Monday, November 30, 2009

Does Eternal Really Mean Eternal In Hell? Pt. 2


This article is continued from Pt.1

Objection III: Hell wasn't created for men therefore men won't suffer or continue to suffer in it.

One of our regular readers holds that since hell was created for the devil and his angles, that the suffering of men in it will at best be limited because hell was not designed for men. This is a scripture used to support the assertion at times:

Matthew 25:41~"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the DEVIL AND his angels:"
Variation:

Some promoters of this argument also state that even if men do go to hell, the punishment of it is temporary in duration because hell was not made to house men. I call this the "temporary hell thesis" The temporary nature of hell will be dealt with in Objection IV listed below however, in this section,  I will deal with hell as an abode for anyone including rebelling angels.

Hell, The Abode Of The devil And Rebelling demons Or Unrepentant Men?

There are a number of things to say about this argument, but I believe that the assertion itself begs the question "If the suffering or better described torment of hell is somehow limited, and is not intended for men, why should men suffer in hell at all?" Was God somehow caught in an unready state or condition for unrepentant and sinful men? This is highly unlikely since Jesus was a lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8). In other words if God made preparation for sin why would he not have made preparation for the judgement of man. As we'll see further in the article, annihilation is inconsistent with the judgement of God as revealed within scripture.

Secondly, we would have to ask, does God not have any other "place" or method to account for the sins of men? In other words if we are simply viewing hell as a purposeless place of transactional conscious torment what is the "trigger" at which the torment of hell is satisfied or the transaction of hell completed, and how does that trigger or punishment apply to men who weren't supposed to be there to begin with? If men were not supposed to be there, then how does hell have any effect on men at all?

Then are we to believe that the torment of hell is somehow set at a level whereby the devil and fallen angels receive the maximum punishment, but the level of punishment for men is somehow set by default at a lesser setting or value? All of these questions would have to be successfully overcome in order to make this type of assertion work. Not to mention that there is even a more solid biblical basis for hell and it's duration that must also be overcome. Neither the temporary hell thesis nor annihilation are winning scriptural constructs.

What is "Prepared"?

One common misunderstandings is the application of the word "prepared" in Mt. 25:41 [ἡτοιμασμένον ~ ētoimasmenon ~ prepare, prepare, provide, make ready] This word does not stake an exclusive claim that hell was only for the devil and rebelling angels. To suggest so is an unnecessary eisegesis of scripture. The scripture simply says that hell is a place "prepared" or made ready, for the devil and his angels.

Example: In a parking lot all parking spaces are prepared for cars or commonly driven vehicles. Aside from the fact that very few spaces (under normal circumstances) restrict the type of vehicles that can be parked by model and year, the spaces are generally available for all types of vehicles. Further, if a motorcycle parks in a space are we to suggest that the motorcycle has no right to a space because the spaces were marked for 4 wheel vehicles? Or what about a truck or SUV? Are they somehow limited or restricted access because the spaces were marked or prepared for smaller or more traditional looking cars?

Just as the parking space is prepared for a vehicle, hell is prepared for sentient beings, rebelling angels and the devil himself being the guideline. There is no restriction or limitation of hell as ever being prepared ONLY and exclusively for the devil and his angels. In fact scripture is quite clear that the ungodly will enter into judgement and ultimately go to hell:

2 Peter 3:7 ~"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of UNGODLY men."
In addition to what I've stated here regarding this, sentiments such as this overlook the fact that men have chosen hell and continue to go by their own free-will decision and choices. Scripture records that hell is enlarged because men choose to go:

Isaiah: 5:14-16 ~ "14-Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. 15-And the mean man shall be brought down , and the mighty man shall be humbled , and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled : 16-But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness."
Men enter into hell, not as a matter of inconvenience or for a lack of available placement, but because of the failure to repent from sins, and serve God through Jesus Christ and. Hell is not a mindless condition that someone merely awakes to without notice. Hell is brought on by the decided choice of men to not only disbelieve, but to by virtue of that unbelief, ultimately dishonor God the creator of all.

To conclude this section I believe that I have demonstrated that arguments stating that the genesis of hell does not include men are false and are sentiments read into scripture. These type of arguments also are, at heart, misunderstandings of the justice and judgement of God as well as a misunderstanding of the nature of the torment of hell. These type of arguments also seek to reconcile the moral nature of hell with our current western sentiment and worldview of suffering as described in PT 1 of this series. I believe it's a fault to try to reconcile the concept of hell and God's use of it based on a western worldview.

Objection IV: The Greek words used to describe the longevity of hell eternal or "aionios" is also used to describe a non eternal time frame.

Many proponents of the "temporary hell thesis" make an appeal to scriptures that equate everlasting destruction to temporarily visible condition instead of an ongoing punishment. Such as the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as recorded in scripture and repeated by Jude:

Jude 1:7~"Even as SODOM and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
The eternal hell critic asserts that here, the word "eternal" [αἰωνίου or aiōniou] is used in a metaphorical sense because the fire from Sodom and Gomorrah does not last or is not visible today. Therefore hell can be said to be figurative based on quality of God's punishment and not the quantity or duration of time of God's punishment.

However, there is a problem with failing to contextualize the verse and that problem is that eternal or [αἰωνίου or aiōniou]was also used to describe the length of time and life that the believer receives with God as a result of the exercise of faith:

John 3:15 ~"That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ETERNAL life."
In order to make it fit, the proponent of the "temporary hell thesis" must make a special appeal to the word "eternal" when it comes to hell to make it appear to be temporary while simultaneously making another appeal to eternal when it comes to heaven. To do so is unwarranted. Not to mention that this approach creates another complication:

On what basis can this appeal be made and if we are to be totally consistent heaven or even life itself beyond this life would also be temporary in duration regardless of the quality of life.

In other words in the need of the annihilationism to create a temporary hell, he also creates a temporary heaven that is subject to death and further destruction, when the bible clearly said that the last enemy that would be defeated would be death (1 Cor. 15:26) , and hell along with it would be cast into the "lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14) which simply says that death and hell which are the results of sin, would not appear or show up ever again.

The Progression:

A second part of this argument deals with a more in depth look at the use of the word eternal or [αἰωνίοις or aiōniois] which proponents of the "temporary hell thesis" claim is used to indicate a temporary condition. Not so fast says apologist J.P. Holding who addresses this issue at great length in his article An Examination of Annihilationism

"Walvoord, following Buis, counts 66 occurrences of aionios in the NT [Cro.4VH, 23]. 51 of these refer to the unending happiness of the righteous. 2 refer to the duration of God in His glory. 6 indicate an endless amount of time in other contexts, and 7 appear in reference to the punishment of the wicked.

A counter-argument seeks to make the point that aionios may in some cases refer to a limited period of time. For the word by itself, we may say that while it is true that it may refer to a time which began at a certain point and continued on into the future for eternity (and once, in the case of Rom. 16:25, backwards from a specific terminus), it never has any other meaning than an eternal period.

It is significant that whenever some critics make this claim, no examples are provided as proof. [Will.EDEP, 73ff -- who says, for example, that the word "may (mean) a week, a month, a year, an age, or a series of ages". Elsewhere, Pinnock's appeal to Cullmann as proving this point is useless, as Cullmann's arguments have been superseded by Barr.]"
Additionally J.P. says this of the use of various words indicating destruction:

"Other words are used of the "destruction" of the wicked - an example being 'kataphtheiro' in 2 Peter 2:13 --- translated as "utterly perish". Paul also uses "apollumi" in 1 Cor. 15:18, translated "perished". Paul's hypothetical argument here makes it clear that he means they will not live again.

Also, the Old Testament speaks of the final end of the wicked in terms such as "cut off"; will "be no more"; are "slain"; they will "not be found"; "vanish like smoke"; "perish"; "be destroyed"; be "torn to pieces"; "vanish like water which flows away"; "melt like a slug"; be like the "stillborn"; their "blood will bathe the feet of the righteous"; etc.; etc. These pictures cannot possibly symbolize "perpetual conscious torment forever."

I will simply ask this question: In any of the places where apollumi is used, did the things in question "cease to exist as" whatever they were? No -- the oil of Matt. 26 did not cease to be oil; it was simply (so it was argued by Judas) put to a use that it should not have been. It remained oil. The same may be said of every other example I cited, and of 1 Cor. 1:19 -- the plans did not "cease to exist as" plans; they simply did not fulfill their intended purpose.

This is right in line with the traditional view that while God intends us for eternal life with Him, those who are apollumi lose out, but do not in any way evaporate or cease to exist, but per our understanding of the nature of hell, fits in perfectly with hell as a place of shame."
Finally, he says this regarding the annihilationalism view of destruction:

"1- Matt. 10:28//Luke 12:4-5 ~"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell."

In this case, the Matthean parallel passage is much clearer in description than the Lukan one. However, they are complimentary rather than contradictory.

This is a fairly clear statement that the soul and body will be destroyed (in the sense noted above -- not "annihilated") in Hell. Annihilationists and conditionalists have a great deal of trouble with this verse. Knowing that the resurrection of the wicked is clearly taught in the NT, some will deny that the nature of the resurrection body of the wicked is the same as that of those of the justified, and that it will eventually "lose all vitality and truly die" [Fudg.FTC, 176], but there is neither scriptural nor social warrant to suppose that there will be any difference in this way.

Another tactic is to argue that the words "kill" and "destroy" being in parallel should mean that they indicate the same thing [ibid., 177], which seems all too obviously without any linguistic support.

Finally, an appeal is made to Luke's parallel version being itself parallel to Is. 66:24 (see below), which supposedly argues against eternal punishment; we will look at that verse shortly, but generally, to make this argument in this way begs the question of whether or not the punishment described is eternal or not."
Conclusion

Hell was an issue that Jesus was not ashamed of neither did he make any excuses regarding it. There are numerous scriptures where Jesus points to a conscious, never quenching torment in hell. Jesus repeatedly warned the scribes and the pharisees of their pending "damnation in hell" if they choose not to repent. In one of his most famous sermons preserved in scripture, "The Sermon On The Mount" he mentions hell more than a half-dozen times.

So the reality of hell is affirmed clearly within scripture, however the duration or quantity of hell is what the "temporary hell theorists" claim that is not so certain. However I believe that for one to hold to an annihilationist or a temporary hell thesis view point one has to discard both how Jesus taught about hell, how the apostles taught about hell and the judgement of God, and further, how the early church fathers taught about hell and God's justice and everything that NT prophecy tells us about hell and future destruction of the wicked.

One should ask, if there is no such thing as an eternal hell what does the suffering sacrifice and atonement of Jesus mean? If his death was simply to save us from being unconscious at a certain point or unaware of any existence at all then what did his death really accomplish?

The result of the annihilationists view and the "temporary hell theorist" views are offset by the following:

1- There is no ultimate punishment for sin/wrong doing if hell isn't real and eternal. For those who dishonor God, nonexistence is no punishment. In fact nonexistence is the expectation of the atheist and justification of his/her worldview even IF God exists.

2- If there is no hell and hell is not eternal, there is no vindication of God for the suffering of his people throughout countless generations. But we know this is not so according to scripture:

II Thess. 1:6-9~"6-Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7-And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8-In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9-Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;"
3- If there is no hell and if hell is not eternal, the atrocities of Hitler and others like him through history, take place right along side the actions of the unrepentant car thief. Since scripture clearly lays out that the punishment of hell is commensurate with the deeds done to deserve it, this further does damage to the concepts of the justice and righteousness of God, demanding the same punishment to the same degree of annihilation for all sinners no matter how small or great.

4- If there is no hell, there is no satisfaction or payment for sin in the world. There is no shame nor honor payment made for unbelief and dishonor to God.

5- If there is no hell and hell is not eternal, then there can be no such thing as truly eternal life. Salvation with Jesus for eternity cannot be guaranteed. The problem is that within the texts, the words are the same and if one is temporary, it takes and extraordinary balancing act to make the other lasting outside of time.

I believe that everything specified in both parts 1 and 2 of this article are compelling arguments and reasons to abandon annihilationism and the temporary hell thesis.

Blessed!


References:

Robert A. Peterson, Hell on Trial: The Case for Eternal Punishment (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Press, 1995)

JP Holding Tekton Apologetic Ministries

Douglas Groothuis

130 comments:

  1. A couple notes Harvey:

    1) Throughout you misspell angels as "angles". Just noting ;)
    2) JP Holding - YUCK!

    Aside, if you have the time and inclination I would like to invite you (and Laura and everyone else) over for discussion here:

    www.exwitch.org/phpBB3/index.php

    It's a Christian board that I recently rejoined (and have as storied a past with as I do here ;) ). If you do check out the Introductions folder first and post you own intro. TTYL

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  2. Pastor you have summed it up wonderfully. For a fact the absence of an eternal damnation cheapens the sacrifice or our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What He suffered on the cross should help man to see that our eternity apart from faith in Him would be terrible, if not why on earth would he do it, if it was just for a time.

    As you say if life in Christ is eternal then how can death outside of Christ not be, these are simple logics but man trying to make God look good miss the mark really bad.

    If we look at it in human terms as far a jail, a man committs a crime, he could possibly spend the rest of his life in jail or even get the death penalty but all the judge has done is uphold the law which says this crime deserves this punishment but it is the individual who has placed themselves in such a predicament and most dont feel sorry for them at all.

    All God is doing is laying down the law. Man in ignorance says I can fulfill the law,"I am a good person", not knowing that if you break on you are guilty of all (James 2:10),while others flat out deny any diety.

    The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death while the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus (rom 6:23). We know that the greatest sin is UNBELIEF, Jesus said those who dont believe are already condemned (John 3:18)

    Condemn - to declare to be reprehensible, wrong, or evil usually after weighing evidence and without reservation.

    Even in earthly terms condemnation has an ring of permanency to it, being temporal, so I cannot see the logic of eternity being temporal.

    Blessings!

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  3. Paul,

    Thanks and I'm glad you got out of it what I did also.

    I'm almost sure that just about evey nonbeliever would stand up and vie for annihilation no matter if God exists or not...Then what about any type of judgemnt or reconciling or right and wrong? That would be a myth for every Christian...

    So anniliation may solve the problem of becoming or being palatable to a society that doesn't want to stand in judgement for their wrong, but it does the greatest injustice to the sacrificial atonement of Jesus and is a slap in the face to every Christian or othewise who believes in equity and fairness. So this is a rather important topic.

    With that said, as I told a fellow who believes in annihilation, I wouldn't break fellowship with another Christian over it, although I would do my best to persuade and share a better understanding.

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  4. Then what about any type of judgemnt or reconciling or right and wrong?

    thats the question right there.

    I do agree, I dont think a Christian who believes this is in trouble of his salvation but a problem could be then teaching something that is not sound scripture.

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  5. Harvey wrote: Was God somehow caught in an unready state or condition for unrepentant and sinful men? This is highly unlikely since Jesus was a lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8). In other words if God made preparation for sin why would he not have made preparation for the judgement of man.

    Harvey,

    If God, should he exist, created Hell BEFORE he created man, this would be an admission that God designed created human beings knowing they would sin.

    Instead, God creates Hell for the devil and his angels after they turn. He's acting in response to their actions. He's not waiting in the wings for them to fail.

    To use your example, God waits until man sins before he sends Jesus. He doesn't send Jesus BEFORE man sins, even though he would have knowledge of it.

    Why would God have prepared for man's sin in regard to Hell but not Jesus? This seems to be an arbitrary attempt to support your position.

    how does that trigger or punishment apply to men who weren't supposed to be there to begin with? If men were not supposed to be there, then how does hell have any effect on men at all?

    Again, if God existed, he doesn't need to create hell for men to put them there. Please see above.

    Then are we to believe that the torment of hell is somehow set at a level whereby the devil and fallen angels receive the maximum punishment, but the level of punishment for men is somehow set by default at a lesser setting or value?

    First, temporal exposure for humans but not Satan and his minions would allow Hell to be set at one "level" and dish out proper punishment.

    Second, we're talking about God here which is supposedly all powerful. Are you suggesting God couldn't make a punishment that adapted to those being punished?

    Hell is not a mindless condition that someone merely awakes to without notice. Hell is brought on by the decided choice of men to not only disbelieve, but to by virtue of that unbelief, ultimately dishonor God the creator of all.

    God is withholding evidence of his existence. I don't think God exists because there isn't enough evidence. Should evidence appear, I'd change my mind.

    Should we find ourselves face to face with God after death, I think he would meet neither of our expectations. In fact, I think it would be impossible for us to understand God due to the way he would have designed us, should he exist. There have been too many forms and concepts of God over time.

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  6. In order to make it fit, the proponent of the "temporary hell thesis" must make a special appeal to the word "eternal" when it comes to hell to make it appear to be temporary while simultaneously making another appeal to eternal when it comes to heaven.

    Harvey, you seem to be implying it would be impossible to not burn a steak cooked over an eternal flame. The solution is easy. You remove the steak from the flame when it's done. That the flame is eternal doesn't necessitate it being burnt.

    On what basis can this appeal be made and if we are to be totally consistent heaven or even life itself beyond this life would also be temporary in duration regardless of the quality of life.

    Since when it the Bible constant?

    If there is no hell and if hell is not eternal, the atrocities of Hitler and others like him through history, take place right along side the actions of the unrepentant car thief.

