1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

The Myth of Spiritual Death

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by sandy whitelinger, Mar 9, 2005.

  1. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,912
    Ratings:
    +954
    Religion:
    Narrow-minded Biblist
    In standard Christian evangelism it is often stated that without the acceptance of Christ that one is spiritually dead. Unfortunately this idea has no basis in scripture. The idea goes back to Adam in the garden of Eden. It is taught that when Adam ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that he became "spiritually dead" and was subsequently condemned to hell and in need of a savior.

    There are a number of problems with this teaching the first of which is in the term "spiritual death." This term appears nowhere in the Bible. The general inference though is that because we have sinned we are separated from God and condemned to an eternity in hell. This is also incorrect because nowhere in the Bible is it stated that anyone goes to hell because they have sinned. On the contrary in John 3:17-18 it states, "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Eternal location is predicated not on acts but on belief. Only the belief on Christ is the determining factor in destination.

    Other misunderstandings relate to Adam and what happened in the Garden. The eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil did not result in the condemnation of Adam to hell. It only condemned him to deaht. Again, this was not spiritual de-th. There are two reasons for this. The first is that Adam was already saved. There are two proofs of this. One is that he had never rejected Christ. It is established that Christ was in the Garden with Adam and that Adam was accepting of Christ. The second proof is that Adam was made the son of God. This is found in the genealogies in Matthew 3, "Which was the son of Enos, which wasthe son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God." For those that believe in eternal security this means that Adam could not become lost.

    The second reason for Adam not being condemned to hell for the eating of the fruit was that Genesis states otherwise. Genesis 2:17 , "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." This is not "spiritual" but physical death. Genesis 3:22-24 states this, "And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." Adam was only condemned to die a physical death. It is clear from this that Adam could not have both the knowledge of good and evil and live for ever and this led to his death : physical not spiritual.


    The whole misconception is centered around the idea that sin is what condemns one to hell. This simply is not the scriptural teaching. This should be good news for some.
     
  2. true blood

    true blood Active Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    848
    Ratings:
    +36
    These verse actually suggests that in the day, that very day, thou shalt surely die. So it couldn't possibly mean a physical death because Adam lived on many years. Now either God says what he means and means what he says or he doesn't. Also note that later in scripture God would choose himself some prophets to give his messages and such. However, when he selected his prophets he had to send them down a portion of his spirit. Probably so they could communicate. Adding to the "myth" that mankind became spiritually dead or emptiness of God's spirit.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    130
    Ratings:
    +14
    Sandy, I will deal with first things first. Your first so-called "proof" is that the term "spiritual death appears nowhere in the Bible." Sandy, where does the word "Bible" appear in the "Bible"? Second, many of the religious terms we used are nowhere specifically mentioned in Scripture. The term "trinity" is not there. However the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (trinity) are each mentioned.
    Third, if there is no such thing as "spiritual death" then try and explain Paul's statements: "I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very comandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good." (Romans 7:9-12 English Standard Version). This ought to give you something to chew on for a little bit.
    Prosecutor
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,912
    Ratings:
    +954
    Religion:
    Narrow-minded Biblist
    Pros, as far as I can tell Paul is dead.
     
  5. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    16,472
    Ratings:
    +3,193
    Religion:
    Christian Taoist
    Gee Sandy,

    the term "physical death" isn't used either. Go figure! That doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    How do you deal with this scripture???

    Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,912
    Ratings:
    +954
    Religion:
    Narrow-minded Biblist
    Gee Net, I quess that means they died. After all the wages of sin is death.

    As long as you wish to play silly semantical games then tell me where the Bible says that the death that is the result of sin sends anyone to hell. You can't because the Bible doesn't. I refer you back to John 3:17-18.

    Now Pros, You need to start at Genesis and Adam. Without doing that then it is easy to get lost. I know Easter is almost here but I'm not going down your bunny trails. Goo' day.
     
  7. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    16,472
    Ratings:
    +3,193
    Religion:
    Christian Taoist
    Silly semantical games? I'm sorry, I thought you wanted real dialogue on this.

    The passage I quoted was written to physically living people, whom Paul consdered dead. What type of "dead" do you think Paul was referring to?

