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Old 12-08-2006, 08:55 AM #1
Hoytie
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Christianity 101

Some of the basics of Christianity because apparently people aren't aware. I'm not trying to prove this stuff, I'm just saying what we DO beleive.

-Since Adam, people are inherently evil.
-Evil/sin is defined as breaking God's laws.
-God is just and holy so those transgressions have to be paid for.
-Because of this, Hell is a reasonable punishment.
-To demonstrate His own kindness, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ and died in our place. He was able to do this because He was sinless and didn't deserve death. Any sinful man's attempt to do the same would have been paying for his own sin only.
-Jesus was resurrected by the Father to prove He was who He said He was.
-Accepting this payment and being forgiven comes from repenting (turning away from) of our sins and trusting in Jesus Christ to save us. It is not repeating a canned prayer or just saying you're sorry.
-Once we are forgiven, we do good things to please God since He did something amazing for us. It's gratitude, not working to get paid.

There are many other important things but this just describes what salvation is and why we need it. I guess many Catholics and others would disagree on how this works so maybe call this Reformed Christianity 101.
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:01 AM #2
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Originally Posted by Hoytie View Post
Some of the basics of Christianity because apparently people aren't aware. I'm not trying to prove this stuff, I'm just saying what we DO beleive.

-Since Adam, people are inherently evil.
-Evil/sin is defined as breaking God's laws.
-God is just and holy so those transgressions have to be paid for.
-Because of this, Hell is a reasonable punishment.
.
Except hell is rarely, if never, talked about in the Old Testament. Then Jesus came and brought Hell with him. What a guy!
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:03 AM #3
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Except hell is rarely, if never, talked about in the Old Testament. Then Jesus came and brought Hell with him. What a guy!
OK....? Whats your point?
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:38 AM #4
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OK....? Whats your point?
My point is, you said Hell was a reasonable punishment for sinners. Hell didn't exist in the old testament, so what was the reasonable punishment for sinners before the new testament?
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:41 AM #5
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My point is, you said Hell was a reasonable punishment for sinners. Hell didn't exist in the old testament, so what was the reasonable punishment for sinners before the new testament?
Who said Hell didn't exist? It's not taught about nearly as clear as it is in the NT but what makes you think Hell was 'created' after the OT was written?

Hell is/was the punishment for all people at all times.
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Old 12-08-2006, 09:48 AM #6
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Oh my bad, I was under the impression the Jews didn't have a hell.
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Old 12-08-2006, 10:05 AM #7
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Hell is in the OT. It just isn't called hell by them.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:28 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Hoytie View Post

-Since Adam, people are inherently evil.
-Evil/sin is defined as breaking God's laws.
-God is just and holy so those transgressions have to be paid for.
-Because of this, Hell is a reasonable punishment.
I don't follow this logic.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:50 PM #9
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I don't follow this logic.
Like I said before, this is not apologetics. I'm not trying to prove anything but whats the problem? Is it that Hell is too harsh of a punishment?
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:53 PM #10
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Yeah, I just think that it logically doesn't make any sense, how we're created as sinful beings, then thrown into a pit of fire for being so.
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Old 12-08-2006, 02:59 PM #11
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I thought God sent his only Begotten SON to pay for our sins, not became Jesus Christ. Also, if Jesus made it possible to be forgivin of sins, then how could people be saved who lived before him, if all people are inherently sinners?
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:03 PM #12
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Yeah, I just think that it logically doesn't make any sense, how we're created as sinful beings, then thrown into a pit of fire for being so.
yea, that always confused me
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:18 PM #13
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Hell is in the OT. It just isn't called hell by them.