    Here you seem to be appealing to emotion despite the fact that Hitler could have repented and gone to heaven while an unrepentant car thief is eternally punished. How this is somehow just is unclear.

    If there is no hell and hell is not eternal, then there can be no such thing as truly eternal life. Salvation with Jesus for eternity cannot be guaranteed. The problem is that within the texts, the words are the same and if one is temporary, it takes and extraordinary balancing act to make the other lasting outside of time.

    Are you suggesting that God couldn't have created us with a finite lifespan? Could God not take said lifespan away should he choose? You seem to see God as being rather small when it suits your purpose.

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  7. Harvey,

    As I've illustrated, scripture seems to be inconclusive on this matter.

    As such, it seems that your position on this matter primarily based on your personal belief that those who do not think God exists should be eternally punished.

    However, Cole disagrees with you because he thinks eternal punishment is excessive.

    You've both chosen to believe in a God who closest meets your moral view.

    These are moral decisions, which you make based on your moral compass. As does Cole. This is what I was referring to in the earlier thread.

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  8. Scott,

    I believe hell is a place of eternal punishment where the worm never dies. There is a place of eternal destruction where the fires burn forever but humans will be completely annihilated because this is what the scriptures seem to me to teach. Not because it meets my moral view. Nobody has given a satsfactory interpretation of the passages that teach the wicked shall perish. Two of my favorite still stand:

    Jude 7-

    Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities....serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. (ESV)

    2 Peter 2:5

    If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly. (ESV)


    Sodom and Gomorrah serve as an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly. They will suffer eternal punishment in the lake of fire, be turned to ashes and condemned to extinction.

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  9. Scott,

    The lake of fire is eternal and burns forever but humans will not remain there forever. They will perish.

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  10. If eternal life is to be believed which is eternal bliss with Christ then the flip side of that will be an eternal punishment for doubt.

    Mark 9
    43And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

    44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

    45And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:

    46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

    47And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

    48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.


    Jesus talks about the members of the body being cast INTO hell fire that is not quenched and there is nothing about it being removed. This is why this is so dratsic, cut it off! Simple understanding is that this punishment is eternal.

    Whether man believes in Christ or not bears no relevance to the matter at hand really, we all have that choice to make but it does not change the specifics of scripture.

    God bless!

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  11. Paul,

    I believe that hell will be drastic and it's a place where their worm doesn't die and the fires will not be quenched. Indeed hell is a place of eternal punishment. But if you will read the scriptures that I provided above you will see that humans will not be there forever. They will suffer for awhile in the lake of fire where their worm doesn't die and the fires burn forever but will be turned to ashes and condemned to extinction. As it says in Matthew 10:28:

    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

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  12. I'm not sure that you answered the objection with Jude 7. You said that the objector makes heaven temporary as well, but you didn't deal with the fact that aionios does not have the meaning it is claimed to have in this verse. Furthermore, I don't believe you proved that heaven would also have to be temporary. After all, many annihilationists would argue that aionios refers to the consequences of a thing, not its conditions. So how is it that life given with eternal consequences must be temporary? It seems clear that it must be truly eternal. On the other hand, fire with eternal consequences (considered without pre-conceived notions) would immediately bring about an image of utter destruction.

    I'm glad to know that you do not view this as an issue where Christians should divide, and that you view dialogue to be important. Let's keep thinking about this issue and keep an open mind. Regardless of whether or not hell is eternal, God is just and I trust Him to punish the evil righteously. God bless!

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  13. Cole wrote: There is a place of eternal destruction where the fires burn forever but humans will be completely annihilated because this is what the scriptures seem to me to teach. Not because it meets my moral view.

    Cole,

    I'm merely noting that both of you and Harvey have read the Bible and reached different conclusions.

    There must be some factor that causes this difference of interpretation. No?

    Personally, I think the "carrot and stick" is the kind of solution human would create, not a perfect being. This is one of the reasons why I think the Christian God is a human construct. This is my moral position.

    In your case, punishment here on earth is NOT sufficient. The wages of sin is death, and only annihilation is sufficient punishment. I'm suggesting this is your moral position.

    But Harvey doesn't seem to agree. Death isn't enough. Instead, he thinks eternal punishment is due. Therefore he creates an elaborate argument to support it. I'm suggesting that this too is his moral position.

    So, what I'm suggesting is that, in each case, we're forming an opinion about what God would or would not do using our own moral compass. We exist on continuum of morality,and our beliefs reflect our station on that continuum.

    If this is not the case, then how can you say it's really YOU that believes? How can you deserve reward for your choice?

    If you say you're not using your own moral compass, then God is effectively pushing a "button" which he built into you - and your responding as he planned. Why should you be rewarded for that?

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  14. Scott said "So, what I'm suggesting is that, in each case, we're forming an opinion about what God would or would not do using our own moral compass. We exist on continuum of morality,and our beliefs reflect our station on that continuum."

    I disagree. I see a group of Christians rightly dividing the Truth, and in some instances, we see through a glass darkly.

    Like Cole, I hate to think that non-believers will suffer for all eternity. I really wanted to go along with him, and even though I'm not 100% convinced by my own study, I'm afraid that's just not going to be the case. I don't base that on what I want, but what God says in His Word.

    I guess I'm here to point out the fallacy in your thinking that we can decide who God is based on our personal beliefs and moral compass. Oh, people do that all the time...but Christians go to the Word for the Truth because there can only be One Truth.

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  15. Laura wrote: I guess I'm here to point out the fallacy in your thinking that we can decide who God is based on our personal beliefs and moral compass. Oh, people do that all the time...but Christians go to the Word for the Truth because there can only be One Truth.

    Laura, I realize you think there is only one truth. But how do you decide what that truth is? That there is one truth, doesn't me that God actually exists. That there is one truth doesn't mean that you can know it. This does not follow.

    Liberal Christians seem to think there is a different truth. Calvinists think there is a different truth. And this is just scratching the surface. Again, if you're not using your moral compass to decide, then why should you be rewarded for choosing the particular truth you hold as true?

    That having one particular truth which everyone followed would have utility valve doesn't mean that specific truth is actually accurate or that there isn't some other "truth" would result in a more harmonious existence.

    Personally, I think you're settling for Christian Biblical truth because it's most widely accepted and has the most extreme deterrent for rejecting it. Unlike Islam, It's already gone though an enlightenment period. It's not foreign and is often considered a sign of patriotism. And it explicitly talks about eternal life and salvation. But you must weigh these benefits against the cost of accepting the barbaric acts that the Christian God supposedly did in the Bible as the actions of a perfect being.

    I hate to think that non-believers will suffer for all eternity.

    Based on our earlier discussion, I though you stopped feeling sorry for all the 60+ billions of souls that must be eternally tortured so you could have eternal life in heaven? This is not a moral dilemma at some level?

    But if the carrot and the stick is the best solution your God can come up with, then it seems you too see your God as being rather small when it suits your purpose.

    If I had to take a side based on scripture, I'd go with Cole, as Matthew 10:28 seems to sum it up nicely.

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Why would we be told to fear someone who would destroy our soul in Hell if this is an empty threat?

    Furthermore would God would need Hell to destroy anyone's soul? I'm guessing you'd say no. In fact, I'm guessing you'd think God could take everything back to square one with a mere thought. Therefore, this could have read, "but rather fear him who is able make everything disappear into nothingness with a single thought"

    But, according to the Bible, God isn't going to do this. Again, this would be an empty threat.

    However, I don't hold scripture as being the word of an perfect being as his demands appear to be morally imperfect. There are other factors, but morality is one of them.

    For instance, God, who is supposedly all knowing, allows the Israelites to be capture as slaves. It's only later he rescues the Israelites from the hands of death under these harsh conditions of the Egyptians. But then he turns around and threatens them with death at the hands of their own people if they do not "remember" the great thing he did for them by not working on the Sabbath!

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  16. I don't base that on what I want, but what God says in His Word.

    But I'm suggesting that your belief that God is good and that the Bible, with all of it's barbaric depictions, represents God's word is, at least in part, a moral decision. This is because, at some level, you think God would be morally justified in doing the things he supposedly did.

    However, to be clear, I'm not saying this is the only reason. It's much more complex than this. But I think it plays a significant role.

    If you want eternal life, you must play by the rules. But you ultimately need to decide which rules you need to follow and to which degree is required. This is where morality comes in to play.

    For example, are you a conservative because you're a Christian or a Christian because you a conservative?

    I'd was a conservative republican until it was taken over by the moral majority. This is the kind of madness I'm referring to…

    Christians United for Israel Tour

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  17. Mysterium Tremendum,

    Jesus usually says things in ways that the carnal man can wrap their mind around. Just like He said the Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed or a man sowing seeds. This is not exactly what heaven is but it is an example we can get with. This is what I see in the scripture you quoted, Christ was giving us somethine we can understand since man had only carnal understanding.

    Lets, look at the verse that says THEIR worm doesnt die.

    The Word THEIR is very important

    1 : of or relating to them or themselves especially as possessors, agents, or objects of an action

    It seems like this each sinner has their own worm, that doesnt die. What you are saying is that the sinner passes away but THEIR worm continues to live, for what purpose may I ask and why would Jesus says theirs and not the worm that I assigned to them?


    We also have to interprit scripture in the light of eternity, so again if the bible talks about Sodom and Gommorah its giving us a temporal picture to hopefully give us an understanding of eternity.

    An unbeliever may say that I am living but from a Christian and biblical point of view they are dead because of the state of their spirit, again this is all about eternity. Its not enough to be just born from your mum but you must be born again.

    Ephesians 2
    1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;


    So extinct or burning is not like earth, it must be held up to eternity of you have a blurred understanding.

    This is what I understand from scripture.

    God bless!!

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  18. Sorry the quote was from Peter but by the spirit of Christ none the less.

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  19. Paul,

    The worm that gnaws at the body and soul does not die. It is said to be their worm, as though it is their own, belonging to them as their due. Likewise, their fire, which burns constantly will consume them. It burns them up but is not quenched. The result is that it is an abhorrence to all flesh that beholds it. Thus, the wicked ones are cast out and perish. I think that maybe Satan and his demons will be tormented forever and ever but the lake of fire is said to be the second death for humans. They will be turned to ashes and condemned to extinction and their smoke will rise forever and ever.(2 Peter 2:5) (Jude 7)

    Matthew 10:28:

    Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

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  20. You have not explained by what it means when Christ says the worm does not die.
    what would be the point of their worm not dying?

    why also would their smoke continue to rise? if its burned to ashes wouldnt it stop, since we are dealing with time and not eternity?

    Again, when the bible speaks of life its doesnt speak of it in earthly terms, I love to be 70 and I die, its dealing with eternity. So you can not humanly look at destroy and believe that it has a time. God does not live in time but eternity so this again blurs God aas being eternal.

    This actually bothers me very much becuase it only focuses on an eternal relationship with God and not what Christ came to save us from. If I dont believe in Christ, suffer for a minute and I am no more, its that really that bad where Christ would have to die on the cross for our sins.

    That stance removes the justness of God to me as if He would not be in His right to do do it. People say God is not just because He knows all things however they negate the fact that He has made ample provisions for not them to be damned. Now, if you are dying of thirst and I give you water but you refuse isnt it you who are evil?

    Its either about eternity or not, whether life or death. It cannot be both, its not consistant.

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  21. Paul,

    The worms don't die because they are there to torment Satan and his angels forever and ever.

    As for your second question about humans smoke rising forever and ever. Isaiah 34:8-10 states:

    For the Lord has a day of vengeance, a year of recompence for the cause of Zion. And the streams of Edom shall be turned into pitch, and her soil into sulfur, and her land shall become burning pitch. Night and day it shall not be quenched; it's smoke shall go up forever. (ESV)

    Notice that the text says that the smoke of Edom will ascend forever even though Edom was completely destroyed and annihilated. Obviously Edom isn't still burning today. It's best to interpret this to mean that Edom's destruction was irreversable. Although it was completely destroyed and annihilated it's smoke is said to rise forever. This is also true with the ungodly who will be condemned to extinction in the book of Revelation:

    Revelation 14:9-12

    And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, those who worship the beast and his image, and who recieves the mark of his name. (ESV)

    The text doesn't say the wicked will be tormented forever. Only that they have no rest day or night and that the smoke of their torment rises forever. This passaege is clearly taken from Isaiah 34. Just as Edom was destroyed so shall the wicked be destroyed even though their smoke will ascend forever.

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  22. Scott,

    Let me ask you this...The US Constitution is a work of men right? The US tax Code is one too, right? how many various interpretation of rights and liberties are there over both of them? In fact most lawyers argue that the Constitution doesn't even all for the current tax code. There's much debate looking at the same documents and we know exactly who wrote what and when.

    If a Christian has an honest and open conflict of interpretation over God's word wouldn't that be expected at some point? I mean even the apostles in the original church came together to settle matters of scripture and understanding of what God was saying and doing.

    What has happened is that you and those like you aren't used to seeing that done in a godly manner because you believe that IF the word was communicated from God then we'd somehow all know all instantly and that's more along the lines of insanity than reason.

    The beauty is that Christians can honestly disagree but not be disagreeable and be unified on the areas that change the word such as the deity of Jesus, faith in his work and blood for the redemption of sins, his bodily resurrection and other things that the founders of this church died for because they were committed to.

    So that we disagree isn't the problem. That we interpret the texts in light of our moral values isn't the problem either. The word is eternal and accounts for even that but yet does not change. So when we change it won't BUT it will still be applicable. Our moral understanding is merely a point of reference, from there we all come to the point where we submit our understandings to the TRUTH of God.

    Pursuit of truth is a lifelong journey and I'm glad that Cole, Cody and others are at least on the RIGHT road...so you haven't exposed a weakness, you've really seen how Christianity has been able to grow and flourish over the years through great diversity of understanding, but yet with the SAME essential message of truth.

    And part of that truth is that Jesus is Lord!

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  23. Scott said "But how do you decide what that truth is?"

    Jesus said "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." ~John 14:6

    There are too many verses to post where Jesus, the Word, is also called Truth. Before Jesus was arrested, He prayed to God the Father for His disciples and all believers:

    "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." ~John 17:14-17

    Paul said "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe." ~1 Thessalonians 2:13

    Since God Himself is not at work in you, as He is in Believers, His Word is just one more human opinion to you. Your very words prove the truthfulness of Pauls statement. And again:

    "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." ~John 8:31-32

    Scott said "Liberal Christians seem to think there is a different truth. Calvinists think there is a different truth."

    Yes, but what does God's WORD say? You have hit on the exact reason for all the different denominations. That's what happens when man ignores God's Truth and tries to replace it with his own.

    Take me, for example. I have no religion - only His Word. I can READ, so having no real prior influences, I see clearly when man's doctrine tries to replace God's Truth. But I don't know it all and never will, so I am always open to correction on the smaller points. It would, however, take a crowbar to move me off of what God has revealed to me through His Word through study. It's not "Laura's opinion" because God's Word proves His Word.

    This is why discussion about what is not completely clear (eternal suffering) is so interesting. I NEVER saw the word "their" worm as God revealed to Paul. The other day, I started a webpage on Isaiah 9, and as many times as I have read the scripture from the old testament about "Unto us a Child is born...", I NEVER saw that one of His names was "Everlasting Father". It gives a whole new depth to the Trinity.

    Scott said "But you must weigh these benefits against the cost of accepting the barbaric acts that the Christian God supposedly did in the Bible as the actions of a perfect being."

    Actually, that's your baggage. I don't question what God did 5 or 6000 years ago, and I try not to question Him now. That's just something that comes from experience. God is love, and until I can hang the stars in the universe, I gotta give Him His due to know what He is doing if I understand and/or approve or not. Your baggage (as noted by Harvey and others) comes straight out of Satan's oldest playbook - "did God really...".

    Scott said "This is not a moral dilemma at some level?"

    Not a moral dilemma, but the cold hard facts. I have unsaved family members. It's what motivates me to keep the discussion open with them whenever I can in spite of how it makes me look. (like some kind of fanatic)

    I'll be back to answer the rest later.:-)

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  24. Hi Pastor! I was writing as you were posting, so there is some overlap.

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  25. Harvey,

    You seem to be responding to a straw man of my argument as I'm not suggesting that disagreement among Christians means God doesn't exist.

    I might be wrong about the existence of a God, but this wouldn't change the fact that I think a perfect being would not act as the Christian God is depicted in the Bible. This is a moral decision on my part, which has significant impact on my lack of belief in the Christian God.

    As I mentioned earlier, a being that uses the carrot and the stick isn't what I would conceder God material, should such a being exist.

    What suggesting is the particular version of God one accepts (or in my case rejects) is in part a moral decision. And the differences that Christians exhibit are in part based on their moral compass.

    This is the argument I'm making.

    Again, if this is not the case then why do you deserve to be rewarded for choosing the particular God you embrace?

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  26. Scott,

    I don't think I deserve to be rewarded. I chose God because He first chose me. I chose God because He has opened my eyes to see His beauty. It's by His grace that I recieve eternal life. I don't deserve it. As I see it grace is unmerrited favor. By His grace God is opening my eyes to see Christ in all His holiness as something lovely and beautiful. The more beautiful Christ becomes the uglier my sin becomes.

