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  • #31
    Originally posted by Machinist View Post

    are you assuming that these people, of other religions are not truly humble and meek spirited within their own faith system? That may be the case, I don't know. But that would be a huge assumption.

    Those who don't... that is, never abandon the faith of their parents and culture, were they really "not looking" with all meekness and humility?
    That is an excellent point, and I was more Christians were aware of it. Many people in different situations are doing the best they can with what they have been given to believe. Not that they are perfect or sinless, but simply doing the best that they can to understand the Truth that they have been taught and to keep the Faith they have been given.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by tabibito View Post

      It would seem so. To begin a search for a "better god," and a better way, would involve abandoning the religion of one's forebears. Abraham could not have placed himself in position to respond to God whilst adhering to his family's traditional religion.
      But that is a sword that cuts two ways. For ex Christians who are seeking a "better god," and a better way would have to abandon the religion of their fore bearers. And they may receive the same condemnation from those of their former faith that many Christian converts experience from those of their former faiths (or those of no faith at all). And I don't think it is a very good faith to believe that most or even almost all of humanity will burn in eternal conscious torment. So the reason for the conversion counts as well. I will admit, it also concerns me that many of traditional faiths (such as indigenous people) were and in some cases still are suppressed and persecuted by those of other religions. One example would be the schools set up in Canada for indigenous people, where children were abused on top of being denied to speak their language or follow their community's faith.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post


        It's not really an assumption that people who appear to be humble, faithful, meek etc. aren't so in actuality. Appearances can be quite deceiving, and just as appearances are deceiving, so is the human heart. This is equally true of those who claim to be Christians but are not.


        Matthew 7:22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’


        I've met people who if you saw only their public side you would think are great people, but at home are some of the nastiest people you will ever meet. I hope they change their ways, but given my experience with them that is unlikely short of a miracle. That could still happen, but I won't be holding my breath.


        Then there is the topic of deathbed conversions, which add another layer of complexity to the issue. The thief on the cross came to accept Jesus in his last hours, I don't see why this would be a one time occurrence. It's impossible to say how many fall under this.


        I think one of the big things to separate types of people in your example would be this. Are they following these beliefs because they have searched wholeheartedly for the truth, or because they were told it was the truth and they never looked further than that? People just doing what they are told by authority figures has led to things like the Holocaust being as bad as it was. I know that is an extreme example, but not questioning things can have really bad results even when not taken that far.

        ---------------------------


        It's not really an assumption that people who appear to be humble, faithful, meek etc. aren't so in actuality. Appearances can be quite deceiving, and just as appearances are deceiving, so is the human heart. This is equally true of those who claim to be Christians but are not.

        IF that is true, then the Beatitudes given by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount have no meaning, because you seem to be saying that no one is like that. And if the heart truly is evil, is “is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick,” as Jeremiah 17:9 states in the NLT, then we must also doubt the change of heart which is supposed to come from being a Christian, or at least the good fruit which is a sign of true conversion.. We cannot trust it, because it could all be a show put on to lead us even further from the truth by feeding us half truths. This seems to be accentuated by Matthew 7:22.




        ---------------------------


        I've met people who if you saw only their public side you would think are great people, but at home are some of the nastiest people you will ever meet. I hope they change their ways, but given my experience with them that is unlikely short of a miracle. That could still happen, but I won't be holding my breath.

        I used to be like that. But now I do the best that I can to be the same in public as I am in private, which is the best self that I can be, with God’s help. I will admit, I sometimes wonder why miracles don’t come. In Matthew 11:23, “ For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today”


        ----------------------------


        Then there is the topic of deathbed conversions, which add another layer of complexity to the issue. The thief on the cross came to accept Jesus in his last hours, I don't see why this would be a one time occurrence. It's impossible to say how many fall under this.

        I have thought of this as well, as has the author of the Tent Maker website. People talk about getting a second chance after almost dying or seeing a vision. But how come not everyone get’s that chance? That is one of the reasons I believe that God isn’t limited to this lifetime in terms of His ability to save everyone.


        ----------------------------


        I think one of the big things to separate types of people in your example would be this. Are they following these beliefs because they have searched wholeheartedly for the truth, or because they were told it was the truth and they never looked further than that? People just doing what they are told by authority figures has led to things like the Holocaust being as bad as it was. I know that is an extreme example, but not questioning things can have really bad results even when not taken that far.

        I have trouble following what is the truth wholeheartedly. Mostly I trust my instincts. I’m not proud of it. One of the reasons I came back here was to try to face reality and look at the other side.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Heero Yuy View Post
          IF that is true, then the Beatitudes given by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount have no meaning, because you seem to be saying that no one is like that. And if the heart truly is evil, is “is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick,” as Jeremiah 17:9 states in the NLT, then we must also doubt the change of heart which is supposed to come from being a Christian, or at least the good fruit which is a sign of true conversion.. We cannot trust it, because it could all be a show put on to lead us even further from the truth by feeding us half truths. This seems to be accentuated by Matthew 7:22.
          I've edited this quote to remove those lines and all of the extra spaces so this reply doesn't take up too much room.

          It doesn't mean that the Beatitiudes are meaningless, it just means that there is no man made or earthly cure for a wicked heart. Context matters.

          I used to be like that. But now I do the best that I can to be the same in public as I am in private, which is the best self that I can be, with God’s help. I will admit, I sometimes wonder why miracles don’t come. In Matthew 11:23, “ For if the miracles I did for you had been done in wicked Sodom, it would still be here today”
          Some level of difference between public and private life is normal.

