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Date Posted:07/05/2008 9:07 AMCopy HTML

We listen to the point of view of a certain number who claim to be athiest, antagonists, or whatever reason, to deny the existence of an active God, or if one exists at all.

From the  pov of a Christian, whether Pentecostal, Orthodox, believer or what ever,  the end hope is, a place of peace and eternity.

You may say Christians are deluded, but I have never seen any anything outside of bible hope, offered that has convinced me there is anything better. 

What are the thoughts of those unbelievers, and what do they offer that is better than bible promises of life after death?

brolga
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:07/05/2008 3:30 PMCopy HTML

Brolga,

Whilst I guess I could assume to be one you direct your question to, I reject the title 'unbeliever'!  It really is quite arrogant to describe one that does not subscribe to your belief system as an unbeliever.  I have 'different' beliefs, that's all.  But that aside, your question is a fair one!

"Behold, the kingdom of God is at hand"!

What does that mean?  There are many who suggest that 'heaven' is right here, right now!  It can be a shame that so many seem to miss this. Whilst gazing into the distance of eternity or musing about places afar, you miss the wonder of what is right here, right now.  OK I know you will immediately defend your position, saying that you give God thanks for all that is in your life etc.  But the thing is, being present in the moment is NOT a common skill or ability (if I can call them that).  The state of being alive in the moment, (getting out of your mind and into your senses) is a wonderful thing that must be learned, practiced and nurtured. To do so is to become so much more in tune with your self, those around you, your environment, your universe and any god that may exist.  Awareness, mindfullness, call it what you will..... it is at the heart of many wise teachings, and can bring you as close to oneness with the universe as (I believe) you are EVER gonna get!

I'm sorry, but from where I sit, the bible offers little practical guidance in these things.  In many places it hints and points to it in abstract ways, but doesn't provide clear direction.  On the other hand, there are many excellent teachers available today, books, courses etc that can help to provide direction in bringing ourselves into this state.  Some may have religious overtones (buddhist teachers etc) but many offer these benefits without religious trappings.

Basically what I'm saying is, the future (and the past) DO NOT EXIST. Only the present moment exists, and this is the ONLY state in which we can become attuned to any god that exists. This truth is i harmony with all that I have experienced, and rests easily with me. The notion of hoping for a future intimacy with God after we die is very intangible, and fearing a judgement for non conformity to a demanding, jealous god is utterly alien to what is reasonable in my mind!

So, the hope of an eternity of peace is not hidden behind the veil which is the point of no return.  It is a state in which we may immerse ourselves anywhere, at any time, if we learn to just be, alive, right now, right here, and experience the joy of this moment.  Anything more than this is chasing pipe dreams.

And you know what...... learning to live this way makes no demands upon you.  You don't have to go to theological college, or learn creeds & doctrines, you don't have to accost others with your beliefs, you don't have to sell your soul, you don't even have to stop being a christian!  Its a shame that so many think these teachings are a threat or against christianity.

Peace!

Dog




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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 12:24 AMCopy HTML

Hi Dog,
Firstly let me say your views are quite logical and that I was speaking generally and wasn't calling your belief system into guestion. But if may I ask, "Do you believe in the hope the scriptures are offering?"
My question was of the intent to point out that the bible, in it's correct message regardless of whether one believes otherwise offers the ONLY hope for the future.
When I say 'correct message' the knowledge I have gained through my understanding in the bit of theology I have done so far, shows just that.
You state that the bible offers little practical guidance and doesn't provide clear direction. Have you asked yourself, "Do I really want to know the truth about these things or am I in that comfort zone of my own phylosophies and that is good enough for me?" 
I believe I am one of the lucky ones, after spending thirty six odd years in Revival spiritual abusing, that I have not become alienated to the Word of God and have opportunity to seek what is the truth and not my own thoughts through my past experiences and feelings, (I am speaking for myself here) and I don't think I am chasing pipe dreams.

take care now,

brolga





  

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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 4:08 AMCopy HTML

The hope the scriptures are offering?  A continuation of my soul or spirit after I die, everlasting joy and peace in unity with a creator, knowing all things, no more suffering or tears???  I guess there is appeal to that.  It's all very hard to comprehend though, especially when millions of others are supposedly going to be burning with unquenchable pain in hell.  Kind of takes the edge off it, don't you think?

I find the biblical descriptions of an afterlife (many of which are contradictory) to be quite difficult to accept or believe!