    I don't interpret the doctrine of hell as a place of annihilation for humans because of my moral compass. It's because I believe the Bible can be read that way. The scriptures seem to me to teach that Satan and his angels will be tormented forever and ever in the lake of fire.

    While humans are thrown into this place of eternal punishment (eternal destruction) they will be condemned to extinction. It just shows how infinitely valuable the worth of God's glory is.

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  27. Scott said "Again, if this is not the case then why do you deserve to be rewarded for choosing the particular God you embrace?"

    I'm so glad that Mysterium Tremendum answered this in such an awesome way, because I'm chomping at the bit to answer too. Pastor, it would be cool if all the christians here answered this question of Scott's. I hope you agree because I'm goin' for it!

    Scott, I hear from time to time someone say that when they get to heaven, all they want to hear is "well done, My good and faithful servant". I always think "Man! You must really have it all together because no way could I hope to hear that. I'm one messed-up chick that can't get through a day in any kind of righteous way."

    I know I'm less focused on sin than others and more focused on grace - an about-face from the last 30 years. But either way, when I get to heaven, the ONLY thing that gets me in, (probably crawling on my hands and knees), is being covered by the Blood of Jesus.

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  28. Scott said "For instance, God, who is supposedly all knowing, allows the Israelites to be capture as slaves. It's only later he rescues the Israelites from the hands of death under these harsh conditions of the Egyptians. But then he turns around and threatens them with death at the hands of their own people if they do not "remember" the great thing he did for them by not working on the Sabbath!"

    Not sure what you are talking about here. Scripture, please.

    Scott, why did God not allow the Israelites into the Promise Land until the entire generation He lead out of Egypt had died?
    Because of their unbelief.

    God asks one thing of us for salvation, and that's "believe".

    You said "If you want eternal life, you must play by the rules. But you ultimately need to decide which rules you need to follow and to which degree is required. This is where morality comes in to play."

    You're talking about apples and oranges here. It's just not the best example you could give because I am saved the moment I believe, which has nothing to do with morality. I can't help you out here, so if you can, try another example. I'm thinking that you are beginning to see that God is not some constructed character based on what one might want him to be, but the unchanging God Almighty of the Bible.

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  29. Laura said:
    Take me, for example. I have no religion - only His Word. I can READ, so having no real prior influences, I see clearly when man's doctrine tries to replace God's Truth. But I don't know it all and never will, so I am always open to correction on the smaller points.

    *sighs* And yet..... You know, I would not keep bringing this matter up if you did not state things that are contrary to your actions. I dislike this, I don't want this, and in truth I wish my friend back if you would have such, but I must be true to the truth.

    Harvey, you said If you don't mind let me deal with how I think we can get you two back on track as I sincerely don't want to loos either of you.

    I'm sorry to be impatient, but...

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  30. Mysterium Tremendum,

    The worms dont die because they torment the devil? Well for Jesus to say their worm would not make sense then would it? also there is no scripture reference for your claim.

    What I see is using the scripture to fit what we would like it to say. So we say that hell is for the devil and his angels for eternity and not man then we say the worms that are specifically for men are then for the devil and his angels. We cannot have it both ways to suit us.

    Once again we MUST look at what Gods says about Eternity in the light of Eternity and not time.

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  31. Paul,

    I think you're right on point. I see Cole merely making assertions without supporting his position or addressing ANY of the counterarguments whether individually or collectively.

    I've asked him before to not just merely repeat what he's communicating but to support it if possible.

    Now the article (in total)deals with 4 objections directly and it DOES NOT bear out that hell is a temporary period under any construct that I've heard or read the annihilationists use, so I'm kind of lost as to why not simply reevaluate the position, pull out of the text the biblical truth and address the case laid out, because if you're a Christian you must be subject to the word of God, at least that's what I believe. now, I don't know all but this at least SEEMS to be a point of reference...

    We all agree that hell is real, the problem is what is that hell? As I've laid out there is no biblical construct whereby that hell is merely extinction...The article deals with that misconception but NONE of the critics address J.P's points regarding the use of the word destruction and eternal...so I'm at a loss

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  32. Nightmare and Laura,

    On some boards, when I run into what I feel is an antagonist I simply avoid any commentary and questions from them in the least. I will engage others but I leave them alone until we can have a decent conversation.

    I think that may be the case here. Both of you are reaching into the depths of what you say to each other and taking those points to heart. You will disagree and that is expected, but the personal degree to which points are addressed is another thing...

    Laura you have planted, let the seed be watered and God will give the increase.

    Nightmare, Laura I'm sure doesn't have an ill bone toward you in the least...but until BOTH of you are convinced, don't address one another directly...

    Now, that's one thing I commend Scott on...even though his views are suspect, he does make good points at times and keeps on going no matter what. i think that should be the approach you two take here. There is plenty in the conversation to address from others. So maximize the opportunity.

    For all Christians remember after the TRUTH has been told and laid out, allow God to do what he does best and that's touch the hearts and minds.

    The non-Christians that hang around here are some good guys, they need us and we need them too. The conversations we've been able to have and issues that we address are second to none and people need to see how reasonable people approach these issues and what the Christian response is...So keep in mind that this is a great opportunity to grow, learn and set forth biblically centered truth...fellowship too!

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  33. Harvey wrote: We all agree that hell is real, the problem is what is that hell? As I've laid out there is no biblical construct whereby that hell is merely extinction...The article deals with that misconception but NONE of the critics address J.P's points regarding the use of the word destruction and eternal...so I'm at a loss

    Here Harvey makes my point for me.

    He ignores that which disagrees with his view, including scripture and arguments presented. JP's points do not tip the scales in Harvey's favor. At best they show a conflict between scripture, which is ambiguous in nature.

    Why does he do this? I'm suggesting he thinks eternal torture for unrepentant sinners is morally correct. Therefore, despite the ambiguous nature of the Bible on this matter, he thinks the Bible somehow clearly supports his view.

    Furthermore, a Hell that is eternal is a more powerful deterrent to unbelief. Since Harvey sees God will as the ultimate good (another moral decision), such a Hell would be more effective in bringing his will to fruition here on earth and beyond. As such, this too may be a factor in the particular interpretation of Hell he chooses to embrace.

    So, I'm suggesting that, it is in this way that Harvey's concept of God and the hell he would create reflects Harvey's moral views.

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  34. Cole wrote: I don't think I deserve to be rewarded.

    Then why do you expect to be rewarded?

    God is rewarding you, not someone else. Your belief that God sent his son to die for your sins is what enables this. That you think you do not deceive eternal life does not change the fact that you believe you will receive it in exchange for your belief. This is what I'm referring to.

    I don't believe this, in part, because I think a "God" that uses the carrot and the stick is too small. This is human morality disguised in God clothing. This is a moral decision on my part.

    Laura wrote: I always think "Man! You must really have it all together because no way could I hope to hear that. I'm one messed-up chick that can't get through a day in any kind of righteous way."

    Which is another moral decision based on how you interpret your actions, thoughts, etc.

    A question open to everyone: Do you see heaven a reward? Is there anything that you do which causes God to accept you into heaven, or is it completely out of your hands?

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  35. I wrote: But then he turns around and threatens them with death at the hands of their own people if they do not "remember" the great thing he did for them by not working on the Sabbath!"

    Not sure what you are talking about here. Scripture, please.

    Laura, why did working on the Sabbath become punishable by death? The common response I've heard from Christians is that the Sabbath became a remembrance for God taking the Israelites out of Egypt. And that failing to remember what God had done was worthy of being stoned to death.

    Of course, if you have a better explanation, I'm open to hearing it.

    Scott, why did God not allow the Israelites into the Promise Land until the entire generation He lead out of Egypt had died? Because of their unbelief.

    Which makes the above appear even more immoral. Either the Israelites "remember" God punishing the previous generation for their unbelief or they should be stoned to death.

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  36. You're talking about apples and oranges here. It's just not the best example you could give because I am saved the moment I believe, which has nothing to do with morality.

    Laura,

    While I think all life has evolved from a common ancestor, it's clear that we human beings are unique. I don't need a omnipotent being or a holy book to "reveal" this. One of these distinctions is that we evolved the ability to step back and analyze our thoughts. We can choose how to respond rather than react out of pure impulse.

    The question is, do we use this ability and how often?

    When someone presents me with the claim that I am either for or against the Christian God, I need not respond to this false dilemma in a polarizing way. I can choose how to respond to what is essentially an ultimatum designed to create converts out of appeals to fear, emotion or intuition.

    Regardless of what we are presented with, we can choose how to respond. My response to any such question need not fall into either camp.

    This is what separates us from the rest of the animals on our planet. How we respond to any situation or event is what defines us as beings. This includes our response to disease, death, nonexistence, etc. The life we experience is the result of our responses. We can choose.

    Harvey calls me a Buddhist because I've adopted specific Buddhist teachings which I see as practical. And this is one that doesn't take faith in an omnipotent being to acknowledge and use in our daily lives.

    The God of the bible does not meet my moral standards. And my response to the ultimatum of being either with or against God is neither. I am not defined by the ultimatums of others or polarizing situations or theories.

    So, what I'm suggesting here is that when presented with the claim that you are either with or against God, you have a choice to choose neither. Yet you chose God.

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  37. Scott,

    What you're on a binge to prove is that Christians interpret the bible based on their own sense of morality. That's because that is YOUR worldview. In fact your worldview states that moral decisions are based on what is beneficial for the group or community and there is no objective standard.

    Contrary to your path, the biblical narratives set forth an objective standard of morality, HOWEVER the word is the basic aspect of that morality. There is a dimension of all of this that opens spiritually for a Christian that is beyond cognitive ability...You see this as "strange" or 'why do they do that?" and end up believing that Christians are delusional because of it...That's NOT the case. The fact is that God, being a real spiritual being, connecting with man, having a real spiritual aspect, speaks to man's heart and changes him...

    You acknowledge something close to this in science called the "unseen hand" of nature. I don't call you deluded for that because I know there is a greater aspect to life than what is seen or written on a page.

    With that said, I'm trying to communicate that the morality of God does not depend upon our human interpretation. Sin was declared to be deplorable BEFORE time began. God never changed that, he only revealed 'in time' the nature of sin and it's solution.

    If God, by his nature is omniscient, he already knew and prepared for sin and the solution for sin. This is exactly what we see in scripture and the more we learn the more we understand.

    The standards of God do not depend upon my ability to match them with my standards, they depend upon my ability to pursue them in understanding and release and submit my will to the will of God once his standard is revealed.

    So your argument is one worth considering, but your argument does not hold. The universal values of God are beyond man's ability to create uniform standards etc...In this case, our varying views of hell DO NOT suggest that hell doesn't exist. no matter how we interpret the teaching of hell from scripture the FACT yet remains CHRISTIANS accept hell as the judgement of sin and unrighteousness.

    Has that been in dispute? NO, not here. So your argument has no teeth to it. If it were that our interpretations were so vast that we said, there is no hell like the JW's or other cults, then we'd have a problem but we don't have that problem now do we? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

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  38. Paul,

    I think you may be right. I'm going to go back believing that the Bible teaches eternal concious punishment. Not because of my moral compass like Scott believes but because I think it is what the Bible teaches.

    Scott,

    I expect eternal life because God has promised it to me. I believe because of God's grace. Faith itself is a gift from God. It's not because of anything I have done.

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  39. Scott,

    This is an example of what I mean. You asked Laura:Laura, why did working on the Sabbath become punishable by death? The common response I've heard from Christians is that the Sabbath became a remembrance for God taking the Israelites out of Egypt. And that failing to remember what God had done was worthy of being stoned to death.

    Misinformation is a terrible thing and has effected many of your insights. The sabbath had nothing to do so much with Exodus as it had to do with the fellowship and communion (rest or peace) with God that God required. Aside from that, because I will not do a detailed analysis of it here, that is a very cognitive question. You EXPECT that the answer should be solely empirical, but the answer is much greater and involves fellowship and communion in a spiritual sense and dimension.

    You apply principles like Buddhism to help you cerebrally. The scripture has a much greater dimension than cerebral-ism So this is the difference and the problem.

    A christian understands the purpose and place of Sabbath as being more than just a "day" even though it was indicated or signified by a "day", but if it's defined to a "day" like the Pharisees and Jews did, you'll miss the whole point and not understand the words of Jesus who says:

    Mark 2:27~And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man FOR THE SABBATH:

    and

    Matthew 11:28~Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will GIVE YOU REST.

    unless a person inclines to a spiritual understanding, the cognitive part will only be words on a page and the meaning will be lost. Is it figurative? NO. It's very real. Is it metaphorical? NO. It's literal IN Jesus. He is that Sabbath rest from the beginning of the creation, and that sabbath was for union with god and rest from your labors...Those things NEVER changed and exist right now...

    So here is one example of a command of God that SINCE his commands were recorded that has stayed the same BUT the dimensions of our understandings of it has progressed until we find it culminated in the person of Jesus or God in the flesh himself.

    You did not know that, not because you're not smart enough, but because God's words are spiritual and when you live in denial of the spiritual aspects of life, you will fail to understand spiritually defined words...

    John 6:63~It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] ARE LIFE.

    Now, NONE of us are required to give you an answer that satisfies you. Only God can do that, but the duty has been done and you've received an answer, and a rather good one I might add-LOL!

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  40. To further demonstrate how off base Scott's suggestions have been regarding this we have a perfect example with Jesus himself. Before the crucifixion Jesus says:

    Matthew 26:39~And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this CUP PASS from me:

    Jesus displays a human characteristic of an alternate sense of morality. Jesus didn't say this because he simply didn't want to suffer, he says this because 1- the weight of sin that would be placed upon him that knew no sin and 2- humanly, he's looking for another way that the morality or justice of God can be satisfied and served. However in the same sentence he says:

    nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].

    This is a SUBMISSION to the morality or righteousness of God, not a superimposition of jesus upon it. Previously he refers to the relationship of God to his mission:

    John 4:34~Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to FINISH HIS WORK.

    Jesus SUBMITTED his understanding of all things naturally so, to the will of God the Father.

    our moral views are not about superimposing ours upon scripture, that's what's wrong nowadays with the world, a superimposed standard of righteousness and invented sense of right and wrong only conflates the problems as we see them today.

    It's about SUBMISSION to the standards and will of God. Humans have a way that we "think" is right but IF it's not the way of God it will only lead to either further trouble or a false sense of security.

    So no Scott, we don't place what we want on what the bible says and read it through that lens. We read the word for all that it is worth and IF it says we're wrong, or that there's another standard we are to comply with it because it is a word from God the creator of the universe and the personal savior of all mankind.

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  41. Harvey,

    I'm not limiting this to how one interprets the Christian Bible. That Hell does or does not exist or that God does or does not exist isn't a necessary part of my argument.

    I'm suggesting that your decision to NOT accept the Quran as the word of a supernatural being who is perfectly good is, in part, a moral decision, which you've made. I'm suggesting that the decision to accept the any holy book as the word of a supernatural being who is perfectly good is, in part, a moral decision.

    This happens BEFORE we even get to any specific interpretation you might make regarding that book.

    Again I could be wrong about God or Hell. But I do not think either the God depicted in the Christian Bible or the Hell he supposedly created would represent a perfectly good being, should such a being exists.

    This is a moral decision on my part.

    In fact your worldview states that moral decisions are based on what is beneficial for the group or community and there is no objective standard.

    If you watched any of the videos I suggested earlier, they both address the issue of a moral standard. The problem is that unless this standard comes from the Christian God, any discussion goes in one ear and right out the other.

    Furthermore, my past questions about why God's declaration of what's right and wrong are any less relative have gone unanswered. That you choose a particular God's declaration of truth as an objective standard doesn't explain why this standard is actually objectively moral.

    The fact is that God, being a real spiritual being, connecting with man, having a real spiritual aspect, speaks to man's heart and changes him..

    The problem here is that we have other people who claim to have "real" experiences and "real" connections to a God who reveals substantially different information on the topic of salvation. Why is your experiences and connection any more "real" than theirs?

    And we have people like myself who have concluded that what we were experiences wasn't "real" after all, but seemed that way due to our tendency to find agency where none exists.

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  42. With that said, I'm trying to communicate that the morality of God does not depend upon our human interpretation. Sin was declared to be deplorable BEFORE time began. God never changed that, he only revealed 'in time' the nature of sin and it's solution.

    Harvey, do belong to a home owners association?

    If so, you knew that buying that particular home would bind you to the rules and standards of the association. Once you bought the home, you were responsible for the rules that existed before you moved in. Nor would you be free to change the rules to make special exceptions on your part or were they dependent on your specific interpretation.

    However, YOU DECIDED to move in to that home knowing full well what the SPECIFIC association rules were for THAT NEIGHBORHOOD. You were free to live somewhere else, with a different set of association rules or even no rules at all.

    YOU benefit from the rules because they also effect your neighbor. He too must keep the grass mowed. He to must keep the noise down. He to must keep broken down cars off his lawn.

    You accept the rules because they represent, more or less, the kind of rules you want to live by. And for that to happen the rest of the neighborhood must abide by them as well. The fact that your neighbor is also unable to change the rules or interpret them to his favor benefits you as well.

    Now, we can replace a particular neighborhood and it's homeowner association rules with a particular God and his "absolute" morality.

