Important Announcement

See here for an important message regarding the community which has become a read-only site as of October 31.

 
Post Reply
Page 1 of 3  •  1 2 3 Next
Switch to Forum Live View What's more wrong, the concept of there being no Hell or that being Gay is no sin?
9 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 9:25AM #1
holst
Posts: 245
First off, I don't mind saying that I do not think that homosexual activity between two consenting adults in a committed relationship is in anyway a sin.  Its just not there in the Bible.  The passages used to argue these things are vague at best, and more than likely refer to other activities that happen to involve the mechanics of sexual activity.

Those who are on the "liberal", "affirming" side of the whole debate often cite the fact that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality.  I also believe that this is an important point.  Jesus said so much about so many other sins.  For example, he makes it clear that if you are rich, you could have a very, very hard time getting into Heaven.  (Have you ever tried to push a 500 pound animal through a small door way, let alone the eye of a needle?  That's the comparison our lord makes)

So the new, liberal view of homosexuality does not trouble for me.  Its not an issue for me. 

But what I do find in liberal theology that is troubling is the notion that there's no Hell, and that all are saved.  The problem with this view is that Jesus did make many statements about Hell and the possibility that a person may not be saved and may not go to Heaven.

Any thoughts?
Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 10:45AM #2
Dutch777
Posts: 9,144
I'm not aware of any serious theologian or exegete who flatly claims that there is no hell, either as a temporal-spatial consideration or as a condition.  Do you?  Who?

As for "all are saved", I've dealt with this in a recent prior post.  The prevailing thought afaik is "God never shuts the door to repentence and salvation" --- which is quite different from the thought you posted.
:)
The Path
To Moon
lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own
DharmaPath
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 1:15PM #3
holst
Posts: 245
OK, I guess I cannot name someone who flatly says there's no Hell whatsoever and that all are saved no matter what.  But I do here people (like Bishop Spong) make the concept of Hell out to be just a fear tactic of the early Church.  He's also fairly clear in saying that there is no independent force of evil in the world.

I also hear many people (even somewhat conservative types like NT Wright) try to minimize the concept of Hell, saying that Hell is not necessarily fire, worms, endless torture, etc, but rather that its just a separation from God.  Of course, a separation from God would be unthinkably sad and horrible, but given the choice, most people would take that over fire.  But really this is more than minimizing Hell, its making it into something that is unbiblical, isn't it?  It like saying "Hell isn't all that bad, there just won't be anything good about it -- you just don't get to go to Heaven".  But like it or not, that's just not what the Bible says about Hell, at least not the way I read it.

Now as for the notion that Hell is temporary...  well, I guess that would be better than it being eternal.  Many people have put forward the idea that God never shuts the door forever.  So what does that mean?  You can do whatever you want in this life, and you always have the chance to be redeemed in the end?  It still takes away the biblical definition of Heaven and Hell to think this way.

Most people (myself included) from time to time rightly ask the question "why would a loving God send anyone to Hell?"  Well, you could even ask, "Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell temporarily?"  Surely our God can't be one who waits to punish us.  These are all valid and rational responses to the notion of death, judgment, hell, etc, but they still don't reflect Bible's message on the subject.

I tend to think that there either is - or is not - hell.  No in between.  And there's enough mention of Satan in the Bible to make me conclude that he is a real entity as well.  Heck, Satan is mentioned as often as many other biblical characters, and we don't dispute their existence, even when we can find nothing of them in extra-biblical sources.
Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 3:04PM #4
Dutch777
Posts: 9,144
[QUOTE=holst;1040934]OK, I guess I cannot name someone who flatly says there's no Hell whatsoever and that all are saved no matter what.  But I do here people (like Bishop Spong) make the concept of Hell out to be just a fear tactic of the early Church.  He's also fairly clear in saying that there is no independent force of evil in the world.
Hell has been used, inter alia, as a fear tactic for millenia.  Bp. Spong is quite aware of the profound evil rampant in the world.  Where did you ever get such an erroneous idea?

I also hear many people (even somewhat conservative types like NT Wright) try to minimize the concept of Hell, saying that Hell is not necessarily fire, worms, endless torture, etc, but rather that its just a separation from God.  Of course, a separation from God would be unthinkably sad and horrible, but given the choice, most people would take that over fire.  But really this is more than minimizing Hell, its making it into something that is unbiblical, isn't it?  It like saying "Hell isn't all that bad, there just won't be anything good about it -- you just don't get to go to Heaven".  But like it or not, that's just not what the Bible says about Hell, at least not the way I read it.
Hell is separation from God.  The idea of hell and its tortures, as graphically detailed in popular thought, originated in Zoroastrianism.  Pharaseeic Judaism picked up the idea from that religion during the Babylonian exile.  I suggest you study the history of the development of the doctrine of hell.  It's an eye-opener.  BTW, St. Thomas Aquinas noted that justification takes place in the will.  This is actually a commentary upon "hell as separation", so obviously hell-as-separation isn't a modernist concept.

Now as for the notion that Hell is temporary...  well, I guess that would be better than it being eternal.  Many people have put forward the idea that God never shuts the door forever.  So what does that mean?  You can do whatever you want in this life, and you always have the chance to be redeemed in the end?  It still takes away the biblical definition of Heaven and Hell to think this way.
Heaven isn't defined as the ultimate place for humans; a renewed earth is.  You'd really better re-check your basic theologic concepts.  In Hebrew, Sheol is the common grave of all humanity with no suffering connoted.  Gehinnom is the burning garbage dump outside Jerusalem used as an image of human destruction i.e. symbolic.  Just study the basic biblical concepts and you'll discover the answers to your own questions.

