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Blindwatchmaker
Mar 24th 2008, 05:13 PM
Firstly may I say hi again to all my friends here with whom I have not spoken in a very long time.
I thought I might pop in again and see how you are and maybe throw some ideas around.

To all I haven't spoken to before, Hi:D

My question is a simple one:

Can you sin in Heaven?

MMC
Mar 24th 2008, 05:32 PM
Good question. Do you mean is it "possible" to sin in Heaven?

As an aside, are you a Richard Dawkins fan? (Just asking because of your screen name).

Athanasius
Mar 24th 2008, 05:36 PM
What is 'sin', is the more pertinent question. After sin has been defined, then 'sin' in heaven can be tackled.

Blind Watchmaker, good book by the way. Not as good as The Selfish Gene, though.

MMC
Mar 24th 2008, 05:42 PM
What is 'sin', is the more pertinent question. After sin has been defined, then 'sin' in heaven can be tackled.

Oh! That's a good point! Thanks for bringing it up.


Blind Watchmaker, good book by the way. Not as good as The Selfish Gene, though.

I agree. :) :cool:

amazzin
Mar 24th 2008, 05:43 PM
Firstly may I say hi again to all my friends here with whom I have not spoken in a very long time.
I thought I might pop in again and see how you are and maybe throw some ideas around.

To all I haven't spoken to before, Hi:D

My question is a simple one:

Can you sin in Heaven?

Holiness and sin and heaven cannot co-exist. Sin seperates us from a Holy God. God hates sin.

He hates it so much that he decided in eternity past to make a way for us not to be in bondage to sin. He did this by sending His only begotten Son to die for our sin. Our sin condemn us to an eternity in hell but Jesus took those sins to the corss so that we might be free.

Christ, who knew no sin, became God's sacrifice for you and me. How about you freind? Is you sin so great that you don't know a way out? Give it to Jesus and let Him wash away your sin and forgive everything that you ever did.

Now back to your question. Sin has a place but not in heaven. The place is called hell and all who sin and are not saved will live for ever in hell.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 24th 2008, 06:20 PM
Let me clarify then...

By sin, I mean behaviour that is unacceptable or against the wishes of God.

So, with that definition in mind (and feel free to advise on a better one) is it possible to sin in Heaven?

Amazzin, you say that sin has a place but not in Heaven, but you haven't answered my question!

Is it possible to sin in Heaven?

(Oh and by the way, yes I am an admirer of Dawkins' work.:D )

Zorgblar
Mar 24th 2008, 06:22 PM
Can you sin in Heaven?

Well yes.Because doesn't it say somwere in the bible(i think in revelation)that the devil and all the angels who followed him in turning against God sinned when they tried to defeat God and take over heaven?

amazzin
Mar 24th 2008, 06:25 PM
Let me clarify then...

By sin, I mean behaviour that is unacceptable or against the wishes of God.

So, with that definition in mind (and feel free to advise on a better one) is it possible to sin in Heaven?

Amazzin, you say that sin has a place but not in Heaven, but you haven't answered my question!

Is it possible to sin in Heaven?

(Oh and by the way, yes I am an admirer of Dawkins' work.:D )

I did, I said:


Holiness and sin and heaven cannot co-exist. Sin seperates us from a Holy God. God hates sin.

No clear?

Athanasius
Mar 24th 2008, 06:25 PM
Let me clarify then...

By sin, I mean behaviour that is unacceptable or against the wishes of God.

So, with that definition in mind (and feel free to advise on a better one) is it possible to sin in Heaven?

Amazzin, you say that sin has a place but not in Heaven, but you haven't answered my question!

Is it possible to sin in Heaven?

(Oh and by the way, yes I am an admirer of Dawkins' work.:D )

Is the next statement then going to be, "If it isn't possible, then does 'free will' exist in heaven?' ('ass kissing robots', as a friend put it) I don't think anyone would disagree if I said that Satan sinned in Heaven, as did a host of angels. Would that then make it possible for Christians to sin? I'll got out on a limb and say that it's possible. . . . But as Heaven is filled with people who willingly chose to serve God. . . Why would they want to sin? They'd get kicked out of heaven, going with was amazzin said.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 24th 2008, 06:36 PM
Is the next statement then going to be, "If it isn't possible, then does 'free will' exist in heaven?' ('ass kissing robots', as a friend put it) I don't think anyone would disagree if I said that Satan sinned in Heaven, as did a host of angels. Would that then make it possible for Christians to sin? I'll got out on a limb and say that it's possible. . . . But as Heaven is filled with people who willingly chose to serve God. . . Why would they want to sin? They'd get kicked out of heaven, going with was amazzin said.

Yes, you did kind of anticipate correctly where I'm going with this.

According to my best understanding of christianity, many people sin but are accepted into heaven because they have repented of their sin before dying and accepted Jesus in time to be allowed in.

I have heard over and over that we have to repent of our sins because who among us has never told a lie?...never coveted anything?..never felt lust etc etc. These are human tendencies and not many people can get through life without succumbing to them at some point at least.

So, once we get to Heaven are we then in a situation where the first mistake ( a moment of jealousy, or a little flexibility with the truth etc) gets us ejected out and sent down to hell?

If that is the case, and given that our time in Heaven is supposedly of infinite duration, it seems to me that after a while it will be a pretty empty place, no?.....

watchinginawe
Mar 24th 2008, 07:23 PM
Yes, you did kind of anticipate correctly where I'm going with this.

According to my best understanding of christianity, many people sin but are accepted into heaven because they have repented of their sin before dying and accepted Jesus in time to be allowed in.

I have heard over and over that we have to repent of our sins because who among us has never told a lie?...never coveted anything?..never felt lust etc etc. These are human tendencies and not many people can get through life without succumbing to them at some point at least.

So, once we get to Heaven are we then in a situation where the first mistake ( a moment of jealousy, or a little flexibility with the truth etc) gets us ejected out and sent down to hell?

If that is the case, and given that our time in Heaven is supposedly of infinite duration, it seems to me that after a while it will be a pretty empty place, no?.....Have you accepted the fact that there is an afterlife? Or do you believe it is finished when we die?

Regarding what Christians believe about heaven, we know that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) But we also know that there will be no death in heaven. (Revelation 21:4, I Corinthians 15:26) So, the sin that brings man death and separation from God will not be possible in heaven.

God Bless!

Athanasius
Mar 24th 2008, 07:42 PM
Yes, you did kind of anticipate correctly where I'm going with this.

According to my best understanding of christianity, many people sin but are accepted into heaven because they have repented of their sin before dying and accepted Jesus in time to be allowed in.

I have heard over and over that we have to repent of our sins because who among us has never told a lie?...never coveted anything?..never felt lust etc etc. These are human tendencies and not many people can get through life without succumbing to them at some point at least.

So, once we get to Heaven are we then in a situation where the first mistake ( a moment of jealousy, or a little flexibility with the truth etc) gets us ejected out and sent down to hell?

If that is the case, and given that our time in Heaven is supposedly of infinite duration, it seems to me that after a while it will be a pretty empty place, no?.....

I'm sorry I'll have to answer this more fully later tonight, I'm tight on time presently. Just a quick question before I become absent. . . . How do you understand the role of man's fallen nature (in sin)?

VerticalReality
Mar 24th 2008, 07:59 PM
My question is a simple one:

Can you sin in Heaven?

Simple answer: No.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 24th 2008, 10:29 PM
Have you accepted the fact that there is an afterlife? Or do you believe it is finished when we die?

Personally I do not believe there is any evidence for an afterlife.


Regarding what Christians believe about heaven, we know that the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) But we also know that there will be no death in heaven. (Revelation 21:4, I Corinthians 15:26) So, the sin that brings man death and separation from God will not be possible in heaven.

God Bless!



Simple answer: No.

How then will we be prevented from sinning? As I mentioned before, I am always being told by evangelicals that it's impossible to live on Earth without sinning. That's why we need to repent right?

How will it be any different in Heaven?

We will still have the same desires, conflicts of interest, jealousy, lustful thoughts, and failings that make us human wont we?...

What kind of person could live for eternity without once transgressing any of Gods laws? Certainly I couldn't.

It seems to me a slightly unrealistic expectation of anyone. I mean, lets imagine you get through the first six hundred billion years managing to not have an impure thought or covet anything, and then one day your neighbour arrives home with a really nice new Lexus. It's got all the trimming...Leather seats, cruise control..the lot.

You think to yourself..wow, I'd really like one of those..and then BANG!! you find yourself in hell for commiting the sin of coveting your neighbours property.

Or your wife says "Does my (lower back area) look big in this dress?"
"No!!!" you say (not wanting to hurt her feelings), but before you can convince her it was money well spent....BANG..straight to hell.

Sorry if the examples are facetious, but I think the point stands.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 24th 2008, 10:31 PM
Just a quick question before I become absent. . . . How do you understand the role of man's fallen nature (in sin)?

Well, personally, I've always thought that its a pretty horrible concept.
Holding someone accountable (mankind) for the actions of another (Adam and Eve) many centuries before, seems as far from just as I can imagine.

But for the purpose of this discussion, I'm happy to accept it as axiomatic.

watchinginawe
Mar 24th 2008, 10:53 PM
Personally I do not believe there is any evidence for an afterlife.Fair enough.
How then will we be prevented from sinning? As I mentioned before, I am always being told by evangelicals that it's impossible to live on Earth without sinning. That's why we need to repent right?

How will it be any different in Heaven?Some have asked why death would be the end of opportunity for repentance towards God. I have contemplated that the necessity of faith on this side of death and being "born again" somehow solve the problem you pose. :hmm: Think of it as a neccesary catalyst or something. Without the Spiritual birth and faith, then perhaps we are eternally imperfect. But with faith and the Spiritual birth, perhaps we are made every whit perfect before God.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

God Bless!

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 24th 2008, 11:11 PM
Thanks very much for your answer WIA but I'm sure you can sympathize with me for not finding it convincing or satisfactory.

