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Hope In Christ

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Here is a thought for non-believers to consider.

HOW HOPE MATTERS

Contemplating Judgment

If you walked on earth in heavenly hope

And was quite settled in your bliss;

What would it matter if death is the end

And you then left the world like this?

If you lived your days with faith in God's Son

And had peace and joy at the last;

Could it matter at all if hope should fail

And there's nothing when life is past?

If you disallow God, His love and truth

As the Bible truly does tell;

Should that matter now as you ponder life

If your end might sadly be hell?

If you miss heaven's joy and all that's good

And you find the Bible was true;

If you die so soon and know not God's Son,

What will it then matter to you?

- R. L. DeWitt, 7/04

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Posted · Report post

You hope!

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And if you go to hell, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with all your friends... You won’t have time to worry!

Shake, Shake, Shake And Bake

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:

Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:47-48

With Nary A Drop To Drink

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. Luke 16:24

And All Because You Say Nay Nay

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. 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. John 3:35-36

So What Kind Of Logic Was That?

~

Believe

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:5-8

And Be Blessed Beloved

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. John 3:16

Love, Joe

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Posted · Report post

the Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him Ps 145-18

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Hope in Christ is No Hope Without Him!

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Fresnojoe, your posts always look to me like they are written in iambic pentameter for some reason. The aforementioned logic was from an old Irish anecdote, and not meant to be taken too seriously. There's a Japanese story along the same lines:

There was once a man who was being chased by a ferocious tiger across a field. At the edge of the field there was a cliff. In order to escape the jaws of the tiger, the man caught hold of a vine and swung himself over the edge of the cliff. Dangling down, he saw, to his dismay, there were more tigers on the ground below him! And, furthermore, two little mice were gnawing on the vine to which he clung. He knew that at any moment he would fall to certain death. That's when he noticed a wild strawberry growing on the cliff wall. Clutching the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other and put it in his mouth.

He never before realized how sweet a strawberry could taste.

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That story makes me sad, Nick. :(

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Here is a thought for non-believers to consider.

HOW HOPE MATTERS

Contemplating Judgment

If you walked on earth in heavenly hope

And was quite settled in your bliss;

What would it matter if death is the end

And you then left the world like this?

If you lived your days with faith in God's Son

And had peace and joy at the last;

Could it matter at all if hope should fail

And there's nothing when life is past?

If you disallow God, His love and truth

As the Bible truly does tell;

Should that matter now as you ponder life

If your end might sadly be hell?

If you miss heaven's joy and all that's good

And you find the Bible was true;

If you die so soon and know not God's Son,

What will it then matter to you?

- R. L. DeWitt, 7/04

Hi Seriousseeker,

First of all, happy new year!

As an unbeliever, I feel addressed and I am always interested in possible logical justifications to believe in Christianity. My initial post was too lazy from my side and has been correctly deleted, to avoid further misunderstandings.

If I read this correctly, this is Pascal wager in poetic form. That is, believing in God can only provide advantages: if God does not exist, then we unbelievers do not win anything, but if He does exist, then we lose everything, by landing forever in hell. Symmetrically for believers, of course.

If that were the case, then this poem would provide a rational justification to believe in God. Unfortunately, it doesn't. The problem is that if we consider the possibility of another different god X (with a similar punishement/reward system), then by substituting "God" with "X", we would have a rational justification to believe in X.

But we cannot have rational justifications to believe at the same time alternative versions of God, since they might contradict each other (belief in one might generate punishement if the other exists). Therefore, if follows logically, that this argument alone cannot be used to provide rational justification for belief in any god.

Ciao

- viole

But Viole, there is a major flaw in your argument. Christ is the only God, amongst the other "gods" to come and die for mankind. Your not going to find a God whom came down to take our place outside Christianity (at which I will add the only TRUE religion ;) ), all other religions ask for your life, all Christ asks for is your consideration and love. The other "gods" want your life.

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Here is a thought for non-believers to consider.

HOW HOPE MATTERS

Contemplating Judgment

If you walked on earth in heavenly hope

And was quite settled in your bliss;

What would it matter if death is the end

And you then left the world like this?

