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Roy Perry

do you believe the Torah and the Holy Bible

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Posted (edited)

Accepting everyone is not an agenda it is the second greatest commandment.

The second greatest commandment is "Love your neighbor as yourself." This does not in any way mean be a doormat to anyone and everyone, nor does it mean accept anything anyone does or says. Love often requires being the one to tell someone a hard truth. My wife, my parents and my best friends have been the only people who have ever called me on things I am doing or not doing. They did it because they love me. They did it despite the fact that it hurt me. They did it despite the fact that they knew I would get upset and might initially take it out on them. Why did they do this? Why were they the only ones who did this? Because they were the only ones who loved me enough to tell me what they knew I needed to be told and take the consequences.

If you think loving someone means accepting whatever they say or do, you have a very small concept of love.

However, love means you tell the hard truths in as gentle a way as possible; even if sometimes "gentle" takes on the "pull the band-aid quickly so the pain isn't dragged out" sort of way.

I do not go around telling people they are going to hell. I do not go around pointing out sins to strangers, I do not accost people in the street. In fact, outside of these forums, I rarely speak with people about religious/spiritual matters unless I have gotten to know them well, and even then it's usually only in response to a direct question from them.

Matthew 22:36-40.

One cannot love their neighbor if they believe their neighor is going to hell because they are on a different path.

This is something the church must reconcile when they are able to understand it. In time they too will grow.

Au contraire! One can most definitely love their neighbor and fear for their eternal situation.

Look, the fact that you have taken Biblical passages out of context is firmly laid out. The fact that you think your beliefs are important enough to justify taking verses out of context is of concern, since I am sure every other person who has taken Scripture out of context also thought it was the right thing to do, even if it led to terrible harm to many people throughout history.

The fact you want to believe everyone will find their path to heaven is your prerogative, and frankly, it sounds like you just want to be nice to everyone, which is great. I commend your intent.

Edited by IamsSon

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I do not believe these books to be what most do though in answering the original question yes they were holy inspired.They were inspired by a group of peoples god,not the only god or gods believed in at the time around the world.Man has written and re-written these books to the point from the original translation i hardly doubt is even close to the same book.I have nothing against christians or their beliefs as long as not trying to push them on me.My question to those who believe in these books,why and how do you believe in something that no one else around the world outside of one small group is the one and only?People around the world lived great lives,civilizations rose and fell,the sun came up and went down every day with only this tiny group of people ever hearing of him.How is he the one and only highest power when all of this went on without most of the world ever hearing about him until rome decided to take the religion for their own and spread it around?These books were also written by man,man is corrupt does anyone here ever question if man may have put some of his own ideas in there for his own purposes?

Not trying to offend anyone just a few thoughts.

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The heart of the matter is simply this, large segments of modern Christianity do not believe all paths lead to heaven, thus they believe if others believe differently than them they are going to hell, thus they reject others when the Bible (Romans 2:1) clearly says to knock it off.

This stupid belief has caused much harm in history.

I don't want to get into the middle of your debate, so I'm not going to ask you whether you see a difference between saying "not all paths lead to heaven" compared to "you are not going to heaven" (I see them as two different things altogether, one is Judging, one is not, as per Romans 2:1). Instead, I'd just like to ask you one simple question. From what I can tell you do identify yourself as "Christian", so with that in mind, do you believe Jesus died for your sins? That's the question I want to know, if your answer is yes, how do you square that with people of other faiths who have not accepted Jesus?

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Posted (edited)

The second greatest commandment is "Love your neighbor as yourself." This does not in any way mean be a doormat to anyone and everyone, nor does it mean accept anything anyone does or says.

Some Christians are so entrenched in doctrine they would view accepting others as being a doormat.

These Christians judge and condemn others from other paths that when they see Christians like myself accepting and open to those on other paths these Christians think it is a hostile action as if those from other paths are enemies.

The hostility is visible from them. That is not love.

It is a perversion on their part of love to view it as hostile. Love is accepting others as they are not as you want them to be.

I don't accept all some Christians do or say, you are right that to do so would not be love, such as your belief that there is only one true path and all others lead to hell, but I accept you as doing and believing the best you know how so you are not wrong especially since the Spirit operates within you as much as is possible but your view is responsible for many bad things that have and still happen.

Love often requires being the one to tell someone a hard truth. My wife, my parents and my best friends have been the only people who have ever called me on things I am doing or not doing. They did it because they love me. They did it despite the fact that it hurt me. They did it despite the fact that they knew I would get upset and might initially take it out on them. Why did they do this? Why were they the only ones who did this? Because they were the only ones who loved me enough to tell me what they knew I needed to be told and take the consequences.

You are not in any position to claim you love me, you are not telling me any hard truths, I am not hurt, upset, or wanting to take it out on you.

Your example is non sequitur since none of those things apply here.

If you think loving someone means accepting whatever they say or do, you have a very small concept of love.

In your view I am sure you see it that way. Love is not believing others are going to hell for disagreeing with your doctrine. It is not attempting to reprove others who think differently since your view is not superior to others even if you and your group think it is.

I accept your view as the best you can do for now but I won't adopt it. I accept your view even if it is the same view that harms others. I am not a doormat because I accept you. I do not accept all you do or say.

This is the second time you mention that. You really must believe it. I don't because their is vast nuance between accepting someone and accepting all they say or do.

My concept of love is small indeed, you are right, but not because of the reasons you stated.

Does it make you feel good to say such things? Do you believe your love for others is greater? Do you believe that your love is closer to perfection than mine? Do you believe yours is more Christ-like?

You must to call or insinuate my concept of love small.

I consider you a fellow Christian even if you do not.

However, love means you tell the hard truths in as gentle a way as possible; even if sometimes "gentle" takes on the "pull the band-aid quickly so the pain isn't dragged out" sort of way.

A simplistic view which again assumes you are in a superior position to decide who is right or wrong and who needs to be reproved or corrected except this is the job of the Spirit and I doubt you are capable of doing that job which is not yours to do.

And in your attempts to reprove it is your own intellect, will, and flesh that most comes to the fore.

The Spirit is operating still no doubt and through you as much as it possibly can but you are not Its official mouthpiece and won't be accepted as such or given that illusion here even if you attempt to maintain it.

I do not go aound telling people they are going to hell. I do not go around pointing out sins to strangers, I do not accost people in the street. In fact, outside of these forums, I rarely speak with people about religious/spiritual matters unless I have gotten to know them well, and even then it's usually only in response to a direct question from them.

This is commendable but I encourage you to take it a step further and do not even judge or condemn others in your own thought or actions.

You do exactly that when you believe so-and-so is on this path and that path leads to hell.

You don't have to say these things to others or out loud to still carry the same core beliefs as those who do. And as you continue to believe those on other paths are drinking posion or will go to hell for it then you are indeed judging and condeming even without accosting others. Your upheld doctrine licenses others to continue accosting and actually harming others as well.

Au contraire One can most definitely love their neighbor and fear for their eternal situation.

Except you are not authorized to judge and condemn others (Romans 2:1 again) and do not have an actual clue to anyone's eternal situation especially not through inference based on what path they are on.

Besides in this post I demonstrated how your version of love is perverted.

Try helping others in the here and now instead which would help more. Recall that is a mission and you simply thinking others are going to hell and acting or reacting on that belief is not a mission or works.

Look, the fact that you have taken Biblical passages out of context is firmly laid out. The fact that you think your beliefs are important enough to justify taking verses out of context is of concern, since I am sure every other person who has taken Scripture out of context also thought it was the right thing to do, even if it led to terrible harquote] to many people throughout history.

You are still discussing out-of-context but have demonstrated you have difficulties grasping verses and passages in-context just as when you claimed that verse in Romans 3 refuted the other 2 verses in Romans 2 (this was the specific example you gave).

The Spirit would have not got that wrong but you in your own intellect, will, and flesh did get that wrong.

The fact you want to believe everyone will find their path to heaven is your prerogative, and f rankly, it sounds like you just want to be nice to everyone, which is great. I commend your intent.

I never stated "everyone" will go to heaven just that others have as much as a chance as you regardless if they are an atheist, pagan, or on some other path.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

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Posted (edited)

I don't want to get into the middle of your debate, so I'm not going to ask you whether you see a difference between saying "not all paths lead to heaven" compared to "you are not going to heaven" (I see them as two different things altogether, one is Judging, one is not, as per Romans 2:1). Instead, I'd just like to ask you one simple question. From what I can tell you do identify yourself as "Christian", so with that in mind, do you believe Jesus died for your sins? That's the question I want to know, if your answer is yes, how do you square that with people of other faiths who have not accepted Jesus?

No worries since what you witnessed was not an actual debate, no winners or losers, and we were obviously discussing two different things without him ever acknowledging my points and me only addressing his out-of-context charges just once, so there was nothing to interrupt.

Now since you labeled it a debate you must have believed it was one and to insure myself that you just do not want to continue that perceived-on-your-part-debate or to augment it when you saw Iams perhaps was insufficient by not asking the questions you wanted asked, and since I am not willing to debate, will you instead have an even conversation with me and acknowledge and answer to the best of your ability my own questions that I have for you?

Or is this just one-sided?

Keep in mind too that Iams chose to ask me to expand my view most likely with a critical eye and whether you have one or not you are also asking me. I did not volunteer.

This is not something I just want to throw out and am even hesitant to respond feeling you want a debate and not a conversation.

You also said you had one question but I actually see two questions you have asked.

