The greek and hebrew words hades and sheol that are translated into English as 'hell' simply mean the grave. also the Greek ge′en·na, which is used as a symbol of eternal destruction (which was an actual place outside the walls of Jerusalem where bodies of criminals and dead animals were burned - not alive, after their death)
I believe the fire used in the bible is a symbol of eternal destruction, not a place where God would literally torture people forever. I mean really think about it. Romans 6:23 says 'the wages sin pays is death'. Death, not eternal torment.
Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all"
Revelation 20:13 - 14 says that 'death and hades themselves were thrown into the lake of fire', and obviously you cant physically torment and burn death forever, its speaking of God destroying death - our enemy, forever. Eternal destruction.
So in several verses in the bible (i have only quoted 1) it mentions dead having no thoughts, it likens it to a deep sleep etc and then you have talk of a fiery hell. So for it to make any sense to me, the fire isnt literal. Fire represents complete destruction with no hope of a resurrection.
Take for example the account When the Israelites turned to pagan worship of false gods, God condemned them because of the human sacrifices they were putting on the alter.
Jeremiah 32:35 - "Furthermore, they built the high places of Ba′al that are in the valley of the son of Hin′nom, in order to make their sons and their daughters pass through [the fire] to Mo′lech, a thing that I did not command them, neither did it come up into my heart to do this detestable thing, for the purpose of making Judah sin.’
So it is completely contrary to what we know of God from the Hebrew scriptures. He would never approve of such a thing as burning someone in fire...not even the animals for sacrifice were allowed to suffer...they were killed before they were put on the alter so that they did not have to needlessly suffer. There is no way that God would do such a thing....the only god that enjoys such suffering is Gods enemy Satan...he is the instigator of such sacrifices and is why he keeps such teachings alive.
Also the bible doesnt speak of 'all good people going to heaven' Ive never seen a scripture that says this. Its refers to two groups of sheeplike ones (christs followers) a little flock who will go to heaven to rule as kings with Christ and make up a heavenly government (Rev 5:9,10) These will rule over a cleansed earth and a great crowd of other sheep that will live forever on a paradise earth. Psalms 37:29, Rev 21:3,4.
I mean what woul;d you think of someone who held their childs hand over a flame as punishment, even for a few seconds? The bible tells us God IS love, does that sound like something a God of love would do to his own children, no matter how wicked?
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11-04-2012 15:27 #101Senior Member
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11-04-2012 16:29 #102
Had Des been born and raised in a family that follows the teachings of Islam, for example - she would not be agreeing with Lily - and no it would be 'that easy'. (even though the History of the two religions stem from the same place).
From my (admittedly slightly ignorant) understanding, one worships Jesus as the son of god, where to the other he was simply a prophet and not a 'saviour' at all.
Quite often it is pointed out that these types of threads always end up focusing on or 'attacking' christianity. A few posts back I mentioned the varying consequences for apostasy from islam - and no one paid it any attention, instead continuing to talk from their OWN personal take on a god.
I'd say when Dawkins made that comment he was referring to the main religions (plural) and those who DO use this concept as a threat, even though he was sitting across from Cardinal Pell.
Coming in all defensive and saying, 'well I don't/ we don't do that so you have it wrong' is simply putting on blinkers to what actually DOES happen in the here and now world wide.
ShanandBoc - the name of the woman I mentioned before is Dr Fancesca Stavrakopoulou, she is a Bible Scholar, she is a senior lecturer in Theology and she has gone back to Israel to trace the History of the Bible. She believes the God of the bible IS the same god of the polytheistic religions before it. [with a 'makeover']
The writings included in the bible were not writing for the purpose of being included in a book, rather they are a selection of relgious writings over a period of time that support one idea. She says it is a beautiful book of literary poetry, but it is not 'factual'.
Ofcourse not everyone will agree with her - but I personally prefer to put stock in a person who has studied this book to this degree over someone who hasn't.
...but all of that is getting off topic to the original OP.
So apologies, but as you know I am kinda obsessed
Last edited by FiveInTheBed; 11-04-2012 at 16:32.
11-04-2012 16:30 #103
Tough Love -- that is really sad
11-04-2012 16:59 #104Guest Guest
You'll need to explain why I'm lucky I was born where I was? I was born and raised Greek orthodox (which is different to Des' or Catholics etc. and I also have close friends and family who are Muslim. I didnt see anyone being threatened with hell in their families or upbringings?
11-04-2012 17:03 #105
11-04-2012 17:14 #106Guest Guest
11-04-2012 17:20 #107
I was not lucky....I WAS brought up in a cult where hell and damnation was dictated to me. So much so, that I had and was not allowed any friends outside of the 'church' or talk to anybody unless it was about mundane subjects like a cat or school work or something - never about God. I RAN AWAY at the age of 19 which took a lot of courage and strength and will power! Even as I ran away I truly believed I was destined for hell anyway.
So I wasn't born in a country that stoned people....so what? I still believe what I believe and I know plenty who go along similar lines to me, so I don't really undestand what the argument is.
11-04-2012 17:21 #108
Lily, it has already been said in this thread and past threads that some people believe in a literal 'hell'.
If you are serious about finding out..do some research, google around. Start by typing 'Apostasy' into your search bar.
I've done my research, I don't believe it is my responsibility to do yours for you.
11-04-2012 17:25 #109
11-04-2012 17:26 #110
I have always been encouraged to question my religion, read and learn and fond the answers for myself... Questioning God is fine too as we are but mere mortals and He understands our weaknesses and every thought that comes from us.
My sil is a strong Baptist though and does think all non-believers won't make it to heaven. "Christians" can be different in a certain beliefs...
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