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  43. Harvey,

    I found a scripture that I think seals the case for eternal concious punishment of the wicked. I think this scripture along with the others clearly demonstrates the traditional doctrine of hell.

    Daniel 12:2

    And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt.


    The passage states that there will be a resurrection of the dead in which some will be granted "everlasting life" while others to "everlasting shame and contempt."

    Why would the author contrast the everlasting shame of the wicked with the everlasting joy of the righteous unless the shame was as much an ongoing experience as the joy? Not only this but it seems odd to me, now that I have thought about it, that God would resurrect people from the dead only to annihilate them. Not to mention the other scriptures that support this interpretation:

    Revelation 20:10

    and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    Jude 1:13

    wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.


    2 Thessalonians 1:9

    They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power

    Matthew 25:41-46

    Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.... Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

    It seems we are forced to conclude that hell is eternal concious punishment of the wicked.

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  44. Scott,

    You said:"I'm suggesting that your decision to NOT accept the Quran as the word of a supernatural being who is perfectly good is, in part, a moral decision, which you've made."

    If I were to make up a moral path and create my own god I could. Why would I limit myself to the God of the bible? If I were to make up or adapt something to create a self branded morality as you suggest, why wouldn't I create or construct a God that will allow me to experience everything that I want to experience whenever I wanted to experience it?...ie: If I wanted to be promiscuous, wouldn't I create a god that would allow that? Why would I want to create a god that gave me any moral restrictions at all? I may want to be known for "good things" or known for "social morality", but why would I restrain myself in any manner. I certainly wouldn't want to be restricted to feeling condemned if I wanted to sleep around or do whatever whenever etc...So what you suggest isn't even tenable, yet alone does it make sense... and you set forth the notion that humanity or my moral decision making is basically "good"...well thank you for that and I hope that's true, but let me tell you, I don't think that goodness is the default setting...Like Desousa said, "let the police take a week off, then tell us how good humanity is"...So thanks for the compliment but I can't take all the claim for most of the goodness I possess.

    You said:"I'm suggesting that the decision to accept the any holy book as the word of a supernatural being who is perfectly good is, in part, a moral decision.

    This is the wrong assumption for a number of reasons and I'll simply name two. 1- Allah made no call or promise to salvation. In fact he doesn't hint at that in the Quran which supposedly comes from his representative angel by way of Muhammad. 2- When the evidence is compared and examined side by side the biblical story and God of the bible is quite distinct from the Quran and they cannot be one in the same. Neither can both be true. The Biblical God describes himself active in salvation and present with us. Those criteria has been established by God in my previous to my knowledge of HIS claim.

    So I made no moral based decision to follow GOd I simply answered and said YES to HIS call for me to follow. Your assumptions are only generalizations and as I said before have no teeth.

    You said:"Again I could be wrong about God or Hell. But I do not think either the God depicted in the Christian Bible or the Hell he supposedly created would represent a perfectly good being, should such a being exists."

    That's a good thing that you're thinking or the wheels are turning on the issue. This confirms what I said form the beginning: If I constructed god, why would I construct one that could judge me negatively in any particular aspect? This is another reason, in my opinion, that the God of the bible is not a construct of man's mind...why would man do this? Who got the profit out of it?

    You said:"That you choose a particular God's declaration of truth as an objective standard doesn't explain why this standard is actually objectively moral."

    The standards of God's morality are universal and accepted among even people that don't know him. There is no society in the earth where love and compassion is not praised as a virtue. then self-sacrifice where is that not a generally accepted virtue? the atheists come in with their rational self interest garbage but among men extending one's self to serve another is generally commended.

    Name an immoral standard of God's morality. But please think before you do.

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  45. Cole,

    I think that's it. At least that's the better approach to the issue.

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  46. Scott,

    You said:"And we have people like myself who have concluded that what we were experiences wasn't "real" after all, but seemed that way due to our tendency to find agency where none exists"

    What made you conclude that what you experienced wasn't real. Was it because you had an expectation that didn't materialize? :let's say that your cousin' doesn't do something you expect him/her to do...are they not real? You may reject their character but how do you graduate that because your expectation wasn't met that they don't exist ESPECIALLY when you've experienced them?

    You also said this regarding the homeowner assn. analogy:If so, you knew that buying that particular home would bind you to the rules and standards of the association." and The fact that your neighbor is also unable to change the rules or interpret them to his favor benefits you as well...Now, we can replace a particular neighborhood and it's homeowner association rules with a particular God and his "absolute" morality.

    Now Scott since you don't believe in moral absolutes is there a possibility that you could be absolutely wrong? I guess not but there is NO possibility that you're absolutely right then either, so I guess I'm good...

    To the greater point, you obviously don't live where I do or don't have living arrangements based on necessity like I do. A neighborhood assn' is an AFTERTHOUGHT and an nonessential to anything that I've ever done when it comes to living arrangements...I couldn't care less about an association when I need someplace to live. If I have restrictions I handle that afterward, so knowing the association rules IS NOT a prohibit or an encouragement to or for me in obtaining living arrangements...

    To relate that to the point that you're making, there are many benefits in serving God and those benefits extend to all, saved and unsaved. Potipher was blessed because Joseph served in his home. The psalmist reminds us of all the manifold blessings from serving him, BUT at no point do I or did I serve God because he somehow BENEFITTED me in the materialistic real as your comments address.

    Once again that argument is ineffectual. I serve because of the freedom I gain from serving and the satisfaction that my sins are covered. i had to admit my sins and stand accountable for them in order to do this. Most atheists say they want personal accountability right? Why not be accountable for your sins, unless you don't believe you have any...now one may not agree with sin and say that there is no such thing as sin, but all agree that there is evil.

    Are we to say that there is no evil in man? Are we to say that man is not evil or in man is no evil?

    You may not believe in sin but you do acknowledge evil.

    Now how does living with evil benefit you or anyone else? As I said be careful with your answer.

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  47. Cole, you have discovered an important truth, one that turns us all into evangelists of sorts. For when they have spent a thousand years in torment, it won't even be a drop in the bucket.

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  48. Scott said "I don't believe this, in part, because I think a "God" that uses the carrot and the stick is too small. This is human morality disguised in God clothing. This is a moral decision on my part."

    Scott, God is righteous in making the sinner righteous. He made ME righteous. Jesus. He died for me, and for all of us. He did for me what I could never have done for myself. Ever. You call it a carrot, I call it the Greatest Gift.

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  49. District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    You will disagree and that is expected, but the personal degree to which points are addressed is another thing...

    It isn't a matter of personal insult Harvey - not with me, not anymore. The matter comes down to what is the truth, what the text says or what individual opinion is?

    If the text is held to absolute truth, then this applies: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book (Revelations 22:18 - now the passage applies specifically to Revelations, but would not the principle apply equally to the rest of the bible?)

    On the other hand, if individual opinion, interpretation, and addition to the text is the truth, then the bible is of little value at best, none at worst.

    Laura claims the former - that the bible is the absolute truth - but feels free and justified to add to the text in order to explain away obvious contradictions. I simply read the text as is and take it for what it is - contradictory.

    That is the issue, and that why you were asked to weigh in.

    Laura you have planted, let the seed be watered and God will give the increase.

    Well, some may not believe my word, but if you will read my introduction thread (Bad Pennies, in the Introductions folder) on the forum I mentioned above you will get an accurate idea what is going on with me at the moment.

    Nightmare, Laura I'm sure doesn't have an ill bone toward you in the least...but until BOTH of you are convinced, don't address one another directly...

    As you wish. Personally I do not see how ignoring the issue makes any headway toward resolving it, but this is your blog and I shall abide your desires here.

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  50. Nightmare,

    I understand your concern, but to say that someone is being dishonest with the text is a far reach.

    You said:"I simply read the text as is and take it for what it is - contradictory."

    What you're saying is that you hold to a literalist/fundamentalist view of scripture...ie: "it says what it means and means what it says" That's OK, but there needs to be context in all things and there needs to be a balance between the exposition of ambiguous ideas and more expounded or clear ideas within scripture.

    So there must be both contextualization as well as the concept of genre must be explored. I mean look at it like this, the bible says that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro in the earth (Zec. 4:10). Does anybody suggest that God has eyeballs that have legs and are running all over the place? How about another,

    Psalms 91:4~He shall cover thee with his feathers, and UNDER HIS WINGS shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler

    Does anybody get the interpretation from scripture that God is a big bird? That's what it describes here Nightmare, but what do we through out to come up with that? GENRE and CONTEXT.

    I guess what I'm saying (without knowing specifically what Laura may have said) that there are a lot of what are apparent contradictions within scripture, but I have NEVER seen one that either couldn't be understood in light of context, genre or simply understanding more about biblical teachings.

    You may not like Laura's interpretives but it's another leap to say that she is somehow mishandling the text or being deceitful. She and I don't agree over some issues, but I haven't seen her espouse any teaching that isn't embraced in Christian circles.

    Please give me a specific example of your concern, partially because I don't keep the blow by blow on everyone's convo on the blog and am generally engaged in the convo's I have so sometimes I miss what's said.

    So thanks but please don't be offended.

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  51. Hey Harvey,

    I found a quote by Jonathan Edwards that he believes comes from the Bible on why God would permit evil. It refers to what God's overall plan is. I don't know if you would agree with it or not. He doesn't believe that God delights in evil for the sake of evil. Evil comes to pass that good may come of it. What good? And how does the existence of evil serve this good end?

    Jonathan Edwards:

    It is a proper and excellent thing for infinite glory to shine forth; and for the same reason, it is proper that the shining forth of God's glory should be complete; that is, all the parts of His glory should shine forth, that every beauty should be proportionably effulgent, that the beholder may have a proper notion of God. It is not proper that one glory should be exceedingly manifested, and another not at all...Thus it is necessary, that God's aweful majesty, His authority and dreadful greatness, justice, and holiness, should be manifested. But this could not be, unless sin and punishment had been decreed; so that the shining forth of God's glory would be very imperfect, both because these parts of divine glory would not shine forth as the others do, and also the glory of His goodness, love, and holiness would be faint without them; nay, they could scarcely shine forth at all. If it were not right that God should permit and punish sin, there could be no manifestation of God's holiness in hatred of sin, or in showing any preference, in His providence, of godliness before it. There would be no manifestation of God's grace or true goodness, if there was no sin to be pardoned, no misery to be saved from. How much happiness soever He bestowed, His goodness would not be so much prized and admired....So evil is necessary, in order to the highest happiness of the creature, and the completeness of that communication of God, for which He made the world; because the creature's happiness consists in the knowledge of God, and the sense of His love. And if the knowledge of Him be imperfect, the happiness of the creature must be proportionably imperfect.

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  52. Laura wrote: Scott, God is righteous in making the sinner righteous. He made ME righteous. Jesus. He died for me, and for all of us. He did for me what I could never have done for myself. Ever. You call it a carrot, I call it the Greatest Gift.

    Laura,

    First, I'm confused. I thought you did not deserve anything? How can you be "righteous" yet not deserve anything?

    Second, I'm suggesting your God is small because he cannot make you "righteous" (whatever that means) without both the carrot AND the stick. He needs the stick to make you righteous. This not the kind of solution I would expect a perfect begin would create.

    As such, I think it's human morality in disguised in God's clothing. Therefore, In this particular aspect, I reject the Christian God on moral grounds.

    However, you seem to think God is morally justified for using the carrot and the stick. Otherwise, it's likely you would have rejected the Christian God as well.

    Do you not think God is moral justified for using the carrot and the stick?

    I mean, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but your acceptance of the Christian God seems to imply that you do.

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  53. I thought you did not deserve anything? How can you be "righteous" yet not deserve anything?

    I know this isnt for me Scott but maybe I can shed some light on this one.

    This is the state we are born in, our rightheousness is as evil before God.

    Isaiah 64:6
    6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.


    This passage completes detailes what Laura is talkimg about, its a bit lengthy

    Romans
    12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
    18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
    20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


    Simply put Adam sin, made man sinners not by any act of their own, so Christ fulfilling the law and dying in out place makes us righteous, he took our sin and gave us His rightoeusness.

    2 Corinthians 5:21
    21For he (The Father) hath made Him (Christ)to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

    1 Corinthians 1:30
    30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—


    Ephesians 2:8-10
    8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
    9Not of works, lest any man should boast.



    So you see salvation is a complete work of Christ we are righteous through Him so we cannot think we deserve any reward.

    oh the bible is so complete, I got chills while reading these scriptures!

    What a salvation, what a God!!!

    GLORY!!!!!

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  54. Cole, have you ever read Jonathan Edwards' sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"?
    They say (those who were there) that he read it straight from notes, never looking up, with hardly any voice inflection.

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  55. Yea, I've read it. I heard the same thing too. From what I understand that's how he would preach his sermons.

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  56. Scott said "First, I'm confused. I thought you did not deserve anything? How can you be "righteous" yet not deserve anything?"

    EXACTLY! I think you might be getting it.
    Meditate on these words and let His Greatest Gift sink into your consciousness-
    God is righteous in making the sinner righteous.

    You said "Second, I'm suggesting your God is small because he cannot make you "righteous" (whatever that means) without both the carrot AND the stick. He needs the stick to make you righteous. This not the kind of solution I would expect a perfect begin would create."

    Please define the "carrot and the stick".

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  57. Cole, who else do you read? I like Schaeffer and Wesley. I'm drawn to the preachers that don't pull punches.

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  58. Paul, thank you for the scriptures. Sometimes I get goosebumps all over too, and can't help but be in a state of thankfullness.

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  59. Pastor Harvey, here is the link Nightmare sent me and my answer:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_Iscariot#Death

    "Why not read for yourself? And while you're at it, try reading knowing that if someone says there is a inconsistency, that they are mistaken. Yes, Judas "purchased" that field in the sense that it was where he hanged himself. Who would want it after it was named for his betrayal, also named by David as the "field of blood" in the old testament. Here is the verse:
    "Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."
    We know how Judas died because the book of Matthew tells us. In order for this to be an inconsistancy, Peter would have to have said Judas died another way, and of course, that's not what he says. This scripture simply gives more information, like when his rotting body fell from the tree, his bowels gushed out."

    Nightmare's answer "Again you twist the text. No where does it say "his rotting body fell". One account says he died by hanging himself and the other says he DIED by falling and his guts coming out. It is increasingly apparent that you are guilty of the same perversion of the bible that you accuse others of."

    When I corrected him and showed the scripture does not say Judas DIED by falling, he sent me the email that caused me to block all other emails. I don't think it's necessary to post it.

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  60. If I were to make up a moral path and create my own god I could. Why would I limit myself to the God of the bible? If I were to make up or adapt something to create a self branded morality as you suggest, why wouldn't I create or construct a God that will allow me to experience everything that I want to experience whenever I wanted to experience it?...ie: If I wanted to be promiscuous, wouldn't I create a god that would allow that?

    Because doing so would open yourself up to the ill effects of someone else doing whatever they want because they too are free to live with their own branded morality. Please see my home owner association analogy, which specifically addresses this issue.

    Allah made no call or promise to salvation. In fact he doesn't hint at that in the Quran which supposedly comes from his representative angel by way of Muhammad.

    Do you not think God is just for eternally punishing those who do not repent of their sins? Is this not a moral position which you think is just?

    Since the Muslim God doesn't presuppose the moral view of cosmic justice and cosmic punishment, he doesn't fit your idea of God. Therefore, you reject him.

    Neither can both be true.

    None of them can be true as well.

    That's a good thing that you're thinking or the wheels are turning on the issue.

    Really? Are your "wheels turning?" Because, I don't see you contemplating anything but your dogmatic views. Are my "wheels turning" only when I start to see your position?

    The standards of God's morality are universal and accepted among even people that don't know him.

    Harvey, please see my previous parked car analogy. It's not my problem that Christianity has laid claim to morality. I don't have to accept it by default. Instead, It's your burden to show that God actually is necessary for morality, which I have yet to see. Until then this is an argument from ignorance.

    the atheists come in with their rational self interest garbage but among men extending one's self to serve another is generally commended.

    Harvey, the last time I checked the top two individuals who gave the most money to charity were atheists.

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  61. Laura,

    What do you mean by pull punches?

    I like John Piper, R.C. Sproul, A.W. Pink, C.S. Lewis, John Owen, Andrew Murray, James R. White, William Shedd, Wayne Grudem, J.I. Packer, Jerry Bridges, Alvin Plantinga, John Frame, William Lane Craig, Ronald Nash, Michael J. Murray, St. Agustine, John Calvin.

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  62. What made you conclude that what you experienced wasn't real.

    It's a multitude of things over a extended period of time.

    At first, I realized that a strongly held view I had was false. And this view had caused me to significantly misinterpret the world around me in a negative way. This view seemed very real, but in specific cases I was able to conclude it was indeed false. This was quite an eye opener for me.

    As such, I began to wonder what other aspects of my life were products of culture, geography or other influences.

    Being an autodidact I started researching the fields of psychology, neurobiology and other related fields. This eventually lead me to study various forms of religions and their historical foundations, including Buddhism.

    Furthermore, my particular field of work requires me to use techniques to filter and quantify information from a variety of sources, including my own intuitions, etc. These techniques are specifically designed to overcome known biases in human cognition. In other words, I have first hand experience with limitations of knowledge, how these limitations can result in false conclusions, and methods to help compensate for these limitations.