          That's something only God can answer. Just as speculation, I'd say that it is a combination of the issue of lack of faith(Biblical faith, which is trust, and not "blind faith") in God in some areas combined with the knowledge of what is best for all involved.

          It's also possible that the verse there was hyperbolic, and Jesus' way of saying that his opponents at the time were worse than some of the worst people in the Bible. A modern day equivalent would be saying someone is worse than Hitler.

          You're not alone in wondering why miracles don't come in certain cases. I've dealt with a chronic pain condition for most of my life. I did get a miracle, but it only got rid of the pain just long enough for me to be able to build back some muscle and avoid going to some doctors who would have undoubtedly made things worse. Things are better now than they used to be, but I still struggle with intense pain every second of every day.

          I have thought of this as well, as has the author of the Tent Maker website. People talk about getting a second chance after almost dying or seeing a vision. But how come not everyone get’s that chance? That is one of the reasons I believe that God isn’t limited to this lifetime in terms of His ability to save everyone.
          Who's to say that everyone does not get that chance, or something of equal level when it comes to God showing evidence of Himself? Then there are the people for whom no amount of evidence will satisfy them, and those who accept that Christianity is true, but still won't become Christians because of what it means for how they have to live their lives.

          The Bible is clear that we only get one lifetime to accept Christ.

          Hebrews 9:27
          And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment,

          That judgment being eternal, which is gone over and over again to emphasize the point. To try and say it is not eternal means that salvation, which is described in the same words and contexts would also not be eternal.

          I have trouble following what is the truth wholeheartedly. Mostly I trust my instincts. I’m not proud of it. One of the reasons I came back here was to try to face reality and look at the other side.
          Instincts have to be weighed against other considerations very carefully. Every time the Bible mentions that the people "did what was right in their own eyes" it was followed by a description of how horrible they were.

          Despite all of this, I hope you are right. I don't want anyone to be in hell. I just don't see it as being feasible with what the Bible says.

          Comment


          • #35
            Hi HY

            This life on earth is very short and there is not an endless amount of time to learn and do all the things we want to or even need to.

            When it comes to our eternal souls, there is no room for error.

            The only book in the world that contains the true identity of Jesus Christ is the Bible.
            Other religions fail to answer the question of Christ's identity correctly.

            What do you think of The Apostle's Creed? I like it as an accurate and concise and strong statement of faith.

            Please be encouraged to know that we can only help ourselves so much. Self help only gets us so far. It can also be frustrating when the desired results are not forthcoming and evident.

            I am much comforted to know that it is God himself that is working in me and changing me to become the person that He wants me to be. "Change me Lord..." has been a prayer being answered continually, to where I can almost look at myself as a spectator and see how much less anxious I am about things for example.

            So then, my dear ones, just as you have always obeyed [my instructions with enthusiasm], not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. 1For it is [not your strength, but it is] [c]God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.

            Comment


            • #36

              It doesn't mean that the Beatitiudes are meaningless, it just means that there is no man made or earthly cure for a wicked heart. Context matters.
              I agree completely. We are saved by faith in something greater than ourselves. Jesus provides the way to do this, to follow the true Law and have Faith. What I am trying to point out is that if the heart is wicked, then we have to doubt the good of all that comes out of it, including interventions that are not from Earth. But you are correct: context matters. I am currently reading through the ESV Study Bible, so perhaps I will get better at understanding context. But who's to say that Jeremiah wasen't being hyperbolic when he stated that the heart in Jeremiah 17:19?


              Some level of difference between public and private life is normal.
              Thank you for your kind and merciful response. But I will continue to do my best to be good both in public and in private. Please pray that I can do this.

              That's something only God can answer.
              That is a very honest response, and you bring up some good points. It is difficult, sometimes to know when Jesus is being literal vs figurative. Maybe that comes from being a WEIRD.

              I am just curious. If you were speaking to a Muslim about problems in the Quran or the works based Salvation (vs eternal security) which is advocated in it, and if they said to you that only God can answer those questions, would you accept that as the truth?


              You're not alone in wondering why miracles don't come in certain cases. I've dealt with a chronic pain condition for most of my life. I did get a miracle, but it only got rid of the pain just long enough for me to be able to build back some muscle and avoid going to some doctors who would have undoubtedly made things worse. Things are better now than they used to be, but I still struggle with intense pain every second of every day.
              You may not believe it; but I know what it is like to go through unspeakable pain every day. Throughout my childhood and into early adulthood, I would have periods of having SEVERE panic attacks about heaven and the nature of eternity. I had trouble breathing, I felt pain in my chest and all over my body. It felt as if the whole world was collapsing onto my chest. They went on for months at a time, and would alternate with periods of intense anxiety and depression, and more rarely feeling normal. I have also faced abuse from others, which I won't go into here. My pain may be less than yours, but I do know feeling pain every single day.

              ...but I still struggle with intense pain every second of every day.
              I do study natural medicine, and one of the best natural pain relievers I have found is DMSO combined with Aloe Vera gel. If you haven't already, give that a try.

              Who's to say that everyone does not get that chance, or something of equal level when it comes to God showing evidence of Himself? Then there are the people for whom no amount of evidence will satisfy them, and those who accept that Christianity is true, but still won't become Christians because of what it means for how they have to live their lives.
              Because of the simple fact that not everyone is born with an equal opportunity to know God.


              The Bible is clear that we only get one lifetime to accept Christ.

              Hebrews 9:27
              And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment,

              That judgment being eternal, which is gone over and over again to emphasize the point. To try and say it is not eternal means that salvation, which is described in the same words and contexts would also not be eternal.
              Indeed, each time a person dies they face judgment for that lifetime. The individual has to experience every time they hurt someone, and not only that but every time the person they hurt themselves hurts others. They have to feel that as well.