    Like many in New Testament times and even today, you are looking at spiritual truths with physical eyes. Physical death has little threat over someone who is spiritually alive. In this respect, life and death are referring to a QUALITY of life and not to physical life.

    We don't need to start anywhere in particular to figure this out. However, you might want to read Romans and how you dead to sin and alive to God through baptism. But then you will probably just accuse Paul of "silly semantical games".
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    130
    Ratings:
    +14
    Sandy, I also had thought you were interested in the discussion of "spiritual death". You made no attempt to answer a word I said. Saying "Paul is dead" is proof to me that you really have no case.
    However I already knew you were destined to defeat when you presented this absurd doctine to begin with. Never present a proposition if you can't defend it.

    Prosecutor
     
  9. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    130
    Ratings:
    +14
    Sandy must have headed to the tall tembers. Another so-called "Bible Discrepancy" bites the dust.
    Prosecutor
     
  10. roli

    roli Born Again,Spirit Filled

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,881
    Ratings:
    +104
    God is Spirit we must worship him in Spirit and in Truth, how can flesh please,serve,understand or have fellowship with God if He is a Spirit and we are flesh and blood,think about it! Read 1Corinthians 2 before you respond or voice your view
    This so called misconception is exactly what those outside the faith tend to look for in the Christian circle,conflicts,discrepancies,contridictions, but they are in the natural.
    This may very well be good news(temporary) to those who are and will be looking for justification the day they stand before a Holy God on judgement for everything they have done in the body either good or bad , assuming of course within your belief system there is a God of wrath and judgement on those who violate His laws.

    It will however be bad news to those who have been led astray from the truth and plan of salvation, that we are sinners from birth spiritually lost,destitute,without hope.only a spiritual birth or conversion thru faith in Christ will set us free from the guilt of sin.
    May I say your views are in complete opposition to the word of God,
    If you question the very essence of why Christ came,that is to erraticate sin and reconcile man to God thru the atoning sacrifice of Christ, bringing about the Spiritual birth,conversion ,regeneration to man by placing his spirit in us thru our faith and who abolished death and gave life and immortality.
    You have then just nulified the Gospel message.

    Please just look up Spirit ,spiritual etc and see for yourself.
    There is so much word that supports the spiritual conversion of man and

    You seem to have some sort of a belief in holy scripture and I would presume the God of the bible, but your interpretation seems to be that of an intellectual concept and not a spiritual understanding, BORN OF THE SPIRIT John 3:5-8 , 1Cor 2: 14
    I would assume if I may,by your opposition to the spiritual birth or condemnation that you are not a devout born again ( spiritual birth)follower of Christ and who apparently does not believe the bible as the inherent ,immutable ,infalliable word of God because your opinions and perspectives are inline with that of an agnostic and border line atheistic .
    Please e-mail me or continue this thread for further discussion,
     
  11. oracle

    oracle Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    502
    Ratings:
    +45


    I am going to say that this is literally true.



    Like I have been stating since I have joined this forum, Adam and Eve has a deeper meaning than what is literally perceived.

    This is my own personal interpretation of what it means, and this comes from my research of Kabbalah: Spiritual death is separation from wholeness. Adam (meaning mankind) is our objective reality. Objectively we are nothing but blood and dust in a physical sense, our objective existence is basically a carcass, an empty shell. Eve is what makes us alive and animate; it is our subjective reality, that being our consciousness. In the descent from a unified state of consciousness (which is infinite and eternal), we descend into matter and ascend in the self-aware mind. This is spiritual death [death without resurrection], a separation from our spiritual totality which is infinite and eternal, and it is birth of the gross self, physical self, ego self in which is Adam, who is divided into a twofold nature (between masculine and feminine, outer and inner), Eve is taken from a side, not a rib of Adam. A consciousness can only exist when a world of matter exists, and the distinction between the outside and the inside of the organism first exists. Eve is the self organization of this; movement, action, she is what makes Adam alive. Free will is the essence of the conscious mind, it is the ability to choose, to freely express, to experience a world of both good and bad consequences. Free will and consciousness (the self aware mind) are both the same thing, and this is what mankind inherited after the separation from wholeness and oneness. This is where the trinity, or three heavens, or the threefold or twofold nature of man comes from, and you see this not only in patterns found in the OT and NT, but this is what Yeshua is specifically talking about in the Gospel of Thomas.

