April 20, 2021
I can’t believe in Christianity if they claim all these are true:
1) God is All-Good
2) God is All-Knowing
3) Eternal Torturous Hell exists
Problem: Only two of those can be true at the same time:
a) God can be ALL-GOOD and HELL can exist….but then he can’t be ALL-KNOWING…and know in advance of creating some people that they will choose to be bad, and suffer eternal punishment in hell.
b) God can be ALL-KNOWING and HELL can exist…but then he can’t be ALL-GOOD if he chooses to create people he knows will end up in eternal torture in hell.
c) God can be ALL-KNOWING and ALL-GOOD…but then the brutal, eternal, punishing, torturous, burning HELL does not exist.
Now, today I heard a very interesting explanation from a Christian Apologist that seemed to answer my objections. He claimed that when “bad” people die…who have not accepted God and goodness, He does not force them into His presence, and honors their wishes to be separate from Him. He therefore assigns them to a place outside of heaven.
The Apologist suggested it was not a great place…as God wasn’t there…but also indicated that it was not a “lake of fire, a burning, torturous, punishing nightmare from which ‘lost’ souls cannot awaken”. He further…without actually verbalizing it…left the assumption that this choice would be made once, and the location the soul went to would be permanent.
But I suddenly had an inspiration about that…one that makes all of the parts of this equation make PERFECT SENSE!
I agree that when the a person dies, and they go before God and he must choose the soul’s destination…if they are saintly and deserving, they will be admitted to Heaven to enjoy all the benefit and joys thereof.
But, if they are not deserving of paradise…or have, in fact, rejected God whether by literal choice or mindless action…God then does send that soul to a place “outside of heaven”, as suggested.
But… that place is EARTH! The place that unprepared souls return to is a place where he has another chance to get it right.
That is: REINCARNATION
I think the Apologist was exactly right….about the alternative destination…
I think the Apologist was wrong…about the finality of the journey.
God made us while being All-Good and All-Knowing. He made us for a purpose….not to see us suffer eternal punishment in a burning HELL…but to join Him (and each other) in Paradise, to have a GREAT TIME!
God wants ALL His children to join him in Heaven…but he does demand that we DESERVE it. And He will keep returning us to the school of hard-knocks until we learn the lessons, awaken our mind with understanding, fill our hearts with love, and thus EARN our way into Paradise.
This answers all the objections I have to the original, more “fundamentalist” version of God’s character and demands. And yet, it actually explains those statements of faith:
God loves us.
God is Good.
God is All-Knowing
God makes demands on us to EARN Paradise.
When we fail, He does not condemn us, but He does not give us a pass either.
He gives us as many chances as we need to EARN Paradise.
This gives us gratitude to Him for his patience and love. But it also gives us self-respect, and self-acceptance.
And He (and everyone in Heaven) celebrates every soul when they finally graduate!
• • •
July 18, 2021
While the Christian Apologists I’m listening to (Frank Turek, etc) say that if Universalism is true then Jesus died for nothing…and that Reincarnation isn’t true because Salvation is not about “works”, but rather about “faith in Jesus” that gets us into heaven, so we don’t need a bunch of lives to build up enough “good works” to graduate to Paradise.
Both of those arguments (and most of their others) are wrong in my opinion.
First, can I just say they make Christianity REALLY COMPLICATED by all the fancy footwork they need to produce and justify their preferred theology. Like explaining how, if people just live once, do babies who die go to hell because they didn’t “have faith” in Jesus? Turek has the bad-taste to suggest that maybe since God would know that a given baby wouldn’t have “believed” in Jesus even if he had been given the chance to live a full life, so if he goes to HELL that’s God’s justice. WHAT THE FUCK???!!!
Turek is not saying that’s what happens. Actually he seems to want to believe that all babies who die go to heaven. But can you imagine the required twisted, convoluted thinking it requires to try to live up to the demands of the inflexible “theology” of the what seems to be “protestant” Christianity?
Further, let’s talk about the argument they make that salvation does not depend on and WORKS by man….but only on JESUS’ SACRIFICE as atonement for our sins.
This is a confusing idea, because it seems to suggest that no matter what we do, the sacrificial death of GOD for our sins has, by definition, atoned for any sin we could possibly commit. Yay!
But…wait. While they say that works are not necessary, they DO say that in order to benefit from Jesus’ Atoning Sacrifice, you MUST believe in Him, you MUST Trust Him, you MUST Love Him, your MUST Adore Him…as well as God the Father and God the Holy Ghost.
All of that “MUST DO” sounds like an awful lot of “works” to me. It would be a lot easier to spend my money and time ministering to the poor, homeless, hungry and hopeless than trying to force BELIEF in something that happened over 2000 years ago, to force TRUST in someone I have no experience of, to LOVE a guy who I have no relationship with, and ADORE Him and his fellows as a GOD I must prostrate myself before, without have any experience of His reality or His greatness or His divinity…
That’s a pretty BIG BUNCH OF WORKS right there—“necessary for salvation”, according to Frank, et al.
So many complications, so many complicated ways of “translating” what the Bible means, what God means, what Jesus means, what Church Fathers mean…
Why don’t we just make it simple?
If Jesus died for my sins, so that what I have to do is know and trust in Him and accept his sacrifice of love in order for me to go to paradise…
…how about He make it possible for me—and everybody else…to do that….including those who lived (their ONLY ONE LIFE) before Jesus showed up, and who lived/live in other countries, in different religious cultures, and those who die without ever having the chance to know/love/accept/trust Jesus, and those whose life experience or personality make it difficult or impossible for them to accept any such idea?
How about we make a straightforward path to PARADISE for everyone….no matter how long it takes. After all, God doesn’t have time limits, right? You know, “ETERNITY”…
So…According to Christianity as taught today: You LIVE, you DIE, you are JUDGED, and then you go to Heaven or Hell…
Let’s be clear, this mean that after one measly little life of just a few years, you are consigned to either Paradise or Torture FOREVER, based on what you did or didn’t do.
But no! Stop! Wait!
That is not what a good God would do!
But it IS something that a man-made Church would say to get people scared to death, easy to manipulate, control…to get them to behave….to get them to be dependent on the Church…and its Leaders—giving them allegiance, obedience and support!
(Does “Covid” ring a bell?)
NO! Here’s what a good, compassionate, but JUST God would do: You LIVE, you DIE, you are JUDGED. If you fulfilled the requirements, you go to HEAVEN. If you didn’t…you go to HELL: translation…another life on Earth. You know the expression, “hell on earth”…???
And if the requirement is that you accept and appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus, trust in His atonement, love him and adore Him…you have another chance to do so…
And you keep repeating the cycle until you finally “get it”…
God wants ALL of his Children with Him in Paradise. But he has His requirements. And until you fulfill them, you’re on the Merry-Go-Round of incarnations until you meet them.
And that’s just such a simple explanation to it all. Occam’s razor, Christians!
1) God send His Son to redeem His sinning children.
2) All He requires is that those sinning children acknowledge the redemption, accept it, be grateful for it, and thereafter behave in a way that is evidence of their “redemption”, by loving God, each other and God’s beautiful created world.
3) Each person has the personal responsibility to fulfill #2. And he will be repeatedly reincarnated until he does! (That’s Hell enough for anyone!)
4) Ultimately ALL people will be personally redeemed and reach Paradise, by their “WORK” of acceptance, love, and trust in God and Jesus…
5) And we will ALL live happily ever after in Paradise!
(That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!)