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Is LITERAL Hellfire Torment A Bible Teaching?


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#1    Alter2Ego

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:07 PM

ALTER2EGO -to- EVERYONE:

The teaching of literal hellfire torment is commonplace in Christendom and non-Christian religions. This teaching defames the Creator and portrays him as a sadist who tortures people in flames of fire for all eternity—as punishment for wrongdoing committed during the relatively brief human lifespan. The hellfire dogma was brought into Christianity by the Roman Catholics who copied it from pagan religions. (Pagans are those who do not worship the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.)

The Bible makes it clear as to how God views the ritual burning of people. Jehovah ended up rejecting the ancient Israelites after they got involved with pagan worship, which included burning their children to death.


"And they [the Israelites/sons of Judah] have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, in order to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, a thing that I had not commanded and that HAD NOT COME UP INTO MY HEART." (Jeremiah 7:31)


The scriptures indicate that hell is nothing more than mankind’s common grave. Proof of this is provided by a verse of scripture in the Bible, which no hellfire-believing Christian can explain away. I’m referring to the scripture that says Jesus Christ--the epitome of a perfect, sinless, and obedient man--died and went to hell.

"{21} In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. {22} He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth." (1 Peter 2:21-22)


"He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that HIS SOUL WAS NOT LEFT IN HELL, neither his flesh did see corruption." (Acts 2:31--King James Version)




DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1.  Are there scriptures in the Bible to support the teaching of literal hellfire torment? If so, quote up to four (4) scriptures and include Bible book, chapter, and verse. Then bold or italicize or colorize the words within the quotations that you are focusing on, and explain why you believe the scriptures you present are talking about literal hellfire torment.


2.  According to Jeremiah 7:31, did Jehovah command the ancient Israelites to burn anyone in the fire?


3.  According to Jeremiah 7:31, did the burning of people come to God's heart?



4.  According to those who believe in literal hellfire torment, hell is a place for people who are wicked. So why did Jesus spend three days in hell, considering what's said at 1 Peter 2:22?


5.  If hell is a place of literal torment, why is it that the word "hell" also means "Sheol" and "Hades" and "the grave"?


6. When people are being tortured in hellfire, wouldn't they have to KNOW or be conscious/aware of the fact that they are being burned? I mean to say, what's the point of punishing people in hell if they aren't even aware?


7. Does the Bible teach that humans have an immortal soul that survives the death of the person so that the soul can then be burned in eternal flames? If so, please present scriptures to this effect to prove it, and follow the steps indicated at Question #1.


8. Those who believe in literal eternal torment say that the person's soul is being burned forever. What is the soul? Are animals souls also or is this only for humans?


"That people may know that you, whose name is JEHOVAH, you alone are the Most High over all the earth." (Psalms 83:18)

#2    freetoroam

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:28 PM

View PostAlter2Ego, on 24 November 2013 - 10:07 PM, said:



The Bible makes it clear as to how God views the ritual burning of people. Jehovah ended up rejecting the ancient Israelites after they got involved with pagan worship, which included burning their children to death.

Before you bring your  preaching on a forum i suggest you read up on Paganism.
You seem to have got confused or blinded with this:
Moloch, also rendered as Molech, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, Moloc, Melech, Milcom or Molcom (representing Semitic מלך m-l-k, a Semitic root meaning "king") is the name of an ancient Ammonite god.[1] Moloch worship was practiced by the Canaanites, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.
As a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites, Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by parents. Moloch figures in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of Leviticus as a form of idolatry (Leviticus 18:21: "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch"). In the Old Testament, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).
Moloch has been used figuratively in English literature from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) to Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" (1955), to refer to a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch

So before you slag off someone elses beliefs, provide a link to the particular bit you are referring to instead of insulting them all!

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#3    Alter2Ego

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 10:54 PM

View Postfreetoroam, on 24 November 2013 - 10:28 PM, said:

Before you bring your  preaching on a forum i suggest you read up on Paganism.
You seem to have got confused or blinded with this:
Moloch, also rendered as Molech, Molekh, Molok, Molek, Molock, Moloc, Melech, Milcom or Molcom (representing Semitic מלך m-l-k, a Semitic root meaning "king") is the name of an ancient Ammonite god.[1] Moloch worship was practiced by the Canaanites, Phoenician and related cultures in North Africa and the Levant.
As a god worshipped by the Phoenicians and Canaanites, Moloch had associations with a particular kind of propitiatory child sacrifice by parents. Moloch figures in the Book of Deuteronomy and in the Book of Leviticus as a form of idolatry (Leviticus 18:21: "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch"). In the Old Testament, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6).
Moloch has been used figuratively in English literature from John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) to Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" (1955), to refer to a person or thing demanding or requiring a very costly sacrifice.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moloch

So before you slag off someone elses beliefs, provide a link to the particular bit you are referring to instead of insulting them all!

