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Hell - Eternal Torment/Annihilationism/Universalism

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#1
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I'm defending and believe in Eternal Torment. What are you defending and believe in..


Edited by DRS81, 24 August 2013 - 11:50 AM.


#2
bopeep1909

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I am with you.The Bible says that it is eternal torment.



#3
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..and then there's the Greek word for eternal, meaning period of time. How many agree with the version period of time and not forever?



#4
FresnoJoe

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..and then there's the Greek word for eternal, meaning period of time. How many agree with the version period of time and not forever?

 

~

 

What He Said

 

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



#5
OneLight

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..and then there's the Greek word for eternal, meaning period of time. How many agree with the version period of time and not forever?


Actually, there are three Greek words for eternal.

ἀΐδιος
G126 - only found once in Romans 1:20
aïdios
1) eternal, everlasting.

αἰώνιος
G166 - found everywhere it speaks of eternal life or death
aiōnios
1) without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be
2) without beginning
3) without end, never to cease, everlasting

αἰών
G165 - only found once in Ephesians 3:11 where Paul talks about the church
aiōn
1) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
2) the worlds, universe
3) period of time, age

You are incorrect in using aion when referring to Hell.

#6
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You are incorrect in using aion when referring to Hell.

 

 

So you think hell is forever, never ending?

Also, what does Jesus say about living in heaven while our relatives and friends burn in hell.

Are we as believers living in heaven consciously aware of where they are?



#7
TsukinoRei

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This is going to be a super boring debate if nobody takes the opposite side!  



#8
TsukinoRei

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http://what-the-hell...pics/hellstudy/

http://www.tentmaker...le_Forever.html

 

All right then!  Apologists get ready!  Hell does not appear at all in the version of the Old Testament used in Judaism, and Judaism has no concept of Hell.  If Hell is such a vital part of Christian doctrine, and the Bible is inerrant and unchanged, then why does every version of the Bible seem to disagree on which verses even actually talk about the eternal place of torment and some versions not talk about it at all?

 

Why also wasn't Hell an important doctrine to the early church, if it was even a doctrine at all?

 

 

Think about it..

If Hell was real, why did the first comparatively complete systematic statement of Christian doctrine ever given to the world by Clement of Alexandria, A.D. 180, contain the tenet of universal salvation?

If Hell was real, why did the first complete presentation of Christianity (Origen, 220 A.D.) contain the doctrine of universal salvation?

If Hell was real, why do neither the Apostles Creed, nor the Nicean Creed, two foundational "doctrinal statements" for the early church, contain the concept of Hell?

If Hell was real, why did Church leaders as late as the fourth century AD acknowledge that the majority of Christians believed in the salvation of all mankind?

If Hell was real why did the early church appoint an avowed universalist as the President of the second council of the church of Constantinope in the fourth century? (Gregory Nazianzen, 325-381).

If Hell was real why did not a single Church council for the first five hundred years condemn Universalism as heresy considering the fact that they made many declarations of heresy on other teachings?

If Hell was real why didn't Epiphanius (c. 315-403) the "hammer of heretics" who listed 80 heresies of his time not list universalism among those heresies?

If Hell was real, since most historians would acknowledge today that Origen was perhaps the most outstanding example of universalism in the church, when Methodius, Eusibius, Pamphilus, Marcellus, Eustathius, and Jerome made their lists of Origen's heresies, why wasn't universalism among them?

If Hell was real and found in the original Greek manuscripts of the Bible, why is it that it was primarily those church leaders who either couldn't read Greek (For example, Minucius Felix), or hated Greek as in the case of Augustine, that the doctrine of Hell was advocated? Those early church leaders familiar with the Greek and Hebrew (the original languages of the Bible) saw universal salvation in those texts. Those who advocated Hell got it from the Latin, not from the original Greek and Hebrew. Who would more likely be correct--those who could read the original languages of the Bible or those who read a Latin translation made by one man (Jerome)?

If Hell was real then why did four out of six theological schools from 170 AD to 430 AD teach universal salvation while the only one that taught Hell was in Carthage, Africa, again were Latin was the teaching language, not Greek?

If Hell was real and a serious heresy, why was it not until the sixth century when Justinian, a half-pagan emperor, tried to make universalism a heresy? Interestingly, most historians will acknowledge that Justinian's reign was among the most cruel and ruthless.

*The historical facts documented in the above section can all be verified through the books,"Universalism, the Prevailing Doctrine of the Early Church for the First 500 Years" by J.W. Hanson and "The History of Opinions on the Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution" by Edward Beecher.

 

http://www.tentmaker...fhellisreal.htm

 

Is it possible that Hell is in fact a concept of Pagan origins which later infected Christianity?