Now I have questions I would like to ask and you can answer now or after I respond if you commit yourself to answering them. If so let me know because I too am interested in discussing the topics I find relevant. I am prepared to answer you if you answer me, or tell me you will after I do, so go first or let me but if it is one-sided then there will be no continued discussion but that choice is yours.

Will you answer what you think about the goddess and those who follow her? Do you blaspheme her? Do you believe they are on a path to hell?

When it comes to the view that there is only one true path, and that view has been the source which has allowed so many others to suffer at the hands of those who believe that view, what are your thoughts on the harm that view has caused?

And most importantly how do you square away your belief that "not all paths lead to heaven" (and I am not discussing paths of violence or hate but other beliefs such as Buddhism, paganism, and atheism) without assuming those on those paths are also destined to not be permitted in heaven just based on their path?

That is judging and condemning even if you don't tell someone to their face they are going to hell you are operating on a script that thinks exactly that.

Elucidate if you wish or let me know your intent before I respond to your questions.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

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No worries since what you witnessed was not an actual debate, no winners or losers, and we were obviously discussing two different things without him ever acknowledging my points and me only addressing his out-of-context charges just once, so there was nothing to interrupt.

Now since you labeled it a debate you must have believed it was one and to insure myself that you just do not want to continue that perceived-on-your-part-debate or to augment it when you saw Iams perhaps was insufficient by not asking the questions you wanted asked, and since I am not willing to debate, will you instead have an even conversation with me and acknowledge and answer to the best of your ability my own questions that I have for you?

Or is this just one-sided?

Keep in mind too that Iams chose to ask me to expand my view most likely with a critical eye and whether you have one or not you are also asking me. I did not volunteer.

This is not something I just want to throw out and am even hesitant to respond feeling you want a debate and not a conversation.

I was sincerely only asking a simple question, I didn't expect multiple paragraphs questioning whether I was sincere or expected two-way debate. To allay your fears, I hate one-sided discussions, I've ended discussions myself with members in the past who refused to engage in two-way discussion with me. I wouldn't disrespect someone by doing the same to them as I hate being done to me.

You also said you had one question but I actually see two questions you have asked.

There was technically only one question, the second part of the comment was a clarification of the first, "if your answer is yes, then...". But if it works better to consider them two separate questions, then I amend my comment to include two questions, not just one.

Now I have questions I would like to ask and you can answer now or after I respond if you commit yourself to answering them. If so let me know because I too am interested in discussing the topics I find relevant. I am prepared to answer you if you answer me, or tell me you will after I do, so go first or let me but if it is one-sided then there will be no continued discussion but that choice is yours.

Will you answer what you think about the goddess and those who follow her? Do you blaspheme her? Do you believe they are on a path to hell?

When it comes to the view that there is only one true path, and that view has been the source which has allowed so many others to suffer at the hands of those who believe that view, what are your thoughts on the harm that view has caused?

And most importantly how do you square away your belief that "not all paths lead to heaven" (and I am not discussing paths of violence or hate but other beliefs such as Buddhism, paganism, and atheism) without assuming those on those paths are also destined to not be permitted in heaven just based on their path?

That is judging and condemning even if you don't tell someone to their face they are going to hell you are operating on a script that thinks exactly that.

Elucidate if you wish or let me know your intent before I respond to your questions.

Essentially, you seem to be asking me how I square away my beliefs in only one path, saying that if I don't accept all paths as equally valid then I'm "judging" others, and therefore going against the command to "Judge not, or you may be judged yourself". To answer I would contend your assertion that (to quote you) "that is judging and condemning even if you don't tell someone to their face". I believe this is a false statement. I think you have a misunderstanding of what it means to "judge" someone. To "judge" does not mean simply to hold an opinion on whether a path leads to heaven or not, but to actually condemn a person on that basis. I may believe that only through Christ can we be saved, but I will never judge another person for believing differently. Everyone makes their own choice, and I respect that choice.

Furthermore, the biblical understanding of judgement also has strong overtones of condemnation, and that is a matter of the heart. If I warn someone that their actions may lead to severe consequences then that is warning done out of love, if I say the exact same thing but with an intent to accuse and belittle and heap hatred on them, then that is condemnation. Let's say, for example, that I see someone I know taking cocaine or heroin. I could warn them that the path they are on is destructive and will lead to pain for them and their families. I am judging their actions in terms of deciding they are on a destructive path, but am I judging them in terms of condemning them? On the surface, no. But I might be, if I am doing it with hatred in my heart - "FINE, KEEP GOING THIS WAY, BEFORE LONG YOU'LL BE IN JAIL AND YOU NO LONGER DESERVE MY FRIENDSHIP, YOU ARE A BAD HUMAN BEING AND I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN".

The gist of my comment on their drug taking may be very similar, but the heart is what decides whether I am saying what I am saying in order to condemn or in order to help them. In short, and to get back to the question you asked, I totally disagree with your assertion that simply holding an opinion about other paths thus classifies me as one who judges. Jesus' warning to "Judge not, lest you be judged yourself" were in terms of condemnation - do not condemn another person, only God can do that. And I fully support that view, I will never condemn another person for what they believe, I will respect them and even support them in their decision. That doesn't mean I have to agree with them.

Ok, with that said, would you mind answering my question (or two questions, if it makes it easier to think of) - do you believe that Jesus died for your sins? If yes, how do you square this with people of other faiths who have not accepted Jesus?

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I do not believe these books to be what most do though in answering the original question yes they were holy inspired.They were inspired by a group of peoples god,not the only god or gods believed in at the time around the world.Man has written and re-written these books to the point from the original translation i hardly doubt is even close to the same book.I have nothing against christians or their beliefs as long as not trying to push them on me.My question to those who believe in these books,why and how do you believe in something that no one else around the world outside of one small group is the one and only?People around the world lived great lives,civilizations rose and fell,the sun came up and went down every day with only this tiny group of people ever hearing of him.How is he the one and only highest power when all of this went on without most of the world ever hearing about him until rome decided to take the religion for their own and spread it around?These books were also written by man,man is corrupt does anyone here ever question if man may have put some of his own ideas in there for his own purposes?

Not trying to offend anyone just a few thoughts.

While you touched many topics I would like to focus on your view that the texts today are so corrupt compared to the original since you stated, "man has written and re-written these books to the point from the original translation i hardly doubt is even close to the same book."

How did you ascertain this? Because others have said it? Have you actually read the texts in the original tongues and then the other translations to see how accurate they are? If not then one cannot be certain the texts are corrupt or claim so.

To be fair I will answer your question but my answer only applies to me and not all Christians. I believe because I grew up in a Christian culture, so acculturation. Had I been born somewhere else at another time there is a strong chance I would be on another path.

We take it on faith that our God is the highest power but personally I understand that other people claim other deities and unlike most other Christians I do not believe God will send all these other people on other paths to hell but instead will accept them as we should too.

You probably did not read this whole thread but Romans 2 clearly mentions that there are two groups of people: those who are under the law and those who do not have the law, those under the law will be judged by it, this is the Bible, those who choose another path have the same laws written on their heart and it is their own conscience that will accuse or excuse them.

So this is the reason I believe God is the highest because God accepts all, gives all a chance, even those who do not recognize God or even ever heard of God such as the millions of people who lived before and even during the time of Christ but were too far removed to learn of Christ.

It will probably not be a reason for you to accept but you don't have to but maybe you can understand why I do.

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While you touched many topics I would like to focus on your view that the texts today are so corrupt compared to the original since you stated, "man has written and re-written these books to the point from the original translation i hardly doubt is even close to the same book."

How did you ascertain this? Because others have said it? Have you actually read the texts in the original tongues and then the other translations to see how accurate they are? If not then one cannot be certain the texts are corrupt or claim so.

To be fair I will answer your question but my answer only applies to me and not all Christians. I believe because I grew up in a Christian culture, so acculturation. Had I been born somewhere else at another time there is a strong chance I would be on another path.

We take it on faith that our God is the highest power but personally I understand that other people claim other deities and unlike most other Christians I do not believe God will send all these other people on other paths to hell but instead will accept them as we should too.

You probably did not read this whole thread but Romans 2 clearly mentions that there are two groups of people: those who are under the law and those who do not have the law, those under the law will be judged by it, this is the Bible, those who choose another path have the same laws written on their heart and it is their own conscience that will accuse or excuse them.

So this is the reason I believe God is the highest because God accepts all, gives all a chance, even those who do not recognize God or even ever heard of God such as the millions of people who lived before and even during the time of Christ but were too far removed to learn of Christ.

It will probably not be a reason for you to accept but you don't have to but maybe you can understand why I do.

Well said and thanks for replying!Sorry for not spacing my questions out was in a hurry lol

I have not read the texts in there original tongues,but i do know the church left certain parts out as they deemed them not necessary.As i said who gave them this authority?

I still do not understand why a all powerful being did not make himself known to the entire world and just focused his book and his attention to one part of the world.If all powerful his laws should have been known and observed by all from every corner of the earth.

Yes i understand why you and other christians believe.I have nothing against what others believe,i have my own beliefs though which i can prove to be as true as anything christians or any faiths can actually prove.My thoughts and beliefs have nothing to do with blind faith,more just a basic understanding of everything that is,could have been,or could be.

Thanks again for the reply

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I was sincerely only asking a simple question, I didn't expect multiple paragraphs questioning whether I was sincere or expected two-way debate. To allay your fears, I hate one-sided discussions, I've ended discussions myself with members in the past who refused to engage in two-way discussion with me. I wouldn't disrespect someone by doing the same to them as I hate being done to me.

