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HolyGround >> Is Rob Bell a heretic?


3/27/11 11:13 AM
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reverend john
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CJJScout - Gospel=good news

Actually there is a strong pitical component to that word

It was the word for the imperial herald. The roman heralding of the gospel of the roman empire.

Another thing is that Jesus says the good news is that the empire of God has come and can be chosen in favor of the roman

The problem with focusing on Paul is we take him outside of his own life and context Paul followed Jesus. He must be examined as much by his actions as his theological commentary Paul did not espouse a two kingdom ethic

Rev
3/27/11 1:49 PM
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reverend john
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sorry that last post was a bit weird, its really hard for me to type on my phone.

The word translated gospel does not mean "good news" like we think, it is more of a political word that comes from the herald of the Roman empire. So there is a political component to the word gospel. To take that out of the equation, allows both Paul and Jesus to be put into the "pie in the sky when you die" type of understanding.

In addition, Jesus said the gospel, is that there is a new empire, the empire of God, and it is breaking into this world. We are to repent or turn from our worldly empires, and embrace the empire of God, which is both a flesh and blood, and economic reality, as well as a spiritual one. The good news is not that we can be forgiven and go to heaven. The good news is that we are called into a relationship with God and each other that begins to live in the future reality of a world remade. It is a then and now reality. It calls us not to be good boys and girls, but rather, to be counter culture revolutionaries, living a politic of love no matter the powers that be surrounding us.

To this end, we must study all of scriptures, including the old testament and Paul as a narrative of liberation. God liberating his people from slavery, from idols, from oppression, from occupation and finally from all of the powers in Jesus. God liberating us from sin, in a "spiritual" sense but not a physical one is gnostic. God is the liberator both of our souls and our very selves. In fact Paul himself says only God himself can see the difference between our soul (mind and body) and our spirit (God's breath). We must read Paul, not only in this liberation narrative, but also within the context of his own life. Paul was not an evangelist involved only with saving souls. Paul was a revolutionary, eventually murdered for treason by the empire. Paul lovingly confronted slave owners to release slaves, yet taught slaves how to be free even if they were in slavery. Paul cannot be a theologian divorced from his practice. This was no ivory tower theoretician. We must interpret Paul as much from the lens of his own living, as we do from the person of Jesus and His life.

hope that makes sense.

rev
4/12/11 8:43 PM
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Grakman
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Edited: 04/12/11 8:47 PM
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At the end of this article, the author lists a number of differences in belief among Christian sects. It's interesting to see it all laid out like that.

Flexibility, Heretics, and Love Wins
4/12/11 9:45 PM
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5pointer
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Ridgeback -  The real mistake would be to take Paul as the primary authority without seeing him through the lens of his Lord.  And this is exactly what many fundamentalist churches around the US do because they have been influenced by the dispensationalist doctrine of Darby, spread through the publication of the Scofield reference Bible.  I have a copy of the Scofield Bible and it actually states that the teachings of Jesus don't apply to the church (Christians) but rather only applied to the Jews of his day because they were in a different dispensation.  They don't believe that the Parable of the Last Judgment would apply to them, because they are saved under grace and not works.  Therefore, they feel no pressure to "do unto the least of these" as if the least of these were really Jesus himself in the flesh.  That, I believe, is a very screwed up doctrine and one that directly leads people to bask in their "salvation" while neglecting the acts of mercy that are supposed to be both the fruits and indivisable parts of a real salvation (faith without works is dead).  



holy shiz i was just talking to a friend who tried convincing me we dont need to take anything Jesus said and apply it to our lives because He was yet to be sacrficied, and grace had yet to be dispursed to His children. I had never heard such a thing. Even in 3 years of Bible college. I have so much to learn!
4/12/11 9:53 PM
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Grakman
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 I've heard the Sheep and the Goats described as a story about the 'nations' who showed favor to either Christians or the nation of Israel. If the nation was good to Christians (or Israel) they were on the right hand; all nations who persecuted Christians (or Israel) are on the left.

