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#1    Wootloops

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 07:32 AM

Hello religious people. As you know, there are a lot of heathens out there. All of which, according to most mainstream religions and religious interpretations, will suffer eternally for our insufferable misgivings. Help us come to the light then eh? Surely, because your religion is the absolute objective truth of existence and reality, the correctness of your religion should be obvious to all.

Please now, show us how your religion is the truth. What evidence do you have to show? How do you know that your religion is true? Though, rather than how you know, the question should be how should we know? Personal experience and emotional appeal mean nothing to people who have not experienced them. If your religion is really true, then there must be something more, more than faith.

You can tell me to have faith, and maybe I would try it, and maybe I would feel God, and then believe your religion to be true. But...what happens when I look across the world at other religions, and examine their stories of faith, which are just as genuine as yours and mine. What do I have to say to that? What do you have to say to that? Your phenomenon of faith is found in just about every religion in the world other than yours. So faith then, means nothing, and should play no part in the decision to hold a religion as absolute truth.

Oh but maybe, with that faith, God will give me an experience of him. A voice maybe, a weird unexplainable feeling, a vision; who knows? This should surely convince me, how could it not right? Well, again, what happens when I just look around; look around at all the other religions and faiths. They all have personal experiences as well, some perhaps, even more profound than yours or mine. There will always be someone who has a more fantastical story than you. What do I say to this? What do you? So really, given that this is absolute truth we're talking about, and the fate of our souls, we really can't gamble on personal experiences either.

What's left? What's left without faith and without personal experience? There has to be something. I really hope that God wouldn't just rest the fate of our souls on faith and personal experience, which are universal throughout the scope of world religions.

This is serious. Not only for me, but for you. Only one religion can be right, if any, and you better hope it is yours. And you better have some damn good reasons for thinking you are right, and you better be willing to share those reasons and evidences, or else you'd be indirectly damning billions of human souls to eternal torture and suffering and shame. The stakes are high, and this is no laughing matter.

Save all of humanity, and prove your religion. If you can't, then what the hell are you doing believing it? Because, as I've explained, your personal experience and faith are far from good enough in determining absolute truth, and the final fate of your everlasting soul.

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#2    Cadetak

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 08:35 AM

You can't prove personal experience...because it's personal, if it was meant for everyone then it wouldn't be very personal now would it?

You can't prove the spiritual through physical means. That's like trying to count by using letters.

If there were proof there would be no faith.



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#3    Wootloops

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:04 AM

Cadetak on Nov 1 2008, 03:35 AM, said:

You can't prove personal experience...because it's personal, if it was meant for everyone then it wouldn't be very personal now would it?

You can't prove the spiritual through physical means. That's like trying to count by using letters.

If there were proof there would be no faith.

Indeed, and surely, given that our souls rest on whether or not we believe, we should be provided with sufficient and religiously unique evidence for the validity of the one true faith.

Obviously in these thousands of years, such evidence has never been produced (Unless someone can throw it on to the table right here and now.), and that's my point. Maybe something will click in someone's head, and they will realize the error in their truly insufficiently evidenced beliefs.

I'd love to hear how people rationalize faith and personal experience as being enough to convince themselves beyond all shadow of a doubt. If that is truly enough, then I would argue morally. How do you follow a God who will damn all those who disbelieve, but is absolutely unable, or just flat refuses, to produce the sufficient publically available evidence to prove himself. All those billions of people who grow up Muslim or Christian or whatever on the basis of the same amount of evidence that the person believing they will go to Hell believes on, will suffer eternally? There is no excuse for thinking this to be okay, and the very idea is blatantly immoral.

Belief is not on sufficient grounds, and believing is on immoral grounds. Explain how I am wrong.

Edited by Wootloops, 01 November 2008 - 09:10 AM.

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#4    Godsnmbr1

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:29 AM

I like how you say "most mainstream religions" when it's clear you're talking almost entirely about Christianity, and really only Catholic Christianity at that.  If a particular religion doesn't make sense to you, don't waste your time with it.  There's an incredibly vast amount of spiritual knowledge out there in the world and all you have to do is keep looking until you find something that resonates with you.   The most important thing you need to remember though is that God does not exist within the confines of a book, whether it's the Book of Mormon, the Quran, or even the Bible.  If something doesn't make sense to you, like God punishing people for all of eternity for instance, just keep looking until you find a viewpoint that does.