Yet, I kind of believe in a sort of ultimate reconciliation.  Makes sense to me that we are all recycled, just like our mortal bodies.... the elements magically form into a body that ultimately dies and returns to the elements, and so on. I think that as we are alive, our spirit is a manifestation of the soup or great Spirit that might be called God.  When we die, our spirit simply returns to this soup and is ultimately a part of what is recycled into countless other manifestations.  This theory kind of lends itself to an outlook where we are part of a collective consciousness and all ultimately connected with all other creation.  It is a healthy outlook because it acknowledges our part of the universe, and if we abuse others, we also abuse ourselves. It espouses a respect for all of creation and responsibility for our actions.  Importantly, it teaches us that our own ego is unimportant, and that we are transient.

On the other hand, christian teaching seems to foster an attachment to ego, in the sense that you are attached to your continuation beyond the period of this lifetime.  You desire a positive afterlife, and fear a negative one.  Either way, it is quite unhealthy to be so obsessed with this and trying to spend all your days assuring yourself of a positive afterlife.  I honesty doubt that any afterlife that may exist will have you remembering or in any way being mindful of this meagre life you are living out on planet earth.  What makes you think that your memory is so damned important that it will be a continuation into the eternities.  We are a blip in eternity.

Look at creation.  A leaf swings in the breeze until a time when it has served its purpose.  It falls to the ground and becomes mulch.  It is all part of a cycle of life with many manifestations.  Does the leaf freak out and fear falling from the tree, or hope that it has a positive next manifestation as mulch?  All of life is in a state of decay and regeneration.  How conceited of us to think that our 70 or so years is so significant that we will carry on beyond the grave with any recollection at all of what we were before.

The beauty of the universe is to observe ourselves right now as a part of it.  To experience ourselves as part of the divine.  To look through the eyes we are given, and taste of the magic that is here NOW.  As we live, the best we can do is to contribute to the world we live in in a positive and meaningful way.  I think if there is any continuation of our lives at all, it would be best served by attending well to THIS LIFE, rather than obsessing about an afterlife! 

Dog.




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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 4:54 AMCopy HTML

You state that the bible offers little  practical guidance and doesn't provide clear direction.  Have you  asked yourself, "Do I really want to know the truth about these things or am I in that comfort zone of my own philosophies and that is good enough for me?"

Funny that word 'TRUTH'!

So many seem to claim ownership of it.  So many have their own beliefs, assumptions, dogmas and isms, yet they are entirely subjective.

If someone could provide an undeniable TRUTH (as in a scientifically proven truth) I may sit up and listen.  Until then, I will draw my deductions and conclusions based upon my most careful attention to what I see and know to be true.

To give any creedence to anybody, because they claim to have a handle on the truth is complete folly.  I've seen too much to be swayed by those claims!  Yet YES, I continue to question all and any of my beliefs, and believe this is entirely healthy to do so.

Its a pity that christians and other religious 'one track minders' don't do the same!  Unfortunately attachment to their belief systems, and fear tend to prevent them from doing so!

Dog.


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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 5:20 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Dog.

Funny that word 'TRUTH'!

Funny indeed!
Smile

So many seem to claim ownership of it.  So many have their own beliefs, assumptions, dogmas and isms, yet they are entirely subjective.

Quite true.

If someone could provide an undeniable TRUTH (as in a scientifically proven truth) I may sit up and listen.  Until then, I will draw my deductions and conclusions based upon my most careful attention to what I see and know to be true.

Piffle and nonsense. To begin with, what makes you think "scientifically proven" equals "truth"? The principle of analogy? Replicity? A priori assumptions? I think you admirably summed up the straight-jacket to your own position: "...what I see and know to be true..." In other words, yours is little more than an equally subjective grasp at the potetial of objective reality, as is that of the "religionists". Consequently, you've no greater claim to objectivity than have we/they. In fact, your claim is probably rather less so given that you would situate the final determiner as being a function of the thinking subject
Wink

To give any creedence to anybody, because they claim to have a handle on the truth is complete folly.  I've seen too much to be swayed by those claims! Yet YES, I continue to question all and any of my beliefs, and believe this is entirely healthy to do so.

It is indeed, but you've done as much with your above, "scientifically proven", comment! The question that begs asking, however, is this: have you ever taken the time to ponder in depth the first principles or foundational axioms of what it means to think? To reason?

Its a pity that christians and other religious 'one track minders' don't do the same!

Again, piffle and nonsense. I'm a Christian, and I'd wager that I've thought through the issues and ramifications of such quandries in considerable depth and sophistication. Possibly even more so than have you
Innocent

Unfortunately attachment to their belief systems, and fear tend to prevent them from doing so!