              The judgment is eternal because it comes from an eternal God, not necessarily because it is infinite in duration. Whether something is considered eternal depends on the context. As I have tried to explain, the duration is more likely to be understood as encompassing an unknown period of time. It could be eternal, but it will not be in reality because God will ultimately draw all people to Himself through Christ (John 12:32). Believers in Christ are given eternal life starting in this life, and on into eternity, while those who do not believe will be in death until they are corrected and ultimately saved. And who's to say that God couldn't give believers an even better life in the future, and on into eternity?

              Instincts have to be weighed against other considerations very carefully. Every time the Bible mentions that the people "did what was right in their own eyes" it was followed by a description of how horrible they were.

              Despite all of this, I hope you are right. I don't want anyone to be in hell. I just don't see it as being feasible with what the Bible says.
              That is a warning I will take very seriously. I am not certain if doing what is right in your own eyes is the same thing as trusting your gut and your intuition. But even these should, as you said, lead to further study and prayer, not simply trusting your gut and taking no further action. Also, I do believe in hell and that some people may go there. I disagree that they will be there for literally eternity.

              If you do want to look further into this, I would recommend the free book, Hope Beyond Hell The Righteous Purpose of God's Judgment. as well as the tent maker website.

              God bless you.

              Sincerely,

              -Heero

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Heero Yuy View Post
                I agree completely. We are saved by faith in something greater than ourselves. Jesus provides the way to do this, to follow the true Law and have Faith. What I am trying to point out is that if the heart is wicked, then we have to doubt the good of all that comes out of it, including interventions that are not from Earth. But you are correct: context matters. I am currently reading through the ESV Study Bible, so perhaps I will get better at understanding context. But who's to say that Jeremiah wasen't being hyperbolic when he stated that the heart in Jeremiah 17:19?
                It's pretty clear in the Bible that without faith in Christ our good works have no value as far as salvation or are in any sense truly righteous. It is only God's righteousness that allows for salvation.

                Isaiah 64:6
                For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our wrongdoings, like the wind, take us away.

                Romans 3:22
                but it is the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction,

                Thank you for your kind and merciful response. But I will continue to do my best to be good both in public and in private. Please pray that I can do this.
                Unless I'm not feeling well I'm usually willing to have a civil conversation.


                I think that is something all people need to work on to some degree, myself included.

                That is a very honest response, and you bring up some good points. It is difficult, sometimes to know when Jesus is being literal vs figurative. Maybe that comes from being a WEIRD.

                I am just curious. If you were speaking to a Muslim about problems in the Quran or the works based Salvation (vs eternal security) which is advocated in it, and if they said to you that only God can answer those questions, would you accept that as the truth?
                I'm not exactly the best when it comes to figuring out literal versus figurative either. I am curious as to what you mean by "being a WEIRD".

                When it comes to eschatology and who will or won't be saved in Islam I would indeed accept that as an answer. Outside of very specific people like Mohammed or martyrs for Islam, very few people have any assurance of salvation.

                You may not believe it; but I know what it is like to go through unspeakable pain every day. Throughout my childhood and into early adulthood, I would have periods of having SEVERE panic attacks about heaven and the nature of eternity. I had trouble breathing, I felt pain in my chest and all over my body. It felt as if the whole world was collapsing onto my chest. They went on for months at a time, and would alternate with periods of intense anxiety and depression, and more rarely feeling normal. I have also faced abuse from others, which I won't go into here. My pain may be less than yours, but I do know feeling pain every single day.
                Sorry you've had to go through that. I've been through a lot of that myself, including the abuse. Bullies at school are the reason I have my chronic pain condition. While the symptom of pain is ever present, the other effects are more varied on intensity and duration. Extreme panic attacks and paranoia were things I used to go through almost daily. I don't say this to downplay what you've been through, I don't think anyone should have to go through that kind of thing. Just know that you are not alone, and that includes struggling about the teachings of Christianity.

                I do study natural medicine, and one of the best natural pain relievers I have found is DMSO combined with Aloe Vera gel. If you haven't already, give that a try.
                Thanks for the recommendation. I'm looking into it now. Even if it doesn't work I appreciate it any time someone suggests something to help.

                Because of the simple fact that not everyone is born with an equal opportunity to know God.
                From my view what matters is that they get the chance to know God in their lifetime. Many great heroes in Judaism and Christianity didn't start off knowing God, and only learned of Him later in life. Moses is a good example.

                Indeed, each time a person dies they face judgment for that lifetime. The individual has to experience every time they hurt someone, and not only that but every time the person they hurt themselves hurts others. They have to feel that as well.
                If they are just going to get another life then any of the progress that such a punishment might have for rehabilitation would be lost. Reincarnation doesn't really help with a problem like that, it just compounds it.

                The judgment is eternal because it comes from an eternal God, not necessarily because it is infinite in duration. Whether something is considered eternal depends on the context. As I have tried to explain, the duration is more likely to be understood as encompassing an unknown period of time. It could be eternal, but it will not be in reality because God will ultimately draw all people to Himself through Christ (John 12:32). Believers in Christ are given eternal life starting in this life, and on into eternity, while those who do not believe will be in death until they are corrected and ultimately saved. And who's to say that God couldn't give believers an even better life in the future, and on into eternity?
                I'm not saying God can't do those things, just that if you try and say that the "eternal punishment" mentioned by Christ isn't infinite in duration, then salvation wouldn't be either since they are using the same word in the same context.