There was technically only one question, the second part of the comment was a clarification of the first, "if your answer is yes, then...". But if it works better to consider them two separate questions, then I amend my comment to include two questions, not just one.

Essentially, you seem to be asking me how I square away my beliefs in only one path, saying that if I don't accept all paths as equally valid then I'm "judging" others, and therefore going against the command to "Judge not, or you may be judged yourself". To answer I would contend your assertion that (to quote you) "that is judging and condemning even if you don't tell someone to their face". I believe this is a false statement. I think you have a misunderstanding of what it means to "judge" someone. To "judge" does not mean simply to hold an opinion on whether a path leads to heaven or not, but to actually condemn a person on that basis. I may believe that only through Christ can we be saved, but I will never judge another person for believing differently. Everyone makes their own choice, and I respect that choice.

Furthermore, the biblical understanding of judgement also has strong overtones of condemnation, and that is a matter of the heart. If I warn someone that their actions may lead to severe consequences then that is warning done out of love, if I say the exact same thing but with an intent to accuse and belittle and heap hatred on them, then that is condemnation. Let's say, for example, that I see someone I know taking cocaine or heroin. I could warn them that the path they are on is destructive and will lead to pain for them and their families. I am judging their actions in terms of deciding they are on a destructive path, but am I judging them in terms of condemning them? On the surface, no. But I might be, if I am doing it with hatred in my heart - "FINE, KEEP GOING THIS WAY, BEFORE LONG YOU'LL BE IN JAIL AND YOU NO LONGER DESERVE MY FRIENDSHIP, YOU ARE A BAD HUMAN BEING AND I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN".

The gist of my comment on their drug taking may be very similar, but the heart is what decides whether I am saying what I am saying in order to condemn or in order to help them. In short, and to get back to the question you asked, I totally disagree with your assertion that simply holding an opinion about other paths thus classifies me as one who judges. Jesus' warning to "Judge not, lest you be judged yourself" were in terms of condemnation - do not condemn another person, only God can do that. And I fully support that view, I will never condemn another person for what they believe, I will respect them and even support them in their decision. That doesn't mean I have to agree with them.

Ok, with that said, would you mind answering my question (or two questions, if it makes it easier to think of) - do you believe that Jesus died for your sins? If yes, how do you square this with people of other faiths who have not accepted Jesus?

You can continue to believe I have a misunderstanding of the word "judge" because that is only your view and I don't need you to agree with me for me to feel secure in my own view.

I believe that the Spirit can allow us different definitions for different reasons, maybe one of us has to grow in that area, while another has to grow in another and for them the actual understanding of the word "judge" is not necessary. Still you can claim I am wrong, I will simply claim your view is for you and not me at this time but also that I used to believe exactly like you before.

You can think in your head my change in views is because I am being tricked, believing lies, being seduced by an evil spirit, or whatever else, I can almost guarantee you do not believe my change in position is due to the Holy Spirit.

If you believe that, you don't even have to say it to my face, just be certain because if you dismiss my view like IamsSon did by saying it must be another spirit that led me to that view, like him you would not be really talking about me but about the Spirit itself.

Now I had more than two questions and just as you thought it a bit off that I responded to your simple questions with paragraphs I feel it a bit off that you didn't fully answer all of mine. To be fair I should figure out what percentage of my questions did you answer and only answer that same percent but that would be even more unsatisfying to you as your response was to me and at least I want to have the most satisfaction for both of us when it comes to a dialogue, not a debate because I am not interested in that.

To answer your two questions, yes, I believe Jesus died for all our sins. Now I can't prove the following but I also believe this, that Jesus finished the work began at Creation, that Satan was defeated, and that the whole world was given a greater chance. That Jesus died to begin a new dispensational period so that no longer would one have to use the Jewish priests as intermediaries and sacrifice but one could go directly to the Source.

There is nuance and a difference in my view and what is most likely to be your view. Just because Jesus died for all our sins still does not mean that is the only path, the act was so powerful that it covers all sins, for all peoples, even those who had lived and died before Jesus began His ministry.

And that is why I also cannot believe that all those on other paths will go to hell or that there is only one path to heaven. What about all the Native Americans? They never heard about Jesus and am I to believe beause of geography that they are destined to hell? What about babies? What about someone who grew up in China, was given to their government as a baby, and the only information they have is from the state?

I believe God is big enough to accept them even if they have never heard about God.

What about those who were abused by so-called Christians? So abused they could never become Christians themselves?

The scripture is also clear to me that there are two groups of people, those under the law (they chose to follow the Bible), and those without the law (they either chose not to follow or never even heard of it), both have a chance to go to heaven.

There is no need for me to square anything off, I understand why you asked the second question in that way, in your mind you would have to square it off, to me as I explained above it is rather an organic part of the Bible itself.

In the end some, not all, Christians might not want to accept that those on other paths have the same chances because to them being a Christian is hard work and it would seem like cheating of someone else was less disciplined. Those Christians do not realize it is just as difficult to grow and become better in this world under any system. I do believe the Spirit works even in non-believers, even in those against Christ, the Spirit can and has used these people as God used Pharoah.

I understand how evolution works and how we evolved in the jungles and that to go against the group could mean everyone would die. Part of the reason Jesus also came was because the world was leaving behind the tribal era and mindsets in favor of urban and cosmopolitan settings. This called for a new dispensational period. But many today still are operating as a tribe with group think and to believe differently than them is not going against God but simply against their groupthink but sorry if that word does not apply and could have been replaced with another: groupthink that is.

Again you don't have to agree, it is not as if your approval will validate my view and whether it is right or wrong depends on if you or Iams say it is. I don't need all my ideas vetted by the groups you belong to either and when some speak that is who I hear more, the voice of their group, not them, and not the Spirit.

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Posted (edited)

You can continue to believe I have a misunderstanding of the word "judge" because that is only your view and I don't need you to agree with me for me to feel secure in my own view.

I believe that the Spirit can allow us different definitions for different reasons, maybe one of us has to grow in that area, while another has to grow in another and for them the actual understanding of the word "judge" is not necessary. Still you can claim I am wrong, I will simply claim your view is for you and not me at this time but also that I used to believe exactly like you before.

You can think in your head my change in views is because I am being tricked, believing lies, being seduced by an evil spirit, or whatever else, I can almost guarantee you do not believe my change in position is due to the Holy Spirit.

If you believe that, you don't even have to say it to my face, just be certain because if you dismiss my view like IamsSon did by saying it must be another spirit that led me to that view, like him you would not be really talking about me but about the Spirit itself.

I did not say you were being tricked or believing lies or seduced by evil spirits. Please do not place words in my mouth. The single and solitary reason I disagree with you is that your definition of Judgement does not align with the biblical definition of the word. It is textually inconsistent, therefore, to insert your own definition and supersede your personal interpretation over that of the textual definition. Likewise, I don't "need" you to agree with me, I'm just pointing out what is! You can choose to research the biblical definition of judgement, or you can choose to accept your own personal definition of judgement. Personally, I choose the biblical definition. It's up to you what you do with the Bible, it's your life and your decision.

Now I had more than two questions and just as you thought it a bit off that I responded to your simple questions with paragraphs I feel it a bit off that you didn't fully answer all of mine. To be fair I should figure out what percentage of my questions did you answer and only answer that same percent but that would be even more unsatisfying to you as your response was to me and at least I want to have the most satisfaction for both of us when it comes to a dialogue, not a debate because I am not interested in that.

I thought my answer covered the entirety of the question/s you asked. The other two questions you raised were:

1- Will you answer what you think about the goddess and those who follow her? Do you blaspheme her? Do you believe they are on a path to hell?

2- When it comes to the view that there is only one true path, and that view has been the source which has allowed so many others to suffer at the hands of those who believe that view, what are your thoughts on the harm that view has caused?

I felt that both answers were covered under the third question, which was: "And most importantly how do you square away your belief that "not all paths lead to heaven" (and I am not discussing paths of violence or hate but other beliefs such as Buddhism, paganism, and atheism) without assuming those on those paths are also destined to not be permitted in heaven just based on their path?" The first question, in particular, is virtually answered word-for-word, except that I didn't answer whether I "blaspheme" the goddess. The answer is probably yes, I do blaspheme the goddess, but only insofar as believing she doesn't exist (which is the same blasphemy as non-Christians lay towards Yahweh/Jesus).

The second question is more detailed, because it has to take in large parts of human history, and naturally arguments about what causes all the wars and disagreements we as a species have had. In general, I lament that people have taken things too far throughout history to the point of the sword, killing in the name of whatever God they believed in. Those who understand Jesus' teachings understand that they should never have been so judgemental in the first place. A large part of this was the political power that the heads of these religious organisations gained, the power to influence popular opinion. I am not convinced that all these religious wars and persecutions would have been avoided simply with an encompassing belief in all paths leading to God. I seriously think that had religion not been used as an excuse to promote segregation and violence people would have found other ways to justify hatred towards others, regardless of what their religion teaches (which should be "love your neighbour" as the second greatest command).

Apologies for not fully answering before, I figured I would deal primarily with the biggest question you raised, but hopefully I've fixed that up, I can't see any other questions you asked.