 

 

The concept of eternal torment in hell is nowhere to be found in the original Hebrew and Greek Manuscripts of the Bible, but it is found in the writings of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. For example, Plato (427-347 BC) discusses the concept of hell in his dialogue ‘Gorgias’ where he speaks of eternal punishment.


There can be no doubt that belief in eternal punishment in hell was a pagan belief embraced and Christianised by the church in Rome in the early years of the history of Christianity. Consider this quote from The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge, vol. 12, page 96: Retrieved April 29, 2007.

 
“During the first five centuries of Christianity, there were six theological schools, of which four (Alexandria, Antioch, Caesarea, and Edessa, or Nisibis) were Universalist; one (Ephesus) accepted conditional mortality; one (Carthage or Rome) taught endless punishment of the wicked.”
 
It was indeed the Church at Rome which first taught the pagan doctrine of endless punishment of the wicked, under the umbrella of Christianity. The Roman Catholic Latin Church Fathers, Tertullian (160-220 AD), Jerome (347-420 AD) and Augustine (354-430 AD), all strongly believed in the doctrine of hell. These early Latin Church Fathers are highly venerated Roman Catholic saints who believed that God’s punishment of unbelievers (all those who reject Roman Catholicism) would be in a hell of everlasting torment.
 
In 382 AD, Pope Damasus commissioned Jerome to make a revised translation of the Bible in Latin. Jerome, a Roman Catholic by birth, believed in the doctrine of hell and he produced the revised translation of the complete Bible in Latin known as the Latin Vulgate (circa 405 AD).

http://www.godsplanf...ganoriginofhell

 

http://www.tentmaker...story.html#c3s2

 

 

The rulers and magistrates, or priests, invent these terrors to keep the people, the masses, in subjection; the people religiously believe in them; while the inventors, of course, and the educated classes, the priests and the philosophers, though they teach them to the multitude, have themselves no manner of faith in them.

1. Polybius, the historian, says: "Since the multitude is ever fickle, full of lawless desires, irrational passions and violence, there is no other way to keep them in order but by the fear and terror of the invisible world; on which account our ancestors seem to me to have acted judiciously, when they contrived to bring into the popular belief these notions of the gods, and of the infernal regions." B. vi 56.

2. Dionysius Halicarnassus treats the whole matter as useful, but not as true. Antiq. Rom.,B. ii

3. Livy, the celebrated historian, speaks of it in the same spirit; and he praises the wisdom of Numa, because he invented the fear of the gods, as "a most efficacious means of governing an ignorant and barbarous populace." Hist., I 19.

4. Strabo, the geographer, says: "The multitude are restrained from vice by the punishments the gods are said to inflict upon offenders, and by those terrors and threatenings which certain dreadful words and monstrous forms imprint upon their minds...For it is impossible to govern the crowd of women, and all the common rabble, by philosophical reasoning, and lead them to piety, holiness and virtue - but this must be done by superstition, or the fear of the gods, by means of fables and wonders; for the thunder, the aegis, the trident, the torches (of the Furies), the dragons, &c., are all fables, as is also all the ancient theology. These things the legislators used as scarecrows to terrify the childish multitude." Geog., B. I

5. Timaeus Locrus, the Pythagorean, after stating that the doctrine of rewards and punishments after death is necessary to society, proceeds as follows: "For as we sometimes cure the body with unwholesome remedies, when such as are most wholesome produce no effect, so we restrain those minds with false relations, which will not be persuaded by the truth. There is a necessity, therefore, of instilling the dread of thoseforeign torments: 10as that the soul changes its habitation; that the coward is ignominiously thrust into the body of a woman; the murderer imprisoned within the form of a savage beast; the vain and inconstant changed into birds, and the slothful and ignorant into fishes."

6. Plato, in his commentary on Timaeus, fully endorses what he says respecting the fabulous invention of these foreign torments. And Strabo says that "Plato and the Brahmins of India invented fables concerning the future judgments of hell" (Hades). And Chrysippus blames Plato for attempting to deter men from wrong by frightful stories of future punishments.

Plato himself is exceedingly inconsistent, sometimes adopting, even in his serious discourses, the fables of the poets, and at other times rejecting them as utterly false, and giving too frightful views of the invisible world. Sometimes, he argues, on social grounds, that they are necessary to restrain bad men from wickedness and crime, and then again he protests against them on political grounds, as intimidating the citizens, and making cowards of the soldiers, who, believing these things, are afraid of death, and do not therefore fight well. But all this shows in what light he regarded them; not as truths, certainly, but as fictions, convenient in some cases, but difficult to manage in others.

7. Plutarch treats the subject in the same way; sometimes arguing for them with great solemnity and earnestness, and on other occasions calling them "fabulous stories, the tales of mothers and nurses."