                That is a warning I will take very seriously. I am not certain if doing what is right in your own eyes is the same thing as trusting your gut and your intuition. But even these should, as you said, lead to further study and prayer, not simply trusting your gut and taking no further action. Also, I do believe in hell and that some people may go there. I disagree that they will be there for literally eternity.

                If you do want to look further into this, I would recommend the free book, Hope Beyond Hell The Righteous Purpose of God's Judgment. as well as the tent maker website.

                God bless you.

                Sincerely,

                -Heero
                As for trusting your instincts that is something that needs to be done on a case by case basis. Some of our more base instincts will obviously just get us into trouble, but others can be life saving.

                There are multiple reasons I believe hell is eternal, and one of the big ones is how stubborn people are. There are people who will not change their ways no matter what happens. Any kind of perceived slight causes them to entrench themselves further into their position. As such, even if hell were primarily about rehabilitation then you would get those who would never leave, and through their own wills.

                I think I looked at the Tent Maker website a long time ago, but don't recall much. I've not heard of that book before, I'll look into it a bit.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Dear Cerebrum123,

                  I am sorry for these long responses. I just want to make sure to address you on each of your points. I also enjoy talking to you, and I am learning from you. Thank you for bearing with me. One thing I did in thi post was to put the Bible quotes without directly quoting them, since Theology Web provides a link to the quoted text anyway.

                  In any case, I hope that you are enjoying our conversation and thank you for being patient with me. :)

                  It's pretty clear in the Bible that without faith in Christ our good works have no value as far as salvation or are in any sense truly righteous. It is only God's righteousness that allows for salvation.
                  Yea, sometimes I have trouble understanding the Biblical definition of righteous in the Scriptures. For example, take Genesis 15:6 and Romans 4:3. It seems as if the act of faith itself is a form of work: see John 6:29.

                  I'm not exactly the best when it comes to figuring out literal versus figurative either. I am curious as to what you mean by "being a WEIRD"
                  WEIRD is a concept first introduced to me by others here on Tweb. It is an acronym meaning Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democracies. It is a way of trying to show that WEIRDs have trouble understanding the Bible because of their upbringing in WEIRD countries, verses Honor Shame Societies, such as those in the Old and New Testament.

                  When it comes to eschatology and who will or won't be saved in Islam I would indeed accept that as an answer. Outside of very specific people like Mohammed or martyrs for Islam, very few people have any assurance of salvation.
                  That is a very brave and honest response, and I appreciate it deeply. I feel like many Christians feel the same way. Even eternal security can be less than comforting when considering how many others, often including family and friends, will experience eternal conscious torment. And one can also worry that they have never truly been saved. See Matthew 7:21-23. I know I have felt that way, that I am doomed, that I have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, and that I will be eternally lost, though I have said the sinner's prayer many times and I mean it every time.

                  Sorry you've had to go through that. I've been through a lot of that myself, including the abuse. Bullies at school are the reason I have my chronic pain condition. While the symptom of pain is ever present, the other effects are more varied on intensity and duration. Extreme panic attacks and paranoia were things I used to go through almost daily. I don't say this to downplay what you've been through, I don't think anyone should have to go through that kind of thing. Just know that you are not alone, and that includes struggling about the teachings of Christianity.
                  You are a true friend, and I am really considering what you have to say. It is good to not be alone. And I will admit that maybe I am wrong in what I believe. But for certain issues, such as reincarnation, it is difficult for me to reject them because there is a lot of evidence for them (https://www.victorzammit.com/book/chapter24.html)

                  Thanks for the recommendation. I'm looking into it now. Even if it doesn't work I appreciate it any time someone suggests something to help.
                  If you want to educate yourself on DMSO, google "Hebrew of Yahweh DMSO the persecuted drug" And you can also look up DMSO with Aloe Vera gel on Amazon. There are several to select from.

                  From my view what matters is that they get the chance to know God in their lifetime. Many great heroes in Judaism and Christianity didn't start off knowing God, and only learned of Him later in life. Moses is a good example.
                  This is my point exactly. Not everyone get's to experience the burning bush. And many people are born in communities where they will be raised with biases against the Christian Faith. For example, Muslims. And not only do they all not get visions of Jesus, but there are Christians who have converted to Islam.

                  If they are just going to get another life then any of the progress that such a punishment might have for rehabilitation would be lost. Reincarnation doesn't really help with a problem like that, it just compounds it.
                  That is an excellent point, and I am unsure how to respond to it, but two things come to mind. First, one indeed does use the project in the afterlife. For instance, in planning the next incarnation the lessons that one has learned in the current life. Second, it also dictates where in the afterlife they need to go in case they need corrections which are not available on this earth.

                  I'm not saying God can't do those things, just that if you try and say that the "eternal punishment" mentioned by Christ isn't infinite in duration, then salvation wouldn't be either since they are using the same word in the same context.
                  Let me try a different approach. I am going to quote from a free online book titled God's Plan for All. Although I don't agree with it on every point, it might help us to understand the issue better:

                  "
                  Now, let us understand the correct translation of Matthew 25:46 and the true meaning of what Jesus Christ is saying in this verse.

                  As we have demonstrated, to translate aionios punishment to mean everlasting or eternal punishment is a mistranslation because it brings contradiction into the Word of God. In addition to this, it should be noted that the Greek word for punishment used in Matthew 25:46 is kolasis, and the meaning of kolasis is ‘corrective punishment’ as confirmed by Strong’s Concordance number G2851. So, the true meaning of Matthew 25:46 as dictated by the context is:

                  Matthew 25:46
                  And these will go away into age-to-come, age-lasting (aionios) corrective punishment (kolasis), but the righteous into age-to-come eternal (aionios) life.