Remember, we are all just acting out a grand old game here, where we agree to forget who we really are, that in the remembering, that we may find each other again, and know that we are One. That All of Life, is One.

#5    Wootloops

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:42 AM

Godsnmbr1 on Nov 1 2008, 04:29 AM, said:

I like how you say "most mainstream religions" when it's clear you're talking almost entirely about Christianity, and really only Catholic Christianity at that.

Are you telling me that the most of the mainstream religions in the world do not contain the teachings of eternal damnation? Please, enlighten me.

Godsnmbr1 on Nov 1 2008, 04:29 AM, said:

If a particular religion doesn't make sense to you, don't waste your time with it.

Me wasting my time on it is irrelevant to the argument itself. And besides, I will waste my time on it when people like Sarah Palin are on the ticket for the Vice President of the United States.

Godsnmbr1 on Nov 1 2008, 04:29 AM, said:

There's an incredibly vast amount of spiritual knowledge out there in the world and all you have to do is keep looking until you find something that resonates with you. The most important thing you need to remember though is that God does not exist within the confines of a book, whether it's the Book of Mormon, the Quran, or even the Bible.  If something doesn't make sense to you, like God punishing people for all of eternity for instance, just keep looking until you find a viewpoint that does.

There's a vast amount of spiritual rhetoric and claims, just about all based on an absent foundation of evidence. People should not be shifting through old texts, and reading up on all the religions, and then clump whichever pieces they like together and create an entirely new baseless belief from the baseless beliefs they searches through. That's not only a dead end, but dangerous, because the religions of today may have just come about that way. Rather, people should follow the evidence.

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#6    eight bits

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 09:46 AM

Quote

Save all of humanity, and prove your religion. If you can't, then what the hell are you doing believing it?

It is routine in all other fields of argument that the case which persuades the advocate need not persuade anyone else. On many questions, the advocate will find no shortage of "anyone elses" who are simply unpersuadable.

Neither is a reason to abandon one's own conclusion.

Conversely, success at persuading others is simply not a reliable indicator of correctness of view. In fact, mistaking the one for the other can be dangerous. For example, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke enjoyed tremendous succes at persuading others that they knew what they were doing. Look where that got us.

While it is doubtless annoying to discover that not only do others disagree with us, but do so on bases which impress us as flighty, any quiet confidence that results from that is unfounded. Faulty logic detected, so to speak.

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#7    Wootloops

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 10:03 AM

eight bits on Nov 1 2008, 04:46 AM, said:

It is routine in all other fields of argument that the case which persuades the advocate need not persuade anyone else. On many questions, the advocate will find no shortage of "anyone elses" who are simply unpersuadable.

Neither is a reason to abandon one's own conclusion.

Conversely, success at persuading others is simply not a reliable indicator of correctness of view. In fact, mistaking the one for the other can be dangerous. For example, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke enjoyed tremendous succes at persuading others that they knew what they were doing. Look where that got us.

While it is doubtless annoying to discover that not only do others disagree with us, but do so on bases which impress us as flighty, any quiet confidence that results from that is unfounded. Faulty logic detected, so to speak.

Yes, but the reason I ask why they would still believe it is because I have explained why belief on the basis of faith and personal experience should be insufficient, especially considering the extraordinary claims we are dealing with; IE the objective truth of reality, and God's existence, and his judgement of eternal damnation after death to those who disbelieve in him.

If my reasoning is wrong, and faith and personal experience should be sufficient, then please, someone explain to me their reasoning.

Edited by Wootloops, 01 November 2008 - 10:13 AM.

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#8    Karlis

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 10:16 AM

Wootloops on Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM, said:

Hello religious people. As you know, there are a lot of heathens out there. All of which, according to most mainstream religions and religious interpretations, will suffer eternally for our insufferable misgivings.
Hello Wootloops -- That is a common teaching in Christian denominations – but it is not a biblical teaching. You probably will find this hard to accept, but the Bible teaches that the majority of humanity will remain “unbelievers” till the next coming of Jesus the Christ; and even after Jesus does come to rule this planet from Jerusalem, it will be quite some time before humanity will accept and believe God’s teachings.