I've also seen it interpreted as a command to Christians to treat other believers a certain way; the poor, in prison, etc are interpreted to be persecuted Christians, not just any poor or prisoner. The teaching is supposed to instruct Christians on how they should care for one another, not the 'world.'
4/12/11 10:17 PM
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yusul
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the life and times of Jesus and his quotes. the first 4 NT books.
4/12/11 10:29 PM
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yusul
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i think he's mistaken, based on what i scanned on the blog, but i'm not one to say it's a heresy; that's something only God can decide.

However, the problem I have with cu is that of choice; you have to actively choose to accept Jesus in order to receive salvation. By saying that everyone is saved because of Jesus' sacrifice you take away personal choice and create a default. CU takes away the point of being born again.


Also, the NT quotes in many places that you have to choose Jesus in order to be saved (no man may come to the Father except through me, etc). it also mentions Hell and no where mentions that it is a temporary condition.
4/15/11 8:06 PM
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reverend john
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how is that any different from saying everyone is damned unless you accept Jesus? Doesn't that take away choice? If I said all hell was breaking loose, you wouldn't think the earth was opening up and demons were flying out would you? Nor does the idea of eternal always mean forever. The bible says Sodom and Gamorah were burned with an eternal fire, is it still burning today? no, it was eternal in its judgment. In addition, most of the time Jesus uses the term he is speaking of the garbage dump outside the city which was the final resting place of people that were too poor to be buried properly, or too unrighteous.

Which makes things really interesting when you realize that Jesus always talks about hell as the destination of the rich, powerful and religious, the people who would never wind up buried on the garbage dump...

The scriptures are far more creative, nuanced, political, and wonderful than a cursory reading holds. God's amazing love, is so perfect, and His act of sacrifice so compelling that all of the worlds hate, and violence cannot hold it at bay, love triumphs, without taking away our free will, but wooing it

rev
4/15/11 8:08 PM
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reverend john
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Grakman -  I've heard the Sheep and the Goats described as a story about the 'nations' who showed favor to either Christians or the nation of Israel. If the nation was good to Christians (or Israel) they were on the right hand; all nations who persecuted Christians (or Israel) are on the left.

I've also seen it interpreted as a command to Christians to treat other believers a certain way; the poor, in prison, etc are interpreted to be persecuted Christians, not just any poor or prisoner. The teaching is supposed to instruct Christians on how they should care for one another, not the 'world.'


yeah that first idea is the worst bullshit copout I have ever heard, and makes no sense to the passage.

rev
4/15/11 8:22 PM
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Grakman
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reverend john - how is that any different from saying everyone is damned unless you accept Jesus? Doesn't that take away choice? If I said all hell was breaking loose, you wouldn't think the earth was opening up and demons were flying out would you? Nor does the idea of eternal always mean forever. The bible says Sodom and Gamorah were burned with an eternal fire, is it still burning today? no, it was eternal in its judgment. In addition, most of the time Jesus uses the term he is speaking of the garbage dump outside the city which was the final resting place of people that were too poor to be buried properly, or too unrighteous.

Which makes things really interesting when you realize that Jesus always talks about hell as the destination of the rich, powerful and religious, the people who would never wind up buried on the garbage dump...

The scriptures are far more creative, nuanced, political, and wonderful than a cursory reading holds. God's amazing love, is so perfect, and His act of sacrifice so compelling that all of the worlds hate, and violence cannot hold it at bay, love triumphs, without taking away our free will, but wooing it

rev
 Man on fire! Love it rev!
4/15/11 10:27 PM
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gord96
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Agree! Solid post rev. Brought tears to my eyes. I wish you were my pastor. Phone Post
4/16/11 12:46 AM
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yusul
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''reverend john - how is that any different from saying everyone is damned unless you accept Jesus? Doesn't that take away choice? ''

not at all, you can choose to follow or not follow. or even choose not to believe in damnation. it's still a choice. but there is still a consequence to either action.

