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gay ex-scout, my loss americas gain....

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Achilleez, I did not mention or refer to hell at all. It would take some searching of my previous posts to discern (indirectly) as to whether I even believed in hell. I was referring to logic. Two contradictory statements cannot both be true. Two contradictory beliefs cannot be true.

 

 

"I think we need to remember that those who believe fundamentally different things, all equally have the right to those beliefs and I don't believe, we are in a position to judge those beliefs as right or wrong."

 

This is a nice sentiment, and I agree that in many cases it would be rude to explain to an individual exactly why their beliefs are wrong. Furthermore, there is nothing illogical with being an agnostic. If you don't have any convictions regarding religious topics (except that they are unknown), then you are not in a position to judge particular beliefs. If you do have real beliefs regarding topics (religious or otherwise), then it is only logical that contradictory beliefs must be held as false. It has nothing to do with your evaluation of the person who holds them apart from their holding false beliefs.

 

 

"People of all faiths take their belief's seriously. It's one thing to say: 'I firmly believe that....' versus 'The only true faith is .... which is the one I believe in.'"

 

That would depend upon the statements in question. If you say, "I firmly believe A to be true," then the logical compliment is "I firmly believe (not A) to be false." Some people don't really hold the teachings of the ecclesial community to which they belong. To these individuals, it would be more accurate to state, "It is quite possible that A is the case." For them, it would not be illogical to also state, "On the other hand, ~A may really be the case." One should not confuse the two situations.

 

Most often, this confusion is applied by those who don't really hold any religious beliefs and assume that others are in the same situation as them. Some people do hold religious beliefs as firmly as others hold beliefs regarding the physical world. Radical skepticism can be applied to the latter as easily as the former. Both cases require some "self-supporting" basis of intuition on which to build.

 

As always, the words of Chesterton are relevant. He is writing here about the "suicide of thought" that applies to much more than religion:

 

"...remarkable case of the dislocation of humility.

 

It is only with one aspect of humility that we are here concerned. Humility was largely meant as a restraint upon the arrogance and infinity of the appetite of man. He was always outstripping his mercies with his own newly invented needs. His very power of enjoyment destroyed half his joys. By asking for pleasure, he lost the chief pleasure; for the chief pleasure is surprise.

Hence it became evident that if a man would make his world large,

he must be always making himself small. Even the haughty visions,

the tall cities, and the toppling pinnacles are the creations of humility. Giants that tread down forests like grass are the creations of humility. Towers that vanish upwards above the loneliest star are the creations of humility. For towers are not tall unless we look up at them; and giants are not giants unless they are larger than we. All this gigantesque imagination, which is, perhaps, the mightiest of the pleasures of man, is at bottom entirely humble. It is impossible without humility to enjoy anything--even pride.

 

But what we suffer from to-day is humility in the wrong

place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty

has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never

meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but

undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed.

Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly

the part he ought not to assert--himself. The part he doubts is

exactly the part he ought not to doubt--the Divine Reason.

Huxley preached a humility content to learn from Nature.

But the new sceptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. Thus we should be wrong if we had said hastily that there is no humility typical of our time. The truth is that there is a real

humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it is practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic.

The old humility was a spur that prevented a man from stopping;

not a nail in his boot that prevented him from going on. For

the old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which

might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man

doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether.

 

At any street corner we may meet a man who utters the frantic

and blasphemous statement that he may be wrong. Every day one

comes across somebody who says that of course his view may not

be the right one. Of course his view must be the right one, or

it is not his view. We are on the road to producing a race of

men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.

We are in danger of seeing philosophers who doubt the law of gravity

as being a mere fancy of their own. Scoffers of old time were

too proud to be convinced; but these are too humble to be convinced.

The meek do inherit the earth; but the modern sceptics are too

meek even to claim their inheritance. It is exactly this

intellectual helplessness which is our second problem.

 

The last chapter has been concerned only with a fact of

observation: that what peril of morbidity there is for man

comes rather from his reason than his imagination. It was not

meant to attack the authority of reason; rather it is the

ultimate purpose to defend it. For it needs defence. The whole

modern world is at war with reason; and the tower already reels.

 

...That peril is that the human intellect is free to destroy itself.

