I can't stand the thought that.....

Discussion in 'Controversial' started by ProDeo, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Does this mean your will did not have anything to do with the outcome?

    Playing the hell card again. As if you exactly know what the meaning of the Lake of Fire is. You don't. Neither do I.


    Matt 5:21-26
    26 -
    Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
    1. Hell | LOF aren't necessarily eternal.
    2. The greek word for eternal is age-lasting. (link)
    So I think your less optimistic view needs some polishing.

    But by now you have been ducking the question 2 times :) but I am going to make my point anyway :D

    You have said in the past your faith was sincere and I have no reason to question that. One of the dominant reasons for leaving the faith was the treatment you have gotten from other Christians. That I had in mind when I asked you how you would respond when you stand before God's throne and He asks you: - Why did you leave me?

    I imagined in your defence you could list the bad things people did to you but then God could answer - Sorry to hear that my son, that's bad indeed, but tell me HL, what did I do to you?

    That would going nowhere don't you agree?
  2. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    I had an interesting conversation today.

    He said the problem wth many Christians is that they actually believe that there is a contest between God and Satan.

    IMINXTC Time Bandit

    Yeah. A premise I was taught as a youth in
  4. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    What I was getting at is that the interrogating God would know with better clarity and recollection all the things I did in order to believe. Will understand the scales measured things in my heart over decades of sleepless nights.
    Did my "will" play any part in the matter? That's above my pay grade.

    Oh I assure you I'm not "playing". I take the concept of hell more seriously than almost every Christian I've ever met. You say "playing the card" as if its the easiest thing for me to do. Little do you know it robs me of a night's sleep every time I consider it.

    I've "ducked" no question. I told you exactly and precisely what my "defense" would be. If you don't understand it, that's fine, but I didn't "duck" anything. I am no coward. I avoided nothing. " :) "
    As for your point... yes, my faith was sincere. No, the dominant reason wasn't the treatment from others (that was merely a catalyst).
    I sincerely doubt a God would ask me "what did I do do to you". It would simply know every answer before even asking. The hypothetical question makes God more man-like than God-like.
  5. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    That's the difficulty with existence. He knows, but you determine what you've actually done.

    And yet, we have an example set by Jesus, or even God's interactions with the 'heroes' of faith in the OT, and He does ask questions. I agree that I don't think 'what did I do to you' would be the question. I also think you'd probably wish it was.
  6. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Hard to blame them, Dan 10:13, Eph 6, Rev 12:7. Personaly instead of a contest the word demonstration fits me a lot better, how God deals with the risen situation of sin using satan as the ultimate reprobate mind for His purpose.
  7. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    I am trying to understand.

    Ok, so how does your priority list of reasons look like to give up faith? The prospect of hell at number one?
  8. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    I'm not sure why you think your demonstration metaphor doesn't strip all meaning out of creation, making it all about Satan in the process (when you hate the thought about Satan winning more souls than God)? That's the first thought that struck my mind when you presented the idea, and I've never been able to shake it.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  9. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Yeah, and if true, the vast bulk of all human souls who have ever lived will wish for the 20/20 vision of hindsight at the day of judgment.
    One thing is certain: my conscience is clear that I did the very best I could with what I read, understood, witnessed, and experienced with respect to Christianity.
  10. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    It appears from the conversation that it is wandering into the realm of "what people do in order to believe."

    I think that's the entire issue. The only thing one must do to believe is to believe; to intentionally surrender one's will, even in spite of gnawing questions.

    Faith, though based in rational thought, is still nothing more than the most rational irrational thought one can have given the alternatives.
  11. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Its a mosaic, rather than a force-ranked bullet point list. A cacophony of ...
    - incapability of reconciling scripture with the observable universe
    - incapability of reconciling scripture with itself
    - incapability of finding the right Christianity within the Bible and whatever traditions I've been exposed to (kind of a subset of reconciling scripture with itself)
    - seeing no evidence of the efficacy of faith, especially when compared to people of other faiths.
    - the absolute desolate wailing emptiness I felt while being a Christian.

    It all tangles together in various combinations and concentration over a 40 year lifetime. That's why, if I end up in your proposed hypothetical, the best I *could* do is shrug my shoulders and let that God read my heart and memory.
  12. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    Isn't that a historical complaint, though? Not enough signs, not enough miracles, etc. etc.

    That would be the one that matters, would not it? Not intellect, but being.
  13. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    Who ever said that one can't be a person of faith and still struggle with doubt and have more questions than answers?

    I also understand the desire to detach oneself from an environment rife with spiritual abuse and a high degree of religious dysfunction, especially after what you've endured. Which I'm deducing based upon various snippets and glimpses you have shared over the years. I would want to run as far away from such nonsense as possible too. Which is especially difficult when this affects your own family, and detaching causes great pain even though it's necessary. In my book it's honestly better to be agnostic than involved in an unhealthy, abusive religious environment. I can't see how any reasonable person would fault anyone for that.

