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What turns me away #3

Discussion in 'Struggles by Non-Christians' started by primarymay, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. primarymay

    primarymay Member

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    The God of the bible puts me off believing in him. On one hand he's all loving and forgiving, and on the other hand he's vengeful and ruthless.

    He enjoys crushing his enemies, and exacts pleasure from destroying those who stand in his way.

    I can't reconcile these opposites, and killing in the name of a god is not something that appeals to my better nature. I certainly do not like this character, but mostly what I disagree with is compulsory love.

    Love Jesus or go to hell is a sickly concept made by a sick mind.
    So why do you believe when you are faced with this outcome?

    Why exactly.
     
  2. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    What if Hell is temporary? And what if it is purgative in nature? And what if it is not meant to be humans’ final destination?
     
  3. War_Eagle

    War_Eagle Member

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    It's also a straw man argument favored by internet trolls.
     
  4. War_Eagle

    War_Eagle Member

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    Then Christ died for nothing if we can just go to Hell and save ourselves.
     
  5. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hello and welcome to CF!

    I know a wise priest who if confronted by an atheist likes to invite him, "Tell me about this God you don't believe in. I probably don't believe in him either."

    The truth is that the early Christians would never have recognized the God that is often presented today. Israel kept God at arm's length, not wanting to come near to Him, because they did not fully know Him. But Christ is God revealed to us, in the flesh. He lived among us, taught us Who the Father really is. So the early Christians developed a right understanding, and the Gospel they shared was really rightly called "good news".

    A right understanding of God, salvation, everything - can only be gotten by reading ALL of the Scripture through the lens of the Gospels.

    Unfortunately, much of Christianity has strayed in certain understandings, being influenced by different kinds of thought in history. And then very sincere people who love God have tried to do their best to understand Scripture, but without the proper context, and with the influence of those same thoughts in history, continue to inherit some of the same mistakes.

    Specifically, the idea that God somehow had a problem, and can't possibly forgive people because there is a legal constraint on Him, and further that He satisfies that requirement by pounding His own Son to a bloody pulp (which somehow gives Him pleasure, because He REALLY wants to pound US to a bloody pulp) ... the story gets worse and worse! The Apostles would be horrified!


    No, no, and no. That was not "the Good News". I do believe people are sincere, and love God in spite of this belief, and desire others to be saved and so they share this. But it has been misunderstood.

    God created man and all things good. He is a good and loving God, and loves creation, and desires it return to that state. (And all things WILL be restored, though human persons have free will, so God does give them a choice to accept His forgiveness - but it was always His desire and intent that all do so).

    Man's sin was like choosing to take on a cancer, or infection, that spread to all of his descendants and infected all of creation (because we were made responsible for the created material cosmos). The "curse of death" resulting from sin is not punishment, but a natural consequence of cutting oneself off from Life/God.

    Like a cancer, the sickness spreads, and all die. Terrible things happen as a result. Through it all, God looks forward to restoring all things. Christ came to be God's revelation to us, to take on the flesh of man so it could be united with God, giving us a source of healing, and being a sacrifice, yes, but more importantly defeating death by dying, because death cannot contain God Himself.

    His terrible death was a testimony to His humility, and a demonstration of His great love for us. But His suffering was not pleasing to the Father. God takes no pleasure in any suffering or death, but death is an enemy, destroying God's beloved creation.

    The word for "save" and the word for "heal" in the New Testament is the same word. God desires to save/heal us from our sins. It is medicine for healing that He offers us, and the power of His grace to be transformed to be like Christ, as He created mankind to be, along with free forgiveness of sins. THAT is the Good News.

    Everyone is going to be resurrected into new bodies that cannot die, or else changed into those bodies if they are still living at the end of this age, whenever that happens. And God's Presence will be with men. Those who have cooperated with His grace, and become like Christ, will be overjoyed to see Him, and experience His glory as paradise. Those who refused the medicine to heal, preferring evil, hating God, are not going to be able to get away from His Presence, and because they are so opposite Him, they will experience Him as a consuming fire. It is not the pleasure of God to "punish" or torment anyone. But some, by their own choices, will create their own torment.

    God is not schizophrenic, bloodthirsty, or opposed to Himself or hating His creation. God is perfect love. He doesn't change. But we, in our darkened understanding, sometimes fail to understand, and place human traits on God, rather like some of the pagan deities created out of man's imagination. It is a normal human tendency to do so. But it does not reflect Truth. This has sometimes resulted in poor translations of Scripture too, so when God warns something will happen - like a loving parent might say, "don't touch the stove - it's hot and you will burn yourself" - with our notions of an angry, bloodthirsty God, we hear instead "don't touch the stove, or I'm going to punish you by holding you against it and burning you!"

    Our wrong understanding doesn't make a thing true.

    Truth is Jesus Christ.



    God be with you and have mercy on you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  6. paul1149

    paul1149 that your faith might rest in the power of God Supporter

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    Seems to me to be the height of folly for man to use the moral facility that God invested in him to turn around and condemn God. Just maybe, greater context needs to be sought, whether textual or historical, when judging things in the Bible.
     