Just as one generation could prevent the very existence of the

next generation, by all entering a monastery or jumping into the sea,

so one set of thinkers can in some degree prevent further thinking

by teaching the next generation that there is no validity in any

human thought. It is idle to talk always of the alternative of

reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is

an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to

reality at all. If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner

or later ask yourself the question, "Why should ANYTHING go right;

even observation and deduction? Why should not good logic be as

misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a

bewildered ape?" The young sceptic says, "I have a right to think

for myself." But the old sceptic, the complete sceptic, says,

"I have no right to think for myself. I have no right to think at all."

 

There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only

thought that ought to be stopped. That is the ultimate evil

against which all religious authority was aimed. It only

appears at the end of decadent ages like our own: and already

Mr. H.G.Wells has raised its ruinous banner; he has written

a delicate piece of scepticism called "Doubts of the Instrument."

In this he questions the brain itself, and endeavours to remove

all reality from all his own assertions, past, present, and to come.

But it was against this remote ruin that all the military

systems in religion were originally ranked and ruled. The creeds

and the crusades, the hierarchies and the horrible persecutions

were not organized, as is ignorantly said, for the suppression

of reason. They were organized for the difficult defence of

reason. Man, by a blind instinct, knew that if once things

were wildly questioned, reason could be questioned first.

The authority of priests to absolve, the authority of popes

to define the authority, even of inquisitors to terrify:

these were all only dark defences erected round one central

authority, more undemonstrable, more supernatural than all--

the authority of a man to think. We know now that this is so;

we have no excuse for not knowing it. For we can hear scepticism

crashing through the old ring of authorities, and at the same

moment we can see reason swaying upon her throne. In so far as

religion is gone, reason is going. For they are both of the

same primary and authoritative kind. They are both methods of

proof which cannot themselves be proved. And in the act of

destroying the idea of Divine authority we have largely

destroyed the idea of that human authority by which we do

a long-division sum. With a long and sustained tug we have

attempted to pull the mitre off pontifical man; and his head has

come off with it."

 

 

Anyone who has studied the idealists of the early modern period or the twentieth century philosophers can tell you that these descriptions of the "suicide of thought" are not exaggerations at all.

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This thread is effectively hijacked anyway, so I'll post some more I found relevant.

 

 

"The Jacobin could tell you not only the system he would rebel against,

but (what was more important) the system he would NOT rebel against,

the system he would trust. But the new rebel is a Sceptic,

and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty;

therefore he can never be really a revolutionist. And the fact that he

doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything.

For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind;

and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces,

but the doctrine by which he denounces it. Thus he writes one book

complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women,

and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in which

he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Christian girls

lose their virginity, and then curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it.

As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life,

and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time.

A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant,

and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant

ought to have killed himself. A man denounces marriage as a lie,

and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie.

He calls a flag a bauble, and then blames the oppressors of Poland

or Ireland because they take away that bauble. The man of this school

goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages

are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella

and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they

practically are beasts. In short, the modern revolutionist,

being an infinite sceptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines.

In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality;

in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men.

Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless

for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has

lost his right to rebel against anything.

 

It may be added that the same blank and bankruptcy can be

observed in all fierce and terrible types of literature,

especially in satire. Satire may be mad and anarchic, but it

presupposes an admitted superiority in certain things over others;

it presupposes a standard. When little boys in the street

laugh at the fatness of some distinguished journalist, they are

unconsciously assuming a standard of Greek sculpture. They are

appealing to the marble Apollo. And the curious disappearance

of satire from our literature is an instance of the fierce things

fading for want of any principle to be fierce about. Nietzsche

had some natural talent for sarcasm: he could sneer, though he

could not laugh; but there is always something bodiless and

without weight in his satire, simply because it has not any mass

of common morality behind it. He is himself more preposterous

than anything he denounces. But, indeed, Nietzsche will stand

very well as the type of the whole of this failure of abstract violence.

The softening of the brain which ultimately overtook him was not

a physical accident. If Nietzsche had not ended in imbecility,

Nietzscheism would end in imbecility. Thinking in isolation

and with pride ends in being an idiot. Every man who will not

have softening of the heart must at last have softening of the brain.

