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Source: (consider it) Thread: Purgatory: Will God allow anyone to go to hell?
Lynn MagdalenCollege
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quote:
Originally posted by Evo1:
I think the virtuoso comparison is a poor one. It seems to say that someone who has been a good Christian all their life (whatever that may be) is somehow more free than someone who has just come to the Lord - or a flat none believer at that.

What if the comparison isn't "good Christian" but rather "growing Christian" ? (consider Paul's chastisement to those who insist on milk instead of growing up to meat) - don't you think a "growing Christian" *is* more free than someone who's just come to the Lord?

quote:

This then leads us on the road to salvation by works alone if we are not careful.

The virtuoso when deciding to take up say the violin was just as free at that point in his life to take it up than to not bother than he is twenty years later as an expert. In fact, surely it is a much easier decision for the beginner to decide to stop than for the guy who is now making his living playing.

You're right, there is a risk of falling into the works camp - but there's also the component of "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" - and the sense of "work" here is like mining, to follow the vein of gold and dig it out, grapple with it. And the parable of the various soil types warns us that we can drift away early on, like the player who realizes that his neck hurts and his fingertips are sore, or we can drift away later for more complex reasons ("the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches").

Jesus talks more about hell, and the importance of avoiding it, than anybody else in the Bible - which makes me think He means it. Additionally, I had a rather alarming experience about 7-8 years ago when a series of friends (of varying proximity) died within about 10 months of each other. I would pray that God receive them and have mercy upon them and didn't get any particular feedback from the Almighty - until one certain person and I went to pray for his soul and God stopped me, it was like, "Don't even ask." Very strong. Freaked me out. And it's made me nervous, since, in praying for the deceased whose spiritual alignment is questionable - I realize I'm always sort of afraid God will do that again (and I *really* didn't like it).

I recognize this is my personal experience and bears no weight with anyone but me, but yeah, it makes me answer this question in the positive - I do think God will allow people to go to Hell... eeep.

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Vikki Pollard
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But how do you know GOD stoped you, and not some prior knowledge of the person's circumstances which at some deep level you have been trained to believe was unforgivable?

Sorry (I once had that experience too, in fact) - I am partly - though not wholly - playing Devil's advocate so this doesn't get too 'pat'. I think these are serious questions which deserve a lot of thought rather than Pavlovian responses.

And if you can't play Devil's advocate on a thread like this, where can you? [Devil]

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"I don't get all this fuss about global warming, Miss. Why doesn't the Government just knock down all the f**king greenhouses?" (One of my slightly less bright 15 year old pupils)

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Lynn MagdalenCollege
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
The point is that people in heaven are free but people in hell are not, at least not very free.

People in heaven are free because they can do whatever they wish. People in hell are not free because what they wish for is not possible, and so their desires are their prison.

So is choosing slavery a true expression of freedom?

I had a dream like that, close to 30 years ago now!!! I was a Christian, in that I'd accepted Jesus' death on the cross as payment for my sins, but I hadn't yet come into much alignment with God, other than that one point (!). In this dream I was flying through the universe, and I knew it like I know my neighborhood, and the freedom was exhilirating - then I became aware of big dark hands/claws grasping me around the middle and the hands were directing me where I was going. I start to panic and off in the distance I see a big domed birdcage, made of blue-white neon light, and I know if I fly in there the hands won't be holding me any longer - but it's a CAGE and the last thing in the world that I want is a cage - except these hands are really creeping me out and I realize the second-to-the-last thing I want is a cage and the *very* last thing is for these hands to continue to rule me. So in panic and trepidation, I fly into the cage and sure enough, the hands fall away as soon as I enter - and the bars of the cage break up into a shower of stars: it only appeared to be a cage from the outside.

It was a very meaningful dream (one that I remembered upon waking) and helped me get my head screwed on straight (not to mention get away from the dark hand/claws).

