I. Eternal Hell II. The Trinity
III. Paul's 'Apostleship' IV. The Bible is without error
V. Calvinism VI. The Law has no application today.
'But fear him who has the power to DESTROY both body and soul in HELL.' If people go to hell but do not die, then isn't this verse a lie? A total and complete farce! Because Jesus said those who went to hell would experience death, and in his final revelation He calls it 'the second death'. If people just go there to hangout and get eaten by worms perpetually and sit in hot lava, that sounds really gruesome and all, but not the same as dying.
Some of you make your last stand on this issue. In your mind it should go like this:
Christian: Jesus died for your sins. Will you accept Him into your heart?
Christian: But then that means the all-loving Father will send you to a very hot place where you will burn forever and ever.
Skeptic: Oh, I never saw it that way before. Yes! I want to be saved!
But in reality it never ends like that. Because if you don't believe any of the good stories, you certainly won't believe any of the bad stories either. For some of you this is your reserve card, the final option. If they don't listen, then at least if I tell them about hell they will change their minds. But this is a terrible reserve card!
Hell has no power to save! Only Christ has the power to save. The risen Christ, the lamb of God, the Son of God. Only He has the power to save. You can't scare people into heaven. Christ has to penetrate their hearts on a spiritual level. For a long time hell has been preached thinking it would win souls. It's so sad to me because I know the only thing that can save a person is the person of Christ, not the fear of some terrible fate. And many of the churches teach so much of the epistles but so little of the Gospels, and that is heartbreaking too.
Jesus repeatedly stated "My father is greater than I," "There is one good, the Father," "No man knows the day or the hour, not even the Son."
James teaches, "Let no man say when he is tempted of evil, 'I am tempted of God'. For God is not tempted of evil, neither tempteth he any man." And Matthew, "Then was Jesus lead up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil."
The Bible declares God as 'the incorruptible'. One way this could be rendered for our modern vernacular is, 'immortal, everlasting, not subject to death'. But Christ did die on the cross and showed the world that even He was not incorruptible.
He prayed, "Not my will be done, but your will be done."
Even the devil, referred to by James, who said, "Even the demons believe in one god, and shudder." So at this rate, the devil has better doctrine than even the majority of Christians because HE KNOWS THERE IS ONE GOD.
Yeshua lived a life where He was given temptation so that He could truly be said to have lived a sinless life. He humbled Himself, very much unlike cult leaders we study from history, who are egoists who only think of themselves, and noted He did not have all the answers and that sometimes He did not even see eye to eye with His Father. And finally, He died a tremendously violent death, He became the perfect lamb sacrificed once and for all for our sins and their remission, the one final sacrifice. None of these God could have done in His perfect, incorruptible, spirit body, but were done by an angelic being. He is not God but is rather the most exalted of all angels who adopted a human nature as well. Because of His great outstanding service, He became God's only ->begotten<- Son, meaning literally that He was carried in the womb of a woman and experienced natural birth. But He did have a prior existence how many millions of years ago we can't begin to imagine.
Paul plainly taught to eat meats sacrificed to idols. All he had to do was say 'if you do not know its origin, then you may eat it, but if you do then you cannot'. If THAT is what he meant, then he should have said that. Then he makes an error by omission. Nevertheless, Christians teach mostly today that such meat is fair to eat. And they are not clear why it is not okay to eat. Peter and James were emphatic that these meats were to be prohibited but I have a better case to make. Jesus condemned it.
12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos..... 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication...
Are not these Jesus' words? Do you not see it or will you deny these words mean what they say? I'm sorry, your whole sixty-six inspired books of the Bible argument is fine up until a point, but when it comes down to Jesus' words do not agree with what Paul said, I'm sorry but I'm not going to support Paul on that. I have to take another look at things and say there is something wrong with the traditional teachings, and I am not wrong.
I could make a few more points but this is by far the clearest and best point I have to make. I could at some point do a very thoughtful presentation to this topic but I don't want to let it become too important. Paul to me means little to nothing minus a few good things he gave us that were unique. But I think he also freely made observations on things that he wasn't qualified to speak on. Basically, I think he is talked about way too much and even when people disagree with him, I think he's still talked about too much. He should play a far smaller role than he does. I don't care if you're saying something good or bad about him because I think there are far more important things to discuss. I have already identified on here in several places that I am anti-Paul but have nearly completely avoided the topic because Paul is the most inconsequential thing in my book.
The Bible is Without Error
Just a few:
-Did God provoke David to number Israel or did Satan provoke David to number Israel?
-Did Solomon have 4,000 stalls or 40,000 stalls?
-Were there three roosters to crow before the denial or was there only one?
-How many people were at the tomb the morning of the Resurrection in the first party of women?
-The linens after the Lord arose were neatly folded or were not neatly folded?
Peter claimed to be the apostle to the Gentiles but Paul also claimed this for himself, with no authority. Which one was the true apostle to the Gentiles?
James and Peter decreed that the Christians could not eat meats sacrificed to idols. Paul in disputing their authority claims you can. Yes or no?
Paul said it was only faith which saved while James said that was only one aspect. Who was right?
Paul said "As in Adam, all die." But Elijah and Enoch did not die. How can these two agree?
Those are just nine points. I will wholeheartedly agree not all of them are completely true, that they can be
answered. And that a few are legitimate points for debate. But the first five that I have marked, these pertain mostly to number or to one specific detail which is not open for contention. It either was or it wasn't, there were this many or there were that many. You can debate how to read a verse, in what sense, that all is arguable and it would be a lie if I said it wasn't. But when there is not an agreement in number, if nothing else, then that must be agreed to be a mistake. And even here I am not adamant because you could say, 'It was this many at one point in time, and then at a later point, it was another.' And that is true, too. But it must also be conceded, if context is clear we refer to both the same time and same place, then traditional smooth-talking apologists cannot defend what is plainly stated.