To answer your two questions, yes, I believe Jesus died for all our sins. Now I can't prove the following but I also believe this, that Jesus finished the work began at Creation, that Satan was defeated, and that the whole world was given a greater chance. That Jesus died to begin a new dispensational period so that no longer would one have to use the Jewish priests as intermediaries and sacrifice but one could go directly to the Source.

There is nuance and a difference in my view and what is most likely to be your view. Just because Jesus died for all our sins still does not mean that is the only path, the act was so powerful that it covers all sins, for all peoples, even those who had lived and died before Jesus began His ministry.

I'm sorry, but I just can't see how God would send his only son to die for us, and then say that only through Jesus can we be saved.... and then turn around and say "believe whatever you like, it doesn't actually matter anymore".

And that is why I also cannot believe that all those on other paths will go to hell or that there is only one path to heaven. What about all the Native Americans? They never heard about Jesus and am I to believe beause of geography that they are destined to hell? What about babies? What about someone who grew up in China, was given to their government as a baby, and the only information they have is from the state?

I believe God is big enough to accept them even if they have never heard about God.

These are special cases not addressed in the Bible. The Bible only speaks of two types of people - those who have heard and accepted the message, and those who have heard and rejected the message. It speaks nothing of the Native Americans who haven't ever even heard of Jesus. It doesn't speak of the Chinese kid who has never heard about Jesus. It doesn't speak of the child who dies as a baby. I personally believe that we are ALL given chance to accept Jesus at some point. During our lifetime, if we hear the message then we have the choice to reject or accept it. If we don't hear it during our lifetime, then God will search those people's hearts after their death, and know with certainty how we would have reacted to God's message IF we did hear it. I also don't believe that children need to have accepted God. They are innocent and sinless and therefore have not lost their place in heaven, thus if they die as a baby they are going to heaven - at some point in their growth, they will develop cognitively to the point where they can consciously choose to accept or reject God and at some point they do reject God, thus committing sin (it is not my place to say what age that is, every child develops at a different rate, and in the end only God can know for certain).

These groups of people are not mentioned in the Bible as to their fate, so we have to hypothesise based on other sections not directly related. I find this to be a very different thing to saying that therefore all people regardless of whether they accept or reject God are saved.

What about those who were abused by so-called Christians? So abused they could never become Christians themselves?

If they hear the message and reject it, then they have to deal with the consequences, regardless of the horrors they may have experienced at the hands of so-called Christians. I don't believe a person could be so turned away from God that they are physically incapable of returning. They may have prejudices a mile long against Christianity but that doesn't make them incapable of searching out God. With God, all things are possible.

The scripture is also clear to me that there are two groups of people, those under the law (they chose to follow the Bible), and those without the law (they either chose not to follow or never even heard of it), both have a chance to go to heaven.

The Bible actually says that those under the Law are doomed - the Law actually condemns us. Those who are no longer under the Law but under Grace have received salvation as a free gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). No Christian today is under the Law - though as Christians we do express our desire to live for God by adhering to the Law, the Bible clearly states that we are under Grace, not the Law.

There is no need for me to square anything off, I understand why you asked the second question in that way, in your mind you would have to square it off, to me as I explained above it is rather an organic part of the Bible itself.

In the end some, not all, Christians might not want to accept that those on other paths have the same chances because to them being a Christian is hard work and it would seem like cheating of someone else was less disciplined. Those Christians do not realize it is just as difficult to grow and become better in this world under any system. I do believe the Spirit works even in non-believers, even in those against Christ, the Spirit can and has used these people as God used Pharoah.

I understand how evolution works and how we evolved in the jungles and that to go against the group could mean everyone would die. Part of the reason Jesus also came was because the world was leaving behind the tribal era and mindsets in favor of urban and cosmopolitan settings. This called for a new dispensational period. But many today still are operating as a tribe with group think and to believe differently than them is not going against God but simply against their groupthink but sorry if that word does not apply and could have been replaced with another: groupthink that is.

Again you don't have to agree, it is not as if your approval will validate my view and whether it is right or wrong depends on if you or Iams say it is. I don't need all my ideas vetted by the groups you belong to either and when some speak that is who I hear more, the voice of their group, not them, and not the Spirit.

I don't see it as "cheating" per se. I simply can't square a God who requires repentance and a desire to worship him who then turns around and says "actually, you don't have to repent, you don't have to do anything, actually. Live your life how YOU want, do what YOU want, ignore ME all you like, I don't really care". The two views are incompatible in my opinion (and I believe, the opinion of the Bible). I'm not demanding you agree with me, I'm simply sharing how I see it. Best wishes,

~ PA

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Some Christians are so entrenched in doctrine they would view accepting others as being a doormat.

I'm sure there are, just as there are atheists, pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who would act the same way since we are all human.

Look, as I have stated several times, my concern has to do with the fact that you've taken Biblical passages completely out of context to interpret them in a way that supports your view. The "Christians" you rail against for causing incredible harm throughout history while claiming to be doing things in the name of God, love, mercy, Jesus, unity, or "The Church" all did the same thing. They found a passage or passages in the Bible, did not pay attention to the proper meaning given to them by the context (of the verses/chapters that came before or after, by the whole book, by the culture of the author/original audience, or by the other books of the Bible), and used them to give legitimacy to their beliefs and the actions they took as a result of those beliefs.

I urge you to re-read the passages you claim support your view, read the articles I posted which thoroughly examine those passages. Maybe you need to look to the writings of other religions to find in-context support for your view. I believe your view most reflects Buddhism. I encourage you to look into that. There are some Buddhists here on UM who may provide guidance to the texts that contextually support your belief.

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I did not say you were being tricked or believing lies or seduced by evil spirits. Please do not place words in my mouth.

I wouldn't do that and I even began my statement with, "If you think..."

Of course "being tricked or believing lies or seduced by evil spirits" is typical American Christian commentary toward a view like mine. You might not know this if you are not from here. It was even insinuated earlier in this very thread when another posted to me, "whatever spirit that is, I doubt it's the Holy Spirit."

Unsure how you feel about their view? Can I safely assume even with any differences you might have with American fundamentalists, both doctrinal or how they understand certain verses differently, you would consider them fellow Christians?.

Now when it comes me you offer this, "From what I can tell you do identify yourself as "Christian"."

Brother, do you know where to draw the exact line of who is a Christian and who is not?

The single and solitary reason I disagree with you is that your definition of Judgement does not align with the biblical definition of the word. It is textually inconsistent, therefore, to insert your own definition and supersede your personal interpretation over that of the textual definition. Likewise, I don't "need" you to agree with me, I'm just pointing out what is! You can choose to research the biblical definition of judgement, or you can choose to accept your own personal definition of judgement. Personally, I choose the biblical definition. It's up to you what you do with the Bible, it's your life and your decision.

Thank you for agreeing that we don't have to agree with each other but that we can still share our views with each other.

As a favor, instead of telling me, "to research the biblical definition of judgement," and that my, "definition of Judgement does not align with the biblical definition of the word," could you just tell me what you believe the biblical definition is, how exactly do you perceive my definition to be, and how exactly do the two not align?

I thought my answer covered the entirety of the question/s you asked. The other two questions you raised were:

1- Will you answer what you think about the goddess and those who follow her? Do you blaspheme her? Do you believe they are on a path to hell?

2- When it comes to the view that there is only one true path, and that view has been the source which has allowed so many others to suffer at the hands of those who believe that view, what are your thoughts on the harm that view has caused?

I felt that both answers were covered under the third question, which was: "And most importantly how do you square away your belief that "not all paths lead to heaven" (and I am not discussing paths of violence or hate but other beliefs such as Buddhism, paganism, and atheism) without assuming those on those paths are also destined to not be permitted in heaven just based on their path?" The first question, in particular, is virtually answered word-for-word, except that I didn't answer whether I "blaspheme" the goddess. The answer is probably yes, I do blaspheme the goddess, but only insofar as believing she doesn't exist (which is the same blasphemy as non-Christians lay towards Yahweh/Jesus).

A very different answer than a typical American fundamentalist response but it should serve as an example that not all Christians believe pagans are being "tricked by the devil" since I don't believe that either.

The second question is more detailed, because it has to take in large parts of human history, and naturally arguments about what causes all the wars and disagreements we as a species have had. In general, I lament that people have taken things too far throughout history to the point of the sword, killing in the name of whatever God they believed in. Those who understand Jesus' teachings understand that they should never have been so judgemental in the first place.

A huge cop out (I don't believe an intentional one on your part) answer in my view since it attempts to claim in essence this is just a "human problem" and not a "Christian problem" per se.

So with your view we accept humanity and we are a part of it when it comes to explaining away the harm Christianity has caused but when it comes to actually accepting humanity the Church is doing a horrible job.

At least from what I have seen here. It might be different where you are at.

The belief that only one path leads to heaven has caused great misery and not just in the past but today. Some Christians treat others horribly today over this view, their own family members at times, and this single view is responsbile for so much suffering.

The cultural aspects and response you gave was well informed, interesting, and spot on, but it dodged the heart of the matter.

A large part of this was the political power that the heads of these religious organisations gained, the power to influence popular opinion. I am not convinced that all these religious wars and persecutions would have been avoided simply with an encompassing belief in all paths leading to God. I seriously think that had religion not been used as an excuse to promote segregation and violence people would have found other ways to justify hatred towards others, regardless of what their religion teaches (which should be "love your neighbour" as the second greatest command).

This is true and I can agree with but it still ignores (I don't believe you intentionally dodged) that this single doctrine of only one path goes to heaven as being the single source of misery for many.

