If the Statement is True, Your Religion Is Vile

God created man imperfect & allowed Satan to cause their downfall, after which he would re-instate them only when he had forced them to kill him, ingest his body and rejoice in this plan for salvation.

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93 Responses to “If the Statement is True, Your Religion Is Vile”

  1. brooksrobinson Says:

    God created man perfect. He gave them freewill and as a result chose to sin. God gave himself to die on the cross so that no man can say that God doesn’t understand us, or this place. He dwelled on the earth for 33yrs, then being a perfect sin sacrifice died on the cross so that everyone can receive everlasting life if they choose it.

  2. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    I’m sorry, as you state, Eve was perfect, meaning completely innocent and free of sinful thoughts. A perfect being is incapable of sin. Eve was absolutely unaware that she was sinning. Remember, another god (Lucifer) was disguised as a serpent and assuring her that it was ok. And it was your all powerful, all knowing God who allowed Lucifer access to the Garden of Eden. God could have intervened at any time to prevent this. Hell, he could have simply allowed Eve to ‘sin’ and stepped in to prevent her from corrupting his original creation, Adam.

    Also, a god who fathered a human child, simply so that child could be tortured to death in some bizarre replacement for the barbarous, ritualistic blood sacrifices that were previously required for man to atone for their perceived ‘sins’ is a monster and hardly worth of praise. And look around you, friend, did Jesus’ death really help? Really? I guess if you consider the millions of animals that didn’t need to be slaughtered to satisfy your god’s barbarous blood thirst, it was a good thing for P.E.T.A.

    Also, please don’t get all worked up at my referring to Lucifer as a god. Remember, he and many others dwelled with God in the heavens BEFORE earth’s creation. These beings were powerful enough for many of them to rise up and defy God and start a civil war in this ‘perfect’ heavenly kingdom. I’m sorry, this sounds like the definition of a god to me.

    Thank you for your comment.

  3. Free will is a gift to man. For God to intervene would lead to us being robots, God specifically told them not to eat from that tree… Its no different then your parents telling you to not venture out in the street when you were little. If you remember from your religious days, you’ll remember that Jesus is God so God sacrificed himself for humankind. God never said Jesus’ death will make all the pains of earth go away. Jesus died for all to enter heaven if they so choose, this life is nothing more then a corrupt world. Besides whats torture and pain and suffering evil, and if theres nothing afterwards? All this is just all natural human kind.

  4. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    So, if you tell your little 6yo daughter to not talk to strangers and to not get into a car with a stranger and you tell her this every day and then, ‘god’ forbid, one day a very nice looking lady pulls up in front of your house and manages to convince your daughter to get into her car, abducts her, the woman’s husband rapes your daughter repeatedly over a six month period before the authorities are able to find her and return her to you, you would blame your innocent daughter for being so gullible as to be convinced by another adult to get into their car? Really?

    Sorry for the run on sentence. I was so offended by your ‘logic’ that I couldn’t help but rant.

  5. Did my 6year old child disobey me? Yes, so is this not partially her fault? Yes, I told her not to talk to strangers, therefore she shouldn’t of talked to them… Does that mean I’d be upset at her? No, the tragedy of the situation out ways my anger, and I think the same goes to say with God. If the tragedy of the situation did not out way his anger, He would not of sent Jesus to die on the cross to prevent us from our eternal destiny. He would not tried to give Sodom and Gomorrah one more chance by going down himself to see if their sin’s outcry was as bad as it seemed from heaven. He would not of given Israel many chances to live for him.

  6. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    [[[He would not tried to give Sodom and Gomorrah one more chance by going down himself to see if their sin’s outcry was as bad as it seemed from heaven.]]]

    Your response to my daughter analogy is so asinine that I don’t feel the need to comment. However, your bizarre mention of God giving Sodom and Gomorrah a ‘second chance’ by going down himself, in order to see their sin up close, just to be sure it was, in fact, what he was seeing from heaven sent me toppling to the floor in laughter. Are you suggesting your perfect god needs glasses? Strange how many times God reflexively punishes his creation without ever going down for an up close and personal inspection to confirm his punishment will be justified.

    A few questions for you, brooksrobinson:

    • Are all men (& women) born sinners?
    • Is your god ‘perfect?
    • Is your god a merciful god?
    • Is your god still as actively involved in his creation’s lives as he was in ‘biblical’ times?
    • Is life on earth a curse upon man?
    • Is heaven your reward for good deeds done while alive or simply for anyone who accepts Jesus as their personal savior? In other words, who deserves to go to heaven and why do they deserve to go there?

    Thanks

  7. Lone Wolf Says:

    brooksrobinson: The “free will” argument just doesn’t work. First of all, God has no problem with humans impeding each others free will. A man kidnaps and rapes a little girl, it wasn’t her choice to be kidnapped and raped, She just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, she didn’t have any free will when it came to it, his will overtook hers. And imagine what effect that will have on the little girl, how it will effect her personality. Haunted by the experience she may end up hating men and doing drugs to escape the memory of it.

    And that leads me to point 2, we don’t have free will, our actions are determined by the situation were in and our personality’s, our personality’s are determined by out genetic personality traits and past experiences, our situations are determined by out action and the actions of others.

    And it all goes back to God. God supposedly created Satan, God supposedly gave Satan his personality and supposedly created the environment that Satan lived in.. Gd created Adam and Eve, God gave them personality’s. God put the tree of knowledge where they could get to it. Do the math.

  8. Lone Wolf Says:

    I just thought of something. Maybe they where perfect, Maybe God created the world perfect but he is an evil jack ass thus the world tuned against him. Then God interfered in the would trying to get people to turn back to him and messed it up.

  9. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Thanks for the input, Lone Wolf. It’s nice to have a fellow rational thinker join me in my continuous back and forth with brooksrobinson.

  10. A few questions for you, brooksrobinson:

    • Are all men (& women) born sinners?
    • Is your god ‘perfect?
    • Is your god a merciful god?
    • Is your god still as actively involved in his creation’s lives as he was in ‘biblical’ times?
    • Is life on earth a curse upon man?
    • Is heaven your reward for good deeds done while alive or simply for anyone who accepts Jesus as their personal savior? In other words, who deserves to go to heaven and why do they deserve to go there?

    Well doubtingthomas we meet again on yet another point of interest lol.
    So I will try to answer these questions as best I can.
    Yes all humans are born sinners
    Yes my God is perfect and merciful
    Yes he is still involved in creation, and no life on earth is not a curse.
    No heaven is not a reward for good deed, heaven is a reward for true conversion to christ, however we will be rewarded for our deeds in heaven as you probably know from your biblical study.

    Lone wolf:”brooksrobinson: The “free will” argument just doesn’t work. First of all, God has no problem with humans impeding each others free will. A man kidnaps and rapes a little girl, it wasn’t her choice to be kidnapped and raped, She just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, she didn’t have any free will when it came to it, his will overtook hers. And imagine what effect that will have on the little girl, how it will effect her personality. Haunted by the experience she may end up hating men and doing drugs to escape the memory of it.

    And that leads me to point 2, we don’t have free will, our actions are determined by the situation were in and our personality’s, our personality’s are determined by out genetic personality traits and past experiences, our situations are determined by out action and the actions of others.

    And it all goes back to God. God supposedly created Satan, God supposedly gave Satan his personality and supposedly created the environment that Satan lived in.. Gd created Adam and Eve, God gave them personality’s. God put the tree of knowledge where they could get to it. Do the math.”

    I have to say that I disagree with your viewpoint here, While you are a very intelligent person from what I have read and I have great respect for you as a thinker, I must say that you miss something.

    Free will is the choice that we make to determine the actions that we perform. While we may do what coincides(sp) with our personality that is because those are the decisons we are comfortable with, however it does not govern our decisions. Because while we may go with the path we are used to, that does not mean that there is no other option in the given situation.

    And with your analogy of the little girl and the rape, I must say that I know several rape victims that have gone on to live quite normal lives, and there are the few that turn to drugs and such to “overcome the pain” however i must ask. Whose decision is it for her to do the drugs? whose decision is it for her to hate men? You say that we live in a deterministic society, so I will ask you, If a man who is financially stable, and who has no criminal record goes out and steals a tv from a store, then how is that determined from his personality? He could have afforded the tv, however he made a choice out of his own possibilities to go in and steal it instead.

    For every situation there are positive, negative, and neutral responses, We make the decision as to which one of them we will follow.
    I hope that I have stated my view in a legible way. !)avid

    • As a survivor of child abuse, it is my decision to say you’re an idiot if you think a child who was raped has ‘free will’. From the moment she is violated until some later day that may never come when she can shake herself loose from the demons that the predator inflicted upon her, that child HAS NO FREE WILL. She is a SLAVE to the ugly shame thrust inside her by the evil person who molested her. SHAME ON YOU for saying this girl had a choice.

      While a more rational part of me may at least partially agree with you on an intellectual level- yes the choices she made were her choices to make; but tell me, if you were 6 years old and a large man had his knee to your chest, and his d— in your butt, how exactly does free will factor in? You gunna choose to do what??

      Intellectual agreement or not, WHERE IS YOUR COMPASSION??? Intellectual discussion is fine, to a point. YOU HAVE REACHED THAT POINT.

      Sorry I dont express myself well. See when you’re sadistically and repeated raped as a child, your head gets a little messed up, and intellectual thought on the subject just isn’t possible. Try not to sound like a heartless robot when you’re talking about that hypothetical little girl. Because SHE IS REAL. And she sure dont feel like she had a F’in choice, back then or for many years after.

  11. Lone Wolf Says:

    But what I’m saying is the choice it self has been determined by the variables involved, even out thoughts are determined. The variables and amount of variable are so complex that the human brain is no where near powerful enough to comprehend it all.
    Are all men (& women) born sinners? No.
    Is your god ‘perfect? There is no God and if there is, no.
    Is your god a merciful god? There is no God and if there is, the Christan God, no.
    Is your god still as actively involved in his creation’s lives as he was in ‘biblical’ times? No, not at all.
    Is life on earth a curse upon man? No.
    Is heaven your reward for good deeds done while alive or simply for anyone who accepts Jesus as their personal savior? In other words, who deserves to go to heaven and why do they deserve to go there? This goes to the merciful question, If God is merciful, than God would not care what people believe, he would show mercy to all and bring all to heaven and only punish bad people with temporary punishments meant to teach them to be good people.