                  This is the true meaning of this scripture as originally inspired by the Holy Spirit, and it does not introduce any contradictions whatsoever into the Word of God.
                  As such, even if hell were primarily about rehabilitation then you would get those who would never leave, and through their own wills.
                  From what I have read in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, the Reformist Quran, and the Uranita book, it is possible that if after being given every chance, if an individual still refuses, then that soul would be reabsorbed into God and it would be as if they never existed. Alternatively their evil side will eventually be utterly destroyed and the good part of the soul be saved. I think this is a possibility, but I do ultimately believe that everyone will be saved and that perhaps these statements are meant to help individuals understand the seriousness of correction.

                  God bless you.

                  Sincerely,

                  -Heero Yuy

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Heero Yuy View Post
                    Dear Cerebrum123,

                    I am sorry for these long responses. I just want to make sure to address you on each of your points. I also enjoy talking to you, and I am learning from you. Thank you for bearing with me. One thing I did in thi post was to put the Bible quotes without directly quoting them, since Theology Web provides a link to the quoted text anyway.

                    In any case, I hope that you are enjoying our conversation and thank you for being patient with me. :)
                    I can't exactly call someone else out on long responses when I'm very prone to doing that myself.

                    Yea, sometimes I have trouble understanding the Biblical definition of righteous in the Scriptures. For example, take Genesis 15:6 and Romans 4:3. It seems as if the act of faith itself is a form of work: see John 6:29.
                    Your first two citations here are saying the same thing. Abraham trusted/believed in God, and that he was credited righteousness because of it.

                    A lot of people make the mistake of considering faith as a "work", when the two are contrasted with each other so often. The passage in John needs to be read with something in mind. Doing good works without faith in God doesn't count as righteousness, and faith in God without works isn't valid. The former of the two isn't because people who don't believe in God can't do good things, but that without the right relationship to God it's not valid. For the latter good works are supposed to be the natural result of faith in God. If you claim to have faith in God, but aren't producing good works, then whether or not you really have faith is called into question.

                    WEIRD is a concept first introduced to me by others here on Tweb. It is an acronym meaning Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democracies. It is a way of trying to show that WEIRDs have trouble understanding the Bible because of their upbringing in WEIRD countries, verses Honor Shame Societies, such as those in the Old and New Testament.
                    Yeah, I once accepted the "Honor Shame Culture" paradigm myself, but I no longer do for many reasons*. So the "WEIRD" category is not something I'd accept now.

                    That is a very brave and honest response, and I appreciate it deeply. I feel like many Christians feel the same way. Even eternal security can be less than comforting when considering how many others, often including family and friends, will experience eternal conscious torment. And one can also worry that they have never truly been saved. See Matthew 7:21-23. I know I have felt that way, that I am doomed, that I have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, and that I will be eternally lost, though I have said the sinner's prayer many times and I mean it every time.
                    As someone who is a worrier an overthinker and who has gone through a lot of paranoia I've been through a lot of that too. Most people just don't seem to think about those things, or worry like that.

                    I still struggle with the concept of hell. Even the "honor and shame" version of J. P. Holding. After all mental and emotional suffering can be as bad or worse than physical suffering.

                    When it eventually comes to is what has the best support Biblically.

                    You are a true friend, and I am really considering what you have to say. It is good to not be alone. And I will admit that maybe I am wrong in what I believe. But for certain issues, such as reincarnation, it is difficult for me to reject them because there is a lot of evidence for them (https://www.victorzammit.com/book/chapter24.html)
                    I'll check that out.

                    Given my own experience with the supernatural I'm very skeptical of things like this. I've also experienced false memories, and know of many cases where hypnosis has caused major problems.

                    If you want to educate yourself on DMSO, google "Hebrew of Yahweh DMSO the persecuted drug" And you can also look up DMSO with Aloe Vera gel on Amazon. There are several to select from.
                    I'll look into it. I have to be very careful with just about everything as things that won't bother a normal person can flare my condition. Something simple like rubbing alcohol on my skin can cause burning pain.

                    This is my point exactly. Not everyone get's to experience the burning bush. And many people are born in communities where they will be raised with biases against the Christian Faith. For example, Muslims. And not only do they all not get visions of Jesus, but there are Christians who have converted to Islam.
                    I believe that everyone gets enough information to make their decision. No, not everyone gets a "burning bush", but many people get way more than they are willing to admit.

                    That is an excellent point, and I am unsure how to respond to it, but two things come to mind. First, one indeed does use the project in the afterlife. For instance, in planning the next incarnation the lessons that one has learned in the current life. Second, it also dictates where in the afterlife they need to go in case they need corrections which are not available on this earth.
                    How can any of that be when in the vast majority of cases most people have no memory of who they were before their current life? I've never seen any version of reincarnation that allows one to choose what life they will get next either. It's always based on merit or karma.

                    Let me try a different approach. I am going to quote from a free online book titled God's Plan for All. Although I don't agree with it on every point, it might help us to understand the issue better:

                    "



                    From what I have read in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, the Reformist Quran, and the Uranita book, it is possible that if after being given every chance, if an individual still refuses, then that soul would be reabsorbed into God and it would be as if they never existed. Alternatively their evil side will eventually be utterly destroyed and the good part of the soul be saved. I think this is a possibility, but I do ultimately believe that everyone will be saved and that perhaps these statements are meant to help individuals understand the seriousness of correction.

                    God bless you.