    Was it because you had an expectation that didn't materialize?

    Not really. It was the vast number of expectations others had about God and how they all supposedly were being met. But these expectations were in many cases mutually exclusive.

    Furthermore, for these expectations to be met, people had to create and accept complicated "excuses" to allow future expectations to be met, despite what we currently observe. They exchanged expectations which could be qualified in the here and now for expectations which could not be qualified in the future.

    Now Scott since you don't believe in moral absolutes is there a possibility that you could be absolutely wrong? I guess not but there is NO possibility that you're absolutely right then either, so I guess I'm good…

    Huh? Do you really think this is a response? Again, where have I said I know there is no absolute truth? That an absolute moral truth might exist, doesn't mean you actually know what that truth is. This does not follow.

    I'm noting the means by which YOU choose from many "absolute truths" seem to be, in part, based on your own moral compass. This is my argument.

    To the greater point, you obviously don't live where I do or don't have living arrangements based on necessity like I do.

    Harvey, this is an analogy. You don't have to actually live in a neighborhood that has a home owners association for my analogy to be valid. The Bible is full of analogies, but you do not claim to be except from them because they do not fit your actual circumstances. The point I'm making is clear.

    The psalmist reminds us of all the manifold blessings from serving him, BUT at no point do I or did I serve God because he somehow BENEFITTED me in the materialistic real as your comments address.

    Harvey, first you make a straw man of my argument, then you simply deny it. Finally, you say it's ineffectual. But you haven't explained WHY it's ineffectual?

    Why not be accountable for your sins, unless you don't believe you have any...now one may not agree with sin and say that there is no such thing as sin, but all agree that there is evil.

    Here you present a false dilemma. I can't be held accountable unless God exists? You haven't show this to be true. Instead you assert it. Again, I am not defined by your ultimatums regarding accountability anymore than your claims I must be either against or for your God. I don't have to default to either of these positions merely because you present them.

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  63. Cole - "To refrain from deploying all the resources or force at one's disposal".

    That dictionary definition makes me think of Obama sending 35,000 troops.

    Someone who doesn't pull punches says what they mean. It's ok to soften the blow, but when talking about the important issues of life, some things need to be said - not hinted at.

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  64. Cole, thanks for sharing your list. Mine is so tiny comparatively! I like CS Lewis too, and will check into some of yours I'm not familiar with.

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  65. Scott,

    You said:"Because doing so would open yourself up to the ill effects of someone else doing whatever they want because they too are free to live with their own branded morality"

    So where are the restraints? Why does anyone act with sensibility or restraint? The animal kingdom doesn't have the restraints, so it's not done of metaphysical necessity. What's the mechanism whereby we have gained this great sense of restraint against our own rational self interest? Unless you're saying that now we have a new way to display rational self interest by becoming more subdued, and laid back, but isn't that simply another way to be rationally self interested?

    When's the last time a untrained and undomesticated dog saved a cat or another dog from a drowning death? When has a bird flew around delivering food to puppies? You done' make sense and have NOTHING to support your assertions.

    You said:Really? Are your "wheels turning?" Because, I don't see you contemplating anything but your dogmatic views. Are my "wheels turning" only when I start to see your position?

    Now I didn't suggest that your wheels were turning because you were seeing what I wanted you to see...but I will suggest something now: You CONTINUE to be an idiot who only wants to argue a point no matter how flawed and failed it is...What was meant as a way to encourage good dialogue AND TO STAY ON TOPIC was interpreted through your godless moral view as being an insult...So what does it matter? It's a matter of utility right? FARCE!

    You said:Harvey, the last time I checked the top two individuals who gave the most money to charity were atheists.

    Yea and what type of worldview did they grow up with? In fact they leaned nothing from Atheist high or university did they? The facts remain Christians give more and are more altruistic than any atheists generation throughout history. You name the top 2 as if that's some great prize...who are the other multiple millions? NOT ATHEISTS! and that's for sure...NOT even Buddhists...AND THAT'S FOR SYURE TOO!

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  66. sCOTT,

    And this is the most irrational double speak in the world:That an absolute moral truth might exist, doesn't mean you actually know what that truth is. This does not follow."

    Pacific Institute Buddhism and eclecticism 101 "GARBAGE ALERT isle Hell!"

    Yea you don't know the truth all you know is your perceptions...the most senseless GARBAGE in the world...

    So Scott, if that's the case then, that statement (the one you make) may not be true either right? So why should ANYONE give you any credibility? You certainly have no credibility with me Scott.

    Why should we believe that we don't know the truth? Isn't that a TRUTH statement or is it a false statement? If it's indeterminable it's a waste of time to even articulate isn't it?

    Now here's my favorite type of ABSURDITYS from you...trying to explain the relationship between you and evil:Here you present a false dilemma.

    no just a dilemma which you can't explain.

    You said:" I can't be held accountable unless God exists? You haven't show this to be true.

    Who holds you accountable Scott and what authority do they have to do so? Who gave the authority and why is it effective?

    You said:Instead you assert it.

    No that's what YOU do. i realize I have no authority.

    You said:"Again, I am not defined by your ultimatums regarding accountability anymore than your claims I must be either against or for your God. I don't have to default to either of these positions merely because you present them."

    in other words you're an amoeba. can't quite get out of the primordial slime can you? You are a chameleon, you can be what you need to be when it's convenient. Your truth is only a truth when it satisfies your present interest. It changes when the wind blows and at no time is it REAL it's only a convenience...That EXACTLY what you describe.

    You sill avoid the question: Are you EVIL FREE Scott? Are YOU without EVIL? IF you're not then how is it accounted for by you? If you are then you are above the world and everyone herein right? How did you evolve to such a state or condition Scott? Why waste your time with us Mr. Evil/Sin free?

    I know you believe in the Yin-Yang mix between good and evil but even that's an absolute statement which you cannot know right?

    Scott you add NOTHING to the conversation of any value!

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  67. Scott,

    You said:The point I'm making is clear.

    How could that be the case when you don't know the truth? How clear can it be? Is it clearly wrong or clearly right? Then how do you know that? In fact to say that you know anything as a truth according to your own words and descriptiosn of your value system can't be true. You cannot know RIGHT nor WRONG based on absolutes. Your only knowledge is base don utility isn't it?

    What kinda FLAKY world view is that? Does anyone see this garbage besides me? What a mess!

    ReplyDelete
  68. OK,

    I see it now and it goes back to what I said.

    What were the writers recounting? A medical diagnosis or recounting of the events?

    Does anyone believe that Judas was just walking along and fell down and his guts fell out? What is that?

    Do either of the accounts say that Judas didn't die? Nope.

    Do they both say he died? Yep!

    How did he die? If he hung himself is it plausible that the rope or the branch broke? If that happened IS IT plausible that his body fell? Is it plausible that IF the body fell and from the location that has been identified as the field where he hung himself that his body could have fallen on the jagged rocks beneath him?

    How does someone communicating a series of events change the texts or make them contradictory? Both cofirm he died. Both cofirm the whole narrative...I mean this type of stuff is hardly worth saying that someone is reinventing the bible over Nightmare.

    How man demoniacs were in Gadara? Is there a conflict? here is if you find anythng that says there was ONLY one, but that's not what we find anywhere in the narratives.

    Then there's Ehrnman's favorite. Who was the High Priest? Abithar wasn't, so what does it mean?

    This type of silliness is a literalist method to make the biblical account do something that it wasn't written to do. They want it to be a medical journal, a scientific journal, a world wide map, a space documentary etc...a bunch of wild imaginations that plague the mind.

    Read the narrative in context...there is NO contradiction and what there are is only bible study materials that have been overturned HUNDREDS of years ago!

    Man. This is NOTHING to sweat over...Nightmare I agree that your approach to Laura regarding THIS is overbearing, my friend...There is much greater arguments to be made against the bible if you don't believe it. these type of arguments are well written about and refuted by hunbdreds of scholars.

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  69. This discussion is not about whether God exists or not, is it? Isnt it about whether hell is eternal or not, no?

    What I see is no matter what topic is written about, we go all around the houses to say Christ is not real!

    So with some of us, we know where we will end before we start, "GOD IS NOT REAL.
    I would suggest not wasting time going around the globe to come to that point. All you have to say is "God is not real" from jump, since we are gonna end there anyway and we all know it.

    Using intellect as a reason to say God is not real is a joke as the bible clearly states that the intellect and wisdom of man is nothing to Him.


    Corinthians 2:12-13 (New King James Version)
    12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
    13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy[a] Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual

    1 Corinthians 1:25
    25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.



    God bless!

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  70. Pastor we see the madness.

    I said in another post, all Scott does is move the goal post to fit himself. He says one thing you slam it and "oh oh, let me move the goal post again".

    Thats not genuine discussion.

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  71. That's what I'm talking about Paul. For example, Scott isn't even intelluctually honest with his own world view yet alone with the arguments.

    Their presuppositional thinking and bias are clearly evident...then they don't know hen they have rendered a loosing argument and they do that over and over again.

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  72. Exactly Pastor! its the same arguement packaged differently. Its tiring, tired and soooo boring!

    Even if you are gonna say the bible is false, when a point you have made has been shown to be foolishness, say something else please!!!

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  73. I agree. I asked Scott way up there someplace "who is Jesus?" and he didn't answer. It took 3 tries for him to answer if there is such a thing as truth. Doesn't the Eightfold Path say anything about intelluctual honesty?

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  74. So where are the restraints? Why does anyone act with sensibility or restraint? The animal kingdom doesn't have the restraints, so it's not done of metaphysical necessity

    This is an argument from ignorance. You think we must accept God by default if no other answer exists. But again, it's not my problem that Christianity has made claims to morality but cannot substantiate them.

    When's the last time a untrained and undomesticated dog saved a cat or another dog from a drowning death?

    Harvey, clearly we're not dogs or cats. Dogs evolved a very keen sense of smell while we evolved a very keen sense of morality. Just because we share a common ancestor with dogs or cats doesn't mean we must act like just them.

    However, you asset that this difference is due to God, and that we should accept this "answer" by default in the absence of evidence. But we have evidence, you just ignore it.

    We see a gradation of morality in natural world.

    Fossils of early hominids have been discovered who lived to be 40 years old despite having an advanced case of arthritis. This clearly showed a point where our humanoid ancestors evolved to care for their elderly.

    And we see it in nature today, including apes and, yes, even dogs….

    Dog saves Dog at his own risk

    You CONTINUE to be an idiot who only wants to argue a point no matter how flawed and failed it is…

    Harvey, I invite you to show me how flawed my arguments are, rather than make strawmen out of them. Show me I'm an idiot rather than just assert it.

    I invite you to point to the specific fallacies I'm supposedly commiting, as I have done with your augments. I invite you to show me where I've misquoted people, as I have done with your arguments. I invite you to show me where I've asked questions that show how little I know about the subject at hand, as I've done with your arguments.

    This is how we learn new things. Otherwise, it's not really a discussion. But you think you already know everything you need to know.

    Yea and what type of worldview did they grow up with?

    They grew up in the same country we did. Yet they are non-theists, as I am.

    It's only when one let's go of the idea that one specific holy book is divinely inspired by a perfect being that we can truly learn from other religions. An all knowing God couldn't possibly have left something out of the BIble that was important for you to know. Therefore you must reject what represents, at the time, human kind's best attempts to understand themselves and the world they live in.

    I'm under no such limitation.

    The facts remain Christians give more and are more altruistic than any atheists generation throughout history.

    Harvey, In case you didn't know, just the top two non-theists gave over 70 billion dollars to charity. Warren Buffet will eventually give 85% of his 90 billion to charity, which would increase his donation from 30 billion to 76.5 billion dollars. Assuming Gates remains at 40 billion, the total would be 116.5 billion dollars. Again, that's just the top two atheists donors.

    George Soros, who is also an atheist, has given 6 billion dollars to various causes since 1979. He is originally from Hungary.

    This also doesn't include the number of atheists which have made significant contributions in other fields as well, which have had a significant impact on humanity in general.

    And, being non-theists, it's clear they did not contribute out of the fear of eternal punishment.

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  75. Scott,

    Stop writing, you're a cherrypicker and you're done. We're tired of your inability to stay on point and address the topics your asked. I'll not let you antagonize any longer goodbye!

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  76. Laura,

    That the problem with him he never answers and when he does he has no basis for it. he claims over and over we can't know what right is, then asserts what he thinks is right...what VALUE is that to the conversation?

    He's the ultimate phantom of false reality. in his mind (that he's so wonderfully learned how to control) he's proclaiming a truth...then we we procalim a Christian truth he claims that we can't know the truth...

    DUMB as moon rocks on venus!

    Later Scott we're through with you!

    BTW: Your OWN words prove your stupidity, we didn't need to do anythign but get tired and I did! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  77. You will I hope forgive the lateness of my reply - needed sleep.

    District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    What you're saying is that you hold to a literalist/fundamentalist view of scripture...ie: "it says what it means and means what it says" That's OK, but there needs to be context in all things and there needs to be a balance between the exposition of ambiguous ideas and more expounded or clear ideas within scripture.

    You may dismiss the reading of a text to mean - barring metaphor, genre, or context (believe me, I write as a hobby, I'm very familiar with literary conventions) - foremost what it states as literalism, but I find that such is how the concept of language is meant to work. For instance, what is the point of me writing "The Earth revolves around the Sun along with seven other planets." when such can be "interpreted" to mean "Seven other planets and the Sun revolve around the Earth"? Some standard of language and meaning has to apply, and I thusly apply this same basic comprehension of the purpose of language to all texts, not just the bible. What you are championing here Harvey is nothing else than primacy of individual interpretation and interpolation over what is stated in the text. And that's fine - but do not demean and complain against others (as Laura has in the past) for adopting the same stance. Such is hypocrisy.

    I guess what I'm saying (without knowing specifically what Laura may have said) that there are a lot of what are apparent contradictions within scripture, but I have NEVER seen one that either couldn't be understood in light of context, genre or simply understanding more about biblical teachings.

    As you already know, what follows is the heart of the conflict. You will note please that there are two contradictions included herein, not just one.

    Matthew 27:3-8
    3Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
    5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
    6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
    7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
    8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

    Acts 1:18
    18Now this man (referring to Judas) purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

    Method of Judas's death: suicide via hanging (Matthew); fall leading to disembowelment (Acts)

    Who bought the field: the priests (Matthew); Judas (Acts)

    It is my contention that these are contradictions in the text as written. Namely because Matthew mentions only hanging therefore implying this is the method of death (to which Laura at first agrees then disagrees). Acts on the other hand fails to mention any hanging and instead presents Judas (presumably tripping since no details are given - why this would lead to disembowelment is not stated either) falling and disemboweling himself - something which is not survivable nor leaves one in any shape to hang one's self.

    The story Laura imagined/made up in order to explain away this contradiction: "We know how Judas died because the book of Matthew tells us. In order for this to be an inconsistancy, Peter would have to have said Judas died another way, and of course, that's not what he says. This scripture simply gives more information, like when his rotting body fell from the tree, his bowels gushed out."

    I state that this explanation is made up/imagined because no where does the text of Acts say anything about him hanging and his dead body falling.

    Continued....

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  78. Harvey said...
    What were the writers recounting? A medical diagnosis or recounting of the events?

    Is it not reasonable to expect an author to be consistent and give the same details when recounting a story on separate occasions? After all, when interrogating witnesses is not the best way to determine falsehood to look for changes in their story?

    Does anyone believe that Judas was just walking along and fell down and his guts fell out? What is that?

    We don't know - the author does not tell us. It doesn't make sense that this would be the case, but in interpretation the introduction of as few elements external to the text as possible is always the rule.

    How did he die? If he hung himself is it plausible that the rope or the branch broke? If that happened IS IT plausible that his body fell? Is it plausible that IF the body fell and from the location that has been identified as the field where he hung himself that his body could have fallen on the jagged rocks beneath him?

    Yes this is indeed plausible, and indeed the most plausible explanation for the discrepancy. However, that is not what the text states. The text, as written, is contradictory - in order for it to make sense external explanations must be added, as you have admitted above Harvey.

    there is NO contradiction and what there are is only bible study materials that have been overturned HUNDREDS of years ago!

    And Laura said: And while you're at it, try reading knowing that if someone says there is a inconsistency, that they are mistaken.

    Both of these are statements of faith, not fact. Both betray the attitude that one already knows and has already determined what the text says and what the truth of any matter is - that one is Right regardless of anything (I lived with that for the past two years, it annoys the hell outta me). If that be the case, why even bother reading the text? This is quite simply a cart before horse approach, and such is not concerned with the truth in the slightest because the such an attitude pre-determines that one already knows their opinion is the truth going into any reading or other exercise. Such is not humble nor is it open to correction.

    Nightmare I agree that your approach to Laura regarding THIS is overbearing, my friend...

    Yes, I was too harsh. I admit that and have apologized. Indeed, Laura, again I say I am sorry for calling you a liar. In retrospect I was hurt and irate over your dismissal of me ("so all is a waste of my time. I'm only interested in people who are searching for the Truth, not those who are happy in their self-deception.") so I took my own position too far. I beg your forgiveness for that.