 

This last attempt to evade intellectualism ends in intellectualism,

and therefore in death. The sortie has failed. The wild worship

of lawlessness and the materialist worship of law end in the same void.

Nietzsche scales staggering mountains, but he turns up ultimately

in Tibet. He sits down beside Tolstoy in the land of nothing

and Nirvana. They are both helpless--one because he must not

grasp anything, and the other because he must not let go of anything.

The Tolstoyan's will is frozen by a Buddhist instinct that all

special actions are evil. But the Nietzscheite's will is quite equally

frozen by his view that all special actions are good; for if all

special actions are good, none of them are special. They stand

at the crossroads, and one hates all the roads and the other

likes all the roads. The result is--well, some things are not

hard to calculate. They stand at the cross-roads."

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My conclusion that mentioning hell would be appropriate was based on a few things.

 

First, you argued my statement that people can beleive in fundamentally different things and be equally right.

 

This led me to beleive that you disagreed with that statement and therefore thought there was only one true correctness.

 

Then I assumed (perhaps jumping the gun) that you were a Christian, based on the large percentage of Christians on this forum.

 

I then assumed that since you were a Christian arguing against equal correctness among different beleifs that you thought other beleifs in error. (though I know you ment no offense)

 

Since I had then concluded you were a Christian who thought others in error, I also made the assumption you would beleive in God's wrath and therefore a punishment for those who had not accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts (assuming you beleived Jesus's claim that he was the only way into God's kingdom).

 

You questioned why I thought you beleived in hell, and that's why. Too many assumptions perhaps, but that was the tone I picked up from your earlier statement.(This message has been edited by Achilleez)

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haha, Achilleez.. I didn't expect such a methodical explanation. :) I'm glad that you tried to clear it up, though.

 

My point is not dependent upon whether I am a Chrisian or not. It seems that the use of "hell" and attempting to take offense was a red herring to stop a logical argument about the relation between contradictory ideas.

 

I suppose that the real objection that people have is to how some treat others whom they feel hold false beliefs. I am certainly not suggesting that we treat others with contempt or constantly critique their beliefs. I have great respect for many people who hold different beliefs (including religious) than I do. But I don't pretend that all beliefs are compatable or that all religions teach the same thing. To suggest this about religions usually indicates an ignorance of one or more of the religions in question, and always ends up distorting all of them beyond recognition or value.

 

Perhaps some religious beliefs require detesting those who do not hold them or are outside the fold. But do not assume that anyone who holds the Law of Contradiction (the basis for logic itself) is mentally consigning others to hell. Now that's just offensive.. ;)

 

Just for the record, I am a Christian and I do believe in hell. But determining whether any particular soul is in hell (or whether it will be) is not within my competency. In fact, my religion requires that I pray for all deceased, presuming that they are NOT in hell. The means of salvation is a topic much to deep to begin discussing here. I will just say that I don't consider having true belief as being sufficient for salvation. Nor do I consider having a thorough and correct understanding of such things as necessary.

 

"You believe that God is one. You do well; even the demons believe and tremble."

 

So when I meet someone of another faith (or none at all), I do not begin by stating "You're living in error, man," just as I don't consider them any less intelligent, virtuous, or valuable for it. But when the Mormon missionaries (whom I respect greatly), for instance, try to convert me, I sit down with them and explain exactly why they believe what I do as I listen to why they believe as they do. We concede points of agreement and contest points of disagreement. It's really a broadening, congenial, and dare I say, fun, situation. It's much better than saying "I'm sorry, but I don't believe that," really meaning "That belief is not associated with me." and shutting the door. It may seem to take more time, but I've never had a repeat visit from the same faith community. ;) And I've learned a lot in the process..

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I respect your reply Adrianvs, and agree.

 

My point was that there are alot of people who do think that way. They see (or at least give the impression of it) the afterlife as a crossroads. You will be judged by God and either go to heaven or hell, based on whether you have repented your sins and accepted Christ as your God.

 

According to that logic, all non-Christians would be condemded to eternal damnation.

 

Yet when I question these areas of their beleif, I usually receive vague replies that leave me frustrated. As for me, afterlife is a great mystery that I hope I won't know the answer to before I get a chance to go skydiving :)

 

But when I see people wearing t-shirts that say : "Jesus Christ, it's hell without him" (yes I have seen them), I know that every non-Christian who sees it will likely be offended. Heck, I take offense to it.