                    Sincerely,

                    -Heero Yuy
                    I've heard that argument before regarding "aionios", but it is still problematic for the very reason I cite. It uses the very same word for "age lasting punishment", and "eternal salvation" and in the same context. By the rules of grammar the same word in the same context should mean the same thing. So, either you end up with age lasting for both punishment and salvation, or you end up with eternal for punishment and salvation.

                    As for the last part either you end up with a universalism/annihilationism hybrid, or you end up with something like Vanitas being separated from Ventus in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep.

                    *The "Honor Shame" concept goes back to widely criticized World War 2 propaganda("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" I believe, and has other issues. There is a YouTube channel that discusses Chinese history using animated characters that discusses the history and criticism of the "Honor Shame" paradigm as well. I'll see if I can find it later.

                    Comment


                    • #40

                      Dear Cerebrum123,

                      So the quoting is getting out of hand, and I recognize my fault in it happening. From now on I will, as a general rule, only respond to the most salient points. I also have to apologize for my current response which I am about to publish. It is a bit disorganized and rude in a couple of places. I think perhaps this is because I am starting to see that what you say is true through the Holy Spirit. Alternately it could be a demon making me doubt myself and my faith. In any case, thank you for taking the time to read what I have written and take the time to discuss it with me.

                      "Your first two citations here are saying the same thing. Abraham trusted/believed in God, and that he was credited righteousness because of it.

                      A lot of people make the mistake of considering faith as a "work", when the two are contrasted with each other so often. The passage in John needs to be read with something in mind. Doing good works without faith in God doesn't count as righteousness, and faith in God without works isn't valid. The former of the two isn't because people who don't believe in God can't do good things, but that without the right relationship to God it's not valid. For the latter good works are supposed to be the natural result of faith in God. If you claim to have faith in God, but aren't producing good works, then whether or not you really have faith is called into question."

                      So this is a difficult issue for me, and I am struggling with your respone. That isn't your fault or problem. Please bear with me as the following is a little bit blunt. I apologize if it is offensive. I do think that this is an area that we can agree with, but I have some misconceptions to get over

                      This has come up in my past. I was doing a Bible study at my church and I was contrasting faith and works, for it seems that sometimes salvation seems to be by works, and in other cases by faith. My pastor pointed to John 6:29. It is hard for me to understand how you can discount the clear meaning of John 6:29, that faith is itself a work, and without that work faith is dead. I am also curious as to why you say or it is "not valid" rather than "dead"(KJV) or "useless."(NIV) I just wondered if there is a specific reason for this?

                      without the right relationship to God it's not valid.
                      I was wondering what you think of this: Romans 2:14.

                      So having put all of that out, I think the problem is that I am not understanding you correctly. So let me see if I am able: So, what you are saying is that Faith alone is necessary for salvation, but if good works do not follow then the individual never had any faith to begin with. Is that correct? Faith is justified by works, not because works justify faith, but because they demonstrate that faith is real and bears good fruit. An application of this is Jesus' statements on discerning false prophets in Matthew 7:16. Am I on the right track here?

                      Yeah, I once accepted the "Honor Shame Culture" paradigm myself, but I no longer do for many reasons*. So the "WEIRD" category is not something I'd accept now.
                      Good to know. :) Sometimes I used to feel as if most individuals here were in agreement with the honor shame culture. That is probably a reflection of my own biases, so it is good to see multiple perspectives on Tweb.

                      As someone who is a worrier an overthinker and who has gone through a lot of paranoia I've been through a lot of that too. Most people just don't seem to think about those things, or worry like that.
                      Yes, I also struggled a lot growing up with fears of nuclear war. I actually asked a classmate why he didn't seem bothered about this issue and he just stated that he just never let himself be bothered by it. Maybe it is just easier for some people rather than others. But I do want to tell you that being sensitive and empathetic is a gift. We just need to learn how to use it.

                      I still struggle with the concept of hell. Even the "honor and shame" version of J. P. Holding. After all mental and emotional suffering can be as bad or worse than physical suffering.
                      I don't want to take advantage of your uncertainty. I do want to help you to see the best arguments that universalism can offer, and then I would ask you to pray about it and come to your own conclusion. And you are spot on in stating that mental and emotional suffering can be as bad or worse than physical suffering.

                      When it eventually comes to is what has the best support Biblically.
                      I do also struggle with Biblical inerrancy, particularly because of the Gospel of the Holy Twelve.

                      Given my own experience with the supernatural I'm very skeptical of things like this. I've also experienced false memories, and know of many cases where hypnosis has caused major problems.
                      Thank you for being willing to check it out. Let me know what you think when you do. There are multiple cases where memories were confirmed with no possibility of foreknowledge or fraud. From what I have read, even skeptic Carl Sagan felt that children who remembered past lives were a subject in parapsychology worth studying.

                      I'll look into it. I have to be very careful with just about everything as things that won't bother a normal person can flare my condition. Something simple like rubbing alcohol on my skin can cause burning pain.
                      Understood. Thank you for letting me recommend it to you and for being willing to look into it. I apologize if I have been to pushy on the subject. Thank you for your kindness and patience.

                      I believe that everyone gets enough information to make their decision. No, not everyone gets a "burning bush", but many people get way more than they are willing to admit.
                      On what bases do you believe that claim? What constitutes enough information to make a decision? One thing I have learned from Young Earth Creationism is that people can look at the same evidence, such as a fossil, and come to different conclusions about its dating and what theory is bolstered by it, based on the axioms/presuppositions they accept. And not everyone has control over what they have been taught to believe is true, including their axioms/presuppositions. This is an objective fact. Not everyone gets the same chance, that is a fact. Free will is not absolute, and that is a fact.