I believe that there is one path for those who want to yoke themselves to the Bible. Then they should follow it all to the best of their ability and knowledge. I do this and greatly assume you do as well.

For others they are going to be judged by their own conscience, accused or excused by their conscience, because the same laws are already written on their hearts. (Romans 2:14-16)

Apologies for not fully answering before, I figured I would deal primarily with the biggest question you raised, but hopefully I've fixed that up, I can't see any other questions you asked.

Thank you.

I'm sorry, but I just can't see how God would send his only son to die for us, and then say that only through Jesus can we be saved.... and then turn around and say "believe whatever you like, it doesn't actually matter anymore".

I wouldn't exaclty tell others to "believe whatever you like" and while you might accuse me of that, that is besides the point and has nothing to do with understanding other paths have just as good as chance as leading to heaven.

If you believe another path is not going to heaven then you have blasphemed what that path holds sacred. Sorry for that but that is not the example given in Acts 19 when the city clerk said, "You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess."

I am sorry but the same cannot be said of you either.

I am a Christian and don't believe those who follow the goddess are going to hell.

These are special cases not addressed in the Bible. The Bible only speaks of two types of people - those who have heard and accepted the message, and those who have heard and rejected the message. It speaks nothing of the Native Americans who haven't ever even heard of Jesus. It doesn't speak of the Chinese kid who has never heard about Jesus. It doesn't speak of the child who dies as a baby. I personally believe that we are ALL given chance to accept Jesus at some point. During our lifetime, if we hear the message then we have the choice to reject or accept it. If we don't hear it during our lifetime, then God will search those people's hearts after their death, and know with certainty how we would have reacted to God's message IF we did hear it. I also don't believe that children need to have accepted God. They are innocent and sinless and therefore have not lost their place in heaven, thus if they die as a baby they are going to heaven - at some point in their growth, they will develop cognitively to the point where they can consciously choose to accept or reject God and at some point they do reject God, thus committing sin (it is not my place to say what age that is, every child develops at a different rate, and in the end only God can know for certain).

Interesting theories on these "special cases" especially about God searching hearts after one is dead to present them the message to see how they would react. This is extrabiblical or can you provide scripture?

Interesting how your theories are acceptable to you.

These groups of people are not mentioned in the Bible as to their fate, so we have to hypothesise based on other sections not directly related. I find this to be a very different thing to saying that therefore all people regardless of whether they accept or reject God are saved.

One has to choose to be under the law. No one can be forced. Romans 2 is clear on the following: Those under the law will be judged by it. Others will not be but by their own conscience.

I think we are in agreement with the latter, you just call it "searching their hearts after death" for a lack of a better term, just not in the first part because it seems if you believe one is forced to be under the law the moment they hear it. I don't think so. Can you show scripture either way for that too?

If they hear the message and reject it, then they have to deal with the consequences, regardless of the horrors they may have experienced at the hands of so-called Christians. I don't believe a person could be so turned away from God that they are physically incapable of returning.

You could be accused for a lack of empathy. Some are hurt that bad. Believe it. I don't think God will condemn them to hell. We definitely shouldn't, not even in our minds even through the logical deduction of: this person follows this path>this path does not lead to heaven because it is not the one true path>so yes, someone who follows that line of thinking thinks that person is going to hell and the Bible says you don't get to say who goes to heaven or hell so come on.

They may have prejudices a mile long against Christianity but that doesn't make them incapable of searching out God. With God, all things are possible.

Of course all things are possible but just speaking raw numbers I doubt every person hurt by Christians and who have turned away from God because of it are going to come back, and out of all those who don't I doubt all of them they are all hellbound.

But as you said with God all things are possible except in my case I apply it toward God giving all those who have been hurt and don't return to a belief in God as still having a chance to go to heaven, while it seems you are applying it toward God sending all those in that group to hell because His great feat of "doing the impossible" in your view is God making someone so abused by other Christians to damage them to somehow heal them and have them come back to Christ (how patronizing of you BTW), guess what God might send those from other religions or belief systems, even modern science and psychology, and if they heal through that, or if they died unable to heal, I believe they still have a chance, sorry to say but by your logic all these people end up in H-E-double-L.

No way man.

But please do compare how you envision God doing the impossible and how I envision it, but I offered Biblical scriptures to support my view, you don't have to agree that it supports it, thank you for reviewing it and discussing it in either case, but I think you should now provide scriptures to support your view.

The Bible actually says that those under the Law are doomed - the Law actually condemns us. Those who are no longer under the Law but under Grace have received salvation as a free gift through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). No Christian today is under the Law - though as Christians we do express our desire to live for God by adhering to the Law, the Bible clearly states that we are under Grace, not the Law.

Oh now you too are trying to refute Romans 2 using other scriptures.

You can ignore it, write it off, or whatever but it is still going to be there.

I don't see it as "cheating" per se. I simply can't square a God who requires repentance and a desire to worship him who then turns around and says "actually, you don't have to repent, you don't have to do anything, actually. Live your life how YOU want, do what YOU want, ignore ME all you like, I don't really care". The two views are incompatible in my opinion (and I believe, the opinion of the Bible). I'm not demanding you agree with me, I'm simply sharing how I see it. Best wishes,

~ PA

One has to choose to follow. There is no "Heard it once then you are bound by the Book" rule.

Also the following are words I have never said or would, they are yours: "actually, you don't have to repent, you don't have to do anything, actually. Live your life how YOU want, do what YOU want, ignore ME all you like, I don't really care"

And many Christians are giving the latter part of that message exactly ("ignore ME all you like, I don't really care") by saying if you don't believe like us you are going to hell even if they try and say it nicely by saying their is only one true path to heaven without saying you are going to hell directly.

There is one true path for believers, but for those who choose not to believe, yes, even they too have an equal chance to go to heaven, now you, just because you chose to follow do not mean you have a better chance, it is not a game, you have not bettered your odds.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

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Posted (edited)

I'm sure there are, just as there are atheists, pagans, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. who would act the same way since we are all human.

Look, as I have stated several times, my concern has to do with the fact that you've taken Biblical passages completely out of context to interpret them in a way that supports your view. The "Christians" you rail against for causing incredible harm throughout history while claiming to be doing things in the name of God, love, mercy, Jesus, unity, or "The Church" all did the same thing. They found a passage or passages in the Bible, did not pay attention to the proper meaning given to them by the context (of the verses/chapters that came before or after, by the whole book, by the culture of the author/original audience, or by the other books of the Bible), and used them to give legitimacy to their beliefs and the actions they took as a result of those beliefs.

I urge you to re-read the passages you claim support your view, read the articles I posted which thoroughly examine those passages. Maybe you need to look to the writings of other religions to find in-context support for your view. I believe your view most reflects Buddhism. I encourage you to look into that. There are some Buddhists here on UM who may provide guidance to the texts that contextually support your belief.

Don't forget about the Christians still harming others over that one single view: there is only one path to heaven. It is not just historical. There is no railing other than to point out that it is time the Church begins moving in a new direction and leaves behind the hateful and divisive thinking that has characterized American fundamental Christianity which is on a well welcomed decline.

Also you are not in any position to be offering spiritual advice to another especially unsoliscited. That would indicate you believe to be my spiritual greater. You fail to recognize my view most reflects the Bible. Love God, love your neighbor, and that means all mankind.

Thinking others are going to hell for following what they hold sacred is not only blasphemy of what others hold sacred but also not very loving of mankind.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't do that and I even began my statement with, "If you think..."

Of course "being tricked or believing lies or seduced by evil spirits" is typical American Christian commentary toward a view like mine. You might not know this if you are not from here. It was even insinuated earlier in this very thread when another posted to me, "whatever spirit that is, I doubt it's the Holy Spirit."

Unsure how you feel about their view? Can I safely assume even with any differences you might have with American fundamentalists, both doctrinal or how they understand certain verses differently, you would consider them fellow Christians?.

Without meeting them personally (either in real life or online) I can't make a "judgement" as to whether they are true Bible-believing Christians. For example, I know IamsSon from this forum. He is an American and I believe he is also a Christian. However, I cannot make the same judgement about other Americans who call themselves Christians.

I can't say the same thing about Australians who call themselves Christians, either. There are members here from Australia who call themselves "Christian" that come across to me as distinctly un-Christian in their views.

I don't judge demographics. I judge individuals. And yes, I'm using the word "judge". Something I shall discuss later in the post.

Now when it comes me you offer this, "From what I can tell you do identify yourself as "Christian"."

Brother, do you know where to draw the exact line of who is a Christian and who is not?

Yes, I do. But only God can judge you on it (and yes, I used the word "judge" again, in a completely different context to the last sentence - more on this later in the post).

As a favor, instead of telling me, "to research the biblical definition of judgement," and that my, "definition of Judgement does not align with the biblical definition of the word," could you just tell me what you believe the biblical definition is, how exactly do you perceive my definition to be, and how exactly do the two not align?

I did tell you what the biblical definition was in an earlier post. I'll repeat part of what I wrote:

(T)he biblical understanding of judgement also has strong overtones of condemnation, and that is a matter of the heart. If I warn someone that their actions may lead to severe consequences then that is warning done out of love, if I say the exact same thing but with an intent to accuse and belittle and heap hatred on them, then that is condemnation.

