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Do Atheists get into heaven?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Mr Spinkles, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Tom,

    There is a related thread called "The 'Trinity' of Religious Contradiction". It discusses the trilemma of 1) god being all powerful 2) god not wanting evil and 3) evil existing.

    If god is truly all powerful, he could erase the evil (and therefore bad decisions) of the world, and still allow us to have our freedom.

    Also, everyone seems to be skirting around a big issue here, being: the son who was faithful got shafted, whilst the son who partyed and then used his father to get back on his feet got rewarded. If this is truly a metaphor for god and how he treats people, then I really don't want any part in it.
     
  2. true blood

    true blood Active Member

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    How did the faithful son get shafted? I can't see it...
     
  3. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    true blood,

    The faithful son got 'shafted' due to his lack of reward for all of his hard work. Not only that, but he had to witness the rewarding of his good for nothing brother. The story specifically tells of his anger over this.
     
  4. quick

    quick Member

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    This is the most interesting part.

    The younger son squanders his inheritance and gets forgiven. The older son does not yet resents the party thrown for his wayard brother who returns.

    First, this demonstrates so clearly that we are saved by grace, not by works. The older son's works do not save him, cannot save him; only God saved him by his completed act of becoming incarnate, living according to the law, dying to pay the sin-debt, and rising again. Nevertheless, nothing is done to harm the older son, as you suggest--as the Father says in verse 31, "all that I have is yours", meaning not that the Father felt the older son saved himself, but rather that the older son was given grace, too--all pf the grace that the Father has to give.

    Secondly, the older son is not so "good" as he first appears; he resents that his brother gets the party, and probably resents that he got the same inheritance. He is jealous. He is driven by the concept that his good works should "earn" him something. He does not realize, and many us do not as well, that we are all miserable sinners--each and every one--and nothing we have in our power to do will enable us to live perfect lives in accordance with God's law--the standard we must meet for salvation unless we avail ourselves of God's freely-given grace.

    Thirdly, this parable is the third of three parables that talk of God's rejoicing when a lost sinner is found--when lostness becomes foundness. These are tremenous demonstrations of the level of God's love for us, and patience with us--all of us. God could have written off the younger son years before, but he was still willing to forgive--his faithfulness endures to all generations.

    Finally, remember, whether you wish to deal with God or not, you will deal with him.
     
  5. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    quick,

    I never suggested that the older son was 'harmed'. It wasn't what was done to him that is the issue, it is what wasn't done. He complained of never being given a calf with which to celebrate with his friends, yet his brother got one for his celebration. As far as that verse goes, it's more of the principle of the thing. His good for nothing brother was being treated as a king, and he was being treated the same as he always had been. It's not fair or just at all.

    He most certainly was jealous, but he could turn green and still not have committed such crimes as his brother. He was entitled to his jelousy.

    Alright. Then why don't all christians just sit on their butts and do nothing? I mean, if doing good works doesn't even count and all...or better yet, they can live outrageous lives of spending and drugs and women-- and then run to the chapel for confession every night. I mean, god has to forgive them anyway.

    First of all, that is an opinion. Second of all, I would contest that I have dealt with god, and we are through.
     
  6. Mr Spinkles

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    Ceridwen-- this is a Christian discussion forum, not a debate forum....just a friendly reminder. :angel:

    martha-- The question is, how do you reconcile these ideas with the belief in a God who loves everyone? Condemning people to hell and refusing to forgive in the afterlife, especially if one has lead a good and moral life, doesn't sound very loving to me. Would you condemn your children to hell if they denied your existence, but later asked forgiveness for it? Isn't God even more loving and forgiving than you are?

    Recall the prodigal son story, and also Matthew 7:11: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? "

    Tom-- So are some things impossible for God to do? Is He really "all-powerful" then, or just "very very powerful"? Why can't God do this, do you think--is it because it would be illogical? Is logic outside of and more powerful than God?

    At any rate, why would it not be possible to destroy evil without infringing on free will? God has already placed many limitations on our free will (I can't destroy things just by pointing at them, for example) and yet we still have free will; if God took placed another limitation on us (the ability to do evil), why couldn't we still have free will? There are many amoral choices to be made (for example, will I have chicken or steak tonight?). In addition, a loving God could eliminate other kinds of suffering that have nothing to do with our free will....earthquakes and disease, for example....right?

    Which is more evil-- 1)having limited free will and evil, or 2)having more limited free will and no evil? Is limited free will more evil than evil (let's remember, our free will is already limited--we can't do "anything" we want already)?
     
  7. martha dodge

    martha dodge Member

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    Ceridwen, with all respect, if you are through with God, then why do you continually come in this forum asking for answers? What are you really looking for? Is there something in your life that has made you so angry with God and you feel that He let you down? I can tell you that I love you and pray for you, I will be glad to help if I can. And if I can't, I will find someone who can. Many are here to help but not to disgrace our Father God. Think on this,please.
     
  8. martha dodge

    martha dodge Member

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    Mr. Spinkles, I have answered your question many times. My last post was a beautiful time of searching for me and I am glad that you pushed me to it. For this I have thanked you. But I have also read your declaration of atheism and your jokes concerning the graduation gift, so I ask you the question. Why do you ask questions when you think(only) that you know the answer to? Discussion is a two way street but you only seem to want to argue. In order to discuss the Bible from that point of view, you must believe it. I have read in your atheism bio that you do not. The forum is supposedly for Christians. All I have for you now is prayer that you will find God before Death finds you.
     