ALTER2EGO -to- FREE TO ROAM:

In case you did not notice, I quoted scriptures in my OP and asked specific questions dealing with those scriptures.  As soon as you can find scriptures from God's inspired word, the Judeo-Christian Bible, to support Christendom's version of Dante's fictional hell, you will have made a point.  As of now, you have not made any.


BTW:  If you feel insulted by a thread that questions the false teaching of a sadistic Jehovah--on a debate forum where people routinely debate religious dogma--that is not my problem.  You know the saying: "if you can't stand the heat. . . ." (No pun intended.)

"That people may know that you, whose name is JEHOVAH, you alone are the Most High over all the earth." (Psalms 83:18)

#4    Jack Skellington

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 11:00 PM

I'm not a big Rob Bell fan by any means, but I do like the questions he poses about God, and the concept of hell in this short 3 minute video.



Edited by Jack Skellington, 24 November 2013 - 11:05 PM.

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#5    freetoroam

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:04 AM

View PostAlter2Ego, on 24 November 2013 - 10:54 PM, said:

ALTER2EGO -to- FREE TO ROAM:

In case you did not notice, I quoted scriptures in my OP and asked specific questions dealing with those scriptures.  As soon as you can find scriptures from God's inspired word, the Judeo-Christian Bible, to support Christendom's version of Dante's fictional hell, you will have made a point.  As of now, you have not made any.


BTW:  If you feel insulted by a thread that questions the false teaching of a sadistic Jehovah--on a debate forum where people routinely debate religious dogma--that is not my problem.  You know the saying: "if you can't stand the heat. . . ." (No pun intended.)
Quoted scriptures mean absolutely nothing to me.
I was referring to the part about Pagans, I certainly will not be looking for anything in the bible.
I have no problems with discussing others beliefs, but you should provide links to a specific part of a belief, because what you have stated there does not portray what Paganism is about and the way you have put is as if it is fact.
I will do what every Tombi, Dicra and Hamza does when they get offended...say something. If its good enough for them to play that card, then its good enough for me!<p>%2

In an ideal World a law would be passed were NO guns were allowed and all those out there destroyed, trouble is the law makers are not going to take a risk of trying to pass that without making sure they are armed first.

#6    Alter2Ego

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:27 AM

View Postfreetoroam, on 25 November 2013 - 12:04 AM, said:

Quoted scriptures mean absolutely nothing to me.
I was referring to the part about Pagans, I certainly will not be looking for anything in the bible.
I have no problems with discussing others beliefs, but you should provide links to a specific part of a belief, because what you have stated there does not portray what Paganism is about and the way you have put is as if it is fact.
I will do what every Tombi, Dicra and Hamza does when they get offended...say something. If its good enough for them to play that card, then its good enough for me!<p>%2

ALTER2EGO -to- FREE TO ROAM:

And therein lies the problem of all hellfire howlers and those who believe in a trinity god.  They do not care what the Bible says.  It is all about their traditions, about what they have chosen to believe.

In case you did not notice, the questions in my OP are based on scriptures.  If you cannot produce scriptures to confirm that Christendom's version of Dante's fictional hell is a Bible teaching, then we've nothing further to discuss.  If you write me anything else complaining about weblinks not being provided, do not hold your breath waiting for a response.  None will be forthcoming.

Start with your first four (4) verses of scriptures and explain to the forum why they are proof that literal hellfire torment is a Bible teaching.

Edited by Alter2Ego, 25 November 2013 - 12:29 AM.

"That people may know that you, whose name is JEHOVAH, you alone are the Most High over all the earth." (Psalms 83:18)

#7    Paranoid Android

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 12:36 AM

I wrote an essay on this topic a while back. Due to moving houses my PC is not connected, so I can't upload the document to this post. What I can do is paste the following link:

http://www.unexplain...9

To a post I made several months back before leaving Sydney. About a third of the way down there's a word document uploaded that is titled "the opposite of heaven", and outlines what I think is the biblical position on hellfire. Take 15 minutes to read it (3,500 words takes time) and I hope you enjoy it.

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#8    Jack Skellington

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:25 AM

How about you just summarize it?

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#9    DeWitz

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:32 AM

As often comes to pass in matter of Christian spirituality, tradition and theology within UM, PA has stolen my "fire and brimstone"--or thunder--as the case may be.