  12. Lone wolf: you seem to confuse mercy with, God being a pushover, also. At the risk of sounding like a sunday school child, No one deserves to go to heaven. Because in order to spend eternity with a perfect being, we would also need to be perfect, however due to the atonement that we recieved by his blood. BUT back to the first part of the comment.

    I still miss how you say that the choice has been predetermined, by the variables. I understand it to a point but, I miss how you say that every decision is merely a sum of our electrical impulses. It just doesnt make sense to me. !)avid

  13. Lone Wolf Says:

    No I have not confused mercy with being a push over. That would be a merciful god, a merciful god would not be concerned with what people believe, it would be concerned with how we treat each other. The Christan god is not merciful but merciless.

    It has been shown that God is ether imperfect are very evil. The whole “Satan vs God” thing is the best example. God created Satan, God created the enviroment Satan lived in, thus something ether in the way Satan was made, in the environment or both lead to his rebellion. Now if God was perfect, Satan would not have rebelled cause what lead Satan to rebelling would not have been there.For insistence if it was a desire for power, all God would have had to do was make Satan with out that desire for power.And there was a war in heaven so the mistakes where not just made with Satan but many angels.
    Another example is the story of the fall. God put the tree of knowledge in the Guardian of Eden, God made Adam and Eve and God made the serpent. Now a few changes in how God made them would have prevented the fall from happening. Giving the snake a different personality, giving Adam and Eve a fear of the tree, making a guard to guard the tree and keep Adam and Eve away or just not letting the snake in the guardian or just not putting the tree of knowledge
    A perfect bing can’t make mistakes.

    For every action there is a reaction and action is a reaction. Thought is our brain processing decision based information, the information comes from memory and circumstance, they way its processed is based on memory, genetics and other factors (insistence possibly drugs, how much sleep blah has gotten and so on). All those are some of the variables involved in satiations plus theres the enviroment which add more variables.
    Think of it like a computer code. There are a bunch of if,s elses, else ifs and, and ifs in a bunch of functions. The variables determine the out come of the “ifs” (and that the present) and those out comes determine the values of the next set of variables.

  14. Well I dont entirely agree with your view of Satan being throw from heaven, and the fall.

    Satan was created in a perfect environment, and given free will, just like the rest of God’s creation, Satan, chose to go away from God, Satan was kicked out of heaven based on his choices.

    The fall is another story that free will can explain. God placed the tree in the garden, and God gave adam and eve free will, Due to this free will, they were free to choose to listen to the serpent and eat the fruit.

    If God had simply taken the lust for power out of Satan, then he would have gone against his nature, His nature is perfect, and his nature involves him not forcing people into his will, Lucifer chose to rebel and God allowed it, Adam and Eve chose to eath the fruit and God allowed it, because it was not in accordance with his nature to force his will upon mankind.

    !)avid

  15. Very well said Whiteman, also let us remember that God in His loving-kindness sanctifies us through the trials that free will affords us. This in turn brings us to a deeper understanding of Him and His will for our lives so that we can have opportunity to be further obedient, thus refined for eternity in His presence. Lucifer chose disobedience and opted to rival His Creator, God, Himself, tells us that equality with Him is not something to be grasped, yet many of us try.
    In Him . . .

  16. Lone Wolf Says:

    Free will again. Christens, don’t use the free will argument cause it doesn’t work. When you examine the concept of free will, it falls apart and brakes down into determinism.
    Evey action that people take has been determined by countless variables. A persons actions are determined by genetic personality traits, past experiences, currant situation and state of mind all come together to determine what actions you will take and even the thoughts in your head.
    Going back too the Satan and fall thing; Satan could have only rebelled if something in the personality that God gave him, something in the enviroment or a combination of the 2 led to it. Free will can’t account for it unless you mean a truly random decision but thats not free will thats a random variable. Its the same for the fall, free will can’t account for that.
    God set up the situations that led to the rebellion and the fall, now if God was perfect, he wouldn’t have mad the mistake that lead to those events.

  17. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    whiteman0o0, you answered some of the questions I had asked brooksrobinson but I felt your answers were a little too automatic. Almost like you were just repeating those easy answers you had heard all your life. Perhaps my responses to your answers will give you more of an idea of what I was hoping for and maybe you can give me a little more clarification.

    I asked if all men and women are born sinners. Your answer: Yes. To me this is one of the most troubling concepts Christians believe in. To me an infant is innocent. To me a toddler is innocent. To me a child, even when throwing their most dramatic temper-tantrum, is innocent. If we are all born sinners then a sweet baby who falls victim to SIDS while asleep in their crib goes to hell. As do all those children who are incapable of making such a monumental decision as whether or not to accept someone called Jesus into their heart. Not to mention all the children who never even hear about anyone called Jesus. And then there are the mentally deficient, whether from birth, illness or accident. The most common response from Christians when confronted with this ugly idea is to say that God, in all his infinite wisdom and mercy, takes those children and babies into heaven, regardless. The mentally disabled are always included too. However, for Christians, this poses a problem. If the only way someone can get into heaven is through Jesus, then these kids are getting a free pass. Why? Because they are innocent? How can they be innocent if they are, as we all are, born sinners? But my biggest issue with this neat and tidy exclusion to the rule is the unavoidable question; at what point is a child no longer a child? In other words, when is the cut off age for getting the free pass? Seven? Nine? Eleven? Thirteen? Eighteen? When a child is considered an adult has always depended on the time and culture. Some cultures had their daughters married at ten, some still do. Would a ten year old bride who is forced to have sex with her adult husband still be allowed into heaven if she died shortly after the act? And please, I need more than a Yes or a No to these questions.

    I asked if your god was perfect and merciful. Your answer: Yes. Whiteman0o0, if any of my questions required more than a one word answer it was this one. I’m curious; do you believe that the Old Testament and the New Testament represent the same religion and the same God? If you don’t this would certainly help explain your assertion that your god was a perfect and merciful god. But if you believe they are one and the same, how can you possibly claim that the god represented in the bible, especially the Old Testament, could ever be described as merciful, let alone perfect?

    I asked if your god was still as actively involved in his creation’s lives as he was in ‘biblical’ times? Your answer: Yes. How in the world do you make this assertion, whiteman0o0? The bible is filled with incredible displays of God’s power; from rains of fire, to floods, to angels being sent down to annihilate great armies, to fathering a child with a human female, and on and on and on. A great many of those who profess to follow him would make the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah look like saints. Where is the rain of fire? Where are the swarms of hornets to aid the Israelites to victory? Please give me examples of how your god is involved in our lives comparably to how he was as depicted in the pages of the bible.

    I asked if life upon Earth is a curse upon man. Your answer: No. If when God created man in the Garden of Eden, his gift to man was the earth, as represented by the Garden, then when he booted man out of paradise and into the ‘real’ world, this was his punishment. Was it not?

    I asked if heaven was our reward for good deeds done while alive or simply for anyone who accepts Jesus as their personal savior? In other words, who deserves to go to heaven and why do they deserve to go there? Your answer (finally more than one word): “No heaven is not a reward for good deed, heaven is a reward for true conversion to Christ, however we will be rewarded for our deeds in heaven as you probably know from your biblical study.” — So a mass murdering, child raping, kitten stomping, tax evading, shoplifting, mattress tag removing, mp3 downloading, drug addicted, Scientologist who gets hit by a bus and as he lays dying, compelled by fear and the old ‘just in case’ scenario, invites Jesus into his heart and prays for forgiveness for his sins, THIS person is going to heaven to walk beside the Apostles? But the Hindu who dedicates his entire life to helping needy children, never does anything that even a Christian would consider sinful, and dies of starvation after giving another of his own meals to a hungry child, THIS guy deserves to burn in eternal hellfire? And since our interpretation of the bible is obviously quite different, could you tell me what rewards we will be receiving in heaven for all of our good deeds? And do you mean that the Christians who work as volunteers in the children’s cancer ward are going to be better set up in heaven than the jerks who get into heaven who did absolutely nothing but the required accepting of Jesus and asking for forgiveness? Are you suggesting that there is going to be some sort of ‘I got more than you did’ hierarchy in heaven? So we won’t be equal in heaven? Will the ‘great’ on Earth retain their ‘greatness’ in heaven? How about the meek? They inherit the Earth but what about in heaven? What type of believer do I need to be to assure myself of a spot high up on the heavenly reward pecking order?

    Regarding free will, you stated: “While we may do what coincides(sp) with our personality that is because those are the decisons we are comfortable with, however it does not govern our decisions. Because while we may go with the path we are used to, that does not mean that there is no other option in the given situation.” — Have you heard of AA, whiteman0o0? It is an organization founded by a pair of Christians, who designed a treatment program based on Christian principles to aid alcoholics with their drinking problems. Over the years a number of offshoots have been created, NA (Narcotics anonymous), etc. Make your above assertion to any of the leaders, organizers, supporters or members of any of these organizations and see how well it sits with them. In fact, free will is something they teach is the one thing these people DON’T have. Not in regards to their illness, at least. You must realize that there are MANY people whose behavior is not being based on making a decision they are comfortable with. Have you taken any psychology courses yet? I’m not sure what type of school you attend but in most, by senior year, at least some type of psychology course is mandatory. I’ll use one of the most common (and heartbreaking) examples of involuntary behavior. A young girl is molested by her father from infancy until her mid teens. During her high school years she sleeps with more than thirty different guys and girls (including two teachers), catches three different STDs, and eventually drops out halfway through her senior year. During this time she was also molesting her little brother. When she turns eighteen she moves to Hollywood and within two months she is making porn. She dies of a drug overdose three year later. Exactly when did God’s gift of ‘free will’ have the opportunity to override the massive psychological damage this girl suffered from as a result of all the abuse she went through?

    whiteman0o0 said the following:

    [[[Satan was created in a perfect environment, and given free will, just like the rest of God’s creation, Satan, chose to go away from God, Satan was kicked out of heaven based on his choices.
    The fall is another story that free will can explain. God placed the tree in the garden, and God gave adam and eve free will, Due to this free will, they were free to choose to listen to the serpent and eat the fruit.
    If God had simply taken the lust for power out of Satan, then he would have gone against his nature, His nature is perfect, and his nature involves him not forcing people into his will, Lucifer chose to rebel and God allowed it, Adam and Eve chose to eath the fruit and God allowed it, because it was not in accordance with his nature to force his will upon mankind]]]

    First, nowhere in the bible does it state that God gave free will to Lucifer or any of the others that dwelt with God in heaven. And remember, Lucifer and his allies found themselves in disagreement with God, rose up and rebelled against him BEFORE the earth and man were created. As for the fall and Eve’s ‘choice’ to be deceived by another god (Lucifer), I will go back to the analogy of the little seven year old girl lost in the woods. A man in a police officer’s uniform finds her there and says to her, “Come with me, little girl, come and I will take you to safety. Come and I will take you back to your parents.” The little girl’s parents told her time and time again never to talk to strangers and absolutely never to go anywhere with a stranger but this man is a police officer and seems so nice. He promises to take her to safety, to her parents. The little girl is naïve and doesn’t know any better. She disobeys her parents and goes with the man. Six months later she is rescued from the pedophile’s dungeon by the REAL police and finally returned to her parents. Damaged but alive. Her parents immediately punish her for going with the man by spanking her, taking away her toys, grounding her, forbidding her from seeing her friends, no Dora the Explorer, no dessert, no cartoons, no going to the park, no going outside, and they decide to spank her whenever she (pick anything that never used to result in pain). Be honest, whiteman0o0, are the little girl’s parents monsters? Of course they are. Can you really tell me Eve was any less naïve and gullible than the little girl in this example? If God is a merciful and forgiving god why didn’t he forgive Eve for, what is arguably, the most innocent ‘sin’ in the bible instead of dooming mankind to all that has followed? Also, where in the bible does it say that Lucifer and his fellow angel’s rebellion was based on a lust for power? And let’s not forget that NONE can deny God’s will, so man’s will is nothing but an illusion.

