hell and speaking the truth

speaking the truth in love cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

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This cartoon was inspired by something I saw on Facebook where the person said, “Speak the truth, no matter how hard it is, in love. And if it’s too hard, tell them anyway!”

“Speaking the truth in love”, in my experience, is usually a good theological justification for verbally abusing someone. If someone ever says to you, “I have something to tell in you love…”, get ready for a sugar-coated tongue-lashing.

It’s always the other who is going to Hell. Those consigned to Hell are… NOT US!

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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • Andrew Hackman

    of all the beliefs that I have abandoned since leaving the faith, Hell is the most absurd. Has there ever been a doctrine that is believed by so many that make so little sense on so many levels? The only way anyone could believe such a batshit crazy idea is through indoctrination.

  • klhayes

    I stopped believing in the Sunday school version of Heaven and Hell for a variety of reasons. I think that for fundamentalists, it is easier to tell people who are suffering now that their reward will be great in Heaven instead of actually working towards creating Heaven now. Also a personal pet peeve of mine is when people suggest that suicide is a sin which implies that person goes to Hell…I believe someone who is at the point that they take their life is already in Hell…I cannot believe in a God who would do that. Those are only a few reasons for me. Good cartoon and it is true.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    For the cartoon, it takes two people to push someone down with abusive religious language. The person doing the damning and the person believing that the damning has any merit. I think all people that help perpetuate fundamentalist beliefs in Heaven and Hell are somewhat complicit in this cartoon.

  • organicbananahgal

    whoever is willing to berate, belittle, or abuse someone does not know what love is.
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love is the Holy Spirit, and from the Holy Spirit life bears fruit- joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control- through love. So it is quite easy to see what true love is. Those who claim to “speak the truth in love” but actually berate people do not have the Holy Spirit. They do not have not love, and their words are nothing but noise.

  • Susan_G1

    Didn’t Jesus say: “whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
    “Raca” is an Aramaic term expressing contempt, scorn, or disdain.

    Here are three of many reasons I would never tell anyone they re going to hell:
    - I have no right to judge *anyone’s* heart therefore I don’t know where they are going when they die.
    - Jesus commands us to love our neighbor. To say one is going to hell is like saying Raca.
    - I don’t know enough about what Hell is myself to start recommending it to another!

    I do think it is possible to speak in Love, though. But it is very, very hard, and requires a pure motive, which is rare.

  • GilbertDavis

    or just reading and believing God’s Word . The truth is that God became a man in The Person of The LORD Jesus Christ and on the cross He bore in His own body the sins of The World . The suffering of that would at least be equal to what it would be like to burn on fire forever. The wrath of God was poured out on Him . The punishment that we deserve , He endured . Jesus arose from the dead and has ascended into Heaven . He is coming again to receive unto Himself , ALL who have repented toward God and who have placed their faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21)KJB. If it would have been a hard thing for you to do , would you have done it ? But God in Christ asks that you admit your imperfection and sins and trust only in what He has done to save you.

  • Alice

    That is one of my pet peeves too. I think early Christians invented that as a scary-sounding disclaimer because they were always talking about how utopian heaven is and how much life on earth sucks, so they didn’t want anyone getting any ideas. But it has always been a disgusting lie to promote since the people who are left behind already suffer so much, and I highly doubt the threat has been effective enough to stop people who are that desperate. Not to mention the idea makes no Biblical sense at all.

  • Gary

    Boy there has been quite an influx of preachers in here lately. :-)

    Gilbert I appreciate your enthusiasm…but there are a lot of beliefs represented here. I for one hate when people refer to the bible as “God’s Word” on a host of levels. And as a believer I resent canned speeches throwing around fundamental talking points as if it is the only possible truth. The bible is a historical record of many things…but quoting passages that represent a great variety of differing views as if each one is some sort of proof of absolute self evident and unquestionable truth not going to convince.

  • Josh the Pagan

    I still don’t think that I could ever be happy with my “saved” soul in heaven while my family (who may have been good people, just didn’t believe Jesus was God) rotted in hell to be tortured forever. That to me sounds more sadistic than hell and I want no part of it. A just god would never allow that.

  • Gillian Scott

    Allegory folks! Prescriptive, subjective, interpretive.

  • Alice

    I am continually impressed that you guys don’t get carpal tunnel from all the copying and pasting you do.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    David, how would you tell a small child that walking in the road is dangerous, or that a hot stove could hurt them? If you do not acknowledge the challenge of teaching danger and risk avoidance, the conversation is not intellectually honest.

  • erikcampano

    Agreed. Note, however, that silence can be used as much as words as a means of hate. “Speaking the truth in love” is sometimes better than saying nothing; at least the conversation continues. It’s case-by-case.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    haha alice. made me laugh.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    There is a difference between telling someone to not do something because there is a risk of danger versus telling someone not to do something because they are a worthless POS and will burn in Hell for all eternity unless they do and believe what we tell them to. For me, it is the leveraging of this extra layer of fear due to the person’s religious upbringing that makes the advice abusive in nature.

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    Zealotry can exist even in relation to mundane cause and effect. Don’t believe me? Live in Switzerland, where going against common sense is extremely frowned upon as an objective evil. Hell can be considered representative of effects that are harder to describe, endless regret, for instance, is hard to describe to someone who has not quite experienced regret. So while it can be abused and used to abuse, I think there’s an intellectually honest place for the Hell concept.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    There is no judgement. God doesn’t care how we live. There is no hell (even though Jesus spoke of it – what did He know).

    So…live it up! Make yourself the center of the universe!

    Have fun!

    If there is a judgement, after all, we can cross that bridge when we get there.

  • GilbertDavis

    Alice, thanks for the complement . I don’t copy and paste anything . Josh , Instead of questioning God and His Word , simply trust Him that He knows what He is doing . ” Will not the judge of all the earth do right ?” ( Genesis 18:25)KJB. “For my thoughts are not your thought, neither are your ways , my ways , saith The LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the Earth . so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts your thoughts” ( Isaiah 55:8,9) . I Corinthians 8:2 . TRUST HIM . He proved His LOVE and trustworthiness . He is God and yet He paid the wrath that and judgement that we deserve.

  • GilbertDavis

    No ” canned speeches ” Gary . I intensely believe every word of what was written . There is no reason to compromise what God has given or shrink back or be ashamed from the only Message that can save a soul from Hell . He that believeth shall be saved , he that believeth not is condemned already because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.

  • Gary

    Great way to respond by totally dodging the meat of my comment. Seems quite typical of fervent fundamentalists…just dodge and press on. LOL

    I don’t question that you “believe” Gilbert…just your beliefs.

  • GilbertDavis

    The LORD Jesus was heaping the Law on those who were trying or thought they could get to Heaven by good works . Jesus said those things before the cross and before the Church was formed in Acts 2 . The LORD knoweth those that are His and knows those that will be His . We do not know about anyone BUT ourselves, unless we are so blinded by our sins that we don’t know if we are or are not His children . I John 5:13 states how we can know for sure .

  • Gary

    Steve your sarcasm is a gross perversion of the expressed views you are mocking.

  • GilbertDavis

    Concerning the “meat” of your comment ? (2 Timothy 3:16)KJB The Word of God is the , ‘AB-SOLUTE’ Truth . AB- Father SOLUTE-Solution . The Father’s Solution .