Once we get to heaven there are only two options:

1) We will remain as we are here in terms of our weaknesses and other things that lead us to sin. In this case most people will eventually be rejected from heaven for failing to live up to God's standards in the same way that we fail do so here.

or

2) We will have our minds modified in some way so that we are no longer imperfect.
This could be a wonderful thing that God could do for us, and being all powerful he could definitely work out a way to make us not be drawn to sin, to just love him and serve him but still have the free will which is essential for freely given love.

The problem with that, is that if it's that simple, why not just do that now and then there would be no sin in the world and nobody would have to get sent to hell?

watchinginawe
Mar 24th 2008, 11:46 PM
Thanks very much for your answer WIA but I'm sure you can sympathize with me for not finding it convincing or satisfactory.Blindwatchmaker, I was careful to ask about how convinced you were about the afterlife. Since you don't believe in the afterlife, I am sympathetic that I won't be convincing you about anything regarding the afterlife. I am just offering my thoughts on the subject without really expecting to convince you. I'm enjoying the conversation though and I hope you are too.
Once we get to heaven there are only two options:

1) We will remain as we are here in terms of our weaknesses and other things that lead us to sin. In this case most people will eventually be rejected from heaven for failing to live up to God's standards in the same way that we fail do so here.

or

2) We will have our minds modified in some way so that we are no longer imperfect.
This could be a wonderful thing that God could do for us, and being all powerful he could definitely work out a way to make us not be drawn to sin, to just love him and serve him but still have the free will which is essential for freely given love.

The problem with that, is that if it's that simple, why not just do that now and then there would be no sin in the world and nobody would have to get sent to hell?There probably are more options than that. But, consider this passage of the Apostle Paul's letter to the Corinthians:

I Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
...
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.

48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

That is probably a little long, but if you skipped over it, give it a read. The idea is that we are changed. As I already offered, we are also changed when we are "born again". It is our Spiritual birth. So when we put off our mortal body (die), the problem of the "earthy image" is taken care of.:hmm: Jesus spoke some on this too.

Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

So Jesus indicates that we won't be man and wife in heaven but rather like the angels. I suppose no need to pro-create. :dunno: But regardless, spirtual beings.

Also, Jesus wanted to emphasize that when talking about the "resurrection of the dead", we are really talking about a bodily resurrection. So it isn't like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are "dead", just waiting for the resurrection (verse 32).

But, there is some final change God will accomplish with us. We have an indication from Jesus' resurrection of what that will be. Jesus' resurrection was like ours is going to be. So there is also some info there.

Now, regarding whether God should just accomplish it see verse 46 above from Corinthians. As I have already offered, in God's wisdom, there seems to be a "process".

God Bless!

Gypsy
Mar 25th 2008, 12:28 AM
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.


Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.I think that an important distinction to be made is that humans are not angels although scripture tells us that in heaven we will be equal to the angels.



Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

We are different beings with different capabilities so I'm not entirely sure that because Lucifer was able to sin in heaven we would be as well. Lucifer was an angel and obviously was able to sin in heaven. In fact he was the author of all sin. He was cast out and apparently now has nothing better to do than convince mankind to sin. He is the impetus to our sin, but that battle is a battle we fight with our flesh. It is our flesh which is diseased with sinfulness and wherein satin affects his influence. In heaven however we will no longer be shrouded by our flesh we will become spiritual beings i.e. no longer subject to his temptation. Spiritual beings don’t need a Lexus they only require love, and heaven is the perfect source of love. I can’t imagine what motivation there could possibly be to sin there.

dljc
Mar 25th 2008, 12:44 AM
Hi Blindwatchmaker,


Would you allow anyone to come into your house with muddy shoes on? And continue to wear them around the house even though the mud never dried on their shoes, and they were getting mud all over your house. Would you allow it?

VerticalReality
Mar 25th 2008, 01:15 AM
How then will we be prevented from sinning? As I mentioned before, I am always being told by evangelicals that it's impossible to live on Earth without sinning. That's why we need to repent right?

How will it be any different in Heaven?

We will still have the same desires, conflicts of interest, jealousy, lustful thoughts, and failings that make us human wont we?...

What kind of person could live for eternity without once transgressing any of Gods laws? Certainly I couldn't.

It seems to me a slightly unrealistic expectation of anyone. I mean, lets imagine you get through the first six hundred billion years managing to not have an impure thought or covet anything, and then one day your neighbour arrives home with a really nice new Lexus. It's got all the trimming...Leather seats, cruise control..the lot.

You think to yourself..wow, I'd really like one of those..and then BANG!! you find yourself in hell for commiting the sin of coveting your neighbours property.

Or your wife says "Does my (lower back area) look big in this dress?"
"No!!!" you say (not wanting to hurt her feelings), but before you can convince her it was money well spent....BANG..straight to hell.

Sorry if the examples are facetious, but I think the point stands.

1 John 3:1-9
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 01:17 AM
Hi Blindwatchmaker,


Would you allow anyone to come into your house with muddy shoes on? And continue to wear them around the house even though the mud never dried on their shoes, and they were getting mud all over your house. Would you allow it?

Nope, certainly not.

I think you're agreeing with me. Once God is finished kicking all the muddy shoed folk out of heaven, there'll be a big old echo in there.



I am just offering my thoughts on the subject without really expecting to convince you. I'm enjoying the conversation though and I hope you are too.
Indeed I am, and if I remember correctly we have had profitable discussions before!

I did read your answer in entirety and there does indeed seem to be a hint there of a scriptural basis on which this question could be addressed.

But there is still the problem that any way in which God could change us to eliminate our sinfulness could be done now. Why wait with all the concomitant suffering that causes?

If God really loved us he could simply click his fingers and "change" us all now. In choosing not to, he is choosing to condemn millions to a fiery fate.
Not so loving it seems.

Rud Hound
Mar 25th 2008, 10:47 AM
If God really loved us he could simply click his fingers and "change" us all now. In choosing not to, he is choosing to condemn millions to a fiery fate.
Not so loving it seems.2 Peter 3 talks about the time when God will perfect those who call Jesus "Lord" and condemn those who don't. It says that he doesn't do it now because he's patient, allowing people time to repent. To end it now would be to condemn millions to hell, but to wait gives them time to be saved. On the contrary - very loving!

Cheers,

RH.

ImmenseDisciple
Mar 25th 2008, 01:34 PM
Hi Blind.
I'm afraid I don't have time for a lengthy or particularly complete answer, but I'll give you this to chew over.

Why do you sin? Is there any part of your soul which causes you to, or rather, is it the flesh it's tacked onto which brings with it the illusion that sin is appealing and the failure to recognise the harm it does to you?

The capability to sin is not magically removed when we get to heaven, but the irrational compulsion to do so, being bound to our flesh, is. What's more, being brought to perfect righteousness (which God can only justifiably do to us through our acceptance of Christ's sacrifice, and thus our being clothed in his righteousness) we are actually capable of never sinning.

Hope this helps, or at least gets you thinking :)

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 01:41 PM
2 Peter 3 talks about the time when God will perfect those who call Jesus "Lord" and condemn those who don't. It says that he doesn't do it now because he's patient, allowing people time to repent. To end it now would be to condemn millions to hell, but to wait gives them time to be saved. On the contrary - very loving!

Cheers,

RH.


Hi Rud Hound.

I think maybe you missed my point. If God has the ability to change us so that we don't sin but can still love him freely, then why not just do that from the start and do away with hell altogether? No patience required from God in that case.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 01:52 PM
Hi Blind.
I'm afraid I don't have time for a lengthy or particularly complete answer, but I'll give you this to chew over.

Why do you sin? Is there any part of your soul which causes you to, or rather, is it the flesh it's tacked onto which brings with it the illusion that sin is appealing and the failure to recognise the harm it does to you?

The capability to sin is not magically removed when we get to heaven, but the irrational compulsion to do so, being bound to our flesh, is. What's more, being brought to perfect righteousness (which God can only justifiably do to us through our acceptance of Christ's sacrifice, and thus our being clothed in his righteousness) we are actually capable of never sinning.

Hope this helps, or at least gets you thinking :)

Hi ID :)

I would accept this with regard to certain sin (for example sexual lust etc), but I don't think that one can make an argument that the tendency to lie sometimes or to use the lord's name inappropriately is because of our flesh.

Which organs in particular (other than our brains which mediate everything about us) would be responsible for the propensity to covet our neighbour's lovely new lawnmower?

Besides, even if we were to assume that in Heaven, because we have become spiritual beings, freed from the evil effects of our flesh(which incidentally sounds like a bit of a design fault on God's part-he chose to make us that way!), then we are left with the question: Why didn't God choose to make us spiritual beings in the first place and avoid the problem of sin altogether?

(Also, was the devil not a spiritual being in Heaven before rebelling and being evicted? That seems to suggest that spiritual beings sometimes choose to sin also does is not?)

9Marksfan
Mar 25th 2008, 02:28 PM
Thanks very much for your answer WIA but I'm sure you can sympathize with me for not finding it convincing or satisfactory.

Once we get to heaven there are only two options:

1) We will remain as we are here in terms of our weaknesses and other things that lead us to sin. In this case most people will eventually be rejected from heaven for failing to live up to God's standards in the same way that we fail do so here.

Hi, BW - if I may be permitted to enter the discussion, this is not how the Bible displays Heaven - rather it is a place where sin will be utterly absent in every shape and form, including our sinful natures - we shall be like Jesus and He had no sinful nature.


or

2) We will have our minds modified in some way so that we are no longer imperfect.

Not just our minds, but our souls and spirits!


This could be a wonderful thing that God could do for us, and being all powerful he could definitely work out a way to make us not be drawn to sin, to just love him and serve him

It will be! It will be! :pp:pp:pp


but still have the free will which is essential for freely given love.

To me, one of the things I am MOST looking forward to in Heaven is NOT having the desire to choose to disobey God! I WANT to do NOTHING but love Him 100%! I am SO LOOKING FORWARD to the day when I will! Jesus had no sinful nature - yet he had free will - are the two impossible to reconcile?