    Sorry about the novel, whiteman0o0, but there was a lot to respond to. I look forward to reading your reply.

    DoubtingThomas

  18. “To me an infant is innocent. To me a toddler is innocent. To me a child, even when throwing their most dramatic temper-tantrum, is innocent. If we are all born sinners then a sweet baby who falls victim to SIDS while asleep in their crib goes to hell.”

    Thomas: this statement is one that I have often heard and that I struggled with a few years ago until I realized something. God has perfect knowledge of everything that can be known logically, and such. God is also all powerful, and he has (in my opinion) the ability to see what ‘Could’ have happend in a situation. this view I later came to find out is called Molinism, it is the idea that God has ‘middle knowledge’ of a situation. For instance in your SIDS example, God has the ablility to see into the life that the Child would have lived, had it continued its existence, and what choices that child would have made in its life, and send it to hell or heaven on that evidence.

    As far as the mental illness portion of this question I will answer with a common phrase that I have used many times “I dont know” I am merely a teenager and I dont have the ability to see into the mind of God to know what he does with the mentally deficient people.

    For the question of the age of acountability I once again must say that I dont know for sure. In my mind it would vary from person to person depending on the level of maturity, intellectual ability, comprehension, etc… however I cant say this for sure considering as how I am not GOD.

    The 10 year old bride question holds alot of variables. The big one that I can see is, that it would really depend on if she was chrisitan or not, I have never really seen too many christian communities that will allow that. However if that 10 year old girl were to get married and have sex and then die, then I must once again use the good ole I dont know.

    As far as the OT and NT representing the same God, Yes they do. The same God was workin in the lives of the israelites in the OT as was in the NT. And yes he is merciful and JUST and perfect. My view on this is that We are imperfect and therefore incapable of understanding true perfection and what it means to be perfect. With a perfect moral code to go by and if we followed it then we would have the perfect rights to judge others. God has this perfect code and he does follow it, so he does have the perfect and whole right to judge those that he deems fit. You use passages that portray the side of God as being murderous, yet how is this any worse than us putting a serial killer to death? Or us charging into iraq guns blazing? God viewed those societies by his perfect code and found them to come up lacking extremely, as well as those societies that were persecuting the jews. They were Gods chosen people and he took care of them, that sometimes requires there to be someone who loses.

    Yes I do indeed believe that God is still involved in the earth today, while his interventions may not be as miraculous and outstanding as they were in the OT. However, If there were to be a rain of fire or something, how do you think it would go down? America would claim that It was some kind of terrorist attack after the scientists had said they couldnt describe it as a natural phenomenon and the Religious fanatics would go nuts and tie posterboard to themselves and run naked in the streets saying that the world was about to end. America would inevitably attack someone and we would have World War III. The type of intervention that I see now from God is on a far more personal level, as is the job of the Holy Spirit. In the Old testament God the Father, was the one that was more prominent because the societies of that day were far more religious and willing to accept it thru a show of power. However, todays societies are far more fragile in their beliefs, A true show of Gods power would in my mind do little to aid in the conversion to christianity. The movements of God now are just as powerful merely on an internal level, Conviction, Guilt over sin, and such are the fingerprints of God that I see now.

    The real world as we see it now was not his initial punishment. His initial punishment was some thorns and he had to work, and child bearing hurt. But if you follow the bible thru its stories and such you see a steady degrading of the earths condition as sin affects the environment and such more and more, so if the earth is indeed a curse on us then we are the one who brought it about.

    I will agree that our biblical interpritations do differ quite largely. YOu will notice that I said that heaven is only for those who are TRULY saved. This means those that accepted christ with the knowledge of the truth in their hearts, not those who just took it as a fire insurance policy. As far as the kitty stomper, I do not believe that he would go to heaven, I think that heaven and true conversion can only be reached by those that have the knowledge and fear of God in their souls, rather than the “ohh yeah i believe in jesus” attitude. As far as the “heavenly Heirarchy” there will be one of sorts but not so much the way that you are thinking of it.The Bema seat judgement of “judgement of the believers” occurs in heaven after the rapture, This is when we are judged on our good works to recieve our rewards in heaven. Now the judgement isnt based on “ohh look at what you did you get a gold star” system. This judgement is based on the thoughts of the heart while doing the action, if you are doing a good deed for your own self benefit then it will burn up like hay and stubble, but if you are doing the deed out of a true desire to serve God then it is counted for you.

    On to the ever popular free will arguments. Those christians may indeed say that there is no free will in that situation, however they are wrong. There is always free will, it is merely a matter of whether that free will can override your impulses/compulsions. Drug abuse is a compulsion, but that does not mean that you cant overcome it by making choices to not do it.

    As far as your psycology question, I have not taken a class in it as my school does not offer it. However my grandfather has a psycology doctorate, so I have heard quite a bit on the subject. Your Example however is not Involuntary. I have known several people that have been molested/raped by a trusted person, and they live their lives out fine, sure there is some emotional damage but they overcome it by choosing to do different things. Your story follows the opposite path, This girl however still had control over her life, While the things that she did were compulsory and what she had been raised on she also must have had a view that they were wrong, She CHOSE to follow that path on into adulthood, and she chose to take the drugs that would end her life. Free will is free will no matter how the variables shape the situation you always have a choice of which way to go.

    As far as your examle of the 7 year old in the forest. The parents may indeed seem like monsters to us, however they were perfectly in their right to punish her for her disobedience. As far as Eve in the garden, they had been told by the person that they knew was morally and absolutly perfect, to not go and eat the fruit of the tree, Eve however placed herself in the way of the temptation by going and gazing at the tree, it was this that satan used against her. She was already lusting towards the fruit, satan merely convinced her that there were benefits to directly disobeying Gods mandate.

    And with the whole NONE can deny Gods will, (if im not mistaken) you are basically saying that God has our lives mapped out(meticulous providence).

    I didnt mind the novel at all thomas it was a very interesting read, and i think I may have responded even longer than your initial comment, lol enjoy. !)avid

  19. Maybe I should buy myself a premium spot then.. who is religion to tell me how I can spend my afterlife.. depending on how much time I spent on my knees in this one..

    http://www.spotinheaven.com

  20. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Whiteman0o0, first, thank you for taking the time to expand upon your earlier answers for me. I truly appreciate it. However, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I find myself disagreeing with a number of your statements. One answer in particular sent me reeling. It was your argument for predeterminism. You suggested that God doesn’t judge dead babies and children for their ACTUAL lives but for the lives they WOULD HAVE lived had they not died. In other words, God creates an alternate timeline where the baby/child didn’t die and sees if they would have become a Christian or not, what sins they would have committed, etc. and sends them to heaven or hell accordingly. Predeterminism is certainly not a new concept, Philip K. Dick addressed the rationality of it in 1956 in his brilliant short story The Minority Report (on which the film was based). I’m not sure how you came to this conclusion, whether you were taught it or came to it on your own, but I am sure the bible doesn’t support it. It also made me wonder as to which denomination of Christianity you belong. Is this concept of God’s judgment of the innocent a common one with your particular sect? The idea of being judged not on the decisions I ACTUALLY made in this life but on the ones I COULD have made if my life had continued is as utterly abhorrent as it is absurd. And, whiteman0o0, it COMPLETELY contradicts every free will argument you’ve ever made on this site! You are suggesting that there is only ONE path that baby could have taken had it not died and God is basing His judgment on the decisions made and sins committed during this ‘alternate’ lifeline. In this scenario there is NO FREE WILL. I’m not sure if you were aware of it or not, but you were also suggesting that EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING THAT HAS EVER LIVED has an ‘alternate’ lifeline that continues after death. If God judges the dead baby on its actions in this ‘alternate’ lifeline, God MUST judge the rest of us on our potential actions as well. I urge you to reconsider your position on this issue.

    Regarding my 10 yo bride scenario, you state that whether she would go to hell or not would depend on if she was a Christian. Can I take from this that ANY baby or child that dies and is not a Christian (accepted Jesus as their personal savior, asked forgiveness for their ‘perceived’ sins) is going to hell? In the 10 yo bride scenario, let’s say she is Hindu. She deserves to burn in hell? Please notice I’m not asking if God would send her to hell, you’ve made your opinion on that clear, I’m asking if she DESERVES to go to hell?

    Regarding my addressing the differences between the God of the Old Testament and the New Testament, you stated – “You use passages that portray the side of God as being murderous, yet how is this any worse than us putting a serial killer to death? God viewed those societies by his perfect code and found them to come up lacking extremely, as well as those societies that were persecuting the jews. They were Gods chosen people and he took care of them, that sometimes requires there to be someone who loses.” – Are you a Jew, whiteman0o0? If you aren’t then you aren’t one of God’s chosen people. I’m curious, if all the Jews in the world suddenly announced that God had told them that it was their time and ordered them to invade your State/City and slaughter everyone within, how would you defend their position? How would you survive? How would your faith be affected? How would your view of the passages of the bible, particularly the Old Testament, be affected? No matter your position on the bible, it is impossible to find justification for the wholesale slaughter of those depicted in the Old Testament. You can’t possibly say that EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM deserved to die.