  • theprinterlady

    Unfortunately, “the Word” does not include the subject of “hell” (or “heaven”) as it has been developed BY MEN over the centuries. The original Jewish idea of the afterlife was “Sheol”, or “the grave” or “the pit”. It was an indifferent place (neither comfortable nor uncomfortable) where ALL souls went. There isn’t even a consistent belief in the “afterlife” in Judaism, although after the Babylonian exile a belief in “GeHenna” (close to the Catholic idea of “purgatory”) was adopted by many. It is “GeHenna” that is mentioned in the NT, not “Hell” (which doesn’t appear in the original Hebrew of the “Old” Testament / Tanach either). In fact, if you actually READ your NT in the original language, you will learn a lot about what it “really” says. Heck, even in the english, you can clearly see that in Revelation, the Jewish concept of “The World To Come” is what is being discussed, and not the Christian idea of “heaven”…. take a gander. After the “final judgement”, where are the people under discussion? On earth. With the “New Jerusalem”. And… evil people still live here, they just aren’t allowed into the New Jerusalem. So…. what you believe is not “biblically based”, it’s indoctrination about ideas that came from warping and exagerating ideas that existed in “pagan” (not actually the correct term but good for this purpose) mythologies, and the evil imaginations of men like Dante and those who desired to see those they considered inferior in doctrine, belief, religion or culture in torture. Read the actual history of the doctrine of “hell” and you will see that it is NOT a biblical idea.

  • GilbertDavis

    nope , before the cross and resurrection , Hell and the paradise of God , known as The Bosom of Abraham , were inside the Earth . They were separated by a great Gulf so that one could not go to the other. These were the two places that souls went before Christ died and arose from the dead. Today , if you have trusted in Christ alone for salvation , you will be present with the LORD the moment you die. He is present with us who are born again for He never leaves us nor forsakes us . He is also near to those who are of a broken and contrite heart. God resists the proud but giveth grace to the humble . The LORD Jesus spoke more about Hell than he did about Heaven . He did so , i believe, because He did not want anyone to go there.

  • theprinterlady

    Except, again, that the doctrines you are espousing are built more on doctrines developed by men over the last 2000 years than on what the bible actually says.

    In the Tanach, there is NO reference to G-d coming as a human being and dying to pay off sins. None. In fact, the Tanach is very clear to the Jews that the only covenant they have (and will ever have) is the one pounded out between G-d and the Jews on Mt. Sinai (which, if you read the fine print AND the NT is allowed to be understood/interpreted by designated leaders in the Jewish society; Jesus believed those people to be the Pharisees and told his JEWISH followers to adhere to Pharisee teachings… the Pharisees were the honorable, compassionate end of the theology spectrum in the first century instead of the bad rap they get from a mis-reading of the NT (done generally with no comprehension of Jewish culture or history). You can look that up yourself Mt 23:2).

    In fact, in the NT, finding any verse that spells out the “Jesus died to pay for all sins” is pretty hard to come by, especially if you look for manuscripts that have that kind of inference in the “oldest and most reliable” manuscripts. Much was added and edited between the original writings of the NT and what we have now… even a well-footnoted Christian NT will tell you that in the fine print at the bottom of the page. Even John 3:16 doesn’t appear in all of the original copies of John.

    And for G-d to somehow mis-lead the Jews by teaching them that their covenant was “eternal” and that anyone who tried to replace it was a “false prophet” (as the Tanach repeatedly says, I can provide a reference list if you like)… and not even clearly spell out the “salvation plan” in a single passage of the NT… means that one has to believe that G-d is somehow incapable of either telling the truth, forseeing the future, or informing people clearly of what he wants them to know.

    Christian doctrine that you espouse is built on scraps of scripture, strung together to form a doctine… DESPITE the context that surrounds most of those verses. If you actually read the verses AND THEIR CONTEXT, one cannot make a case for Christian theology…

    Even the Pope admitted that nobody reading the Tanach would come up with Christian theology. His way of handling this was to say that Judaism and Christianity were paralell religions running on separate, but equal, tracks. While insisting that the Catholic Church is the “only” route to salvation.

    So… if you’re not Catholic, you’re screwed. See how that feels?

  • Gary

    Uhm, Gilbert…Yup. LOL

    The printerlady’s analysis is spot on. Yours is, exactly as she stated, indoctrination.

  • theprinterlady

    Look it up in the Greek. The NT refers to GeHenna (a specific Jewish belief), not “hell” as it was later defined by Dante and company.

    GeHenna is closer to the Catholic idea of Purgatory than anything fundamentalist Christianty believes. It is a place (around the first century, a rabbi postulated that the maximum time spent there would be a year)… in which a person is can essentially be purged of their unrighteous DEEDS, and come close to G-d. But even the most orthodox of Jews will admit that GeHenna (named after the dump outside Jerusalem that existed in the Valley of Hinnom and whilch was considered the most unclean of places, where the “fires never went out” and the “worm never died” … a reference seen in Isaiah…) was an idea adapted from Babylonian theology (taken from Zoasterism), not an idea originally developed in the Tanach (thus you will find references to “the world to come” and “tikkun Olam” only in the Talmud, not in the Tanach… which for Jews is not a problem since our view of “scripture” is not the same as a Christians).

    Reading things written by Jews in a Jewish culture without understanding the terminology as it was understood by Jews…leads to a warping and mis-interpretation of those writings.

    It is important to note that Jews – generally speaking since there are many, many, accepted Jewish beliefs on the subject – do not believe that G-d would continually punish someone past the point of redemption. IOW, the “point” of a place like GeHenna would be to “burn off” anything that was not righteous and leave only the righteous behind. If there is nothing left, there’s nothing left. Paul referred to this belief in 1 Cor 3:15. Not all Jews believe this, BTW, but in Judaism I have yet to run across someone who believe that G-d would punish anyone for their “beliefs” and not their “deeds” (take a good look at the Tanach… the contract with the Jews (known as the “teachings of G-d”, not “the law”) is all about behaviour; and while many Christians have been raised to view “the teachings of G-d” (the law) as something to be “freed” from… one has to ask the simple question.. if the teachings of G-d do not illustrate spiritual principles via physical action, then… why would G-d teach them to the Jews, and tell them that this teaching was “eternal” (for all their generations)… if one REALLY believes that G-d “wrote” the Tanach, then one has to believe there is a spiritual point to the teachings of G-d, or one has to believe that G-d just saddled the Jews with a bunch of pointless rules (like not wearing clothing made of two different fibers) just for the heck of it.

    It comes down to the kind of G-d you choose to believe in. One that is just, and merciful, and concerned with how we treat each other and our world (because yes, the Tanach has instructions on how we are to treat even our animals)… or one that just makes willy-nilly laws, fails to spell out what he wants in a single, comprehensive passage (since there are conflicting passages all through the bible), and then gets his rocks off on sending people to “hell” to suffer eternally when they don’t figure it out right.

  • Gary

    “The Word of God” is most certainly NOT the bible. The bible is not inerrant, it is not infallible, it is not divine. It is a collection of literature (some of which may indeed have been inspired) written by many different ment with a host of different views and agendas. Some of it is outright forgeries. The canon was determined by a power struggle, not by God.

    Truth is not obtained by worshipping a book.

  • Gary

    Wonderful analysis. Thank you for this. And your last paragraph sums up the idiocy of the typical fundamental view exceptionally well.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    i agree with gary. great last paragraph!

  • GilbertDavis

    “The law and the prophets were until John….” ( Luke 16:16) . For the law was given by Moses , but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ ” (John 1:17). You said Scriptures are hard to come by that speak about Jesus dying for our sins. When you said that , I knew I was reading something from someone who has never read through the Bible more than a couple times. ( I Peter 2:24) ” Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins , should live unto righteousness , by whose stripes ye were healed”
    God is not finished , at all, with THE NATION of Israel . He will fulfill every promise He made to them. Individuals though , both Jewish and Gentile , are responsible for what they do with the Gospel message. Believe and be saved or reject and be lost.
    MY confidence and hope is not in Rome or anyone who calls himself a “Pope”. I have a Father in Heaven , The Everlasting Father , The Mighty God , The Prince of Peace. ( Isaiah 9:6). He was and is that Son given , that child Who was born. He is The Great I AM, Who always existed as God , The Word of God . I John 5:7; John 1:1. How do I feel , you ask? i feel very secure , loved , with great peace. I wish you the same. It can only come by , ” repentance toward God (HOLY LOVE) and faith toward The LORD Jesus Christ ( God incarnate)” . ( Acts 20:21)KJB.

