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Ever changed your mind?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Cormack, Sep 17, 2020 at 1:00 AM.

  1. Cormack

    Cormack New Member

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    Recently I read a book titled All you want to know about Hell, it explained 3 famous historic perspectives on the nature, duration and purpose of hellfire.

    The three viewpoints were that the fires of hell torment (traditional hell,) the fires consume (annihilationism,) and lastly that the fires refine (universalism.)

    Long story short (although the author argued well in favour of each and every perspective) I ended up changing my mind on the topic of hell.

    Growing up in a non Christian household I’ve made spiritual changes before, but those changes were always in the general direction of a widely agreed upon Christian orthodoxy.

    Changing my mind in the past and accepting the deity of Christ, salvation by grace or the inerrancy of the Bible were big decisions to me personally, but in the grand scheme of things those choices are still rubber stamped by billions of people worldwide (unlike holding to what feels like a novel perspective on hell.)

    So, like the short story above, my question is have you ever changed your mind on the subject of faith, morals and worldview to go in an unexpected new direction?
     
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  2. honey badger

    honey badger i am

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    our own reasoning is where Truth is crucified ...
     
  3. Agallagher

    Agallagher WeAreGivenThePowerToBecomeSonsAndDaughtersOfGod

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    Yes. The Lord allowed a teacher in my life, to teach me more about the bible. In a perspective that was never brought to light before, and truth be told it seems like through all the teachers which were given, this one was the most helpful one namely Shawn.

    Through the years we have been told many different things about hell, and a lot of that scared me as a kid. Though it never really brought me to the Lord or God for that matter. In fact if anything it made me angry. Through my teenage years of rebellion, it took me to the age of 26 to finally sit down and search for God and learn the Lord Jesus Christ. However though as a younger kid, I was very fearful, and would call out to him sometimes over bad things that were done just so I would not have a spot in hell that I heard so much about.

    My mind has been changed. Once my eyes were open to new and different perspectives that have correlated through out the ages of history, and the people who shed the light on the Good of God, and his abilities of Reconcilation.
     
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  4. FreeinChrist

    FreeinChrist CF Advisory team Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    This thread was moved from Deeper Fellowship to Controversial Christian Theology, which is a better fit.


     
  5. Jesus is YHWH

    Jesus is YHWH my Lord and my God ! Supporter

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    So which one of the 3 views do you hold and did you change your mind from one view to another ?
     
  6. Cormack

    Cormack New Member

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    I think like many Christians I originally held to a loose hazy version of the classical view, not wanting to believe that hellfire was eternal torture but more like eternal torment. Lewis’ classic quote “the doors of hell are locked from the inside” would’ve covered a lot of theological ground in my case.

    The opinion of some professing Christians that the fires are literal and the torture is literal and that Jesus oversees the screaming and terror forever (often taken from Revelation) never had place of preference in my thinking.

    Even during group evangelism, where the threat of an eternal stay in hellfire was considered most effective, I seen it as a dud which would repel people in disgust and confusion.

    Of course believing the traditional view of hells nature and duration to be 100% true just made hellfire an inconvenient truth, a good evangelists handicap (and I’m a fairly good evangelist,) the public distaste for eternal punishment didn’t change its truthfulness. Unbelievers would dislike hell since they are the ones going there :ahah:

    The Fire that Consumes by Edward Fudge led me onto the idea that annihilation had more biblical support than eternal torment (though I wasn’t converted into an annihilationist, just surprised by the depth of their Bible based arguments.)

    For most Christians I think going into a study of the three views would probably show three things, firstly that the classic view on hells purpose and duration is much weaker than we originally believed, while both annihilationism and the universal restoration view are stronger than first given credit (strong both in the historical and biblical sense.)

    Third the study would most likely show Christians that wherever they landed on the subject, an eternal punishing hellfire isn’t an essential of the faith. “Jesus is Lord,” “down from heaven,” “dying for the sins of the world,” those are essential.

    Not wanting to write a topic against any one particular perspective I intentionally omitted my original and newfound opinion on the subject of hellfire (which makes the answer to my opinion even more intriguing for certain personality types :eek:)

    I’ve been moved by the weight of both historical and biblical considerations closer to where @Agallagher is. Not denying the reality of hell but the intent and duration of a persons punishment. I’ll share very briefly why.