    I see that Christ is the revelation of God which is the word of God and objectively exists all around you through the creation of God, and is revealed to us subjectively through the Holy Spirit. It is the reversal of the “fall” [reversal of Adam] when dust returns to dust and the conscious mind loses self awareness dissolves back into the Oneness, into eternity, the loss of free will into God’s will. It is gaining the awareness of the spiritual totality of existence, it is losing the distinction between outside and inside, objective and subjective, our “resurrection” into a spiritual body which is infinite and eternal and whole. There is no original sin, but your birth is a descent from point A to point B. It is exiting one room and walking into another; physical birth, but spiritual death. You are sown into a physical body but die in the spiritual one [Adam]. In the resurrection, your physical body dies and are raised into a spiritual one [ego-death]. A person becomes reborn again by externalizing ego death in physical reality, by turning from everything physical and clinging to what is spiritual only. Anyone who tries save their life loses it, and anyone who loses their life will find it. In that process, desire also leaves. You cannot serve two masters, you cannot ride two horses, you cannot bend two bows with one arrow. It is written on a temple "Jesus said, this world is a bridge, do not build your dwelling here". And in the gospels Jesus basically tells those who wish to follow him that they must leave everything behind, otherwise they cannot be his disciple.



    The condemnation is when we live life not knowing our unification, when we live life keeping to our own subjectivity, when the world revolves around you in which is ego-self. The conscious mind is a process of separation itself. Desire/temptation is what motivates us in the first place. The first type of sin stems from ignorance or lack of awareness, it is an essential process of life [a mistake] when we do not know the distinction between what is bad and what is good, when we are not aware of the harm that we inflict upon others, and this is a "defect" or limitation of the mind also is the cause of superstition and false prophesy. The second type is when we are aware and able to make distinctions, yet we harm others anyway for our own self-gratification or self-ambitions. When we continuously live life in such a way, we create evil and externalize hell, we make our separation from God and each other an ultimate reality. Life can be beautiful, why make it ugly?

    The kingdom of heaven is this spiritual totality of existence, it is unification, and we can externalize it and make it a reality by emulating Jesus and by externalizing loving kindness and hospitality. From what I understand, there is no afterlife nor reincarnation, but this life is like a carcass, an illusion, an empty shell. Our afterlife is infinity, and everything dissolves into it. The kingdom of heaven is already here and existing, it is not observable and material, but it comes when an individual realizes it and makes it a reality by loving others as they would like to be loved. It then comes, in that physical sense.

    Mathew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

    Good and evil, exists entirely on a subjective basis. Objectively reality is neither good nor evil as even God sends sustenance on both evil and the good, the just and the unjust. The perfection of the Father is not a moral standard [it exceeds morality itself as morality exists only on a subjective basis] but it is wholeness [unity] and when we externalize this unity we are externalizing that perfection. Ultimately we have to break down the barrier that makes ego-self, that is the distinction between inner and outer, what is personally subjective and what is objectively all around us.

    Even the demons in the NT believed in Jesus, that he was real and the son of God. However believing is something you act upon, bad fruit cannot come from a good tree and vice versa.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. roli

    roli Born Again,Spirit Filled

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,881
    Ratings:
    +104
    What exactly are you saying ,you seem to be speaking from a Spiritualistic, Eastern mystic perspective but turn around and quote biblical scripture and the two perspectives become interwoven appearing as one.
    This may be your perspective but it is surely not scriptural, as light and darkness have nothing in common as does righteousness and unrighteousness.
    Your first statement There is no original sin,goes completely against Christs teachings yet you quote him in other verses.
    The first type of sin stems from ignorance or lack of awareness, actually the first sin was due to rebellion,disobedience on Adam's part and deception on satan's part .
    Adam was Tempted when by his own evil desires was dragged away and enticed and after desire concieved it gave birth to sin and sin full grown produced death,physical and spiritual.
    God's word shall not return void,
     
  13. oracle

    oracle Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    502
    Ratings:
    +45
    It's from studying Kabbalah and Judaism. If you read a lot of Rabinnical commentary, you would probably say that their interpretation is not scriptural, you would say that the Zohar or Sefer Yistera is not scriptural, yet it reveals the Torah and it's deeper meaning. Of course, you are right when you say it is my perspective. I am still trying to understand it in a more Kabbalistic sense, and my interpretation has gradually changed. It's my interpretation and I may be innaccurate with it.