    Regarding the issue of whether God is as active today as he was as depicted in the bible, you state – “If there were to be a rain of fire or something, how do you think it would go down? America would claim that It was some kind of terrorist attack after the scientists had said they couldnt describe it as a natural phenomenon and the Religious fanatics would go nuts and tie posterboard to themselves and run naked in the streets saying that the world was about to end. America would inevitably attack someone and we would have World War III.” – So are you saying THIS is why God doesn’t make great, dramatic gestures anymore? Because mankind would freak out? God’s willingness to intercede is being influenced by man’s likelihood to overreact?

    You also stated that “Sin affects the environment.” Can you expand on this and give examples of where in the bible it shows this?

    Regarding free will in those with behavior issues, mental illness, addictions to drugs and alcohol and members of treatment programs (Alcoholic’s Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous), you stated – “Those christians may indeed say that there is no free will in that situation, however they are wrong. There is always free will, it is merely a matter of whether that free will can override your impulses/compulsions. Drug abuse is a compulsion, but that does not mean that you cant overcome it by making choices to not do it.” – Whiteman0o0, I will give you credit, in most of your comment, whether I agree with you or not, you are surprisingly well thought out. However, on occasion, the fact that you are indeed only seventeen becomes glaringly obvious. This is just such an occasion. Your inexperience with these issues and lack of interaction with the people who are going through them has resulted in a willful opinion which has absolutely no basis in reality. I urge you to look into this particular issue as I think you have MUCH to learn.

    Regarding my example of psychological damage affecting a person’s behavior and negating free will, you once again make an absurd statement revealing your lack of knowledge on the subject, saying – “Your Example however is not Involuntary. I have known several people that have been molested/raped by a trusted person, and they live their lives out fine, sure there is some emotional damage but they overcome it by choosing to do different things. Your story follows the opposite path, This girl however still had control over her life, While the things that she did were compulsory and what she had been raised on she also must have had a view that they were wrong, She CHOSE to follow that path on into adulthood, and she chose to take the drugs that would end her life. Free will is free will no matter how the variables shape the situation you always have a choice of which way to go.” — You admitted that your school doesn’t offer any type of psychology courses (unusual, can you explain?) so I will forgive you for your naivety. Whiteman0o0, there are HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of people who have been, are being, and will be molested/abused. Basing your opinion on the TWO you know who turned out OK is OUTRAGEOUS! Whiteman0o0, I’m not trying to be argumentative here. You are so, very, very WRONG on this issue. Please, I urge you, I beg you, look into this further. You really do need to educate yourself on how abuse, especially childhood abuse, affects a person’s ability to make choices in their lives.

    Regarding the fall of man and Eve’s part in it, you stated – “She (Eve) was already lusting towards the fruit,” – Whiteman0o0, I’ve looked in every version of the bible I have (King James, American Standard, International Standard, Webster’s, Young’s, Darby’s) and can’t find any mention of Eve lusting after the fruit. In fact, in all of them, it is Lucifer who makes the first mention of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. How did you come to your opinion?

    I hope others will feel encouraged to leave a comment regarding the debate between whiteman0o0 and myself as I feel a number of the issues we are addressing are quite contentious and would benefit from other voices.

    Take Care.

    DoubtingThomas

  21. i am the son Says:

    All forget one thing. There is a big presumption that a hell or heaven even exists or if Satan even exists.

    There are lives on earth that match these concepts. Torture, genocide, depression, grief, hate, etc. are all the stuff of hell. And they exist right now. Love, compassion, peace, etc, are all heavenly things that exist now.

    The hereafter is the stuff of conjecture, We don’t know, and neither did the folks that wrote the scriptures. I have felt heaven and hell in my life and observed more acute instances in other people, A baby suffers or is happy,

    What happens after we are gone is the stuff of speculation.

  22. God has the ability to see what life a child WOULD have lived? Whiteman0o0 you are out of your ever-loving mind. Middle knowledge? whatever. now you are talking about alternate timestreams. If God had middle knowledge of an event, yet is all powerful, but hates to see his creations suffer, then he is a conflicted and wounded God unworthy of your blind worship. Middle knowledge my ass. that’s about the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. that’s like saying god gave us free will so that we would have the chance to go to hell. whatever. the whole concept conflicts with the very basis for Christianity (including Catholocism). Even the nation of Islam isn’t that crazy.

    Regarding the fall of Lucifer, as mentioned in here. Whiteman0o0, I hope you aren’t presuming to know how the Morningstar came to be the Devil. After all, that story is found nowhere in the bible. Look it up. Lucifer is in the opening scenes, as a snake. there are huge timeline gaps in the Bible, that can only be covered by the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Apocrypha, both of which have been deemed heresy by the Catholic Church. I hope you haven’t been reading something that conflicts with your limited view bible. Take your blinders off. The whole book makes no sense.

    If Eve was already lustful towards the fruit, then she sinned way before the snake ever showed up, and there is no basis for the whole tempataion in the first place.

    Doubting thomas, stick to your guns, you have reason and common sense on your side. Whiteman0o0, give your book another read from someone elses perspective. Better yet, read my post. If you have something to say to me on any of this, feel free. I come armed with knowledge and conviction, not faith.

    http://sgtwiklund.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/in-defense-of-atheism/

  23. i am the son Says:

    Lest I forget, Adam and Eve are scripturally based as well. There are whole societies that never believed in such a thing.

    There is much to dispute the veracity of those works as being true.

  24. Having just read the last couple of comments I think that the concept of freewill, which has troubled philosophers of many schools for centuries, needs to be clarified before the ethical issues that stem from it can be fully addressed. With that in mind, I hope the following does not come across as too “academic”.

    Perhaps the most common mistake that people make is to disregard the way we actually use words, leading either to a denial of the possibility of choice and freewill, or to the postulating of a metaphysical principle that is in fact incoherent to justify a usage which is not, in fact, the normal one for the term in question.

    Consider a simple example. I am walking down a road, and I come to its end. I can turn either left or right. Plainly I have a choice. That is, there are two recognisable options presented to me by the world. I can only do one of them, but both are logically possible.

    Now, in fact, I choose to turn left. The question then appears to be, “if all the conditions leading to the original choice were exactly reproduced, could I in fact end up turning right? But this is a non-question. No empirical demonstration is possible. Nor can we look that closely at the internal working of the mind/brain.

    The real question here is whether we can make sense of the non-deterministic viewpoint. If in this situation I could in fact turn right, what is it that makes the difference? If there is nothing that makes the difference, the “choice” is purely random – it is not what we think of as a choice that has some sort of reason or purpose behind it, however right or wrong that purpose may be. If there *is* something that makes a difference, then the conditions are not identical.

    Many people worry that this undermines morality and ethics, and takes away our freedom to choose. Others say we still have real choices, and that those choices are mine in a way that is not possible if my actions are not causally connected to my ongoing plans, projects, experiences etc.

    What about choice of belief? The situation is essentially the same. There are certainly a myriad of ways that we could organise our experiences and expectations into a belief system. We certainly can and do make judgements (choices) about which of these gives us the best fit, the best “handle on the world”. We believe what we believe because we think this is what has the greatest probability of being true. It would make no sense to choose to believe something that we thought was false.

    It is also not logically possible to choose “right the way down”, for the criteria by which we make choices would themselves be matters of unrestricted choice, and so on ad infinitum, so that our choices would “float free” of all reasons. Every free choice, to have meaning, has ultimately to be grounded in something that is not a choice, in some aspect of the way the world is, or at least how we think it is.

    Our choices are our responsibility because they are ours. This responsibility does not rest on some incomprehensible principle of metaphysics, but on the ordinary everyday meanings of the language with which we describe the way we live.

  25. Hi everyone, coming in a bit late on this discussion. To start with I wanted to ask whiteman about this comment he made…

    “And that leads me to point 2, we don’t have free will, our actions are determined by the situation were in and our personality’s, our personality’s are determined by out genetic personality traits and past experiences, our situations are determined by out action and the actions of others.”

    All good Christians I know fully believe that their God gave them free will so how do you come to this conclusion? Sorry if I misread that – was it meant to refer back to something someone else said?

    As for unbaptised babies going to HELL, according to the Christian mythology they go to Purgatory, which is kind of a ‘limbo place’ until Judgement Day. Of course it has never been made clear how these babies will be judged. I think you are taking a bit of ‘artistic license’ whiteman, when you say your God knows how they would have turned out had they lived and would judge them accordingly. I’ve never heard of such a thing. Where is your biblical justification for stating this?

    And wasn’t Satan a fallen angel, God’s right hand guy until he decided that he couldn’t just serve this one God?

    Then Satan is sent to a ‘Godless place’, which was called Hell. Which was supposed to be his punishment.

    I understand that the idea of ‘original sin’ works within the constructs of the Christian theology, though I personally have no time for that sort of nonsense myself (I was raised as an RC, btw).

    I think the hardest thing that some Christians come up against is making constant excuses for this very jealous and irascible OT God while they would like to follow the teachings of Jesus, which were for the most part quite generally good things, but not unlike what other religions – or even common sense – teaches us.

  26. In the long run, God will make Her own decisions. The opinions of mere humans don’t count…none of them…and are certainly wrong, for who can know the mind of God? Even attempting to extrapolate on a tiny human mind’s concept of what God might do is almost sinful in itself, and certainly shows a level of Pride that’s lilely to get the expositor into deep shit.

    That’s if God really existed, of course.

  27. “My view on this is that We are imperfect and therefore incapable of understanding true perfection and what it means to be perfect.”

    This presents a serious problem to me. If you don’t know what God’s perfection consists of, how can you give assent to it? It seems to be offered as a description, when in fact it is a definition. God is being defined by us (or at least, theists) as perfect, without any criteria of perfection being given.

    Given a premise that is therefore empty, it’s hardly surprising that all sorts of strange ideas have room to flourish.

  28. Imagine what it must be like to have to live inside rigid, twisted minds that can justify the equation of disobeying a parent with undergoing months of physical and emotional abuse!

    May their god, if there is one, have more mercy on them than they would on their fellow beings.

    You know, Nietzsche had it right. There was only one real Christian, and he died on the cross.

  29. Another latecomer to the conversation, but my attention was directed to whiteman0o0′ response to the question of how God deals with infants who die. It seems to me that, at the VERY least, your response to the question of the fate of the mentally disabled and the age of accountability ought to have appeared one paragraph sooner: “I don’t know.”

    A God who saves/damns children according to the lives they would have lived had they survived strikes me as a frightful one, and totally unworthy of worship. If true, it seems to reduce history to a kind of sick cosmic charade, and the actual lived quality of human lives irrelevant. I think more of God than that.