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Lynn MagdalenCollege
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quote:
Originally posted by Vikki Pollard:
But how do you know GOD stoped you, and not some prior knowledge of the person's circumstances which at some deep level you have been trained to believe was unforgivable?

it's a good question, Vicki, and I don't know that my answer will satisfy you, but as I've gotten closer to God, I've come to recognize His voice, as opposed to my own (or the lying voice of the enemy - *shudder* - I know that one too well) - some of this is no doubt a gift of discernment but some of it is simply experience. And, frankly, from a legalistic viewpoint, only one of these people was a "Christian" to my knowledge - and most had lived very hedonistic lifestyles. I had no reason to single out this particular person. The last person in that series who died was, in fact, the Christian, and I flew back to the memorial service and wound up having dinner with the widow and a mutual friend and somehow this issue came up and I very guardedly, cautiously shared face-to-face what I so boldly shared in the relative anonymity of the internet (!!) - and was seriously freaked when the widows jaw dropped and she said that she & her husband (who also knew the person in question) had tried to pray for his soul and felt that God stopped them, too. There is no satisfaction in thinking this person may be damned - none whatsoever. But either God is good and trustworthy or I have wasted my life and energy trying to serve Him; I am convinced that He is, in fact, good and trustworthy. He is the perfect Judge, able to weigh every factor and balance it all out, and He bears a sword sharp enough to divide between bone and marrow. And finally, there is grace.

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Lynn MagdalenCollege
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quote:
Originally posted by LynnMagdalenCollege:
it's a good question, Vicki

sorry! misspelled - Vikki.

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by LynnMagdalenCollege:
So in panic and trepidation, I fly into the cage and sure enough, the hands fall away as soon as I enter - and the bars of the cage break up into a shower of stars: it only appeared to be a cage from the outside.

Wow. That's a beautiful story. I like everything about it.

Freedom and prison, I guess, are easy to mistake for each other! [Angel]

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Jason™

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quote:
Originally posted by LynnMagdalenCollege:
Jesus talks more about hell, and the importance of avoiding it, than anybody else in the Bible - which makes me think He means it. Additionally, I had a rather alarming experience about 7-8 years ago when a series of friends (of varying proximity) died within about 10 months of each other. I would pray that God receive them and have mercy upon them and didn't get any particular feedback from the Almighty - until one certain person and I went to pray for his soul and God stopped me, it was like, "Don't even ask." Very strong. Freaked me out. And it's made me nervous, since, in praying for the deceased whose spiritual alignment is questionable - I realize I'm always sort of afraid God will do that again (and I *really* didn't like it).

I recognize this is my personal experience and bears no weight with anyone but me, but yeah, it makes me answer this question in the positive - I do think God will allow people to go to Hell... eeep.

Hello, Lynn. [Smile]

If you'd like to keep this as just a personal anecdote, I would totally understand. But if you would like to enter it as anecdotal evidence to your belief and to discuss it, I'd love to hear more about what you think God was actually saying to you when he said "Stop," and why it necessarily meant to you that the person was destined for Hell no matter what.

-Digory

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PaulTH*
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PhilA's analogies over free will were truly excellent!! This is why I get angry when people say. "no-one is in hell unless they want to be" I don't know anyone who would want to be in hell. A loving God who demands that we forgive seventy times seven will do at least as much as us. In the early church the condemnation to hell was usually piquish and reserved for anyone who didn't agree with the prevailing doctrine. But there were many universalists in the early church.

The idea that anyone would reject God eternally once death strips them of the veneer of security which money can provide in this world is to me absurd. The magnitude of eternal separation is enough to make the most hardened soul cry out to God for mercy. Will God refuse it? Never.

I have a question for Evo1 who seems to be a grand champion of eternal punishment. Ho also criticises any idea of works righteousness. So Protestant! Look at the passages in Matthew where Jesus says that the goats are going to outer darkness. It is always for wrong deeds or lack of good deeds. Especially Matthew 25. Jesus taught works righteousness, salvation by obediance to God and that entry to the kingdom of God comes from being a good Jew (Mark 12. 28-32).

A confusion of ideas seems to exist among believers in eternal hell. They take seriously that Jesus taught it. But they ignore that He said that hell is for the wicked unrighteous. They graft onto that, Paul's belief salvation is by grace, but Paul never taught about eternal torment. Thus in combining two ideas, Christians don't have to change or improve their lives because they are "saved". This is a monumetal cop out. There is no religion on earth which doesn't require strict adherance to moral precepts based on the golden rule. That is exactly what Jesus taught. Being saved by belief was invented by Paul, who believed in a total recreation of the cosmos and as such was probably a universalist himself. You can't have it all ways.