    Jesus never really taught or emphasized on original sin. In a Rabinnical teaching, the original sin was actually Eve's exaggeration of eating the fruit. The reason why I say there is no original sin is because of the misconception of it. It is abused in the sense that it becomes de-humanizing. This has negative psychological repercussions, as it has become a doctrine of self-condemnation. That is a misconception of it, and it is a misconception of free will. It has a deeper meaning than it being passed on to generations like some kind of genetical defect and we all inherited some sort of de-humanizing disease. My statement about there being no original sin is to go completely against the self-condemning interpretation of it because it lowers human dignity and human worth, and it makes God anthropromorphic.

    There are different types of sin in the OT, which obviously Christians don't know about. First there is a mistake, which is sin, next there is trespassing. Christians simply define sin as disobediance against God. If you believe in a God that is infinite, He would exceed moral standards because it would not apply to God since God is self-sufficient and perfect. People teach unconditional love, but then contradict themselves with the anthropomorphic version of God that is conditional. People have mistaken the story of Genesis for a history book. I can actually show you why this is possible. I am not the only one who has claimed this, but even Church fathers in the past, and Kabbalists know that there is more than just the literal message.

    "Rabbi Yehoshua Avraham of Zitmar:
    'Our sages teach us that the Torah was created two thousand years before the world.

    'This is difficult to understand, since the Torah contains accounts of many events that happened after creation. How can the Torah speak of creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, the holy Patriarchs, and all the other happenings recorded in the Torah? All these things had not yet happened (when the Torah was written).

    ...'Actually, when the Torah was first created, it was a mixture of letters. The letters of the Torah were not yet combined into words as they are now...

    'Whenever anything then happened in the world, these letters were combined, and the words were recombined to form the account.

    'This was true of the account of creation, and the story of Adam and Eve. The letters combined with each other, forming the words that told this story. Similarly, when an individual died, a combination of letters was formed, saying that he had died. The same was true of the rest of the Torah.

    'As soon as an event (that was to be recorded in the Torah) took place, a combination was immediately formed, corresponding to that event. If a different event had taken place, the letters would have combined differently. The Torah is God's wisdom, and it has no end.'
    Rabbi Yehoshua Avraham of Zitmar,
    Geulath Yisroel, Pithgamin Kadishin.
    Quoted in "Sefer Baal Shem Tov," Zoth
    HaBerachah 4. Cf. Machazeh Avraham,
    Zoth HaBerachah 5."

    Kaplan, pages 160-1:

    "Rabbi Levi Yitzchok:
    ...'In its sequence of descent to this lowly world, the Torah must become clothed in a material garment, which often consists of stories. When God grants a person knowledge, understanding and intelligence, uncovering the mask that blinds his eyes, he can see the wonders of God's Torah. The people on this level are few, however, and the majority only understand the Torah according to its simple meaning.'......

    See Zohar 1:153a, 1:201a, 3:98b, 3:152a, Zohar Chadash 10d."


    The following excerpt from the Zohar is taken from Louis Ginsberg, "On Jewish Law and Lore," copyright 1955 Jewish Publications Society of America. New York: Athenum, 1970. LCC #55-6707.pp. 144-145

    "Regarding these levels, the Zohar [Zohar, iii. 152] states:

    'Wo [sic] unto the man who asserts that this Torah intends to relate only commonplace things and secular narratives; for if this were so, then in the present times likewise a Torah might be written with more attractive narratives...Now the narratives of the Torah are its garments. He who thinks that these garments are the Torah itself deserves to perish and have no share in the world to come. Wo unto the fools who look no further when they see an elegant robe! More valuable than the garment is the body which carries it, and more valuable even than that is the soul which animates the body. Fools see only the garment of the Torah, the more intelligent see the body, the wise see the soul, its proper being, and in the Messianic time the 'upper soul' of the Torah will stand revealed.'" --Stan Tenen

    I don't see Adam and Eve as a story, more like a description of a process, like a science of consicousness. Yes mankind literally "fell", but there is a deeper meaning underlying that.
     