  • GilbertDavis

    Gary , I have heard most of them all before , the so called errors . I have never been shown one that proved it or demonstrated even the possibility of it . There are many sites which answer all the supposed problems with the authorized text. I kinda think you know this too. Not only did God use many to write the Bible but they indeed came from many different lands over thousands of years. This is part of the great wonder and amazing beauty of the Bible. It all pieces together perfectly with a common theme and focal point. The Holiness , LOVE and Glory of GOD ! And a KING and HIS KINGDOM !

  • Gary

    Gilbert said…”I have never been shown one that proved it or demonstrated even the possibility of it .”

    Even the possibility of it? Are you for real? Because this is one of the biggest piles of shit I have heard stated in here in a long time. It is one thing to say you believe all of the errors can be resolved. (I once held that view myself) But to state that none of the contradictions represents even the POSSIBILITY of an error is beyond absurd and clearly reveals you as one who is unwilling to engage in objective dialogue. And most of the sites you refer to which “answer all of the supposed problems with authorized text” are written by men whose agenda is more important than their integrity. The mental gymnastics some of their “answers” require are well beyond rational thought.

    Hell even the two genealogies listed in the NT do not agree on the name of Jesus’ grandfather. Yes I know these “answer” men claim one genealogy was actually Mary’s rather than Joseph’s. Of course the problem with this “answer”, like so many others, is that it is an appeal to some evidence completely OUTSIDE of and CONTRARY to what scripture itself CLEARLY states. (I thought I would give your love of using CAPS a try.) LOL

    BTW – Stating that you kinda think I know this too is so wonderfully condescending of you. It implies that your opinion is not only self evident, but that I am being something less than honest in disagreeing with you.

    There are MANY (snuck in another all caps…grin) great references which totally destroy the “answer” men’s claims of biblical inerrancy, but I’ll just give you one for now.

    http://www.auburn.edu/~allenkc/openhse/inerrant.html#Introduction

  • theprinterlady

    Let me ask you something.

    Does your theology as stated above make sense if:

    1. One realizes that the first five books of the “bible” are “The teachings of G-d” and not “the law”? (When Paul was writing to GENTILES, in GREEK, he picked the phrase that carried the most weight of authority in the language/culture he was addressing which was Greek… and the most authority was in “law”. HOWEVER, the Jewish culture and language views “teachings” as having the most authority. Thus, the erroneous idea by too many Christians who read the NT in English (derived from Greek and Greek culture) is to view the “Teachings of G-d” as “law”. In our culture, you either “break” or “keep” the “law”, and if you “break” the law, you have a punishment. That is what makes sense in our culture. However, if you view this from the Hebrew point of view, “teachings” are not “kept” or “broken” the same way. “Teaching” implies a learning curve. Teaching implies an on-going education. Teaching implies that one is allowed to fail as part of the process. There may be consequences to failure, but it is not the same penal-minded consequences of “law”.

    Does being freed from “the teachings of G-d” make ANY sense?

    2. If you believe the bible was written by G-d, please explain why the entire covenant of Sinai is based on actions, not beliefs, if G-d is interested only in what you believe? The entire Tanach (prophets, teachings, writings), are based on how you live. “And what does the Lord require of thee? That you do justly (justly in Hebrew is making sure the naked are clothed, the hungry fed, the defenseless defended), love mercy, and walk humbly with thy G-d. No doctrines required. I’d dare you to find a single verse in the Tanach that requires “belief” over deeds. So this garbage that somehow G-d is more interested in your doctrinal beliefs than how you actually treat your fellow creation (animals included) is bunk. Especially if you believe the bible was written by G-d.

    3. Do you have any non-christian education on what the Jewish culture was in the first century? Because you are falling victim to one of the most subtle forms of anti-semitism out there… the view that the Jewish religion and culture were somehow “broken” and that Jesus was there to fix it. This is not so. We have records from non-biblical sources (Josephus, Roman historians, other writings) which give us some view of Jewish culture (the good guys and the bad guys), and how Jewish culture was viewed by others.

    The Pharisees were the group who taught that the letter of the law kills, and thus were seen as merciful and kind (Josephus), versus the Sadducees who didn’t believe in the “oral teachings” and thus read the Tanach very literally and applied it literally. They were seen as harsh and cruel. (Josephus and Jewish oral history). The Sadducees were under Roman control. They viewed themselves as being the right inheritors of the priesthood (much of the priesthood having been killed off in various wars)… in fact, the temple in Egypt billed itself as having the “real” priesthood available as opposed to the one in Jerusalem with the “pretenders” (and Roman underlings) the Sadducees. The Romans picked the high priest in the first century, and they controlled the priests vestments. Thus, the Jerusalem temple (while revered for who built it and why) was also seen as being run by Roman Quislings, and the Sadducees were not trusted. The Pahrisees were.

    When free education was mandated around 70BCE by the Jewish royalty, (Can’t think of the Queens name offhand), it was the Pharisees that handled literacy in the synagogues of each town. Jesus learned to read and write at the hands of a Pharisee, one steeped in the oral traditions of his religion. (His teachings mirror those of Hilliel except on his view of divorce, which mimics the view of Shammai which was harsher than Hilliels). In fact, one cannot read Jesus’ teachings without seeing the teachings of famous Rabbi’s. If you want a Christian resource on this, check out any book by Brad Young, a well known Christian authority on Hebrew, Jewish traditions, and Rabbinical teachings.

    Dissing the Jewish faith that Jesus held dear… means you don’t really understand or follow what Jesus actually taught. You are following a version of what PAUL supposedly taught.(Realize, we have NO oriiginal writings by Paul or anyone else, and that in Paul’s case, we have 1/2 of the conversation because many of his letters were responding to letters asking questions that nobody retained. Erroneous assumptions can easily be made when you hear 1/2 of a conversation)…

    What Jesus clearly told his JEWISH followers was to adhere to the teachings of G-d TO THE LETTER. (What in the heck do you think the sermon on the mount is about? What do you think Jesus meant when he said…as any TRUE prophet (one who speaks for G-d) would say… “Not one jot or one tittle (not the least point of the teachings) will pass away until heaven and earth pass away”???). It is INDOCTRINATION that allows you to toss away the words of Jesus (who supposedly is G-d) and take on the teachings of MEN that allow you to cast dispersions on Jesus’ religion and culture so ignorantly. (Jesus not only taught only Jews, he instructed his disciples to go ONLY to Jews, something that did not change until mid-Acts after Peter got told by G-d differently, read Acts 11 = 13 and see that the disciples were ONLY going to Jews until then).

    I can provide scripture references for any of the claims I make. But I’d advise this… just go through any red-letter bible and read ONLY the words that Jesus is supposed to have said. Not the commentary around it, just the red letters. And then ask yourself if you have the same idea about what “Jesus” supposedly taught. Because, frankly, most people don’t have any idea what Jesus supposedly taught. They have lots of ideas about what they THINK he taught, but none about actually how limited of a knowledge we have about what he actually said.

  • theprinterlady

    I don’t know if there is a “judgement” or not. I don’t know if there’s a G-d or not. Nobody can prove it one way or the other.

    I do believe, however, that those who live wisely (i.e. treating their fellow creation well) will live well, no matter what their circumstances; and that those who do not …. won’t. It may not be evident on the scale of our culture (i.e. those who defraud their fellow many may drive a Ferrari and live in a mansion while their victims live in poverty)… but I don’t believe our legacy is the possessions we leave behind or the amount of money we made. I believe our legacy is the example we leave on how to treat others. I fail at this continually, but always strive to do better.

    There is no great “sin” that I’m just dying to go commit because I don’t believe in judgement or “hell”… if that’s the only thing restraining someone, then their heart isn’t in the right place to start with.

