Monday, September 14, 2009

Hell = Freedom

People think that God is casting them into hell when in fact, “Hell is the greatest monument to human freedom.”

Heaven and hell are both places where God has given people what they want the most - either intimacy with Creator God or freedom from Creator God.

What is more fair than that?


Flute said...

I thought you believed in predistination and "being chosen"...

Makarios said...

I used to run therapy groups. One of the things that I USED to do at the end (at the time they were 10 week closed groups) was ask clients to address other members, to whom they'd usually grown quite close and say, My impression of you when I met you and my impression of you now.

That exercise ended when one guy said to another woman, "When I met you I thought you were a bitch and I still think you're a bitch."

On that note, I used to think you didn't understand what these terms mean and I still think that.

Flute said...

Okay, then let's hear how predestination comports with free will.

Makarios said...

Before anything was created, God’s plan already included the freewill offering on behalf of God the Son to redeem those who would reject His first offer of paradise. I’ve gone through this in the post “Is God Insane.”

God foreknew (knew before hand) who would and who would not accept His offer of salvation.

You are probably familiar with Romans 8:28 “In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

What you might not be as aware of is verse 29, “For those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.”

THAT is the good that is promised in verse 28. To be predestined to become like Jesus means that God knew who would exercise free will to accept His "calling" and those "elect" He would conform and transform into the character of His Son, Jesus.

That of course is a lifelong process but that is what I think predestined means.

Again, to know what is going to happen is not the same as causing it to happen.

You don't have to agree with this, of course, but according to Jesus, everyone has been given enough evidence of God's existence that IF they show an interest, they will be given more evidence / understanding. If they reject what they have been given, even what little they have been given will be taken from them.

Nevertheless, we are told that "If you seek Me with all your heart (that does not mean challenging God to prove Himself or testing God to see if He'll show Himself) I allow Myself to be found by you."

atlasmann said...

Does that mean that the hundreds of billions of humans that have lived and died and never even heard of Jesus are burning in Hell?

atlasmann said...

One more thing on this subject, it seems to me that even the basic moral standards would find your God simply evil for creating a world with the foreknowledge that billions of people would be eternally damned.

Glen20 said...

On that note, I used to think you didn't understand what these terms mean and I still think that.

Forgive me but after reading what you have written it may be you that do not understand the terms.

Predestination means events are determined not simply known or seen in advance.

St. Augustine and John Calvin both taught that God has determined the eternal destinations of each person, so that their future actions or beliefs follow according to God's choice.

Makarios said...

Glen - How ever you attempt to manipulate the terms, one needs to begin with God's foreknowlege of who and who will not accept His offer of salvation.

THEN and only then can you begin to understand God's electing, choosing, calling or whatever term you wish to disagree with.

"Does that mean that the hundreds of billions of humans that have lived and died and never even heard of Jesus are burning in Hell?"

Not without first having rejected the evidence for Creator God that they've been given. We know that in the end, hundreds of billions of people "from every nation tribe and tongue" will be streaming into the kingdom of God. This means that regardless of where they lived, the oportunity to know Creator God was available based on the evidece given. No one, who should be in heaven wil miss their chance to be there. No one will be judged on what they did with evidenc they never had. We will be judged on what we did with the evidence that we do have. I think you should be far more concerned about that, than some guy in a mountain hut.

atlasmann said...

Then I will rest easy knowing that I have not seen, felt or heard the slightest bit of evidence to lead me to believe that there is a God. Sorry, but a group of stories written 35-90 years after something occurred is called folklore, not evidence. Unfortunately, Christianization at the point of the sword by the Roman Empire turned folklore into law and then... here we are.

Makarios said...

Sure, rest easy.

Flute said...

Read the dictionary.

* Main Entry: pre·des·ti·nate
* Function: transitive verb
* Inflected Form(s): pre·des·ti·nat·ed; pre·des·ti·nat·ing
* Etymology: Middle English, from Latin praedestinatus
* Date: 15th century

1 : to foreordain to an earthly or eternal lot or destiny by divine decree
2 : predetermin

And you think I don't understand the term and you say to Glen Glen - How ever you attempt to manipulate the terms...

Makarios said...

No need to get all snippy Flute. I'm just telling you how it's used within this context. If using this understanding makes being an atheist more difficult, just ignore it.

Remember, however that to understand any of the terms used within this context, God's foreknowledge of who would and who would not accept His offer of salvaion comes as Step One.

Then the others fall into place.
Eg. God knew before hand that Pharaoh would reject Creator God, and worship dung beetles of some such thing. Therefore Pharaoh was "called," "raised up," "predestined" if you like for no other reason than to demonstrate, down through the centuries (interesting prophecy don't you think?) how God dealt with the enemies of the Israelites.

God 777 said...

Hey now. I'm GOD. What I say goes, right. If I want to burn someone in Hell. I burn 'em in Hell. Ain't nothing THEY can do about it. I admit I USED to be a little racist but I'm growing out of it now.