  30. This has been a fascinating read so far. But my question for all atheists, especially ones who like to argue God’s existence, is this: If you don’t believe in God then why all the firestorm? I’ve been thinking about all the comments made here and how most of the answers are based on logic and use of intellect. Trust me you guys are very smart and very good at ripping each other’s views apart, but what for? Why not put this energy into helping the sick, the poor, the abused, the forgotten, the lonely, the lost etc.. and so on.

    I’m not sure why an atheist would want to spend his/her time discussing a subject that they don’t believe even exists. Also I find it interesting that a lot of comments in opposition to God are about what He is or isn’t. IF God doesn’t exist then He can’t be either. But if He does, then He is a horrible being? Sure there are some yucky things in the Bible but there are also many many good things, all by the hand of God…but then what does it matter since He doesn’t exist. Right?

    If I don’t believe in Santa Claus then I can’t say that he was a benevolent man who brought toys to children. Or that he was a crook who disobeyed the law and stole from the rich to give to the poor (my own made up version of what he could have been). Because if I don’t believe in him, then he is neither. So why argue.

    Pride is at the root of atheism, this ought to get you going, ego. If you are atheist then you are saying that you know everything. Is that a correct assumption?

    I don’t mind being educated about such things but please don’t slam my intellect just because I may have a different view point or understanding of what I’ve been reading. Thank you. Peace.

  31. Some good points made, cj. I also don’t understand why atheists and theists feel they need to battle this out constantly, since they are never going to change their opinions.

    I have no problem with any personal belief a person chooses to hold. My only stipulation is that this never affects government policy. Church and State should always be separate in order to guarantee that all people are treated equally.

    Other than that … who cares?

    Check out this website if you want to listen to some very intelligent minds discussing Faith and Reason. One does not preclude the other.

    Bill Moyers Faith and Reason

  32. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Cj, the question as to why Atheists ‘waste their time’ discussing God and religion constantly comes up and never ceases to amaze me at its willful naivety. I’ve addressed this before but it seems I need to do so again here, so here it goes: My focus is Christianity because that is the religion I was indoctrinated into. As to why Atheists write or discuss religion at all, it’s really very simple. We’re bewildered as to why you believe. We are curious to learn how people are capable of such willful ignorance and self delusion. The truth is out there. It isn’t hiding from the faithful. The faithful are hiding from it. And think about it, cj, what if you knew of a whole group of people who believed in the existence of unicorns. These people worshiped these imaginary creatures. Your teenage daughter had hooked up with a guy who was part of this group and was now deeply entrenched with them as well. Would it be a waste of your time to discuss or write about how you know this religion to be false and offer evidence for your beliefs? Were those who tried to free their loved ones from the thrall of David Koresh wasting their time? Is there a more noble endeavor man can partake in than the attempt to reveal the truth to those that only know the lie? And to clarify, all the posts on my site existed LONG before the site ever did. I have been studying the bible and religion for a very long time. Over the years I made massive catalogs of notes. Eventually I transferred them to my computer, and at the urging of a friend, I created a site to categorize them all and give others a chance to read and respond to my conclusions and questions. Strange how ONLY THE RELIGIOUS think I should be doing something else with my spare time. You use an analogy about believing in Santa Claus and state that if you don’t believe in him and someone else does, why argue, why does it matter? The answer is quite simple, cj, if someone you loved DID still believe in Santa Claus, wouldn’t it matter to you? Wouldn’t you feel obliged to speak up? Wouldn’t you speak up if anyone you cared about believed something was true when you knew it to be false?

    And, cj, stating that pride and ego are the root of Atheism is just silly. It was man’s EGO that prompted them to invent the thousands and thousands of gods that have been worshiped over countless generations. It is YOUR ego that causes you to dismiss ALL OF THEM as fictional except one, YOURS. And, cj, you will not find an Atheist alive who would ever claim to know everything. Or even close to everything. We DON’T have all the answers. THAT’S the point. With an open mind and eyes wide open, we are always looking.

    And seeing that you are a believer, could you please address a fellow believer’s (whiteman0o0) comment regarding being born in sin, infant death and predeterminism? Just scroll up to January 30th on this page and read from there. I’d sincerely like to know your thoughts on this issue.

    Thank you for visiting my site, cj. Feel free to go to my main page (click the banner at the top) to get a better understanding of where I am coming from.

    DoubtingThomas

  33. “If you are atheist then you are saying that you know everything. Is that a correct assumption?”

    No, it’s not. Rather, it’s saying “all our knowledge is provisional.”

  34. Doubtingthomas- point well made. I understand completely now. Sorry to have fallen into the “willful naivety” group. But just as you, I am curious as to how one can not believe. I just didn’t see it from the perspective that we as believers were in harms way as to need salvation from the “ignorance and self delusion.”

    I have read whitman0o0’s comments and will need some time to examine my thoughts on this…but I have a feeling that no matter what I have to say, it will be shredded by your open minded opinion. I’ll keep reading though. I’m learning a lot, me of self delusion. Is that alright with you? 🙂 Peace.

  35. Also, Doubtingthomas, you make some good arguments and as “ignorant” as I may be because I do choose (free will) to believe in a loving God, I struggle with many of the very ideas you present, not because you presented them but because I can see the world and what I’ve personally experienced. As you do not know me or my past, it is a wonder that I’m not arm in arm with you. What was it that caused you to change your stance on God? Nevermind, I’ll go to the link you posted so you won’t have to repeat yourself. You have posted this information haven’t you?

  36. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Forgive me for my condescending tone, cj. I just grow so weary of constantly being accused of ‘wasting my time’ simply for asking questions regarding the beliefs a third of the human population hold (as I once did). I don’t understand why the idea of asking questions is so offensive to believers. Even in school, whenever a student would question the comparative logic of a passage of the bible we would be punished. It’s clearly something that still smarts with me.

  37. Doubtingthomas, I forgive you 🙂
    It’s funny because as a believer I believe one should ask questions. Within all communities there is a sub-culture and christianity is no different. You’re questions are valid. Maybe you could post a link to FAQ then you could just direct new seeking visitors there. 🙂 ASK ASK ASK! That’s why I asked you about why. Not so willfully naive now eh? I’m sorry that you were punished for seeking or questioning some aspect of the Bible. Remember man is not perfect and for many christians it inconceivable to disregard the Bible in any shape or form. But that is what the great reformation was about, to free us so we personally could examine, interpret and question as we need. I know of many who struggle with faith because of what another human inflicted upon them for the sake of religion. It’s a travesty really and misrepresents what christianity is supposed to be about. Now that I understand a little bit more about your mission, you should keep writing. It helps us all to examine our motives and underlying convictions. Peace. 🙂

  38. Hi DT,

    I think perhaps the heart of what CJ may have been getting at (as I read it) is this. Atheism seem to be known and defined for what it is against. Her question seems to be asking what are you for, not just against. I can clearly see what you—and others, atheists and Christians alike—are against, can you share what you are for?

    Sadly a lot of Christians are also known for what they are against, not what they are for. I am encouraged by some of the current expressions that are focusing on what we are for (love, justice, religious-respect, caring for the poor, etc.). More sadly, we have a lot of crap to pick up from our history of pridefully condemning what we were against.

    Your friend,
    Jeromy

  39. I have a post that speaks to what I feel is a mistaken doctrine of the “Fall”. I felt it might add to the conversation: http://mendingshift.wordpress.com/2008/01/17/it-was-good…never-perfect/

  40. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Hey Jeromy, glad to see you back. I have to disagree with you, however. I think the description you use for what an Atheist stands for is a common and purposefully narrow minded one. An atheist is someone who demands proof before belief. An atheist is someone who refuses to have their opinion assigned to them by another. An atheist doesn’t believe in Zeus, or Ra, or Baal, or Ganesa, or ANY of the thousands of gods mankind has invented and dismissed over the years. But we aren’t AGAINST god belief. We just don’t understand it. We don’t belong to a religion, but most of us aren’t AGAINST religion. We just don’t understand it. Remember, most Atheists were once god worshipers too. I would put forth that an Atheist is someone who is for the rational dissection of all beliefs (not just religious ones). They are for studying all things with a skeptical eye. They are for believing only after evidence has been brought forth. And remember, Jeromy, what someone stands against often reveals what they are for. If someone is against slavery, against abortion, against doctor assisted suicide, against legalized medical marijuana, etc., you can usually decipher what they’re for pretty easily.

    And I checked out the post you mentioned. The story of the fall of man has always been a contentious one for me. I find it rather appalling. I feel it depicts a petty, childlike god who throws just the first of his many, many temper-tantrums, all of which serve no purpose but to doom humanity to even more suffering as a direct result of GOD’S own choices. The punishment all of humanity must suffer as a result of two, naïve children falling under the spell of another god (Lucifer) whom God could have easily prevented from entering the Garden, seems, well, a BIT severe to say the least. But I wonder how many Christians ACTUALL believe this story is real? I don’t mean Creationism vs. Evolution. I mean actually believe there was a Garden of Eden and an Adam and Eve and an actual tree with actual fruit that they actually took a bite out of and that THIS event caused the downfall of man. I mean just how much of the bible does the average Christian hold as absolute FACT and how much do they categorize as mythology?

  41. comicphat Says:

    DoubtingThomas asked me to come over to comment on this thread. There are many illogical statements here (IMHO) and confusion concerning GOD, free-will, choices and unicorns. So let me start where DT asked me to and then I will move through the rest.

    Being 45 yrs old and a Christian for 36 of those and a theology student, I have studies the Bible and other religions extensively.

    1. God does not send babies to hell or purgatory. That is based on two things, a) the Bible is silent on the purgatory issue, that is from history not Scripture. I base my theology on Scripture alone; b) one has to be at an age of accountability, have the opportunity to choose Jesus or not. Also read Psalm 139, where the write states, God see us in the womb and we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Now, all you atheist will have fun with that, but we are discussing the Christian religion not atheistism. Based on the Christian doctrine that is the answer.