From what I have read, no, not like the Christian view. Apparently, some types of Judaism do have a hell and others don't. And, if I remember correctly, there will not be a fiery hell according to Christianity until the return of Jesus who throws all the non christians into the lake of fire.
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Old 12-08-2006, 03:42 PM #14
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Originally Posted by Hoytie View Post

-Since Adam, people are inherently evil.
-Evil/sin is defined as breaking God's laws.
-God is just and holy so those transgressions have to be paid for.
-Because of this, Hell is a reasonable punishment.
This is a question that I've been chewing on since a friend of mine gave me the book Blue Like Jazz for Christmas. I chose these three tenets because they seemed the most relevant to my question. I'm an agnostic, not christian, so I'm not all that familiar with the details of Christian beliefs, although I feel like I get the basics. Basically, it goes like this:

How is the horrible eternal torture of Hell a "reasonable punishment" for breaking rules? I can understand maybe for committing heinous crimes such as murder or rape, but what about smaller transgressions, like taking the Lord's name in vain involuntarily when you stub your toe on the dresser? I realize that by using the word "smaller" I am applying my own personal judgement to the transgression, but I feel that this a reasonable judgement. Its just hard for me to see the Christian's perception of God as being a loving, benevolent being when he is so quick to cast people into damnation.

I'm not trying to "bash" Christianity or anything, just trying to gain some level of understanding for personal/professional reasons. I know that I can answer this question (and the dozens of others like it that I have) by doing my own research, but I'd like to get the first-hand perspective of a Christian.
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:01 PM #15
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Also, if Jesus made it possible to be forgivin of sins, then how could people be saved who lived before him, if all people are inherently sinners?
Because all the people who worshiped God before Jesus died were Jews.....since they are God's people they automatically go to Heaven as long as they keep worshiping God, ect.

At least that's my conclusion.
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:28 PM #16
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Because all the people who worshiped God before Jesus died were Jews.....since they are God's people they automatically go to Heaven as long as they keep worshiping God, ect.

At least that's my conclusion.
Well why the hell didn't he show up earlier? Did all cave-men go to hell?
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:50 PM #17
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Originally Posted by Henry VIII View Post
How is the horrible eternal torture of Hell a "reasonable punishment" for breaking rules? I can understand maybe for committing heinous crimes such as murder or rape, but what about smaller transgressions, like taking the Lord's name in vain involuntarily when you stub your toe on the dresser? I realize that by using the word "smaller" I am applying my own personal judgement to the transgression, but I feel that this a reasonable judgement. Its just hard for me to see the Christian's perception of God as being a loving, benevolent being when he is so quick to cast people into damnation.
Well, God is holy. Perfect. Righteous. Unlike anything you see in any human. An offense against God (any offense) is a serious thing.

If you lie to your little brother and he catches you, no big deal. Lie to your girlfriend, slightly bigger deal. Lie to your parents, you lose the XBox for a week. Lie to a judge, you might end up in jail.

So the punishment a sin warrants increases with the authority of the person you sin against and the Bible says all sin is against God. Infinite authority --> infinite offense. Even King David had a man killed and said to God in Psalm 51:4
"Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge."


That verse pretty much sums it up. In the last few decades, people have presented God as this big, lovable teddy bear that just wants you to be happy; totally ignoring the fact that we've angered God with our sin. Look at anything that theologians and scholars wrote before about 1800 and they talk a lot about the wrath of God (as the Bible does). God is loving, extremely so, but He's also just and fair and so these infinite offenses can't be looked over; that wouldn't be justice.

What would you think of a judge who said to a criminal "I love you so I'm just gonna let you go" after he was proven guilty?


Quote:
I'm not trying to "bash" Christianity or anything, just trying to gain some level of understanding for personal/professional reasons. I know that I can answer this question (and the dozens of others like it that I have) by doing my own research, but I'd like to get the first-hand perspective of a Christian.
It shows
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:58 PM #18
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Well why the hell didn't he show up earlier? Did all cave-men go to hell?
Nope. Check out Romans 4:1-3. (Abraham was Old Testament)
Quote:
1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
Belief and trust in God has always been how God saves.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galations 4:4
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law
'fullness of time' basically means 'when everything was right' or 'at just the right time'

Why that time? I dont know.
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Last edited by Hoytie : 12-08-2006 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:11 PM #19
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Does Christianity go with the idea of fate? If God is omnicient, as the bible states, wouldn't he know how our lives would turn out and wouldn't that eliminate free will? And if he knew we were going to be a non-believer and go to hell, why would he have created us that way? I don't understand how someone/something so 'loving' could create us just to die and go through eternal punishment.