  9. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    ***MOD POST***

    Martha, while we appreciate your devotion to Christianity, we cannot allow proselytizing. This could be grounds for being banned from the forum. Again the rule is below.

    Proselytizing will not be tolerated. This forum should be for sharing, discussing and understanding other religions and ideas, not converting others to your individual religion or beliefs
     
  10. martha dodge

    martha dodge Member

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    I apologize Lightkeeper if you consider me proselytizing. It was not my intent. There are times when as an older person with many years for the Lord, I do not understand that todays youth are much different than was my youth. I promise that in the future. I will not make comments about praying for someone and I will not post when the question has been answered.
     
  11. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    (bites knuckle) So it is! Sorry everyone, the 'Atheist' in the title keeps throwing me off!

    Martha,

    Martha, your concern means a lot to me. I would like to ease your mind a bit if I may, by assuring you that I have arrived at my current beliefs through logical reasoning-- not personal emotion. Everyone has tough times, and mine certainly haven't helped god's case any, but I follow my head, not my heart.
     
  12. martha dodge

    martha dodge Member

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    With you declarations it amazes me that you should have such control of the Christian forum. Your proselytizing for Atheism keeps popping up every where I go. I thought that was not allowed. Oh Well
     
  13. Mr Spinkles

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    martha-- you'll notice that in this forum, all I have done is ask questions, which we are allowed to do. I haven't been debating, but only pointing out Christian beliefs, and asking questions regarding them in relation to other Christian beliefs. This forum is not just for Christians--it is for everyone. But we are only supposed to discuss Christian topics, and not debate.

    Why do I ask questions when I think I know the answer to them? Because I like hearing other peoples' opinions. If one doesn't hear other opinions, how can one ever learn?

    You did indeed present a good case that God sends people to hell in the afterlife for not believing in Him, even if they were to ask forgiveness. However, that does not seem like the bahavior of a loving parent, and Christians believe that God loves everyone as children (even the sinners). How can these views be reconciled? If you feel you have answered this question already, then I will go back and try to find it.

    martha, one more thing--where was I proselytizing? I don't think I ever told anyone they should convert to atheism, but if I have I am truly sorry. I am also sorry if my views offend you--sometimes I get the impression that they do. I can assure you, your views do not offend me...even when you say that I am going to hell for mine. :wink:
     
  14. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    ***A FRIENDLY REMINDER TO EVERYONE***

    The individual religion forums are for sharing and learning about that religion. Debating the ideas or beliefs of that religion is not allowed in that forum. These are "safe" places for those following that religion to talk without being debated or flamed. If there is a religion or idea you would like to Debate, please take it to the Religious Debates Forum.

    Also, there is a thread in the Atheism forum on this same topic, if the Atheists would to talk about this amongst yourselfs.

    Thank you. :hi:
     
  15. Luke, Anglican of Newcast

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    The one sin that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said was unforgiveable was "Blasphemy".
    People often confuse Blasphemy with Slander. "Blasphemy" is constantly turning away from God, setting your heart in stone to defy and deny him. Heaven, the Kingodm of God is a reward to those who do the exact opposite.
    So how can an aetheist who does not only not believe in God let alone Heaven, but refuses to believe will not get into Heaven for he has sinned ultimately.
     
  16. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but you seem to be saying that blasphemy is when someone blatantly turns away from god out of spite. An atheist, although not believing in god, could have very legitimate reasons. For someone on a search for truth whom god has failed to contact effectively, do they still suffer the same consequences?
     
  17. teapot_tall_and_yummy

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    Put yourself in God's shoes -

    Lets say youve reached out to all people. Extended your hand and grace. Encouraged them to live a just life. But they don't clearly interpret the message and realize it's from you. They still continue to lead a just life, but say you don't exist, and deny that you gave them anything, when you gave them everything. Are you going to readily usher them into heaven with those who loved you with their whole heart mind spirit and soul, who didn't smack away your hand when you reached out to give them everything? I personally feel that maybe God's gonna just have you sit out a few innings and then join in. I very well may be wrong, but I'd be a little bit peeved if I were God.
     
  18. Mr Spinkles

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    Yes, if I were in God's shoes, I would forgive all those who ask to be forgiven in the afterlife. Am I more merciful than God, teapot?
     
  19. Luke, Anglican of Newcast

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    The point though is Sprinkles that your not God. God is just and right. He knows his people and their needs. God gives us the time on Earth to if you will forgive Christians, "accept His proposal".
    God gaves us Jesus who served as the sacrifice for all sin, and if we believe in that and accept Him and abide as best we can, because even Christians sin, we receive the gift of Heaven when we die.
     
  20. teapot_tall_and_yummy

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    If you can just ask forgiveness in the afterlife whats the purpose of doing good here on earth if you can just be forgiven. I'd personally like to see you saying "oh man, sorry God, I believe din you for awhile but you didn't cut it for me and I was happier without you can I be with you for all eternity?" I'm not saying your going to be eternally damned, but you think if Hitler said 'Oh god, im sorry, i didn't realize it was wrong to persecute people' he'd be let in immediately?
     
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