ethics and why we believe in gods and the supernatural.

Believe it or not, I actually read from the Bible quite often, in addition to other non-canonical writings and have done extensive reading of Biblical scholarship, including arguments for the historical reliability. It's actually a hobby of mine, kind of the way the Greek classics or HP Lovecraft are for others. I think the whole thing makes more sense under secular hypotheses. Despite that it's still incredibly fascinating.
May all your disgraces be private

User Info: kozlo100

kozlo100
1 month ago#67
dhalsimrocks posted...
I think we might be getting pretty off topic at this point, so putting this out there to anyone reading: if you think YHWH_Saves and I ought to go off-board for this, just say the word.


Na, keep it on board. That's the whole point of the board.
Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.

User Info: JoeyBowey

JoeyBowey
1 month ago#68
SilentStare posted...

Ah. So it is, then.


Pro tip: if you're not interested in a dialogue then not participating at all is better than straw-man arguments, deflection and dismissiveness. Have a great day.

User Info: SilentStare

SilentStare
1 month ago#69
JoeyBowey posted...
SilentStare posted...

Ah. So it is, then.


Pro tip: if you're not interested in a dialogue then not participating at all is better than straw-man arguments, deflection and dismissiveness. Have a great day.

I'll try to remember! Now, shush. The grown-ups are talking.

I'm liking the current conversation between dhalsimrocks and whoever the other person is. I can't force anyone to stay on-site, but I highly encourage you both to do so and keep contributing to this conversation
Resident Self-Improvement Junkie.

User Info: CaptainKO

CaptainKO
1 month ago#70
Hell, is new testament, and was created by a post Greco-Roman society that held onto the belief that good people go to a special paradise while wick people go to a place fitting of their crime. (In Greco-Roman mythology Hades/Tartarus version of hell made the punishment very poetic and ironic) In addition, the society from which Christianity was born were death extremely ethnocentric and vengeful. They believe themselves absolute and that justice was absolute, regardless if it was fair or not. This is why we have a culture of retribution to this day and that mindset can be found in most of America; moreover, in WASP communities.

That and hell was created for the purpose of scaring ignorant and uneducated religious folk into going to church. Just like the boogeyman and Krampus, hell is a folklore to instill good behavior and obedience out of it's believers.
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