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Niënna

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As much as I honestly admire the "virtuouso" approach, I have a great longing for it to be true - however, I am not persuaded that God will remove someone's choice to be eternally separated from him.

Believe it or not, there are some people who have no desire to be with God. While some say that death will remove that lack of desire (especially faced with the eminent darkness and pain), I'm still not certain that is the case. I don't think that God would force anyone to go on the path of the "virtuouso" if they didn't want to.


P.S. I know PaulTH said that he knew no one - but I do.

[ 12. November 2005, 20:55: Message edited by: Joyfulsoul ]

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Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
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Jason™

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quote:
Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:
As much as I honestly admire the "virtuouso" approach, I have a great longing for it to be true - however, I am not persuaded that God will remove someone's choice to be eternally separated from him.

Believe it or not, there are some people who have no desire to be with God.

Perhaps you and I could agree on this idea:

Hell will be filled with any and all who choose to be there, but any who ask God for mercy at any time will be lifted from darkness and brought into God's grace, no matter what they'd done or how long they'd rebelled.

Does that resonate with you?

-Digory

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PaulTH*
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Dear Joyfulsoul

I disagree with you for these reasons. In this world God is obscure. We see through a glass darkly. For many people who have awful lives, poverty, oppression, abuse, sexual or phychological, the glass becomes so dark that they can't see God at all. I've had a lucky life. I had good loving parents, though perhaps a bit too severe. I have never been hungry, I've always had quite well paid work. And God is real to me. But what of those who never have that chance?

To reject God here is easy: we can't see Him and the world around us is indifferent, or worse, downright hostile. When death strips us of these illusions, I am totally sure that almost every soul which rejected God on earth will cry out for His mercy. Will He grant it then? I believe so, because otherwise He is like a silly school child who says, "yesterday you didn't want to be my friend, so today I don't want to be yours".

Your name Joyfulsoul is intriguing. If you believe that most of creation is going to hell, there won't be much joy in your soul then.

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Paul

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PaulTH*
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Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:

quote:
P.S. I know PaulTH said that he knew no one - but I do
Dear Joyfulsoul

Obviously I don't know the circumstances of the person you're referring to, but sometimes people claim to want to go to hell because of the knowledge of their sinfulness, or inability to cope with past sins. Such people are so close to salvation if they but knew it because they are penitent and therefore saved.

Even the unrepentant sinner is unlikely to stay unrepentant when the consequences of sin stare him in the face. I realise that the question of the eternally recalcitrant sinner is a problem for universalists and I acknowledge that I have no answer as to what God could do with such a person, but I believe that the prayers of Mary and the saints and of those of us on earth who make a commitment to praying for the dead, will lighten the darkness of hell for all its denizens and will, with enough patience, bring all into the realm of God's love.

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Paul

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Jason™

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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
...sometimes people claim to want to go to hell because of the knowledge of their sinfulness, or inability to cope with past sins.

Sometimes people claim to want to go to hell because their picture of God is inaccurately skewed by those of us who represent him poorly (all of us included, don't get me wrong).

I think anyone who rejects him does so because they do not fully understand him.

-Digory

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PaulTH*
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Originally posted by professorkirke:

quote:
I think anyone who rejects him does so because they do not fully understand him
Well prof, I agree with you comletely on this. But can we understand Him on this side of the grave? Wouldn't most, if not all of our rejections cease when death denudes us of all our illusions and we see the choices?

This all hinges on a question I posted on a thread a few eeks ago. Would we get another chance after death, if like Doubting Thomas we had to see in order to believe.

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Paul

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Lynn MagdalenCollege
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quote:
Originally posted by professorkirke:
If you'd like to keep this as just a personal anecdote, I would totally understand. But if you would like to enter it as anecdotal evidence to your belief and to discuss it, I'd love to hear more about what you think God was actually saying to you when he said "Stop," and why it necessarily meant to you that the person was destined for Hell no matter what.