If you lived your days with faith in God's Son

And had peace and joy at the last;

Could it matter at all if hope should fail

And there's nothing when life is past?

If you disallow God, His love and truth

As the Bible truly does tell;

Should that matter now as you ponder life

If your end might sadly be hell?

If you miss heaven's joy and all that's good

And you find the Bible was true;

If you die so soon and know not God's Son,

What will it then matter to you?

- R. L. DeWitt, 7/04

Hi Seriousseeker,

First of all, happy new year!

As an unbeliever, I feel addressed and I am always interested in possible logical justifications to believe in Christianity. My initial post was too lazy from my side and has been correctly deleted, to avoid further misunderstandings.

If I read this correctly, this is Pascal wager in poetic form. That is, believing in God can only provide advantages: if God does not exist, then we unbelievers do not win anything, but if He does exist, then we lose everything, by landing forever in hell. Symmetrically for believers, of course.

If that were the case, then this poem would provide a rational justification to believe in God. Unfortunately, it doesn't. The problem is that if we consider the possibility of another different god X (with a similar punishement/reward system), then by substituting "God" with "X", we would have a rational justification to believe in X.

But we cannot have rational justifications to believe at the same time alternative versions of God, since they might contradict each other (belief in one might generate punishement if the other exists). Therefore, if follows logically, that this argument alone cannot be used to provide rational justification for belief in any god.

Ciao

- viole

But Viole, there is a major flaw in your argument. Christ is the only God, amongst the other "gods" to come and die for mankind. Your not going to find a God whom came down to take our place outside Christianity (at which I will add the only TRUE religion ;) ), all other religions ask for your life, all Christ asks for is your consideration and love. The other "gods" want your life.

Viole, it isn't about logic at all, it's about faith; and it's each person's decision to make. God bless you.

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I had what I was gonna post all written out, but this thread would likely be closed and that is not fair to the person whom made this thread. On top of that, WCF is not a platform to teach antisemitic theism, and I see that this is where it is likely to lead to.

God bless you

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Viole, were you not once a believer in Christ?

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If that were the case, then this poem would provide a rational justification to believe in God. Unfortunately, it doesn't. The problem is that if we consider the possibility of another different god X (with a similar punishement/reward system), then by substituting "God" with "X", we would have a rational justification to believe in X.

The problem with your statement is that it shows that you don't understand the differences between the claims of Christianity and other faiths. If you did, you could not make such an erroneous statement.

The biblical claims of Christianity are unique. They are unique enough that pascal's wager cannot be applied to any oher god or faith. You work from the erroneous assumption that all religions make the same basic claims but that is not true. When I say the biblical claims are unique, this is what i mean:

1. Christianity is rooted in a redemptive relationship with God. No other "religion" purports a relationship with it respective deity. In fact, not all "religions" have a deity, per se.

2. While Christianity and Islam share a belief in hell, there are some remarkable differences:

  • In the Bible, Hell was created for satan and his angels. Man was never meant to be the intended occupant of hell. In islam, hell is for unbelevers
  • In the Bible, trusting in Christ for salvation is the only means of averting having spend eternity in hell. In Islam, hell is averted by good works. In their theology, one's live is measured in the balance. Your good works have to outweigh your sinful works. If your good works don't outweigh your sin, you go to hell. You many have been a "good Muslim for 30 years, but if that is not enough to outweigh your prior sinfulness, you will go to hell no matter how goo you are. In Christianity, Jesus paid for our sin. He took the punishment on Himself on our behalf and offers mercy to us free of charge. Salvation in the Bible is not a reward for being good. It is a gift that God gives us out of His grace and mercy, even though we don't deserve it.
  • In Christianity is not about being good. God doesn't judge us on the basis of goodness, but on the basis of righteousness, that only comes through Christ.
  • In Islam, there is no way to know if you have been good enough or have done enough. In Christianity, those who trust in Christ are assured a place the Kingdom to come.