I'm sorry if I come off as a smart ***. This question has just been on my mind for a long time, and no one has been able to explain it to me.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:14 PM #20
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Depending on which denomination of Christianity you are, humans are NOT born evil. In the bible there are a lot of references of being a good Christian means modeling yourself after a child. Children and babies are considered pure.

Now burning forever in the fiery pits of Hell is certainly a horrible way to go. But burning isn't the worst part about Hell, being in Hell means you are cut off from the presence of God. God is pure and PERFECT, he cannot allow sin to enter his kingdom or his presence, that is why all sinners would go to Hell. Now in the Old Testament, you sin, it's game over. That is why God sent Jesus to us, to pay for our sins with his blood. Only through Christ is it possible to enter the gates of heaven, that is the foundation of Christianity. That we believe that God sent his one and only Son to die for our sins to grant us passage to his kingdom. If you read about the crucifixion, Jesus is up there when he dies, he alone takes the full wrath of God upon himself. So any sin that we make against God is paid for by Jesus.

You wonder when things go wrong and you blame God for all your mishaps and failures, read the story of Job. Here is a righteous man, a man of God, who has everything taken away from him because Satan told God that Job is only worshipping God because he has it so nice and if he were to have everything taken away, he would curse God's name. So God took away everything from Job, family, money, house etc. And Job later on became bitter, wondering why this was happening to him. And God comes, and he is angry. Basically he says, who are you? Who are you to be bitter? I am GOD, I created the earth in 7 days, I created the stars and heaven, who are YOU to be angry for your misfortunes? And that's something we as Christians have to remember, he is our father, our friend, but first and foremost God.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:33 PM #21
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Does Christianity go with the idea of fate? If God is omnicient, as the bible states, wouldn't he know how our lives would turn out and wouldn't that eliminate free will? And if he knew we were going to be a non-believer and go to hell, why would he have created us that way? I don't understand how someone/something so 'loving' could create us just to die and go through eternal punishment.

I'm sorry if I come off as a smart ***. This question has just been on my mind for a long time, and no one has been able to explain it to me.
It's cool. I've got an answer but it might not be as satisfying as you like.

There are some Christians who think God doesn't know the future but I think the Bible is pretty clear that He does.

If God created time (and He definitely did) then He must be independent of time so He doesn't see just one moment but the whole history of the universe all at once. The book of Jeremiah says He dwells in eternity. We only dwell in the present. So yes, He knows the future but to Him it's not the future. He sees it, He's not predicting it.

But that can be a little weird to wrap your head around. The easy (and still accurate) answer is God sees the future and decreed every event to happen. He's sovereign and in total control yet we still have free will and are responsible for what we do.

Now for the why. This is simple.

For His own glory. I'm not sure how it's all going to work out but God has done everything to show His own goodness. He demonstrated His kindness by saving us. He had no obligation to do that but that's the way He chose to do things. The reason it's not a problem for God to be so 'self-centered' and 'ego-centric' is because He's good and He deserves all the glory.



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Originally Posted by Jckdarippr View Post
Depending on which denomination of Christianity you are, humans are NOT born evil. In the bible there are a lot of references of being a good Christian means modeling yourself after a child. Children and babies are considered pure.
I'd encourage you to read those verses for yourself if you haven't. It's pretty plain to see that they're talking about being like a child in terms of their faith, not their righteousness. And look in the OT. You see lots of warnings to Israel to not follow their own hearts. If people were good, that wouldn't have been a problem.

And Jeremiah 17:9 finishes it off:
Quote:
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
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