In my post I used the example of a drug addict. This time I'll directly relate it to sin, condemnation, and personal beliefs. Suppose I tell someone that they are not following the correct path. I warn them of the dangers of the path they are on, and try to point them to the right path. In order to decide whether I am Judging (in a biblically wrong fashion) is to check my motives! Am I telling them this out of a genuine desire to help? If so, then I am not breaking God's "Judge not" statement. However, I might be saying it in order to make them feel weak, helpless, or to make myself feel good and special, or to simply express hatred for a view different than my own. There are many reasons other than a genuine desire to help them, and if I use one of those selfish and ungodly desires as my reason/s then I am definitely "Judging" in an unbiblical sense - that is, I am setting myself up as God, and declaring a condemnation on them.

This is something only God can know about me. I can say I'm doing it for the the right reasons, but in my heart I may not be. Or someone else may interpret my reasons as being selfish and/or godless, when the reasons are godly (or vice versa). But only God has the Right to condemn me.

This is the biblical understanding of Judgement. So going back to my earlier comments about knowing IamsSon and "Judging" him as being a Christian. It is a matter of me hearing IamsSon over the course of the time I've known him, and deciding that he is portraying characteristics that align with that of Christ and Christianity, and therefore "judging" that he is a brother in Faith. But I could be wrong, my judgement may be in error, and IamsSon may not actually be my Christian brother after all. Only God can decide whether IamsSon is truly a follower of God. It is not my place to Judge that, even though I have developed an opinion on the matter.

Likewise someone who professes to be Christian that I do not see as a brother in Christ, I am well within my Right to hold that judgement, but only God can bring condemnation for that. Biblical Judgement is strongly geared towards the condemnation aspect of Judgement. I therefore submit that simply holding a belief that other paths do not lead to God are not a form of biblical Judgement.

Your personal definition of Judgement has removed this condemnatory element and expanded it to be all forms of Judgement (as if "discerning" is no different from "judging").

A very different answer than a typical American fundamentalist response but it should serve as an example that not all Christians believe pagans are being "tricked by the devil" since I don't believe that either.

Ultimately everyone who is not a follower of Christ is being led astray by Satan. That's his role as our prosecuting angel, the deceiver. God ordained this role for Satan, and Satan is carrying out with aplomb. But in saying that, it is unhelpful to lay that accusation at people who don't agree with my beliefs. Especially since laying that accusation at one person gives the impression that Satan has gone out of his way to deceive that individaul, and they alone, while other people are not subjected to that deception.

It is also a matter of note that I am not perfect. I am not the sole bringer of Truth when it comes to God or the Bible. I have things wrong in my theology, though I am constantly applying myself to find those flaws and iron them out. Laying the claim that someone is being "tricked by the devil" sets up a false dichotomy in which the person is setting themselves up as being totally free of such trickery. Where my fault in theology lies (which I do not believe to be faults), there lies the trickery of Satan in my own life. Depending on the motives, it could even be seen as an act of Judgement in the condemnatory sense that Jesus demands us not to Judge.

A huge cop out (I don't believe an intentional one on your part) answer in my view since it attempts to claim in essence this is just a "human problem" and not a "Christian problem" per se.

So with your view we accept humanity and we are a part of it when it comes to explaining away the harm Christianity has caused but when it comes to actually accepting humanity the Church is doing a horrible job.

At least from what I have seen here. It might be different where you are at.

The belief that only one path leads to heaven has caused great misery and not just in the past but today. Some Christians treat others horribly today over this view, their own family members at times, and this single view is responsbile for so much suffering.

The cultural aspects and response you gave was well informed, interesting, and spot on, but it dodged the heart of the matter.

I can't disagree with the pain caused by this view. But that doesn't mean it is false. But I cannot ignore the "human" aspect to it. We as a species have always been distrustful of that which is different. It's an evolutionary trait going back to our times as hunter-gatherers, where competing tribes were to be feared. Having a belief that is viewed as the only true path can be exploited by this evolutionary fear of the unknown, especially in the past. But now as education improves and we learn tolerance, then that part of humanity, in my opinion, is going to slowly be enveloped by our intellect (though it will be long before it is completely wiped from our genetics, kids will still not trust that which is different - eg, the bully who picks on the only Asian kid at school).

But as I said, the harm that this may have caused does not disqualify it from being true - what if Christianity really is the one true path?

This is true and I can agree with but it still ignores (I don't believe you intentionally dodged) that this single doctrine of only one path goes to heaven as being the single source of misery for many.

I believe that there is one path for those who want to yoke themselves to the Bible. Then they should follow it all to the best of their ability and knowledge. I do this and greatly assume you do as well.

For others they are going to be judged by their own conscience, accused or excused by their conscience, because the same laws are already written on their hearts. (Romans 2:14-16)

And according to that same text in Romans 2:14-16, their actions condemn them. I'll quote my New Oxford Annotated Bible on the matter:

2:14-15 - Paul recognises (despite 1:18-32) that there are morally sensitive and responsible Gentiles, however far short they may fall of God's righteous demands ~ Page 1363

I understand what you are implying, because the text says they are condemned, but it also says that they may "even be excused" by their actions. However, in the broader theological canvas of Romans, while sometimes their actions may excuse them, the fact that their consciences do also condemn them, they are already condemned unless they have some way to undo that condemnation. And theologically, I cannot support any other way except Jesus being the way to undo that condemnation.

I wouldn't exaclty tell others to "believe whatever you like" and while you might accuse me of that, that is besides the point and has nothing to do with understanding other paths have just as good as chance as leading to heaven.

If you believe another path is not going to heaven then you have blasphemed what that path holds sacred. Sorry for that but that is not the example given in Acts 19 when the city clerk said, "You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess."

I am sorry but the same cannot be said of you either.

I am a Christian and don't believe those who follow the goddess are going to hell.

The term "blaspheme" in the Greek implies vilification, spouting hate and lies about something (in this case, the goddess Artemis, in Acts 19). It wasn't simply the disbelief in a certain path. I know now why you asked me if I blasphemed the goddess. Not believing in Artemis is not the blasphemy that the people were bringing to the Christians in Acts 19. This blasphemy they were accused of (and exonerated by the same passage) was direct confrontation against the goddess, spreading hate and distrust of her by their words. So while I may have "blasphemed" Artemis in the sense that I don't believe she exists, I have not blasphemed her in the sense of spreading hate speech against her or those who follow her.

Interesting theories on these "special cases" especially about God searching hearts after one is dead to present them the message to see how they would react. This is extrabiblical or can you provide scripture?

Interesting how your theories are acceptable to you.

The Bible says nothing of these cases so we have to use other parts of the Bible to support our case. And since several positions can be argued, while this is what I believe will happen, it is not something I will dogmatically hold to. If forced into dogma, the answer I can best give is "I don't know". While I believe what I believe, if I am wrong then I am wrong and so be it (as said, the Bible is not exactly clear on the issue).

So while my theories are acceptable to me, they are by no means absolute.

One has to choose to be under the law. No one can be forced. Romans 2 is clear on the following: Those under the law will be judged by it. Others will not be but by their own conscience.

I think we are in agreement with the latter, you just call it "searching their hearts after death" for a lack of a better term, just not in the first part because it seems if you believe one is forced to be under the law the moment they hear it. I don't think so. Can you show scripture either way for that too?

Rom 7:5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.

Rom 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

Rom 7:7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

Rom 7:8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.

This goes beyond the question you asked but is also relevant to my point. The purpose of Romans 2:14-16 is found here. Even without the Law, Gentiles can know the Law. "You shall not covet" and yet people covet. Not all act on it, but without the Law they knew what was in the Law and their own actions betray them. However, it is only by dying to our fleshly lives that we are released from the Law. This is another point you made. You referred to Christians being "under the Law", but this passage refutes that - Christians are not under the Law, but under Grace.

You could be accused for a lack of empathy. Some are hurt that bad. Believe it. I don't think God will condemn them to hell. We definitely shouldn't, not even in our minds even through the logical deduction of: this person follows this path>this path does not lead to heaven because it is not the one true path>so yes, someone who follows that line of thinking thinks that person is going to hell and the Bible says you don't get to say who goes to heaven or hell so come on.

I could be accused of a lack of empathy, but it's the truth. Not everyone gets to have a peachy life, and not everyone is going to have a fantastic experience with Christianity. However, I maintain that with God all things are possible and thus if God wants to have chosen a person for salvation then God can do that regardless of what hurtful things have happened to them in the name of Christianity.

I have a friend who I know from a country town about two hours west from where I live. When her Christian friends found out she was a Pagan, then kidnapped her, took her into the bush, and attempted an exorcism on her. Needless to say our first few meetings weren't always pleasant. A lot of the prejudices she had of Christianity were not let go. However, because her best friend was my best friend's cousin, she stuck it out and eventually decided that not all Christians were likely to go and kidnap her and torture her for her beliefs.

And yes, I know people have experienced much worse in the name of Christianity (eg, Conversion Therapy for gays, not something I would ever approve but something some people have done). We don't get to choose our life, we can only choose our options within our life. If God wants to save someone, he will, regardless of the bad upbringing. If you want to accuse me of a lack of empathy for that belief, then so be it.

Of course all things are possible but just speaking raw numbers I doubt every person hurt by Christians and who have turned away from God because of it are going to come back, and out of all those who don't I doubt all of them they are all hellbound.