 

That kind of thing IS directly mistreating others whom hold different beleifs. (Once I tapped a women on the shoulder who was wearing that shirt and asked if she thought it was appropriate to be wearing, but she seemed to have a sudden appointment with her purse and then hurried off saying she was late for something.)

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Achilleez,

 

Before you lash out at Christians who believe in both - Heaven and Hell, why dont you examine the faith a little more closely? Heres a few suppositions. Tell me which ones cause you the most heartburn and why?

 

1) A Christian is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Any disagreement on that one? Some folks stop right there and go no further, but I don't think its quite that simple.

 

2) A Christian makes a conscious decision to reject sin (he repents). Obviously Christians still commit sinful acts, but they strive to purge their life of sin.

 

3) A Christian accepts Christ's atoning sacrifice. He knows without this gift, he cannot escape Gods judgment - who is a Holy and Righteous God. Many folks like to ignore Gods Righteousness - Some go so far as to say that they dont believe in the God of the Old Testament. I dont understand that belief. Its seems perfectly clear to me that the God of the Old Testament, who asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac (but allowed a lamb to be substituted) is the same God, who sent His own son - Jesus - as a atoning sacrifice for us.

 

4) A Christian accepts the Bible as the Word of God. Now, for many Christians today - this point seems to be a stumbling block. I am befuddled by this because without the Bible, how is one suppose to know what Jesus stood for and what God the father wants us to do? If the Bible cannot be trusted, the entire Christian belief becomes a house of cards. Of course - many prefer it this way because it turns Christianity into a open buffet, whereas one can pick and chose whatever one wants to believe. Do you think God wants His children to pick and chose? Or, do you think God wants His children to know Him? Simple logic, tells me its the latter. God gave us the Bible so we know exactly what it means when one accepts Christ and becomes a believer.

 

5) The Bible warns us that the road to salvation is narrow. It further explains that those who reject Christ will spend eternity in Hell.

 

By definition, a Christian is proclaiming that he accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior - Salvation from judgment - A judgment that would result in eternal damnation. In short - Show me some self-professing Christians that dont believe in Hell - And Ill show you some Christians that dont believe in the Bible. Which makes me wonder - If they dont believe in the Bible, why do they call themselves Christians? And - if they believe in Christ, but dont trust the Bible - then how do they know that they are following Christ?

 

Perhaps the lady who looked down in her purse and left in a hurry, was too shy to tell you what she believed in her heart. You seem quick to label - or at least to imply - that the message on her shirt was hateful (and offensive). It may well be offensive - but did you ever consider the possibly that it was inspired by love and not hate?

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Nearly complete ditto on Rooster.

 

Achilleez, suppose that I believed that all people who smoked were going to die a painful death. I could tell people as politely as possible what was obviously the case and some would still be offended. It isn't caused by malice, but by genuine concern. On the other hand, if I were to mock those who smoked and laughed about what was going to happen to them, then you could say that I was acting with hatred. The t-shirt you mention seems to be using a common phrase to get people to realize the importance of accepting Christ as a means of salvation. You may disapprove of that method (as some disapprove of graphic anti-smoking ads), but there is no reason to believe that the person is motivated by anything more than a general concern for the welfare of others.

 

My apparent ambiguity was a result of trying to be as polite as possible. It is the Christian teaching (and my belief) that there is only one name by which persons may be saved, so to speak. I am not ambigious on that point. As to whether those unfamiliar with that person in this life may receive grace from Him during or after death is another issue. I may be refuse to judge whether a particular soul is in hell or will likely go there, but I have no problem with listing the physical, mental, and spiritual actions that will insure that one does end up in that state. I don't think that this is the place to discuss such specifics, however. Nor do I consider it the place to debate specific theological points. If you wish to create a thread to debate whether belief in hell "nice" or whether Christianity has a place in the world, then go ahead. I may even join you.

