Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Getting to know more about a specific belief

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Numb2pencil
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Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #1

Post by Numb2pencil »

Hello. New member to this wonderful site. I've spent quite the time reading up on arguments and discussions throughout this site and came to a conclusion that a lot of people here are well educated and have great knowledge about the topics that they engage in. So, I figured I'd try to ask a question here.

I've heard from Christians that believing in a god other than theirs will result in horrible after life. I can see the point but I started to ponder about those who might have been born and led a life in which they have/had no knowledge about Christianity and the god they believe in. For extreme example, let's say that a boy was born in the Amazon forest. His environment and peers do not possess the bible or ever came upon a missionary who would have spread the knowledge about Christ in general. What happens to them? I've asked this question to a group of Christians and they came to a conclusion that the boy and his peers were doomed to be bound for hell after death. Now, do majority of Christians agree with this?

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Post #2

Post by Divine Insight »

This is a very complicated topic to be sure. There are many different views on this within Christendom itself.

I was born and raised as a Christian. The denomination I was born into was quite liberal on these sorts of issues. Not only did they believe that people who never heard of Jesus can still be "saved", but they even believe that people who reject Christianity may still qualify for salvation. Our church was very non-judgmental about other people's relationship with God.

There are of course many denominations that seem to believe that God is an extremely strict monster and who will damn people for every little trivial reason. I never did buy into that view of God even when I was a Christian.

Technically there are arguments to be made that the God of Abraham as portrayed in the Bible actually only has to do with God's relationship with the Israelites and no one else. I believe the Jews in particular believed this. And ironically Jesus was a Jew. Even the Gospels have Jesus telling his own disciples not to go into the cities of the Gentiles and to leave the Gentiles alone. The hardcore Christianity fundamentalists who love to use the Biblical God for hatred proclaim that this simply means that the Gentiles are already damned and not worth wasting time on. Other more liberal Christians, and of course the Jews, simply feel that God has a different relationship with those other people and so it's just not the business of the Israelites to poke there nose into relationships they have nothing to do with.

So there are many different views on this issue.

I always point out another option that most people don't even seem to realize. I am no longer a Christian and I renounce the Bible as portraying a truly stupid and ignorant God. I therefore dismiss the entire bible and all Abrahamic religions as being false man-made myths that have no actual God behind them.

Surprisingly many Christians simply tell me that I have a totally wrong picture of the Biblical God. But actually that view exonerates me from having rejected the Biblical God. How so? Well, if what I am rejecting is actually a wrong picture of God, then surely God himself would be elated and pleased that I have indeed rejected a very wrong picture of God.

Moreover, if what I have rejected is a wrong picture of God then I clearly have no rejected any real actual God. I find it extremely odd that many Christians can clearly see this so well that they actually point it out to me, yet they still seem to think that God will damn me for rejecting a totally wrong picture of him. :roll:

The only think I am absolutely certain of is that I have no rejected all that is good and righteous. On the contrary I totally embrace all that is good and righteous. Therefore if God truly is good and righteous, then I clearly embrace God.

But I just don't see a good and righteous God being portrayed in the Bible. What I see in the Bible is an absolutely moronic buffoon who has no sense of morality or righteousness. And so that's what I reject.

As far as Jesus is concerned, I have absolutely no way of knowing whether he was a virgin born demigod or not. So for me to claim that he is would be a lie. Why should I lie about something I cannot know. Is it not better to tell the truth and state honestly that I think the story is utterly absurd and I see no rational value in it.

Surely if there is a good and righteous God that God would appreciate my honesty.

So the Christians who believe in a God who would damn me for not believing in the Bible or Jesus are only confirming my observation that the Bible does indeed describe a hateful and non-compassionate moronic buffoon.

I am highly educated in the Bible, and I find it extremely absurd and impossible to believe. It appears to me to be nothing more than a highly male-chauvinistic and religiously-bigoted version of the Greek Zeus. So I see no reason to believe that it's anything more than that. It's just the Hebrew version of Zeus is all.

And finally to be perfectly honest about the whole thing I have absolutely no respect for any "Christians" who actually thrive on using the Biblical God as a means of belittling or condemning anyone. :roll:

I didn't buy into that type of behavior when I was a Christian, and I certainly don't buy into it now. If there was an actual Jesus I think Christians who use him to condemn non-Christians are actually using Jesus in a hateful way that even Jesus himself would not condone.

But unfortunately hating people in the name of Jesus seems to be a popular Christian mentality.
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Re: Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #3

Post by ttruscott »

Numb2pencil wrote: ... Now, do majority of Christians agree with this?
Rom 1:20 tells us that no one under the wrath of GOD has any excuse because all have seen HIS power and divinity in "what was made," so Christians contend that 'what was made' refers to the wonders of nature but when it comes to busting all excuses for rejecting HIM, nature study seems inadequate to do the job.

