'If Christianity Is True, People I Love Will Burn in Hell'

A pastor struggles to answer his daughter's question about the fate of those who don't accept Jesus.

tpowe

10/22/2012 12:49:43 PM

Brian, maybe you haven't read what Jesus said in Matthew 10:37 - or maybe you have and just refuse to accept it. I guess it all comes down to either worshiping Jesus or the idol you've set up in your heart.

Betah_T

06/13/2012 12:51:30 PM

I have been a Christian all my life, I have also studied Islam. Both religions say the others are all going to hell when they die. My God is more inclusive than that. Isn't it possible that Jesus came to Muhammad in 400 - 500 AD because many people in that part of the world had not converted to Christianity. Isn't is possible that the same God that inspired Christianity inspired Islam? They are very similar. The major difference is that they see Jesus as a prophet not a savior, but if you are trying to have people follow Muhammad as their savior, didn't that have to happen? My real point is this, maybe God gave us other religions when the entire world did not convert. I think that God wants a relationship with all of us and is willing to adjust to the differences of the people of earth. I know that Jesus was quoted as saying he was 'the only way' and at the time maybe he way, but then isn't it possible that God's plans changed? My primary concern is that in my life I have learned that it is intolerance to "difference" that keeps us from finding peace and I see intolerance to difference in this aspect of our faith. I test many confusing issues with one of Jesus's most important themes: Pride vs. Humility. I love that Jesus taught us to be humble, it helps me every day; to say other humans will go to hell if they do not practice our religion does not sound like Jesus, it sounds like human pride to me.

eulipious

02/24/2009 11:06:29 AM

I cannot subscribe to the doctrination of Universalism wholly when I recall some of the tyrants of History. Somehow I cannot imagine Hitler or Stalin being fit for the new heaven and earth. They were two men wholly incapable of repentance as far as I can tell. However, exclusivism is used to thoughtlessly when dealing with good people who often have had no chance to accept Christ - and even more who have been put off Christianity by a bigoted version of Christianity. Ghandi comes to mind.

omfg08

02/13/2008 08:36:00 PM

Once, when I was a little girl, for Satan to realize what he was doing was stupid and come back up to heaven with Jesus. Silly, right? Maybe, but it's also a reflection of a deep desire in most of us to save the damned, and rightfully so. Would anyone choose to go to hell? I don't think so. So should anyone be punished or praised for the conclusion they come to in the very short time allotted here on earth? Example: A child is told not to touch the stove because it is hot. The child may obey the first time, or they may need to get burned before they really believe you. Does either child make the choice themselves or are they given their choice by (God given) personality, past experiences etc?

edgraham

04/04/2006 09:01:35 AM

Brian McLaren - - You seem like a caring father, and I understand how you might feel about your struggle to answer questions from your daughter. She does seem to be further along the path of enlightenment than you. I should occur to you that if there are no answers that mean anything to her, there might just be "no answers." All faiths have made-up so much of what we are taught, that it might all be just man trying to control others. I hope Jess continues to think. You seem to be beginning.

seekertom

01/01/2006 12:20:08 PM

I don't know if anyone is still looking at this thread but has any of you visited the site bible-truths.com or iswasandeillbe.com? These sites talk about the universalist point of view and have some pretty compelling scriptur verses to back up their beliefs.

Uriah_fan

11/29/2005 02:51:31 PM

Are not people whom Jesue loved in hell? He didn't preach the idea esoterically, but as quite a fact. But it is also clear that He complimented the faith of those who did not appear to be defined as His followers. Even Paul talks about people that follow God's laws by their actions. But for those that are in stark opposition to Christ, is a matter best left up to Christ. But it seems clear that the guidleines have been spelled out.

anisoptera

09/13/2005 01:08:58 PM

If your people will be who they are then you are who I am and I am how you are because you and me are what you think you are and we are how we see what you are.

theprinterlady

09/08/2005 11:45:54 PM

Dear H4C: Actually, I liked it better as "strangehold". More accurate. :)

Heretic_for_Christ

09/07/2005 11:00:20 AM

correction: "...strangle-hold..."