                      How can any of that be when in the vast majority of cases most people have no memory of who they were before their current life? I've never seen any version of reincarnation that allows one to choose what life they will get next either. It's always based on merit or karma.
                      I would recommend two videos by the Theosophical Society by Dr. Eben Alexander: A Neurosurgeon's Journey through the Afterlife and Synthesis of Science and Spirituality.

                      That is one of the reasons that enlightened beings were sent to everyone, to all sentient life, in order to help people remember and ultimately overcome the cycle of birth and death: to achieve nirvana. One way to do that is to help people remember their past lives.

                      Here is a quote that may help you understand the purpose of rebirth. It is from the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, Lection 37:

                      5. Jesus answered, Verily I say unto you except a man be born again of flesh and of spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and ye hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth.
                      6. The light shineth from the East even unto the West; out of the darkness, the Sun ariseth and goeth down into darkness again; so is it with man, from the ages unto the ages.
                      7. When it cometh from the darkness, it is that he hath lived before, and when it goeth down again into darkness, it is that he may rest for a little, and thereafter again exist.
                      8. So through many changes must ye be made perfect, as it is written in the book of Job, I am a wanderer, changing place after place and house after house, until I come unto the City and Mansion which is eternal.

                      I've heard that argument before regarding "aionios", but it is still problematic for the very reason I cite. It uses the very same word for "age lasting punishment", and "eternal salvation" and in the same context. By the rules of grammar the same word in the same context should mean the same thing. So, either you end up with age lasting for both punishment and salvation, or you end up with eternal for punishment and salvation.

                      As for the last part either you end up with a universalism/annihilationism hybrid, or you end up with something like Vanitas being separated from Ventus in Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep.

                      *The "Honor Shame" concept goes back to widely criticized World War 2 propaganda("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword" I believe, and has other issues. There is a YouTube channel that discusses Chinese history using animated characters that discusses the history and criticism of the "Honor Shame" paradigm as well. I'll see if I can find it later.

                      I love Kingdom Hearts, but I haven't had a game console in years, so I do not fully understand the reference.

                      Thank you for the paper you cited. I will read over it and perhaps ask you and others about it.

                      But they are not in the same context. One part of the verse is geared towards unbelievers and one to believers.

                      Let me quote again from the same book, God's Plan for All:

                      ​​​​​​The Greek word Aionios

                      The Greek word aionios occurs 71 times in the New Testament. Aionios is the adjective of the noun aion, and therefore, the grammatical rule demands that aionios must also have the same two meanings as aion. Depending on its context, these are:
                      • A period of time that never ends, meaning forever, everlasting or eternal

                      OR
                      • A period of time that begins and ends, meaning an age or age-lasting.

                      The fact that one of the meanings of aionios is ‘forever, everlasting or eternal’ is not in doubt because this is how it is correctly used in Scripture for the majority of its 71 occurrences, as dictated by its context. The phrase ‘aionios life’, which is God’s promise to believers in Christ, occurs as many as fifty times in the Greek Manuscripts of the Bible. Most Bible versions correctly translate ‘aionios life’ to mean ‘everlasting life’ or ‘eternal life’.

                      There are only a few verses in the New Testament where aionios can only mean ‘age-lasting’ and not ‘everlasting’, as dictated by its context. Sadly, these few verses have been mistranslated to mean ‘everlasting’ in popular Bible versions like the KJV, NKJV and NIV which support the doctrine of hell. Let us now give you examples of such mistranslated verses.
                      Your's Truly,

                      -Heero

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Heero Yuy View Post
                        Dear Cerebrum123,

                        So the quoting is getting out of hand, and I recognize my fault in it happening. From now on I will, as a general rule, only respond to the most salient points. I also have to apologize for my current response which I am about to publish. It is a bit disorganized and rude in a couple of places. I think perhaps this is because I am starting to see that what you say is true through the Holy Spirit. Alternately it could be a demon making me doubt myself and my faith. In any case, thank you for taking the time to read what I have written and take the time to discuss it with me.
                        Your response doesn't seem rude at all, and we all make mistakes when posting. As hard as it is to follow this advice, don't beat yourself up over something like this. Despite hearing this advice many times I still have a hard time acting on it.

                        ing that you can resolve this.

                        So this is a difficult issue for me, and I am struggling with your respone. That isn't your fault or problem. Please bear with me as the following is a little bit blunt. I apologize if it is offensive. I do think that this is an area that we can agree with, but I have some misconceptions to get over

                        This has come up in my past. I was doing a Bible study at my church and I was contrasting faith and works, for it seems that sometimes salvation seems to be by works, and in other cases by faith. My pastor pointed to John 6:29. It is hard for me to understand how you can discount the clear meaning of John 6:29, that faith is itself a work, and without that work faith is dead. I am also curious as to why you say or it is "not valid" rather than "dead"(KJV) or "useless."(NIV) I just wondered if there is a specific reason for this?
                        I don't consider anything you have said here offensive.

                        I guess I didn't explain that well(which isn't uncommon), so I'll try again. Jesus saying that in John 6:29 is going with the total concept of faith, and how that naturally leads to good works. He's not saying it is in itself a work, but that by getting people to have true faith in God they will produce the works of God. Kind of like how he summarized the Ten Commandments as love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

                        As for the "not valid", that particular line was only for good works that are done without faith. Faith without works is indeed dead. However, not valid is another way to describe such a "faith". Null and void would be another good option.

                        I was wondering what you think of this: Romans 2:14.