Wootloops on Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM, said:

Help us come to the light then eh? Surely, because your religion is the absolute objective truth of existence and reality, the correctness of your religion should be obvious to all.
Not so. According to the Bible, the world’s population has been blinded to the Truth by the god of this world. You may not believe it – and this may sound paradoxical -- but all of that is part and parcel of God’s plan of salvation for Mankind.

Oh, and by the way --you may or may not know what "salvation" is, according to the Bible
According to Scriptures, salvation literally means being saved; in this instance it means being saved from eternal death. More on that later, if you are interested.

Wootloops on Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM, said:

Please now, show us how your religion is the truth.
What evidence do you have to show? How do you know that your religion is true?
I guess you could say that I know that through trust and faith in God.

Wootloops on Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM, said:

Though, rather than how you know, the question should be how should we know?
Personal experience and emotional appeal mean nothing to people who have not experienced them.
If your religion is really true, then there must be something more, more than faith.
You can tell me to have faith, and maybe I would try it, and maybe I would feel God, and then believe your religion to be true.
Sorry, but it does not work quite like that.

Wootloops on Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM, said:

But...what happens when I look across the world at other religions, and examine their stories of faith, which are just as genuine as yours and mine. What do I have to say to that?
You can say whatever in your world-view is true to you, Wootloops. However, you would only “know” if God the Father were to instill that knowledge into your mind.

What do I have to say to that? I say that there is only one way, and that is through Jesus the Christ. I know you do not accept that, but you did ask.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your phenomenon of faith is found in just about every religion in the world other than yours.
Not true. Only in the Bible will one find the knowledge that every human being who ever lived has the capacity to become an immortal family member in the Family of God.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So faith then, means nothing, and should play no part in the decision to hold a religion as absolute truth.
Unless you come to know about faith as it pertains to the Bible, then you are right. Does th following sound familiar?
Rom 4:3  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 4:4  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things we hope for, the certainty of things we cannot see.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Oh but maybe, with that faith, God will give me an experience of him. A voice maybe, a weird unexplainable feeling, a vision; who knows? This should surely convince me, how could it not right?
Sorry, but God does not seem to work that way, for reasons known only to God.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, again, what happens when I just look around; look around at all the other religions and faiths. They all have personal experiences as well, some perhaps, even more profound than yours or mine. There will always be someone who has a more fantastical story than you. What do I say to this?
You can say whatever seems true to you, I guess.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What do you?
I’m replying to your post - - so I guess you will read what I say.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So really, given that this is absolute truth we're talking about, and the fate of our souls, we really can't gamble on personal experiences either.
True.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What's left? What's left without faith and without personal experience? There has to be something. I really hope that God wouldn't just rest the fate of our souls on faith and personal experience, which are universal throughout the scope of world religions.
Seeing that you underestimate faith so greatly, I will copy-paste parts of  chapter eleven from Hebrews. If that is of some help, well and good; if it does not help, I can’t help further.
Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2  For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is serious. Not only for me, but for you. Only one religion can be right, if any, and you better hope it is yours. And you better have some damn good reasons for thinking you are right, and you better be willing to share those reasons and evidences, or else you'd be indirectly damning billions of human souls to eternal torture and suffering and shame. The stakes are high, and this is no laughing matter.
Yes, this “is” serious – but do you realise that you are wrong about billions of human souls being damned to eternal torture?
*First, the Bible does not teach eternal torture – only a second, eternal death for some.

*Secondly, the Bible does not teach that humans have immortal souls – simply that humans have the potential of receiving the gift of immortality as spirit children of God.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Save all of humanity, and prove your religion.
That’s God’s job, not mine.

QUOTE (Wootloops @ Nov 1 2008, 06:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you can't, then what the hell are you doing believing it? Because, as I've explained, your personal experience and faith are far from good enough in determining absolute truth, and the final fate of your everlasting soul.
On a closing note Wootloops -- why do you keep insisting that humans have an everlasting soul? The Bible teaches that only God the Father has immortality, and that humans can receive the gift of immortality.