Well done essay, PA, and I recommend it to all who would care to compare and contrast the Biblical variations on the theme of hellfire/damnation, etc. (and heaven).

Freetoroam does us all a service by fleshing out how certain pre-Christian (ancient Near Eastern 'non-Hebrew') practices were experienced in the Old Testament. Part of Israel's history was a repeated return to the worship of foreign false gods in times of crisis, even to the extreme of emulating child sacrifice. No less can be said of the apostasy and "backsliding" of the Christian church universal, in different forms.Thanks for your references.

When dissecting the Judeo-Christian and early-to-medieval Christian threads of doctrine about hell and damnation, things get downright syncretistic.The ancient Hebrews believed in a realm of the dead called 'Sheol,' but it was not overtly connected with damnation. All the dead went there to exist in a vaporous, shadowy underground world. There are analogues in the ancient world, one being 'Hades,' the realm of the dead (run by the god "Hades"). Once the prophets reached distinction a sense of future judgment developed. However, even by Jesus' time, not all Jewish people believed in the resurrection or a final condemnation/damnation (Luke 20:27ff).

Within the New Testament we read of Sheol-like post-mortem places (the 'outer darkness' of Matthew 8:12; 23:13; 25:30) but with the added feature of punishment (Matt. 25:46). Just as Paul refines the concept of 'heaven' ("caught up in the third heaven," 2 Corinthians 12:2), the notion of the negative afterlife evolves. The Greek word translated as "hell" for us English speakers is derived from the Hebrew "gehinnom," the declivity outside Jerusalem's walls used as a refuse dump; also alleged to be the area of burnt offerings of children in certain OT times.By Revelation we are served the vision of a veritable "Lake of Fire" (Rev. 19:20; 20:10,14,15) which continues to this day to be a favorite of some Christians who think we need room (does the Lake have a bottom??). Hades and gehenna were brought into Anglo Saxon and Old English as "hel" or "hell," a nether-region of punishment and torment.For European Christianity the syncretism is complete in the early Dark Ages, coincidentally.

Nowadays, various theologians--professional and amateur--provide their own historical-cultural-linguistic veneer to develop a doctrine of what does--or does not--happen to those people identified as beyond salvation/deserving of damnation/however one parses it. We can say the same of any significant Christian tenet or doctrine (hence the multiplicity of Christian sects and denominations).

There is no rock-solid, incontrovertible meaning to "hell" or "damnation" in any one or many Biblical quotes. The Biblical witness conveys multiple possibilities which have nothing to do with endless torment or eternal combustion in a physical, sensate manner of speaking.

Edited by szentgyorgy, 25 November 2013 - 01:35 AM.

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#10    Paranoid Android

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:48 AM

View PostJack Skellington, on 25 November 2013 - 01:25 AM, said:

How about you just summarize it?
Summary - hell doesn't exist!

If you want more detail, read the essay. I can't simply summarise the translations of five Greek/Hebrew words, outline the 20+ times these words appear in the Bible, address the nature of salvation, , the history of church doctrine, and other Bible passages to make my point. I would think if you want to know a point of view you should know it in detail, not just a summary. It's not like I'm asking you to watch an hour-long video.

Edited by Paranoid Android, 25 November 2013 - 01:57 AM.

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#11    Jack Skellington

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:57 AM

View Postszentgyorgy, on 25 November 2013 - 01:32 AM, said:

As often comes to pass in matter of Christian spirituality, tradition and theology within UM, PA has stolen my "fire and brimstone"--or thunder--as the case may be.

Well done essay, PA, and I recommend it to all who would care to compare and contrast the Biblical variations on the theme of hellfire/damnation, etc. (and heaven).

Freetoroam does us all a service by fleshing out how certain pre-Christian (ancient Near Eastern 'non-Hebrew') practices were experienced in the Old Testament. Part of Israel's history was a repeated return to the worship of foreign false gods in times of crisis, even to the extreme of emulating child sacrifice. No less can be said of the apostasy and "backsliding" of the Christian church universal, in different forms.Thanks for your references.

When dissecting the Judeo-Christian and early-to-medieval Christian threads of doctrine about hell and damnation, things get downright syncretistic.The ancient Hebrews believed in a realm of the dead called 'Sheol,' but it was not overtly connected with damnation. All the dead went there to exist in a vaporous, shadowy underground world. There are analogues in the ancient world, one being 'Hades,' the realm of the dead (run by the god "Hades"). Once the prophets reached distinction a sense of future judgment developed. However, even by Jesus' time, not all Jewish people believed in the resurrection or a final condemnation/damnation (Luke 20:27ff).