    Please understand however that you are not the only one who feels wronged here.

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  79. District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    DUMB as moon rocks on venus!

    Later Scott we're through with you!

    BTW: Your OWN words prove your stupidity, we didn't need to do anythign but get tired and I did! Thanks.


    Harvey what are you doing? You claim to be a representative of Christ and you said you would go to hell in order to save someone. Don't you realize that this kind of abuse only pushes Scott and everyone like him further away from Christ? That it adds one more real world example to the metaphoric counterweight and makes the very concept of "Christian love" seem nothing more than a pretty lie? Please, stop it.

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  80. Nightmare,

    Contradiction:~In classical logic, a contradiction consists of a logical incompatibility between two or more propositions. It occurs when the propositions, taken together, yield two conclusions which form the logical, usually opposite inversions of each other"

    Discrepency~1. Divergence or disagreement, as between facts or claims; difference. 2. An instance of divergence or disagreement.a conflict or variation, as between facts, figures, or claims[A discrepancy exists between things which ought to be the same; it can be small but is usually significant]

    You said:"believe me, I write as a hobby, I'm very familiar with literary conventions"

    I don't write professionally and i guess it would be as a hobby also. I guess what I'm trying to communicate is that I don't have any special training etc...

    OK

    What do we have in both texts?

    1-Judas- no discrepency or contradiction
    2-30 pieces of silver or money- no discrepency or contradiction
    3- Money used to puchase a field-no discrepency or contradiction
    4-Priests or Council members- no discrepency or contradiction
    5-Judas died- no discrepency of contradiction

    Material that you claim make the texts a contradiction:

    1- Judas hung himself and died vs. 2- Judas fell to the ground and bowles burst open (I would suppose he died previous to bowles bursting open) Then the issue equally as important for you:
    3- Priests bought the field
    4- Judas bought the field

    ie:How did he die and Who bought the field?

    All other facts are settled. Judas died, there was money involved, land was purchased etc.

    Before I answer,there is no contradictions. Why? The stories do not yield two logically different conclusions or outcomes So your claim taht the scripture is contradictory is INVALID and UNTRUE...ie: YOU'RE WRONG

    So what you're claiming is a discrepency between the stroies in a literalist and fundamentalist world (which YOU CLAIM you're not part of) the storuies have to say exactly the same thing before they are credible.

    Here's why you're WRONG again and completely leave any literary training that you normally hold to when it comes to the bible. In other words YOU treat the biblical account with BIAS and DO NOT contestualize the account because your interpretation suits your needs.

    see 2

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  81. 2

    Nightmare,

    1st, these event had to have occurered on the Passover or thereabouts. From reading the texts we see there were probably 2 Sabbaths this week. Debatable but likely as the Passover ended in a Sabbath and the wee contained a Sabbath...CORRECT???

    2nd, these Jews as studies have shown were ultra religious and ultra pious...THEY under NO circumstances (for a dead body)would have violated the Law regarding the handling of the dead...CORRECT???

    3rd, These Jews would have not under any circumstance exposed themselves as a part of a conspiracy to kill anyone now would they? In fact they would probably be perceived as violating the law of Moses and killing someonw and would be guilty themselves wouldn't they? They understood the principles of vicarious liability or guilt.

    4th, The time of year that these event occurred, how long would it have taken a body probably over 150 lbs in weight to begin to decay in the open air and sunlight unrefrigerated?

    5th, Further IF that body is suspended on a tree by a rope wouldn't it be plausible that the rope could have broken? I mean IF Judas had given back his money, could he have actually brought a good quality rope to hang himself or probably used what he already had around? in short it's reasonable to assume taht the rope wasn't new and or in mint condition.

    So IF we seek to contextualize the narratives we see, Jewish leaders not wanting any association with a disciple of Jesus and certainly not a conspiracy, we see a rope probably in meodocre condition and a host of ceremonial laws that restrict anyone from having anything to do with dead body clean up for maybe a couple of days...

    That's the context of what we're reading.
    see 3

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  82. 3

    Nightmare,

    Who bought the field? Judas obviously gave the money back, but the religious leaders were what?
    PIOUS they would never have rushed to aid Judas even if they saw him getting ready to do his do...

    They did not want to be associated with the money of a traitor because it was "the price of blood" whose blood Nightmare? JESUS BLOOD not Judas's...

    Why do you find it hard to understand that a religious Jew not wanting to have their hands on Jesus or Judas death would buy the field IN THE NAME OF THE DECEASED? as to not infer themselves in any manner? Is that so hard to imagine or put together?

    I mean the evidence of that is all throught the narrative but you're approaching the matter as the biggest FUNDAMENTALIST/LITERALIST that I have ever seen.

    So if we confirm that there is a discrepancy between these two texts in that matter does that make either account untrue? ABSOLUTELY NOT...ESPECIALLY when it's read in context and historical setting which is the REQUIREMENT of those looking to pull the truth out of the text. Does a discrepency create a new theological view of events? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    Does it make you trust what you read less? Yes if you're a literalist as you are and expect all narratives on any one particular subject to be exactly the same. That is UNREASONABLE.

    To the point, whatever variation that exists DOES NOT deauthenticate either narrative now does it? In fact this is a literary device used to AUTHENTICATE the narratives. It certainly meets coherence and dissimilarity so far as the narratives themselves are concerned.

    The heart of the issue, how did Judas die?

    If you read it in context he died when he hung himslef and IF you know the context as I outlined he obviously fell upon the rope breaking after hanging around for a day or two and the priests bought the field in his name to get get the money off their hands and to shade any implication of guilt.

    The last convention here would be to understand the writing style of Matthew. He used parallels and OT narratives as a backdrop for his narrative often. The way he refernces this he probably used 2 sam. 17:23 of Ahithophel, (david's traitor) who also according to the LXX Version that Matthew was using "departed and hung himself" v.5...

    That's CONTEXT Nightmare...not a conspiracy, just a very good reasonable answer.

    So there IS NO contradiction as your claim is and what discrepency that exists lends greater authentication to the texts. Then when they are contextualized the actions of the individuals are what we expect them to be and the results are what a reasonable person would expect under the circumstances also.

    So what's the problem? I fail to understand you in this one. It seems you only want to be a FUNDAMENTALIST when it comes to making damaging biblical arguments and a contextualizer when it affirms your liberalism.

    At either rate, YOU'RE WRONG and owe Laura an apology...

    So far as Scott is concerned, spare me the bleeding heart...Scott got more than his fair share of chances to angae and actually stay on point on arguments and stop repeating his GARBAGE over and over. We're sick of it. For someone who doesn't and can't know the truth his statments and commentary are a COMPLETE waste of time. We could engage people who are willing to engage on a much better and open basis than he. I'm not sad at all!

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  83. Nightmare,

    Now it's up to YOU to "stop it"! Will you?

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  84. I don't want another apology, I just want to be able to speak the truth without being called a liar. I know that's a lot to ask in this day and age, but Nightmare, you make it impossible to communicate when you start calling people liars. Then you say people give up too soon...well what am I suppose to think when you come out of nowhere with the insults and I KNOW you entertain demons on a daily basis? Put those two together and any reasonable christian is going to think "the demonic hold is just to strong" and my time is better spent elsewhere.

    I challenge you to put away your goddesses and idols, and start fresh here with a tender willing heart. Like my family member that's an alcoholic, I hold nothing against HER, who I love, but the demon alcohol. In "tough love" I didn't speak to her for a year, and I know now that doesn't work. Like no one can take her last drink for her, no one can say goodbye to your demons for you.

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  85. Laura,

    The problem is that nightmare doesn't want his goddess construed as a demon. That's where the offense comes in at.

    We recognize it as a demon and make no apologies but when one focuses on that, that's usually when Nightmare gets offended.

    On the other had, they can call our God, the True and living God, anything from a fairytale to whatever and they expect us not to say anything because we're supposed to "represent christian love" See, THAT'S a control technique. That's why unsaved hearts CANNOT last on their own long because they twist and manipulate things for their own purposes.

    I mean here we have a Clown named Scott, who opposses every argument we make, and admits that the truth can't be known...how STUPID is that???If the truth can't be known then what is he saying? A truth or a nontruth? He can't even know his very opposition to be truth or not. His very statement is supposed to be a truth, but instead of focus on his logical fallacies and inconsistencies he simply is out to say that what Chrisians believe is truth can't be known...THAT'S A DUMB statement and point view and he has no clue, just repeats the same garbage over and over and addresses no real or issues...

    These guys are definately along a differnt line of reality...I believe they flirt with alternate realities and their spirits (that they know they have) are certainly bound...

    So if Nightmare is willing to engage as he should without all the hysteria and offense when his belief system and false god is attacked, then he'll come around, if not he'll clam up but it won't be because we won't engage, it'll be because he wants things his way...

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  86. District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    Now it's up to YOU to "stop it"! Will you?

    I have. In case you didn't notice I conceded my error and attempted to make amends for it.

    What did you then do? Reverted to type and rambled on with a three post tirade of abuse, insult, and condemnation, all because Harvey desperately needs to Right at all times. This is not the behavior of someone who has "honestly come to appreciate (me) and think(s) (I'm) a great person". I find this very sad, but if that is what you desire so be it. I shall not fight you. There's no point in it.

    (which YOU CLAIM you're not part of)

    And now you call me a liar (again), like Laura before you. Funny how it's perfectly ok when you lot do it. As you will.

    At either rate, YOU'RE WRONG and owe Laura an apology...

    In case you hadn't noticed, I already have, several times. But perhaps you would rather have a pound of flesh instead?

    So far as Scott is concerned, spare me the bleeding heart...Scott got more than his fair share of chances to angae and actually stay on point on arguments and stop repeating his GARBAGE over and over. We're sick of it. For someone who doesn't and can't know the truth his statments and commentary are a COMPLETE waste of time.

    Very well, ignore Jesus's teachings entirely. Hate thy neighbor and condemn him as thoroughly as you can, in the name of Harvey, whom is the only one who is Right, ever.

    We could engage people who are willing to engage on a much better and open basis than he. I'm not sad at all!

    Continue this behavior and you'll engage no one in the end, for no one will wish to speak with you. But such is your concern, not mine.

    The problem is that nightmare doesn't want his goddess construed as a demon. That's where the offense comes in at.

    ROFLMAO! You reach in the wrong direction this time, as she has nothing to do with this discussion. A bit of basic research would have aided you much. But that's ok. Think of me what you will. If you need me to be your enemy by all means think of me as such - hate me, demean me, I can take it. That much I have indeed learned, in a large part thanks to you and Laura. But please do not expect me to take such seriously any longer ;)

    So if Nightmare is willing to engage as he should without all the hysteria and offense when his belief system and false god is attacked, then he'll come around, if not he'll clam up but it won't be because we won't engage, it'll be because he wants things his way...

    How can one engage with someone who only wishes to hear themselves talk? You see though I have a tendency not to go where I am not wanted, and I can certainly see I'm not wanted here - at least not if I don't bow down, kiss your feet, and agree with your every word. That doesn't mean shant be around, but I do have better things to do.

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  87. Laura said...
    I don't want another apology,

    As you will.

    I just want to be able to speak the truth without being called a liar. I know that's a lot to ask in this day and age, but Nightmare, you make it impossible to communicate when you start calling people liars.

    Will you do the same? Will you stop insulting and dismissing people simply because they disagree with you? Until you have removed the plank from your own eye do not expect others to ignore it. You said you are open to correction – are you? Or are you like Harvey so convinced of your own righteousness that you believe you need no correction? Pretty words are one thing Laura, but this is where the rubber meets the road.

    Put those two together and any reasonable christian is going to think "the demonic hold is just to strong" and my time is better spent elsewhere.

    Is that what Christ would do? Close the door and abandon someone entirely never to have concern for them ever again?

    I challenge you to put away your goddesses and idols, and start fresh here with a tender willing heart. Like my family member that's an alcoholic, I hold nothing against HER, who I love, but the demon alcohol. In "tough love" I didn't speak to her for a year, and I know now that doesn't work. Like no one can take her last drink for her, no one can say goodbye to your demons for you.

    Do some research, and then speak to me. You seem to acknowledge that abandoning people just because they do things you disagree with doesn’t work. This is why I still have a sliver of hope for you. You’ve given me a challenge, I shall give you the same – throw aside the idols you have made of your own Rightness and Righteousness, be truly humbled as you stated you were, and learn to love thy neighbor rather than have no pity for them.

    Should you wish, you know where to find me – you are once again on my friends list – or if you wish you can join the conversation at http://www.exwitch.org/phpBB3/index.php

    Again not saying I shant be around, but it seems you wish me gone so I shall for the large part oblige.

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  88. Nightmare, this is what Christ said to do when the people reject His Word.

    Matthew 10:14-15
    14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!


    Pretty hard.

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  89. Paul said...
    Nightmare, this is what Christ said to do when the people reject His Word.

    Paul, you too need to do some research before you speak. But hey, I guess it's easier to condemn then to read so that's cool I guess. LOL

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  90. Opps, slipped an extra "I" in that first sentence, my bad. Or perhaps a Fraudian slip LOL

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  91. Can anyone tell me why these atheists and psudospiritualists are going NUTS in this posting?

    I mean it seems like a love/hate relationship...they hate to leave (we don't want them to leave) they really want to stay and comment, but they don't want to act right. What is that?

    I guess it's like a magnet and they are the metal piece...Their point has been made and REFUTED thoroughly...I think that may be the problem...trying to magage my actions is an impossibility, so I don't get the point...

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  92. All I want is that SQUASHED with Laura Nightmare. You asked the question she answered and as I did the research I don't see where she said anything wrong...

    I think I've said this before, if you can bash our God as YOU DO, then we can call yours a demon, because that what we honestly believe she is. We won't make that a point of contention or do extra to point it out, BUT we don't get upset with you and so you have no right to get upset with us when we make reference...If God is in question, then you're is fair game...don't be made because someone calls you on it and points it out. OK?

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  93. To reiterate, since the previous statement was removed (makes it easier to portray me as "nuts" I guess :), this statement was posted prior to the 12:15 post above. I've also included the original typo so the 12:15 post makes sense.

    This version does however have "vulgarity" censored from common phrases so Harvey will have no honest reason to delete it.

    District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    Excuses, excuses, excuses!

    Yeah, I know they're like *******s, we've all I got one. LOL I read your excuses for acting like a jack*** decided it wasn't worth the effort of a detailed response since you wouldn't listen anyway. But in spite of my initial anger I responded gently as my Lord bid me to (and as you know that IS gentle for me). So when you're ready to get over yourself Harvey you know where to find me *pats Harvey on the head* ;)

    TTFN

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  94. District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    I mean it seems like a love/hate relationship...they hate to leave

    I stay because I have not yet given up hope for you lot. Foolish perhaps but such is life. I've disengaged myself from your ranting however because as I stated I already acknowledged my error and apologized.

    (we don't want them to leave)

    You have a funny way of showing it.

    but they don't want to act right.

    Act right, as in bow down before the wisdom and all knowing mightiness of Harvey? Kiss your boots perhaps? No, I don't think I'll be doing that, and I wouldn't recommend you hold your breath waiting.

    All I want is that SQUASHED with Laura Nightmare.

    Are you dense? It was. I clearly acknowledged my error and sought to make amends, but you and Laura decided rather to metaphorically spit in my face. You are now the one keeping this going Harvey, not I.

    I think I've said this before, if you can bash our God as YOU DO, then we can call yours a demon, because that what we honestly believe she is.....

    Rant rant rant blah blah blah. As I stated she isn't even a part of this particular discussion - anyone that can read can see I haven't mentioned her in the slightest in this discussion. You are the one that keeps wanting to drag her in. All the better to see me as an enemy I suppose.

    TTFN

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  95. OK, now that we're clear we're good right?

    We can revert to arguing the posts wile you bow down to me right?-LOL!!!

    Just wanna make sure we're on the same page here.

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  96. District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    OK, now that we're clear we're good right?

    Well, I won't say I don't have some hard feelings here. As I stated, I acknowledged my error and apologized, and you and Laura - more you than Laura - spit in my face for my efforts. Such does not make for happy joy joy feelings nor does it leave a good impression. Suffice to say I must question the respect I offered you earlier at this point in time.

    BUT, as you can see, I'm still here. So I am willing to offer another chance.

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  97. Nightmare,

    Well let me clear it up, I'm SORRY for "spitting in your face" What I saw was accusations leveled without any basis and since they were important to get back on track, that's what I tried to do.

    I guess the thing is that most atheistic thinkers (or at least thinkers against the bible) feel that apologetics is contrived and that's not the case, neither is it ad hoc and when individuals start leveling the "you're a lie" phrases, they enter a line of reasoning that most times isn't true.

    People can make a mistake and if they lie it'sll be sorted out. But to say that someone is lieing because they give an interpretation that you don't agtree with or have heard of that's not good.

    So we're good hopefully and thank you for your patience.