Regards,
Karlis


#9    Wootloops

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 11:06 AM

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM, said:

Hello Wootloops -- That is a common teaching in Christian denominations – but it is not a biblical teaching. You probably will find this hard to accept, but the Bible teaches that the majority of humanity will remain “unbelievers” till the next coming of Jesus the Christ; and even after Jesus does come to rule this planet from Jerusalem, it will be quite some time before humanity will accept and believe God’s teachings.

Well then, I guess it will be fine in the end, at least for the people who are there for Jesus's second coming. This whole idea is not too fair to the billions of people who have died already, and the more who will die before Jesus comes back, now is it?

Unless of course, you believe that the dead will rise again to have a chance to see Jesus on Earth and accept him, or something.

And really, couldn't God have just finished this a couple thousand years ago? Why the drag out? His amusement maybe? Well whatever, that's irrelevant.

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM, said:

Not so. According to the Bible, the world’s population has been blinded to the Truth by the god of this world. You may not believe it – and this may sound paradoxical -- but all of that is part and parcel of God’s plan of salvation for Mankind.

Oh, and by the way --you may or may not know what "salvation" is, according to the Bible
According to Scriptures, salvation literally means being saved; in this instance it means being saved from eternal death. More on that later, if you are interested.

Again, this is all a bit dramatic, a bit like a fantasy story if you know what I mean. Why does God need a plan for salvation? He could just snap his imaginary fingers and everything would be okay.

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM, said:

I guess you could say that I know that through trust and faith in God.

Mhm. And so do the Muslims, and so do all of those thousands of denominations of Christianity that you don't belong to. They are just as sure as you.

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM, said:

Sorry, but it does not work quite like that.

Yeah, because apparently God blinded me.

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM, said:

You can say whatever in your world-view is true to you, Wootloops. However, you would only “know” if God the Father were to instill that knowledge into your mind.

What do I have to say to that? I say that there is only one way, and that is through Jesus the Christ. I know you do not accept that, but you did ask.

And the Muslims and the Hindus and the african tribal religions say otherwise, on the same certaintly, and with the same lack of evidence.

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not true. Only in the Bible will one find the knowledge that every human being who ever lived has the capacity to become an immortal family member in the Family of God.

Then why do the Muslims, Jews, and all the other denominations of Christianity say that they have faith as well? Are they lying? I don't think so.

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Unless you come to know about faith as it pertains to the Bible, then you are right. Does th following sound familiar?
Rom 4:3  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 4:4  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things we hope for, the certainty of things we cannot see.

Faith is to believe without evidence. You read what the Bible says about faith, and you believe what it says. That's very faithful of you.

Additionally, you are trying to explain what faith actually is, with the thing you have faith in. That is what is called circular logic.

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry, but God does not seem to work that way, for reasons known only to God.

Oh but it seems he does. People claim to hear the voice of God, to have visions of him, to see angels. There stories are plentiful.

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You can say whatever seems true to you, I guess.

I say that because all of the people of other faiths have personal experiences as well, that I should not count mine towards the validity of my religion, as the personal experiences are likely to be a separate phenomenon.

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Seeing that you underestimate faith so greatly, I will copy-paste parts of  chapter eleven from Hebrews. If that is of some help, well and good; if it does not help, I can’t help further.
Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2  For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Heb 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

So basically, if you have faith in God, he will give you evidence that you cannot see, and if you don't have faith in him, he will be mad at you.

Okay so since you have faith, you should have this secret evidence right? Can you share it? If you know it, then you should be able to convey it in some means.

Or is this unseen evidence, just, baseless certainty?

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, this “is” serious – but do you realise that you are wrong about billions of human souls being damned to eternal torture?
*First, the Bible does not teach eternal torture – only a second, eternal death for some.

*Secondly, the Bible does not teach that humans have immortal souls – simply that humans have the potential of receiving the gift of immortality as spirit children of God.

That may be so, or that may just be your interpretation of the Bible. Regardless, in this interpretation, the message is not believe in me or burn, but, believe in me or die. That's a step up in my opinion, but still horribly immoral.

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That’s God’s job, not mine.

Well, God isn't doing much so maybe you should pick up the slack for him.

QUOTE (Karlis @ Nov 1 2008, 05:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On a closing note Wootloops -- why do you keep insisting that humans have an everlasting soul? The Bible teaches that only God the Father has immortality, and that humans can receive the gift of immortality.