Within the New Testament we read of Sheol-like post-mortem places (the 'outer darkness' of Matthew 8:12; 23:13; 25:30) but with the added feature of punishment (Matt. 25:46). Just as Paul refines the concept of 'heaven' ("caught up in the third heaven," 2 Corinthians 12:2), the notion of the negative afterlife evolves. The Greek word translated as "hell" for us English speakers is derived from the Hebrew "gehinnom," the declivity outside Jerusalem's walls used as a refuse dump; also alleged to be the area of burnt offerings of children in certain OT times.By Revelation we are served the vision of a veritable "Lake of Fire" (Rev. 19:20; 20:10,14,15) which continues to this day to be a favorite of some Christians who think we need room (does the Lake have a bottom??). Hades and gehenna were brought into Anglo Saxon and Old English as "hel" or "hell," a nether-region of punishment and torment.For European Christianity the syncretism is complete in the early Dark Ages, coincidentally.

Nowadays, various theologians--professional and amateur--provide their own historical-cultural-linguistic veneer to develop a doctrine of what does--or does not--happen to those people identified as beyond salvation/deserving of damnation/however one parses it. We can say the same of any significant Christian tenet or doctrine (hence the multiplicity of Christian sects and denominations).

There is no rock-solid, incontrovertible meaning to "hell" or "damnation" in any one or many Biblical quotes. The Biblical witness conveys multiple possibilities which have nothing to do with endless torment or eternal combustion in a physical, sensate manner of speaking.

Nice summary.




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#12    DeWitz

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:45 AM

Just for the record--I don't claim my post is equal to PA's essay, and I only skimmed his work and saw that we shared salience on some points. It is worth reading in its entirety. It's well done.

I was, rather superficially, calling attention to the plurality of ideas in scripture about hell/damnation.

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#13    joc

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 02:53 AM

View PostParanoid Android, on 25 November 2013 - 01:48 AM, said:

Summary - hell doesn't exist!

If you want more detail, read the essay. I can't simply summarise the translations of five Greek/Hebrew words, outline the 20+ times these words appear in the Bible, address the nature of salvation, , the history of church doctrine, and other Bible passages to make my point. I would think if you want to know a point of view you should know it in detail, not just a summary. It's not like I'm asking you to watch an hour-long video.
I haven't yet read your essay...but I will.  I am curious, because I don't know...what denomination are you affiliated with?  I ask because, in all of the First Baptist Churches that I have had the Enlightented Pleasure of experiencing...Hell is very real...a place you ARE going to burn in...forever...end of story Unless...you pray this prayer:  Jesus, please come into my life and forgive me of my sin.   Then, you are under the 'umbrella of grace' and you cannot undo what has been done...all the sinning in the world cannot undo the fact that you were forgiven for ALL of your sin, past, present and future.

So...I am guessing you are not a Baptist?

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#14    Jack Skellington

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 03:12 AM

It's amazing to see that while Jesus speaks directly about hell (with some 40+ references) you have little trouble understanding that he is speaking conceptually and not about a specific place, yet with no direct references whatsoever to a Triune God (One yet three) you imagine three distinct, united, but unequal entities???

What is amazing is the nonsense that folks can convince themselves of when they want to... Non sense.

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#15    Paranoid Android

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 07:39 AM

View Postjoc, on 25 November 2013 - 02:53 AM, said:


I haven't yet read your essay...but I will.  I am curious, because I don't know...what denomination are you affiliated with?  I ask because, in all of the First Baptist Churches that I have had the Enlightented Pleasure of experiencing...Hell is very real...a place you ARE going to burn in...forever...end of story Unless...you pray this prayer:  Jesus, please come into my life and forgive me of my sin.   Then, you are under the 'umbrella of grace' and you cannot undo what has been done...all the sinning in the world cannot undo the fact that you were forgiven for ALL of your sin, past, present and future.

So...I am guessing you are not a Baptist?
I am not affiliated with any denomination. I get my beliefs from the Bible, not an earthly organisation. I suppose if I were to categorise, I'd probably describe myself as a Bible-believing, conservative, evangelical, non-denominational protestant.

For what it's worth the last church I attended was Anglican. But I don't call myself "Anglican", only a follower of Christ - and that transcends doctrine, dogma, and denominational boundaries.

I hope you get a chance to read the essay. At the very least it opens the floor for you to different possibilities. Though just  clarify, in saying "hell does not exist" I'm not therefore arguing universal reconciliation (as some liberals do). The Bible does speak of an alternative to heaven, I just don't think "hell" is the correct term (hence the title if my essay - "The Opposite of Heaven".

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