Heretic_for_Christ

09/07/2005 10:59:27 AM

printerlady, If it is true that you cannot ALWAYS see God in the way you describe - as a model of our spiritual capacity rather than as a condemning judge - it shows what a strangehold fundamentalist dogma must have on people who are indoctrinated with it from childhood on. I sometimes think that the luckiest thing in my life is that I was raised with no religious training; for me, it takes no effort to reject fundamentalism as a vile deception.

theprinterlady

09/07/2005 10:36:37 AM

It means G-d is not plugging his nose and "having" to have mercy on me... not looking for ways to disqualify me for the prize... it means that He gives me the tools to become like him, and like any good parent at a sporting event, he hopes and prays that I come over the finish line; and every time I stumble, his heart breaks and weeps for me...and he's the first one there to pick me up. Oh, if I could only picture G-d this way ALL the time!

theprinterlady

09/07/2005 10:35:32 AM

One of the things I have found most satisfying about my Jewish studies is the way they have revolutionized my view of G-d, and by extension, myself. I was raised to believe that somehow, G-d was miserably unhappy with us because we were "inherantly sinful" "conceiving of sins in our heart day and night". In the Good News club I learned my heart was black with sin...etc. etc. Contrast that with the idea that G-d breathed his essence into our souls,impressing the shadow/image of His character into us...and then leaving the choice of living "up" to that image or "down" to the animal image as we so choose. G-d said, " I lay before you life...and death; choose life."

windbender

09/06/2005 09:40:03 PM

Somewhere along the line, I think the Protestant fundamentalists, unable to manifest the Stigmata, just decided to live lives of suffering in solidarity with their savior's sacrifice, so to speak.

windbender

09/06/2005 09:37:48 PM

printerlady - Fundamentalist may be pleased with themselves, but they sure as the dickens aren't too keen on the rest of us, it seems. Come to think of it, a fair number of those with whom I'm close are pretty much perpetually dissatisfied with themselves (or at least their lives) as well. They're either seeing the travails of daily life as some sort of test of their faith, or the handiwork of the dark forces of evil intent on beating them away from the foot of the cross. It's kind of scary and really sad all at the same time.

windbender

09/06/2005 09:32:51 PM

Whew! Thanks, man.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/06/2005 09:18:28 PM

windbender, Your cumquats are safe. I do not dare say more.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/06/2005 09:14:03 PM

printerlady, Very well said. Perhaps that is the best way to describe the difference between my thinking and fundamentalism: I continually look at the fruit of my life, and I sometimes find that it is rotten, which serves to alert me to the fact that somewhere along the way I stumbled from the path. Fundamentalists recognize only one fruit, and that is fundamentalist belief itself; so they are perpetually pleased with themselves and have no idea how far they have wandered from the path. They can't see the path because their eyes and minds are focused exclusively on the Bible, and they have no sense that they have strayed because they mistake their own form of belief for the fruits of their lives. Are they not EXACTLY those who, as Jesus said, cry "Lord! Lord!" to no avail? But as I do not believe in hell, the only consequence of theiir vain religiosity is spiritual coma, here and now.

windbender

09/06/2005 08:41:19 PM

Keep your hands off my cumquats, is my plea.

theprinterlady

09/06/2005 05:19:13 PM

Dear H4C: The only problem with the "fruit" theory is that - gasp - it might mean checking our own fruit and figuring out there is something wrong with OUR tree, rather than inspecting the OTHER guys fruit and deciding to cut down HIS tree. GRINS.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/06/2005 01:42:36 PM

I think the Catholic church does teach church history, and I'd expect that the Jesuits at least would approach it with academic respectability. As for the rest, it is nothing if not an illustration of "By their fruits you shall know them."

theprinterlady

09/06/2005 01:10:24 PM

Dear H4C: We are, then, on the same page!! Whoo hoo! BTW, what "evidence" are you talking about? That's history! There certainly can't be anything like that in the church NOW! The fact that certain dogmas breed disrespect and former persectutions were based on them CANNOT be taken as direct evidence that something is WRONG!!?? After all, if the "one true way" has this kind of history, it can't be very true, can it? And we can't have that! (Probably why no church teaches church history??) GRINS

Heretic_for_Christ

09/06/2005 11:32:58 AM

printerlady, Exactly - it is self-delusion to think that proclaiming inerrancy means no picking and choosing, and no justifying whatever we want. Picking and choosing is NOT the point at all; that is just another way of saying that we are rational beings (again, reflecting the spiritual character of God). As for the justification of anything, there is no magic formula; that is exactly what personal integrity, values, and responsibility are all about. Fundamentalists - perhaps not trusting their own integrity, values, and responsibility? - mistakenly think that dogmatism prevents variable justification. It doesn't, and the bloodly history of the church should be ample evidence of that.

theprinterlady

09/06/2005 10:24:48 AM

Hi H4C: Unfortunately, you are correct... I have watched people look facts in the eyeball and not even blink when they go back to whatever point of view they had originally! I struggle personally with the "inerrant" part just because it does seem like if you start to "pick and choose" that you can then justify anything. But then, those who consider it "inerrant" already do this on a fairly regular basis! LOVED your posts on the other discussion, BTW