3. Pascal's wager works with Christianity because it is predicated on the exclusive claims that Christianity alone makes. The notion that alternative versions of God are equal in type and quality to what Christianity claims is a mistake on your part due to your relative ignorance of religions. In this case your "logic" fails because it is predicated on erroneous assumptions. It takes more than logic, viole. You actually have to have a correct understanding the topic and you actually have to correctly frame the position of those you oppose in order to have a coherent argument.

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I think that the poem's focus isn't really about justification of God, it's just asking the question: what if? what if we're wrong and God is right? what if He's provided the way to make us right? If we are wrong, what then?

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if I am wrong then i have lost something irreplaceable. the promises contained in the bible, which i believe are true, are worth more than just existence. what about you, what if you're wrong?

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you asked me about my loss, and i know more about than you do, seeing as it's mine personally. let me rephrase my question to you: what will it matter specifically to you if you should discover that you were wrong? you don't really have to answer, i understand what means to consider that, let alone make the answer known. but it would be interesting to know.

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wow, it seems i'm really bad at getting my question across. forget everybody else's interpretation. what would it matter to you where it really counts? but like i said before, if you don't really want to answer, don't feel you have to at all. it's just a poem, right?

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so what have you done in terms of personal investigation, rather than just going with what others are saying, (if that's what you been doing so far)?

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you asked me about my loss, and i know more about than you do, seeing as it's mine personally. let me rephrase my question to you: what will it matter specifically to you if you should discover that you were wrong? you don't really have to answer, i understand what means to consider that, let alone make the answer known. but it would be interesting to know.

I am not sure that what really matters to me is any relevant in case I am wrong.

But let us analyze the different cases, which depend on the various interpretations of Christianity. I make the ssumption here that I find out that I am wrong after my death.

1) Eternal separation from God. This is wishy-washy and underdefined. It is plausible that I would regret my erthly unbelief, assuming that not being separated from God provides some advantages. It is reasonable that I would be mad at my cogninitive faculties, anyways.

2) My consciousness will be terminated. Easy, I will not regret nor feel any emotion.

3) going to Heaven, anyway. Well, probably I would be really thankful and, at the same time, ashamed of my past unbelief. Actually, it depends, really. Could be that God appreciated my skepticism like I appreciate it when my kids do not believe me when I give them no evidence for my claims. In any case, my feelings will last no more than the first million years ;)

4) suffering all eternity in Hell. Well, probably I will suffer too much pain to think about it. And if I can think about it, then the pain is not so high. In the latter case, I would regret it, at least for the first couple thousands of years.

Ciao

- viole

In regards to the second item on the list, oblivion seems more likely. I was effectively 'dead' on more than one occasion before my heart started beating again. If there were an 'afterlife', I have no recollection of it. That, or the medics/machines were 'wrong'. As far as eternal suffering goes, logically, one should suffer in accordance with a lifetime of sins (a few decades, maybe, if 'thought crimes' are counted), so it's difficult to comprehend what purpose extending the punishment to forever would serve. Separation from God would be traumatizing for those close to him, but would not be very effective for anyone else, so I would agree with your reasoning to these options, and pascal's wager seems reasonable, as everyone is ultimately taking the same risk.

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Ok. Thinking about it, probably I would not be too hard on myself. After all I followed evidence, or the lack thereof.

Let me put it this way. If friend X tells me to invest all my money on a 50/50 lottery and friend Y tells me not to, my regret or happiness will be dependent on my choice and the result of the lottery. After all, when additional evidence about the success of my choices is lacking, it will all depend on whom I listen to. Should I listen to you, my muslim friend or my Hindu friend? And how should I base my choice, in lack of additional evidence? All of them are dead sure to hold the truth, so their fervor cannot be used, either. And why should I regret it, if I had no way to say who was right and who was wrong?

Ciao

- viole

Hello Viole,

Is it logical that denying the existence of any god would make it impossible, even absurd, to attempt to determine which god is the correct god?

:D

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Yes, of course, considering my current metaphysical position, it does not make any sense.

But my current position is the result of such thoughts, that is, it came afterwards. If I were a little green girl from Mars, with no cultural human heritage, and I listened to the various versions of God by interviewing Christians, Muslims, Hindu, etc. what criteria could I use to determine which one is more plausible?

