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Troubling Doctrines For Christians

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I think that's probably the key. If, as is stated, God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, it seems inconceivable that he'd be so jealous and vindictive that he'd choose for Destruction anyone who didn't worship him; that's just looking at God as some little tinpot Dear Leader who puts up against the wall anyone who doesn't Adore him sufficiently. I think it's a great insult to God to think of him in such terms.

It would be more confounding if He predestined individuals for destruction. It would be more perplexing if He chose some souls for eternal damnation with all the pain and suffering. It would not be possible to justify that in a logical way. I could not be a Calvinist.

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It would be more confounding if He predestined individuals for destruction. It would be more perplexing if He chose some souls for eternal damnation with all the pain and suffering. It would not be possible to justify that in a logical way. I could not be a Calvinist.

I sometimes think we make more of predestination than God intended. I think it may, in part mean that given the way He chose to go about working His plan, which included giving man the ability to choose, He knew there would be a portion of people who would choose not to follow Him no matter what He did or didn't reveal of Himself. So, in deciding to work His plan in this way He "predestined" some to be lost. Not that He selected, "Well, John will not be saved, My Yoi Huang will also not make it, Marco will not be saved..."
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So, in deciding to work His plan in this way He "predestined" some to be lost. Not that He selected, "Well, John will not be saved, My Yoi Huang will also not make it, Marco will not be saved..."

Huh????????????

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I sometimes think we make more of predestination than God intended. I think it may, in part mean that given the way He chose to go about working His plan, which included giving man the ability to choose, He knew there would be a portion of people who would choose not to follow Him no matter what He did or didn't reveal of Himself. So, in deciding to work His plan in this way He "predestined" some to be lost. Not that He selected, "Well, John will not be saved, My Yoi Huang will also not make it, Marco will not be saved..."

That's what christ was for. So that only those who chose would be lost.

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I think the whole lost/saved thing is way out of proportion and was lost in translation. I think Jesus doesn't go out of his way damning people. He's the god of love. He doesn't create some kind of path to torture those who don't believe in him and keep them lost. Jesus knows the future but predestination sounds manmade. Predestination in religion is every single situation has been preplanned by god. Predestination sounds vicious coming from a loving god Jesus. It doesn't make sense. Knowing the future is something else. We have free choice. I don't think god manages our lifestyles unless we give up our free choice and follow Jesus. We are not puppets.

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I sometimes think we make more of predestination than God intended. I think it may, in part mean that given the way He chose to go about working His plan, which included giving man the ability to choose, He knew there would be a portion of people who would choose not to follow Him no matter what He did or didn't reveal of Himself. So, in deciding to work His plan in this way He "predestined" some to be lost. Not that He selected, "Well, John will not be saved, My Yoi Huang will also not make it, Marco will not be saved..."

That's a good explanation. You likely know more about scriptures and theology than I do. That said, "predestined" sounds quite a bit like "selected" to my fallible ears. It seems like a distinction with next to no difference. I admit that it's a tough nut to crack. Your explanation is one of the better ones that I've heard or read. It might not quite bring a solution to the Calvinist conundrum, but it's a step in the right direction. I accept the fact that I can't really answer the question.

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I think the whole lost/saved thing is way out of proportion and was lost in translation. I think Jesus doesn't go out of his way damning people. He's the god of love. He doesn't create some kind of path to torture those who don't believe in him and keep them lost. Jesus knows the future but predestination sounds manmade. Predestination in religion is every single situation has been preplanned by god. Predestination sounds vicious coming from a loving god Jesus. It doesn't make sense. Knowing the future is something else. We have free choice. I don't think god manages our lifestyles unless we give up our free choice and follow Jesus. We are not puppets.

In a general direction, we make decisions left and right every day. Some of them are opportunities, some of which may be placed in our lives by God. We might accept them, or we might reject them. Some of them may change our destinies. We all have regrets and remorse over making wrong choices. On the other hand, we all feel relief over making right choices. It almost seems like a life-long journey of picking the right "door". We sometimes come to proverbial forks in the road, not sure of which path to take.

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In a general direction

In a general direction???????????? According to whom?

some of which may be placed in our lives by God.

I would only agree to this if you gave yourself to Christ, meaning you're a real christian. What you're saying here is people who are not christian don't have a free choice.

some of which may be placed in our lives by God. We might accept them, or we might reject them.

I believe everything in my life is jesus' will because I gave myself to Christ. So I accept everything in my life. If god is the one running your life you won't have the time to reject. You'll feel embarrassed blaming god for the horrible things too. God is either almighty or he's not god at all. This rule doesn't apply to non christian. People outside the christian religion have their thing.

On the other hand, we all feel relief over making right choices.