Regards,
Karlis

Because most people who believe, believe in eternal souls. You don't, and that's all good and well, but I would say that the way your god goes about picking and choosing who lives and dies, is simply unethical.

He has the power to let every single person that has ever existed, and every single animal that has ever existed, to live in harmony for all of eternity, and he chooses not to let it happen. Instead, this God created faulty beings to run around on Earth in some spiritual arena to fight for a place in Heaven. He has also intentionally handicapped a large part of the human race by blinding them from the truth. This is a benevolent God?

You are absolutely certain that you are correct, because you have faith in your God. Well just a reminder, but, the believers in all of the other denominations of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. are just as certain, on the same basis of faith. This should shake your faith, but it doesn't, because you are absolutely certain, and so is everyone else. You should think about that.

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#10    Karlis

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 12:33 PM

[quote name='Wootloops' date='Nov 1 2008, 10:06 PM' post='2584551']
Hello Wootloops – I wrote … the Bible teaches that the majority of humanity will remain “unbelievers” till the next coming of Jesus the Christ; and even after Jesus does come to rule this planet from Jerusalem, it will be quite some time before humanity will accept and believe God’s teachings.

You replied:
Well then, I guess it will be fine in the end, at least for the people who are there for Jesus's second coming. This whole idea is not too fair to the billions of people who have died already, and the more who will die before Jesus comes back, now is it?

Unless of course, you believe that the dead will rise again to have a chance to see Jesus on Earth and accept him, or something.

And really, couldn't God have just finished this a couple thousand years ago? Why the drag out? His amusement maybe? Well whatever, that's irrelevant.

***My reply:
You raise three points here. So, to take them in turn:
According to the Bible, at Jesus’ return, those who are living and have the Spirit of God within them will be resurrected as immortal spirit beings. They will descend on the Mount of Olives and will rule the nations of Planet earth for 1,000 years. By the way, this Scripture is where the idea of “the rapture” has its source (a mixed-up doctrine from the 1830s)

The people who do not have the Spirit of God within them will live out their lives, and will have the opportunity to learn God’s truths without Satan’s influence over them.

The billions who died before that time, will be resurrected as mortal humans after a thousand years, and then they – for the first time in their lives – will have the opportunity to receive God’s Spirit through faith.

Why drag this out? I don’t know – unless it is the way God has decided to build Godly character in every individual, through the consequences of sin through personal experiences.



I wrote:
According to the Bible, the world’s population has been blinded to the Truth by the god of this world. You may not believe it – and this may sound paradoxical -- but all of that is part and parcel of God’s plan of salvation for Mankind.

Oh, and by the way --you may or may not know what "salvation" is, according to the Bible
According to Scriptures, salvation literally means being saved; in this instance it means being saved from eternal death. More on that later, if you are interested.

You replied:
Again, this is all a bit dramatic, a bit like a fantasy story if you know what I mean. Why does God need a plan for salvation? He could just snap his imaginary fingers and everything would be okay.

***My reply:
Yes, it is “fantastic”, is it not? As I wrote above, my guess is that God is in the process of building character through personal experiences. Why it is so, is not explained in the Bible.



I wrote:
I guess you could say that I know that through trust and faith in God.

You replied:
Mhm. And so do the Muslims, and so do all of those thousands of denominations of Christianity that you don't belong to. They are just as sure as you.

***My reply:
As I see it, all these folks probably sincerely believe what they believe, but are wrong, mislead by the god of this world.




You wrote:
Yeah, because apparently God blinded me.

***My reply:
According to the Bible people either willingly choose to believe what they want to believe; or God has not chosen to reveal the truth to them; or the god of this world has deceived them.




I wrote:
You can say whatever in your world-view is true to you, Wootloops. However, you would only “know” if God the Father were to instill that knowledge into your mind.

What do I have to say to that? I say that there is only one way, and that is through Jesus the Christ. I know you do not accept that, but you did ask.

You replied:
And the Muslims and the Hindus and the african tribal religions say otherwise, on the same certaintly, and with the same lack of evidence.

***My reply:
Yes, that could well be true.



I wrote:
Only in the Bible will one find the knowledge that every human being who ever lived has the capacity to become an immortal family member in the Family of God.