''If I said all hell was breaking loose, you wouldn't think the earth was opening up and demons were flying out would you? Nor does the idea of eternal always mean forever. ''

that's because all hell breaking loose is an expression based on an analogy of what hell would be like. if the Bible itself says something like God is eternal i'm inclined to believe that eternal means forever. It's a direct quote from the Bible vs. an expression based on imagination.

'The bible says Sodom and Gamorah were burned with an eternal fire, is it still burning today? no, it was eternal in its judgment. In addition, most of the time Jesus uses the term he is speaking of the garbage dump outside the city which was the final resting place of people that were too poor to be buried properly, or too unrighteous.''

while i know about gehenna, there are many verses that actually confirm consequences (fear not men who can destroy only the body, but fear God who can destroy body and soul in hell, etc.) for the people who don't accept God. whether or not there are little red people with pitchforks running around, i'm not speculating on that; only there seems to be a price of consequence for unbelief.

I have seen no verses anywhere in the Bible that confirm that Hell is temporary suffering; at the very best, it is a place of final destruction with eternal fires. (i.e lake of fire). So i can concede the point that eternal suffering may not exist if hell is a place of destruction, but there are more than enough verses that confirm an afterlife (eternal or not) of suffering outside of God. So i'm not sure where bell gets his ideas.

4/16/11 9:24 AM
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reverend john
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Bell gets his ideas from a number of places:

The bible As in Adam all have sinned and gone over to death so in Christ all are alive

Love never fails

Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord

Jesus is the redemption of the entire cosmos

ect.

In addition, if people go through hell here and wind up being saved and redeemed, why would God stop doing that? Why does God's love only extend to the end of your life on earth and then you are shit out of luck?

Origen an early church theologian taught the same things Bell teaches

The majority of the church have always believed in a middle ground of the afterlife.

The bible when dealing with eschatology is almost always dealing with the political realities of the time in which it was created. When hell is talking about the upside down kingdom of God in Christs teachings, it is talking about the death of systems and structures of oppression, and demonic evil.

Fire is often spoken of as cleansing

Paul says when we reach judgment all of our work will be tried by "fire" and only that which is pure will remain

dude, there is so much. The problem isn't evidence there is plenty on both sides of the debate. The problem is personality. Do you attribute to the God, that Jesus was the "exact representation of His being", that Jesus said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father, do you attribute hell to that God? So if we look at Jesus, and we see Jesus telling us forgive over and over don't stop forgiving, do we believe God does stop forgiving? When Jesus says love your enemies and do good to those that persecute you do we believe that the Father will do less? When Jesus says do not return evil for evil, but good for evil, will he not do what he told us to do? When Jesus shows a loving accepting, caring and forgiving God, how do we who follow Jesus, believe he suddenly changed his mind and now is the vindictive, jealous, mean spirited torturer of souls?

rev
4/16/11 3:48 PM
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Ridgeback
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 While there are some schools of CU in which humans don't ultimately have a choice, most of the advocates of CU I have read very much uphold human freedom.  That is how they measure the duration of each person's "time" in Gehenna.  It is a measure of how long it takes a person to finally repent and end his own self-inflicted torment.  That is certainly one way to interpret the verse about Jesus putting everything under his foot (under his power and authority) and then God finally being "all in all."  

4/16/11 9:46 PM
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yusul
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''dude, there is so much. The problem isn't evidence there is plenty on both sides of the debate. The problem is personality. Do you attribute to the God, that Jesus was the "exact representation of His being", that Jesus said if you have seen me, you have seen the Father, do you attribute hell to that God?''

no, i attribute hell to choice. i think hell is a place where you are without God based not only on the gospel, but also in paul's letters. it's a choice to accept God or to live without God. In essence, our choices conform a part of reality into the shape we call hell. again, i see nowhere in the bible, the implication of redemption of people who choose not to believe in or follow God.

my question to you rev, is doesn't free will, a choice between options, become meaningless, if the consequences of all options lead to the same road?