The problem with that, is that if it's that simple, why not just do that now and then there would be no sin in the world and nobody would have to get sent to hell?

But then we would never have seen the lengths to which God would go in sending His only Son to buy people BACK from that sin - we would never have seen the ENORMOUS extent of God's grace and mercy in Christ! That is the ultimate purpose of sin - to magnify the glorious grace of God in forgiving it and redeeming people from it!

dljc
Mar 25th 2008, 02:57 PM
Nope, certainly not.

I think you're agreeing with me. Once God is finished kicking all the muddy shoed folk out of heaven, there'll be a big old echo in there.Not exactly. You see, many people think they can work their way into heaven. They do good deeds, but they still sin. There is only one way to get into heaven. That is through Jesus Christ. (John 14:6) All of our righteousness is nothing but filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)

Romans 3:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

It is only through the sacrifice of God's Son, Jesus that we could be reconciled with God. Because none of us are worthy enough, because of sin. Jesus' blood is what covers us. He's already paid the price for our sins and yours if you will just accept Him.

John 3:
35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.


The choice is yours.

MMC
Mar 25th 2008, 03:03 PM
Hi BW. I just wanted to say I'm enjoying this thread and am glad you are posting here. You remind me of me, before I became a Christian.

God bless!
MMC

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 03:40 PM
Hi BW. I just wanted to say I'm enjoying this thread and am glad you are posting here. You remind me of me, before I became a Christian.

God bless!
MMC

How kind of you to say! Thanks very much :)

There was a time when I posted on here quite a lot. I met a lot of very lovely people here, and always had stimulating and rewarding conversations.

It's very nice to be here again.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 03:45 PM
But then we would never have seen the lengths to which God would go in sending His only Son to buy people BACK from that sin - we would never have seen the ENORMOUS extent of God's grace and mercy in Christ! That is the ultimate purpose of sin - to magnify the glorious grace of God in forgiving it and redeeming people from it!

I understand what you mean, but it strikes me as a rather horrible way of going about it.
Could God's glory not be magnified by a method which did not involve consigning billions of people to eternal torture?

If I was a god,and had any kind of compassion, I'm sure that I would not want my glory celebrated in such a costly way.

9Marksfan
Mar 25th 2008, 04:11 PM
I understand what you mean, but it strikes me as a rather horrible way of going about it.

Well, you and I are not God, so our thinking is necessarily "skewed" by that facr - I too used to struggle in the way you aree doing - even as a Christian (still do at times) - but for so many of us (myself included) our greatest need is to be humbled by the majesty of this all-holy God who is of purer eyes than to look upon sin.....


Could God's glory not be magnified by a method which did not involve consigning billions of people to eternal torture?

Because God is all-wise, i would have to say "no" - He chose the best way possible to magnify every aspect of His holy and merciful character - those who persist in rebelling against Him are judged justly - their condemnation glorifies the justice and holiness of God.


If I was a god,and had any kind of compassion, I'm sure that I would not want my glory celebrated in such a costly way.

Well, His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts....

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 05:04 PM
Well, you and I are not God, so our thinking is necessarily "skewed" by that facr - I too used to struggle in the way you aree doing - even as a Christian (still do at times) - but for so many of us (myself included) our greatest need is to be humbled by the majesty of this all-holy God who is of purer eyes than to look upon sin.....



Because God is all-wise, i would have to say "no" - He chose the best way possible to magnify every aspect of His holy and merciful character - those who persist in rebelling against Him are judged justly - their condemnation glorifies the justice and holiness of God.



Well, His ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts....

Well, if God made me, then he created me with a sense of right and wrong, with a moral compass if you will.
Every fibre in my being tells me that this method of magnifying his glory is cruel, sadistic, and evil.
I could not live with myself if I condoned such a horrible system.
And I would not enjoy the benefits of heaven at all if I knew that elsewhere, billions were being tortured without mercy forever, by the god I was supposed to be worshipping.

That is how totalitarian dictatorships work. All the citizens are so grateful for everything they have that they are constantly groveling and praising the dictator even whilst he commits horrific acts of human rights abuse.

No sir. Not me. I have a conscience and would not want any part of it.
If that consigns me to hell, then at least I go there with a clear conscience.

watchinginawe
Mar 25th 2008, 06:18 PM
No sir. Not me. I have a conscience and would not want any part of it.
If that consigns me to hell, then at least I go there with a clear conscience.I just wanted to point out that perhaps it all works out exactly perfect then. Kind of a "consenting of wills" solution. Everyone gets what they want. ;)

Genesis 18:25 ...Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?


Well, if God made me, then he created me with a sense of right and wrong, with a moral compass if you will.
Every fibre in my being tells me that this method of magnifying his glory is cruel, sadistic, and evil.
I could not live with myself if I condoned such a horrible system.
And I would not enjoy the benefits of heaven at all if I knew that elsewhere, billions were being tortured without mercy forever, by the god I was supposed to be worshipping.My interpretation (I am not intending this to be too heavy, but it seems what you are saying):
If God created me, then surely Christianity is immoral. And if God doesn't exist, then surely Christianity is immoral. How can Christians live with themselves? I need to tell Christians about this. If God really exists, he must see it my way too, since I am guilty of nothing that warrants eternal judgment. And, if God really exists, and the Christians are right, then that God is unworthy of me and I would rather be in hell anyway since that is where the morally upright folks are going to be.Let me just say this. The act of condoning a God of judgment will not place into reality some kind of "unjust system" based on how you think it works. A God of judgment either is, or He isn't. Since you have already discovered aspects within yourself that seem worthy to "judge", I submit that God exists, and that there will be a judgment.

God Bless!

Friend of I AM
Mar 25th 2008, 06:48 PM
1 John 3:2-3
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Nope no sin in Heaven. God's very presence will purify everyone who is in him from sin. Thank the Lord for that!!

doppelganger
Mar 25th 2008, 07:27 PM
Holding someone accountable (mankind) for the actions of another (Adam and Eve) many centuries before, seems as far from just as I can imagine.Other people have addressed some of the other issues, such as our purified nature in heaven, but I thought I'd take a stab at this one.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in Romans 5.

(12) ...sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned...

(15) But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
(16) And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
(17) For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
(18) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
(19) For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
(20) Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more

Yes, one man's sin resulted in a sinful nature spreading to every human being since then. Despite the fact that our sinful nature came from Adam, it doesn't change the fact that we are personally responsible and guilty of the sin we commit. We deserve death, not because of Adam's sin, but because of our own sin. However, one Man's righteousness is able to make us righteous, giving us something we don't deserve.

If God is being unfair, his unfairness is in our benefit.

MMC
Mar 25th 2008, 08:38 PM
It's very nice to be here again.

And very nice to have you back! ;)

ImmenseDisciple
Mar 25th 2008, 08:48 PM
Hi ID :)

I would accept this with regard to certain sin (for example sexual lust etc), but I don't think that one can make an argument that the tendency to lie sometimes or to use the lord's name inappropriately is because of our flesh.

Which organs in particular (other than our brains which mediate everything about us) would be responsible for the propensity to covet our neighbour's lovely new lawnmower?
You've missed my point. It's not that my lungs are jealous :lol: rather, that being tied up in my physical form I can easily fall under the impression that material things matter, at all - they do not. A satisfied spirit has no call to ever be jealous or proud or angry or vicious or anything else inherently pointless and destructive. It's only our unrighteous fleshy form which makes these negative aspects inevitable.


Besides, even if we were to assume that in Heaven, because we have become spiritual beings, freed from the evil effects of our flesh(which incidentally sounds like a bit of a design fault on God's part-he chose to make us that way!), then we are left with the question: Why didn't God choose to make us spiritual beings in the first place and avoid the problem of sin altogether?OK, first of all the bold bit there. Of course - we are not now as we were originally designed to be. You're familiar I'm sure with the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil - before we disobeyed god we were value neutral, as it were, but eating the fruit changed our earthly existance forever. The fall of man was a big one.


(Also, was the devil not a spiritual being in Heaven before rebelling and being evicted? That seems to suggest that spiritual beings sometimes choose to sin also does is not?)satan was not, however, perfectly righteous. You missed my line, that in our accepting Christ's sacrifice for our sake of our own free will, God can justifiably clothe us in His own righteousness, despite ourselves. We become capable of spiritual perfection through Him. We will carry this righteousness to the new earth, where we will never fall.

So, back to the previous question - why didn't He make us exclusively spiritual in the first place? Well, as you recognise - and as the worm and his rebels proved - it certainly does not eliminate the problem of unrighteousness. Can God bestow His own perfect righteousness upon His undeserving creations and remain perfectly just? Nope. Which is why He always had His perfect plan - to justify the glorification and perfection of those who do not deserve it, by carrying the punishment they've earned so completely upon His own perfect head. The price of sin (by which we can mean simply imperfection) must be paid.

Incidentally, I look forward to further discussion. A slightly more reasoned tone than we're used to in here :lol:

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 09:46 PM
I just wanted to point out that perhaps it all works out exactly perfect then. Kind of a "consenting of wills" solution. Everyone gets what they want. ;)

Genesis 18:25 ...Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

My interpretation (I am not intending this to be too heavy, but it seems what you are saying): Let me just say this. The act of condoning a God of judgment will not place into reality some kind of "unjust system" based on how you think it works. A God of judgment either is, or He isn't. Since you have already discovered aspects within yourself that seem worthy to "judge", I submit that God exists, and that there will be a judgment.

God Bless!

I wasn't saying that I want to go to hell, but rather that I would hope that I had the integrity to refuse heaven at such a cost to others. I could not live with myself.
It would be like buying cheap goods that you know were manufactured by slaves. I don't want to benefit from the suffering of others.

I don't blame you for seeing my comments that way. There is certainly an element of outrage on my part!