-Digory

Hi Digory!
I really don't know what more to say - in praying for the repose of this man's soul and asking that God would give him grace to know Him, I got a strong "Don't even ask" message. I don't know that it means this guys is going to hell (and I hope very much my sense that's what it means is wrong) - but there was no question that I wasn't supposed to intercede in that way anymore. Is there another way for me to intercede for this man? Perhaps - I haven't fully examined that - I think I was so startled that I didn't go through all the possible permutations (hmm - Abraham and that fascinating exchange with God before the destruction of Sodom (Gen.18) where he negotiates with the Lord for the righteous of the city).

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Lynn MagdalenCollege
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quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
PhilA's analogies over free will were truly excellent!! This is why I get angry when people say. "no-one is in hell unless they want to be" I don't know anyone who would want to be in hell. A loving God who demands that we forgive seventy times seven will do at least as much as us.

Have you ever read Charles Williams' novels or "That Hideous Strength" by C.S. Lewis? Both THS and one of Williams' novels (I'm blanking on which one right now, sorry!) have an image of a man at the threshold of death, recognizing that even now, after a hideously sinful and malicious life, God offers forgiveness - but the character is too fixed in his own pride and sense of self to confess and be saved and knowingly enters into Hell. Very appalling sequences. Yes, it's fiction - but I have met people who are so offended that God calls them a sinner that they do indeed reject His salvation and abhor His presence.

You are absolutely right; God does infinitely more than a paltry 70x7 forgiveness on behalf of each of us - each of us has already run through numbers much higher, I assure you.

quote:

The idea that anyone would reject God eternally once death strips them of the veneer of security which money can provide in this world is to me absurd. The magnitude of eternal separation is enough to make the most hardened soul cry out to God for mercy. Will God refuse it? Never.

I agree it's hard to imagine anyone rejecting God, particularly if they understand what's really involved - but the fact you have a hard time imagining it doesn't mean there aren't folks who do. I have a hard time imagining adults torturing children, but I have friends who were tortured in childhood - my inability to imagine it unfortunately doesn't make it impossible.

quote:

Jesus taught works righteousness, salvation by obediance to God and that entry to the kingdom of God comes from being a good Jew (Mark 12. 28-32).

A confusion of ideas seems to exist among believers in eternal hell. They take seriously that Jesus taught it. But they ignore that He said that hell is for the wicked unrighteous. They graft onto that, Paul's belief salvation is by grace, but Paul never taught about eternal torment. Thus in combining two ideas, Christians don't have to change or improve their lives because they are "saved". This is a monumetal cop out. There is no religion on earth which doesn't require strict adherance to moral precepts based on the golden rule. That is exactly what Jesus taught. Being saved by belief was invented by Paul, who believed in a total recreation of the cosmos and as such was probably a universalist himself. You can't have it all ways.

Paul a universalist?! I think not... But Jesus Himself says "Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins." (Mt 26.27-28). We have to live in tension - we are called to live a righteous life, to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven is perfect - but none of us can manage that and we need major help. The fact that we have received such gracious help at such a staggering cost is overwhelming and let us never fall into the position Paul is shocked by, that we sin more so that grace might abound (Romans 5 & 6) - let us never even take it for granted. But neither let us delude ourselves that our "good works" are sufficient to save us. They are important and we must not neglect them - but they're insufficient to buy my life from the pit.

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Erin & Friend; Been there, done that; Ruth musical

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Demas
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I don't think I've ever had a discussion of 'free will' that didn't highlight how slippery and problematic the whole concept is. It is really hard to define and hard to explain, and neither Jesus nor Paul seems to have really attempted to do so.

All of which makes me continually suprised that it seems to be a fundamental pillar of so many people's personal theology.

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Demas
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Sorry, double post.

It is very arguable that Paul was a universalist, and many people have in fact argued that. A recent couple of books are called The Inscapable Love of God and Universal Salvation? The Current Debate.

A chapter of the Inescapable Love of God, dealing mostly with Paul is available here - it's worth reading.

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Lynn MagdalenCollege
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Thanks, Demas - I'll read that.

I do think there's a risk to being a universalist (*assuming* I'm using the word in the same manner you are - that, in the end, EVERYBODY is saved). Let me first say, I would love to see everybody saved, I have NO desire to see people burn in hell (even the classic bugabear Hitler - if God's refining fire is applied to him {as it will be to all of us} and all the sin and evil burned out, yes, there are elements of value worth saving in Hitler).
So why not assure people that God loves them and has saved them, whether they agree with Him and receive it or not? Consider Ezekiel 33, where God makes him a watchman on the wall and charges him with sounding the warning - and, if he doesn't, THEIR BLOOD is on HIS HEAD. That's a biggie.