If you're a real christian you would know there's only one choice. Jesus' way. His will. He's writing his will to christians' hearts. For a christian every road is a road to jesus christ. Are we real christian? That's really the question. I'm not here to judge other people's beliefs outside of christianity. Edited by euroninja

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On the other hand, we all feel relief over making right choices.

As a christian how would I know if I made the right choices? Only Jesus knows the right way but he also gave us the scriptures. Either jesus died for my sins or he didn't. That's the bottom line. I have no fear because jesus made that promise. All I can do is to follow the scriptures about jesus and be a sane loving human being.

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As a christian how would I know if I made the right choices? Only Jesus knows the right way but he also gave us the scriptures. Either jesus died for my sins or he didn't. That's the bottom line. I have no fear because jesus made that promise. All I can do is to follow the scriptures about jesus and be a sane loving human being.

You missed my point. I was referring to life, in general. All human beings are faced with chances to accept or reject choices on a routine basis. "Should I date that woman?" "Should I take that job?" Some of those decisions can be life-changing in dramatic ways. They often make people wonder about the path not taken. I didn't limit this to Christians or theists of any kind, for that matter.

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You missed my point. I was referring to life, in general. All human beings are faced with chances to accept or reject choices on a routine basis. "Should I date that woman?" "Should I take that job?" Some of those decisions can be life-changing in dramatic ways. They often make people wonder about the path not taken. I didn't limit this to Christians or theists of any kind, for that matter.

You're right I missed your point because I thought this thread is about Troubling Doctrines For Christians. I'm reading you through my christian faith, and it doesn't change how my life is turning out. Jesus runs my life and it doesn't mean I'm following it through blind faith. I don't see things as good or bad decisions. I see things as moving me closer to christ. Am I becoming a better deeper person in christ? That's the way I see things. Everything is a learning experience to let christ in deeper than before. Heartaches, sufferings, they all teach something about my connection with my god. Thy will be done. I either want that to happen or I'm not a christian.
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Jesus Christ is not here to make me suffer. He's here to love people and make me his vessel. The holy spirit is here to make real christians his vessels. That's in the Bible.

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I think the whole lost/saved thing is way out of proportion and was lost in translation. I think Jesus doesn't go out of his way damning people. He's the god of love. He doesn't create some kind of path to torture those who don't believe in him and keep them lost. Jesus knows the future but predestination sounds manmade. Predestination in religion is every single situation has been preplanned by god. Predestination sounds vicious coming from a loving god Jesus. It doesn't make sense. Knowing the future is something else. We have free choice. I don't think god manages our lifestyles unless we give up our free choice and follow Jesus. We are not puppets.

yes, I think the problem with that notion is that it thinks of God in Human ways; that God thinks like Humans do, and "knows" what's going to happen, but at the same time intervenes in a hands-on way to direct the life of individuals? if he Knew everything that was going to happen, that wiould hardly be necessary, would it? it's like giving God human emotions (mostly anger); it's basically trying to think of God in ways that people can understand, which is perfectly understandable but limits Him, and so is arguably not necessarily the truth and the whole truth.

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You have three "infinities" about God that people try to make fit together -- infinite love, infinite justice, infinite power. Now the love part says that God wants everyone to be saved.

The infinite justice parts says that evil must be punished. (I think this is the favorite part about all this to fundamentalists).

The infinite power part says God gets anything He wants, no exceptions. How can God get the "save everyone" part of the first God and at the same time the "punish evil" part of the second God? Well this third God gives the answer very simply -- God has arranged things so that everyone ultimately is saved, but must first be punished for the bad things they do.

The Roman Catholic purgatory solves this problem, if you take Hell as just a showplace not actually occupied, except by abstract ideas.

The Buddhist/Hindu concept of rebirth also solves it, as you work out your karma (the word for your accumulated sins and merits).

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if he Knew everything that was going to happen, that wiould hardly be necessary, would it?

Perfect I'm with you.

it's like giving God human emotions (mostly anger); it's basically trying to think of God in ways that people can understand, which is perfectly understandable but limits Him, and so is arguably not necessarily the truth and the whole truth.

I think when it comes to Jesus, love is not an emotion. It's presence. I've read that somewhere or one of the post even.

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yes, I think the problem with that notion is that it thinks of God in Human ways; that God thinks like Humans do, and "knows" what's going to happen, but at the same time intervenes in a hands-on way to direct the life of individuals? if he Knew everything that was going to happen, that wiould hardly be necessary, would it? it's like giving God human emotions (mostly anger); it's basically trying to think of God in ways that people can understand, which is perfectly understandable but limits Him, and so is arguably not necessarily the truth and the whole truth.

I don't buy that God "knows" what we are going to do. Omniscience to me implies knowing anything that can be known, but we have free will which I would think has to mean that what we will do when we exercise that free will is not knowable. If it is knowable even in theory (say God hides this knowledge from Himself), it is still determined and not free.