''So if we look at Jesus, and we see Jesus telling us forgive over and over don't stop forgiving, do we believe God does stop forgiving? When Jesus says love your enemies and do good to those that persecute you do we believe that the Father will do less? When Jesus says do not return evil for evil, but good for evil, will he not do what he told us to do?"

My understanding is that we are perpetually forgiving throughout, until we die. it seems death is actually the cut off in that we receive judgement after death. we are told to continually forgive because it is what we should want to do, being born again; however, there is no mention of forgiving others after death. it seems that there is a final judgement.

also, is someone who does not want or accept forgiveness forgiven by God? i'm not sure about that, but then what's the point of following Jesus' teachings, to avoid several minutes of hell?

my understanding is that God's forgiveness is literally manifest by his plan for our salvation, Jesus; he forgives those who ask for it at any time during our lives according to scripture.

''When Jesus shows a loving accepting, caring and forgiving God, how do we who follow Jesus, believe he suddenly changed his mind and now is the vindictive, jealous, mean spirited torturer of souls?''

jesus isn't the torturer of souls, it is said that a murder's conscience drives him to hell. we torture ourselves when we don't accept God and are out of synch with his will. Also, it depends on if you believe in the existence of lucifer, because he currently presides over the world, earth air and sea, and in the pit. so he should really share some blame over the fall of man.
4/17/11 12:01 AM
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reverend john
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you argument rings hollow if you put it in real life...

I forgave you, but since you didn't choose the right thing I am going to punch you in the face everyday all day for a year. I forgave you but its your choice to get punched in the face.

If God, creates a place of torment, with no redemptive purpose, for the sole purpose of torture, then God is torturer of souls, and Christ is God, so Christ is torturer of souls.

Jesus did not come to condemn but to save.

Again, Jesus says do good to those that do bad to you. Why would he not do that? Does he not have to follow his own rules after death? Love is patient, and kind, and merciful, and long suffering

rev
4/17/11 12:43 AM
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Grakman
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 yusul,
Have you ever read or studied Christian universalism at all? Are you aware of how prevalent it was in the early church, or the Scriptures that make declarative, unequivocal statements that all will be reconciled,all will be saved? I know there are others that describe eternal torment;  but it baffles me why people choose to try to interpret away the verses that indicate all will be saved instead of looking into the matter further, how the word eternal has been translated from the original languages and how it is used in other verses. The rev gave one example about the 'eternal' fire that rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah which of course is no longer in existence; there are many other examples.

4/17/11 12:51 AM
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yusul
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''I forgave you, but since you didn't choose the right thing I am going to punch you in the face everyday all day for a year. I forgave you but its your choice to get punched in the face.''

interesting analogy, but i'm not sure it's accurate. again, you are trying to attribute the punishment in hell actively to God, who is laying a smackdown, which is not what I'm saying. We create our own Hell in the spiritual environment.

i believe Hell exists, but we walk freely there because of our own conscience. Also, I acknowledged the point that Hell may be a place of destruction, not permanent torture. the main point I was trying to convey is that there is a separation between believers and non believers at the end.

''Again, Jesus says do good to those that do bad to you. Why would he not do that? Does he not have to follow his own rules after death? Love is patient, and kind, and merciful, and long suffering''

because he isn't living out a life on the last day; he is acting as a judge who is just and fair. the point on doing certain things in this life become the consequence in the life after. in other words, i believe that bible supports that the second life is more about placement (the first shall be last, etc.) based on what we've done in this life. I'm not implying that works will save us, just that the nature of our walk will have outcomes.

anyways, analogy-wise, it would be more accurate to say', you are at the edge of the cliff, you know i will help you if you grab my hand (reaching out=forgiveness), will you grab it?' would you then blame the person reaching out his hand, or the person who decides not to grab it?

would you blame the creation of the cliff on the one offering the hand? technically the creator of the cliff would be the one hanging; adam and his offspring.

we know that Death didn't even come about until post garden of eden and the fall from grace. So in a sense,it's easy to argue that eating the fruit of knowledge is what created hell and the wage of sin.

i would also argue that God wants to forgive people; but for salvation, people have to want to be forgiven by believing.