8. Seneca says: "Those things which make the infernal regions terrible, the darkness, the prison, the river of flaming fire, the judgment seat, &c., are all a fable, with which the poets amuse themselves, and by them agitate us with vain terrors." Sextus Empiricus calls them "poetic fables of hell;" and Cicero speaks of them as "silly absurdities and fables" (ineptiis ac fabulis).

9. Aristotle. "It has been handed down in mythical form from earliest times to posterity, that there are gods, and that the divine (Deity) compasses all nature. All beside this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interests of the laws, and the advantage of the state." Neander's Church Hist., I, p. 7. 11

The question with which this section began, "Whence came the doctrine of future endless punishments?" is now, I trust, answered by a sufficient number of witnesses to settle the matter beyond dispute. The heathens themselves confess to the invention of the dogma, and of all the fabulous stories of the infernal regions; the legislators and sages very frankly state that the whole thing was devised for its supposed utility in governing the gross and ignorant multitude of men and women, who cannot be restrained by the precepts of philosophy. 12

 

Show me some arguments worthy of your certainty!



#9
Sevenseas

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Right.  We all just made it up.  

 

well if you believe in Jewish mysticism, whoever you may be, then you will agree with this I guess:

 

The Jewish mystics described a spiritual place called “Gehinnom.” This is usually translated as “Hell,” but a better translation would be “the Supernal Washing Machine.” Because that’s exactly how it works. The way our soul is cleansed in Gehinnom is similar to the way our clothes are cleansed in a washing machine.

Put yourself in your socks’ shoes, so to speak. If you were to be thrown into boiling hot water and flung around for half an hour, you might start to feel that someone doesn’t like you. However, the fact is that it is only after going through a wash cycle that the socks can be worn again.

 

 

and it is summed quite nicely like this:

 

 

Of course, this whole process can be avoided. If we truly regret the wrong we have done and make amends with the people we have hurt, we can leave this world with “clean socks.”

That’s why our Sages said, “Repent one day before you die.” And what should you do if you don’t know which day that will be? Repent today.

 

So, as long as you know you are going to leave your earthly existence, you can always take a moment and make sure you don't go to the hell no one believes in.

 

I guess Jesus is just fire insurance in that case, oh but wait...most Jewish people don't believe in Him either!  Might that be the reason they don't believe in hell?  Jesus

had quite a bit to say about hell after all.

 

So confusing.......... :crosseyed:

 

This is really a question for the Christian left....or liberal theology.  



#10
Sevenseas

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  I guess it is very important to really understand what scripture states, otherwise, the end is not really the beginning.   Hell does not exist, according to the bible! :hmmm:

 

 

Yep its true. A few years ago, I got into a discussion with a distant cousin of mine who went to school to be a minister. He claimed that, according to the bible, hell existed! I told him that the Bible mentions nothing of Hell at all. He scoffed and laughed and asked me what do I know? He was the one who went to school and studied the bible intensely for years.
I remembered a time when I had a discussion with someone who made the same claim, and encouraged me to study the bible in depth and seek out evidence for Hell. Upon a strong investigation, I came to conclude that indeed, there is no mention of the word Hell in the bible. Some modern bibles have replaced the words "Sheol", "Tartarus," "Hades", and "Gehenna" with the word "Hell". But the bible, in its original language only used the former four words to describe a place that people go when they die, (aside from heaven).
Determined to prove my overly religious cousin wrong, I engaged in an intense study of the bible and wrote up the following essay. I often now quote it to religious nuts when the conversation turns to hell. My cousin was angered and annoyed by it and couldn't come up with a reasonable argument other than "All that really matters is if we believe in the Christ." He seriously couldn't even approach contradicting anything in my essay.

My alternative to the theory of Hell, is that the options god gave us are to either go to heaven, or be destroyed forever and cease to exist. Heaven is more of an option that god is offering us, not forcing it upon us saying "believe or be tortured for eternity". No, god is saying "If you do not believe, you will not be punished, you will simply cease to exist. You will 'return to dust'" Heaven is more a gift that he offers us, however, we are not punished for not taking it. 

 

 



#11
Sevenseas

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Show me some arguments worthy of your certainty!

 

 

Rob Bell?  Are we going with Rob Bell?  Love wins?  Love that winks at sin and collectively embraces all religions and all faiths no matter what, because, after all, God

is just too nice a guy to take offence with what we've done to His planet...oh...and to all the unborn children, genocide, and adultery to name a few.  But, you know,

God forgives all because after all, real love is just not real!  

 

That does make sense, after all, when you really think about it.

 

In fact, it makes so much sense, I begin to understand why some people are atheists.  I mean why bother to believe in God if you have to answer all these questions

and carry all this luggage around?  And then you have to actually believe in something in the end.

 

Yeah.  Just too much that people can easily prove is not in the Bible anyway.

 

My question is, so what do YOU personally believe in?  I guess, in the end, we all really do act out of what we really do actually believe.