Heretic_for_Christ

09/05/2005 07:11:59 AM

printerlady, You didn't offend me - I was just perplexed at the thought that I had somehow caused you to feel exasperated, because in fact I respect you a lot, as I previously posted. As you came from a background of fundamentalism, I certainly don't have to tell you about it, but I want to point out something: Suppose they were right about the Bible; suppose they could read Hebrew and Greek, and reach the same conclusions as they now reach about Jesus and exclusivity of salvation. (It is NOT impossible; people believe whatever they want to believe, and they do so with total conviction that their conclusions are rational and factually based.) My question would be: So what? They would answer that this is absolute proof of their beliefs, because there is no issue with mistranslation for them. To me, it would just mean that they have full understanding of a human-authored book with all its attendant shortcomings.

theprinterlady

09/04/2005 11:41:11 PM

Anyway, I don't expect everyone to be an expert on Judaism (I'm not, just learning), and while I am going to make the attempt to learn Hebrew, I will probably always be a "culler" from other peoples knowledge; unlikely I'll ever master the language enough to come up with some facinating insights on my own. Anyway, I didn't mean to offend you, I was more frustrated that Solid refuses to take even a peek outside his own little box to see what the scripture that he tosses around like confettii really MEANS.

theprinterlady

09/04/2005 11:40:54 PM

"Ultimately, my spiritual state is not a function of how scholarly I am, is it?" I certainly hope not! Otherwise, should I die on a day I am reading Janet Evanovitch instead of anything useful, I'm in trouble. :) I'm probably still having issues with cutting myself loose entirely with Christianty (to be differed from cutting myself loose from Jesus the Jewish Rabbi). I was raised with the "inerrant" Bible; and to discover that people perverted the truths in it to make me believe their dogma's really is upsetting to me. You are probably like my dad - way past where it bothers you, but I'm still there.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/04/2005 11:33:31 PM

Continued from previous: But I also know that my spiritual standing is not dependent on getting every theological detail “right” (even if we accept the unlikely notion that we finite creatures are capable of fully grasping the infinite). I share with the Jews the idea that what counts is how I lead my life here and now, and I spend very little time wondering and worrying about what, if anything, lies beyond this world. Whatever it is, it is God’s realm and God’s business, not mine. In short, I don’t think scriptural scholarship is vital. Look, I can read a history text and get a fair idea of the events described without being a historian and researcher. In all subjects, including religion, those who want to delve deeper should do so. For me, I read the Bible as a non-scholar; but on spiritual matters, I also read other materials. Ultimately, my spiritual state is not a function of how scholarly I am, is it?

Heretic_for_Christ

09/04/2005 11:32:45 PM

printerlady, Some months ago, there was a miniboard called "Why the Jews Reject Jesus" and I had several postings on it in which I responded to fundamentalist accusations and challenges. And it was abundantly clear that they have not the slightest notion of what Judaism is about. I am not an expert on Judaism, but I certainly know enough to correct their often-grotesque misconceptions. The same thing happened earlier, on a board relating to the tsunami last December. I mention this only to point out that I have no argument with you. I have a ceaseless argument with fundamentalists. If I were a Jew, I'd try to learn Hebrew and read the scriptures and commentaries in their original language. But as I am not of any religion and do not regard the Hebrew OR Greek scriptures as authoritative, I freely use my own rationality, knowing in advance that I may be wrong in dismissing something that actually means something other than what the translation says. Continued

theprinterlady

09/04/2005 11:09:41 PM

Dear H4C: This is why I am pleading with the "fundies" to "begin at the beginning". If you don't know what the Jewish faith REALLY believes, then you won't see the problems that they have with the N.T. as being "real"; yet they are as deep as the original symbols for G-d. Starting with Hebrew, the Oldest form of Hebrew Faith, Culture and whatnot gives you something to pick out the "clang's" and know WHY they "clang"; and then find out where the "error" in the "inerrant" scriptures is.

theprinterlady

09/04/2005 11:06:13 PM

Dear H4C: Analyzing scripture from this way - causes you to notice a gob of things that otherwise would be un-noticed. For instance, how can we rely on Paul as a teacher if he advocates doing away with the Teachings and Instructions of G-d? However, if we then dig deeper into translations and culture, we may find that words have been translated "crooked" to get a certain result. Another instance: once you understand the basic character of G-d, then verses that are "anti" that character "clang" to you. I'm just saying that instead of deciding that they are "wrong" that maybe they are misunderstood, mistranslated, or something else that we have "wrong"; they themselves may portray a very deep truth.