I am not someone who hates Christianity or Christian people. I have been with God for nearly six years now. But I do not accept an approach that says to defend every traditional element of faith despite all evidence. The best argument will consider its own faults. Not only that, but it makes adjustments if necessary. And it makes no sense to continue to insist that the Bible is agreed in every one of its claims, down to exact number of livestock, or exact number of descendants of one man or another. I think Norman Geisler's argument draws to his readers' attentions that a disagreement in number is quite inconsequential versus an error in terms of doctrinal substance. It shouldn't shake a person's faith that a couple numbers were estimates as
opposed to accurate numberings. If a few details are not agreeing, then it is respectable and accurate to say,
"One of the authors may have had more direct and personal knowledge of that exact event, while the other author was reporting given the most reliable information he had from the people who were there or knew those who were there and so may not have been in perfect unison with the author who had been there. In that case we suspect the author who had more direct evidence, either from having been there or been with those people that same day and so knew first hand from those present, has the more accurate report of what happened."
That's all you have to say. You don't have to deny until you're blue in the face. If you do that, no sincere skeptic will ever listen to anything you say because he already knows you will resort to whatever level you must go to make your point and that you do not care to handle any question with integrity and will even deny the plain words, because YOU CAN BE RIGHT AND THEY HAVE TO BE WRONG. You act like if an atheist is right about one decimal point, that is tantamount to proving the non-existence of God. It's not.
It makes God a monster. It means He just sends some to Hell for no reason at all but that He just felt like it. It makes him the author of evil because He put a tree in a prominent place in the Garden and then, knowing beforehand what would happen, essentially tricked the humans into eating from the fruit, even doing the reverse psychology that parents do, "Don't eat it," because he knew if he said that then they would REALLY want to eat it. He creates a devil that kills people and creates every harmful thing in the world knowing beforehand what would happen. He even creates the human genome where inevitably things like cancer and hemorrhoids will develop. He doesn't care if children burn in hell because he already chose who would be saved and who would burn. So even aborted babies if they were not chosen will burn in hell. Aborted fetuses will burn in hell.
The guy who started it was known to enjoy killing people, by fire or by beheading. He was a total creep that ran a totalitarian state in Geneva and I do not see a lot of Calvinists today willing to give up Christmas or some of the other things that Calvin and his henchmen taught against. People who know the Lord and have the Holy Spirit do not go around killing people and using the government to oppress people, which seems more like something someone who was trying to play God would do. Calvin was a monster who fashioned a god after himself. The God of the Bible does not suffer from human vices or temptations like Calvin, who was a murderer and thug. God is not a murderer and Calvin taught that He is.
The Law Inapplicable
This one is self-defeating.
A) Paul says there is no law. But he also tries to prohibit women from preaching.
How do the churches respond? If there is no law, then even this command is not applicable. Therefore, women are given ordination in very many of the churches today.
If Paul says that much of the Law is no longer valid, then he even disproves his own case because he makes many rules whether off the cuff or of any legitimacy and no one today even listens to his rules.
Paul speaks positively of virginity. Oh, but that doesn't stop the Christians from being little man whores and woman whores like the rest of the world.
B) The churches need funding.
How did they decide that the Law should be thrown out but keep the one about the money? Oh, that's right.
C) Interest rates
Christians, given the opportunity, will lend at usury. Explain to me why we do not have Christian pay day loan centers that loan out at less than 600% APR? I mean, even 300% seems like a fair Christian rate compared to the moneylenders lending at 600%. But they don't.
D) Other selective cherry-picking of which laws to follow
They say to keep the Ten Commandments. They should be more straightforward and say, "We obey the eleven commandments. Those are the ones that allow us to feel morally superior to everyone and the eleventh is the one where we get to pass buckets around the church on Sundays and beg for money from people." Who exactly determined there were only 11 commandments today?
What about loving your aunt or your stepmother? Do those apply today?
I know a lot of you would say to love God and love your neighbor and this sums all the law.
Well, if my aunt is my neighbor and I love her in a completely monogamous, responsible, and consensual way, then am I living according to the Law?
Of course not. So if we count the sexual commandments, maybe that is another 35? or so. So 46 commandments. That's good.
And the one about sticking your leg out when a blind person is walking by. HA that's hilarious! It's always funny when people fall! Even if they get hurt! But you should always laugh first and THEN check to see if the person is alright. And you should only stop laughing if you find out the person is really hurt.
^^^ Those are my rules. You should laugh UNTIL the person stops moving or becomes unresponsive, because THAT is CLEARLY not funny.
Come to think of it, I don't think Jesus would laugh about that. And even as cool of a guy the Gospels made Him out to be, I don't recall Him ever laughing at anything. So in some ways Jesus was a buzzkill. But He completely supported drinking wine, but you still might want to find someone else to party with.
Okay, so it's agreed it is NOT acceptable to trip blind people.
There are 47 commandments total! Of course I could go forward but it's so stupid that I even have to explain all this to somewhat sentient beings. YES, there are ABSOLUTE commandments, and YES, there are more than TEN of them. I can't go and number them for you but we might draw a conclusion and say close to a thousand or more.
1. Go to a dance floor today and divide them either by Calvinist,
Arminian, or other and I guarantee you the Calvinists will be the best
dancers. Arminians are too busy reading books and doing things the
common man wouldn't be caught dead doing to be bothered to learn