But as you said with God all things are possible except in my case I apply it toward God giving all those who have been hurt and don't return to a belief in God as still having a chance to go to heaven, while it seems you are applying it toward God sending all those in that group to hell because His great feat of "doing the impossible" in your view is God making someone so abused by other Christians to damage them to somehow heal them and have them come back to Christ (how patronizing of you BTW), guess what God might send those from other religions or belief systems, even modern science and psychology, and if they heal through that, or if they died unable to heal, I believe they still have a chance, sorry to say but by your logic all these people end up in H-E-double-L.

No way man.

But please do compare how you envision God doing the impossible and how I envision it, but I offered Biblical scriptures to support my view, you don't have to agree that it supports it, thank you for reviewing it and discussing it in either case, but I think you should now provide scriptures to support your view.

Well, the context of Matthew 19:26, the comment that "all things are possible" with God, it is referring to the rich man who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. The man had done what was physically necessary (do not murder/steal/commit adultery/honour parents), but he had not given himself to God, and so Jesus tells the man to sell all he has and give it to the poor, then come follow him. The man goes away sad. So this will be my first piece of quoted passage to support that not all go to heaven. This rich man went away sad, the implication being that he could not attain eternal life without his dedication to God. Jesus comments of the rich man that "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. But with God, all things are possible". In other words, with God's help, the rich man could enter the kingdom, but not while he still treasures his treasures more than he treasures God.

Honestly I could quote a dozen passages that supports my view, but I will content myelf with one further quote for the sake of brevity. The previous quote should make it clear that the rich man could not reach heaven while still in love with his riches (ie, not following God), but this one deals with the question succinctly:

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

~ 1 John 5:12

Simple. Whoever has the son has life, whoever does not have the son does not have life. I have a feeling you're going to answer by quoting the rest of that chapter, in which the author writes that "not all sin leads to death", but I would argue this is a physical death (eg, "sinning" in the sense of going against a judicial law that may invoke the death penalty, as opposed to sins that do not carry such a burden). The wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23), which is a direct contradiction to 1 John 5:16 unless the passage refers to physical and spiritual death (Romans 3 refers to death of the spirit).

If you desire, I can post several more passages in the future, but as noted, for the sake of brevity I'll stick with these alone.

Oh now you too are trying to refute Romans 2 using other scriptures.

You can ignore it, write it off, or whatever but it is still going to be there.

I refuted Romans 2 earlier in this post (see above when I refer to the Law condemning us). Ephesians 2:8-10 is just one of many passages that compare the covenant of the Law, which leads to death (see above in my quote of Romans 7) compared to Grace, which leads to eternal life. Romans 2 is not, and never will be, a free pass to Gentiles who are condemned or excused by their actions.

One has to choose to follow. There is no "Heard it once then you are bound by the Book" rule.

On the contrary, even without hearing the Law we are bound by it. It's mere existence is enough. Romans 2 clarifies that by saying that even Gentiles know the Law without reading it when they do what is right. And when they do what is wrong and are ashamed by it they too condemn themselves by what they know to be innately right or wrong. Thus the Law condemns us all, in which case salvation is required.

Of course, if you never hear the message of salvation then that is a matter for debate, since the Bible does not address those types of people. But I addressed that earlier in this post so I'll leave it there.

Also the following are words I have never said or would, they are yours: "actually, you don't have to repent, you don't have to do anything, actually. Live your life how YOU want, do what YOU want, ignore ME all you like, I don't really care"

Perhaps you did not say them, but to me they are synonymous. If you don't have to follow God in order to attain salvation, then I see no difference (except perhaps semantics) between that and acting however we like.

And many Christians are giving the latter part of that message exactly ("ignore ME all you like, I don't really care") by saying if you don't believe like us you are going to hell even if they try and say it nicely by saying their is only one true path to heaven without saying you are going to hell directly.

There is one true path for believers, but for those who choose not to believe, yes, even they too have an equal chance to go to heaven, now you, just because you chose to follow do not mean you have a better chance, it is not a game, you have not bettered your odds.

It's not a game of chance. I've already won. Even if I don't get to heaven I've already won. Even if everything I believe is an absolute lie my life has been bettered by it, so it's not a case of bettering my odds by choosing one path over another. But if I do want to attain the Christian heaven, I need only be reminded of 1 John 5:12 - whoever has the son has life, whoever does not have the son does not have life.

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android
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It's not a game of chance. I've already won. Even if I don't get to heaven I've already won. Even if everything I believe is an absolute lie my life has been bettered by it, so it's not a case of bettering my odds by choosing one path over another. But if I do want to attain the Christian heaven, I need only be reminded of 1 John 5:12 - whoever has the son has life, whoever does not have the son does not have life.

~ Regards, PA

Hi PA,

I couldn't help smiling at what was highlighted here. How is a person bettered by believing what could be "an absolute lie" that states that those who follow one view have life and those who do not, do not have life?

Just curious as to how those two ideas commune harmoniously - if it is possibly an "absolute lie" then how has it bettered you to believe that a portion of your fellow man lack life?

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Posted (edited)

Hi PA,

I couldn't help smiling at what was highlighted here. How is a person bettered by believing what could be "an absolute lie" that states that those who follow one view have life and those who do not, do not have life?

Just curious as to how those two ideas commune harmoniously - if it is possibly an "absolute lie" then how has it bettered you to believe that a portion of your fellow man lack life?

I was speaking of my personal life. What I have gained in following God, a sense of wonder for the world we have, a sense of assurance and comfort during tough times, a circle of friends that help me through tough times, the conviction to turn my life around and make it one worth living. Even if there is no heaven at the end of it, I've already won.

When sharing my beliefs with others (if they wish to hear it - I would never push my views onto them) there are several ways to approach. There's the pure theological approach - what I believe, and what the Bible says about it. But there's also the benefits that I mentioned in my previous post. My beliefs brought me so much, and while I would never disrespect another person by preaching to them if they didn't want to hear what I wanted to say, if they were open to it, I'd like to share that. The belief that not all paths lead to God add to this a sense of urgency to be faithful and true to my beliefs. To not "fudge" the truth as I see it in order to be politically correct, but to be faithful in relaying the theology of God, the good and the bad, so that they can come in with open eyes rather than a closed and dogmatic mind.

So even if I am wrong, and there is no heaven, or if all paths lead to heaven, my life is still the better for my beliefs and I would not have them any other way.

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Posted (edited)

Don't forget about the Christians still harming others over that one single view: there is only one path to heaven. It is not just historical.

First, how is it harming others? If you mean it harms them because they feel insulted or feel slighted by the fact that a proper reading of Jesus's teachings in the Bible clearly indicate He placed Himself as the only proper and complete sacrifice that would cover the sins of mankind, and that accepting His sacrifice as the payment for your sins is the only way to be reconciled to God, then it is not the view that is hurting them, it is their own insecurities that are doing so. There are many religious people who do not consider this a true view and so are in no way "hurt" by it.

Now, if you are saying that there are people who use this view as a weapon to bludgeon others with, I will agree there are such people. But I will counter that this is a human action and not an action encouraged by Christ or by the in-context teachings found in the Bible, and that there are people who use whatever difference they have which they consider makes them superior to or better than others to belittle those others. If you read the news you will find that there are Buddhist priests carrying on actual violent activity against other Buddhist priests over a particular Buddhist belief, that there are Muslims who are actively hunting down and killing other Muslims because of differences in belief; heck there are even atheists who look down and belittle other atheists because they are not "hard" enough.

Please explain how this is not a historical view among Christians.

There is no railing other than to point out that it is time the Church begins moving in a new direction and leaves behind the hateful and divisive thinking that has characterized American fundamental Christianity which is on a well welcomed decline
So, basically, you believe it's time for the whole of Christianity to abandon Christ's teachings and enter apostasy.
Also you are not in any position to be offering spiritual advice to another especially unsoliscited. That would indicate you believe to be my spiritual greater. You fail to recognize my view most reflects the Bible. Love God, love your neighbor, and that means all mankind.
Although I do not consider myself your spiritual superior, I do believe your interpretation of the Bible is wrong given that you're very obviously taking verses out of context to make it seem they support your view. You seem to think loving everyone means accepting whatever they believe as true and I just don't see the logic in that view, nor the in-context Biblical support for it.

As to the advice that you re-read the Bible passages, read the articles I posted and also look into other religions that actually do have in-context support for your views, you are certainly welcome to ignore it, I just thought you might be happier if you found a religion whose texts actually do support your religious beliefs instead of having to ignore the whole context of the Bible to convince yourself that your view is what the Bible supports.

Thinking others are going to hell for following what they hold sacred is not only blasphemy of what others hold sacred but also not very loving of mankind.
That's your opinion, which you support with out-of-context Biblical passages and by ignoring other passages completely. Edited by IamsSon
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Posted (edited)

Without meeting them personally (either in real life or online) I can't make a "judgement" as to whether they are true Bible-believing Christians. For example, I know IamsSon from this forum. He is an American and I believe he is also a Christian. However, I cannot make the same judgement about other Americans who call themselves Christians.

I can't say the same thing about Australians who call themselves Christians, either. There are members here from Australia who call themselves "Christian" that come across to me as distinctly un-Christian in their views.

If Jesus walked into your church it is doubtful you would recognize Him as a Christian either.

I don't judge demographics. I judge individuals. And yes, I'm using the word "judge". Something I shall discuss later in the post.

Doubtful since it is most likely you would judge Christians who subscribe to the New Age.

Yes, I do. But only God can judge you on it (and yes, I used the word "judge" again, in a completely different context to the last sentence - more on this later in the post).

And how exactly can you tell? Do you have the "gift of discernment" as frequently understood as being described in 1 Corinthians 12:10?