theprinterlady

09/04/2005 10:58:30 PM

Hi H4C: I guess my exasperation is that you and Solid are going round & round over the "inerrancy" of scriptures when the very problems you spell out exist. Thus, the issue isn't what the Bible "says", it is "what did the author mean in his original language, culture, religion and spot in history" that is the issue. Arguing over what the bible "says" doesn't answer whether or not it's "inerrant", because to know if it was "inerrant" we'd have to reasearch the above mentioned list, otherwise it's an excercise in ignorance..those who quote verses without knowing what they mean, and those that toss them out not knowing what they mean. In the practical sense, I think one has to take your approach. For instance, in my case, once I realized that the term "law" means "teachings and instructions of G-d", then I analyze writings that seem to "diss" the law as having something wrong with them in language or translation as G-d cannot be wrong...but our understanding sure can be.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/04/2005 10:35:36 PM

printerlady, I don't have a problem with the Bible. I just insist on the right to interpret it rationally, ESPECIALLY in view of the fact that I am dependent on English-language versions of Hebrew scriptures and also of Greek scriptures about people who spoke Hebrew or Aramaic. And also in view of the fact that those Hebrew scriptures were transmitted orally for untold generations before being set down in writing, and that those Greek scriptures are second- and third-hand accounts of Jesus' life written by people who never met him. As I do NOT regard the Bible to be the inerrant word of God and as I am NOT a scriptural scholar, my approach to reading the Bible is what you said - I look at the overall context. I reject that which is factually false or logically self-contradictory; and that which is blasphemous against God and contrary to the overall tenor of Jesus' ministry as a Jew talking to other Jews. So I am genuinely puzzled as to why you say I am causing you exasperation.

theprinterlady

09/04/2005 07:01:54 PM

Dear H4C and Solid: ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH! The problem is NOT with the bible! It is with people who insist on picking and choosing what they want to see, and FAIL to take into account context, language, history, culture and the Jewish faith from which the N.T. sprung! JOHN WROTE AN ALLEGORY OF JESUS AS THE TORAH!!!! Thus ANYTHING Johns says Jesus said is the TORAH SPEAKING!! This is a very ancient concept, even found in the writings of Eusebius, 300 years later! Reading an English bible literally when the origianl written was in Greek, and in Jesus' originally SPOKEN in Hebrew or Aramaic is RIDICULOUS! Yes, I am getting frustrated!

Heretic_for_Christ

09/04/2005 05:00:00 PM

Solid, Exactly - so you end up confirming what I have been saying, that your true faith is in scripture, and your only sense of God comes from what you read in scripture. Thus, your PRIMARY faith is that scripture is inerrant, and your belief in God is dependent on and SECONDARY to your primary belief in the inerrancy of scripture. But if God is proven BY scripture, how is scripture proven? By God? That is classic circular reasoning. No, Solid, the bottom-line basis of your faith is scripture, and your beliefs about God are entirely a function of what you read in scripture. In what sense is that NOT bibliolatry?

SolidStand

09/04/2005 04:08:33 PM

shoshana: Its true I have no acceptance of the made up beliefs of the numerous posters here. Not because of any intrinsic value I have in myself, but I place supreme value upon Gods word. The very thing I uphold and believe and which my detractors do not. Solid

SolidStand

09/04/2005 04:05:41 PM

Jesus said to the samaritan woman "the samaritans worship they know not what" Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by me. Jesus said "all that came before me were theives and liars" Jesus said "If you do not believe that I am he, ye shall die in your sins" Jesus said I am the "bread of life" Jesus said, Joh 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: Joh 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And many other like verses that show God saved according to his will, that Jesus is the only way to God, the resurrection, the bread, the good shepherd, the door, the way, the judge.. He forgot to mention anyone else?? Solid

shoshana_lailyt

09/04/2005 01:54:15 PM

Solid You said "What is man that he thinks he can judge G-d?" We're not judging G-d, we're judging your version of G-d, your presentation, interpritation of the divine. Most of us find it unconvincing, and utterly lacking in any amount of compassion and wisdom. "The love of G-d is that kind of love that seeks out his own glory, that seeks G-d's pleasure first." What an ego trip! This sounds like a very selfish and demanding love. If a man was demanding this 'love' from a woman and threatening her with torment if she didn't give it to him, we would make a good case for an abusive relationship. Why should I worship this type of ego? Notice I am not saying why should I worship G-d, but why should I worship an ego that has no respect, understanding or compassion for anything outside of itself? You're not winning over any converts here. Lailyt

smc93

09/04/2005 12:16:27 PM

"Jesus is very intolerant of other religions." You can't prove that and you (should!) know it. You speak from ignorance; it is plain to see. You're not even trying to hide the fact of your lack of both knowledge and understanding. The NT says that all come to God by Christ Jesus. I believe that. Some are unaware that Jesus has made the Way for them. He did that on the Cross and God validated that in the Resurrection. Some who claim to trust Christ Jesus for salvation/redemption/ deliverance/wholeness/etc. seem blissfuly unaware that God in Christ has exercised (already) the power to save/redeem/deliver/make whole the human race. Solid, you seem to be one of those. bless you, s

smc93

09/04/2005 12:07:07 PM

"smc: Your idea of Jesus... " Hi solid, I didn't present any idea of Jesus. What I did do is clearly present the words from Matthew's gospel. And I clearly and properly identified the 'kingdom of heaven/God' as God's Realm. God's Realm is not any heaven that only Christians go to after breathing their last. Sorry. Your problem is with the NT and Jesus, not me. Thanks, s