    There were many biblical teachings where I had to mentally add a few bracketed theological footnotes as I’d read because (in my opinion) the verses on eternal torment were simply indisputable. We often amend verses in this way.

    “all of Israel will be saved” became “all of [spiritual] Israel will be saved,” or perhaps “all of [the faithful remnant of] Israel will be saved.”

    Obviously the verses on eternal conscious torment were so plain to me that I had to reinterpret some plain Bible passages. Or even an absolute favourite verse of mine, Christ “the saviour of all people, especially those who believe,” this becomes “the saviour of all people [in a sense,] especially those who believe.”

    I could continue but that would detract massively from the topic, as tempting as correcting me might be for some ;) So, have you ever changed your mind on a point of theology in an unexpected way?
     
  7. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    The gospel of Damnationism:
    Receive the free gift of salvation. Otherwise God will incinerate you.

    The claim of Damnationism:
    Jesus died to save you from God.
     
  8. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I can really empathize with this topic.
    I was raised Evangelical. Apologetics were of primary importance. We were taught to contend for the faith, mostly against other believers. (the enemy)

    As you have indicated, the idea of hell was an inconvenient reality. Not really something I wanted to run out front with as part of evangelism. But with the conscious thought that we were saving people from hell. (a good thing)

    I have been on forums for many years. Basically everyone is selling and no one is buying. This is the place to defend your faith from the enemy, other misguided Christians.

    I knew someone on this forum that I had a lot of respect for. In a PM he had mentioned that he didn't believe in hell. I wanted to hear his view on this. He introduced me to Universalism. Christian Universalism, Universal Reconciliationism.

    I fought the idea initially. I rolled out all the standard defenses of hell. A wanted answers to all my arguments. I was encouraged to my homework and come back with real questions. With very little research I started to see the holes in the arguments defending hell. Before I knew it, I was defending Universalism, much to my own surprise. I continued my research and have not looked back. Hell, who needs it?

    Arguments with Damnationists turned ugly. A Christian friend I had known for over a decade shunned me, claiming I had joined a cult. And suddenly I had to be careful who I discussed this with. It has little acceptance in Christianity.
     
  9. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    I should mention that at the same time this was happening, I had a family member that had said she couldn't believe in a God that would send people to hell. As a family we were trying to formulate an appropriate response. To no avail.
     
  10. Cormack

    Cormack New Member

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    Without poking my nose in, I hope she’s come to a place of peace and belief in God and His son Jesus Christ. Having much older sisters who have never embraced Christ that’s a heartbreaking story.
     
  11. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    She was raised in a Christian family.
    She walked away from God as an adult. As have several other siblings.
     
  12. Saint Steven

    Saint Steven You can call me Steve Supporter

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    Stop thinking robot! Get back to work! - lol

    Stop Dreaming Robot
     
  13. Jesus is YHWH

    Jesus is YHWH my Lord and my God ! Supporter

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    not on any essential Christian truths such as

    The Trinity
    The Deity of Christ
    Monotheism
    The humanity of Christ
    The Gospel
    The Bodily Resurrection, Ascension and 2nd Coming of Christ
    Heaven and hell
    Salvation by grace through faith apart from works
    virgin birth
    Jesus is the only way to salvation


    I did change my mind on tongues though as my best friends family kept pushing them on me and like all the rest of the charismatics I've met and churches I visited I was a second class christian not empowered with the almighty gift of tongues. I went to a swaggart crusade in the early 80's and went forward to "receive" the gift of tongues that was being "poured out" along with my brother in law. Swaggart Jr was right in front of me telling me to just start talking like a baby with goo goo, gaa gaa, baa baa etc...... he kept saying to just start doing that and tongues would start coming out of my mouth. it was utter CHAOS and people were in a frenzy. its was nothing but psycho semantic manipulation. I can surely tell you it was not from God what I was witnessing but from the evil one. I got out of there asap and never looked back. I studied the topic and realized it was nothing like the tongues I read about in Acts and looked like the CARNAL christians living in the flesh in 1 Corinthians.

    So yes I changed my mind on this and never looked back.
     
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