Consider Jesus speaking in Mt.18 "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of {its} stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!"

IF we assure people that they will be saved, no matter their relationship with Jesus, are we not being a stumbling block? God will save who He will, and more power to Him! I don't have to worry about that. But I do have to worry about not misrepresenting Him - so it seems to me that, for my own sake, I'd better not give false assurance. FWIW, this is my attitude toward the current debate over homosexuality (is it still a sin?): if I say, "There may be a problem with this behavior - take it to God and see what He tells you," and I'm wrong then I have erred by reading the Bible too literally (happily not the unforgivable sin), but if I say, "Go on, brethren, God's changed His mind, be blessed in this relationship" and God hasn't changed His mind, then I'm encouraging someone in their sin and being a stumbling block. I hasten to add that homosexuality is not the unforgivable sin either, just a good contemporary example of this challenge. I'm sure Ezekiel wasn't real thrilled about telling his friends and neighbors, "You sinners! Repent or God will judge you!"

I mean, I understand the attraction of universalism - I just can't reconcile it with the whole of scripture.

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Erin & Friend; Been there, done that; Ruth musical

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Vikki Pollard:
There are so many good posts on here that I'm a little scared of posting now... <snip>

Oh dear - me too - and this is the topic I feel most passionate about of any topic on earth. But now I feel somewhat outclassed by the Demas and PhilA s and others and all uncharacteristically tongue tied. [Overused]

For me the response to the question will always begin with the psalmist's vision "though I descend to the depths of hell thou art there also." Regardless of our understanding of Hell - as non-being or as fire or as separation - it seems to me that this is a place where God is. Dante’s Give Up Hope cannot be activated where God is, or in Anselmian terms, despair, fire torment hopelessness or non-being becomes greater than God and God’s love.

So hell must be, if you like, a choice. I object to the forms of doctrine that depict death as the last opportunity to “decide for God/Jesus” for the same reason: death becomes bigger than divine love.

I believe the “Mental illness” analogy works for the entire human state. Am I able to see as yet the implications of God’s love with anything but the darkened glasses of Paul’s analogy? And can I see the implications of sin in relationship to divine perfection with anything but the darkened glasses of Paul’s analogy? So I am as yet maimed, incomplete, disabled. As are the gospel narratives and the church, even the sacraments in which I may encounter grace. I have not yet seen the face of the God whose love grinds away my imperfections. I have not seen my sin. I have not seen divine sorrow. Nor has Joe Blow next door who’s too busy, or Freda Blogg who’s having an affair or Osama bin Laden or George Bush who are trapped in their spiritual myopia.

But the persuasive love of God is greater than sin. So I believe in heaven (with a struggle), and with something like purgatory, but not in Hell. Which fortunately is not an article of faith, so I guess I can still be a part of the Christian community in all its myopia? [Smile]

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I think God will allow anyone to go to Hell who really wants to and insists on it.

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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It can't be much worse than some of the things I've seen here on Earth.

I'd check it out if I knew I had a Get Out of Hell Free card.

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Niënna

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# 4652

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quote:
Originally posted by professorkirke:
Perhaps you and I could agree on this idea:

Hell will be filled with any and all who choose to be there, but any who ask God for mercy at any time will be lifted from darkness and brought into God's grace, no matter what they'd done or how long they'd rebelled.

Does that resonate with you?

-Digory

Let me see if I get what you are saying:

Hypothetically, there might be people who will chose to live in the hereafter apart from God's presence. However, at some point they may change their mind and decide instead to rejoin others in the presence of God. No matter what they had done or how they had rebelled - both in their life on earth and their continued existence apart from God's presence, God's grace is so that he would allow them to leave hell and rejoin him in heaven?

If this is what you are saying...I still disagree.

Its kind of like if people do drugs - sure they may repent of it and stop doing drugs - but the affects of the drugs such as infertility, broken memory, episodes and some mental issues will remain because of those choices. What I'm trying to say (with this very poor analogy) is that our actions are meaningful and sometimes we have to live with the consequences of our choices. I think we should strive to live meaningfully and thoughtfully because we don't know if we get another chance to do so.