  • theprinterlady

    There is a difference between physical danger (i.e. don’t play on the freeway because you’ll get hit by a car)… and dangers you “believe” may be there.

    I have a question.

    Under any other context, would threatening someone with being burned with fire be an acceptable way to get them to do something like … change their vote? Change their job? Change their parenting style?

    Then why is threatening someone with eternal burning okay to get them to change their beliefs?

    You have no proof such a thing exists, it’s just your belief. You’re welcome to it. But somehow equating that belief with the real physical danger of playing on the freeway… means that “belief” has gotten an inordinate place in life. Your beliefs are yours. My beliefs are mine. Resorting to threats of violence (which hell most certainly is) is not the correct way to go about presenting your beliefs… in any other context, it would be considered extortion or manipulation. Putting “religion” on the label doesn’t change the contents.

  • theprinterlady

    IOW, G-d lied to the Jews? Didn’t forsee the future?

    Do you or do you not believe G-d is the author of the “Old Testament”? Because if he is, then…

    The sinai covenant is “for all generations” (it never expires). SOME of the references: (Circumcision) Gen 17, (Feasts etc) Ex 12, 16, 27, 29, 30, 31, 40, (various) Lev 63, 6, 7, 10, 17, 21, 23, 24, Nu 10, 15, 18,

    In addition, G-d told the Jews not to believe anyone who presented a different covenant than that at Sinai: Any person presenting a different covenant is a “false prophet” who must be put to death. (Deut 13).

    In addition, supposing that you believe Jesus to be G-d, Jesus said the following in Matthew “Do not think I came toabolish the Law (the teachings of G-d*) but to fulfill (to pack them full, make them replete). (You will notice he goes on to make the “teachings” of G-d HARDER than the ones at Mt. Sinai, something a revered Rabbi would be allowed to do under Jewish “law”). I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of the pen will by any means disappear fro the “law” (teachings of G-d) until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks (disrespects, does not value) one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”.

    Do you know what the “Kingdom of heaven” was to a First Century Jew? It is not “heaven after you die”, it is THIS EARTH when all are living according to the “teachings of G-d”. You can – as I pointed out earlier – see this very concept in the book of Revelations, where the Kingdom of Heaven arrives on earth with the New Jerusalem…Here. Not there.

    This is why, if you search the term “Kingdom of Heaven” or Kingdom of G-d, you will see that Jesus clearly taught that the kingdom was within us… like a place of sanctuary (a tree that gives shelter), a pearl of great price, etc. It was about how you LIVE, not what happens when you die.

    Now,… we don’t know who wrote the book of John, etc. But IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE Jesus was G-d, and if YOU REALLY BELIEVE that G-d was the author of the “Old Testament”… then WHO has the authority to say that G-d and Jesus were wrong with what they taught?

    The clarity should come from the idea that the covenant at Mt. Sinai was for Jews, and those who choose to join the Jews. (It was a mixed multitude at Mt. Sinai, not all were Jewish… and not every Jew left Egypt either, according to Jewish tradition). We all choose our affiliations.

    If Christianity wants to believe that it has a separate “covenant” with G-d that covers the gentiles, then fine and dandy.

    But trying to make that covenant valid by saying that G-d is not honoring his covenant with the Jews, makes both G-d and Jesus liars and cheats. I don’t think that’s what you really want.

    The pope had it right… two religions headed the same direction on parralel tracks… separate, equal, and DIFFERENT.

  • GilbertDavis

    1. The Koine Greek was the universal language of the world at the time , similar to the way English has almost been the universal language of today. The Jewish people understood it as did most nations who did business and traded. God was “teaching ” and within those teachings were 613 laws.

    2. God indeed cares about actions . The law did not give them them power and ability to obey , it only revealed their sin and showed that they were in need. And (Romans 8:3) says , ” For what the law could not do , in that it was weak through the flesh , God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh , and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh .” ” For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made us free from the law of sin and death. (vs.2). ” That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us , who walk not after the flesh , but after the Spirit” (vs.4).

    Concerning the O.T. Law? A man does not act and “do” something unless it is based on belief. “And he (Abraham), believed The LORD , and He counted to him for righteousness ” ( Genesis 15:6)KJB.

    3. Jesus did not come to , “fix” or abolish the Jewish religion that included the law. He came to fulfill it . ( Matthew 5:17)KJB.

    I do not see why you think i was “dissing” the Jewish faith . I agree that Jesus ,before His death , burial and resurrection , was teaching them to keep the law and even heaping it on them heavily . He did this to show them that no man could . You misunderstand Matthew 5:18. Not one jot or tittle shall not pass away FROM THE LAW, till all things be accomplished . ” The Law stays the same , the means of salvation and being able to keep it has changed because Jesus goes on to say that ” unless your righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees , ye likewise shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. ” (vs. 20). Since you think these Pharisees were so wonderful and great in keeping the law, which they were not able to do perfectly , how do you think you or I have any chance , unless Jesus was revealing something else . The LORD would do that for which enables us . The God Who is and gave The law , fulfilled The Law . He also has granted those who BELIEVE , HIS PERFECT IMPUTED Righteousness . MY acceptance before God and my salvation was provided by God . He bore my sins in His own body and He grants His righteousness , undeserved by me , but granted to all who admit and confess their imperfection and sins and who ” repent toward (turn to ) God and who place their faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21; 16:31)KJB. This way only GOD , gets the glory , honor and praise for this wonderful awesome , amazing act and subsequent GIFT. That no flesh should boast that they did it or earned it by their own” filthy rags righteousness” ( Isaiah 64:6)KJB. ( Ephesians 2:8,9)KJB. ( I Corinthians 1:29)KJB.

    It was only after Acts 7 and the martyrdom of Stephen, after he preached to them how they had killed the prophets and those God sent to them in the past and how that Jesus is The Messiah and the one they had delivered up to be crucified , that God then seemed to extend the message of the good news of the Gospel ,unto the gentiles . And many of them to this day , still gladly received it . One day that last goyim that will enter the Body of Christ , by faith in Jesus , will believe and be also heir with all the rest , both Jewish and Gentile , who have believed and have become members of The Church . Believe on The LORD Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved…… (Acts 16:31). ***************(Psalm 12:6)KJB*********************

  • theprinterlady

    In addition, you have a huge problem with Paul in the book of Acts. In Chapt 15, a discussion arises on whether or not the GENTILE converts should be required to follow the Sinai Covenant (as if they were Jews). Thedecision of the council was (by James, who some Christian sources claim was “James the Righteous”, a man well documented in Josephus) “It is my judgement therefore that we should not make it difficult for the GENTILES who are turning to G-d (notice it’s considered a process, not an event). Instead we should write to them telling them to abstain from food sacrificed to idols…sexual immorality…meat from strangled animals… from blood. FOR MOSES (the Sinai covenant) has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

    We know from archaology (and the NT) that there were many gentiles who were attending the synogogues as “G-d Fearers”. There appears to be dissent on “how much” of the Sinai covenant new coverts were supposed to become like Jews. However, it seems that they were expected to at least respect the teachings of G-d/Moses, and learn them, and apply them as they could.

    To Jews, there is a completely different set of expectations. Paul circumcised his Jewish disciples, but not his Gentile ones. Paul claimed to James that he is observant and NOT teaching Jews otherwise; to prove it, he agrees to go through a Nazarite ritual and pay for four other men to do the same (it was expensive). In Acts 21, 22, 23, and 24,, Paul claims to James, the Roman Court, and to the Sanhedrin that he is “blameless” as to Jewish law and customs. IOW, he claims he is still observant. Why would this be the case if he believed that the “law” was over? And please don’t tell me it’s because he was a duplicitous liar who told anyone anything they wanted ot hear in order to spread the gospel… because tha’t just not an admirable trait in anyone. Either he spoke the truth, or he lied. If he lied, he’s not speaking for G-d. If he told the truth, then there’s obviously pieces to the puzzle that have been ignored over the centuries.