Ciao

- viole

Unfortunately we have no way to form a comparison between this little green girl and you, or any other human, do we?

Every Human has lived and experienced the Earth inside this Earth’s system and, as example, even a pre Anglo settlement Australian Aborigine is confined to this system to make any evaluation of god.

I am wondering what the previous condition that your thoughts came after was.

It surely was upon this Earth. :D

Ok I thought of ending the tap dance. I think we have discussed the reasoning why every man and woman has had the opportunity to know the one true God. If the one true God has claimed He has made His presence known to us how is there any escape from this?

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You insist that being unique gives some ontological advantage to a certain claim. I don't see how that can folllow logically.

I hate to make comparisons, but I must here, to make my point. Scientology makes also absolutely unique claims.

Well not really. By the way, despite the claims of the lunatic fringe, Scientology is not a bonafide "relgion." Scientology, at best is a cult. Scientology like all other belief systems is focused on self and finding fulfillment by using one's self as the agency of that fulfillment. It's all about what you do. Christianity is unique because it stands in complete opposition to those types of worldviews.

When I claim unique claims, I am not referring to simply making claims that no one else is. All religions make speicific claims that no one else does.

I guess I need re-clarify what I mean by "unique." Christianity is unique because the unique character of its claims. Christianity is unique because it is redemptive. Instead of dying for your god, in Christianity, it was God ;who gave Himself for us. In all other religions, the focus is on human effort and what a person must doe to appease their deity or find personal sastifaction. In other religions it is about behavior modification and personal merit. "Turnning over a new leaf" so to speak.

Please note that I am not comparing Christianity with Scientology, that would be absurd. I just concentrate on the preference we should give to a certain claim, just because it is unique. We shouldn't.

Not merely that it is unique but in HOW it is unique. That seems to be the part that you ignore.

However, if Christianity is very different from Islam then, by applying the obvious symmetry, Islam is very different from Christianity. So?

It's not merely that they are different, but in HOW they are different.

The problem I have with you discuss religions, is that you want to lump them in altogether as if they are all basically making the same types of claims which is revealed in your less than accuate approach to the Pascal's wager.

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True. Althought i wonder how the same Aborigene could come to the conclusion that Jesus is Saviour, without external "help". I put "help" under quotes because I think that missionary work actually decreases the odds of salvation, if God existed.

The pre Anglo Aborigine obviously had no way of knowing anything about Jesus and I think you might also conclude many post Christ people may have never received any information about Jesus. Is your concern about the scriptures that say Jesus is the only way to God?

Joh 14:6 KJV Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I think it is apparent these scriptures are applied to people who were attempting to find their own way to God while they had Jesus directly in front of them. It isn't logical to apply these scriptures to any person pre or post Jesus who has not heard of Him. I think you might accept this is not absurd.

I came back to add another thought concerning finding God through Jesus. Jesus sacrifice is the only condition that allows any man to be redeemed whether cognitive or not.

I agree with your conclusion that the Aborigine was better without missionaries if we believe God solely judges people after they hear about Jesus. I agree this isn't a logical position.

I don't know how to put it nicely. I was a believer and I never thought about that nor followed the logical path to its conclusions. Why I never thought deeply about it? Probably, because I did not want to think about it. I still don't like to think too much about inescapable conclusions, like sickness and death of myself and my loved ones.

Ok now I understand what you mean. I drew the wrong conclusion that you may have somehow been isolated from the general claim that God has revealed himself to every human.

So, do you think that Aborigene had the opportunity to know the true God? I don't see how. if he had this opportunity, why did we need to send missionaries to start with?

Ciao

- viole

The Aborigine had the same opportunity as every human through witnessing what God has made and the intrinsic knowledge of a greater power. Post Christ missionaries went out because they were instructed to do this. I think God has shown himself leaving no human with excuse.

Now please don't lead me into a debate concerning people receiving unfair amount of revelation. :D God acts according to what each person is given it seems apparent from the bible message.

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