You replied by asking:
Then why do the Muslims, Jews, and all the other denominations of Christianity say that they have faith as well? Are they lying? I don't think so.

***My reply:
They are not lying -- they are simply wrong, according to the Bible.



I wrote:
Unless you come to know about faith as it pertains to the Bible, then you are right. Does th following sound familiar?
Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Heb 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things we hope for, the certainty of things we cannot see.

You replied:
Faith is to believe without evidence. You read what the Bible says about faith, and you believe what it says. That's very faithful of you.

Additionally, you are trying to explain what faith actually is, with the thing you have faith in. That is what is called circular logic.

***My reply:
Faith can not be explained to someone who does not have faith. All I can suggest is that you read chapter eleven of Hebrews in the Bible.



I wrote:
Sorry, but God does not seem to work that way, for reasons known only to God.

You replied:
Oh but it seems he does. People claim to hear the voice of God, to have visions of him, to see angels. There stories are plentiful.

I say that because all of the people of other faiths have personal experiences as well, that I should not count mine towards the validity of my religion, as the personal experiences are likely to be a separate phenomenon.

***My reply:
I can not speak for what others may believe.



I wrote:
Seeing that you underestimate faith so greatly, I will copy-paste parts of chapter eleven from Hebrews. If that is of some help, well and good; if it does not help, I can’t help further.
Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

You replied:
So basically, if you have faith in God, he will give you evidence that you cannot see, and if you don't have faith in him, he will be mad at you.

Okay so since you have faith, you should have this secret evidence right? Can you share it? If you know it, then you should be able to convey it in some means.

Or is this unseen evidence, just, baseless certainty?

***My reply:
If you have faith in God, you then trust God will do what God has promised through His prophets. You will not need any “tangible” evidence.

If you do not have faith, God will not be mad at you, nor will God punish you for not having faith.



I wrote:
… do you realise that you are wrong about billions of human souls being damned to eternal torture?
*First, the Bible does not teach eternal torture – only a second, eternal death for some.

*Secondly, the Bible does not teach that humans have immortal souls – simply that humans have the potential of receiving the gift of immortality as spirit children of God.

You replied:
That may be so, or that may just be your interpretation of the Bible. Regardless, in this interpretation, the message is not believe in me or burn, but, believe in me or die. That's a step up in my opinion, but still horribly immoral.

***My reply:
No Wootloops, it really is not, “believe in me or die” at all. The matter is quite different.

The second death (death for eternity) will be a result of choosing willingly to reject God and God’s teachings after God reveals that truth. That death will be instant and painless.



I wrote:
… why do you keep insisting that humans have an everlasting soul? The Bible teaches that only God the Father has immortality, and that humans can receive the gift of immortality.

You replied:
Because most people who believe, believe in eternal souls.

***My reply:
That is true – according to the Bible, the god of this world has deceived most people.



You wrote:
… I would say that the way your god goes about picking and choosing who lives and dies, is simply unethical.

He has the power to let every single person that has ever existed, and every single animal that has ever existed, to live in harmony for all of eternity, and he chooses not to let it happen. Instead, this God created faulty beings to run around on Earth in some spiritual arena to fight for a place in Heaven. …

***My reply:
The Bible does not promise heaven as an inheritance, but promises Planet Earth as an inheritance … plus the whole created universe, also.



You wrote:
He has also intentionally handicapped a large part of the human race by blinding them from the truth. This is a benevolent God?

***My reply:
That’s true, according to Scriptures. The point is that everyone who has ever lived will be given only one opportunity at choosing immortality – a small minority is given this choice in the time before Jesus’ return. The majority of humankind will have their turn after Christ’s next coming.



You wrote:
You are absolutely certain that you are correct, because you have faith in your God. Well just a reminder, but, the believers in all of the other denominations of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc. are just as certain, on the same basis of faith. This should shake your faith, but it doesn't, because you are absolutely certain, and so is everyone else. You should think about that.

***My reply:
If Jesus is the one and only Way, there is nothing to think about. But then, this “is” a weird world that we live in.