I have this feeling that some choices we make have consequences. I'm not convinced that our lives are lived in a vaccuum - empty of the choices we make both good and evil.


quote:
Originally posted by professorkirke:
I think anyone who rejects him does so because they do not fully understand him

I disagree. I don't think it is always the case that some people reject God because of incomplete knowledge. Satan himself was in the presence and glory of God and still rejected him. Adam and Eve knew the friendship of God and yet chose to distrust God.

quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
This all hinges on a question I posted on a thread a few eeks ago. Would we get another chance after death, if like Doubting Thomas we had to see in order to believe.

I think this is also where we differ. I don't know if we get another chance after death.

quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Dear Joyfulsoul

I disagree with you for these reasons. In this world God is obscure. We see through a glass darkly. For many people who have awful lives, poverty, oppression, abuse, sexual or phychological, the glass becomes so dark that they can't see God at all. I've had a lucky life. I had good loving parents, though perhaps a bit too severe. I have never been hungry, I've always had quite well paid work. And God is real to me. But what of those who never have that chance?

I guess I have known people who have really terrible lives. People who have had all the above factors and more. And still those people have seen God and explained his goodness to me.

quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
To reject God here is easy: we can't see Him and the world around us is indifferent, or worse, downright hostile. When death strips us of these illusions, I am totally sure that almost every soul which rejected God on earth will cry out for His mercy. Will He grant it then? I believe so, because otherwise He is like a silly school child who says, "yesterday you didn't want to be my friend, so today I don't want to be yours".

I'm not sure the situation is a simple as that.


quote:
Originally posted by PaulTH*:
Your name Joyfulsoul is intriguing. If you believe that most of creation is going to hell, there won't be much joy in your soul then.

I probably ask every single week why God gave us the ability to hurt one another. Why? What purpose does it serve to see a young child unable to sleep because of re-occuring nightmares regarding sexual molestation? Why is the purpose of The Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda - where they recruit children and sexually abuse them and then train them to shoot their parents? What's up with the holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition?

And while we're on the topic of pain, anquish, and sorrow - what's up with cancer? And AIDs - that horrible demon that strips man's soul and body? And what about the natural disasters like the hurricanes and the horrible tsunami that devasted Asia?

I ask (myself, God, and whatever unfortunate soul is around me) with all this hell on earth, why do we need a hell after life?

PaulTH*, most of creation (now and prior generations) has or are experiencing hell* right now. Should I change my name because of this? Should I even ever smile again because of what I know, what I have seen, and because of what true horrors will follow on earth long after I am dead?


*Not refering to the literal place but general true tragedies of life

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Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:
Hypothetically, there might be people who will chose to live in the hereafter apart from God's presence. However, at some point they may change their mind and decide instead to rejoin others in the presence of God. No matter what they had done or how they had rebelled - both in their life on earth and their continued existence apart from God's presence, God's grace is so that he would allow them to leave hell and rejoin him in heaven?

If this is what you are saying...I still disagree.

Your God is a harsh one.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Your God appears to be saying, "You humans forgive others 70x7. Do as I say, not as I do."

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Your God appears to be saying, "You humans forgive others 70x7. Do as I say, not as I do."

Maybe earth is the place where we can make meaningful choices though.

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[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Your God appears to be saying, "You humans forgive others 70x7. Do as I say, not as I do."

Maybe earth is the place where we can make meaningful choices though.
Your example allowed for the idea that this was not the case, and yet God still wouldn't forgive.

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:
Hypothetically, there might be people who will chose to live in the hereafter apart from God's presence. However, at some point they may change their mind and decide instead to rejoin others in the presence of God. No matter what they had done or how they had rebelled - both in their life on earth and their continued existence apart from God's presence, God's grace is so that he would allow them to leave hell and rejoin him in heaven?

If this is what you are saying...I still disagree.

Your God is a harsh one.
Why is it problematic to say that the choices we make on earth are meaningful and significant?

--------------------
[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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That's not what you said. You said even if we could make choices after death, God would not forgive.

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Your God appears to be saying, "You humans forgive others 70x7. Do as I say, not as I do."