    2. For all the debate about free-will and choice. We do have both. Now can that be superseded by someone bigger and stronger than us. Well, come on atheists, survival of the fittest :). Yes, we live in an evil, fallen world and someone bigger than me can choose to do something bad to me. That does not negate free-will and choice, that just means there are bad people making bad choices that affect me. The question is, how am I going to react to that? That is the difference. Genetics? I don’t think so and I can prove it in my case. All of my siblings chose drugs, pre-marital sex and had bad marriages, I have never used drugs of any kind (with exception of those prescribed by my Dr.) and I waited until marriage for sex. I chose! They did not. Same parents, same house, same genes. This idea of determinism does not wash with me. I can choose to steal for food or work for food. The fork in the road is there for everyone. Yeah, some people have mental illness, and the choice is not there, now that is genetics, but not God. This determinism sounds like someone would like to lay the blame for their issues at someone else’s feet rather than stand up and takes responsibility. My brother is in jail for murder. Two months prior to him making that choice, I gave him a choice to come and live with me and i would help him secure a job and get out of drugs. He said, no and now will spend the rest of his life in prison. Who made that determination? God? My brother made the choice to break into a house and kill for money. No one made him do that. And he readily admits that.

    3. The Devil, Satan, Lucifer, etc. is not in Hell. That is an idea taken from Dante’s Inferno. According to Scripture, again we are talking about the Christian faith, Satan and his angles, and yes those who do not choose Jesus will not be sent to Hell for destruction until the end of days.

    4. Satan was not God’s right hand man. He was the choir director over the angels. He wanted to have God’s place in heaven, and God kicked him and 1/3 of the angels out of heaven to earth. Satan is a created being, but the evil he represents was not created by God. In God’s love He gave mankind a choice. As atheists, you would have an argument about how terrible God is if He forced His will on you. He does not force Himself on anyone that is not Love. Though the way some of you write you are angry as if He is forcing something on you. Also the Bible does speak of Satan’s fall in the New Testament. In a film it is called a flashback, we have those in the Bible too. 🙂

    5. Scientific methods to prove or disprove God do not work any more that the Scientific method would work to prove the concept of love, hate, etc.

    6. In my faith, it is not my place to convert anyone. Again, another concept I feel Christians miss. My “job” as a Christian is to live the Christian life (which again I think a majority of Christians fail to do) and love those around me. It is the Holy Spirits place to convict and move people to God. 21 Century Christians seem to have missed that concept in their theology. To much judgment not enough love.

    7. That brings me the anger we Christians feel from the atheists. I think it is frustration more than anything else over the fact that Christians come across as judgmental and unloving. That is because, as DoubtThomas has stated on his blog, the Bible is the most purchased book in the world, but the least read. Agree and I see it here and the result of Christians’ choices not to read it in the feeling of atheists, agnostics and the like. I would apologize but I did not make that choice; so it would do no good.

    8. Last comment, is it wrong to assert that one cannot know and understand everything, therefore, is it possible that God is in the parts that you do not understand? 🙂

    Not really looking for a fight, just to understand. Thanks for reading 🙂

  42. comicphat said: “6. In my faith, it is not my place to convert anyone. Again, another concept I feel Christians miss. My “job” as a Christian is to live the Christian life (which again I think a majority of Christians fail to do) and love those around me. It is the Holy Spirits place to convict and move people to God. 21 Century Christians seem to have missed that concept in their theology. To much judgment not enough love.”

    BINGO!!!

  43. DT,

    Thank you for your answer…that helps. So besides being for “dissecting all beliefs”, what else are you, personally as a human, for? By asking this question I am not assuming you are not for anything, just curious from one human to another…

    “how much of the bible does the average Christian hold as absolute FACT and how much do they categorize as mythology?” Good question The more traditional Biblicist ones would say everything is fact. The average Christian in the pews?…I suppose we’d have to ask them. If they don’t hold all as fact, they remain pretty silent about it (no thanks to our don’t-express-doubts-or-ask-questions church culture). For me, I believe God used both the genre of fiction and fact, among others, to help convey truth. I spell this out more here: http://mendingshift.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/the-bible-fiction/

  44. BTW…glad to be back. I’ll chime in occasionally as a friend…

  45. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Thanks for the comment, comicphat, but just so were clear, you disagree with whiteman0o0’s opinion of babies and children going to hell then? Do all babies get the free pass into heaven or only ‘Christian’ babies? Not being antagonistic here, this is really an issue I’m having trouble getting a clear answer on. Are babies and children innocent and therefore safe from hell? ALL babies and children, meaning Hindu and Scientologist babies as well as ‘Christian’ ones? If they do get a free pass into heaven, exactly what is the cut off age? In other words, exactly when is a child capable of making such a monumental decision as whether or not to dedicate himself to any particular god?

  46. Doubting Thomas:

    I saw your request on blue eagle report and linked over to read the feed and comment:

    These are huge questions that I feel can not be answered sufficiently from the Christian’s perspective without using scripture. Since the scripture is what we base our belief upon, it is where we find our answers about the God we serve. So, please forgive my reliance.

    I feel the answer is bound up in Psalm 139 – God is everywhere and knows everything. He understands more about us than we can comprehend ourselves. He sees our unformed substance and has written all of our days in His book before there was even one of them. I believe His knowledge is greater than ours, thus deserving my worship.

    As far as accountablilty – I found it interesting, when recently trying to track this thought down in scripture, that God did not hold the children of Israel responsible who were under the age of 20, for their unbelief in the wilderness. They all were allowed to go into the Promise Land – only those over 20 were not allowed in. Just a thought…

  47. comicphat Says:

    Babies are not classified as Christian or non-Christian.

    Also, remember, I am not God, so I do not make that choice, He does.

    However, from what I read in the Bible, if you are not of age, that is able to make a rational decision, then how can you be judged. [Guess what, that covers the mentally ill too.]

    Some say the cut off age is 13 because it coincides with the Jewish bar mitzvah ritual, others say 20 based on the Israels coming out of Egypt. As Michelle stated above.

    The age of accountability is different for everyone. It is based on when you understand right from wrong.

  48. Than any caring Christian parent, if a child has not decided to “follow Jesus” by the age of 20, should kill them at age 19 1/2 to ensure their “salvation”.

    Perhaps this is why God is silent with this information. Of perhaps his silence is more indicative of a much more generous theology than we have created.

  49. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Very nice, Jeromy. This is why this particular issue gives me such a migraine. A hundred different ‘Christians’ give me a hundred different views. Either babies/children are innocent or they aren’t. Either they go to hell/purgatory or they don’t. And IF there is an actual cut off age, much like Jeromy showed in his Salvation By Murder At 19 ½ example, this opens a whole other can of worms. I’m getting the feeling this isn’t an issue that will ever be resolved.

  50. Migraine…me too. That is why I chime in only rarely.

    Be resolved? Nope…at least not to the satisfaction of all. But few things are, huh. Take global warming, or economics, or medicine. Probably more of a reflection of our tendencies as humans…

  51. “Thanks for the comment, comicphat, but just so were clear, you disagree with whiteman0o0’s opinion of babies and children going to hell then? Do all babies get the free pass into heaven or only ‘Christian’ babies? Not being antagonistic here, this is really an issue I’m having trouble getting a clear answer on. Are babies and children innocent and therefore safe from hell? ALL babies and children, meaning Hindu and Scientologist babies as well as ‘Christian’ ones?”

    Thomas, all are equal…we are family. Why would Jesus tell us that we must become as children in order to enter the Kingdom of God if children were less than innocent? My belief is that the innocent have no cause to fear hell.

    I know this answer is short, but I came only to address the issue you asked me to.

    God’s blessings,
    Janice

  52. Jeromy:

    Than any caring Christian parent, if a child has not decided to “follow Jesus” by the age of 20, should kill them at age 19 1/2 to ensure their “salvation”.

    OK. . . You first! 😉

  53. Lone Wolf Says:

    Killing children (as well as friends and other family members) who do not warship God is actually supported by the bible, Deuteronomy 13:6 But given the next verse it could be interpreted as meant to be for the Jews of a certain time but 2 Chronicles 15:13-14 supports killing those who do not warship the God so that argument won’t work.

  54. Touche’. But this is not an issue for my theology.

  55. Michelle, my last comment was regarding to yours, not Lone Wolf’s.

  56. Oh, got it! I’m old and slow 😉

  57. i am the son Says:

    Another thought. In the animal kingdom, it is the parent’s role to protect their young, and they will. I have experienced it.

    I was closing a vent in my home one afternoon and this pair of birds was attacking me while I was on the ladder, like dive bombers. About five years later I removed the vent and discovered a nest with tiny skeletons. I had no Idea, and felt bad at what happened.

    For this reason alone, the youth will never go to hell if one exists ,as the creator of life, including the young, would not allow it, if would imagine. Unless the child’s soul is an old one and has been re-incarnated so many times, they discovered the paperwork was wrong and they yanked him back. 🙂

  58. Lonewolf:
    “Killing children (as well as friends and other family members) who do not warship God is actually supported by the bible, Deuteronomy 13:6 But given the next verse it could be interpreted as meant to be for the Jews of a certain time but 2 Chronicles 15:13-14 supports killing those who do not warship the God so that argument won’t work.”

    No, Lonewolf, neither scripture you mentioned advocates the killing of children/babies! And yes, the Old Testament was written for people of a certain time…a far earlier time than ours or the time of Jesus. To call oneself a Christian is to call oneself a disciple of Christ and to follow His teachings from the New Testament.

    Janice

  59. askthemonk Says:

    Well, things got shorter there at the end, didn’t they? Okay, I’m going to make this a brief as I can.

    There are two major schools of thought on Salvation. Calvinism and Armenianism. Cal believes that “before the foundation of the world” God selected everyone who would be saved. This the group Lone Wolf should be talking to. Cals defend their somewhat harsh view with Romans 9:21-23. Soft-line Cals believe, as whiteman said, that God knew who would choose to follow Him and so He chose them. Soft-liners have a lot of trouble defending their views Biblically. Arms are the free-will proponents. These are the ones Lone Wolf is so frustrated with.
    Looking at the account of the Fall, the key concept at play is that Adam and Eve became aware of sin. They didn’t actually understand what sinning was before eating the fruit. This figures into the “age of accountability” concept quite heavily. Basically, if you don’t understand that what you’re doing is sinful, you are not culpable. Ignorance is an excuse.
    Sorry, whitemanOoO, the theoretical lives argument can’t stand under Biblical truth. There is too much weight put on awareness of sin by the Bible for abstract evil to hold up. The dominant view among Christian theologians for the last 1700 years (after the first council of Nicea) has been that those incapable of understanding that they sin are not damned. The Catholic church complicated the issue with their doctrines on Baptism, but the doctrine stands in practice. Acquinas, Augustine, Luther, Calvin and Lewis all agree on ‘age of accountability’ (which extends to the mentally challenged), however there are slight disagreements as to when the cut-off is. Taking our knowledge of personal maturity into consideration, it’s probably different for everyone, but I have heard 8, 16 and 20 all as guesstimate cut-offs.