If so that is awfully bold to claim that for yourself then to use your gift online.

Maybe you are basing your view "that you have the ability to tell who is a Christian or not" on some other scripture? Can you provide it?

Or are we expected to just believe you?

In either case I am doubting you can as you are not the Holy Spirit.

Instead I am more inclined to believe that you are part of traditional Christinaity which is hostile to other beliefs no matter how you veil it, you reject others, that is fine, but that type of Christianity is considered backward to some of us.

I did tell you what the biblical definition was in an earlier post. I'll repeat part of what I wrote:

(T)he biblical understanding of judgement also has strong overtones of condemnation, and that is a matter of the heart. If I warn someone that their actions may lead to severe consequences then that is warning done out of love, if I say the exact same thing but with an intent to accuse and belittle and heap hatred on them, then that is condemnation.

I am using judgment in the way Romans 2 uses it. It is the same Greek word also used in Romans 14.

"But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."

—Romans 14:10

And whatever you do out of love must be well concealed love because I have seen none of it displayed here.

In my post I used the example of a drug addict. This time I'll directly relate it to sin, condemnation, and personal beliefs. Suppose I tell someone that they are not following the correct path. I warn them of the dangers of the path they are on, and try to point them to the right path. In order to decide whether I am Judging (in a biblically wrong fashion) is to check my motives! Am I telling them this out of a genuine desire to help? If so, then I am not breaking God's "Judge not" statement. However, I might be saying it in order to make them feel weak, helpless, or to make myself feel good and special, or to simply express hatred for a view different than my own. There are many reasons other than a genuine desire to help them, and if I use one of those selfish and ungodly desires as my reason/s then I am definitely "Judging" in an unbiblical sense - that is, I am setting myself up as God, and declaring a condemnation on them.

A very political way to arrive at your decision but most of us can easily see when others cast judgment.

Also you are compaing someone who is saying not to judge others, that is my view, with drug addicts.

But you are right, you do this, I, I, I, beause it is your "genuine desire to help them" but that does not mean it is the Spirit or It's desire, it sounds very much like your own even if you claim you are checking off all these other motives, remember when one tries to not do something so hard they focus on it so much and end up doing it.

This is something only God can know about me. I can say I'm doing it for the the right reasons, but in my heart I may not be. Or someone else may interpret my reasons as being selfish and/or godless, when the reasons are godly (or vice versa). But only God has the Right to condemn me.

But you have the right to condemn others just for being on another path, indirectly your logic leads you to this even if you claim you avoid it, you are not the exception among traditional Christians, but it is these traditions that are causing harm.

This is the biblical understanding of Judgement. So going back to my earlier comments about knowing IamsSon and "Judging" him as being a Christian. It is a matter of me hearing IamsSon over the course of the time I've known him, and deciding that he is portraying characteristics that align with that of Christ and Christianity, and therefore "judging" that he is a brother in Faith. But I could be wrong, my judgement may be in error, and IamsSon may not actually be my Christian brother after all. Only God can decide whether IamsSon is truly a follower of God. It is not my place to Judge that, even though I have developed an opinion on the matter.

All based on your own mind's logic. You are right only God can decide so why are you doing it? He is a Christian in your eyes, I am not, but that is not for you to decide even if you already have.

Likewise someone who professes to be Christian that I do not see as a brother in Christ, I am well within my Right to hold that judgement, but only God can bring condemnation for that. Biblical Judgement is strongly geared towards the condemnation aspect of Judgement. I therefore submit that simply holding a belief that other paths do not lead to God are not a form of biblical Judgement.

You are within your right. Show me in the Bible now where it says what exact rights you have.

Yeah, that is right, it doesn't.

Your personal definition of Judgement has removed this condemnatory element and expanded it to be all forms of Judgement (as if "discerning" is no different from "judging").

You were wrong after all in the way you perceived my definition. I have now given it to you in this post: the Greek word krino

And of course there is a difference between discernment and judgment. I already asked if you actually are claiming to have the gift of discernment? If so why all the checking of lists to insure you are not judging in the flesh, the Holy Spirit would just operate, it wouldn't doubt Itself, It would work through you, but that is not how you described it, your own words are not describing the gift of discernment.

Ultimately everyone who is not a follower of Christ is being led astray by Satan. That's his role as our prosecuting angel, the deceiver. God ordained this role for Satan, and Satan is carrying out with aplomb. But in saying that, it is unhelpful to lay that accusation at people who don't agree with my beliefs. Especially since laying that accusation at one person gives the impression that Satan has gone out of his way to deceive that individaul, and they alone, while other people are not subjected to that deception.

You think by not saying the accusation that it makes you better than those who do? You think it and thus you will operate just as them in essence. There are no loopholes. You have not bettered your odds this time either.

It is also a matter of note that I am not perfect. I am not the sole bringer of Truth when it comes to God or the Bible.

But you are quick to judge paths and by extension it is judging those on them. There is no middlge ground.

I have things wrong in my theology, though I am constantly applying myself to find those flaws and iron them out. Laying the claim that someone is being "tricked by the devil" sets up a false dichotomy in which the person is setting themselves up as being totally free of such trickery. Where my fault in theology lies (which I do not believe to be faults), there lies the trickery of Satan in my own life. Depending on the motives, it could even be seen as an act of Judgement in the condemnatory sense that Jesus demands us not to Judge.

So you don't tell someone they are being "tricked by the devil" even if you actually believe "everyone who is not following Christ is being led astray by Satan"?

This is your way of ironing out theology?

Some try to find God more with their heart than head. Those who use only their minds are rigid and that is not how the Spirit works.

I can't disagree with the pain caused by this view. But that doesn't mean it is false. But I cannot ignore the "human" aspect to it. We as a species have always been distrustful of that which is different. It's an evolutionary trait going back to our times as hunter-gatherers, where competing tribes were to be feared. Having a belief that is viewed as the only true path can be exploited by this evolutionary fear of the unknown, especially in the past. But now as education improves and we learn tolerance, then that part of humanity, in my opinion, is going to slowly be enveloped by our intellect (though it will be long before it is completely wiped from our genetics, kids will still not trust that which is different - eg, the bully who picks on the only Asian kid at school).

Well my view is that plenty of Christians have and continue to do ugly things to non-Christians, and I know whose side God is taking in the end.

Some even reject or harm their fellow Christians by claiming they are not Christians at all as if they are the Spirit to decide.

Christianity needs to change to not harm others. You obviously don't think that is a problem or issue worth pursuing. Understandable because you are part of the traditional Christianity.

I do agree with you that we are evolving as a species to work better as groups and respect the individual but there are plenty of fringes including the one plenty of traditional Christians are on.

But as I said, the harm that this may have caused does not disqualify it from being true - what if Christianity really is the one true path?

You are justifying the harm your belief and religion has caused instead of trying to diminish it. I cannot support you in that but can recognize your view on this singular issue for what it is: backward.

And according to that same text in Romans 2:14-16, their actions condemn them. I'll quote my New Oxford Annotated Bible on the matter:

2:14-15 - Paul recognises (despite 1:18-32) that there are morally sensitive and responsible Gentiles, however far short they may fall of God's righteous demands ~ Page 1363

I understand what you are implying, because the text says they are condemned, but it also says that they may "even be excused" by their actions. However, in the broader theological canvas of Romans, while sometimes their actions may excuse them, the fact that their consciences do also condemn them, they are already condemned unless they have some way to undo that condemnation. And theologically, I cannot support any other way except Jesus being the way to undo that condemnation.

Theologically you cannot support another way but just plainly reading the Bible without dogma to guide me I can also plainly understand.

snapback.pngParanoid Android: "The term "blaspheme" in the Greek implies vilification, spouting hate and lies about something (in this case, the goddess Artemis, in Acts 19). It wasn't simply the disbelief in a certain path. I know now why you asked me if I blasphemed the goddess. Not believing in Artemis is not the blasphemy that the people were bringing to the Christians in Acts 19. This blasphemy they were accused of (and exonerated by the same passage) was direct confrontation against the goddess, spreading hate and distrust of her by their words. So while I may have "blasphemed" Artemis in the sense that I don't believe she exists, I have not blasphemed her in the sense of spreading hate speech against her or those who follow her."

Don't forget you believe that "everyone who is not following Christ is being led astray by Satan" even if you don't want to tell them to their face they are being "tricked by the devil".

That is blasphemy to all other paths including that of the goddess Artemis.

snapback.pngParanoid Android: "The Bible says nothing of these cases so we have to use other parts of the Bible to support our case. And since several positions can be argued, while this is what I believe will happen, it is not something I will dogmatically hold to. If forced into dogma, the answer I can best give is "I don't know". While I believe what I believe, if I am wrong then I am wrong and so be it (as said, the Bible is not exactly clear on the issue)."

The point I was making is that your extrabiblical beliefs are no better than other extrabiblical beliefs held by others. The point was made because you probably consider my view extrabiblical but you won't even give it the respect you give your own extrabiblical views.

Except my view was already backed up with scripture, you don't have to agree, your narrative is yours, but as noted it is rather plain reading once you remove dogma as a filter.

snapback.pngParanoid Android:"So while my theories are acceptable to me, they are by no means absolute."

Just more certain than those of others right? Vanity, meh.

I have to go for a bit, this is rather lengthy, but I wanted to at least post something within a week. Thank you so far and if you don't beat me to it I will definitely try to add in part 2 ASAP.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

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