If I may, I'd like to turn the issue around and ask you:
Do you feel fine about enjoying the fruits of heaven while billions are tortured, just so that God can get to feel good about himself? Would you not feel the slightest pang of not wanting to be complicit in that?
(I guess your answer has to be no) :(

DanDMan64
Mar 25th 2008, 10:13 PM
Well, if God made me, then he created me with a sense of right and wrong, with a moral compass if you will.
Every fibre in my being tells me that this method of magnifying his glory is cruel, sadistic, and evil.Hello there BWM, (I feel like I'm talking to a German car manufacturer), :rofl:just a little joke there to brake the ice. Now getting back to your post here. I would like to submit to you this little morsel for thought that your words have inspired.

Yes God made you, yes He created you with a sense of right and wrong, and yes it is a moral compass. This moral compass is called "spirit", and it came from God, if you used it correctly, it would inevitably lead you to the ultimate truth in the universe, God, and you wouldn't be here asking us questions about sin, and heaven, and righteousness, and why would a loving God allow....? and the such, you would know the answers of these things from the proper perspective, maybe not all at once as none of us here could claim to know all these things, but at least you would be in the right path.

The problem is the "every fiber in my being" part, that's the flesh, which is not spirit, which causes you to misuse your compass so that it spins wildly in every direction and thus brings about chaos and confusion into your "I need to see everything to believe it" thinking brain, it sets you off into wrong paths and confuses good for evil and evil for good, and makes you think you're smart enough to know the difference. and thus you feel qualified as a fallible imperfect human being to sit in judgment of your maker and make irrational bold statements as this:


...I could not live with myself if I condoned such a horrible system.
And I would not enjoy the benefits of heaven at all if I knew that elsewhere, billions were being tortured without mercy forever, by the god I was supposed to be worshipping. The conclusion being that either there is no god, or if there is he's an evil twisted being and doesn't deserve our praise and adoration. As you "unbelievers" like to say, it's all a matter of perspective. :hmm:


...That is how totalitarian dictatorships work. All the citizens are so grateful for everything they have that they are constantly groveling and praising the dictator even whilst he commits horrific acts of human rights abuse. This assumes that God is a dictator, again, your misuse of the compass misinterprets God's Word to incorrectly come-up with the wrong conclusions based on your assumptions about spiritual things which you can't understand by reasoning and natural "brain power" alone. Ultimately that line of thinking will lead to this
...No sir. Not me. I have a conscience and would not want any part of it. If that consigns me to hell, then at least I go there with a clear conscience. And there you are, in Hell, away from God who gave you a moral compass so you wouldn't end-up there. Now if and when that happens, which we pray it won't, would you blame God for giving you a "faulty" compass, or you for not bothering to learn how to use it, even though it was working perfectly? when you're ready to answer that question then perhaps we can go back to the "sin in heaven" question, for which the short answer is NO.:)

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 25th 2008, 11:27 PM
Hi Dan

I think I understand the gist of your response.
It sounds to me like you are saying that the reason why this all looks wrong and bad to me is that I am relying too much on my own reasoning, using my mind and just thinking too much rather than learning how to deal with these issue without thinking.

Thinking=bad
Acceptance without thinking = good and then it will all make sense.

How then do I learn to use this spiritual moral compass which God has given me, in such a way that I will end up feeling great about all the jewish children who died in the holocaust now being tortured for eternity?

To answer your question, yes I absolutely would blame God for designing people flawed and then punishing them for being that way.
I accept what you're saying is that this perspective is because I'm seeing it the wrong way. I just don't know how else to look at it.

DanDMan64
Mar 26th 2008, 12:39 AM
Hi Dan

I think I understand the gist of your response.
It sounds to me like you are saying that the reason why this all looks wrong and bad to me is that I am relying too much on my own reasoning, using my mind and just thinking too much rather than learning how to deal with these issue without thinking.

Thinking=bad
Acceptance without thinking = good and then it will all make sense.Well, the answer to that puzzle only works if you're willing to accept the existence of one more variable we could throw into the equation, but for argument's sake lets say you do. Then allow me to bring the "spirit" component back in, which I said it's that "moral compass" you brought-up earlier. With that in mind, let me show you the formulas I'm looking at.

Thinking-spirit=bad
(Acceptance without thinking)+spirit=good and then it will all make sense.

Based on that, you have already answered (in part) your following question, which is...


How then do I learn to use this spiritual moral compass which God has given me, in such a way that I will end up feeling great about all the jewish children who died in the holocaust now being tortured for eternity?The part that you answered is that your formula is wrong because you're not willing to accept your moral compass exists, assuming you're a staunch atheists and believe in no spiritual things, hence you're leaving the spirit part out, which combined with your reasoning make-up that spiritual compass. If you leave the "spirit" component out, you cancel out your source for perceiving spiritual things, such as God Who is a Spirit, and such as His truths which require spiritual perception to understand them.

To answer the second part of that question, your spirit is alive and well, all your rationalizing that you don't have one won't make it go away, but then your compass can be tampered with, because that access is there available for what we call "demons" to come in and influence your reasonings, thusly if you ever feel great about any evil in the world, that's their doing not God's, but the fact that you're concerned about not allowing yourself to ever feel that way, and that you're here willing at least to hear our ramblings about spirits and sin and salvation, speak more to the fact that perhaps God's tapping into your "spiritual" dials trying to tune-in. :hmm:


To answer your question, yes I absolutely would blame God for designing people flawed and then punishing them for being that way.
I accept what you're saying is that this perspective is because I'm seeing it the wrong way. I just don't know how else to look at it.I would too tend to blame God if it was the case that He made people flawed, but the Word teaches us that He didn't, and just like He's a trinity, He made us a trinity as well. We are body, soul (Reasoning) and "spirit", and until you are willing to accept that spirit part of you as readily as you accept the other two, then the "moral compass" will be ready to be used properly.

Oh yea, and that by the way is how else you need to look at it, by allowing that spirit part to become alive, as Jesus told Nicodemus

"JN 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. JN 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born? JN 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God! JN 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. JN 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew."

If you can read these words and they seem to be making sense, God is definitely tuning-into your spirit. I pray that you'll do your part and tune-in to His calling. :pray: If they make sense but you choose to ignore them, and harden your heart to His calling, that's your choice, so don't blame Him, because He didn't make you flawed, your spirit is working perfectly.:B

In the Love of Christ, Dan.:)

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 26th 2008, 12:59 AM
Thank you all for your generous replies so far.

MMC
Mar 26th 2008, 12:54 PM
Hey BW! Just out of curiosity, do you actually believe in a deity (just not the one that Christianity claims)? Or are you an atheist? What's your particular persuasion?

(I know you said earlier that you do not believe in an afterlife, but that doesn't necessarily exclude belief in some deity/deities/or other spiritual force.)

I believe that it is good for people (including Christians) to think and reason about what they believe. God gave us minds so that we would use them, and I don't believe being a Christian requires that we abandon reason. But it does, for me anyway, require that I "think outside the box" about some things which nature and science are incapable of explaining. ;)

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 26th 2008, 03:06 PM
Hey BW! Just out of curiosity, do you actually believe in a deity (just not the one that Christianity claims)? Or are you an atheist? What's your particular persuasion?

(I know you said earlier that you do not believe in an afterlife, but that doesn't necessarily exclude belief in some deity/deities/or other spiritual force.)

I believe that it is good for people (including Christians) to think and reason about what they believe. God gave us minds so that we would use them, and I don't believe being a Christian requires that we abandon reason. But it does, for me anyway, require that I "think outside the box" about some things which nature and science are incapable of explaining. ;)

To answer your question, I don't believe that there any deities. My reason for this is extremely simple: There's no evidence that any exist.

I'm honestly not dogmatic in my position on this. I would change my mind if credible evidence came to light, but so far I have never seen that.

I don't really like to describe myself as an atheist as the word has so many negative connotations and is so loaded. I also think that it's an unnecessary word. We don't have a special term for people who lack belief in unicorns or the Loch Ness monster. You either find the evidence for such things compelling (in which case belief follows inevitably) or you don't.

I appreciate your desire to think outside the box. Some of our greatest realizations have come from people doing exactly that (relativity, antibiotics, quantum theory).

I do have a very hard time with the notion of faith though.

Because if faith requires believing things without evidence, then by what mechanism do we weigh up one faith belief against another?

If I want to buy a new car, I can ignore the testimony of car salesmen who will all tell me that their brand is best. I can look at the evidence: Which car is the most economical, environmentally sound, has the most safety features etc..
I don't have to take anyone's word for anything.

But when confronted by a huge myriad of religious claims, each one claiming that all the others are false but that you have to "just believe", then by what measure should one choose one rather than another?

(Sorry, I think we're drifting away from the thread topic a little..)

watchinginawe
Mar 26th 2008, 03:52 PM
I wasn't saying that I want to go to hell, but rather that I would hope that I had the integrity to refuse heaven at such a cost to others. I could not live with myself.
It would be like buying cheap goods that you know were manufactured by slaves. I don't want to benefit from the suffering of others.I do believe that you believe you have a hope. It is framed in the agnostic "religion" above based on honesty, integrity, ethics, and ultimately self righteousness. There is a lot that is backwards in your statement and thus your thinking on this matter. For example, you suppose the cost (sacrifice) is upon the judged. You are missing the root concepts of Chrisitanity. That is probably because of the following:
I don't blame you for seeing my comments that way. There is certainly an element of outrage on my part!Indeed.

Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

Basically what Paul is saying in the above is that the truth about the cross is offensive. When we try to package it to fit the world or overcome objections, then the offense, or the truth, ceases.

This offense can be on many fronts, but I think the one that offends you the most is the concept of needing God's grace in the first place. That starts with the thought of the existence of God and whether He created us.

But it seems you hold out the possibility that if God is our creator and that there is more than just our temporal life, then you are willing to discuss things one on one with Him, showing how you have contemplated things honestly, with integrity, and ethically.

I mentioned before that you view things backwards, and this also is one of those things. You see yourself judging God. You see God as in need of your final and ultimate consideration. You intend for your judgment of God to be on a meritorious basis, according to whether God fits your "standard" necessary for you to live with yourself. This "religion" is built around the thought that God would extend to you the same kind of consideration (judgment) and find you "righteous", because you have already examined yourself and found yourself so, and based your life on these principles.