  60. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Janice, please understand that I AM trying to understand. That is why I ask these questions. When a number of Christians tell me that we are ALL born sinners and are destined for hell, even children and babies, and another group (such as yourself) inform me that they (babies/children) are innocent and safe from hell, needless to say, I get a bit confused.

    And again addressing the ‘cut off age’ for accountability; how is this number not an arbitrary one? Is it God mandated? According to whom? And isn’t the age, whatever it is, useless if everyone doesn’t agree on it? And, if we could agree on a cut off age, let’s say 20, why wouldn’t it be considered righteous to execute your child at 19 and 11 months (thanks Jeromy) if it turned out they chose the ‘wrong’ religion, or ‘god’ forbid, none at all?

  61. “Be resolved? Nope…at least not to the satisfaction of all. But few things are, huh. Take global warming, or economics, or medicine. Probably more of a reflection of our tendencies as humans…”

    Indeed. But complex issues like these are at least resolvable-in-principle by observing what actually happens in each instance. But this doesn’t seem to be the case for a question like “Do babies go to hell?” (Or even, “Is there a hell for them to go to?)

  62. Dear Doubting Thomas,

    You left a message on my blog about children going to hell.

    As Jesus says – according to the bible – children are closer to heaven than adults. He tells us that to enter heaven we must become like the children. I do not believe that babies who die at birth go to hell, not because (like the rest of us) they do not deserve it by our very fallen nature, but because Gods mercy is too big for that. This is not to deny they are born sinners like all of us, which means that we are bascially born into a sinful world and the genetic impact of our own being has been affected by this and hence we must learn to become good again. It is true that they are more innocent than us but they still carry the burden of original sin. If sin were not so destructive to our very nature God would not have gone to the trouble that he did – and does – to insure that we have a way of redemption.

    I have not read any of the stuff on your blog YET but i wanted to answer the request you make for comments.

    Geb.

  63. Noggin ~ All the more reason that consensus isn’t going to happen.

    In principle , perhaps, but not in reality. History, science, facts, reason, logic are all, in principle, unbiased. But seldom do we humans use them and interpret them without bias. I believe we are all walking biases incapable of neutrality and complete objectiveness.

  64. Thoma:{And again addressing the ‘cut off age’ for accountability; how is this number not an arbitrary one? Is it God mandated? According to whom? And isn’t the age, whatever it is, useless if everyone doesn’t agree on it? And, if we could agree on a cut off age, let’s say 20, why wouldn’t it be considered righteous to execute your child at 19 and 11 months (thanks Jeromy) if it turned out they chose the ‘wrong’ religion, or ‘god’ forbid, none at all?}

    I really don’t think it’s necessary for “all” to agree upon an arbitrary age, Tomas. I don’t think it’s even possible to set a “magic” age where one becomes accountable for their actions. Since each matures at a different pace, it becomes an individual issue. Some mature at an early age and some never mature at all…I’m talking reasoning ability and not physical growth.

    Isn’t the definition of “righteous” being filled with “rightness”? How would it be righteous to murder another? That goes back to the “Thou shalt not murder” commandment. And by murder I mean taking a life without due cause …no, I don’t think that because one has a different belief than my own is cause for murder.

    You see, I feel God gave us reasoning ability to pick and choose our actions. I DO NOT believe that talking the talk is the same as walking the walk. Did that make sense? You can’t call yourself a Christian if you don’t try your absolute best to follow the teachings of Christ! That doesn’t make us perfect…humans can’t be perfect…and perfection is a relative term, don’t you think?

    One of the reasons I was hesitant to comment here is because I’m not good with words..written or spoken. I am not an eloquent speaker and I don’t have years of education on my side. However, eloquence can cloak deceit and education can cloud the mind 🙂 I hope I have made a modicum of sense.

    God’s blessings,
    Janice

  65. Thomas –

    Sorry it’s taken me a day or so the weigh in on the infant/accountability age issue. Whitman’s choice of middle knowledge (molinism) is not a bad one actually compared to other possiblities of omniscience with God. Those who immediately dismiss it aren’t taking free-will to its logical ends. However, using to it to send a child to hell on the statisitcal probabilities of salvation is inapropriate.

    Whiteman is assuming that original sin from a biblical standpoint is a fact. This is hardly the case and many people in history have contested it. I spend some time doing that at:
    http://samnunnally.wordpress.com/2008/01/30/come-on-just-how-bad-is-calvinism-part-i/
    I also address the “from the womb” issue in Psalm 139 – something several people here have incorrectly attributed to original sin.
    Infant baptism directly arose form the Augustinian belief that all children were born into sin. However, attempting to determine an “age” of accountability is unfeasable as well. No one knows the answer to that. So, the best thing to do is to assume, based on the character of God and his willingness that no one should perish, that he has an inclusive way of dealing with the death of children as well as those who have never been exposed to the gospel.
    People who assume exclusivist guidelines for salvation of children and the unevangelized aren’t really taking into account the mercy of God or his continuing functional capacity to reach others through the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Smart evangelism in this age recognizes the fact that both God and humans work together. Exclusivism gives atheism a case for a cruel God that it should never have.

    Sam
    http://samnunnally.wordpress.com

  66. Hi, Thomas.

    Thanks for your visit, and for posting your question at my site. I can appreciate your concern, and so I have posted a response, in the form of my latest post.

    May God grant you wisdom and guidance as you continue to work through your doubts and questions. God bless you!

    Mel

  67. I believe in free will BUT I also think it is up to us on how we use it. I will not get into a religious debate. Everyone has an opinion…
    ~~Peace~~

  68. Lone Wolf Says:

    Janice
    “No, Lonewolf, neither scripture you mentioned advocates the killing of children/babies! And yes, the Old Testament was written for people of a certain time…a far earlier time than ours or the time of Jesus. To call oneself a Christian is to call oneself a disciple of Christ and to follow His teachings from the New Testament.”
    Yes it does advocate killing children and it isn’t the only part of the bible that does.
    If the old testament is meant fer certain people at a certain time, why is it still part of the bible?

  69. LoneWolf…before I came to this site (at Thomas’ request) I said I would not be drawn into an argument. You are entitled to your beliefs and I am entitled to mine.

    That being said, I have read those 2 scripture passages (and the ones preceding and following them) and there is NO mention of killing children/babies. Please give me scripture references for the other advocation you mention so I can read them for myself.

    The Bible, as you know, is divided into 2 parts: the Old Testament (or Old Covenant) and the New Testament (or New Covenant). Since I wasn’t the one who compiled the Bible into 1 book, I have no way of knowing why the Old Testament is included in the Bible…make sense?

    The New Testament (or New Covenant) is written for those who came during/after Jesus’ birth and death. If I have read Hebrews correctly, it actually replaces the laws and requirements of the Old Testament (with the exception of the Ten Commandments).

    Thomas…I am not a theologian, philosopher, or religious leader of any sort. My faith is a simple one. You asked for my opinion, and I gave it as honestly and simply as I could. I said I would respect your right to NOT believe if you would respect my right TO believe. I came here in good faith and now I leave in the same way. I hope I have been a help in some small way.

    God’s blessings,
    Janice

  70. […] entri ini. Menyebabkan aku terfikir sekejap. Bagaimana semua realiti mungkin adalah […]

  71. “Noggin ~ All the more reason that consensus isn’t going to happen.

    In principle , perhaps, but not in reality. History, science, facts, reason, logic are all, in principle, unbiased. But seldom do we humans use them and interpret them without bias. I believe we are all walking biases incapable of neutrality and complete objectiveness.”

    Indeed. But for real world issues there are usually at least some things that are agreed to be evidence, even when interpretations differ.

    Whiteman’s take on the judgement of babies is, in fact, perfectly logical, *if* you are serious about god being omnipotent. But there’s nothing that you can point to that could count as evidence either way.

  72. whenyourun Says:

    Admittedly, a lot of this I’ve skim-read, after seeing a comment on my blog. Two things to prelude: I’m a Catholic, so I’m not a black-and-white theologian, and I was abused, so I’m only (initially) meaning to give comment to the example used to explain departure from free will.

    Personally, I don’t believe trauma merits a complete departure from free will, but instead strongly surpresses it. Free will isn’t purely about actions, but also about thoughts. You have a choice what to believe and what not to believe. I still choose to believe I’m clumsy, when I see that I’m only as clumsy as anyone else. I choose to believe it because it comforts me to think that what I have believed since being a child is actually true – I am using free will to deliberately believe a lie. However, I also want to have confidence in myself, so out of free will, I am choosing to recover from negetive thoughts. Free will is essentially your ability to choose. Every being has its free will hindered by outside (or inside, as in the example of victims of trauma) pressures, but essentially every being retains, in some way, its free will. The most extreme example we have evidence of today is of Holocaust survivors: Primo Levi in his memoirs, for instance, talks about the end of free will: “To destroy a man is difficult, almost as difficult as to create one, it has not been easy, nor quick, but you Germans have succeeded” – and yet many survivors have great spirit – they have not lost their ability to choose, nor have they lost themselves, but these have been buried from them from them for years.

  73. Why worry about all this when you can get a first class ticket to heaven at http://www.reserveaspotinheaven.com , 100% guaranteed? What’s better then that?

  74. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Because, Saved, Atheists like to know the truth of a thing before we believe/dedicate our lives to it. What is better than that?

    Why is seeking answers such a crazy/scary idea to theists?

  75. Well it seems that while I was sick I got behind the debate a little bit, So I will start by responding in portion to Doubting thomas’s post and I will try to get to others if I can.

    The main point that I want to adress here is what I said earlier about molinism. The child dies God sees what its life would have turned out like judges accordingly. Now, I think you missunderstood me slightly there thomas, God doesnt make the decisions based on what the child “could” have done but rather what it “would” have done, God is a transcendent creator, and outside of time as we know it, so what is to hinder him from looking at the possible life of a child? As far as my denomination I suppose I would say that I am Southern Baptist, because I have been raised in those churches all my life, however that view does not correspond with most of the people I talk to in my church and more than once has gotten me kicked out of classes for opening the possibility that God could send a child to hell. This is really something that I have come up with on my own with influences from some other sources on molinism. I find that it corresponds with the just nature of God and it makes rational sense to me. Now for the thing of eve not lusting after the fruit, Perhaps lusting wasnt the word that I should have used there,

    Gen. 3:6 “And when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food, and pleasant to the eyes and a tree to be desired to make one wise she took of the fruit thereof, and gave also to her husband with her”

    So technicaly she was indeed lusting after the fruit, when she saw that it was pleasant to the eyes, yadda yadda yadda.