What also seems to not make sense to me, according to what you've told me is that you believe that people who go through the challenging process of being born again, fighting their fleshly nature, being in the gospel, missionary work, holding fellowship in order to be connected to God and saved by Jesus, will later find out that they didn't need to do the work at all. maybe a few licks of flames here and there and then all the others will get to hang with God anyways.

We agree that Jesus came for the salvation of humanity, what we seem to disagree on is the fact that everyone is saved. you think it's automatic, and i think it's potential. Jesus sacrifice was so that anyone who wanted to be saved would have the chance to be saved or more accurately, given spiritual life.

rev, you still haven't answered my question about the point of free will if there are no consequences. enjoying the debate. cheers,
4/17/11 10:23 AM
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reverend john
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There is consequence, even eternal consequence, for what we do in our lives. Are you not still paying for sins you committed before Jesus in some way? I live the rest of my life with the memories of sex with other women, with wondering if my wife will think I am comparing her to them, with my wife in fact knowing she is not the only one I have shared this intimacy with, and what if I had a kid somewhere? We pay both in this life and in the life to come for our sins. But in Christ, we begin the process of redemption. Why would anyone wait for that? In Christ we see our forgiveness from God, extended towards others. We realize God's work in the Sacrifice of Christ as we walk that out in sacrificing for others. Why would anyone think Jesus is just fire insurance?

Secondly, Jesus invites us not into heaven, but into the kingdom of heaven, or more correctly the empire of heaven. Or probably better for our current world, into an economy of God's will. This is the transfomative community of God. Where the future redemption of the cosmos is beginning to break into human history in our very community and bodies. Again, why would you wait to be a part of it? Why would you not want to be part of the restoring of God's perfect world. Of love, and grace, and forgiveness and justice, right here on earth.

Jesus sacrifice was not so anyone who didn't want to go to hell could stop from going there. Jesus sacrifice was in God becoming human. In God, showing us how to stand against the power of sin and death. And in the end showing us that even in the midst of all of hell's violence, power, and hatred, we can love. And that this love, is such that even death cannot hold Him down. That Christ, was the all conquering hero, showing us the victory over sin and death, and calls us to follow Him.

To compare those that choose not to do that to those that refuse to grasp a hand to save them is to miss the whole point. Jesus sees the entire universe remade, and those that are supposedly saved, are the first fruits of this remake. Only, too often, they are satisfied with some bs fire insurance policy that keeps them from hell, and focuses on memorizing a few doctrines, and taking on a few personal morals. This is not kingdom come on earth be done, but rather, hold on and wait for the rapture or death to take us to heaven. Or maybe if you are a really ambitious person, try and bring a few of your friends with you. I have no interest in that club.

Also, your cliff analogy doesn't work either. Because God made the cliff. And made an eternal being, with a soul, that longs for Him. To then place a cliff, that allows this person, to make a decision in this temporary life, where scripture tells us we don't even have a good picture of God, or anything else, separate that soul for all eternity from its longing, is cruel. Would you ever not allow a place back for your children?

I will tell you this, I can see reasons to kick my kids out of the house, and to refuse fellowship with them. But there will always be a way back to my house, and me watching at the door, because I love my children. And God is atleast as nice as me.

rev
4/17/11 1:00 PM
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reverend john
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look at the wrongly named story the prodigal son. This should be a very harsh criticism of our attitudes. The prodigal son, should not be named the prodigal son, because he is not the point of the story. The parable should be the asshole brother. Because, the prodigal did not do what was expected of him. He rejected his father, he spent his inheritance in immorality ect. But then he returns and the father welcomes him, and has a party for his return. We like that part of the story. A sinner is always welcome home (as long as it fits into our particular eschatology and doctrinal understanding of salvation, which is problematic because he already was a son).