                        So having put all of that out, I think the problem is that I am not understanding you correctly. So let me see if I am able: So, what you are saying is that Faith alone is necessary for salvation, but if good works do not follow then the individual never had any faith to begin with. Is that correct? Faith is justified by works, not because works justify faith, but because they demonstrate that faith is real and bears good fruit. An application of this is Jesus' statements on discerning false prophets in Matthew 7:16. Am I on the right track here?
                        Yes, that is what I'm getting at. The thief on the cross is a good example of this. He never got the chance to do any good works since he was being crucified when he accepted Jesus. Jesus told him that he would be in paradise that day. Not really any time for good works in his situation.

                        Good to know. :) Sometimes I used to feel as if most individuals here were in agreement with the honor shame culture. That is probably a reflection of my own biases, so it is good to see multiple perspectives on Tweb.
                        Most Christians on this site do in fact seem to agree with the Honor Shame culture paradigm. The level of explanatory power they grant to the paradigm is a little concerning IMO.

                        Yes, I also struggled a lot growing up with fears of nuclear war. I actually asked a classmate why he didn't seem bothered about this issue and he just stated that he just never let himself be bothered by it. Maybe it is just easier for some people rather than others. But I do want to tell you that being sensitive and empathetic is a gift. We just need to learn how to use it.
                        By the time I knew more about world events nuclear war wasn't really seen as a viable option by most countries, so I didn't worry about that issue specifically. Some people just never seem to worry about anything, even when they should. Others, like us, are much more prone to worrying.

                        Having higher empathy than average is both a gift and a curse. It makes it easier to help those who really need it, but it can also be taken advantage of by manipulative people.

                        I don't want to take advantage of your uncertainty. I do want to help you to see the best arguments that universalism can offer, and then I would ask you to pray about it and come to your own conclusion. And you are spot on in stating that mental and emotional suffering can be as bad or worse than physical suffering.
                        You are doing what you believe is best. I appreciate that even if I don't agree with your beliefs.

                        I do also struggle with Biblical inerrancy, particularly because of the Gospel of the Holy Twelve.

                        Thank you for being willing to check it out. Let me know what you think when you do. There are multiple cases where memories were confirmed with no possibility of foreknowledge or fraud. From what I have read, even skeptic Carl Sagan felt that children who remembered past lives were a subject in parapsychology worth studying.
                        Looks like there is a lot of stuff to go through, so it might take a while.

                        Understood. Thank you for letting me recommend it to you and for being willing to look into it. I apologize if I have been to pushy on the subject. Thank you for your kindness and patience.
                        I always appreciate it when someone suggests something I hadn't heard of that might be able to help with my chronic pain. So thanks for letting me know about it.

                        On what bases do you believe that claim? What constitutes enough information to make a decision? One thing I have learned from Young Earth Creationism is that people can look at the same evidence, such as a fossil, and come to different conclusions about its dating and what theory is bolstered by it, based on the axioms/presuppositions they accept. And not everyone has control over what they have been taught to believe is true, including their axioms/presuppositions. This is an objective fact. Not everyone gets the same chance, that is a fact. Free will is not absolute, and that is a fact.
                        I believe it because I trust God to do what is right. I don't believe that everyone will get the same exact information, as you rightly point out that people can easily interpret the exact same evidence in opposite ways. I'm a YEC myself, so I definitely understand how axioms and presuppositions can effect what people believe the evidence is pointing to. My belief is that God will give everyone what is necessary for them to make an informed decision. Who gets more or less information is God's prerogative, and not mine.

                        I would recommend two videos by the Theosophical Society by Dr. Eben Alexander: A Neurosurgeon's Journey through the Afterlife and Synthesis of Science and Spirituality.

                        That is one of the reasons that enlightened beings were sent to everyone, to all sentient life, in order to help people remember and ultimately overcome the cycle of birth and death: to achieve nirvana. One way to do that is to help people remember their past lives.

                        Here is a quote that may help you understand the purpose of rebirth. It is from the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, Lection 37:
                        Yes, aionios can mean "age lasting", but the context of the verse shows equal and opposite results depending on whether one accepts God or not. If they do not they go to "aionios" punishment, and if they do "aionios" salvation. Given the grammar of those definition of "aionios" would need to be the same.

                        I love Kingdom Hearts, but I haven't had a game console in years, so I do not fully understand the reference.

                        Thank you for the paper you cited. I will read over it and perhaps ask you and others about it.

                        But they are not in the same context. One part of the verse is geared towards unbelievers and one to believers.

                        Let me quote again from the same book, God's Plan for All:



                        Your's Truly,

                        -Heero
                        The Gospel of the Holy Twelve appears to be a forgery, and was called out as such during the authors lifetime. It was apparently written almost entirely to promote vegetarianism, but if you want to do that there are better options within the Biblical canon to make that argument such as man and animal being vegetarian in the beginning according to Genesis. Or when you have Daniel, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego eat only vegetables, and being healthier than their counterparts when they were being taught to serve Nebuchadnezzar.

                        The passage your reference in support of reincarnation is definitely very, very symbolic in doing so if that is what it is trying to teach.

                        As for the other work he kind of undermines his own argument. The vast majority of the uses of "aionios" in the Bible mean "everlasting", so why is it suddenly different in this passage? He doesn't really say why it should suddenly shift meanings within those verses.

                        It's a bit of a spoiler for Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep so watch at your own risk, but here is the cut scene that shows what happened.



                        The Kingdom Hearts series is now on PC on Epic Store, and will likely be in Steam later this year. I'm waiting to see if they bring them to Steam like other Epic exclusives since I own these games on other platforms. It's my favorite game series of all time, so I'll have to grab them for my PC at some point.

                        If you ever do get a chance to play the ones you haven't, I suggest playing them in release order instead of chronological order. They build on each other in a way that makes more sense that way.

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