    I’m not advocating that all Christians need to become Torah observant…. but I am pointing out that the idea that Jesus and Paul were somehow unhappy with the Jewish religion and thought they were bringing a “new” covenant is not backed up by scripture. (This would be one of those places of discrepancy that you say doesn’t exist).

    It would be much WISER to admit that we don’t have the whole picture, but that the aims of both religions (when not tied up in legalism, fear, and other stuff) is both the same.

  • Susan_G1

    I am unsure of why you answered my post in such length. Did I say anything objectionable? Did I imply I believe in a God that (to put it so distastfully) “gets His rocks off” on sending people to Hell? Or did I say I don’t know about hell?

  • GilbertDavis

    The Kingdom of God may be entered into NOW . The Kingdom of Heaven , after death or the “catching up” of the church described in I Thess. 4:16,17; I Cor. 15:51,52)KJB. God will fulfill HIS promises to the nation of Israel . You as an individual, or any person, need to come by faith to The One Who lived and died and arose from the dead. You as a person , believe or reject . You have free will . The LORD Jesus Christ IS THE WORD OF GOD incarnate.

  • GilbertDavis

    Paul and every born again believer in The LORD Jesus Christ are indeed ” Blameless ” . Thanks be to God in Christ . Yes, Paul did ” become all things to all men that by all means he might gain or win some” . If I for instance , decide to eat Kosher , I am no better if I do or don’t . If Paul willing not to overtly offend those still under the 613 laws , wanted to gently and lovingly proclaim the Gospel of THE GRACE OF GOD , why not do it in a way that would not shake their conscience , weak as it may have been, before God could help them and show them The Truth revealed in Christ .

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    theprinterlady,

    I take the agnostic position where I don’t think the scripture authors (or anybody else for that matter) actually had communications from G-d (although perhaps they thought they did). Never-the-less, I am fascinated by biblical scholarship, the history of the early church, and at any rate think people should have the correct facts about what was written and what the original authors meant it to mean. I appreciate your postings here and hope to hear more from you.

    I’ve already heard the evangelical stint more times than I can shake a stick at so I learn nothing new with each new evangelical posting. I do learn some things form your postings.

  • klhayes

    :D

  • Vole

    I love the expressions on the people in Hell, so funny.

    I think people who justify condemning others to Hell as ‘love’ are struggling inside; they know Hell is wrong, deep down, but they think they have to believe in it….Or maybe I’m giving them too much credit and they just get a nasty thrill imagining others in pain?

  • Vole

    How could any temporary pain compare to eternal hellfire? That doesn’t make any sense. Jesus was only crucified for three days. Even six days in Hell would be more painful than being crucified. And how can anyone deserve Hell? Even the worst human being can only commit a finite number of sins. Infinite punishment for finite crimes? That doesn’t make any sense. If God sent anyone to hell to suffer eternally, he would be a moral monster, worse than the worst of human torturers or serial killers. Even a thousand years of pain is more than any human being could inflict.

  • Vole

    In other parts of the Bible, it says that death is final.

    Joshua 23:14
    This day I [Joshua] am going the way of all the earth.

    Job 7:9
    As the cloud is consumed and vanishes away, so he that
    goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.

    Job 14:10-14
    But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the
    ghost, and where is he? … So man lieth down, and riseth
    not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be
    raised out of their sleep … If a man die, shall he live again?

    Job 20:7
    Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung.

    Psalm 6:5
    For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who
    shall give thee thanks?

    Psalm 31:17
    Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.

    Psalm 88:5
    The dead … whom thou rememberest no more.

    Psalm 115:17
    The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

    Ecclesiastes 3:19
    For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them:
    as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no
    preeminence above a beast.

    Ecclesiastes 9:5
    The dead know not anything, neither have they any more
    a reward.

    Ecclesiastes 9:10
    For there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom,
    in the grave, whither thou goest.

    Isaiah 38:18
    For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate
    thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

    1 Machabees 2:62-63
    A sinful man … his glory is dung, and worms … tomorrow he shall not be found, because he
    is returned into his earth; and his thought is come to nothing.

  • GilbertDavis

    There is nothing with sound doctrine . There is something wrong and damning with heresy , apostasy and unbelief.

  • GilbertDavis

    The Job and Ecclesiastes passages are spoken from man’s point of view and are not statements of dogma . The Psalms portions are poetical and not even speaking of the Soul/Spirit of man . Joshua and Isaiah again , are not speaking about the soul . Joshua 23:14 relates also to the truth found in Scripture that this Earth , just as person , will ,” wax old like a garment ” ( Psalm 102:26; Hebrews 1:11)KJB.

  • Gary

    LOL – One man’s “apostasy” is another man’s truth. You don’t get to define apostasy OR truth for me.

  • GilbertDavis

    Jesus is The Way , The Truth and The Life . God defines what is apostasy and knows who are His and who are not . I don’t know who are lost . I only know what God’s Word says is the way to make sure your going to Heaven when you die . I John 5:13.

  • Gary

    See there you go…”God defines what is apostasy”. And GOD never declared the bible to be His (W)ord. (Capital W)

    You, however, run around declaring that YOUR understanding of faith is the ONLY correct one (even though the majority of the Christian faith do not even agree with you on inerrancy) and that those who challenge your offensive grandstanding are apostate and/or damning. Well guess what Einstein…you have already been shown to be in over your head here. So spare me the fucking bullshit about being apostate and damned. Your abusive kind of rhetoric is unwelcome.

  • GilbertDavis

    so now , we can at least hear what is really in your heart. (Luke 6:45)KJB. It must have been difficult for you to keep all that vile inside. ( Ephesians 4:20) . Your problem is not with me . ” Believe on The LORD Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved”. ( Acts 16:31). No further correspondence is needed. ( Titus 3:10)KJB.

  • Gary

    I am so glad you posted this.

    You illustrate wonderfully why so many have finally recognized the shit in fundamental churches and have left your kind of inflammatory and abusive nonsense behind. I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful my relationship with God is since I have broken free from your “religion” and learned to fellowship with the Spirit as Jesus intended. (He promised the Spirit of Truth…NOT a book) And BTW – I live out my faith by loving those around me and helping those in need. I am known by my friends and family as one of the most loving and giving people they know. But I have no use for those who would, like the Pharisees Jesus confronted, pervert and malign the Gospel and replace the LOVE we are to be known by with arrogant condescension.

    I think it is rather comical that you believe you can simply dismiss me with your silly statement of “No further correspondence is needed” though. This really is so cute in its naivety…LOL. Of course you totally blew a perfect opportunity to tell me you were shaking the dust off of your feet. I think you must be slipping there preacher man. (LMFAO) Really curious though as to what kind of reception you thought you were going to receive coming in here preaching your fundamental shit and damning all who disagree with you. BTW – The profanity was very intentional. I have found that nothing reduces fundamentalists to their true natures faster than throwing some good “fuck”s and “shit”s at them. It’s like it makes your brain explode…lol.

    Clearly you can’t handle a believer who is outside of your paradigm. But thankfully the God I know and love is so much bigger, so much more wonderful, and so much more loving than anything you can fit in your stuffy little fundamental box. So you just go on abusively telling others they are apostate and damned and that they are unsaved because they challenge YOUR nonsense. You don’t speak FOR God no matter how much of a God complex you have.

  • theprinterlady

    The “Kingdom of Heaven” or the “Kingdom of G-d” are EXACTLY THE SAME THINGS. The word “heaven” has come to denote an exterior place (where G-d lives)… but in the Jewish culture, it is a sin to speak the “real” name of G-d, and so EVERY “name” of G-d in the scriptures is a euphemism. If you can understand that “heaven” is a euphemism for “G-d”, then you can understand “what” exactly is being discussed in the NT better.

