Christianity and other religions

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paradox3

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@revjohn
Re: needing to prove that we are grateful. I like this notion very much. I have always liked the concept that living lives pleasing to God is a response to God's love, not a requirement to earn God's grace.

Of course we will always stumble. I think the point is that we try.
 

revjohn

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Which still suggests it is our actions and choices, rather than God's Grace that determines which we are. It is not unmerited.
Maybe.

Maybe not.

The parable may not be about what to do/not do so much as it might be about why we do the things we do/don't do.

I think the tell is that neither the sheep nor the goats show any ability to actually identify Jesus in their midst. The Sheep are shocked that they have welcomed Christ because they never were able to identify Christ. The Goats are indignant because they would have been more welcoming had they actually been able to identify Christ among them.

And yet, the Sheep in extending welcome to the least of Christ's siblings have offered to them what they would gladly offer to Christ. Why? Gratitude is an appropriate response to grace. They have been welcomed by Christ and they in turn welcome others.

The Goats have no grace at all in their response, they are (referencing another parable) unmerciful servants at best and even though they were forgiven they refuse to show forgiveness themselves. They might welcome Christ differently but they aren't going out of their way to welcome anyone other than Christ. Whatever grace they may have received certainly wasn't transformative their debt is never paid and ultimately they do not belong to Christ's flock.

Reading it as a recipe for what I have to do to get into heaven once again ignores grace and focuses on work.

The parable establishes that both sheep and goats exist. Sheep and Goats don't get to self-identify. They are distinguished by God before any have their actions lifted up. God has no trouble seeing them for what they are even if they don't understand how God could have entered their presence without them noticing.

They aren't separated based on what they do.

They are separated based on the nature they reveal.
 

revjohn

Well-Known Member
Re: needing to prove that we are grateful. I like this notion very much. I have always liked the concept that living lives pleasing to God is a response to God's love, not a requirement to earn God's grace.

Of course we will always stumble. I think the point is that we try.
It is here that we see the different ways that the laws of Moses are used in Christian communities.

Some will slam them as being inferior to the grace of God right up until they find one that they can use to slam the behaviour of somebody or other and then you could be forgiven for thinking that some levitical code trumps the grace of God made manifest in Christ.

Others look at the law of Moses and say, this indicates some of what God finds compelling we should use it to guide us in our response to God.

If we use Jesus' own summary of the whole of the law and the prophets completed in loving God and loving our neighbour we can see our lives transformed rather easily and becoming tools of God's own using in the transforming of other lives.

Grace is scandalous and doesn't lend itself to fear-based proselytism. Turn or burn theologies spit on the grace of God by rendering it impotent in the face of human choice.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
"Why" we do/don't do things as they occur ... may require understanding, reason and certain aspects of rational that have been laid upon us ... onus?

Some get it some don't and thus the fragile and tentative network goes with the wind "hubris" eases by ...

If you know this you can't say because such alien intellect is not welcome in those that only accept what is familia ... and thus contemptuous as a tempest!

Is that like a pious dissonant? Consider the options ... as alternate ... a shadow hugging the earth! Will do for a smudge of time ...
 

unsafe

Well-Known Member
BetteTheRed----you said ----but how do you feel about universal salvation?

Well I would like to think that Salvation is universal -----as you and many others think ---but since I totally Believe what God says in His word about how to be saved ---I cannot believe in a Universal Salvation ---that would make Jesus nil in void as to why He willingly went through such a terrible Death to save people who want to be saved --

God gave us choice for a reason ----He does not force anyone to be saved ---that is a person's personal choice ----- God would like all to be Saved ------

BetteTheRed ------you said -----The opening post says that the least appealing part of Christianity is its determination to consign other people to hell. Your own theology seems to do a lot of that.

I say ---my view -----first off your saying Christianity is determined to consign people to hell -------the Religion of Christianity is man made this Religion has no power to send anyone to hell or heaven ---- God's Salvation has nothing to do with a Christianity Religion -----It has to do with Receiving and Believing in Jesus as their personal Saviour -----it is relationship based not religion based ------

BetteTheRed ---you ask -------Question: what are you going to think when you get to heaven, and find me there?