The myopia of the truly biased
Undecided

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 5:31 AMCopy HTML


Dog, you are so deep!  I so relate to the thoughts you have put down here.

Brolga, when I first read the Bible years ago when I was 20, it didn't give me hope. Alll I could see in there was the threat of hell, and the constant belief that I was not good enough, and always a sinner.

I would  like to direct people to the Ultimate Reconciliation site again. There is scriptual evidence in the  bible that hell as an eternal punishment is an erroneous interpretation. I only say this because I know a lot of of people are christians because of the fear of hell.  http://www.tentmaker.org/

Big Girl
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 5:44 AMCopy HTML


I only say this because I know a lot of of people are christians because of the fear of hell. 

Hi BG,

I suppose that is the case with a lot of them. Do people really become "Christians" if that is the only reason?  

brolga
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 5:50 AMCopy HTML

(Done it again) cont.

And what is wrong with that? as long as one is guided along the correct channels by the real Shepherd.
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 8:25 AMCopy HTML

Big Girl,

Fww, I have selected for my first written assignment, (2000 words) an approach to the Interpretation of the Book of Revelation according to the text book supplied by the College. Also I am looking into every aspect I can find on the subject. I am hoping this is going to shed some understanding on what the "Hell" aspect of the scriptures really are. 

 brolga
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 9:42 AMCopy HTML

Hi Brolga,

Are you allowed to suggest other interpretations other than the college line? Please look at the Tentmaker site. There are lots of scriptures, and its good to have an open mind. How would you feel, if you gave it a look, and found that the hell doctrine might be erroneous. Would it make you feel good, or would you rather that 'sinners' go there?

I'm interested!
Big Girl
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 11:03 AMCopy HTML

Reply to Guest (08/05/2008 03:42:18)
Hi Brolga,

Are you allowed to suggest other interpretations other than the college line? Please look at the Tentmaker site. There are lots of scriptures, and its good to have an open mind. How would you feel, if you gave it a look, and found that the hell doctrine might be erroneous. Would it make you feel good, or would you rather that 'sinners' go there?

I'm interested!
Big Girl
Whoe there BG!
 
Of course I am allowed to look at other interpretations, I answer to no man, this is what I have been doing since I completely removed myself from Revival dogma. It is not my intention to prove or disprove anything to any one at this stage and confess, I really don't know. What my aim is, to investigate as many aspects of the objective and gather what I see as material (and perhaps spiritual) sound evidence as one would do building a case in a court of law, if you like.
I do try to look at web sights when suggested and google as much as I can. Always with an open mind. I am learning to "listen" to what is said and presented, and one can quickly know what is substantial, phylosophical or just plain hearsay. I even have a listen to what mothy has to say.:lol:
If I was only doing this to prove a point or to feel good about hell etc., I would probably be a Jehovah's Witness by now but as is claimed the Bible is the Word of God so must be a foundation to build on. As for wanting sinners to go to hell, NO! as I have established that I am up with the most (sinners), and you know the bible tells us that Jesus came to save sinners.;)  It is not for us to say (Judge) who goes to hell or who will be saved. God is our Judge.
Whatever the outcome of my venture I'm sure will be most rewarding which ever way it goes. And hope I can be a help to others along the way.

brolga

PS. also fww, I find orthodox religion has a very strong case for the defence at this stage.

  
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 12:04 PMCopy HTML

I am learning to "listen" to what is  said and presented,  and one can quickly know what is substantial, phylosophical  or just plain  hearsay. I even have a listen to what mothy has to say.:lol:

Oh really? How very accommodating of you. Although I can see that comment as being light-hearted and almost complimentary, I'm uncomfortable with it. Out of curiousity, why do say 'even' Mothy? I assume it's because you find my beliefs, or what you believe are my beliefs, to be so contrary to yours. Or is it the profile picture? That I can understand.

If I was only doing this to prove a point or to feel good about hell etc., I would probably be a Jehovah's Witness by now but as is claimed the Bible is the Word of  God so must be a foundation to build on.

Well, aside from not wanting to be a part of another cult that is, eh? JWs are very much like the Revivalists insomuch as nearly every creed they hang their hat on is convoluted. However, and in the very least, they don't subscribe to the eternal torment doctrine, in the literal sense of 'eternal' and physical ongoing torture dispensed by their god.

As for wanting sinners to go  to hell,  NO! as I have established that I am up with the most (sinners), and you know the bible tells us that Jesus came to save sinners.;)  It is not for us to say (Judge) who goes to hell or who will be saved. God is our Judge.