    For instance, when the NT tells someone this: “Go, sell all you have and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in “heaven”… it’s “and you will have treasure in G-d”. Not some delayed reward that you can stockpile, but you will have fulfilled what G-d desires which – as the prophets repeatedly tell us – is “justice”. The poor are taken care of.

    When the NT tells you ““Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”, it’s about pleasing G-d HERE.

    One of the things that drove me to study the history of the doctrines of hell and heaven (and I studied them exclusively for 6 months) was sitting through a bible study where the goal of the people there was to see how tall of a crown they would get, what kind of mansion awaited them, and whether or not the streets were paved with gold. This is not what “heaven” is about. “Heaven” is about feeding the poor, defending the weak, clothing the naked, and visiting those in jail. If you don’t believe me, believe Jesus on the subject. He was very clear… you WILL be judged on what you DO and how you treat others, not on how you “believe”. The goats believed just fine… they just didn’t live it. The sheep lived it so closely that they didn’t even know they were doing it. Whether we are discussing the “kingdom of Heaven” or “heaven”… barring the verses that actually denote it as G-ds dwelling place … we are talking about G-d and pleasing him.

    Why this is not preferable to mansions, streets of gold, crowns, and “treasure”… all goals that here are seen as barriers to serving G-d… I have no idea. But it needs to be taught that “heaven” is not “out there”.

    Again, read the book of Revelation carefully. The end of the book is not about “heaven out there” but earth right here. This is a very Jewish concept about the “world to come”… Jews have never thought that they would go to live in the very spot G-d lives. There is a distinct line between G-d and man that is not crossed in Jewish theology, which is why worshipping ANY man as G-d doesn’t fly in Judiasm. It didn’t fly when it was Pharoh, it didn’t fly when it was the King of Babylon (in the story of Daniel), it didn’t fly in history when it was Alex the Great, it didn’t fly when it was the Caesars (including Augustus) who were deified and supposed to be worshipped… and in the only Jewish sect on record who followed Jesus that we know about, (the Ebionites), it didn’t fly there either.

    You are very carefully dodging the questions put before you.

    Did G-d lie to the Jews when he told them their covenant with him was “for all generations”?

    Did Jesus lie when he re-stated the same thing?

    Because if you REALLY believe G-d and if you REALLY believe Jesus is G-d… then shouldn’t you believe what they say?

  • theprinterlady

    Thank you.

  • theprinterlady

    No, I was hoping that an explanation of what is “really” in the bible (and why) would clarify as to why nobody can threaten anybody with “hell” with any authority. The “hell” of Dante is… the hell of Dante. Not biblical.

    Most people who read the bible are also not aware that “heaven” refers to G-d and/or his dwelling place; it is not conceived of as a destination for people in any Jewish writing I’m aware of. If one reads the NT passages about “hell” and inserts “purgetory”, one would be CLOSER to the original meaning. (Although since GeHenna was also an actual place, it had cultural connotations of being a dump where they threw animals and criminals to rot in the open, where fire constantly burned, and it was “unclean” to visit). In James, when he says that the tongue is likened to “Gehenna”… what’s he really saying? I think we miss something when the Dante version of “hell” is envisioned rather than seeing the tongue as stinking, putrid, dump. The same can be said for “storing up treasures in heaven”… if our goal is treasure, then how is “heaven” different than here? However, if we substitute “G-d” for “heaven” (since the Jews used the word “heaven” as a euphemism), we get “store up treasures in G-d”. A completely different goal.

    I’m sorry if I offended you in some way, I sometimes don’t write a really good explanation as to why I’m saying something. I will try to do better.

  • theprinterlady

    Au Contraire, Gilbert. Koiine Greek was the lingua franca of commerce in the area, but not the native tongue of the Jews. We know this from several sources:

    1. Josephus tells us that it was considered shameful to become literate in Greek. (And he was a hellenized Jew).

    2. Archaeology tells us that Hebrew and Aramaic were the languages of the people, and contrary to hundreds of years of indoctrination, the one thing that the Dead Sea Scrolls proved beyond doubt (as have several other finds) is that Hebrew was a living language at the time of Jesus (as it is again today).

    Jesus may have known some Greek, but he didn’t speak Greek.

    On the subject of Hell, it is highly unlikely that an orthodox Jew would have spoken the name of another G-d, since it is forbidden by the Torah. And the word “Hades” is the name of a G-d, not the name of the place he ruled (again, contrary to popular belief). The only place in the NT where the word “Hades” is actually the original word is in Luke… written by a Gentile. The rest refer to GeHenna or (when harkening back to the Tanach) Sheol.

    3. The NT tells us this is so. Again,, in the book of Acts, when Paul is being accused of telling people not to follow the Torah, the crowd is shocked when he addresses them in Hebrew/Aramaic. They had assumed that since he was a Roman citizen from Tarsus (a heavily hellinzed area) that he only spoke Greek. This would not have been an issue if EVERYONE spoke Greek… and the fact is the crowd understood him in Hebrew Aramaic. They would not have if he’d addressed them in Greek.

    4. The only schooling available to the poor in Israel was in Hebrew via the Pharisees in the local synagogues. There was no schooling available in Greek unless you were rich enough to pay for it… which most weren’t. And if they were, they were likely to be connected to the Roman government (like the tax collectors) and seen as Roman Quislings.

    There’s more, but… suffice it to say that Jesus was NOT addressing his audience in Greek. Thus a Greek rendering (and not too skillful renderings at that) of what he said is already one language away from the original. Add to that an ignorance of the culture and the times of the speaker… and the difficulties of translating any language to another without losing something…. and taking your English version too literally means … you really aren’t getting the whole picture.

  • theprinterlady

    For years, I believed I “had” to believe in hell, or I would condemn myself to it. It wasn’t until my 40′s that a rather upsetting set of bible studies on heaven and hell sent me to do six months of research on the subject… that led to several years of intense study of all kinds of things, and eventually led to me leaving Christianity (because I cannot “believe” what is required).

    I will say that one of the upsetting things that happened in the bible study I was in was that at least one person spent some minutes contemplating on the joys of having a view from heaven of those suffering in hell, and how wonderful that would be. I almost got sick. I left so shaken that I was willing to tear apart my whole belief system, my whole history, to get the heck away from that kind of thinking. And it was painful to do so. In ways I don’t want to get into here. Let’s just say that not all my family and friends have adjusted well to my new belief system.

  • GilbertDavis

    Classic “straw man” argument. You begin by suggesting that I said or thought that the Jewish native language was not Hebrew . I never did . You precede then to knock down your own false notion about what you falsely accused me of . The Jewish people UNDERSTOOD the Greek language of that day. It was Koine ( common)Greek and as universal then as English is today. You continued to add things I never said so that you could continue your tirade and ignore the rest of what I wrote. Where did I say that Jesus was speaking to His audience in Greek?

    In your last statements , you write as if The God Who created the universe, could not keep his promise to preserve His Word for us today in a form that man could understand . (Psalm 12:6,7)KJB . I believe He can and did . What do you think , “the whole picture” ,is ? I have a pretty good idea. It is written in The Holy Bible .

    What you are doing are part of the tools of the Nicolaitans . It is what helped keep The Church ignorant and trusting and fearing man instead of God alone during the “Dark Ages”. The LORD is able to reveal Himself and His truth by His Spirit and His Word without the help of “clergy” , “scholars” and those who would love to Lord over God’s heritage. I pray more will pay no attention to those who would attempt to rob a man of His faith in God’s TRUTHS. They love to set themselves up in place of The ONE Who they should be pointing men to . They say , “you can’t trust God’s Word because you don’t know the languages , so you will have to follow and trust me to tell you what God is saying because i am a Greek or Hebrew scholar” . I wish none would ever fall for that , but sadly , they do . ( I John 2:27)KJB.