Regards,
Karlis


#11    Wootloops

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 12:52 PM

So in the end, according to how you see the Bible, everyone actually does get to see Jesus before they go "poof". Well I guess that's a bit more fair, albeit dragged out. Still immoral the way I see it, but that's really irrelevant.

But how do you know that you aren't the one being deceived by God? If he can deceive all of those people from all of those religions and religious denominations, then maybe you should be a bit skeptical about yourself. He could be deceiving you, unknowingly, just as he is doing it with them.

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#12    Karlis

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:06 PM

Wootloops on Nov 1 2008, 11:52 PM, said:

So in the end, according to how you see the Bible, everyone actually does get to see Jesus before they go "poof". Well I guess that's a bit more fair, albeit dragged out. Still immoral the way I see it, but that's really irrelevant.

But how do you know that you aren't the one being deceived by God? If he can deceive all of those people from all of those religions and religious denominations, then maybe you should be a bit skeptical about yourself. He could be deceiving you, unknowingly, just as he is doing it with them.
Hi Wootloops -- Yes, according to Scriptures, everyone (without exception) is to be given one chance at knowing the truth -- and then will either accept that in faith, or reject it.
Why is that immoral?

I think I may not have been very clear concerning "the god of this world deceiving the world".
That is a Scriptural reference to Satan, who is the god of this world:
2Co 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Regards,
Karlis


#13    Bender Rodríguez

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:14 PM

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 09:06 AM, said:

Hi Wootloops -- Yes, according to Scriptures, everyone (without exception) is to be given one chance at knowing the truth -- and then will either accept that in faith, or reject it.
Why is that immoral?

I think I may not have been very clear concerning "the god of this world deceiving the world".
That is a Scriptural reference to Satan, who is the god of this world:
2Co 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Regards,
Karlis


I've always wondered how people will defend this, so here it goes.

Why does Satan even exists? His sole purpose is to deceive people and then torture them. Why doesn't god stop the deception so people can come into religion without hesitation. Why would Lucifer be stupid enough to rebel against someone who is omnipotent? And why would god create Lucifer in the first place if he knew what a problem he would be?

Edited by Bender Rodríguez, 01 November 2008 - 07:53 PM.

"Oh... your... god!"

#14    Wootloops

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:29 PM

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 09:06 AM, said:

Hi Wootloops -- Yes, according to Scriptures, everyone (without exception) is to be given one chance at knowing the truth -- and then will either accept that in faith, or reject it.
Why is that immoral?

It is immoral because God created us knowing full well what we were going to do (Free will cannot exist because God is omniscient.), and so everyone that is not granted immortality was made to never be granted immortality. Not to mention the animals. God could have made everything perfect, and there would be no casualties, but he didn't, and that's what makes him immoral.

Karlis on Nov 1 2008, 09:06 AM, said:

I think I may not have been very clear concerning "the god of this world deceiving the world".
That is a Scriptural reference to Satan, who is the god of this world:
2Co 4:3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Regards,
Karlis


Oh, well still, how do you know that you are not being deceived by Satan?

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#15    Karlis

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Posted 01 November 2008 - 01:46 PM

Bender Rodríguez on Nov 2 2008, 12:14 AM, said:

I've always wondered how people will defend this, so here it goes.

Why does Satan even exists? His soul purpose is to deceive people and then torture them. Why doesn't god stop the deception so people can come into religion without hesitation. Why would Lucifer be stupid enough to rebel against someone who is omnipotent? And why would god create Lucifer in the first place if he knew what a problem he would be?
Hi Bender -- As far as I know, there are no clear statements in the Bible as to why God allowed a powerful spirit being, “Satan”, to come into existence.
In John_12:31, he is called “the prince of this world.”
In Ephesians_2:2, he is called “the prince of the power of the air.”

By the way, the Bible does not state that Lucifer is “Satan”. That is a rather dubious assumption that has been accepted by most “Christians”.

As I see it, God allowed Mankind to choose the path of sin against God, so that Man would be able to learn through real, practical experience that this would lead to the literal extinction of Mankind and all life on Planet Earth. And yes, that is in the New Testament:
Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: ...  

Demons, or evil spirits do exist; and they will be judged by Jesus the Christ and the resurrected saints.

Anyway, these are just a few quick disconnected comments to your post; not meant to be in-depth.

Regards
Karlis







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