Well, good god hey? Let's hope he's merciful and turns the heat down in say a few billion years when the bad guys have learn their lesson for not believing in him. Excuse me, but mocking hell is somewhat of a pastime for me. I've exausted myself studying 'hell' in other threads, and encourage anyone who is confused on the subject to either confuse themselves more, or enlighten, or just be challenged enough to read Hanson's work at TentMaker (and dare go against Ian's advice). You don't even have to read Mothy's rant, but I'd be interested in hearing what you think of the essay at http://www.tentmaker.org/books/TheBibleHell.shtml

Pete
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 1:14 PMCopy HTML

Reply to MothandRust (08/05/2008 06:04:32)


Oh really? How very accommodating of you. Although I can see that comment as being light-hearted and almost complimentary, I'm uncomfortable with it.  Out of curiousity, why do say 'even' Mothy? I assume it's because you find my beliefs, or what you believe are my beliefs, to be so contrary to yours. Or is it the profile picture? That I can understand.

Well, aside from not wanting to be a part of another cult that is, eh? JWs are very much like the Revivalists insomuch as nearly every creed they hang their hat on is convoluted. However, and in the very least, they don't subscribe to the eternal torment doctrine, in the literal sense of 'eternal' and physical ongoing torture dispensed by their god.

Well, good god hey? Let's hope he's merciful and turns the heat down in say a few billion years when the bad guys have learn their lesson for not believing in him. Excuse me, but mocking hell is somewhat of a pastime for me.  I've exausted myself studying 'hell' in other threads, and encourage anyone who is confused on the subject to either confuse themselves more, or enlighten, or just be challenged enough to read Hanson's work at TentMaker (and dare go against Ian's advice). You don't even have to read Mothy's rant, but I'd be interested in hearing what you think of the essay at http://www.tentmaker.org/books/TheBibleHell.shtml

Pete

(Message edited by MothandRust on 08/05/2008 06:09:26)
Yo Moth,

You should know me by now, that comment wasn't meant to offend you but just breaking out of the "too serious" a little. My apologies, and I do have respect for your pov's and is some what educational for my cause. At times I wonder what my beliefs are but mostly lean toward what is written in scripture. I guess what my new avatar symbol represents, says it all.

JW'S; I was just commenting on their after life bit, not anything else.

Mocking hell maybe a past time for you, but mocking God isn't, hey. Seems not many want to accept what's written in God's word.

Ian has never/doesn't given me any advise on what I shouldn't read or look at, I think he must give me a bit of credit not to be pursuaded into obvious muddy waters. I will look into said website time permitting, but would it really change your way of thinking what conclusion I draw from it? You already have made up your mind about it all.Cool

Ralph.
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 2:06 PMCopy HTML

You should know me  by now, that comment wasn't meant to offend you but just breaking out of the "too serious" a little. My apologies, and I do have respect for your pov's and is some what educational for my cause. At times I wonder what my beliefs are but mostly lean toward what is written in scripture.

Naturally we're looking to stick with what's in scripture. It's hardly fair or playing by the rules of the game should we let any old text drive the discussion.

JW'S; I was just commenting on their after life bit, not anything else.

I know this. It's amazing how many people get caught up in that church. I wonder what type or mindset lends itself to nodding with agreement to a Watchtower magazine.

Mocking hell maybe a past time for you, but mocking God isn't, hey. Seems not many want to accept what's written in God's word.

Are you saying I'm mocking god? At this stage, if I was to be seen to mocking god it'd be akin to mocking Santa, but in the context of this thread we're analysing 'hope' and now, 'Hell', and the contemporary Christian view of hell is certainly something to be mocked... and the god of such a hell would certainly also to be worth of much mock. Mock, mock and much more merry mockumentries.

And there's plenty wto want to accept what's written in the Bible. There's a lot of argument as to how the contents could and should be interpreted, but that's all part of the fun isn't it? As you would know seeing as you're endeavouring to study it and work out what may be closer to the truth than what you thought it was.

Ian has never/doesn't  given me any advise on what I shouldn't read or look at, I think he must give me a bit of credit not to be pursuaded into obvious muddy waters.  I will look into said website  time permitting,  but would it really change your way of thinking  what conclusion I draw from it? You already have made up your mind about it all.

So, well then, yes he does advise you as to what you shouldn't read as you've already judged the website as muddy according to Ian's comments. And no, I'm not trying to convert you in regard to assessing your conclusions, I just recommend the essay as you said you're interested in the subject at the moment, and I thought you might be curious in something that I, and Big Girl have already read and found well written. Possibly I've made my mind up too, but I'm welcoming any feedback or questions to defend the concept of hell that I think is fully endorsed by the bible. Aside from how you judge me and my beliefs, I'm open to question them and do try not to lock them down. 