SolidStand

09/04/2005 11:15:34 AM

The love of God is not a doorway to inclusiveness in regards to the truth of Jesus Christ. Rather the Love of God is that kind of love that seeks out his glory, that seeks Gods pleasure first. To do so scripturally, the love of God refuses, 'other loves', and 'other ways,' and 'other laws' 1cor 13 teaches about love, and it says 'love rejoices in the truth' It doesnt rejoice in man-made religions that are concocted by reason of rebellion to Gods Word. Gods love and Gods Word are connected through out scripture. To disconnect them to allow other religions is not Gods love, that is mans love-invention. Solid

Heretic_for_Christ

09/04/2005 09:11:33 AM

angry, Thank you! You have clearly expressed a vital idea that I have been trying to get across repeatedly, but clumsily.

angryjubu

09/04/2005 07:31:42 AM

“You cannot with your finite mind decide what God should love like, or should think like, or should act like. Gods Word teaches how he thinks, acts and loves like.” The position expressed in the Bible is that, being made in God’s image, our ability to love and manifest positive qualities such as mercy and compassion are derived from God, and are reflections of God’s qualities. The argument that God is greater than we are would necessitate that, if we are able to demonstrate these qualities, he would do so to an even greater extent.

SolidStand

09/04/2005 12:50:38 AM

John 8:23And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. The hindus, Islamics, and probably the rest of the posters of liberal bent do not believe that 'I am he'..meaning that He is Gods Son and the judge of all men. While your making up things about Jesus and his tolerance, dont forget to make up one for this verse too. He Just told us that unless you believe him to be who He said he was, you will die in your sins. Its easy to tolerate a 'made up Jesus', but when you have one that is taken directly from scripture, He begins to condemn all your philosophies. Jesus is very intolerant of other religions. Solid

SolidStand

09/04/2005 12:43:24 AM

smc: Your idea of Jesus is totally unbiblical, complete manufactured in probably some liberal theological closet. The exclusivity of Jesus Christ is something he established, not the apostles. What is abuse is when folks make statements and use the beattitudes or parables of the kingdom in such a way as to totally misconstrue Jesus teaching. If Jesus isnt the only way, then you can have contradicting 'ways' therefore according to you one can believe in salt another can believe in 'no salt'. Its utterly absurd to take Jesus words and make them fit some neo-religious philosophy you have created. Solid

smc93

09/03/2005 09:44:31 PM

'If Christianity Is True, People I Love Will Burn in Hell' Poppycock and balderdash. Christianity is 'true' for those who follow it... not 'true' for the Jewish person, nor the Muslim nor the Hindu nor any other person of a different faith/philosophical system. To say Jesus 'taught' that those who don't believe as he did is an abuse and dreadful misinterpretation of Christianity. Jesus preached and touched people's lives with reference to the Realm of God. The Realm of God is not a heaven in some by-and-by, OK. Some Christians fail to read the Sermon on the Mount with understanding: "Blessed ARE... theirs IS the kingdom of heaven (read the Realm of God-- where God rules and reigns)." vs 3 & 10 Theirs IS the Realm of God. Period. Jesus says: "You are the salt... you are the light." ARE, not will be in some by-and-by. None that heard the voice of Jesus were waiting for some heavenly reward, folks. Nope. AND there is no 'theology' of hell. The two are incompatible. peace, s

shoshana_lailyt

09/03/2005 07:51:11 PM

Solid You said it and didn't even get it: Mankind is not more loving then G-d (what about woman kind? ;-)) So again, how could G-ds love be less then our love?

shoshana_lailyt

09/03/2005 07:48:04 PM

Solid What is man to argue and judge G-d? Try Moses, or Abraham. They both argued and talked back to G-d about certain judgements. Besides, I'm b'nei Ysrael, the people of Israel. Ysra-el, argues with G-d, the name given to Jacob after wrestling with the angel. And the more I read your posts, the more greatful I am that I am not Christian. You say G-d is nothing like what I think he is? You're probably right. But at least I don't limit what G-d is. He's nothing like what you think he is, either. And even if you are right, I would rather risk going to hell than to kiss ass to such a tyrant as you describe. Lailyt

Heretic_for_Christ

09/03/2005 06:39:46 PM

Solid, Of course I am a heretic - that's why I chose the name and why I do NOT call myself a Christian. I care about what Jesus taught, but not one whit about church doctrine. You yourself judge God - except that you judge God to be infinitely holy and perfect. That would be fine if you cited some reason why such superlatives are appropriate. But your “evidence” is characteristics that we would rightly despise in a human ruler. To me, such beliefs are blasphemous, but that is your business. You are willing to believe horrible things about God because they are written in the Bible. And that means you place greater trust in that book than in any direct sense of God you may have; or maybe bibliolatry is the only faith you have. If I believed in Satan, I'd say there could be no better way to deceive people seeking God than to convince them to place their trust in a book that portrays God in blasphemous terms.