 

Isn't freedom of choice grand?



#12
TsukinoRei

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Are there no counterarguments at all?    :confused:   That's disappointing.  Where are the apologists?  I'm a carnivore here!  Show me your scriptural meat!

 

 

 

Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of information. Early Christian writers (c. 120–220) who defended their faith against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called apologists.[1]

 

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Apologetics



#13
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Are there no counterarguments at all?    :confused:   That's disappointing.  Where are the apologists?  I'm a carnivore here!  Show me your scriptural meat!

 

What's your stance. I'll challenge ya. What do you want me to prove you wrong in.



#14
Elhanan

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TsukinoRei-san - Since there are universalists of various stripes can you please clarify which persuasion you belong to?  Hell as a figurative not literal place or hell as literal place but not everlasting?

Thanks



#15
Sevenseas

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hmmm...I already asked that question:

 

 

 

My question is, so what do YOU personally believe in?  I guess, in the end, we all really do act out of what we really do actually believe.

 

but perhaps you might get an answer.  I would like to know actually and have been curious for a while now...



#16
TsukinoRei

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hmmm...I already asked that question:

 

 

 

My question is, so what do YOU personally believe in?  I guess, in the end, we all really do act out of what we really do actually believe.

 

but perhaps you might get an answer.  I would like to know actually and have been curious for a while now...

 

Oh!  I did not understand what you were asking me.  I don't have a stance on this one.  I'll take the Universalist position for the purposes of seeing some good arguments against it. 

 

 

TsukinoRei-san - Since there are universalists of various stripes can you please clarify which persuasion you belong to?  Hell as a figurative not literal place or hell as literal place but not everlasting?

Thanks

 

 

Hmmmmmmmm.... Let's go with both.  I can see a way to argue for both ideas at once.  But I don't belong to any stripes.  I'm just good at processing the information quickly to pose counter-arguments.

 

 

 

Are there no counterarguments at all?     :confused:   That's disappointing.  Where are the apologists?  I'm a carnivore here!  Show me your scriptural meat!

 

What's your stance. I'll challenge ya. What do you want me to prove you wrong in.

 

 

I will attempt to prove Universalism right.  I would like you to prove me wrong.  Beginning with the questions posed about the pagan cultural influences on the translation of scripture over time, the presence of universalism in original Church doctrine, and the absence of Hell in ancient Judaism from which Christianity finds its roots.



#17
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I will attempt to prove Universalism right.  I would like you to prove me wrong.

 

 

Universalism doesn't fit because it goes against what Jesus said. You must be born again in THIS lifetime BEFORE you die to see the kingdom of God AFTER you die. John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”



#18
OneLight

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You are incorrect in using aion when referring to Hell.

 
So you think hell is forever, never ending?
Also, what does Jesus say about living in heaven while our relatives and friends burn in hell.
Are we as believers living in heaven consciously aware of where they are?

 
At first I was just correcting you about the Greek word, but I can see it goes a bit deeper for you. 
 
Hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire, so the Lake of Fire is for eternity, along with the separation from God for those who do not accept salvation through Christ. (Revelation 20:11-15).  We find what Jesus says about this in Revelation 21:1-4.
 
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
 
We also know that when we are with Him, we will know as we are known.  In other words, just as how God knows us, we will finally understand what life truly is about. (1 Corinthians 13:12).
 
I seems to me that you are still looking at life from the perspective of the world, comparing eternal life as if it is just a continuance of this life.  Study scripture and He will make things clearer for you.

#19
Elhanan

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I will attempt to prove Universalism right.  I would like you to prove me wrong.

 

 

Universalism doesn't fit because it goes against what Jesus said. You must be born again in THIS lifetime BEFORE you die to see the kingdom of God AFTER you die. John 3:3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Not exactly right. God's stated purpose is to reconcile all to himself. Col 1:19-20 "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."  Does God really mean "all" or only "some"?  Furthermore, Phil 2:10-11 " that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Those "under the earth" is clearly a reference to hell and negates the notion that those in hell reject God forever as this scripture affirms that eventually EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.



#20
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I seems to me that you are still looking at life from the perspective of the world, comparing eternal life as if it is just a continuance of this life.  Study scripture and He will make things clearer for you.

 

No you're right. I already knew about Rev scripture. It's just good to hear it from other brothers and sisters in Christ. Blessings.

 

Not exactly right. God's stated purpose is to reconcile all to himself. Col 1:19-20 "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."  Does God really mean "all" or only "some"?  Furthermore, Phil 2:10-11 " that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Those "under the earth" is clearly a reference to hell and negates the notion that those in hell reject God forever as this scripture affirms that eventually EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.

 

But that has nothing to do with having to be born again in THIS lifetime. Confessing is humility, so I suppose for the unbelievers they will feel even more shame.






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