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Author Topic:   The evolution of hell: how rhetoric changes religion
ICANT
Member
Posts: 6187
From: SSC
Joined: 03-12-2007


Message 61 of 66 (601643)
01-22-2011 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by ApostateAbe
01-22-2011 12:35 PM


Re: Damned
Hi Abe,

I used to think it was my job to convince people they needed to be saved.

Eventually after much study I realized it was not my job to get people saved as that is the Holy Spirits job.

It is my job to tell them what the Word says and then it is up to them to make their own decision.

When I sit down and talk with someone about their relationship with God and I present God's plan I do not repeat it until they ask for help.

A lost person is just like a drug addict or alcoholic no one can help either until they come to the conclusion they have a problem, and decide they want help.

God Bless,


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-22-2011 12:35 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-22-2011 3:58 PM ICANT has not yet responded

    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2706 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 62 of 66 (601644)
01-22-2011 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by ICANT
01-22-2011 3:47 PM


Re: Damned
ICANT writes:

Hi Abe,

I used to think it was my job to convince people they needed to be saved.

Eventually after much study I realized it was not my job to get people saved as that is the Holy Spirits job.

It is my job to tell them what the Word says and then it is up to them to make their own decision.

When I sit down and talk with someone about their relationship with God and I present God's plan I do not repeat it until they ask for help.

A lost person is just like a drug addict or alcoholic no one can help either until they come to the conclusion they have a problem, and decide they want help.

God Bless,


OK, it sounds like we are in agreement.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by ICANT, posted 01-22-2011 3:47 PM ICANT has not yet responded

  
Aurora
Junior Member (Idle past 2774 days)
Posts: 13
From: India
Joined: 12-09-2010


Message 63 of 66 (602671)
01-30-2011 2:23 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by ApostateAbe
01-22-2011 12:35 PM


Re: Damned
It is my opinion that the fear of hell and the appeal of heaven do not really have much of a direct effect on people who do not already believe it. The greatest effect is on the people who are already believe the religion.

Good point. But isn't it true that the very concept of heaven and hell forms the basis of christian evangelism - preaching the original sin that all mankind is doomed to suffer in hell because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit but since God love mankind he sent his son Jesus to save them from this eternal damnation. Many people buy this story and they converted. To that extent I think it had direct effect on people who do not already believe in the religion.

In my opinion the effect on people who already believe the religion is another thing. Here it is used to reinforced their faith, to persuade them to get reborn (even the same person could get reborn many times). For this some evangelist preacher even used the recording of 'cries from hell in Siberia' by playing the audio loudly to the listeners.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-22-2011 12:35 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-31-2011 2:27 PM Aurora has not yet responded

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 2706 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 64 of 66 (602754)
01-31-2011 2:27 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Aurora
01-30-2011 2:23 PM


Re: Damned
Aurora writes:

It is my opinion that the fear of hell and the appeal of heaven do not really have much of a direct effect on people who do not already believe it. The greatest effect is on the people who are already believe the religion.

Good point. But isn't it true that the very concept of heaven and hell forms the basis of christian evangelism - preaching the original sin that all mankind is doomed to suffer in hell because Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit but since God love mankind he sent his son Jesus to save them from this eternal damnation. Many people buy this story and they converted. To that extent I think it had direct effect on people who do not already believe in the religion.

In my opinion the effect on people who already believe the religion is another thing. Here it is used to reinforced their faith, to persuade them to get reborn (even the same person could get reborn many times). For this some evangelist preacher even used the recording of 'cries from hell in Siberia' by playing the audio loudly to the listeners.

No doubt. I certainly wouldn't want to claim that nobody who doesn't believe is unswayed by the evangelistic claims of heaven and hell. At the very least, children and the gullible can be fully convinced. Maybe even normal people can be budged when someone they trust plays the reputed recording of the screams from that hole in the ground in Siberia. The greatest effect, of course, would be on people who already believe and therefore find such claims entirely plausible.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Aurora, posted 01-30-2011 2:23 PM Aurora has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 19 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 65 of 66 (603375)
02-04-2011 2:55 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ApostateAbe
01-15-2011 6:44 PM


It seems your OP concludes that if we just let Christian teachers argue among themselves about hell the whole Gospel message will go away or at least diminished.