No one has ever converted to worshipping YHWH because of studying or contemplating nature and most of the world looks at nature and concludes that they are GOD, the Hindus and Buddhists.

The only way that "what was made " could have proven YHWH's power and glory to everyone who ever comes under HIS wrath would be if they were there and saw HIM create the physical universe and if the doomed were there so was everyone else too. There is an implication here too that we must have made some pretty important choices about our eternal relationship with YHWH before that time if some were already doomed when the physical universe was created.

And in Col 1:23 Paul tells us the gospel, the good news of the details of salvation from sin, was "proclaimed to every creature under heaven," and since centuries of Amazon natives and others prove this did not happen on earth, again we conclude that it happened before the creation of the earth and the physical universe in the spirit world where we all were created in the image of GOD together and learned about HIS purpose for our creation.

Most Christian have a version of these ideas to bolster their contention that every person ever born will have their chance to accept or reject YHWH as GOD though most put it in the future, I and some few others put it into the far far past.

So one way or another, your little guy in the Amazon will be covered,

peace, Ted
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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Re: Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #4

Post by Divine Insight »

ttruscott wrote: So one way or another, your little guy in the Amazon will be covered,

peace, Ted
And then so must everyone else. All the Hindus, Buddhists, non-Christians of any other religions, and even non-believers, or atheists. That must all be "covered".
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Post #5

Post by Numb2pencil »

Thank you for your responses (both of you).

I once was a Christian my self (Baptist sector) and our church were very liberal as well. I started to question my faith when I started to realize there were many different sectors within Christianity. While it seemed to me that we all worship same god, the very fact that we shook our fingers at each other due to the differences boggled my mind. The more I questioned, the more I felt the answers were bias through the person's interpretation. I came to a conclusion that we all are students under God and judging others when we are not fully sure our selves seemed very against the core belief that I once had as a Christian. Hence why I am not a Christian anymore. It became a struggle to balance what I was use to vs. having to open my mind to other possibilities all the while we were talking like we are the true version of Christians when really, we did not know the answers as well.

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Re: Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #6

Post by Wootah »

[Replying to post 1 by Numb2pencil]

I don't subscribe to us all being guilty by original sin, we all sin enough to be guilty without adding to our sins by blaming Adam and Eve.

But I do see many secular examples that demonstrate that the children pay for their parents sins.

So if one or both parents gambled away their money then you may have missed out on opportunities that you might otherwise have had. There are many such examples to pick from. That one can't help but think that without God's intervention some people groups will not hear the saving message of Jesus.

We are also judged fairly and so I suspect that salvation is still possible for anyone but I would rather prefer my chances in a Christian home.

Emotionally I guess I am a closet universalist or even ttruscotts view that we are living out our choices - although I don't believe either of those views are accurate because of other philosophical considerations.

I think we are condemned sufficiently by what we should have been able to understand without the bible and saved by what we should have been able to understand without the bible. The tragedy is those that know the gospel and reject it. Those are the ones given a higher responsibility and are more easily condemned.
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Re: Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #7

Post by Wootah »

[Replying to post 3 by ttruscott]
The philosophical issue I have with your beliefs that we rejected or accepted God before creation is that you are claiming responsibility for your salvation. It is antithetical to the gospel of grace.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Col 1:21-23 clearly states we are reconciled by Jesus and made blameless so long as we remain faithful. It is clear that what we do in this life matters and that the bible is rejecting your view.

I think you are building a belief system on a rhetorical flourish of Paul's. Paul is well aware of the need to spread the good news and that it has not gone everywhere on earth. But in heaven I see no reason to doubt that everyone is aware of God's good news.
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Re: Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #8

Post by ttruscott »

Wootah wrote: [Replying to post 3 by ttruscott]
The philosophical issue I have with your beliefs that we rejected or accepted God before creation is that you are claiming responsibility for your salvation. It is antithetical to the gospel of grace.
First, I make no claim to match every nuance of every verse in the bible but I do claim PCEC is as full as any theology and more logical and in keeping with the revealed attributes of GOD.

Are the angels saved by grace? No need right? But once a sinner, grace is the only way back to GOD, the only way out of your addiction to sin. How is that different from your view? I think that the doctrine of salvation by grace is handled pretty well by most churches; I just can't accept their belief how sinners are created.

How does our salvation from sin by grace interfere with our being chosen as elect due to our choice to accept YHWH as GOD? Election was a promise, not a method of salvation. Election was the promise and grace is the method. That is why I see no conflict between PCEC and grace.
Wootah wrote:
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Col 1:21-23 clearly states we are reconciled by Jesus and made blameless so long as we remain faithful. It is clear that what we do in this life matters and that the bible is rejecting your view.
The controversy between those who believe grace cannot be denied and those who believe we can fall from grace sweeps across all of Christendom and I make no claim to end it.