I say ----Well first off I would be very happy and glad to spiritually meet you in Heaven ----
But if you are in Heaven with your Universal belief of Salvation and got there with that alone ------then I would have to go to God and ask why He lied in His word and made false claims as to how one gets into spend their eternal life with Him -----

If Universal Salvation is in place then God is a liar and His word is of no value and Jesus shedding His blood and dying on the cross is a sham ------

So for me Salvation is through Faith in Jesus who is Grace --- I don't believe that God is a liar Nor do I believe that His word is of no value --Nor do I believe that Jesus shedding His Blood and dying on the Cross is a sham -----

So each of us will believe what we want to about the salvation issue while we are here living on God's planet -------But the Real Truth about how we get into Heaven will only be known when we die and meet God in our Spiritual state -----

So I do hope I see you in Heaven :angel:
 

jimkenney12

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I focus on grace in our lives. I am unable to accept the concept of hell. What profit would there be for God in creating such a place?
 

paradox3

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As a symbol of remorse, I can accept the concept of Hell. Not as a literal place.

Before my mom died, she asked me what I thought heaven was. "Is it a feeling?" she asked me.

Maybe.

Maybe an altered state of being.

Couldn't hell be much the same? I kind of like the idea of purgatory even though it's not part of our tradition. It makes me think there is forgiveness on the other side of remorse.
 

paradox3

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I focus on grace in our lives. I am unable to accept the concept of hell. What profit would there be for God in creating such a place?
How would you say God demonstrates that God is unhappy with certain choices humans make? Is it all through positive reinforcement? Maybe through that divine lure the panentheists talk about?
 

paradox3

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Even though I hold a universalist view of salvation, heaven doesn't make logical sense to me without some sort of counterpart. Remorse works better for me than punishment though.
 

jimkenney12

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Paul in one of his letters describes a refining process after death. I believe I read speculation in Tom Harpur's book, Life after Death, that, when we die, we will see the consequences of everything we did. This will be an experience of deep remorse. Once we are through that refining process, we will be ready to embrace existence with the Holy Mystery.

Not related to Grace, but to life after death, my favourite book on life after death is Newcomer's Guide to the Afterlife by Daniel Quinn and another author. It would not be an enjoyable read for anyone who takes religious beliefs about the afterlife very seriously.
 

unsafe

Well-Known Member
jimkenney12 ----you said -----What profit would there be for God in creating such a place?

God firstly didn't create Hell for His Creation ---He created Hell to house Satan and His angels who rebelled against Him -----

God is a God of Love but He is also a God of Justice ------Why do you jimkenney12 think that you can just have a corrupt sinful nature and commit sins against God and get off Scott Free --no consequences rendered to you by God in where you spend your eternal life -----you think that sin is OK and that God should accept you as you are in your sins and allow you to enjoy His domain ---This is the problem with the corrupt human mind set ----I call it stinking thinking

If you break a law here do you think that you should get off scott free no justice should be brought against you -----and if your Children disobey your house rules and moral rules that you have informed them of also should not be punished for their disobedience ------

God is our Father in Heaven --- should we not have the respect to obey His will and moral laws and if we don't should we not think we should be punished for our disobedience -----

We make our own choices on where we send ourselves in our end ------People have to Stop blaming God for their choice to go to a pit of punishment --

Humans extended hell to include themselves not God ======

this is how I see it ----- how arrogant of us to think we can just act the way we want and treat God the way we want or reject Him altogether and not be held accountable for our thinking and our rebellious actions against our Creator ----
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Heaven is a high handed thought ... while hell makes sense for a time of learning ... as long as the learning is temporal and something we can all take a break from and do naughty things ... especially on the Eve of Christmas ... one of the shadiest of times!

After the smoke is cleared and rises up an unseen chi*mney like rub to what yah nose ...
 

BetteTheRed

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But if you are in Heaven with your Universal belief of Salvation and got there with that alone

What an odd statement. I am a full human person, unsafe, with a full human personality of beliefs and traits, a lifetime of successes and failures. I simply cannot imagine a holy mystery that would limit its grace only to those who gave public assent to a single belief about the significance of a single event in human history by a human person.

If Godde is everything and Godde is love, then Godde loves all of Godde's creation. Godde loves Hitler as much as BetteTheRed, a cockroach as much as a bumblebee.

I don't have a problem with a "winnowing fire" to burn off all of the bad stuff that stuck to us over the years, like trauma, addiction, unkindness, unforgiveness, and the monstrous personalities that a terrible combination of the foregoing can create.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
What an odd statement. I am a full human person, unsafe, with a full human personality of beliefs and traits, a lifetime of successes and failures. I simply cannot imagine a holy mystery that would limit its grace only to those who gave public assent to a single belief about the significance of a single event in human history by a human person.