Maybe earth is the place where we can make meaningful choices though.
Your example allowed for the idea that this was not the case, and yet God still wouldn't forgive.
Hmm. I don't know if we could repent hell - that was Professor Kirke's illustration. (mommy, he started it!) Honestly, I wish it were the case that we could repent in hell. Maybe it is. Or maybe hell doesn't exist. For me, looking at the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus told by Jesus doesn't indicate the possibility of repentence in hell. The story has a great ending for Lazarus but a very sad ending for the Rich Man. Maybe Jesus didn't finish the story?

--------------------
[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Besides "meaningful and significant" isn't accurate. Your point would rather be that the decisions made in this lifetime are "final and irrevocable."

If we had sufficient data upon which to make such eternity-affecting choices, that might be fair and fine. But the data is far from complete, and even if it were complete, there are factors which make the decision nearly impossible to make, factors quite out of the control of the person who has to make the decision. It's a harsh God that would insist on a correct decision under such circumstances and reject anybody who chose incorrectly.

[sorry for the cross-post!]

[ 13. November 2005, 03:24: Message edited by: Mousethief ]

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
That's not what you said. You said even if we could make choices after death, God would not forgive.

Ah, I see what you are saying. Yeah, I guess that's the problem. I don't know if we can make choices after death.

--------------------
[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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Jerry Boam
Shipmate
# 4551

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I know that it has been removed from one of the creeds that the UMC uses, but isn't there a tradition about Christ descending into hell? The harrowing of hell?

I am not at all familiar with the issues around this idea, but I took it as a way of saying that the salvation offered by God in the person of Christ transcends death--that people who were not saved in this life still have the option to accept the salvation that God desires for them.

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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I want to know who made death and hell bigger than divine love?

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Besides "meaningful and significant" isn't accurate. Your point would rather be that the decisions made in this lifetime are "final and irrevocable."

If we had sufficient data upon which to make such eternity-affecting choices, that might be fair and fine. But the data is far from complete, and even if it were complete, there are factors which make the decision nearly impossible to make, factors quite out of the control of the person who has to make the decision. It's a harsh God that would insist on a correct decision under such circumstances and reject anybody who chose incorrectly.

[sorry for the cross-post!]

That's a good point. If God is just and merciful, why would S/he act harshly - and in a way seemingly unfairly?

--------------------
[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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mousethief

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# 953

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Cool! We agree!

(I was afraid you'd gone to bed and weren't going to answer until tomorrow!)

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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I'm not a universalist. But I also believe that God is both loving and just and would never sentence someone to eternal damnation unless they had as you said "sufficient data upon which to make such eternity-affecting choices." I believe that beings (both human, angelic) have those opportunities but still chose to reject God (hence Satan). I guess still believe that if there's a hell, some people will end up in there.


[bed - this early on a saturday... what about my social life? [Ultra confused] [Paranoid] ]

[ 13. November 2005, 03:46: Message edited by: Joyfulsoul ]

--------------------
[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I believe that there's a hell and some people MAY end up there, if in fact they insist on rejecting God even when given all the info they need to make the decision. I hope and pray nobody ends up there, and nobody makes that decision -- but it is still a very live possibility. So I'm not exactly a universalist, and not exactly a non-universalist. I'm a wishy-washy universalist wannabe.

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Jason™

Host emeritus
# 9037

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
I'm not exactly a universalist, and not exactly a non-universalist. I'm a wishy-washy universalist wannabe.

Oh can I be one of those too?!

-Digory

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Send me $10 and five boxtops from any "Quaker Oats" products, Digory.

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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Oh, great. Now MT is selling Universalist indulgences.

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Jason™

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# 9037

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Too late. Royalties will come as we go along.
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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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No, Universalist-Wannabe Indulgences. Try to keep up.

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Jason™

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# 9037

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quote:
Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:
Its kind of like if people do drugs - sure they may repent of it and stop doing drugs - but the affects of the drugs such as infertility, broken memory, episodes and some mental issues will remain because of those choices. What I'm trying to say (with this very poor analogy) is that our actions are meaningful and sometimes we have to live with the consequences of our choices. I think we should strive to live meaningfully and thoughtfully because we don't know if we get another chance to do so.