Ephesians 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in HIS sight. I do not see how I can have this verse apply to me and not end as 'holy and blameless in HIS sight.' especially when Rom 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. a conviction I share with Paul.

How Paul reconciles Rom 8:38-39 with Col 1:21-23, himself with himself, is not necessary for me because I know a reconciliation exists and how a theology balances (or not) these seemingly opposites is not a good enough reason for me to accept or reject their basic premise...

And, since I reject our free will here on earth until after our faith is established, I do not see that our own choice as a sinner can interfere with the will of GOD.
Wootah wrote:I think you are building a belief system on a rhetorical flourish of Paul's. Paul is well aware of the need to spread the good news and that it has not gone everywhere on earth. But in heaven I see no reason to doubt that everyone is aware of God's good news.
If by a rhetorical flourish you refer to the phrase the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven I actually did no see the implications within that phrase until many years after I was convinced enough to put my faith in PCEC as a better understanding of our reality than orthodoxy. It was actually the Adam and Eve story that first hit me that a non-blasphemous understanding of our being born sinners was possible.

Peace, Ted
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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Re: Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #9

Post by Wootah »

[Replying to post 8 by ttruscott]
How does our salvation from sin by grace interfere with our being chosen as elect due to our choice to accept YHWH as GOD? Election was a promise, not a method of salvation. Election was the promise and grace is the method. That is why I see no conflict between PCEC and grace.
I see. You are saying God still picked you and not the person next to you.

Why? Were they ugly? Why didn't God save everyone?
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Re: Curiosity of Christians belief on...

Post #10

Post by ttruscott »

Wootah wrote: [Replying to post 8 by ttruscott]
How does our salvation from sin by grace interfere with our being chosen as elect due to our choice to accept YHWH as GOD? Election was a promise, not a method of salvation. Election was the promise and grace is the method. That is why I see no conflict between PCEC and grace.
I see. You are saying God still picked you and not the person next to you.

Why? Were they ugly? Why didn't God save everyone?
Why save some and not others? is paralleled by Why elect some and not others? as election is the promise of heaven and salvation on earth is the fulfillment of the promise to heaven.

Now this will be my explanation of my interpretation of the Bible with no intent to proselytize at all but since you asked...

GOD wanted to create a Church, a congregation of people in full loving, holy communion with HIM in heaven because they wanted to be there with HIM in that reality! They must have truly wanted love, holiness and heaven as HE defined it, and to be willing to put their faith (an unproven hope) in HIM as their GOD. To fulfill this desire, He created all the spirits in HIS image in sheol, the spirit world, with the ability to make free will decisions, before HE created the physical universe.

How did HE find all the people in HIS creation who would like to live that way, after HE taught them all about it and all about the alternatives? HE asked them to make a true free will decision to accept HIM as their GOD and to accept HIS purpose for their creation.

Before anyone chose one way or the other, HE promised that if someone, by their free will, accepted HIM as their GOD by faith (an unproven hope) HE would choose / elect them to heaven by the salvation found in HIS Son if they should ever sin. HE also warned us that if anyone rejected HIM as their GOD by their free will, putting their faith somewhere else for all their future happiness, they were also rejecting HIS promise of salvation which would self create themselves as eternally evil, unable to save themselves from the enslaving addiction to evil and outside of HIS salvation by their free will.

These free will decisions separated all of HIS creation into the elect who put their faith in HIM and the reprobate who rejected HIM as GOD for a faith in something else.

When some of HIS elect also rebelled against HIM and became just as evil as the reprobate and needing to be redeemed and saved from their sins as fulfillment of HIS promise, HE created the earth as a combination prison for the eternally evil reprobate and as rehab centre for the addiction to evil of HIS sinful elect.

Thus, the reason why some were elect to heaven and then saved from their addiction to sin on earth is that election and salvation are HIS responses to our free will decision to put our faith in HIM as our GOD and the only reason anyone is left our of heaven and banished to keep the heavenly communion free of evil is due to their free will rejection of HIM as their GOD and the rejection of HIS promises of salvation.

This is the back story to the reason behind HIM picking one and not another, as I see it...

Peace, Ted
PCE Theology as I see it...

We had an existence with a free will in Sheol before the creation of the physical universe. Here we chose to be able to become holy or to be eternally evil in YHWH's sight. Then the physical universe was created and all sinners were sent to earth.

This theology debunks the need to base Christianity upon the blasphemy of creating us in Adam's sin.

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