  14. sandy whitelinger

    sandy whitelinger Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,912
    Ratings:
    +954
    Religion:
    Narrow-minded Biblist
    To Pros and Net, you both brought up death that is associated with sin. Death that comes by sin goes back to Adam: "Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned..." KJV. If you will go back and carefully look at what I wrote you will see that the death that came by Adam's transgression resulted in his physical death. Adam did not lose his salvation.

    Now Roli, stop making your ignorant insinuations about my spiritual status. That's not very kind. I'll wait for your apology.

    Finally, Pros, while I'm not sure where the tall tembers are, if I find them I'll let you know. Life gets busy sometimes and I haven't had the time to join in the debate this last week. Stuff happens.
     
  15. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2004
    Messages:
    16,472
    Ratings:
    +3,193
    Religion:
    Christian Taoist
    Naw it didn't. Adam lived to a ripe old age. His spirit died even as he ate the fruit and became "ashamed".

    Let me ask you Sandy... which is more important? To know God or to not know God? The first is to be spiritually alive and the latter is to be spiritually dead.

    Adam had a PERFECT relationship with God, up until the time he sinned. BTW, he sinned twice. He ate the forbidden fruit AND blamed GOD for doing it. "It's that woman you gave me, God!" Men have been blaming their wives ever since!
     
  16. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    4,634
    Ratings:
    +223
    I think this is a good interpretation of what Jesus was trying to tell us. I would emphasize that loving and praying for your enemies leads to wholeness. Everyone and everything is a part of us. When we love and accept all parts we are whole. Ego keeps you from accepting and forgiving that which doesn't appear to be acceptable.
     
  17. oracle

    oracle Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    502
    Ratings:
    +45
    From what I have learned on a Kabbalistic perspective, In Adam is a spiritual death [without ressurrection].


    From my perspective:
    It is the physical body that does not rise, but returns to dust, and this physical body that does not have any salvation and does not rise after death. It is thus "condemned", and our inheritance comes from being born into our present manifestation. I would say Adam pertains to mankind in general, that is our physical and material nature and manifestion. We are the dust of the earth formed into blood.
    Our spiritual nature is eternal, infinite, and whole. In Adam was our spiritual death. We are no longer whole, but we are discriminant. Our state of consciousness is not longer unified but dispersed as it becomes personal, (Ego). Our descent into matter is the creation of a more gross, more dense, more seperated, ego existance.
     
  18. MrMorden

    MrMorden Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    41
    Ratings:
    +9
    i think that "spritually dead" is often a misused and misunderstood term. "spiritually dormant" is probably more accurate, and means that without knowing god, one's spirit isnt alive, for lack of a better term. so instead of saying "spiritually dead", its probably more accurate to say "spiritually un-alive". the word dead probably thrown in for its dramatic effect.

    but then again, this is just my two cents
     
  19. oracle

    oracle Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2004
    Messages:
    502
    Ratings:
    +45
    Exactly. Although it's a little different from what I said, this is exactly correct or pretty close from my perspective. [I actually like to use the word spiritually asleep rather than dead]. Realization of who God is, from my perspective, is spiritual awakening.
     
  20. prosecutor

    prosecutor Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    130
    Ratings:
    +14
    Sandy, I know things happen and I know how hard it is to have the time to do all we want or need to do. It was you, however, that made the the statement that you could prove that the Bible does not teach there is such a thing as spiritual death. I mean no disrespect to you but the fact of the matter is you have taking a position that is false and can in no way be defended. When I ask the question where in the Bible do you read the word "Bible", I have proven that a word or phrase can be taught in the Bible without such having to be specifically mentioned. When you acknowledge such is the case, we can move own to the next argument. If you refuse to do so then of what good would it be to answer anything else you say?
    Prosecutor
     
Loading...