The harsh words for us are when the story turns upon the brother. For the brother was angry. Its not fair!!! I have done all the right things!!! I have said the sinners prayer and stopped saying bad words, and go to church on Sunday, and you welcome him? Shouldn't he be responsible for his choices? But the father, the loving father says, "what the hell is wrong with you... your brother has come back from the dead and you are bitching about fair.

We need to get over this. God is about justice, but justice starts with us loving our neighbor, not casting them into hell if they don't believe the right things.

rev
4/17/11 7:34 PM
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yusul
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''There is consequence, even eternal consequence, for what we do in our lives. Are you not still paying for sins you committed before Jesus in some way?''

so you believe we pay for sins in the current life and not the next? even that confirms that there are consequences to actions in the current wolrd.

my next point would then be why are there consequences in this and not the next life? Everyone being with God and no one going to place of destruction or punishment, isn't the most negative of consequences. i will gladly admit i am wrong about believing in consequences after death, if you can provide contextual scripture.

''But in Christ, we begin the process of redemption. Why would anyone wait for that? In Christ we see our forgiveness from God, extended towards others. We realize God's work in the Sacrifice of Christ as we walk that out in sacrificing for others. Why would anyone think Jesus is just fire insurance?'

how do you begin the process of redemption except by believing in him? I agree with the walking to sacrifice for others, but that is part of the process of being born again. in other words acknowledging yourself as a believer. a believer does and isn't simply is. however, my understanding of the scripture is that works even a believer will do will not save. so it seems we may different definition of believers.


''Secondly, Jesus invites us not into heaven, but into the kingdom of heaven, or more correctly the empire of heaven. Or probably better for our current world, into an economy of God's will. This is the transfomative community of God. Where the future redemption of the cosmos is beginning to break into human history in our very community and bodies. Again, why would you wait to be a part of it? Why would you not want to be part of the restoring of God's perfect world. Of love, and grace, and forgiveness and justice, right here on earth.''

while i don't actually like your wording of 'economy of God's will', i agree that the kingdom of heaven according to Matthew starts on earth during life. when i am referring to 'heaven', however i am referring to the place with God after death. There seems to be a transformation of it in the end times so that there is a transition, but New Jeruselum isn't exactly the same as the Kingdom or Heavan imo but i can change the phrasing if you want.

However, even that which starts from a mustard seed, is born among the believers who then work to increase the dominion of the kingdom. in other words, the work of the believers is to spread the good news, which essentially creates other believers.

you seem to be creating some straw man arguments by first saying God, then saying believers cast non believing neighbours into hell. i'm saying that only those who believe get to be with God from what i've read in the NT.
again, if you have any verses in context that confirm that hell is a place of temporary punishment and that nonbelievers live in heaven with God post death, I am to admit i'm wrong. Truth is, i would be completely happy if everyone made to God's post death realm if they left their douchiness behind.

rev, so do you believe in hell at all and do you believe in satan? just curious. we probably need a frame of reference for conversation.

''Jesus sacrifice was not so anyone who didn't want to go to hell could stop from going there. Jesus sacrifice was in God becoming human. In God, showing us how to stand against the power of sin and death.''

so my question to you is this this: Jesus didn't come to die for our sins? Our salvation was him becoming human being (simply born)?

'And in the end showing us that even in the midst of all of hell's violence, power, and hatred, we can love. And that this love, is such that even death cannot hold Him down. That Christ, was the all conquering hero, showing us the victory over sin and death, and calls us to follow Him.'

death cannot hold him down, but what was point of resurrection that we follow him because he conquered death, or is it because by conquering death, he paid the wage of our sins?

in other words, how do we stand up to the power of sin and death besides believing in Jesus and accepting the resurrection as the method of payment for our sins?