If Godde is everything and Godde is love, then Godde loves all of Godde's creation. Godde loves Hitler as much as BetteTheRed, a cockroach as much as a bumblebee.

I don't have a problem with a "winnowing fire" to burn off all of the bad stuff that stuck to us over the years, like trauma, addiction, unkindness, unforgiveness, and the monstrous personalities that a terrible combination of the foregoing can create.


Some feel unsafe to go there and thus regression into hard spots ... stoned?

Like unending statutes ...
 

unsafe

Well-Known Member
BetteTheRed ---you said ----- I simply cannot imagine a holy mystery that would limit its grace only to those who gave public assent to a single belief about the significance of a single event in human history by a human person

Well ---I say that is your right to not imagine a Holy God sending His only Son to be flogged and nailed to a Cross to free you from sun and death out of His Love for you -----

And here is what I cannot imagine ------you being so limited in your thinking you feel that you have every right to share in God's Holy Kingdom because you deserve it -----even though you refuse to acknowledge what Jesus did for you and refuse to give God the time of day to obey His will for you to get into His Holy Kingdom -----which is to receive His Son as your Lord and Saviour ----
You won't do one thing for God but you expect God in His Love to accept your sinful self without any judgement ------How arrogant is that ----

BetteTheRed -----you said ----Godde loves Hitler as much as BetteTheRed, a cockroach as much as a bumblebee.

I say ---OH WOW --you compare yourself to Hitler ----that is just weird -----God did love Hitler with all his baggage-- that I believe ---but is Hitler in Heaven ?????-----he would be in Hell for sure if he didn't receive Jesus as his Lord and Saviour before he died as that is the only way to get into heaven according to God Himself -----

As far as cockroaches and bumblebees goes ----I am sure God's loves them too in their fallen state as well --But are they in heaven ---can't say -----Scripture doesn't mention what animals and insects have to do to be heaven bound ----

BetteTheRed ---you said ------I don't have a problem with a "winnowing fire" to burn off all of the bad stuff that stuck to us over the years,

I say ----well unfortunately a winnowing fire that you think will burn off all the bad stuff that stuck to us ---will not cleanse you to be heaven bound ------

All the bad stuff we do and have stuck to us comes from the inside not the outside ---a corrupt human spirit and mindset is the problem causing us to not be heaven bound -----and the only way to cleanse the inside is to receive Jesus who then sends the Holy spirit to change our Corrupt Human Spirit to God's Holy Spirit and then our corrupt mind set starts to change to do God's will -----

I see it this way -----we earn our way into hell -------Heaven is a gift of Grace
 

BetteTheRed

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-a corrupt human spirit and mindset is the problem causing us to not be heaven bound -----and the only way to cleanse the inside is to receive Jesus who then sends the Holy spirit to change our Corrupt Human Spirit to God's Holy Spirit and then our corrupt mind set starts to change to do God's will -----

Most evil and badness in the world is a direct result of trauma, of a whole bunch of kinds. People live and people die, and it can be a gracious process all the way, from birth to dying, but there's pockets of trauma in the world, and they affect people in ways you can't imagine. I have two personal traumas that have shaped me. The first is the second world war. My father served in it from 39-45, from ages 17-23. He was wounded unimaginably in spirit. And surely, there are atheists in foxholes, because he walked out bitterly convinced of the death of God. My second trauma was my mother's illness. A gorgeous woman, full of life and spirit, but her mental illness ruled her like a hideous clock.

Look at the much greater trauma of our indigenous neighbours, having their children ripped away from them. Hell exists here, on earth. No-one deserves hell after this. Look at the innocents in Yemen, starving. You put your "saving faith in Jesus Christ" against this? What kind of privileged world do you live in?
 

BetteTheRed

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There's a lovely book written by a Canadian author, Yann Martel, called The Life of Pi. In it, he describes an outsider's view of your particular atonement theology, from the POV of a zookeeper (natural, because his father had a small zoo in rural India).

"So, the zookeeper has both zebras and mongoose. Different pens, of course, because the mongoose is the natural predator of the zebra. The mongoose wouldn't stop escaping and killing the zebras, so the zookeeper threw his young son in with the mongooses to be killed so that they'd never kill zebras again." (Very paraphrased because I'm not entirely sure where the book is at present. The animal species might even be incorrect, but you get the drift.)
 

BetteTheRed

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It is. One of my oldest friends went to Trent at the same time as he and remembers him fondly.
 
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