    Thats all that I have time to post on at the moment I’ll get back to it as soon as I can. !)avid

  76. I think the age of accountability is 30, maybe younger for women because they mature earlier. My evidence: 1) Dante places no one under 30 in hell, 2) An article in Time a couple years ago showing that the brain is not fully developed until at least the age of 25. But you have to allow a few years to learn how to use a fully developed brain. 3) Universal experience of how young men act.

    On the question of whether all our brain activity and thoughts are predetermined–I would like to ask why you two are arguing and trying to convince each other that your thoughts are “true”–it seems to me that it would be like arguing whether an electrical current is “true” or “false.” But then I realized the answer is You can’t help it; you are wired to think that way and to think that your thoughts are true and superior to the thoughts of others, and that your talking or writing can persuade others to think your way. . . and if they don’t accept what you say it just proves your point: they can’t help it, their thoughts are predetermined . . .

  77. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Whiteman0o0, you stated that Eve lusted after the fruit BEFORE Lucifer tempted her. That was my problem with your statement. This simply isn’t the case.

    Mark, thanks for your input on what the age of accountability is. Everyone seems to have a different opinion, which just seems to prove that the number is completely arbitrary. As to why we (myself and whiteman0o0) are arguing over the issue of predeterminism, or any other issue for that matter, you are VERY wrong in your allegation that we are consumed by the notion that our thoughts are ‘true and superior’. I don’t understand how whiteman0o0 believes what he believes, especially about how God sends babies to hell based on what they WOULD have done had they lived (negating the concept of free will in the process) and he is attempting to clarify his position. What’s wrong with that? Whiteman0o0 and I agree on VERY few things, but one thing we do agree on is that having an open minded, civil discussion on these often contentious issues can only benefit us, and maybe even some of the others who visit this page.

    DoubtingThomas

  78. Janice: The passages don’t really suggest killing baby’s but children yes. It basically says kill any family member who warships another god, now if that family member is a child, it doesn’t say any one is exempt, if a rebellious 12 year old goes out and warships another god, it says kill um’.
    The bible is contradictory on whether the laws of the old testament still apply.

  79. Hey I scrolled back up and read the couple of post from wolf and janice, and it enticed me, as most things do, to respond.

    Wolf, You have to keep in mind that Israel was under the rule of God, they accepted his word as law and his word said “Dont have other Gods before me” So the people bringing false idols in was essentially treason. And treason throughout the years has not been treated Kindly.

    Now the 2ndChron. Verse has to do with the people of israel turning back to the laws of God, and yeah I doubt that a there were many kids out there going behind the tool shed to worship and idol. !)avid

  80. DoubtingThomas,

    I read your post on Canasian’s blog about babies. I would love to respond. I know that God is a merciful and just God. Never has He said that He will judge someone for knowledge they lack the opportunity to receive. He judges His children according to their knowledge. I don’t believe that people who live their entire lives without encountering Christianity will be punished for not accepting Christ. And I know that children will not be punished for their “sins” because they are too young to be in a position to make the decision to take Christ’s name upon themselves. In my religion, we refer to this as accountability. Children are not baptized until age 8, when we believe they are first accountable, or able to choose to accept Christ and understand what sin is (interestingly, many studies have shown that brain development reaches an important maturity around age 8). Those who die before this age are innocent and are not punished because they are not yet accountable. All who die without the opportunity to accept Christ, whether because they were never taught or because they were not yet accountable, will be given a chance later. God loves His children, and wants them to have the opportunity to return to Him. I hope this helps, and I want you to know that I know this is true because of the peace this doctrine supplies. God bless you.

  81. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Aub dog,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your input. However, I am still bothered by this ARBITRARY and ever changing age (you say 8yo) Christians keep coming up with. This number is clearly a man made one designed to comfort a particular group that their god would never punish someone under THIS age. Children are clearly innocent under THIS age. They get a free pass into Gods embrace if they die under THIS age. I get so many different numbers whenever I bring up this disturbing topic. Why is it that when I was a Christian these issues bothered me and encouraged me to begin dissecting my beliefs and seeking answers for myself but when I confront other Christians with these spiritually disturbing questions they just casually shrug them off? And again I must ask; what about other ‘innocents’? How does God judge people who ‘have the mind of a 8yo child’ (mentally retarded)? Do they get the free pass into heaven as well? And here I must again ask what the cut off point is? What level of mental retardation gets the green light into heaven and what doesn’t? Is someone with Down Syndrome deemed too capable to receive the free pass? How about someone who was once of sound mind but after receiving a traumatic brain injury became mentally deficient? Does God judge this person based on his actions BEFORE the accident or AFTER? In other words if this person was a Christian before the accident will everything they do after being rendered mentally retarded be overlooked as the actions of an innocent (child)? What about if they were a Mormon or, God forbid, an Atheist before the accident? Will this person who now has the mental capacity of a child, and is no longer able to make a decision to save their soul, be judged on the actions of their previously mentally capable self? In other words, is every non-Christian doomed to burn in eternal hellfire if they don’t ‘come to their senses’ before they receive a traumatic brain injury? What about the psychopathic, child raping, serial killer who back in the 1940s was thrown into a mental institution and given a lobotomy, leaving him to stumble around a practical zombie for the remainder of his years?

    Aub dog, you said – “All who die without the opportunity to accept Christ, whether because they were never taught or because they were not yet accountable, will be given a chance later.” – Can you clarify this statement for me? Are you referring to the Native Amazonian Tribesmen who after they die will spend 5, 10, 100, 1,000 years being tortured in the bowels of hell until Christ returns to save them? How long will the innocent suffer before God gives them their ‘second chance’?

    Aub dog, you said – “I want you to know that I know this is true because of the peace this doctrine supplies.” – Aub dog, if you are basing your trust in a piece of doctrine on whether it supplies one with a peaceful feeling then you must also concede that the Book of Mormon is true, yes? And how about the works of L. Ron Hubbard? Or the Koran? Or the Tipitaka (sacred book of Buddhism)? Or the Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism)? I urge you to judge what is fact and what is fiction based on something a little more concrete.

    Take Care,

    DoubtingThomas

  82. whiteman0o0: 1. If you remember, I don’t really care if God wants it or not. Any God that would tell people to commit genocide is a vile and evil god. And God wasn’t the one who rules Israel, people did and if he did, hos statements would make him no better than a fascist dictator.

  83. Wolf, I understand that you dont care what God wants, however that does not change the statement. Now allow me to ask you this.

    Hitler- commanded people to commit genocide, he was indeed vile and evil.

    Winston Churchill- commanded troops to war(genocide)- is he vile and evil?

    There are instances in which war is an acceptable solution to a problem, World War 2 I doubt there would have been much of a diplomatic solution.

    In the case of war being declared in the Bible it was God’s punishment on the other nations for their disobedience to his laws, its the same as if a Ruler of a country is torturing citizens for his own amusement and sending videos of it to Americans. We would invade that country and take down that ruler and put him up for his punishment. !)avid

  84. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    Whiteman0o0,

    It is NOT the same. Your mistake is in assuming an existence of a god who was commanding these men to slaughter these other men. You see, in each of the examples you give, it is MAN making the decision to war or torture. Man invents a god and justifies the atrocities he commits by claiming he is doing it for his god. If the god of the bible doesn’t exist (as Lone Wolf and I are asserting) then it was not God who was “punishing” these people, it was their fellow man.

    DoubtingThomas

  85. whiteman0o0: 1. War and genocide are 2 different things, war is not genocide. 2. God didn’t rule Israel, people did and he was there god. 3. God is the one calling for people to do bad things, God is the one calling for torture and genocide.

  86. Wolf: God never called for torture or genocide, God called for war as you have said there is a difference between the two.!)avid

  87. doubtingthomas426 Says:

    whiteman0o0,

    Genocide: The systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group.

    This is EXACTLY what the god of the bible called for. Did you forget Sodom & Gomorrah and the flood? And a few more examples (all KJV):

    Deut 20:12-17 – “…thou shalt smite every male therof with the sword.” “…thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth: But thou shalt utterly destroy them.”

    Ex 32:27 – The punishment for those who worshiped the golden calf, “Take every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.”

    Jer 11:22, 23 – “Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth…”

    Ez 23: 46-47 – “For thus saith the Lord God; I will bring up a company upon them, and will give them to be removed and spoiled. And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall slay their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire.”

    Ez 9:6 – “Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women…”

    Isaiah 13:9, 15, 16 – “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it … Everyone that is found shall be thrust through: and everyone that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.”

    I Kings 20:42 – “Thus saith the Lord; Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man (king of Syria) whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore shall thy life go for his life, and thy people for his people.”

    Deut 7:1, 2 – God has his Jews invade and conquer the seven nations of Canaan, saying, “…And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant (peace) with them, nor show mercy unto them.”

    Moses sums up the slaughter of the Amorites, under God’s order, “We … utterly destroyed the men and the women and the little ones.” Num 21:25 and Deut 2:34.

    II Sam 5:6, 7, 8 – “…and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind…”

    God’s orders, “Slay both man and woman, infant and suckling…” I Sam 15:3, 7.

    I Sam 27:8, 9 – “…leaving neither man nor woman alive.”

    I Kings 20:28, 29, 30 – After the children of Israel slaughter 100,000 Syrian footmen, God personally kills the remaining 27,000 by causing a wall to fall onto them. High five God! Nice assist!

    If these passages don’t depict genocide, I don’t know what does.

    DoubtingThomas

  88. brokenhearted Says:

    First of all the Bible is created by man. These are stories and experiences that happen to other people for that time and period. I know what it is like to question God. I was involved in a head on collusion that killed my 6 year old daughter and the baster driving the other car was under the influence of 7 different drugs and lived. So this crap about being raised from the dead etc, has really got me. I mean a 6 year old girl is innocent and hell why not raise a child from the dead? But she is still dead and I am still pissed off at all this ‘religion’ preaching about eternal life and with all the corruption in the world who would want enternal life here on earth. I had this guy [[NAME DELETED]] preach the bible and then he turned out to rape me. Hell with these religious people they think that they can judge people according to the Bible when the very Bible that they believe in talks about not judging others. Religious folks need to read only what Jesus lived by not the apostles or other crap since that was meant only for them not for us in our lives. There is no such thing as ‘spiritual warfare’ and if so everyone that is dead would be apart of this ‘spiritual warfare’ everyday and children would not be getting rape or beatten since ‘spiritual warfare’ would intervene.

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