SolidStand

09/03/2005 05:50:11 PM

Shoshanna: God is nothing like what you think he is. God is nothing like what H4C says. You cannot with your finite mind decide what God should love like, or should think like, or should act like. Gods Word teaches how he thinks, acts and loves like. Mankind is NOT MORE LOVING than God. Its absurd to think selfish people can judge God and then feel good about thier position on sexual orientations, or philosophical view points. Listen to yourselves, "If God doesnt agree with me then hes not loving"...what utter nonsense. What is man that he thinks he can judge God? Solid

SolidStand

09/03/2005 05:43:40 PM

H4c By the way, you have never rightly represented the views of a christian in any post you make. Every one of them are wrong or exagerations. If anyone listens to you, they are listening to a heretic thats for sure. Solid

shoshana_lailyt

09/03/2005 04:48:29 PM

H4C I know that. There are Christians I have a lot of respect for. It's not any one religion that I have a problem with, but the people: can you see the stranger as created in the image of G-d, or not. If you can, good. If not, I don't care what you call yourself.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/03/2005 03:51:36 PM

shoshana, Beautifully said! The fundamentalists' answer is that our lives simply don't matter EXCEPT in terms of our acceptance of a certain religious doctrine. They claim devotion to God who created life but they denigrate everything that gives life meaning. Their god is a petty and vain tyrant. Fortunately, God is nothing like their blasphemous notions.

shoshana_lailyt

09/03/2005 03:03:04 PM

I think this story nails the tripping point on literal Christianity; it puts limits on G-ds love. It is basically conditional love: G-d can only love you if you are a Christian. When this girl finds out that her ability to love friends is not that limited, what does that imply about the limits of G-d's love? I am a lesbian, a Jew, with Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant famliy. If we are capable of loving each other unconditionaly as family, how could G-ds love be less then ours? This reality of my life that no book, verse, or bible quote can deny. Lailyt

SolidStand

09/03/2005 10:17:28 AM

angryjubu: If the emergent church adopts mclarens thinking I will resist it with every breath I have. Solid

angryjubu

09/03/2005 08:02:21 AM

You may want to check out McLaren’s website, anewkindofchristian.com. My understanding is that McLaren has adopted a more-or-less “don’t know” attitude concerning the salvation of non-Christians. However, whenever he writes a new book, the fundamentalists come positively streaming out of the woodwork claiming that he’s sold out Christianity in its entirety (also see reviews of his books at Amazon). Frankly, I’d have more respect for him and for the other architects of the “Emergent Church” movement if they WOULD publicly disown the doctrine of salvific exclusivism, rather than waffling as they do. Still, I suppose that one can see it as an evolutionary step toward a more compassionate, inclusive Christianity.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/03/2005 07:16:51 AM

Cusidh, I wasn't familiar with that psychological phrase, but the concept seems clear enough. I suppose it is also a sort of projection of self-onto-others when Christians describe humanity as "wicked," "lying," "weak," "sinful," etc. I've asked how it is that if God created us, how could it be that we were created so badly? And if the answer is inherited guilt from Adam and Eve, why did omniscient God plant them in a garden where the most dangerous serpent was known to be lurking? I'd never put my child in such peril. Haven't received any response yet.

Cusidh

09/03/2005 03:24:38 AM

You know, it's been shown in studies of Western people that they'll push buttons they're made to believe are torturing someone in the next room... Cause they're told to. Even when they believe it's killing them. Even when they believe they *already* killed them. And they dare call others 'morally-inferior.h

Cusidh

09/03/2005 03:21:48 AM

Or, as in Abu Ghraib, when some external authority seems to say it's OK. That's why all the messed-up inclinations they feel helpless against and project upon others.

Cusidh

09/03/2005 03:20:07 AM

Now my question to you, Solid: If the Bible were the words of men and there were no such thing as hell, would you suddenly embark on a spree of immorality? Well, neither do I. This is known in psychology as an 'external locus of control.' Their internal sense of morality is so atrophied by leaning on notions of external watching-and-punishment that they believe that anyone who does not obey their externalized sense of control must do as they feel they would: In a word. go nuts. The idea that people can live outside their particular sheep-pen and not become ravening beasts is particularly frightening to them, but they *do* go nuts when they think no one's watching.