  • Susan_G1

    I think one of the greatest problems facing any person of belief is the problem of evil. Since no one philosopher or theologian (of much greater intelligence and ability to reason than I) has adequately answered it, I believe the majority of us are ill-equipped to answer it. I, too, remember one Bible study partner saying that if his mother was in Hell, he knew that in heaven, he would rejoice over it. When I challenged him over how that could be possible, he answered, I don’t know; I just know that there will be no sorrow in heaven, so we’ll understand and agree with God about who deserves to be in hell, and rejoice in His holy decision.”

    Luckily, I came to God an angry person. Someone who was already angry that He could create people who He knew would go to Hell for all eternity. Someone who already held the existence of evil against him. What brought me to God was His love. I am not absolutely sure of many things, but of His love, I am deeply, unshakably convicted. I don’t know enough about hell to speak of it. I do know enough about God’s love that hell is not what most people believe.

    People make mistakes. Faith is a dangerous road to walk if you believe in people more than God. You give people too much power over you if trust in another can wrench you from faith. Hopefully you have a faith still; maybe you do not. I am sorry the crude remarks of one did hurt you so deeply.

  • Susan_G1

    If you assume the Hell of Dante is the Hell we believe in, you give us much too much credit for knowledhe of Medieval History. I only recently learned what all the levels of hell were, and imagine my surprise to find that at the bottom Satan and the worst sinners trapped in a frozen lake!

    Your posts are intelligent and informative. I would only caution you to avoid, in your passion, reading into someone’s comment something that isn’t there. I clearly stated that we are never to condemn anyone to hell, and that I didn’t know what hell was.

  • Gary

    Dude you are really cracking me up. you really do just make this shit up as you go. LOL

  • Gary

    I am really enjoying your contributions here. They have been very educational and obviously you are well researched and logical in your approach.

  • http://nakedpastor.com/ nakedpastor

    Yes i like your perspective theprinterlady

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    I didn’t state religious beliefs and I did not advocate telling people they will go to Hell by how they vote, parent, or are employed.
    There are painful consequences of things like lying, stealing, murder, and adultery. Such pain can be compared to an endless burning. Personally, I would never be one to carry on with fire and brimstone. However, I would point out that there are possibly things that are much worse. A pained conscience can be so much that a person wishes they had never been born. That is a fair description of Hell, in my view.
    It’s reasonable to describe such a result as a possibility from some bad choices. How would you describe the agony of extreme regret to a person?
    It seems to me that rationally, there’s not so much a problem with the concept of Hell, presented by you or by David Hayward, it’s actually a differing of opinion of what constitutes bad choices and when it’s appropriate to invoke the idea of intense, endless regret.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Perhaps we all can agree that living with regret is hard but it is even more hard to live with regret and with fear of eternal damnation added on top.

  • theprinterlady

    I should probably clarify as well that while I can discuss the “biblical” ideas of the afterlife (via scripture and historical writings), and “non-biblical” views of same, I don’t necessarily believe any of it. I have no idea what the afterlife holds (if anything), and I’m perfectly comfortable saying “I don’t know”.

    In my minds eye (I have a warped sense of humor), I see a long line in front of a “complaints” window in the afterlife, whereby those who believed in reincarnation are there because there isn’t any, or those who believed in heaven are disappointed to find there isn’t any… and so on. “But this isn’t the afterlife I believed in!!!” It will be what it will be. My “beliefs” on the subject won’t change it.

    It came to my attention several years ago about how many of my life’s decisions I had made based on threats of hell or promises of heaven. It wasn’t a good number, and the bad effects were pretty easy to spot in hindsight.

    Not knowing (and not caring) whether there is anything after I die allows me to focus on who I should be now.

    As to historical views of the afterlife, there are many. Some envision the many circles of hell, etc.

    There have been actual, physical, places which were considered to be the gateway to “Hades” (Hades was the Greek name of the G-d of the underworld, Pluto was the Roman name)… most of these places were places that emitted gases from deep in the earth that killed off flying birds and/or the animals surrounding the area (Can’t remember the name of the lake in Italy offhand, but there’s a new find in Turkey with roughly the same idea): http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/gateway-hades-uncovered-turkey-archaeologists-article-1.1307747). In fact, the Dead Sea was known as the “Lake of Fire” because every so often, it would burst into flame. (It used to be a rich source of natural asphalt which would bubble up in blobs and be used for sealing things like baskets.).

    So when people read about the “Lake of Fire” in Revelations, they should at least be aware that at the time of the writing, it was a physical place HERE, not some mythical place THERE.

    The research is fun if you enjoy learning… it changed my entire life.

  • theprinterlady

    Your argument is that the people spoke Koine Greek, presumably because the NT is penned in Greek, and all Jesus’ saying are thus rendered in Greek. What other inference would you like me to have made? You said: . “The Koine Greek was the universal language of the world at the time , similar to the way English has almost been the universal language of today. The Jewish people understood it as did most nations who did business and traded. God was “teaching ” and within those teachings were 613 laws.” You said it, I refuted it.

    On to your other points:

    You said: “The law did not give them them power and ability to obey , it only revealed their sin and showed that they were in need.”

    Au contraire again, unless you are accusing G-d of just saddling the Jews with a laundry list of impossible laws (which will offend millions of observant Jews who observe it quite nicely, thank you).

    There is a verse quoted widely in Christian circles, out of context. “The your sins be like scarlet, they shall be white as snow”. But too many Christians miss HOW THEY BECOME THAT WAY. This is what G-d expects: “Wash yourselves and make yourselves clean; put your evil doings away from my sight cease to do evil, learn to do good, devote yourselves to justice, aid the wrongd, uphold the rights of the orpha, defend the cause of the widow. Come let us reach an understanding, says the Lord, be your sins like scarlet…” (JPS).

    IOW, G-d does not see us as powerless to obey his teachings and learn from them. In fact, it’s what he EXPECTS.

    Now you are faced with a choice… Is G-d like Pharoh who expected bricks to be made without straw? Or is G-d a fair taskmaster, providing his people with what they need to do the work He requires?

    Christianity’s doctrine about “the law” teaches that G-d is like Pharoh, demanding more than we can deliver. Jewish doctrine disagrees, and views humans as fully capable of doing as G-d desires if we so choose.

    I’ve made my choice on which G-d I believe in.

    You said: “Concerning the O.T. Law? A man does not act and “do” something unless it is based on belief. “And he (Abraham), believed The LORD , and He counted to him for righteousness ”

    The problem here is an understanding of the word “belief” in Hebrew. In Hebrew, it is a verb, denoting action. It is not what you think in your head, but what you do that constitutes “belief”.

    In fact, if you look at the Torah, you will find that when the Torah was given, the people were told that they were to “do and understand”..(Deut 4). the doing creates the understanding, not the other way around. Thus, obedience begets the wisdom. We don’t have to understand (or believe) first, we are to do first.

    Again, do you think G-d made impossible demands on us? If so, you don’t understand his Torah very well. I’d advise reading it over numerous times… and ask yourself, what are the “teachings” that are here? When G-d requires that we not wear clothing made of two different fibers… what is the lesson? What is the lesson we can learn from dietary restrictions?

    Because if you just think it’s all stuff G-d did to “show” the Jews how impossible it was to “please” him, then you believe in a cruel, unfair, unjust, and uncompassionate G-d who beat the snot out of the Jews for disobedience to impossible laws.

    You said: “I do not see why you think i was “dissing” the Jewish faith ”

    Do you see it now? Because your belief system requires that the Jews believe in a G-d who… lied to them. Put a burden on their backs they could not carry, then beat them when they fell under the load Read your history, Gilbert… the church has historically justified all manner of evil against the Jews because of their “failure” to accept this new version of G-d’s “mercy”, which requires them to believe that G-d wasn’t serious when he told them their covenant was “for ALL generations”.

    You said: ” Since you think these Pharisees were so wonderful and great in keeping the law, which they were not able to do perfectly , how do you think you or I have any chance , unless Jesus was revealing something else .”