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I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, Frank, but how does God knowing something that will happen determine it? If God exists outside of time, or say God created time and can control it, I think He could see something in the future (if it even would be the future to Him) and yet not determine it. This is a hard concept to grasp, I admit. I heard it explained once. It's kinda like, we're limited to past, present, and future, but maybe God can exist in all three simultaneously. I wish I could explain it better but I really don't understand it myself. That used to bother me quite a bit, how does God know what happens before it happens, but somehow I believe He does, and yet does not determine it, even the choices we make.

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yes, I think the problem with that notion is that it thinks of God in Human ways; that God thinks like Humans do, and "knows" what's going to happen, but at the same time intervenes in a hands-on way to direct the life of individuals? if he Knew everything that was going to happen, that wiould hardly be necessary, would it?

Being human limits us from knowing god's mind. So there are those who believe in god's intervention. Examples are in the bible. Many people also don't believe in god's existence. They still believe in free will. I'm a christian. So I believe in Thy Will Be Done because it's the best conclusion for me. I also experience my life that way. I accept life. If god predestined my christian life I wouldn't know about it. So I accept the premise, "if he Knew everything that was going to happen, that wiould hardly be necessary, would it?"

Now that I'm older many of my early christian church beliefs have been reinterpreted by me through studies and life experiences. Invalid old church beliefs are hard to let go because they are part of the popular culture.

Edited by euroninja
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You have three "infinities" about God that people try to make fit together -- infinite love, infinite justice, infinite power. Now the love part says that God wants everyone to be saved.

The infinite justice parts says that evil must be punished. (I think this is the favorite part about all this to fundamentalists).

The infinite power part says God gets anything He wants, no exceptions. How can God get the "save everyone" part of the first God and at the same time the "punish evil" part of the second God? Well this third God gives the answer very simply -- God has arranged things so that everyone ultimately is saved, but must first be punished for the bad things they do.

The Roman Catholic purgatory solves this problem, if you take Hell as just a showplace not actually occupied, except by abstract ideas.

The Buddhist/Hindu concept of rebirth also solves it, as you work out your karma (the word for your accumulated sins and merits).

You forgot one infinite mercy. Which again is were christ comes into the picture.

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If it is possible to know with certainty what someone will do, then whether God knows it or not becomes beside the point -- what that person will do is predestined. It may be determined by their genes and life experiences and nature and even their mood at the moment, but if it can be known by anyone or any thing, or even if it can't be known but is theoretically knowable, then it is determined and there is no free will.

The only way we can have free will is if we are able to do things that there is no way to predict.

I think infinite love covers mercy and compassion, and Christ is not needed.

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You have three "infinities" about God that people try to make fit together -- infinite love, infinite justice, infinite power. Now the love part says that God wants everyone to be saved.

The infinite justice parts says that evil must be punished. (I think this is the favorite part about all this to fundamentalists).

The infinite power part says God gets anything He wants, no exceptions. How can God get the "save everyone" part of the first God and at the same time the "punish evil" part of the second God? Well this third God gives the answer very simply -- God has arranged things so that everyone ultimately is saved, but must first be punished for the bad things they do.

The Roman Catholic purgatory solves this problem, if you take Hell as just a showplace not actually occupied, except by abstract ideas.

The Buddhist/Hindu concept of rebirth also solves it, as you work out your karma (the word for your accumulated sins and merits).

I agree that people struggle to fit those three "infinites" together, but the reason for the struggle lies with out self-centered view of things.

Yes, God is infinite love, which is why He paid the price for the infinite end result of your choices, but it is also why He will not force Himself on you for infinity if you don't want to spend it with Him. His infinite love does not mean He will be your floor mat and infinite-wish-granting genie.

God is infinite justice which is why, despite the fact that He would like for none to be lost, those who choose not to be saved will experience the infinite result of their own choices.

He does have infinite power and could simply force everyone into communion with Him, but His true, clean, pure infinite love prevents Him from forcing us into infinite slavery clothed as "infinite love."

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You missed the point entirely. Do you want to try again?