theprinterlady

09/02/2005 04:14:14 PM

Dear Solid: As long as Chrisitanity is not found in the original "Word of G-d", the Tanach, then you are following a religion of men, reading into the "word" whatever you wish, following man's traditions, just as you accuse others. Christianity HAS to be able to back up it's claims from the Tanach or it comes into question. You have refused to answer this question, thus your judgement of others as "making their own religions" or "making it up as they go along" applies to you. Let us stop, start really studying what the Torah was trying to tell us, and MAYBE you will hear what Jesus was really telling his followers.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/02/2005 04:05:09 PM

God's address to us, continued: "Treat each other with kindness and integrity and respect. And don't worry - there is no such thing as hell. At those times that you behave badly to each other, you are spiritually unconscious, that's all. It's better to be awake. Oh, and by the way, I don't do earthquakes and hurricanes - those are natural phenomena. That's all, folks - live well!" Now my question to you, Solid: If the Bible were the words of men and there were no such thing as hell, would you suddenly embark on a spree of immorality? Well, neither do I.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/02/2005 04:04:59 PM

You assume that to stray an inch from rigid bibliolatry is to enter a realm of anything-goes immorality. It simply isn't so. Consider this seriously: Suppose - just suppose - that tomorrow, God appears in UNMISTAKABLE, UNARGUABLE form before the whole world, and former atheists are stunned with amazement and acknowledge that God really does exist... and God says, "Listen up. I am your God. I am here for you as I've always been here. I'm appearing in physical form right now, but you'll usually find me right within yourselves. And here is what I want you to know: The Bible has lots of good stuff in it, but it is certainly NOT inerrant, and I didn't write it. Your distant ancestors compiled it. Learn from it but don't worship it. Learn from other sources, too. Learn from what Jesus taught, but also learn from what Siddartha Gotama and Lao-tse and Hillel and lots of others taught." Continued

SolidStand

09/02/2005 03:34:28 PM

Oh come on heretic: Its just a story of ambition meets amorality in a religious context. According to all I have ever read from you, this scenario is perfectly acceptable, its outside the fundamentalist-dogmatic you so despise and it fully encases the prized principles of tolerance, believe as you want, freedoms, choice and rejection from bibliolaters. Id thought this would have been just your cup of tea. hey dont go changing the rules now. Solid

SolidStand

09/02/2005 03:26:42 PM

This is just a taste of the kind of thinking that pervades the minds of those endorsing 'believe what you want'. The hypothetical pastor in the end can do nothing but..admit His true religion is a religion that creates and justifies a killing monster. All it took was a young man to use his principles to the selfish extreme. So it is with anyone that creates their own religions. Solid

SolidStand

09/02/2005 03:23:12 PM

But thats Immoral says dad.. For you it is. Remember I have my own morality, I have my own belief structure. I have my own God, and I have my own education that approves the path I am taking. How dare you judge me! How dare you question me, you hypocrite. You have your rights I have mine. I can do as I will with my religion. Why should it matter to you that I obliterate the planet. Its part of my belief structure and my own morals dictate that I alone survive this world. Dad you are screwed up..you are so uneducated and arrogant to put your beliefs on me..and stop me from persuing this wonderful religious experience I am undertaking. yep...its all so fun for me. Dont get in the way. Dad says.."Oh God help". Kincaid says... What praying for me to be stopped..you still dont get it do you. I have permission by the theology you endorse to practise my religion without you interfering or judging me. So dont bother.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/02/2005 03:19:51 PM

How sad it is to see the world as an either-or choice between bibliolatry and immorality.

SolidStand

09/02/2005 03:17:49 PM

On the way out the door. Ive decided that since there is no hell, no justice can result, period. Anyone with half a brain knows that if there is no punishment, then really who cares If I kill the whole world. I mean God is to good to punish me. So It really doesnt matter if I create a huge organization that worships me, then kill all of them. Why, its my belief and Im entitled to it. Its to be tolerated by the most educated and elite of the religious section. So I find every reason to persue this venture and enjoy every minute of what I can obtain using religion to gain power. I dont want to hear about morals. You said there are no aboslutes, so morals are relative and I want to kill everyone in the end...that suits my moral goodness.

SolidStand

09/02/2005 03:13:29 PM

Now..as Jess and Kincaid were leaving.. Dad says..I didnt mean you can do as you want. Kincaid responds. Well, now you want to make specifics, I have your theological position that belief is relative, so I have a believe that is perfectly suited to satisfying all my needs. You have yours I have mine. Yours only placates a fear and unbelief, so you try and play between God and the devil. I have learned from you that I can enjoy them both. I can use the bible as I wish and enjoy the devils toys too. Besides, you said to Jess...Gods to good to send anyone to hell. But thats not what I ment... Well that doesnt matter said Kincaid, there is no absolutes, its what we make for ourselves.