Basically, to sum it up, you reject the thought that you might stand before God and be found lacking. If that is true, then God is not worthy. :dunno: Therefore, you need no "favors" extended to you from God. And if that is the way things really work, then you will reject God on a "righteous" (self) basis.

Now for the Christian, they desire God's grace, they understand that they are condemned before God without it. :hmm: I think I will get into that after this:
If I may, I'd like to turn the issue around and ask you:
Do you feel fine about enjoying the fruits of heaven while billions are tortured, just so that God can get to feel good about himself? Would you not feel the slightest pang of not wanting to be complicit in that?
(I guess your answer has to be no) :(I do appreciate that you recognize the earnestness of our beliefs.

I will answer your question though. I would not feel fine about it if your characterization of God were correct. If eternal life were built upon the propitiation of the judged, then I could not see God's holiness. But that isn't how Christians see things. Moreso, that is your way of arranging things since you stand from a viewpoint that can propose any hypothetical "truth" to be just as likely as any other. You see no revealed Truth.

So are Christians nothing but a bunch of God "yes men and brown nosers"?

I Corinthians 1:For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The above scripture is true on it's face. I've already discussed some on the offense of the cross and why man might find God's judgment offensive. But what is the cross? The cross is God's grace towards man. If man is offended of the need for God's grace then he is offended of the cross, and thus Jesus Christ.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
...
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

These are popular scriptures, but basically they proclaim that God has given man grace in the person and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Also, that without Him, man perishes. Condemnation is not a future condition of man, but rather a present condition. We are already separated from God and can not be reconciled without His grace.

:hmm: I guess I am kind of a God "yes man". But a "brown noser"? Well, that is another offense for another time.

God Bless!

MMC
Mar 26th 2008, 04:35 PM
(Sorry, I think we're drifting away from the thread topic a little..)

It is I who owe the apology! (I caused the "drift"!) Sorry about that...just wanted to get to know you better. :) I'll go back to "lurking" now... :D

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 26th 2008, 04:53 PM
WIA

Thanks for such a long and thought out reply.

This is quite a lot to try and digest.

Bear with me while I try to understand what you're saying and take this on board.

DanDMan64
Mar 26th 2008, 08:43 PM
To answer your question, I don't believe that there any deities. My reason for this is extremely simple: There's no evidence that any exist. Hi again BWM, I beg to differ, actually I believe that there's a whole universe of evidence that there is one Deity powerful enough and "intelligent" enough to have created everything we can see, and I too believe it's a very simple conclusion to arrive at, in fact in ancient times it wasn't a matter of believing whether there were any deities or not, it was a matter in believing in the right one, the one and only True Deity, all the rest were flat-out fakes or demons with some power to dupe some folk into believing they were that true deity, which is why God picked one particular group of people and revealed Himself to the whole world through them (the Jews). Unfortunately we now live in a world that thinks we're too smart now to believe "the fairy tales" of the Bible about miracles and great signs and wonders, and even when miraculous things do seem to happen, we're too quick to just explain them away and say, "No, there must be some reasonable explanation for that, we just haven't figured it out yet."

I'm honestly not dogmatic in my position on this. I would change my mind if credible evidence came to light, but so far I have never seen that. Funny you use the term light, the Bible constantly uses that term as well as darkness to refer to people as being either "in the light" or being in darkness, but in the Bible these are spiritual terms. It's like if we lived in a world covered with clouds were you could never actually see the sun directly, but you knew there was some source of light above the clouds because you could see rays of sunshine coming through every now and then; People then would come-up with all sots of theories as to what that source might be, but only those who managed to rise above the clouds and see the sun could tell you for sure there was a sun, and would share it with the rest who couldn't get up there, but I bet even then some would just argue, "I don't care what you say, all I see is clouds and rays of light, but until I can see that sun for myself I can't just take your word for it." They would then tell you, "well to see the sun you have to get up there above the clouds" but they would say, "we don't think that's the right method, we'll just keep studying all the available theories and eventually we'll come-up with the truth." You see what I'm saying?

I don't really like to describe myself as an atheist as the word has so many negative connotations and is so loaded. I also think that it's an unnecessary word. We don't have a special term for people who lack belief in unicorns or the Loch Ness monster. You either find the evidence for such things compelling (in which case belief follows inevitably) or you don't. Well, I often like to say I hate the term "Christian" too, but ultimately I know that's what I am even though I know there are a lot of negative connotations that go along with that term too. But unfortunately if I try to go with another term I'll just be labeled as someone trying to start a new religion, and I hate that term even more, so I stick with "Christian" for better or for worse. To the other point I would say this, the compelling and overwhelming evidence for the reality of a Creator can clearly be seen in the context of the text book He gave us to understand it as such, the problem with most people is that because the claims seem incredible they are too willing to toss-out the baby with the bath water.

I appreciate your desire to think outside the box. Some of our greatest realizations have come from people doing exactly that (relativity, antibiotics, quantum theory). And I find it interesting, that at least two of these people you mentioned where 'believers" Einstein was Jewish, and Pasteur was a proud Christian, I don't know about quantum theory, but I'm willing to bet they believe in multiple dimensions at least.


I do have a very hard time with the notion of faith though...
...Because if faith requires believing things without evidence, then by what mechanism do we weigh up one faith belief against another?I know people have probably already quoted this verse to you, but let me bring-it-up again to show what I have found about faith. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1. People have the notion that faith is "blind" which is true to an extent but only at first. When you turn the faucet in the shower, how do you know that water will come-out of the shower head? you have faith that it will because you understand about plumbing and water tables and aqueducts, also you are sure you paid your water bill on time, and you understand how hot water tanks work. But imagine you didn't know any of these things, as when you were a child and your mom turned the faucet for you, you soon learned that when you turn the faucet water comes out, so you never though to question it, you just accepted it in "blind faith". Does that make sense? That's how I see faith in God, people who had experienced the reality of an invisible God told me that when they prayed and red The Bible He became real to them, I could see the evidence of that relationship in their lives and took my first step in faith and reached-out to Him, now I have that same kind of relationship with Him and I no longer have "blind faith" I have faith based on the evidence of what I have experienced personally, and I try to live a life that reflects that reality as best I can and hope that when I share this with others, they will be inspired to give it a try as well. My personal experience is how I weigh my faith against others, because I know my God is real even-though I can't see Him yet, where as the rest are just turning the faucet and "hoping" water will come-out, and going through the motions of taking a shower.
If I want to buy a new car, I can ignore the testimony of car salesmen who will all tell me that their brand is best. I can look at the evidence: Which car is the most economical, environmentally sound, has the most safety features etc...
I don't have to take anyone's word for anything.

But when confronted by a huge myriad of religious claims, each one claiming that all the others are false but that you have to "just believe", then by what measure should one choose one rather than another?

(Sorry, I think we're drifting away from the thread topic a little..)You see, this is why I hate it when people try to compare what I would call "True Christianity" with other world religions and think of it as, just a car among many other cars. A true relationship with Christ is more like the car from The Transformers movie, it's living and dynamic and it cares about you, and once you come to know it you learn about it's mission to save the world and humanity and it involves you in the mission, and your life it's totally transformed by the experience, and even though it might look like a junker in the beginning so you can buy it at a price you can afford, once you know what you have found you would not want to trade it in for the best looking and most expensive, "regular car" you could buy.

You might say, "well that car is just fantasy", but you used your metaphor to try to convince us of your reality, so I used mine to try to convince you of ours. And by the way you're not completely off-topic, as to why it is "sin" can't exist in heaven, the concepts of faith and finding truth are part of the reason. :hmm:

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 26th 2008, 11:43 PM
Just a quick one as I don't have time now to address all that's been said by Dan and WIA.

Einstein was indeed jewish by birth but was extremely emphatic that he did not believe in any personal god.

"From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.... I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one" Albert Einstein.

Pasteur was indeed a christian but had nothing to do with antibiotics(he did discover the germ theory of disease). Antibiotics were the discovery of Alexander Fleming.

(It's actually irrelevant to the discussion, but I just thought I'd offer that up to correct matters.)

DanDMan64
Mar 27th 2008, 12:42 AM
Just a quick one as I don't have time now to address all that's been said by Dan and WIA.

Einstein was indeed jewish by birth but was extremely emphatic that he did not believe in any personal god.

"From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.... I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one" Albert Einstein.

Pasteur was indeed a christian but had nothing to do with antibiotics(he did discover the germ theory of disease). Antibiotics were the discovery of Alexander Fleming.

(It's actually irrelevant to the discussion, but I just thought I'd offer that up to correct matters.)I hope your point is not that since I'm not entirely correct on these facts, that makes my whole argument completely unreliable. I keep forgetting unbelievers demand complete accuracy from us, at least when it suites your interests that we do so, if not you'll use that to claim superior intellect and knowledge of trivia as valid reasons to treat us as ignorant fools. To me that just proves you're a better researcher/googler than I am. But if accuracy in facts is important to you I'll be sure to research/google my facts better next time, my apologies for the inaccuracies. My point is that there's plenty of renowned scientists that had no problem being believers of God and even Christian, would you like me to give you a list? :hmm:

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 27th 2008, 01:11 AM
I hope your point is not that since I'm not entirely correct on these facts, that makes my whole argument completely unreliable. I keep forgetting unbelievers demand complete accuracy from us, at least when it suites your interests that we do so, if not you'll use that to claim superior intellect and knowledge of trivia as valid reasons to treat us as ignorant fools. To me that just proves you're a better researcher/googler than I am. But if accuracy in facts is important to you I'll be sure to research/google my facts better next time, my apologies for the inaccuracies. My point is that there's plenty of renowned scientists that had no problem being believers of God and even Christian, would you like me to give you a list? :hmm:

Hi Dan.