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well i haven't read even close to all of the comments that have been presented above so i apologize if i'm being redundant here in what i'm about to say. what i have to say regarding hell is simple. but lets start with your first contention: "Eternal Hell is excessive, and why would souls be predestined to go there?" regarding this question i must first ask, how do you know that we believe that some souls are predestined there? the answer would be to say that "some " Christians have openly admitted this. well those Christians are calvinists. i personally am not a calvinist. but to go on to the "problem of hell" i must ask, why is it excessive? do scientists not agree that time has a beginning. i see it logical to concede that we also have a personal agent who may intervene for us who transcends time. in the spiritual world, we are not chained down to even the concept of time. so why would a spirit complain? can they conceive the concept of time? certainly not. i believe souls choose to go to heaven or hell governed by the, not brain, but mind that their earthly bodies governed here on earth. if they chose to go there without the notion of time then why would a minute in hell be any different than an eternity in hell? it isn't different to them. surely they only understand the present. for how could a conscious being without the notion of time possibly understand the past or future? its like a baby with object permanence. whatever is current is all that there is. in their world, time doesn't have a limit. they are always in the present. the present is a form of time, yes but i'm not expecting you to conceive a world without the concept of time. is it possible for type of thing to be conscious in this type of world? i think so. and so we have it that their will to go to hell in the first place is as great as their will to stay once they're there. time itself doesn't play a role. they are always governed by the same mindset that their bodies on earth formed when time did play a reality. now, with literally no concept of time, you cannot change your mindset. its nearly inconceivable notice that the logic i'm using is the logic that people could use thousands of years ago as well. except for the bit that scientists now agree that time had a beginning; this shows that even scientists agree that there at least was a reality without even the concept of time...

Now going on to the unforgivable sin. may i ask "why" it seems contradictory and out of place? this is just one sin. its highly controversial as to whether this sin can be forgiven if you repent, despite Jesus verse saying that this sin won't be forgiven in this world or the next. but surely the fear that this notion invokes doesn't cause it to be out of place. can you imagine someone having a fatal stroke as they were urinating on a statue of our Lord and Savior and then going on to heaven to meet God and be in paradise in His up most kingdom? i can't. and i think that thats all that needs to be said on that matter at hand.

Now lets go on to contention #3. this contention or rather subjective observation regards why the old and new Testament seem to clash. well i believe that this is because the God in heaven was showing His authority in the old testament followed by the concluding love of His in the in the new testament. in the old Testament it was necessary for Him to set a solid foundation for the faith to go by. no sailer sets sail with a boat that has holes in it unless he wants this boat to quickly go down with the res threw out history. so for God to show exactly "why" we should fear Him as an omnipotent, omniscient Being, i believe this is a truly good thing for Him to show and should only be judged by us after we've gained the faithful mind toward Him and an accepting mind that we should have. for a person doesn't come to love their enemies by having a negative mindset does he? you must be knowledgable and accepting towards the Bible when you read this.

Further you ask why slavery is not condemned. well i believe that this isn't completely necessary. the Bible teachers for the owner to refrain from hurting his slaves. the Bible also teaches for both the slave and the owner to acknowledge God as the Master. in a time when slavery might of been fairly common in the land, we must set the grounds for it. the slavery was not taught to include the beating and verbal abuse that we think of when we think of slavery. when we think of slavery we most commonly think of the blacks and what they had to go threw. the Bible strongly condemns this type of slavery however. this, in contrast was the type of slavery that led an entire nation to truly hate their neighbor, and to abuse their neighbor and to think of themselves as better than thy neighbor on every level even though this "neighbor" has done nothing wrong. in contrast to the slavery that the Bible teaches, the Bible teachers not to abuse, to love everyone unconditionally, and to remember your fathers days as slaves in egypt whenever you welcome outsiders or anyone for that matter.

so please, take a chance on the Bible. start out with the new Testament, read the books from the beginning as you would with a book today, and i encourage you to look at the cup as half full rather than half empty. the Word of God wasn't meant to persuade even those who read it with an evil mind. those of whom simply read it only to find the faults and to continue hating God.

Edited by JonK
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You missed the point entirely. Do you want to try again?

Sure, why not

You have three "infinities" about God that people try to make fit together -- infinite love, infinite justice, infinite power. Now the love part says that God wants everyone to be saved.

... and provided a way that is freely available to all, but is forced on none.
The infinite justice parts says that evil must be punished. (I think this is the favorite part about all this to fundamentalists).
Not all fundamentalists.
The infinite power part says God gets anything He wants, no exceptions. How can God get the "save everyone" part of the first God and at the same time the "punish evil" part of the second God? Well this third God gives the answer very simply -- God has arranged things so that everyone ultimately is saved, but must first be punished for the bad things they do.
I think the infinite power part means He can do as He wills, which means He can also choose to let each person choose and can choose to stand by their choices, so those who choose to reject salvation will not in the end find themselves forced to commune with Him eternally.
The Roman Catholic purgatory solves this problem, if you take Hell as just a showplace not actually occupied, except by abstract ideas.

The Buddhist/Hindu concept of rebirth also solves it, as you work out your karma (the word for your accumulated sins and merits).

Neither of these fits with what we find at the end of Revelations.
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I really don't care what you find in Revelations; I'm just pointing out what your teaching about God leads to. It leads to some sort of universal salvation -- maybe after many lives but that is where it leads. That you have a doctrine contridicting what you say about your God is your problem, and I would suspect will require many hard lives or maybe many eons in Purgation to cleanse yourself of. I suspect that if there is an unforgivable sin, it would be limiting the reach of God's love with your own desires to see others punished.

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