You started the thread, asking for the thoughts of 'unbelievers' (those who dont believe as you do) and we offered up a source of information. The 'hope' you speak of is heaven for some and pain and torture for many. I don't see that as any kind of hope at all when it's balanced against each other. The various ideas of Universalism offer a much more hopeful future for all and we again share the essay for those readers interested in seeing the fractured version of Hell make some sort of sense.
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:08/05/2008 2:15 PMCopy HTML

Mothy,

All your points well taken, much work to be undertaken by myself to put my actions where my mouth is. (if it doesn't kill me first) Thanks,

Chou for now
brolga
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:09/05/2008 3:02 AMCopy HTML

Yo Moth, BG, Brolga,

Curiosity got the better of me and I skimmed through Hanson's essay last night. At one point he says, referring to "hell":

" ... Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jude ever employ it. Would they not have warned sinners concerning it, if there were a Gehenna of torment after death? ..."

He neglects to mention the contradictory evidence that Paul clearly considers there are *very* negative *eternal* consequences for not heeding the gospel e.g., 2 Th 1:5-10 (even though there's no reference to being poked in the butt with pitchforks by creatures in red tights). It would be wise to ask, "What else has not been mentioned?"

"Eternal torment" - dunno ... but "universal reconciliation" conflicts with too much of what I see in the bible.
The evidence for Mann-made global warming is unequivocal.
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:09/05/2008 3:26 AMCopy HTML

He neglects to mention the contradictory evidence that Paul clearly considers there are *very* negative *eternal* consequences for  not heeding  the gospel e.g., 2 Th 1:5-10 (even though there's no reference to being poked in the butt with pitchforks  by creatures in red tights). It would be wise to ask, "What else has not been mentioned?"

It comes down to what the word 'eternal' actually means in context within that passage. There are many scriptures that use that word, but are inarguable are 'not' talking about something 'without end', and I can give examples. But even Universalists agree that some level of punishment is going to be due and it will have a level of 'time' involved (time being somewhat of an abstraction).

"Universal reconciliation" conflicts with too much of what you see in the bible may be as to how non-salvation-tongues conflicts with much of what they see in their bible... if you know what I mean. This is something that I've seen argued convincingly from both sides (U.R. that is).
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:09/05/2008 3:50 AMCopy HTML

It comes down to what the word 'eternal' actually means in context within that passage

absolutely! (plus of course other contexts such as the whole letter and Paul's theology)
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Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:09/05/2008 4:31 AMCopy HTML

Moth,

I had a quick read through Hansens notes and would expect something along those lines coming out of my studies on these matters, though I must be careful not to read any preconceived ideas into it whilst doing it.

Talmid is correct, all scipture must be read in the light of what the text is referring to, as it is grammatical part of the Greek text that expresses the meaning of it. 

Talk to you again after awhile, spending too much time here when I need to be studying.

cheers for now.

brolga

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  • Register:27/02/2004 11:21 PM

Re:What hope is better than the bible's?

Date Posted:09/05/2008 7:24 AMCopy HTML

Thanks for homouring me and checking out the website. Not sure why I'm thanking you for that, but seems like a polite thing to do... 

As for the thread topic so far and 'hope' outside of Bible hope...

From the  pov of a Christian, whether Pentecostal, Orthodox, believer or what ever,  the end hope is, a place of peace and eternity. You may say Christians are deluded, but I have never seen any anything outside of bible hope, offered that has convinced me there is anything better. What are the thoughts of those unbelievers, and what do they offer that is better than bible promises of life after death?

What? As far as possible (or impossible) afterlives go, you mean? You're saying that the bible offers the best idea of an alternative to simply dying? I don't actually think death is as terrifying a concept as is the feared of some. 'Souls', as far as I can tell, are just invented concepts, whereas the actual sentient human mind we have is simply a network of firing neurons that cease to function when blood is unable to pump into the squishy organ within our skulls.

What are the thoughts of those unbelievers, and what do they offer that is better than bible promises of life after death?

The bible promises a magical land for those that pass the test of this life, and there are many different ideas as to what 'heaven' actually is, but I think far too many people concentrate on this fantastic new kingdom while neglecting the actual real life they are experiencing now. I hope to do the best that I can to make life as good as possible for my children so that they can do the same for theirs... a neverending cycle that has gone on for eons, and is kinda unselfish when you think about it.
[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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