I hope I didn't cause offence, and as I said at the end of my post, it's actually irrelevant to the issue. I certainly credit you with more intelligence than to assert that just because X or Y believe something it must be true.
So, no, don't worry, I'm not trying to play "Who's a better Googler".

It's just that Einstein spent a great deal of time having to deal with people quoting him as a believer even though he never was one. Many religious apologetic texts today continue to do so in error, so when I see it I have to call it even though it doesn't change the balance of what we're actually discussing. (Einstein just happens to be on of my heroes)

I know that there are many christian scientists. ( I actually have an idea for a discussion about that but it's for another thread)

So, again, I hope no offence caused. I wasn't trying to dodge the issue or be a smartass.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 27th 2008, 01:39 AM
WIA

I'm really trying to get my head around what you wrote but it just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't see God as in need of my final consideration as if he requires anything from me. However, even if he exists (and I don't believe there is such a character, but for the purposes of discussion....) and even if he is supremely powerful, I am still capable of having an opinion about his laws and rules.

I accept that upon further education, and with changing perspective, my opinion might change, but if it means anything at all to praise God and say that he's good (and apparently he enjoys it when we do that) then it must also be meaningful to say that we don't have that opinion.

I'm not trying to say "I know better than God",or "My view of the relevant ethics is the right one".

However, no matter how big God is, we are still entitled as thinking feeling beings, to have an opinion on things.

What I hear in this thread is that because I'm formulating these opinions without being spiritually awake, that my views don't count or rather that if I make the appropriate propitiations, then eventually it will all make sense.

I'm saying that I would not want to be someone who feels good about people being tortured forever just so that sin can exist in order to bolster God's ego.

You said:

Basically, to sum it up, you reject the thought that you might stand before God and be found lacking. If that is true, then God is not worthy. Therefore, you need no "favors" extended to you from God. And if that is the way things really work, then you will reject God on a "righteous" (self) basis.

That's not exactly how I feel.
I know that I'm lacking in many ways. I know that I've done things wrong in my life, and if there's a system of ultimate justice (which I doubt, but sometimes think would be a good thing!), then I am fully prepared to stand accountable for everything I've done.

I would be prepared to accept punishment commensurate with my transgressions.

However, what has come out in this thread (if I understand it right) is the following:

1) You CANNOT sin in Heaven
2) God achieves this, by modifying us once we become spiritual beings, such that we have no inclination towards sin.
3) The reason that he didn't do this in the first place is so that he could be glorified by making us capable of sin, punishing us for being that way, and then forgiving us through the sacrifice of his son (who he got back three days later by the way..Where's the sacrifice?...)
4) Therefore, all the people who will end up in Hell could have been spared that torment, if God had been able to think of a slightly less costly method of having himself glorified.
5)In my view, anyone who gets to heaven ought to feel appalled by the fact that so many others are being tortured just so that God can feel good.(After all he could choose another way-He's GOD)
6)My sense of moral outrage at this barbarity and needless suffering is ill informed because God knows best.

Have I got that right?....

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 27th 2008, 01:45 AM
Just a corollary to the above.

I have many reasons for rejecting the christian faith.
Most are to do with simply not being convinced by any of the evidence I've heard.

But there is another level on which I do so, and that is really what I'm trying to get at in my previous post...

I'm told that God is Love and that he's just and good.
In order for these terms to mean anything they must have some meaning beyond simply being words we attach to God.

According to my best understanding, I don't find christian theology, loving, just or good.
I know that folk here would maintain that that is because I don't see it right, but I really struggle to see it any other way.

When I think about this stuff, it makes me feel relieved that it isn't true, as well as making me amazed that anyone could want it to be true.

(Obviously I realize that I'm a minority opinion around here!)

9Marksfan
Mar 27th 2008, 11:00 AM
WIA

I'm really trying to get my head around what you wrote but it just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't see God as in need of my final consideration as if he requires anything from me. However, even if he exists (and I don't believe there is such a character, but for the purposes of discussion....) and even if he is supremely powerful, I am still capable of having an opinion about his laws and rules.

You are, but the rightness of God's laws and rules is not subject to man's judgement. God is perfect, man is not.


I accept that upon further education, and with changing perspective, my opinion might change,

We're all :pray: for that!


but if it means anything at all to praise God and say that he's good (and apparently he enjoys it when we do that)

Yes, He DELIGHTS in it!


then it must also be meaningful to say that we don't have that opinion.

It's meaningful, yes - but it has consequences......


I'm not trying to say "I know better than God",or "My view of the relevant ethics is the right one".

Hmm :hmm: - how isn't it?


However, no matter how big God is, we are still entitled as thinking feeling beings, to have an opinion on things.

Yes - but there are eternal consequences! That's what free will is about!


What I hear in this thread is that because I'm formulating these opinions without being spiritually awake, that my views don't count or rather that if I make the appropriate propitiations,

Wow! I thought only Christians used that word - how do you understand its meaning?


then eventually it will all make sense.

What you need is heavenly wisdom - and "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom". I believe that is what you need first and foremost, my friend - to realise how holy God is and how unholy ALL of us are......


I'm saying that I would not want to be someone who feels good about people being tortured forever just so that sin can exist in order to bolster God's ego.

I can see where you are coming from - but let me ask you a question: why do you think it is that we generally think it's wrong for humans to bolster their egos?


I know that I'm lacking in many ways. I know that I've done things wrong in my life, and if there's a system of ultimate justice (which I doubt, but sometimes think would be a good thing!), then I am fully prepared to stand accountable for everything I've done.

I would be prepared to accept punishment commensurate with my transgressions.

Well, that's a good start - but a perfect God requires 100% 24:7 perfect obedience from us for 100% of our lives, if we are going to seek to justify ourselves - how do you measure up to that standard?


However, what has come out in this thread (if I understand it right) is the following:

1) You CANNOT sin in Heaven

Correct.


2) God achieves this, by modifying us once we become spiritual beings, such that we have no inclination towards sin.

Hmm - not quite - we are spiritual beings here and now but I think I follow you - once we go to be with Him as believers when we die, yes - our sinful natures are removed.


3) The reason that he didn't do this in the first place is so that he could be glorified by making us capable of sin, punishing us for being that way, and then forgiving us through the sacrifice of his son (who he got back three days later by the way..Where's the sacrifice?...)

Jesus was truly separated from God when he was made sin for us - He truly died - in what way is that not sacrifice? Jesus resurrection was PROOF of the payment!!!!!!


4) Therefore, all the people who will end up in Hell could have been spared that torment, if God had been able to think of a slightly less costly method of having himself glorified.

Such as?


5)In my view, anyone who gets to heaven ought to feel appalled by the fact that so many others are being tortured just so that God can feel good.(After all he could choose another way-He's GOD)

Yes - had there been a better way, He would surely have chosen it, wouldn't He? I know I won't be appalled - I will share perfectly in His holiness then and I will see the sin and rebellion of those who are lost for what it is - worthy of everlasting condemnation - and I, along with all the redeemed, will rejoice in God's justice and victory over all that is evil. I cannot understand how that will be, but I believe that is what the Bible teaches and am happy to accept that - any objections that I have just now are because of sinful, human pride, not a "good" moral compass.


6)My sense of moral outrage at this barbarity and needless suffering is ill informed because God knows best.

No - it's ill informed because you (like us) are sinful and are blinded to the truth (as we were and, to some extent, still are).


Have I got that right?....

No - true wisdom consists in right knowledge of God and ourselves - as i said, you have yet to begin to see how holy He is and how sinful we are - once you do, things will start to become clearer......

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 27th 2008, 12:53 PM
May I ask in the context of your reply then, how you would define the words "good" or "moral".

Is it as simple as "If God says it's good, then it's good"?

What if God said it was "good" to rape babies?
Would that make it good?

(I know that such a horrible thing would be contrary to our understanding of God's character, but as you have said we cannot understand God and our own sinful moral compasses cannot be relied upon so we are not really in a position to say that he wouldn't)

Is there any conceivable thing that God could do or say that would dignify the opinion that he is immoral. (Again, I'm not asking if you think he would say such a thing. I'm asking if such a possiblity exists in principal.

watchinginawe
Mar 27th 2008, 05:19 PM
WIA

I'm really trying to get my head around what you wrote but it just doesn't make sense to me.

I don't see God as in need of my final consideration as if he requires anything from me. However, even if he exists (and I don't believe there is such a character, but for the purposes of discussion....) and even if he is supremely powerful, I am still capable of having an opinion about his laws and rules.You have characterized your opinion extremely hypothetically and in a way that most satisfactorily defends your unbelief. I believe that you have stated that God does need your consideration. Here is what drew my comments:
I wasn't saying that I want to go to hell, but rather that I would hope that I had the integrity to refuse heaven at such a cost to others. I could not live with myself.
...
Do you feel fine about enjoying the fruits of heaven while billions are tortured, just so that God can get to feel good about himself?Now since you don't believe that there is a heaven to be refused, I understood these statements to be kind of like a "if I die and there really is a heaven and a hell" type of thing. In that case, perhaps you see yourself as having one more decision of integrity to make, to refuse heaven so that God does not satisfy His need to feel good about Himself. :lol: As I have mentioned several times, you see things backwards, or upside down regarding God. Just reading the part of you "refusing" heaven got me tickled for the moment. I hope you are laughing with me. I don't mean harm. Continuing...

So perhaps what you believe you are doing is "refusing" heaven now on your own ethical terms, in this life, while the decision remains with you. The problem is that your process is based on a heap of hypothetical reasoning. But I believe that somewhere within yourself you also have decided that if God is God, then He will be pleased with your process.

Personally, I believe the above is what motivates you to discuss and post on the subject. You are laying it all out publicly. But, IF God in the end of things, if He really exists and isn't pleased with your reasoning, and IF there really is a judgment and a heaven and a hell, THEN you will still stand by the integrity of your process and refuse heaven, or rather, accept hell.