    One more thing, at least YOU believe that there is a truth. We can talk all day and that's good and you'll support your arguments with reason as you see it as you have done. I hope now you see that all pontificators aren't like that. When a person says that the truth can't be known, they are an IDIOT 1st to try to play that trick on thinking individuals and 2nd to try to cover it up and make it seem as if that's not what they believe. That's DISHONESTY, that's a lie and I say what can we benefit by that. I believe that you will agree to the truth of a matter even if it's not necessarily supportive of your views (at least that's what I see about you) but those who are not like that get's no favor with me...it's not about kissin' "booty" as you say it's about intellectual honesty. So I hope that explains my actions with Scott. You need not agree or disagree, but I appreciate you asking me to be temperate, so thanks again.

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  98. Nightmare who is condemning anyone? All I did was quote a scripture.You condemn yourself for not believing or to have believed and not believe anymore.

    2 Peter 2:20-22 (New King James Version)
    20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,”[a] and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

    John 3:18 (New King James Version)
    18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.



    All I was showing you is that God does not continue to call people and that there is a time when you will be left to do what you want, ie God will give you over to a reprobate mind.

    Romans 1:28 (King James Version)
    28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;


    This is truth, all a man can do is tell someone the gospel but its God that saves. So an indvidual doenst have to share the gospel with one man 50 times.

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  99. In a 2007 CRI Journal Article by Robert Peterson dealt with this issue also at length and touched on much of what we discussed. I should have checked this resource sooner but I've got it now. Here's an excerpt:

    "The word “eternal” (aionios) does not of itself mean everlasting in duration, but rather indicates a long period of time with limits set by the context. The limits of aionios when referring to last things, however, are set by the life of God Himself. The age to come lasts as long as He does—forever. The New Testament speaks of the eternal God (Rom. 16:26), the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14), eternal life (Rom. 5:21), eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9), eternal glory (1 Pet. 5:10), and the eternal kingdom (2 Pet. 1:11).

    Matthew, as D. A. Carson notes, uses “the adjective aionios… only for what is eternal.”[D. A. Carson, The Gagging of God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 528] The punishment that the lost suffer in hell is parallel to the bliss that the righteous enjoy on the new earth. Augustine draws the logical implication:

    If both are “eternal,” it follows necessarily that either both are to be taken as long‐lasting but finite, or both as endless and perpetual. The phrases “eternal punishment” and “eternal life” are parallel and it would be absurd to use them in one and the same sentence to mean: “Eternal life will be infinite, while eternal punishment will have an end.” Hence, because the eternal life of the saints will be endless, the eternal punishment also, for those condemned to it, will assuredly have no end. [Augustine, The City of God, ed. David Knowles (London: Penguin Books, 1972), 1001–2 (21.23).]

    The goats will experience everlasting punishment even as the sheep will experience everlasting life.[Robert W. Yarbrough agrees; see “Jesus on Hell,” in Hell under Fire, 75–76]

    Mark 9:42–48. Jesus also teaches endless punishment in a passage in which He urges His hearers to take drastic measures rather than sin, especially rather than mislead children. He warns against going “into hell, where the fire never goes out” (v. 43) and of being “thrown into hell, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched’” (vv. 47–48). Conditionalists interpret Jesus’ language (via their interpretation of Isaiah 66:24, which Jesus cites) as teaching the annihilation of the wicked. The fire of hell that never goes out, they say, is a never‐ending memorial to the extinction of the wicked. The undying worm lives until it consumes its prey, and the unquenchable fire relentlessly consumes what is put into it until it exists no more.

    This is not what the passage says, however. Hell is “where the fire never goes out” (v. 43) because the suffering of the wicked in hell never ends. Scripture in a number of passages uses fire imagery to depict the sufferings of the wicked, rather than their extermination, as conditionalists teach (e.g., Matt. 13:42, 49–50; 25:41; Luke 16:23–25, 28; Rev. 14:10; 20:10).

    Jesus teaches that the pains of hell last forever when He says, “It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched’” (vv. 47–48). He points to the activity of worms and fire in this life to teach figuratively about the life to come. All maggots die when they consume their prey and exhaust their fuel. All fires go out when they run their course and exhaust their fuel. Jesus says that the worms and fires of hell, by contrast, will never run out of fuel; the worm of the wicked is undying and the fire of hell is not quenched. That is, hell knows no end."

    There's a lot more in that article as well pertaining to the subject.

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  100. District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    Well let me clear it up, I'm SORRY for "spitting in your face"

    Thank you, apology accepted.

    I guess the thing is that most atheistic thinkers (or at least thinkers against the bible) feel that apologetics is contrived and that's not the case

    Well, in my experience most (not all but most) apologists - especially the profession ones - are questionable at best, downright dishonest at worst. JP Holding (aka Robert Turkel) is a good example from the material I've read. Just so you know where I'm coming from.

    But to say that someone is lieing because they give an interpretation that you don't agtree with or have heard of that's not good.

    Indeed. What made me change my mind was in fact the realization that I was doing the same as Laura - adding to the text to explain it. Not to the same degree, but the principle is the same.

    One more thing, at least YOU believe that there is a truth......When a person says that the truth can't be known, they are an IDIOT 1st to try to play that trick on thinking individuals

    Ultimately yes - I'm of the opinion it is so hopelessly complex that to us humans it may as well be be unknowable in it's entirety. BUT that is no reason to stop trying - we can at least get glimpses of it.

    This is why I must disagree with the idea that someone who says the truth can't be known is an idiot or dishonest. There's simply too much complexity and information we don't have to make such judgments about a person based on one particular stated belief.

    I believe that you will agree to the truth of a matter even if it's not necessarily supportive of your views (at least that's what I see about you)

    Although at times I would desperately like to be the sort that can ignore proven or obvious truth in favor of my own ideas, yes you are right.

    it's not about kissin' "booty" as you say it's about intellectual honesty.

    Thank you for stating this. It does help somewhat.

    I appreciate you asking me to be temperate, so thanks again.

    Heh, someone has to keep you on the straight and narrow ;) You're welcome.

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  101. Paul said...
    Nightmare who is condemning anyone? All I did was quote a scripture.

    That verse is very condemnatory is it not? You clearly stated it in a "it's my way or the highway" fashion, thus making the verses words your own in that post. And you continue to do so here. Please take some responsibility for your actions Paul.

    You condemn yourself for not believing or to have believed and not believe anymore.

    Do I? How do you know what has happened in my life since we last spoke?

    All I was showing you is that God does not continue to call people and that there is a time when you will be left to do what you want, ie God will give you over to a reprobate mind.

    Is that what love would do? If you loved someone, died for them, would there ever be a cut off point where you said "Nope, I'm done, screw em"? I don't think so.

    This is truth, all a man can do is tell someone the gospel but its God that saves. So an indvidual doenst have to share the gospel with one man 50 times.

    This isn't about telling someone the gospel Paul. Virtually everyone in the western world knows the gospel (at least to some extent). Scott, as an ex-Christian certainly does. I certainly do. This is about giving up on people, saying in one's mind "screw it, to hell with em if they can't see I'm right". Again, that isn't loving - and I'm willing to bet it's not loving your neighbor as yourself. After all, when precisely would you like someone to give up on and abandon all conversation and contact with you Paul?

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  102. Nightmare, what are you talking about, I should take responsibility? I condemned no man and I am telling you that man is condemned because they doubt, I am sending no one to hell or saying they deserve it.


    Are people to live Christ in the earth, most definately but the scriptures say what they do, they are not my words.

    I dont agree with giving up on anyone but if God gives up its because HE KNOWS they will not change, for those who Christs knows will trust Him, I dont think He will give up on.

    Romans 8:29-31 (New Living Translation)
    29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.


    So If God keeps at you its because He knows you will turn but I dont see where God continues to call those who will not come to Him.

    I agree as Christians we should keep hope and continue to live Christ before man though I was specifically talking about giving man the gospel.

    Hopefully this clears up my stance.

    What happened to you since we last spoke?

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  103. Paul said...
    Nightmare, what are you talking about, I should take responsibility? I condemned no man and I am telling you that man is condemned because they doubt, I am sending no one to hell or saying they deserve it.

    Ah, but in your choice of quotation you chose a verse of condemnatory nature. You could just as easily quoted, for instance, the one that says we are to forgive our brothers more than 7x7 times (forgive the paraphrase please, it has been a long time). In doing so, you have basically asserted in a passive-aggressive manner that people should be condemned if they disagree with you - as you continue to do "I am telling you that man is condemned because they doubt", regardless of your statement that you are not saying they deserve it (ie you've contradicted yourself to some degree).

    Please note - I'm not angry or trying to be a jerk, I'm merely showing you how such things are interpreted by people on the receiving end.

    So If God keeps at you its because He knows you will turn but I dont see where God continues to call those who will not come to Him.

    Perhaps, but that's the clincher - only he knows that, not you nor I nor anyone else. Thus when an individual gives up on and condemns someone, they may in fact be condemning a future brother - or providing just enough example that that individual will not become a future brother when they otherwise would have. See?

    What happened to you since we last spoke?

    Suffice to say, I had a conversation.

    http://www.exwitch.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1427

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  104. Nightmare you picked out what you wanted to to make yourself seem wise, see?

    What I said was that I was specifically talking about preaching the gospel. The scripture said what it said and those where the words of Christ to his followers. We dont have to beat the gospel into someone brain, thats was my reason for quoting the scripture specifically but yes we should continue to love.

    Again, if you reject Christ, you condemn yourself. I never condemned anyone that was Christ's words, whether you are I like them is another thing.

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  105. Nightmare,

    Your goddess directed you back to Christianity and he now you feels that you are a nontraditional Christian based on what you feel as the Lords acceptance of you.

    Now there is a problem with this all the way around, as I've said we hold that Hekarte (I may have spelled her name wrong) is nothing but an evil spirit transforming herself as an angel of light:

    2 Corinthians 11:14~"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an ANGEL OF LIGHT."

    A second reason is that Hekarte isn't subject to the authority of Christ. Therefore you following here direction indicates that Christ isn't your final authority either God demands exclusive service and Lordship over your life:

    Exodus 20:3~Thou shalt have no other GODS BEFORE ME.

    So with that said do we doubt your experience? NO. At least I don't. But is your experience acceptable with God? NO. It can't be. Romans said it like this:

    Romans 12:1-2~"1-I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.2- And be not conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

    That goddess is a holiness unacceptable to God and a conformation to this world or world's system of unrighteousness. Further the principle of separation from idolatry must be upheld:

    2 Cor. 6:16-18~"16-And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17-Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, 18-And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty"

    You see it's a matter of agreement or fellowship.

    Now this isn't to undermine your steps, HOWEVER if this is my lot to point you in the right direction and you hate me for it...well, that's MY HELL, and what I suffer to help you now isn't it?

    So I'm not going to be dogmatic or browbeath you on the issue, and since you do believe in prayer, which is a good thing, I'll simply continue to pray for you.

    Thanks for sharing that also.

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  106. Many of you will likely say I am still just deceived, or have fallen for a false Christ. This has been predicted. You are wrong. How do I know? The same way you know yours is not false. I made my choice, and three years after the prediction have embraced that which I forsook

    Are you saying that both your goddess and Christ are real?

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  107. I am also not doubting your experience but I dont see how Jehovah would do anything apart from His word.

    John 6:44 (King James Version)

    44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.


    You are saying your goddess did the work of convincing, so its either this scripture is right or your goddess is but not both.

    Lets reason.

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  108. Paul said...
    Nightmare you picked out what you wanted to to make yourself seem wise, see?

    As you will (shrug) It matters little in the end.

    he now you feels that you are a nontraditional Christian based on what you feel as the Lords acceptance of you.

    He? Also, you didn’t seem to understand. I make no claims to what I am. I don’t know. And when it comes down to it I’m fine with that.

    A second reason is that Hekarte isn't subject to the authority of Christ. Therefore you following here direction indicates that Christ isn't your final authority either God demands exclusive service and Lordship over your life:

    Authority, submission, dominance. That’s what a dog wants Paul, that’s what the dog minded and the legalistic care about – it’s all they care about. Perhaps you haven’t understood, but I did as she asked primarily because I felt like it. NO ONE has finally authority over me, period. If I choose to follow or acquiesce it’s not because I’m obeying like a mindless mutt, but because I choose to. Yknow, kinda like a free willed person rather than a robot?

    Exodus 20:3~Thou shalt have no other GODS BEFORE ME. :

    You forgot one slight detail – the word before.

    But is your experience acceptable with God? NO. It can't be. :

    Are you God? I’m sure by your statements you think you are, but comes down to it we both know the real answer. So if you’re not God tell me, who are you to judge?

    Now there is a problem with this all the way around, as I've said we hold that Hekarte (I may have spelled her name wrong) is nothing but an evil spirit transforming herself as an angel of light

    That goddess is a holiness unacceptable to God and a conformation to this world or world's system of unrighteousness. Further the principle of separation from idolatry must be upheld:


    So sayth the all knowing Paul hmm? “It can’t be right cause it isn’t the way I understand things to be! *squeal*” You should perhaps understand a few things, namely first that my Lady never referred to herself as a goddess – that and even the name by which I publically refer to her are my appellations, based on observed similarities to the Greek goddess Hekate. Secondly, as I’ve stated a million times here before (and people would rather have their way than accept), I don’t worship her or anyone else - as I understand and define worship

    Continued…..

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  109. Paul said:
    Are you saying that both your goddess and Christ are real?

    Real beings? Yes. (Can I prove it? No, therefore I still accept the possibility I may simply be delusional, as I explained in a previous conversation). Really what all the propaganda and stories say about each? How should I know? In my opinion that is plainly impossible to know with absolute certainty.

    You are saying your goddess did the work of convincing, so its either this scripture is right or your goddess is but not both.

    Convincing me to take the plunge so to speak, yes. But as I detail in conversation with individuals I’ve fought with for years on that forum, and as I clearly mentioned in that introduction (please, read what I say, not just assume what you want it to say), it was Christ that did the work of convincing. When I called out to him I was open for conversation, and that was it. I was surprised to get an answer in fact. Much ranting and raving from me ensued. He then explained a few things and said something personal that broke me, at which point I whispered/blubbered “my Lord”.

    I am also not doubting your experience but I dont see how Jehovah would do anything apart from His word.

    So, everything that your god is and would ever do is written down in the bible, and the bible is the end all and be all of it, right? So what you’re saying is, in effect, that you worship a book. That’s called bibliolatry by the way. *shrug* To each their own, but I can write a book should I wish. Talk about putting god in a box LOL

    Now this isn't to undermine your steps,

    And that is precisely why I haven’t said anything til this point, despite my offers to dialog on said forum. Because I knew you and Harvey and Laura would eagerly rip anything I said to shreds, twisting and defiling it to the point that there was nothing left. I firmly suspect that I could convert entirely and believe everything you do, and you would still condemn me as wrong and evil.

    And that’s fine. As I told Harvey, if that’s what you want and need me to be, by all means believe whatever you will. Judge me, hate me, I can take it. But please do not expect me to take it seriously, because I alone know my own life – you know only what I tell you.

    So let us reason indeed. You said “Again, if you reject Christ, you condemn yourself.” When the choice was clearly put to me, I did not. To my knowledge it was indeed Christ. Riddle me this though, if it were not why then did not the real one answer his own metaphorical phone when called? Perhaps I’m just too far gone that even Jesus can’t or won’t save me hmm?

    I accepted rather than rejected. What does that make me? I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. And neither do you.

    How’s that for being “totally on point” Harvey :P

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  110. Nightmare, if something doesnt line us with scripture then I dont count it to be from God, we dont serve a God of witchcraft. I also dont believe in the saints of the catholic Church as far as praying to specific saints for specific things. I dont believe in praying to mary or that she was sinless, didnt die but angels took her up to heaven for the simple reason that Christ or the Apostles writings, whom were led by the spirit of God didnt give us no such instruction.

    I must see it in scripture, if not I flat out reject it.

    I speak out of love to you bro, you must first renounce your goddess which is an idol according to scripture and go to Christ by yourself.

    The holy spirit brought this scripture to me NIghtmare.

    Acts 16:16-18 (New King James Version)

    16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” 18 And this she did for many days.
    But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.


    This girl was demon possessed but yet the demon was speaking truth however it was not of God.

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  111. Paul said...
    Nightmare, if something doesnt line us with scripture then I dont count it to be from God,

    I must see it in scripture, if not I flat out reject it.


    As I said, bibliolatry. Which is fine, believe what you wish. But I'd be willing to bet you don't know a great deal about the hows and whys behind the book you now worship. I could be wrong of course.

    Let me ask you this however - If Jesus himself appeared before you (and you were certain it was indeed him, by whatever means) and did or said something that wasn't a mere parroting of the bible, would you then reject him?

    we dont serve a God of witchcraft.

    Heh. Witchcraft is a word, and a very ill defined one at that. Many practices firmly accepted as Christian are also found in traditions you would no doubt label witchcraft.

    I also dont believe in the saints of the catholic Church as far as praying to specific saints for specific things. I dont believe in praying to mary or that she was sinless, didnt die but angels took her up to heaven

    Nor do I. But I do know enough to know that your implied "Catholics aren't Christian" attitude is a load of BS. Why? For the simple fact that when a Catholic prays to Mary or a saint it is not to ask for a thing directly, but rather to ask that that person intercede with (aka pray to) God on their behalf. Further, such prayers are not worshipful, but merely reverential (aka respectful). In the modern Catholic church - as I know it - prayers to saints are very very rare, and aside from certain orders there is only one common prayer to Mary.

    but to ask for the simple reason that Christ or the Apostles writings, whom were led by the spirit of God didnt give us no such instruction.