 

I have seen no one state that another individual person on this board will be consigned to hell. But if you find the belief in hell itself to be offensive, then I am afraid you have set the offense bar too low. Of course Christians believe that Christ is THE way to salvation. That is the whole point of the faith. Since they do believe it, they feel an obligation to tell others. I would be offended if they tried to keep it a secret. Some fringe groups will fudge that point by stating that He is only one way, but the Church would not have survived the incredible persecutions (especially in the 20th century) for only one possible way. Icons may be pretty, but they aren't to die for. Likewise, Buddhists believe that the Eightfold Path is the ONLY way to eliminate desire and thus suffering. That is the Fourth Noble Truth. The Dalai Lama believes it, despite his cuddly exterior. He believes that you will likely return to this hell (earth) a thousand more times. Are you offended? I am somewhat offended that he hasn't proclaimed the Four Noble Truths more blatantly. Does he think that we aren't ready? What an esoteric elitist..

 

It has been a source of ponderance for be to determine what situations are appropriate to evangelize my faith. I feel that I err on the side of silence. St. Paul gives a model of a man who can't keep his mouth shut about it and it costs him everything that can be taken away by others. "I wish that the whole world were as I am; except for these chains." You shouldn't be offended when people (Christians or otherwise) want to tell you the good news. You should be offended when they try to keep it a secret.

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"5) The Bible warns us that the road to salvation is narrow. It further explains that those who reject Christ will spend eternity in Hell. "

 

You have hit spot on the common misconception people have about my view on this matter. I do not argue that the above statement is true. However, I do argue that there is a large difference between rejecting Christ and not knowing him in the first place.

 

Is a man brought up in a Jewish home, taught Jewish beleifs from an early age, instilled with Jewish doctrine and faith any less loved by God? If this man in whole-heartedly faithful and loves God, lives out his life to be a good person and dies among a legacy of children and grand-children, is all of that forgotten by God when he is judged?

 

If God loved this man, why did he allow him to be born into a religion that does not acknowledge Christ as their God?

 

I have long understood that had I been born into a Hindu community, I would likely be Hindu. Had I been born into a Muslim community, I would most likely be Muslim. I was born in a Mennonite community in Ontario, as a result today I am a mennonite in Ontario.

 

Does God only put the ones he loves into Christian communities, and the rest he leaves out in the cold? No.

 

So when a Christian brands himself as the only true beleiver of God, and the rest of the world has somehow been corrupted by Satan's works, I am offended. Ridicule me if you like, but I have debated this topic for 40 years and no one has yet to convince me otherwise.

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The Hindu believes that he has been born into his given caste because of his actions in previous lives. He has as long as he wishes to get it right, so to speak. Frankly, he would be offended by your assertion that he could be credited Christian grace and be judged after this death.

 

The Muslim believes that following the Five Pillars are the only way to gain admittance into Paradise. He would be offended by your assertion as well.

 

In most of the monotheistic religions, including the vague Greek philosophical monotheism, a person's life is judged by how fervently they seek to know God and learn about Him. It is the indifferent that receive the harshest judgement. Didn't Christ say that it would be the lukewarm whom are "regurgitated" by him. Literally, a violent expulsion from within his person. I think that

you do well by reading some of Soren Kierkegaard's philosophy. He writes against the notion of "Christendom" which really refers to religions as social groups that one is "born into." He also refers to the Either/Or situation that we must all engage in our lives. There is no drifting down the stream; we must always choose. Sometimes, staying the course your entire life is the most difficult thing that you can do. It isn't an accident of birth and it isn't a permanent label that you acquire upon birth. It is the burden of free will that we are given the choice to seek God or to not seek Him. Don't be so eager to choose the second by citing demographics.

 

Perhaps you don't REALLY believe in the Christ. Perhaps you would rather we all stash our religious teachings under bushel baskets until we die within the next century? Do you know where the English word "nice" comes from?

 

What are the tenets of Mennonite theology? Are there any left? Do you believe them?

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The Mennonite church began as an offshoot of the original Anabaptists who were burned alive by the Romans for not approving of baptising infants before they could make the choice for themselves. In the 1500's they were located centrally in Switzerland, Germany, and what is now Poland and Austria.