OK, the problem with the above. I believe you are absolutely convinced in your reasonings, both that there isn't a God, and that if there is one that He will find your reasoning process pleasing or else be an immoral God. (I know, a dichotomy but thus is the reasoning when it comes to God.) The problem is you have played out the scenario all the way to hell refusing to admit anywhere along the way that you were wrong. In Christian terms, you intend to be completely unrepentant towards God.
I accept that upon further education, and with changing perspective, my opinion might change, but if it means anything at all to praise God and say that he's good (and apparently he enjoys it when we do that) then it must also be meaningful to say that we don't have that opinion.My opinion changed when I was 25 years old. God was good and showed me grace. God gave me His assurance on the matter as well. God's grace wasn't on the back of the judged, but rather on Jesus Christ. There was a price, but not as you suppose.

I don't know how old you are now, but I am convinced that your opinion could change so drastically that you would have to attribute the change to a miracle.
I'm not trying to say "I know better than God",or "My view of the relevant ethics is the right one".

However, no matter how big God is, we are still entitled as thinking feeling beings, to have an opinion on things.

What I hear in this thread is that because I'm formulating these opinions without being spiritually awake, that my views don't count or rather that if I make the appropriate propitiations, then eventually it will all make sense.

I'm saying that I would not want to be someone who feels good about people being tortured forever just so that sin can exist in order to bolster God's ego.We all agree with your conclusion. That is an easy comment. However, in a discussion like this, it amounts a bit to an accusation towards the Christian. In other words, we see that as your view of Christianity, and thus you seem to be saying that you would not want to be a Christian for that reason.

Give this some thought. You are really rejecting Jesus Christ on a false hypothetical. You feel that your consideration has to do with justice to third parties and you do not see God's grace from a personal viewpoint. In other words, you are caught up in thinking that your acceptance of God's grace would somehow disfranchise someone else from that grace. Or perphaps, as I suggested before, you find the whole issue of grace and the neccessity of it as offensive.
You said:
Basically, to sum it up, you reject the thought that you might stand before God and be found lacking. If that is true, then God is not worthy. Therefore, you need no "favors" extended to you from God. And if that is the way things really work, then you will reject God on a "righteous" (self) basis. That's not exactly how I feel.
I know that I'm lacking in many ways. I know that I've done things wrong in my life, and if there's a system of ultimate justice (which I doubt, but sometimes think would be a good thing!), then I am fully prepared to stand accountable for everything I've done.

I would be prepared to accept punishment commensurate with my transgressions.The "commensurate" part of the above again is your view of what would be "right". Anything more and God is unjust. Here are some thoughts from scripture:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;...
...
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Now I am going to ask some obvious questions. Are you separated from God? Do you think you will die? We know that you don't believe God exists and thus any separation would be purely hypothetical. But from your viewpoint, God hasn't declared Himself to you and you haven't found him, so if God exists, ipso facto you are separated from Him. If you die separated from Him, the only difference on the other side of death is that you will know the Truth and yet be eternally separated from Him. The rest of Romans 6:23 ...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Christian is rconciled to God by God's grace through Jesus Christ. The result for man is eternal life instead of death. We are no longer separated from God.
However, what has come out in this thread (if I understand it right) is the following:

1) You CANNOT sin in Heaven You DO NOT sin in Heaven
2) God achieves this, by modifying us once we become spiritual beings, such that we have no inclination towards sin. God achieves this, however He does it
3) The reason that he didn't do this in the first place is so that he could be glorified by making us capable of sin, punishing us for being that way, and then forgiving us through the sacrifice of his son (who he got back three days later by the way..Where's the sacrifice?...) A bunch here to tackle. There is no reason to hypothesize alternative scenarios because we know we exist, are capable of sin, and that we will die. That is reality. Regarding glory, it would be wrong to interpret glory as some kind of selfishness. The latin term "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam" means "to the greater glory of God". It has to do with creation and our recognition of it. Man is the only being on Earth that can give glory to the creator. Man finds His purpose in glorifying God. Regarding sacrifice, study this definition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sacrifice) (paricularly 3 and 8) of sacrifice.
4) Therefore, all the people who will end up in Hell could have been spared that torment, if God had been able to think of a slightly less costly method of having himself glorified. Non sequitur.
5)In my view, anyone who gets to heaven ought to feel appalled by the fact that so many others are being tortured just so that God can feel good.(After all he could choose another way-He's GOD) I've discussed your view in the body of the post. It is mis-guided in my view.
6)My sense of moral outrage at this barbarity and needless suffering is ill informed because God knows best. You have based your outrage on how you want to view Christian theology. You seem to see yourself as representing a host of others unselfishly and with no regard for yourself. You present this as how God ought to be. God should be like you. It is blasphemy, but you do it ignorantly.

Have I got that right?....I'm not sure I like the 1, 2, 3, 4 kind of thing. I have made my comments in blue above though.

God Bless!

watchinginawe
Mar 27th 2008, 05:23 PM
According to my best understanding, I don't find christian theology, loving, just or good.
I know that folk here would maintain that that is because I don't see it right, but I really struggle to see it any other way.

When I think about this stuff, it makes me feel relieved that it isn't true, as well as making me amazed that anyone could want it to be true.
Then perhaps this is winding down and it is on to the next place for you.

We get it. You believe that Christianity is based on God's selfishness and that Chrisitians are immoral for satisfying God's selfishness in exchange for His favor at the expense of others. :dunno: Maybe as you suggested, you will come to a different opinion in the future.

God Bless!

DanDMan64
Mar 27th 2008, 10:40 PM
...I accept that upon further education, and with changing perspective, my opinion might change, ...

...However, what has come out in this thread (if I understand it right) is the following:

1) You CANNOT sin in Heaven
2) God achieves this, by modifying us once we become spiritual beings, such that we have no inclination towards sin.
3) The reason that he didn't do this in the first place is so that he could be glorified by making us capable of sin, punishing us for being that way, and then forgiving us through the sacrifice of his son (who he got back three days later by the way..Where's the sacrifice?...)
4) Therefore, all the people who will end up in Hell could have been spared that torment, if God had been able to think of a slightly less costly method of having himself glorified.
5)In my view, anyone who gets to heaven ought to feel appalled by the fact that so many others are being tortured just so that God can feel good.(After all he could choose another way-He's GOD)
6)My sense of moral outrage at this barbarity and needless suffering is ill informed because God knows best.

Have I got that right?....
No, I apologize if all you're getting from this thread is the well meaning but very wrong conclusions you believe we're guiding you to. It seems to me some of these are conclusions you already had even before you started this thread, in which case it goes to prove my point about your "moral compass" being pointed in the wrong direction, and about demons or even Satan tampering with your spirit to get you to believe those conclusions, because they typically sound like the lies he uses to keep people in the dark about God and His goodness, and yet you have been duped into believing these are your own conclusions, or even worst the ones we have led you to believe, thus clearing you from any responsibility.

Instead of arguing your points one by one, I will attempt to use this same 1,2,3 format to attempt to "educate you" on what I believe I have learned in my Christian walk the "gospel" message is all about, and I hope when I'm done my Christian brethren will either agree, correct me if I'm wrong, or make amendments to points I may have missed. Ultimately the answer to your question will be arrived at in the end, and perhaps you'll have a better understanding of why it is so.

Here I go, I will leave the numbers out though in case I miss a step to give others an opportunity to insert it in it's proper place as they see fit. Please also keep in mind I’m leaving a lot of details out for simplicity’s sake, and I’m also leaving out specific references to scripture for that same reason, but I will provide them if asked to do so.

Before the beginning of Genesis, God created spiritual beings we call angels, He gave them free will, some used it and decided to rebel against God, one in particular thought he could do a better job at being god than God himself, all of them were thrown out of heaven and a spiritual war was declared on God.

In The beginning God created everything, including man/woman, and everything was good, sin was out.

In creating man/woman He gave them "free will" but since that meant that they should be able to choose between staying in fellowship with Him (good) or walking out on Him (evil), He had to draw a line in the sand. He did this by giving them the opportunity to be disobedient and pointed-out that there was a particular tree they couldn’t eat from, which He appropriately named "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (original sin). He warned them that if they did eat of it they would eventually die.

As long as they obeyed and didn't eat the fruit, they had fellowship with God, God came by everyday and they could see Him because they were perfect, and eventually when they had children, they would also have that same fellowship.

There was another tree in the garden called "the tree of life" which produced fruit that had the ability to allow human beings to live for ever, so man/woman understood that disobeying God would mean no more access to this tree or it's fruit, which would mean death, which also would mean no more access to God and His fellowship, so the thought of disobeying Him was unthinkable, and I believe this probably stayed that way for a long time (millions of years perhaps, at least thousands of years for sure, but I digress.)

The fallen angel we call “Satan” entered into a cunning animal and used it to tempt man/woman to disobey God and eat of the forbidden fruit, which unfortunately worked and (sin, disobedience to God in obedience to His enemy) entered into God’s perfect creation.

Because of this first sin, disobedience to God and obedience to God’s enemy, God cursed creation, cursed the animal that was used by Satan, prophesied about the war that would follow between Satan and his followers and Jesus and His followers, cursed the woman and the man to become mortal and have to fend for themselves.

However, knowing that this would happen and because He loved man/woman and us (their children) so much, He made provision for the curse to be reversed on creation, for fellowship to be restored to all children of man/woman who wanted it back, and created a final and absolute punishment (lake of fire) for all the disobedient creatures that could disrupt the fellowship between Himself and all His creatures that do choose to obey Him out of their own will, and who will continue to do so and be granted access to the tree of life again, and be rewarded in accordance to their level of commitment in ways I can’t even begin to imagine.

The provision He made was His own death, through His own “sinless” Son Jesus Christ, who gave Himself willingly as a lamb (animal sacrifice). Animal sacrifice was instituted from the moment man/woman left the garden, but it was only a symbol to allow man/woman to restore that fellowship with God through “faith” that an actual final sacrifice would come in due time. Once that sacrifice was offered there was no more need for further animal sacrifices to continue, because now we can look back to that sacrifice through “faith” and claim our fellowship to/with God be restored. This is the gospel, and this is the only acceptable way to do it, and this part takes care of the restoration of fellowship with God part, but it’s not the whole gospel.