The concern of some of us is truth over popularity.

Two points I would make. Hardly anyone I know misses the point that hell, whatever it is, is something or some place to be avoided. Arguments over the temperature of hell or other particulars not withstanding, it seems universally agreed upon that this is a state from which one needs to be saved.

To reject salvation from the Savior God - from the Savior Christ results in something that can only be discribed as bad to terrible. I don't see how squables over the particulars can erase the communicated negativity of not being reconciled to God.

This bottom line is not likely to be missed by readers of the New Testament.

Secondly, I think for the most part the person we have to blame for a concept of the negativity of eternal punishment is none other than Jesus Christ. This to me is important.

From the same mouth which spoke the most pleasant and loving words of mercy, grace, long suffering, forgiveness, love, pardon, patience also came the most fearsome words of warning.

It seems that this important doctrine of eternal punishment God intrusted Jesus Christ for its delivery. It was not primarily a different mouth that spoke these awful warnings. It was the mouth of the same Jesus who has so warmed human hearts with the thought of God's love.

Jesus has to thanked for the worlds greatest words about love. And the same Jesus has to be charged with the most fearsome words about the destiny of the unsaved.

In my opinion, this should be seriously contemplated. Most interpretations of hell, most abuses of the teaching, or careful applications of its teaching stem from things that Jesus uttered and not someone else.

Whether Paul, Peter, or John spoke of eternal perdition in the epistles or the book of Revelation, their words are apparently based on what they received either directly or indirectly from the mouth of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Physician, the "Friend of Sinners", the pleasant Bridegroom, the Savior, the Lamb of God.

"And all bore witness to Him and marveled at the words of grace proceeding out of His mouth ... " (Luke 4:22a)

This same mouth spoke the most fearful warnings about the results of unbelief in Himself and God. His beauty and integrity suggest that it behooves man to listen to all of His words including the ones which terrify as well as those which uplift and comfort.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-15-2011 6:44 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

  
jaywill
Member (Idle past 19 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 66 of 66 (603745)
02-07-2011 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
01-17-2011 9:45 AM


Re: What the Hell?
quote:
For the purpose of discussion, all reference to Hell must of necessity be metaphorical and hypothetical. I personally believe that if such a place existed, humans would never be sent there. They would end up there by rejecting what is by definition not there. (Or by accepting the absence of same)

The human mind fights mightily against the concept of endless torment as punishment. But there is nothing in the New Testament that would suggest we can allogorize its horrors away.

Jesus was too explicit -

"And if your hand stumbles you, cut it off, it is better for you to enter into life maimed tha to have two hands and go way into Gehenna, into unquencahble fire.

And if your foot stumbles you, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into Gehenna.

And if your eye stumbles you, cast it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into Gehenna,

Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched. " (Mark 9:43-48)

You would have to blame Jesus Christ for a starkly physical depiction of damnation.

Here again in Matthew 25 it is hard to allegorize away the physical nature of "eternal punishment".

"But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, at that time He will sit on the thone of His glory. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separate the sheep from the goats. (25:31,32)

These are living human beings at the time of His physical return to earth. And to the condemned He says:

"Go away from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. (v.42)

And these shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (v.46)

Eternal fire = eternal punishment. In spite of the fact that it has been "prepared for the devil and his angels" ie. spiritual beings, the departure of living human beings into the same place renders little ground to minimize its physical horrors.

The beast [Antichrist] and his false prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire which presummably is the same eternal fire / eternal punishment of Matt. 25.

"And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet, ... These two were cast alive into the lake of fire, which burns with brimstone. (Rev. 10:20)

Rather then protest that God won't do this, I think it is better to believe that God will do what He says He will do. These people went alive into such a terrible place. Where is the room to allegorize away its actual horrors ?

The way it is written I have to assume that God has a way to hurt both spiritual beings and physical/spiritual beings in the same terrible place.

Of course if we believe in Christ we will not abide under the wrath of God ( John 3:36 ) .

He who believes into the Son has eternal life; but he who disobeys the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him."

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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