''To compare those that choose not to do that to those that refuse to grasp a hand to save them is to miss the whole point. Jesus sees the entire universe remade, and those that are supposedly saved, are the first fruits of this remake. Only, too often, they are satisfied with some bs fire insurance policy that keeps them from hell, and focuses on memorizing a few doctrines, and taking on a few personal morals. This is not kingdom come on earth be done, but rather, hold on and wait for the rapture or death to take us to heaven. Or maybe if you are a really ambitious person, try and bring a few of your friends with you. I have no interest in that club.''

that's another strawman argument in that i never raised the point about belief being equal to rote doctrine. belief is accepting the holy spirit,repenting, meditation on scripture, fellowship and accepting to do what we ought.

if people are treating it like fire insurance and doing nothing, or rather aren't drawn to manifest God's love in the physical world, then they aren't believers or first fruits. they simply aren't born again.

''Also, your cliff analogy doesn't work either. Because God made the cliff. And made an eternal being, with a soul, that longs for Him. To then place a cliff, that allows this person, to make a decision in this temporary life, where scripture tells us we don't even have a good picture of God, or anything else, separate that soul for all eternity from its longing, is cruel. Would you ever not allow a place back for your children?''

if it is your belief that if hell exists, it did or didn't exist before the fall of man. Also, the prodigal son analogy wasn't needed, i'm not pissed at the idea of non believers being saved, but simply don't understand the logic of it. i'm not saying other believers would be bitching either. i'm simply talking about the requirement of the walk being completely superfluous.

again, is there a point of being a believer if all are saved, no matter what they believe?
4/17/11 8:20 PM
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Ridgeback
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 again, is there a point of being a believer if all are saved, no matter what they believe?

Wouldn't communion with God in this life be enough? How about living as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven in this Shadow Land? What about being cured of your passions and slavery to sin.  Your question makes it sound like your only reason for being a believer is to get a ticket into heaven.  But I would argue no physical heaven will be heaven apart from radical transformation.
4/17/11 8:30 PM
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Grakman
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yusul - again, is there a point of being a believer if all are saved, no matter what they believe?

Why are YOU a believer yusul? Is it because you love God and want to have a relationship with your creator, or because you don't want to go to Hell? Do you like living a life of sin or do you want to be saved from your sin? Do you want to face the wrath of God after you die even if it's not for eternity?

Why not just choose to serve your Creator out of love and service and honor rather than fear of an eternal Hell?

Why would you choose NOT to believe?
4/18/11 12:55 AM
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reverend john
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The first bit of your post says exactly the opposite of what I said. We do pay for our sins, now and later. Paul says we will suffer loss.

And the second part of the first bit is exactly my point, you don't start in the path of redemption without Christ. So why not accept Christ right here and now. Why would you allow the world to continue to stain, and degrade you. Why would you allow your sin to continue to have a hold of you just because in the end you will get it right. Why not start right now? Which is addressing your question of if we all make it then what is the point?

The whole you are making straw men thing, is kind of silly so perhaps stop it. I am telling it straight, I am not building fake buildings to knock down.

Heaven is heaven, the kingdom of heaven is now, my point is Jesus calls us to start being the kingdom of heaven. Why would you not think that is worth doing? Its like saying, well, someday our wrestling team will win the state championship, I can't wait for that, but for now I am not even gonna try because I know it will happen someday... That is stupid, you train hard, push like crazy, work as hard as you can to be part of that legacy. Again, my point was an answer to your "whats the point question"

As to my belief, yes I believe in satan, and in hell, I just think they are both different than what traditional Christianity teaches. There is no way you can see what I have seen and not believe in hell or satan.

And in the end, my point stands, any father that would go as far as to sacrifice the son for our salvation, would not then close the door on us.

As to atonement theory the western punitive substitutionary atonement is one of a few, and is not in any way the oldest, nor in my opinion the strongest. Jesus died for our sins not to pay the price for our sins, but to show us the way out of our sins. Christ was victorious over sin and death, so that we could be as well.

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4/18/11 1:07 AM
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Ridgeback
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Can we all agree that a Christian would hope for and pray for the salvation of all humans whether such a thing will happen in the ultimate sense?  I fear that may not even be a point of agreement.

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