SolidStand

09/02/2005 03:08:47 PM

Later back at the house... Kincaid came in and said "whats the deal with Christ? I thought that he was a good God. I thought he was a lover not a fighter. Dads on the spot again. Oh well, its hard to explain. (muting the TV again). Lotsa folks think one thing or another about Jesus, you can pretty much think as you want to about him. Cool. Im thinking Ill take Jess with me and the other 5 girls and start and religious organization. Ill marry all 5 girls, tell them I am Christ come back again and when I am done with them Ill find more girls and some others to help fund the organization. You dont mind do you? You said you can believe what you want, right? I heard your ashamed to preach the gospel in the bible, so it must not be that important. I love this believe as you want thing, it works to my advantage.

SolidStand

09/02/2005 03:01:09 PM

The story continues with.... Gee honey heres the real scoop. Iam a man whom doesnt really believe. So when you ask me questions I dont really have any answers. I have been false to my calling to speak the truth, to hold forth the word of life, to faithfully teach others what was entrusted to me. So instead I sit and watch the TV hoping like the ostrich that youll just go away. But maybe you can go on beliefnet and listen to the multitudes of contradictory posters spewing who knows what...and youll pick something out that makes you feel good. Remember Jess, its about feeling good in life, not truth or reality. I am ashamed of the gospel, I am faithless to my calling. I cower in the face of my daughter. I hope God really didnt mean anything he said about judgment. Hes a nice God you know. Solid

Heretic_for_Christ

09/02/2005 12:40:10 PM

Once again, Solid, you are deceptive in calling my words (presumably, among others) "God mocking" or "God bashing." I take God seriously enough to question ANY description that reeks of blasphemy, including scriptural passages. I do not mock God; I mock your perversely blasphemous statements about God.

theprinterlady

09/02/2005 12:00:17 PM

Hi Solid...Cusidh...Gosh, haven't we been having a conversation elsewhere? GRINS!!!! Solid...you still need to prove Christian theology from the Tanach...yes, I am following you...there is no escaping the big question...Does the Word of G-d from the Tanach (and especially G-d's own lips in the Torah) support Christianity? I'm waiting!!!! :)

SolidStand

09/02/2005 10:39:05 AM

This hypothetical pastor isnt worth spit. Then of course the author is able to deflect the rejection he would have for heretical beliefs because they are couched in a 'hypothetical' story. Along comes others who love to bounce their mutual God bashing ideas off each other, when they are done however its just more darkness to wade through. If this hypothetical pastor was dismissed...after reading the way he would teach his daughter the doctrine of eternal punishment its a fortunate thing he was dismissed, and spare the body of Christ another 'unbelieving pastor' Solid

Cusidh

09/02/2005 12:23:53 AM

I'm just *constantly amazed* at the utter horrors Christians are willing to subject their kids to while claiming that the thinnest possible portrayal of diversity as acceptable is seen as trememndously-traumatizing to children. How much more traumatized can they *get* before they even turn the TV *on* sportoes?

Cusidh

09/02/2005 12:17:21 AM

What, is that nasty big guy now torturing people for no purpose at all, so they can have a whole lot of Ultimate Pain before being consigned to imaginary oblivion? Nice. Real nice.

Heretic_for_Christ

09/01/2005 11:19:43 PM

If I were a child, I'd still be horrified at the narrator's "kinder-gentler" answer - that the sinful WILL be punished but not forever, and that after being punished they will simply not exist anymore. And that's the MERCIFUL version of exclusive salvation: God won't torture you forever - just for awhile, and then he'll kill you. For being imperfect and doubting a certain religious doctrine. Is God going soft in his old age?

Cusidh

09/01/2005 11:09:00 PM

This is the thing I've always wondered about Christians. Descrining *what they do* is *matter harmful to minors* As opposed to the unimaginable and inescapable torment described in great detail for them by the 'pious.' Is there a double-standard here, or am I disqualified from speaking about it cause they apparently messed me up and said that disqualifies me from speaking about it?

Cusidh

09/01/2005 11:05:07 PM

Let's put it this way, A. If a little girl has to ask this question, something's *seriously wrong,* and B. It's probably not just her friends she's wondering why people are gonna like have their My Little Ponies eternally melting into the flesh of their precious little hands, ya know? c. Duh?

Heretic_for_Christ

09/01/2005 09:58:37 PM

This illustrates the basic problem - religion is about dogma that separates people (and by the way also requires people to accept absolutely hateful nonsense that their God-given rationality rejects). This is why I reject religion and embrace spirituality, which eschews divisive doctrine. So in this story, the pastor ends up deciding that if his daughter isn't welcome at the local church then he doesn't want to be there either. But how many times have such questions ended with fundamentalist parents squelching their children's questions with hardline doctrine that boils down to, "Yes, unfortunately, all those people you like, all your friends ARE going to burn in hell forever... We can pray that they will see the light and accept Jesus as lord, but I don't want to hear any more questioning of God's rule..."

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