    If you believe the apostles wrote any portion of the bible you need a good deal of study.

    The holy spirit brought this scripture to me NIghtmare.

    No, it did not because yours is a false Christ. You worship a book Paul, the holy spirit would not speak to an idolater such as yourself. (See how that works? Remember, judge not lest ye be judged)

    Continued...

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  112. Paul said:
    Acts 16:16-18 (New King James Version)
    This girl was demon possessed but yet the demon was speaking truth however it was not of God.


    The version I had read "python spirit" instead of "spirit of divination" but that actually means the same thing - the python was sacred to the Greek god Apollo, known amongst other things for his aid in divination (the oracle of Delphi operated out of one of his temples).

    Now to be honest, I never liked this story. Why? Cause the girl and spirit weren't doing anything wrong - in fact they were actually helping Paul via free advertising. But Paul decides to behave like a frikken jerk in spite of this, for no reason - the text says a "spirit" not a "demon". And if the story is true probably earned that poor slave girl a much more miserable life, as her value to her masters just went down the toilet.

    But hey, I tend to be more the type of "if you're not against me you're with me", so I guess the appeal of indiscriminately behaving like a jack*** isn't as great to me as to others.

    (As a side note, given the rather specific nature of the girl's spirit my money says that this never actually happened. Why? Cause it sounds too much like propaganda - "See, my god is tougher than Apollo! You should worship Jesus instead". Apollo was after all rather popular.)

    I speak out of love to you bro,

    Paul, you don't know me. More than that you've consistently thrown up straw man versions of me to fit your preconceived ideas. It is thoroughly obvious therefore that you do not love me. You may love some vague idea of me, but you have consistently thrown aside opportunities to get to know me better so I doubt that idea has much to do with reality.

    However I will complement you on this - you seem to be the only individual here who actually bothered to at least skim what I have offered of myself. For that I thank you.

    you must first renounce your goddess which is an idol according to scripture

    No. See unlike a lot of other people I have a little thing called loyalty. I do not and will not abandon others unless they give me good reason to. See, like Doc Holiday (in the movie Tombstone at least), I don't have many friends, so I value the ones I do have highly.

    My Lord knows this. And I presume that - or genuine non-concern, I don't know which - is why he has not asked what you demand. Fortunately for my integrity - such as it is - I have no need to please you.

    go to Christ by yourself.

    You just don't get it do you? You're so fixated on the means that you utterly ignore the ends. I called to him on my own and spoke on my own. If you cannot accept that such is hardly my problem.

    But I will put it to you once again since you did not answer me. If the Christ I know be not the real one, then did not the real one answer his own metaphorical phone when called?

    But enough of this. Ta ta for now, I gots death cultists and zombies to kill on WoW :D

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  113. Typo - that bold question should be "why then did not the real one answer his own metaphorical phone when called?"

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  114. Nightmare, it appears to me that you try to manipulate people for selfish reasons, much the same way that Scott did. Such as:

    "And that is precisely why I haven’t said anything til this point, despite my offers to dialog on said forum. Because I knew you and Harvey and Laura would eagerly rip anything I said to shreds, twisting and defiling it to the point that there was nothing left. I firmly suspect that I could convert entirely and believe everything you do, and you would still condemn me as wrong and evil."

    A month ago you accused me of only wanting to convert you. So which is it?

    I clearly see that Pastor Harvey and Paul are using their God-given discernment and that something isn't ringing true for them as far as your experience and confession of faith. So let's get it all on the table, because you KNOW how I like to be real!

    This Jesus...is it the same one that "called" you in October and told you that Christianity needed to be stamped out? That told you the Bible was highly inaccurate? A product of human error?

    Was this the same Jesus that told you in October that he is as powerless as your goddess? Is this the same demon you spoke with Nov. 20th, the one you called "my lord"?

    We are not the enemy here. But we know who the enemy is, and he can deceive even you. People who love you and care about you are the ones that will boldly pull the devils covers so he can't hook his claws in you too deeply. But you have to have the heart to hear, because we can't and don't take responsibility for your actions and reactions.

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  115. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

    And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

    But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
    ~John 3:16-21

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  116. You will notice your goddess is gone. I cast her out of your home in the Name of Jesus. She can only come back at your invitation - the choice is yours. But make no mistake - she IS a demon.

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  117. Mood – horrendously foul. Reason – personal and unrelated.

    Laura said...
    Nightmare, it appears to me that you try to manipulate people for selfish reasons, much the same way that Scott did.

    Oh hi. I thought you weren’t speaking to vile little ol me anymore. Regardless, pray tell me what those selfish reasons would be Laura hmm? What could I possibly have to gain from you three? Cause I can’t see a damn thing that I could. But believe what you will. It hardly matters at this juncture.

    A month ago you accused me of only wanting to convert you. So which is it?

    See there’s this thing that human’s do, it’s called changing their minds? Ever hear of it? Based on what you showed me of yourself I changed my opinion. You have only yourself to blame for that.

    I clearly see that Pastor Harvey and Paul are using their God-given discernment and that something isn't ringing true for them as far as your experience and confession of faith.

    1) On the confession of faith idea – If I recall correctly you’re the one that preaches grace and all you’ve gotta do is believe, accept Christ and you’re saved. Hell, there’s even the Lord part now that you were obsessing so much over a couple months ago. But it’s STILL not good enough for Laura now is it? Turns out like I noted before that “just believe” has so many strings attached that it’s ridiculous.

    2) Paul is a self admitted bibliolater. Unless he changes his tune – unlikely – I’d say his abilities of discernment amount to jack and squat. Cause a book is an inanimate object. It can’t grant discernment.

    This Jesus...is it the same one that "called" you in October and told you that Christianity needed to be stamped out?

    No. I know the truth of that matter now thanks to my own investigations.

    We are not the enemy here.

    Coulda fooled me.

    People who love you and care about you are the ones that will boldly pull the devils covers so he can't hook his claws in you too deeply.

    You have not the slightest love or care for me – you’ve proven such by your actions. I would suspect what motivates you here is yet again the burning need to be right and superior.

    But regardless I got just one question for you Laura. Before you say ANYTHING else answer it. If the Christ I know be not the real one, why then did not the real one answer his own metaphorical phone when called?

    Laura said...
    You will notice your goddess is gone. I cast her out of your home in the Name of Jesus. She can only come back at your invitation - the choice is yours. But make no mistake - she IS a demon.

    ROFLMAO! Sorry SuperLaura, you are so wrong it's truly hilarious. Not by my invitation either - no change in the slightest, though I'm sure you'll blame me for your failure. That's ok though. Since you're so certain my Lord is a false Christ why not attempt to banish him though I wonder? Meh, who cares. LOL

    As Harvey so loves to say, you're done SuperLaura. Thanks for playing and cheering me up a bit, but you're outta here. You don't even have to bother answering the questions above. Buh-bye! *pats Laura on her widdle head*

    I must say I do still feel somewhat sorry for you though. Hopefully someday you'll realize that it's not all about being Right all the time, or about being the Best or the Most Powerful. But you'll excuse me for not holding my breath. LOL

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  118. Nightmare, it would be my pleasure to get to know you. At this point I am not talking about anything else that we have discussed except you desiring to follow Christ agains and how that came about.

    When you blog, you can only try to understand the spirit with which the individual is speaking. Like you thought I was condemning people with the scripture I used in helping you to understand what I understood Laura to mean as far as not forcing the gospel down someone's throat, I didnt mean it that way in the least.

    I will not try to force ce you to believe I love you in Christ.

    So lets get to know eachother, I am kool with that!

    I will respond to your other statements later.

    Be blessed!

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  119. Nightmare, why do you take everything people say as an attack.

    It seems to me that you take the things people say in discussion and use it as some type of trump card. You even did that with your own "negative" experience with Christ. Yes, to me its like you use things as a source of power, and say "I told you so". When you do that you render what people would say to help you powerless because you weight the good against the bad you percieve. We too could do that with you, as you have been quite off at times but we dont hold it against you, COME ON!

    Lets deal with the matter at hand, you or I dont fully understand truth, how do we get that knowledge of Gods requirements and ways is the question?

    Lets reason.

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  120. I'm glad the Acts passage came up and Nightmare gave an almost good exposition...

    I say "almost good" because the "python" spirit was a spirit that wraps and entangles and chokes the life out of something. That's what the demon in this young lady was all about. Had nothing to do with free advertising. Neither was she sympathetic to the cause of Christ. That was the deception.

    Secondly, Nightmare claims Luke made the story up, but he was one of the most impeccable writers of the NT. It's highly inconsistent and more than hard to believe that he would be truthful about everything else and lie about this, what makes it so special, you take it out and you still have a host of other things that affirm the works of the early church. You see when a person is defiled they view everyone as being defiled...so what the critic does like Nightmare is impose the depths of their sin on the writers of the gospel who had delivered their sins to God. That's another story but historically speaking there's no reason to doubt that this happened in real time.

    What Luke wrote and recorded according to God's direction was confirmation of how the church was engaged within the culture and not hiding from the culture.

    It would have been easy for Paul to hide out away from these Greeks but they engaged with the gospel and that was the power of Christianity and its growth. Christianity actually possessed a power that the false religions and demonic gods did not possess and it was demonstrated.

    Where's the demonstration today? Go someplace that you don't normally go to see it. Go to that storefront ministry that many laugh at, and observe the sincerity of the believers and all they have to call on is the Lord. Go and hear in some cases about how God healed folk of illnesses and raised common folk from the dead.

    In our Convocation of believers in November, I heard from not just one but 2 speakers both of which were medically DEAD, doctor confirmed, tag the toe dead with medical records to confirm, and at least in one case television reports to affirm what happened to him and his condition. This was over 15 years ago and was well documented.

    But those individuals preach today because prayer was made for them IN JESUS NAME and death was reversed and life was brought back into their bodies. In at least one case we're talking about after 45 minutes to an HOUR.

    So that was a good thought and like I said don't be excited because we stand for what we know to be true and call spirits the demons that they are.

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  121. Nightmare, check these to see and see if the bible ever looks at witchcraft in a positive light.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=witch&version1=9&searchtype=all

    1 Samuel 28 also talks about Saul going to a someone who practices witchcraft, and its not positive at all.

    Its dangerous to say God said what He didnt say, we cannot make up things.

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  122. Harvey, Paul, and Laura,

    Something has come to my attention that compels me to change the nature of my relations to this blog. Before I delve into that however I shall answer the most recent posts.

    Paul said...
    Nightmare, it would be my pleasure to get to know you. At this point I am not talking about anything else that we have discussed except you desiring to follow Christ agains and how that came about.
    So lets get to know eachother, I am kool with that!


    Thank you Paul, I appreciate this much. I know I can be very difficult at times and hope you will see past that and perhaps see some of the reasons for it. Regardless though I invite you to join me at the forum noted - http://www.exwitch.org/phpBB3/index.php - and join us in discussion. Much of myself – details, thoughts, past occurrences, etc – tends to come out in discussion as I have a tendency to rely on example. It would be to your benefit to review the numbered Question threads I have started in the Bible Questions folder, as that is where I am slowly working out my present situation. There is also a dedicated “Ask Nightmare” thread in the Flutecrafter’s Grill folder for specific questions directed to me.

    Again, thank you :D

    Lets deal with the matter at hand, you or I dont fully understand truth, how do we get that knowledge of Gods requirements and ways is the question?

    A very good question, one I intend to post tonight as the next in my series of Questions threads. I hope to see you there.

    Its dangerous to say God said what He didnt say, we cannot make up things.

    *Nightmare raises an eyebrow, remembers the past discussion, looks at current comments below, and ultimately decides to say nothing*

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  123. District Supt. Harvey Burnett said...
    I say "almost good" because the "python" spirit was a spirit that wraps and entangles and chokes the life out of something. That's what the demon in this young lady was all about. Had nothing to do with free advertising. Neither was she sympathetic to the cause of Christ. That was the deception.

    With due respect, that is your interpretation Harvey, based on the real animal. The text states none of what you just said.

    Secondly, Nightmare claims Luke made the story up

    I do not claim, I suspect. The difference is that to claim is to state with a high degree of certainty. Since I was not there I have no way of establishing that degree of certainty, thus I merely suspect, though I would be willing to bet on the matter.

    You see when a person is defiled they view everyone as being defiled...

    Is that then why all you speak about – all you want to see in others – is sin?

    Where's the demonstration today? Go someplace that you don't normally go to see it. Go to that storefront ministry that many laugh at, and observe the sincerity of the believers and all they have to call on is the Lord.

    The Assemblies of God church in spent the last of my Christianity in was just such a place. It was a joke, with as much real substance as Laura’s empty claim of banishment above. If this is the most you have to offer Harvey I pity you indeed.

    Go and hear in some cases about how God healed folk of illnesses and raised common folk from the dead.

    In our Convocation of believers in November, I heard from not just one but 2 speakers both of which were medically DEAD, doctor confirmed, tag the toe dead with medical records to confirm, and at least in one case television reports to affirm what happened to him and his condition. This was over 15 years ago and was well documented.

    But those individuals preach today because prayer was made for them IN JESUS NAME and death was reversed and life was brought back into their bodies. In at least one case we're talking about after 45 minutes to an HOUR.


    Don’t just tell about such. Video tape such and prove it, then go win James Randi’s (rigged) challenge. Or put it on your blog for the world to see. It’s very easy to claim and make up stories – or in this case methinks to fall for the claims of others. Actual results are more rare. Note I do not deny that such can occur, I simply question the value of any second (or more) hand story.

    So that was a good thought and like I said don't be excited because we stand for what we know to be true and call spirits the demons that they are.

    As you wish. If all you desire is to see a world full of enemies who am I to stop you?

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  124. And now to the promised meat of the matter.

    Paul said...
    Nightmare, why do you take everything people say as an attack.

    I have come to the realization that my stated reasons for remaining here – that I have hope for “you” – are not the actual reasons. I now see that subconsciously what I have been trying to do is prove myself and “win” acceptance via force of argument. Both such goals are ultimately futile. In the past – with the ExWitch forum in fact – I have been addicted to conflict, basically being unable to let it go when the “opponent” is still on the metaphorical field. It took two years and a failed relationship with a similarly addicted woman to get it out of my system. But I see in my relationship to the people of this blog I have fallen back into that pattern.

    Thusly, in order to rectify the matter and prevent further unnecessary discord, I have come to the decision to withdraw from this blog for as long as necessary to rectify the situation. Please understand that I do not know the exact timeframe this will entail. Anyone who wishes may join me at the forum address I left for Paul – there are concise rules there - as well as people who know my tendencies to enforce said rules - that will I feel prevent the formation or at least escalation of such a trend there. All that I ask is for anyone who does join to clearly indentify yourselves in your introduction thread (such are mandatory on this forum) so I know whom I’m talking to.

    My apologies Harvey, Laura, and Paul for the havoc I have wreaked here over the past few months. I had thought it was for a good reason, but I was wrong.

    Farewell for now, and peace.

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  125. Nightmare, dude, come on! stop being a victim man. If you want to reason, lets do it. If you want to run, you have only yourself to blame.

    Man up! we want to help.

    God did not say He would use false gos to lead people to Himself, so in essence you are claiming that God uses idols to lead people to Christ and that is simply not true according to scripture.

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  126. Nightmare said regarding his interraction on this blog:"I had thought it was for a good reason, but I was wrong."

    Oooh it was for a good reason, your salvation and restoral to Christ. However that's your decision to make, but there are commited Christians versed in the issues who won't bow to the lie of the devil. The fight is not against you, it's against the principalities that seek to subvert the church and God's people. I for one have simply decided to live for Christ, sometimes that means getting into conversations and exchanges that i otherwise wouldn't and also T'ing people off, so be it...as I said, That's a display of the HELL I would go to to save someone. When I'm spoken evil of because of the good I try to do, that's a type of hell, so let it be, but the records stands that we were on our post in the service of Christ.

    So thanks and whenever you show up you'll be welcomed.

    Later.

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  127. Not trying to be antagonistic here, just real. Any talk of giving up his god/idol/demon sends him running, as we have seen before. This is his choice, of course.

    I pray for the day he comes back to report that he has forsaken all others for the One True God.

    BTW, here's a picture of what his goddess most likely looks like. See "Vampire bat pup feeding":
    http://www.batconservation.org/content/Babybatphotographs.html

    I cast a demon out of my house several months ago, and as I did, I opened the back door for it to exit. As it passed me at my side, it became visible and rushed out the door, disappearing before hitting my backyard fence. I described it to my sister - wide shoulders, hunched back, hairless flesh, 3 and a half feet tall, little short legs, with arms way to long for it's body and was using those arms to run.

    She called a week later and said "turn on the Discovery Channel. They are showing your demon!" Sure enough. The demon I saw looked and ran exactly like a vampire bat from the back with it's wings tucked in. I believe that artists like Hieronymus Bosch had seen demons first-hand too, as I discovered a couple weeks ago that same demon in one of his paintings.

    Nightmare, I love you and I don't see you failing in the long run. As a matter of fact, I only have hope for you - the most positive kind. But speaking for myself only, I can't ignore the vampire bat in the room.

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