Three days after His death, Jesus broke the curse of death by coming back to life, thus proving that He was God. Jesus commanded His followers to start telling people about this gospel message, the good news, redemption of creation and restoration back to the way it was meant to be from the beginning, obedience to God the father and His Son in believing and accepting the gospel is the process by which our spiritual part is awakened, thus allowing God through His Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to us and thus begins the process of transformation of our minds to know Him, and have fellowship with Him, to use us and the gifts He gave us to spread that gospel message, and eventually to reach both spiritual and physical perfection, and eternal life.

It is God’s will that all children of man/woman, from them onward to the last baby that will be born on this earth, out of their own free will choose to obey Him for our own good, because true joy and happiness and eternal life and everything that is noble and beautiful and worthy of keeping alive about our souls can only be found in staying faithful to Him, and only through Him we will be able to realize our full potential as the beautiful creatures He intended us to be, much like His own self. To this end He appeals to our spirit, that is that part of Himself he gave us life with, through His own Holy Spirit to listen to the gospel message and accept it, and to just take that first step of “faith” to accept Him and His plan of salvation, to stop disobeying Him, (sinning) and allow us to let Him cleanse us and purify us and get us ready to be perfect again, so we can see Him again in all His glory as our original parents used to when they were perfect.

It is unfortunate though that our propensity for “evil”, to not just disobey Him but to ally ourselves with His enemies, to make ourselves slaves of His enemies for the hollow promises of selfish gain of temporary “stuff”, and allow ourselves to get to the point where we actually believe that we can find fulfillment on our own by perverting His truths and convincing ourselves that we’re “smarter” than God and we could do a better job than Him in choosing to live our lives any which way we see fit. Thus from the beginning man began to worship “deities” both spiritual and imaginary, that better fit those philosophies, (idolatry), or we flat out declare ourselves gods and even want to deny there is another greater than ourselves, despite His best efforts to convince us otherwise. Eventually all who declare themselves enemies of God and reject Him and His Son, and live in blasphemy of His Holy Spirit (the only unpardonable sin), will end-up in the same place that was prepared for the rebellious angels that started the war, which they managed to dupe human souls to take along with them, and that was not made for them (humans), and will only end-up there because they chose to do so, by ignoring the gospel message.

I think that about covers it. Sorry, I meant to keep this short, but I wanted to make sure I got it right, for the most part.

This is the much abbreviated but quite much longer answer I can think of, as to why there won’t be sin in heaven, because fellowship with God is much too precious to give-up and loose again, and that’s a lesson we need to learn in this world, and we choose to do so accordingly for our own good.

It’s up to you to believe it or not, all I can do is share it and hope that you will, but I can’t pray that you will, because God won’t violate your right to choose.

PyrK
Mar 27th 2008, 11:56 PM
Sometimes reads as though it is straight out of Hitchen's mouth. I can only imagine if you read the Bible yourself the kind of interesting questions we could get out of you.

Son_kissed
Mar 29th 2008, 09:22 PM
Firstly may I say hi again to all my friends here with whom I have not spoken in a very long time.
I thought I might pop in again and see how you are and maybe throw some ideas around.

To all I haven't spoken to before, Hi:D

My question is a simple one:

Can you sin in Heaven?

Hi BW!

Until recently I had been away from the message board for quite a while, too. Wish I had time to reply, but probably wouldn't say anything that I haven't already said to you in the past or that others haven't said.

I know you're looking for discussion (and hopefully the truth), but the only thing I can offer right now is to tell you to continue asking God to reveal Himself to you. He will IF you sincerely desire to know and embrace the truth as your signature implies you do. That's how it started for me. I was pretty sure He existed already, but I had doubts and remember saying this simple prayer one night... "God if you exist, I want to know it and I want to know the truth about you. There are a lot of different religions out there, so you're going to have to show me whats right." And, as He reveals Himself, you will also learn that He is not the unloving God your theology understands Him to be. Will He make Himself known to you as He did Moses in the burning bush? Probably not. Instead, getting to know God and learning to trust Him is usually a process which requires some steps of faith to begin with.

Anyway, wanted to say hello and that it's good to see you again! :)

I know you've read through much (all?) of the Bible before, but maybe try reading the book of Ruth, again. Find the symbology in it. It's the whole history of redemption wrapped up in one beautiful, little story.

9Marksfan
Mar 30th 2008, 12:28 AM
May I ask in the context of your reply then, how you would define the words "good" or "moral".

Sorry - was this directed at my last post?


Is it as simple as "If God says it's good, then it's good"?

Yes - what higher standard is there?


What if God said it was "good" to rape babies?

He wouldn't.


Would that make it good?

Hypothetical - he would never say that.


(I know that such a horrible thing would be contrary to our understanding of God's character, but as you have said we cannot understand God

I didn't say that - God is knowable - just not entirely.


and our own sinful moral compasses cannot be relied upon so we are not really in a position to say that he wouldn't)

You are forgetting or discounting the concept of revelation - objectively in the Bible and subjectively as the Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts to understand it.


Is there any conceivable thing that God could do or say that would dignify the opinion that he is immoral.

Sorry, you've lost me - when you say "dignify", do you really mean "contradict"?


(Again, I'm not asking if you think he would say such a thing. I'm asking if such a possiblity exists in principal.

No - the possibility does not exist on the basis of what He has already revealed of His own perfect, holy character in the Bible.

Lisa Ruby
Mar 30th 2008, 05:00 AM
Firstly may I say hi again to all my friends here with whom I have not spoken in a very long time.
I thought I might pop in again and see how you are and maybe throw some ideas around.

To all I haven't spoken to before, Hi:D

My question is a simple one:

Can you sin in Heaven?


No, because Christians will be raised incorruptible. Our corruptible bodies will put on incorruption:

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 1 cor. 15:53

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 cor. 15:54

Lisa Ruby
Mar 30th 2008, 05:05 AM
Firstly may I say hi again to all my friends here with whom I have not spoken in a very long time.
I thought I might pop in again and see how you are and maybe throw some ideas around.

To all I haven't spoken to before, Hi:D

My question is a simple one:

Can you sin in Heaven?

You and I won't sin in heaven but you and I can sin now and we must turn our backs on it through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ.

And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. Rev. 21:27

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 30th 2008, 10:57 AM
Hi BW!

Until recently I had been away from the message board for quite a while, too. Wish I had time to reply, but probably wouldn't say anything that I haven't already said to you in the past or that others haven't said.

I know you're looking for discussion (and hopefully the truth), but the only thing I can offer right now is to tell you to continue asking God to reveal Himself to you. He will IF you sincerely desire to know and embrace the truth as your signature implies you do. That's how it started for me. I was pretty sure He existed already, but I had doubts and remember saying this simple prayer one night... "God if you exist, I want to know it and I want to know the truth about you. There are a lot of different religions out there, so you're going to have to show me whats right." And, as He reveals Himself, you will also learn that He is not the unloving God your theology understands Him to be. Will He make Himself known to you as He did Moses in the burning bush? Probably not. Instead, getting to know God and learning to trust Him is usually a process which requires some steps of faith to begin with.

Anyway, wanted to say hello and that it's good to see you again! :)

I know you've read through much (all?) of the Bible before, but maybe try reading the book of Ruth, again. Find the symbology in it. It's the whole history of redemption wrapped up in one beautiful, little story.

Hi Son_kissed.

VERY nice to speak to you again.

Blindwatchmaker
Mar 30th 2008, 11:24 AM
Is it as simple as "If God says it's good, then it's good"?
Yes - what higher standard is there?

Well, I think there are much higher standards that are to do with more reasonable definitions of good and bad.



What if God said it was "good" to rape babies?
He wouldn't.

I'm afraid you can't have it both ways. It's not consistent to appeal to God's reasons beyond our reasoning in order to explain evil and suffering and then declare what he would and wouldn't say as if we have a sufficient understanding to do so. I'm sure in the times before Noah, people might have thought that God would never decide to just drown all the living things on the planet. (topic for another thread I think!)

Besides, if God would or wouldn't do something, then that implies that he is adhering to some moral or ethical code himself. Who decides that one?



Would that make it good?
Hypothetical - he would never say that. I know the question is hypothetical, but hypothetical questions and "thought experiments" play a very large part in the tradition of philosophical discourse as I'm sure you know.



(I know that such a horrible thing would be contrary to our understanding of God's character, but as you have said we cannot understand God
I didn't say that - God is knowable - just not entirely.

What is the scriptural basis for deciding what may or may not be contained within those parts of God that we don't know? Who are we to confidently assert that we know what lies therein?



and our own sinful moral compasses cannot be relied upon so we are not really in a position to say that he wouldn't)
You are forgetting or discounting the concept of revelation - objectively in the Bible and subjectively as the Holy Spirit enlightens our hearts to understand it.

Ahh, but this enlightening by the holy spirit only does half the job. Theologians can still only shrug their shoulders and point mutedly upwards when asked why a two year old has to die an agonizing death from bone cancer or a serial murderer is allowed to rape and kill.



Is there any conceivable thing that God could do or say that would dignify the opinion that he is immoral.
Sorry, you've lost me - when you say "dignify", do you really mean "contradict"?

I mean, is there anything God could say that you would consider evil?
-I'm not asking if you think he would but rather what kind of thing would a god have to do or say in order to qualify as evil?
(My point is, that if you define good as whatever God says, then the answer to that question is "nothing").



(Again, I'm not asking if you think he would say such a thing. I'm asking if such a possiblity exists in principal.
No - the possibility does not exist on the basis of what He has already revealed of His own perfect, holy character in the Bible.

I'm not asking how likely it is, I'm asking for an example (if you think there is one) of something that would make God "bad".
A possible answer might be.."If God said, THOU SHALT CAUSE AS MUCH SUFFERING IN THE WORLD AS POSSIBLE, then that would be bad"

(Obviously I know you think he wouldn't say that)

See what I'm getting at?