  7. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    I mean that people who trust Jesus go to Heaven upon death. Those who don’t go to Hell, there, they repent and call to Jesus to come get them. I think Jesus would. Perhaps this is what happens. I do not mean people go to Heaven in their sins
    That is not what I meant. No one can go to Heaven except through Christ. I just wonder if He extends the chance to be saved after death. Abraham could not traverse the gulf between Paradise and Hades, but Jesus can.

    I find it hard to believe that Jesus would hear people in Hell crying “Jesus, please save me” and NOT go and rescue them.
     
  8. War_Eagle

    War_Eagle Member

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    So how do you reconcile this heresy with the Bible's teaching that there is no opportunity for salvation after death, particularly not when God has already judged one guilty and cast them into Hell?

    Why wonder about it? Why not just read what the Bible has to say about it.

    The Bible isn't for everyone, I guess.
     
  9. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    I firmly agree!

    And that is not what the bible teaches!

    That is not the God of the bible.

    Covered clearly here: Jewishnotgreek.com
     
  10. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the bible says nobody can receive eternal life except through Christ. That is His gift that believers sincerely accept and non-believers reject. Non believers are not born again. They receive no eternal spirit. They suffer the fate God warned Adam and Eve of in Genesis 3, and Jesus came to save all who accept Him from. i.e. death.

    Turning death into this unimaginably evil fate may scare a lot of people into church pews, but that doesn't make them saved. And it does a lot of harm to the Gospel in people like the OP.

    Jesus and his apostles preached good news about bringing people to His saving grace out of desire to be with him in eternity, not about scaring the daylights out of them so they "may" come to a powerful and vengeful sky God that will choose to put them into eternal conscious misery.
     
  11. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    I’ve read the Bible, many times. I am thinking about the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man begs Abraham to come to him, Abraham says he can’t as there is a gulf fixed between them. It sounds as though Abraham wanted to help. Would not Christ be more merciful?

    There is so much that seems contradicting. These are the words of Jesus Luke 6:35-37

    “But love your enemies, and do good, lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for HE IS KIND TO THE UNTHANKFUL AND TO THE EVIL. Be ye therefore merciful, ad your Father is also merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven”

    I’m just trying to make sense of it all. I don’t know for sure, but would not be surprised if every human repents one day.
     
  12. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    Lazarus and the rich man is not about "hell". It is a parable about Israel.

    Lazarus and the Rich Man
     
  13. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    The rich man is in Hades and Lazarus is in Paradise. Abraham says there is a gulf fixed so the people in Paradise who would go to the people in Hades are prevented from doing so, and vice versa.

    So if people would try to get people out of Hell, would it not be safe to say Jesus who is more loving and kinder than we are, would rescue the people who call- especially since He can traverse the gulf?

    I believe the only requirement for salvation is faith- not works. So, if a soul in Hell truly believes- why would not that soul be rescued from Hell?

    I am not saying people don’t need to be saved- we most certainly do, I just don’t know that there is a fixed time period.
     
  14. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    Even it if was about the afterlife, Hades is another word for "death" and is about the fate of the lost BEFORE the GWTJ. But this story is a parable that is not about the place, but about the men. The message is to the "five brothers" of the rich man. At least that is one take and the one I pretty much subscribe to.

    The link I provided gives a lot more detail, and it is, itself, a summarized version of a full analysis, to which it provides a link.
     
  15. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    We do not teach universalism, because it was not given to us as a teaching by Christ or the Holy Spirit.

    However, we do know that God does desire the salvation of all. So we HOPE for the salvation of all, and we pray for the salvation of all.

    It seems from the words of Christ that some will set themselves against God and be tormented. The question is whether or not such persons can ever change? Is their torment somehow pedagogical, and will they change their hearts and turn toward God and accept forgiveness? Or will they simply use it as a means to further descend into hatred of God, refusing to be healed? Or will there some who go one way, some another? We do not know. We do hope. But we have no assurance at all that actual change is even possible after this life. So we cannot say either case to be certain - only what we have been given.
     
  16. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    And to add confusion, we have Romans 9, especially 17-18.

    "For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden."
     
  17. AservantofGodandthelordJC

    AservantofGodandthelordJC New Member

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    You cannot take most of the bible literally. God does not punish, you can only punish yourself by failing to align yourself with him. Any example of God's wrath in the bible is a parable of this.
     
  18. Almost there

    Almost there Well-Known Member

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    I think God punishes insomuch as if you take a lot of meth, you are gonna be sorry. The laws of physics, written, signed and notarized by God, himself, can be brutal.
     
  19. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your post. I think you must be very close to God. I have read many of your posts and they are full of wisdom and love. Thanks again, God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving.
     
  20. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Thank you for your kind words, but I have to say that only by the grace of God - anything good in me is due to His help, and He is just as willing and desires as much to help anyone and everyone. Some are even better off by not being so stubborn as I can be at times.

    But you are very kind. God bless you and yours and be with you. :)
     
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