I am quite confident that you didn't mean this, but this line of thinking poses us that have "chosen God" as being better than those who do not, since their consequences are MUCH worse than ours.

quote:
I don't think it is always the case that some people reject God because of incomplete knowledge. Satan himself was in the presence and glory of God and still rejected him. Adam and Eve knew the friendship of God and yet chose to distrust God.
Do you know that Satan had a complete understanding of God? Or Adam and Eve?

Also, disobeying God is not the same as rejecting him or choosing Hell, in my opinion.

-Digory

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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quote:
Originally posted by professorkirke:
quote:
Originally posted by Joyfulsoul:
Its kind of like if people do drugs - sure they may repent of it and stop doing drugs - but the affects of the drugs such as infertility, broken memory, episodes and some mental issues will remain because of those choices. What I'm trying to say (with this very poor analogy) is that our actions are meaningful and sometimes we have to live with the consequences of our choices. I think we should strive to live meaningfully and thoughtfully because we don't know if we get another chance to do so.

I am quite confident that you didn't mean this, but this line of thinking poses us that have "chosen God" as being better than those who do not, since their consequences are MUCH worse than ours.
How would you make that conclusion? Maybe I am an exception, but I really don't see myself as better anyone else - no matter what they chose regarding God. I see myself and everyone else (whether they call themselves Martian or Muslim or Hindu or Christian or Atheist or Blue-Mooneys) as intrinsically beautiful and marvelous because we have a divine reflection in us. I guess its all that dogmatic evangelical propaganda that got stuffed down my throat in my youth about being made in the image of God.

quote:
Originally posted by professorkirke:
quote:
I don't think it is always the case that some people reject God because of incomplete knowledge. Satan himself was in the presence and glory of God and still rejected him. Adam and Eve knew the friendship of God and yet chose to distrust God.

Do you know that Satan had a complete understanding of God? Or Adam and Eve?
I don't know - I wasn't there. But what I have read/heard is that Satan was in God's presence, in his glory, in heaven. And still chose otherwise. I don't think there's more I could say about Adam and Eve.

quote:
Originally posted by professorkirke:
[QUOTE]
Also, disobeying God is not the same as rejecting him or choosing Hell, in my opinion.

-Digory

Also, it was IMO, clearly explained that choosing to eat the forbidden fruit would result in death. I don't see a distinction in this case between disobeying and rejection. I would say that both happened.

--------------------
[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
No, Universalist-Wannabe Indulgences. Try to keep up.

I'm not sure I want to keep up. Don't try to impress me with your oh-so-accommodating post-modern Universalist-Wannabe profiteering business plan.

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I don't want to impress you. I want to fleece you.

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universalist
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# 10318

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"All people are condemned (judged)unto salvation" Oswald Chambers. Karl Barth and George MacDonald also held to the more hopeful gospel that God saves all. Such hope can be found in the writings of Eugene Peterson and others. Such is what some have called God's "irresistable grace."

But what cinches it for me, is the human experience of "falling in love."

When I fell in love with my wife, i was hooked for life. By "seeing" her, her lovely personality and presence, she was unconciously "making me an offer i couldn't refuse." Did she defeat my "free will"? Of course not. I was fully engaged in my choice.

Those who would temporarily reject God, simply have not "seen" Him yet. No person can see God and live, so says the Bible. Meaning, when we finally see God, all our old images of Him "die" and we are resurrected into a new life involving more hopeful images of Him and His power to save. Dead forever are the old doctrines of loss.

For some, maybe most, the opportunity to finally see God may not occur until the next life (who says God can't save then?) Some in this life who "refuse" God, are only refusing distorted images of Himself as projected by the fundamentalist part of the church. God is faithful when we are faithless. He will make sure that ALL will eventually "see" him, and thereby, inexorably "fall in love" with Himself.

Bob (www.godquest.org)

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Niënna

Ship's Lotus Blossom
# 4652

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Welcome, universalist. Thanks for posting here!

--------------------
[Nino points a gun at Chiki]
Nino: Now... tell me. Who started the war?
Chiki: [long pause] We did.
~No Man's Land

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by universalist:
For some, maybe most, the opportunity to finally see God may not occur until the next life (who says God can't save then?)

Augustine. Don't it figure?

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