 

They came to North America to escape persecution and established a colony in Pennsylvania and some migrated to area of Southern Ontario and Winnipeg. Today Mennonites are easily recognized for driving horse-drawn "buggies" and wearing complete black. This is of course stereotypical and only a small percentage of the Mennonite divisions adheare to the strictness of those rules. The primary drive of their culture comes from the biblical passage "be unlike the world" for the world is thought to be an evil place and only by separating themselves from it can they appreciate a true understanding of God.

 

As to the rest of your post, your words were almost as familiar to me as they were insulting.

 

You claim to bear an understanding that judgement is based on whether a person has taken the burden to seek out God in whatever form their culture has designated him. Yet you also seem to take Christ's words as unflawed truth, which also includes his claim that he is the only way into God's kingdom.

 

You can't have it both ways.

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"You claim to bear an understanding that judgement is based on whether a person has taken the burden to seek out God in whatever form their culture has designated him. Yet you also seem to take Christ's words as unflawed truth, which also includes his claim that he is the only way into God's kingdom.

You can't have it both ways."

 

 

Actually you can. I certainly do take Christ's words as unflawed truth and accept that He is the only way into the Kingdom. But I also hold that a virtuous person without exposure to Christ's Name, Church, or Sacraments may be saved. They may still receive the grace of God and the merits of Christ's sacrifice. In other words, God is not bound by His sacraments. The individual would still have to accept God's grace after death, of course, and their ability to do this would be directly proportionate to their virtue. If they had been searching for God their entire lives, they would be more disposed to accept him at this point.

Of course we cannot expect or plan for a conversion at death or salvation after it..

 

 

"The primary drive of their culture comes from the biblical passage "be unlike the world" for the world is thought to be an evil place and only by separating themselves from it can they appreciate a true understanding of God."

 

Either you believe this, or you do not. If you do, then your belief holds that all those who DON'T separate themselves from the world cannot understand God. Is that not the kind of belief that you object to?

 

What about the statement of Christ that you refer to? If you believe that He is the only way, then you hold the "offensive" belief. If you do not, then you do not believe the "unflawed truth" that supposedly makes you a Christian. Since you admit His words regarding the exclusiveness of His name and merits, my question is, "Is Christ wrong or are you a 'meanie' for believing His words?"

 

In other words, do you believe that Christ is the only way, or do you just think that is the likely case? Are religious ideas something best not thought about?

 

Please don't be offended. It's not my intention. I only want to get you to think about your objection to people holding to one belief as a true belief. Perhaps it will help to think of hell not as a punishment for failing to find the password, but as the natural state of the human soul after death. The degrees of heaven are determined by the state of the soul and thus its proximity to God.

 

BTW, your objection to hell (on the basis of an all-powerful and loving God) also rule out the existence of suffering on earth. Since suffering exists on earth, I will see no contradiction in believing that it will continue to exist after death (given the immortal soul).

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Christianity in a nutshell?

 

An atheist and a Christian go out fishing in a row boat out on the lake. The fish really are biting and both are doing quite well. After awhile, the atheist hooks a really big one! The struggle is quite pronounced. After fighting the fish for over an hour, the atheist tires and the fish with one big yank on the line pulls him overboard. The atheist yells out, "Save me, I can't swim!!" The Christian asks, "Do you believe in the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost (oops, modern update: Spirit)?" The atheist swallows some water goes under, surfaces briefly, and cries out again as he lunges for the boat, "Save me!" The Christian quickly rows the boat OUT of the atheist's reach and states again, "Do you believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?" The atheist, near exhaustian cries out, "What does it matter? Please just save me!." Again, the Christian asks, "Do you believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?" Finally, the atheist exclaims, "Yes, I do believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!! Please save me!". Hearing that, the Christian calmly rows the boat away mission accomplished as he states quite confidently, "You're saved!"

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Adrianvs, I am intrigued by your beleifs about salvation and I wish that more Christians were as open-minded as you seem to be. My problem is that some Christians DO rank themselves higher in their mental dossier than atheists. Some of them even recognize that fact openly.

 

As for me, I can't answer your questions becuase I have no idea. And I don't expect to have any idea for a long time.

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"WE had talked for about half an hour about politics and God; for men always talk about the most important things to total strangers. It is because in the total stranger we perceive man himself; the image of God is not disguised by resemblances to an uncle or doubts of the wisdom of a moustache."

 

-G.K. Chesterton

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