    I never claimed they were “perfect”… but neither did G-d demand perfection. What do you think the point of restitution and repentence were in the Torah, if not the receiving of mercy for imperfection?

    Contrary to popular Christian belief, G-d did not use blood to forgive our failures to follow his teachings. That could only be rectified by restitution to the victim, and sincere repentance. G-d would then forgive sins. The sacrifices were a concession by G-d to the Jews at Mt. Sinai (it was, after all, a negotiated contract, not an edict). This can be verified in Jerimiah 7:21, as well as by noting that G-d reduced access to sacrifices all through the entire Tanach; originally each man was a priest in his own home, offering sacrifices whenever and wherever (Cain, Abel, Abraham), but at Mt. Sinai it was reduced to a single place (the tabernacle/temple) and to assigned priests; this was fine for 40 years of wandering, but as soon as they entered “the promised land”, the tabernacle traveled with the army, and those left behind as settlers in the new land had no more access to it. When the temple was a fixed place, those who were too far away, too poor, or in too ill of health to get there were barred. When it was destroyed, sacrifices ceased altogether. Yet, Daniel and his pals were able to find forgiveness from G-d. Thus, the Jewish faith was “weaned” off the need for sacrifices over a long period of time…. and you should note that the sacrifices G-d agreed to were for “unknown” sins… those you weren’t sure you’d committed, but wanted to enter fellowship with G-d and wanted to “be sure” you had nothing uncovered. There is no sacrifice for deliberate sin in the Torah. None.

    Thus, the entire premise that Christianity builds is… dissing the Jewish faith. It puts requirements on the Jews (perfection) that G-d did not place; it misinterprets the purpose of the Torah (somehow innocent blood is supposed to take away deliberate sin?)… even though the prophets are quite clear that this is not the case… plus my other points above.

    Now do you understand why I say it’s dissing the Jewish faith?

    I’m out of time (lucky you!)… but I hope now you can see what the “truth” of what you say isn’t “truth” to me.

  • theprinterlady

    The comment didn’t “hurt me deeply”, it caused me to get the gonads to actually look into what I believed and why. I don’t have “faith” in other people so much as I have rejected the “people are evil from birth, they can never please G-d” mentality I was raised with. All with appropriate scripture scraps, you understand.

    I have entirely rejected the “verse of the day” way of studying the bible (or anything else). I read whole books, whole chapters, etc… and I weigh my “beliefs” against the good or bad effects they have on the people around me. It’s a pretty simple and basic system.

    As to believing in G-d’s love… well, I don’t really “believe” in G-d anymore, but neither do I disbelieve. What I ask myself is… “If there is a just, loving G-d, would he do x or y?” If the answer is that “x or y” would be considered cruel or unfair by my vellow humans, then it is reasonable to conclude that a “Just, fair, loving, merciful” G-d would find it the same, and I act accordingly… or I try to anyway.

  • theprinterlady

    I guess I don’t get your point. Your original statement seemed to equate telling people about “hell” as being on the same lines as warning someone that something will burn them.

    My point was they aren’t the same.

    When I have conversations with my kids (or anyone) about such things as sex, abuse, basic decisions… I try to approach it from a “pro-con” point of view. Every decision has pros and cons, the question is evaluating whether the “pros” outweigh the “cons”, I’ve taught my kids well about consequences (and let them suffer a few).

    But I didn’t threaten them with hell fire. My point is that people who threaten others with hell fire for someone’s “beliefs” (believe this or suffer eternally) would view threatening someone with burning for the votes they make as wrong. Thus, threatening anyone to make them change their beliefs is wrong. That was my point.

  • GilbertDavis

    I still don’t know what I said that was wrong that you said you refuted. I just think you must have misunderstood. The people understood the common Greek at that time . Not a 1st language for each nation but they understood it . Stop knocking down your own straw man.

    You really can’t be telling me that all the 613 laws were perfectly kept by anyone . The Sacrificial system that God commanded them to keep , was for a covering for their sins , an atonement . There was restitution and severe penalties in addition to sacrifice . None of these things though could take away sin . In type , the sacrifices pointed to the ultimate and only sacrifice that could take away sin . ” Be ye holy for I am Holy” ( Lev.11:44; I Peter 1:16) . If that is not asking for “perfection” , what is ? ” All our(man’s) righteousness is as filthy rags”( Isaiah 64:6)KJB. No , God does not ask us to do something He thinks we cannot accomplish . HE KNOWS we cannot ! The reason God steps in and becomes a man and dies , the just for the unjust(us), is to fulfill God’s perfect demands including that of justice. The LORD Jesus Christ arose from the dead and has ascended into Heaven and is preparing a place for all those who will admit they are sinners , who ,”repent toward God and place their faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21)KJB. Don’t let your pride or your own indoctrination keep you from placing your faith and trust in The Messiah , The LORD Jesus . I was raised in a different religion before I trusted in Christ . I was religious and on the outside , most would think a pretty upright and moral and caring kind of guy. It was not until I read and understood what real GOODNESS was , that I surrendered to The LORD and forsook my self-righteousness. “Man sees the outside , God sees the heart”. ( I Samuel 16:7). If you cannot admit that you a sinner and have a need for salvation then I guess Christ did not die for you . The Bible says that He came to save sinners like me . ( I Timothy 1:15). I doubt though, there was ever a Jewish man who ever lived that kept the law as well as The Apostle Paul .Even so , he called himself the “chief of sinners”. (vs.15). If you want to stand before God someday and base your entrance into Heaven ,on that of your own goodness and deeds , then you have free will to attempt to do so . For me , I am going to confess to God of my need and thankfully take of His provision and remedy. ” For by grace are ye saved by faith , and that not of yourselves , it is the gift of God not of works, LEST ANY MAN BOAST”( Ephesians 2:8,9) . ” God resisteth the proud but giveth grace to the humble ” (James 4:6,10; Psalm 138:6; Proverb 3:34; I Peter 5:5)

  • Rebecca Dalmas

    My point was not to justify threats of Hellfire. It was not to justify people condemning other people to Hell. My point was about the usefulness of the concept of Hell in moral language.
    I haven’t read all the comments, but I do appreciate some of your remarks which I have read, particularly you describing how the de-emphasis of the Hell concept in your life helped you live better in the Now. IMO even good ideas can be used in excess, and that may be what is really the heart of this topic, the use of Hell in excess.
    Personally, I’ve always thought of Hell and damnation as a “full stop” in progression. An analogy I often envision is that of a squirrel with its hand on a nut that is inside a tree. The hand is too big to exit the tree with the nut. All the squirrel has to do is let the nut go, but it refuses and is stuck at the tree.
    In terms of moderation, yes, Hell, can be overplayed, as can Heaven, as can the Now. Progress would not be possible without forward-thinking, nor would it be possible if we were completely frozen by fear, nor if we did not consider current conditions.

  • theprinterlady

    Okay, I can kind of see your point on that… moderation is definitely a key in most things, and almost anything can be done to excess (good or bad). Unfortunately in my case, I’ve probably gone to excess the other way… after 43 years of being (in my view) threatened with hellfire for every cotton-picking thing (including the “sinfulness” of being born in the first place because it’s a well-known scriptural fact that every human is born sinful and separated from G-d, with a heart that does nothing but desire evil and no way to please G-d even when righteous), threatened with being “left behind” in the rapture (should I fail on some doctrinal (belief) point at the crucial moment)… I refuse to consider ANY possibility of hell at all. So I probably prove your point, in one direction or the other.

    I just don’t (personally) see any redemptive value in the teachings of eternal punishment. I don’t see any positive view of G-d in it. I don’t see anything but control and manipulation in it. That’s just me I suppose. But (for me) it’s far wiser to stick to concrete consequences (like playing on the freeway, or choosing to play in a playground instead) rather than resorting to “eternal” punishments or rewards in order for people to make proper decisions.


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