    Deconstructing a handed-down belief system is utterly reasonable, healthy, and encouraged. Many many many people coming out of unhealthy religious environments, or even just out of their childhood upbringing, are doing exactly that. As well they should. Everyone must have their own belief system and their own faith at some point. Second-hand faith is no bueno.

    Don't forget to reconstruct, however. It's not enough to deconstruct, walk away, and then say "well y'all are obviously wrong, so I'm going to stay over here and condemn everything having to do with everything I spent so much time and effort deconstructing and detaching myself from". It's not enough to be against. You must at some point be for. Because life can't operate from a negative space.

    Every atheist and agnostic is for something. Everyone has a world view. Our brains cannot function without one.

    I'm a Christian. I'm therefore busy living out my faith, my religion, my values, connecting with my people and my God, care for the downtrodden and etc. I'm certainly against evil and don't have the desire, time or energy to pursue other religious practices because mine keep me busy enough. However, I don't waste my time going to Muslim boards or Atheist boards and telling those people that they're wrong and argue with them about what they believe. I'm far too busy living out what I believe, and finding people who believe likewise, so we can come together and encourage one another to keep going through all the challenging and at times impossible things life can throw at us.

    So as you throw out your issues with what you understand Christianity to be ... which many of them I do understand and can get on board with ... have the courage to lay out your own current belief system and have us take a look-see and give you some feedback too, eh? It's only fair. :cool:
  14. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    I am not sure where I gave you the impression it's all about satan, if he gets more souls so be it, but following passages like 2 Pet 3:9 I don't have to like it. That's all I was communicating when the thought came up.
  15. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    That's quite some cocktail and I can relate. At times I feel similar, the apparent contradictions, intelligent well versed people unable to agree on so many subjects. It's a pain. And yet I see no reason to give up, else to whom or where shall I go? It's probably where we differ.

    I remember you said something similar back then at BF, ages ago. Makes me wonder if you are (were) disappointed you were not feeling anything (it's what you said back then if I remember correctly) and how much that affected you. Especially when you notice all those overjoyed Christians who (according to them) feel the presence of the Lord on a 24/7 base. I can imagine the impact is more destructive than all the above points together.

    Understood and thank you for your openness.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  16. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Yeah, I wonder why that might be? There's a smorgasbord of faiths around the world who's adherents and soon-to-be-former-adherents can't reconcile their faiths with the world, or faiths with their texts.
    They're mostly told the same thing: Have faith anyway.
    As for miracles, time was when I fought tooth and nail against the "all REAL Christians experience miracles" crowd. Don't count me within their sadisdic ranks. I just said my conscience was clear that I did the best I could with what I understood, observed, and experienced.

    Metaphor here: The tripod stands because it is composed of necessary parts. You can't take one of the legs and say "this is the leg that really matters"
  17. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    No one has done their best in this arena until they're dead. Maybe then they did their best, or maybe they didn't; but, no one does their best half way through life.

    True, but you can say that about the base that connects the legs together. In this case, if we took your intellectual objections to Christianity, and your existential objections to Christianity, then it seems to me that the latter are more important to you than the former, given that the former proceeded from the latter (necessarily). For example, it would not matter if you were able to reconcile Scripture with the observable universe, or reconcile Scripture with itself, or found the 'right' Christianity; if you still felt the 'absolute desolate wailing emptiness I felt while being a Christian', then you wouldn't be moved. At best you'd begrudge yourself into acknowledging a religious system that must be true given the evidence, but for which you have no personal concern outside of intellectual acknowledgement; no more committed to than your belief that 2 + 2 = 4.
    ProDeo likes this.
  18. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    It's always risky to conclude for someone else based on our own experiences but this is so fundamental it's probably spot on. Feeling absolute desolate wailing emptiness in your faith is devastating and no way to live.

    Sounds like Pascal's wager. Not sure if he really believed it himself.
  19. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Disagree. The me of now can look over my past and understand I did everything I could. Could the me of the future do something else? Sure, but the me of the future is not me. That's a hypothetical, non-existent entity.

    How do you know?
  20. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    *was* a devastating way to live.
    Not really sure if I believed what?
    I certainly didn't believe because of Pascal's wager when I was a Christian. On the outside, it seems about the only argument that makes sense, under the threat of eternal conscious torment. But the other thing you get on the outside is a community of apostates from other religions. With that comes the horrific realization that Pascal's Wager can be a duress leveraged in any faith. A wider pool of infinitely painful losses, but the ability to wager on only one.

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