Most people (myself included) from time to time rightly ask the question "why would a loving God send anyone to Hell?"  Well, you could even ask, "Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell temporarily?"  Surely our God can't be one who waits to punish us.  These are all valid and rational responses to the notion of death, judgment, hell, etc, but they still don't reflect Bible's message on the subject.
See above response.  Research the basic concepts; too much detail and background is involved for me to cover here.

I tend to think that there either is - or is not - hell.  No in between.  And there's enough mention of Satan in the Bible to make me conclude that he is a real entity as well.  Heck, Satan is mentioned as often as many other biblical characters, and we don't dispute their existence, even when we can find nothing of them in extra-biblical sources.[/QUOTE]
The concept of Satan also originated with the Zoroastrians.  As above-indicated, do basic background research yourself.  The subjects are far too extensive for one to cover in less that a full length book.  I really don't know why you're so hung-up on the subject of hell, anyway.
The Path
To Moon
lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own
DharmaPath
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 3:10PM #5
Dutch777
Posts: 9,144
You've made multiple references to Bp. Spong.   Have you ever actually read any of his books?
The Path
To Moon
lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own
DharmaPath
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 24, 2009 - 6:05PM #6
holst
Posts: 245
Thank you Dutch, for your excellent and thoughtful responses to what I have said.  About Spong - yes, I have read two of his books as well as other articles by him.  I recently read Jesus For the Non-Religious and years ago I read Rescuing The Bible From Fundamentalism.  As for JFTNR, I liked it at first.  It offered many exciting challenges and ideas.  But all it seemed to do was tear away all the things we hold to be true and sacred about Christ.  The problem for me was that the book did not replace it with anything that I could really run with.  Spong is a great, eloquent, and persuasive writer.  He's a scholar too, although I always here he offers little that it original.  But after a while I just wonder why is remains a part of the Church.

Now, as for Satan... you say Satan came from Zoratrianism.  Yes, I understand that a lot of early Judaism came from Zoratrianism.  But does make the Satan (the way that the Church has traditionally taught him to be and to exist) not real? 

Who was the Satan/devil person that Jesus interacted with in the desert?
Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 25, 2009 - 10:36AM #7
Dutch777
Posts: 9,144
Holst:
I completely agree with your assessment that JSS appears negative; that he tears down rather than builds up.  He is the last of the old-style modernists.  He studied under Paul Tillich and Rudolph Bultmann and his trajectory is that of challanging the intellectual status quo.    I respect his work and have read most of his books but I derive more that is positive from authors such as Marcus Borg and Bart Ehrman.

I personally believe in the reality of Satan and that demonic possessions do occur, albeit infrequently.  Every TEC diocese has an exorcist "on call".  There is a rite of exorcism in The Bishops' Book a very limited edition available only to bishops.   Such concepts as: Satan, angels, post-mortem judgement, afterlife with reward or punishment, appear to have originated in Zoroastrianism, entered Pharaseic Judaism, and passed into Christianity.  This open the very fascinating question: can / does divine revelation occur in religions other than Judaism and Christianity?   I personally think so.   Nevertheless, I believe that Christiany contain the fullest degree of God's revelation inasmuch as Jesus Christ is God' fullest self-revelation.
:)
The Path
To Moon
lake
Doesn't Go
There.

So Walk
Your own
DharmaPath
And Be
Mindful

Dutch
Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 26, 2009 - 9:26PM #8
holst
Posts: 245

dutch777 wrote:

Holst:
I completely agree with your assessment that JSS appears negative; that he tears down rather than builds up.  He is the last of the old-style modernists.  He studied under Paul Tillich and Rudolph Bultmann and his trajectory is that of challanging the intellectual status quo.    I respect his work and have read most of his books but I derive more that is positive from authors such as Marcus Borg and Bart Ehrman.

I personally believe in the reality of Satan and that demonic possessions do occur, albeit infrequently.  Every TEC diocese has an exorcist "on call".  There is a rite of exorcism in The Bishops' Book a very limited edition available only to bishops.   Such concepts as: Satan, angels, post-mortem judgement, afterlife with reward or punishment, appear to have originated in Zoroastrianism, entered Pharaseic Judaism, and passed into Christianity.  This open the very fascinating question: can / does divine revelation occur in religions other than Judaism and Christianity?   I personally think so.   Nevertheless, I believe that Christiany contain the fullest degree of God's revelation inasmuch as Jesus Christ is God' fullest self-revelation.
:)


I did not know that every TEC diocese has an excorcist on call.  I wonder how often they are used?

Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Jan 26, 2009 - 9:26PM #9
holst
Posts: 245

dutch777 wrote:

Holst:
I completely agree with your assessment that JSS appears negative; that he tears down rather than builds up.  He is the last of the old-style modernists.  He studied under Paul Tillich and Rudolph Bultmann and his trajectory is that of challanging the intellectual status quo.    I respect his work and have read most of his books but I derive more that is positive from authors such as Marcus Borg and Bart Ehrman.

I personally believe in the reality of Satan and that demonic possessions do occur, albeit infrequently.  Every TEC diocese has an exorcist "on call".  There is a rite of exorcism in The Bishops' Book a very limited edition available only to bishops.   Such concepts as: Satan, angels, post-mortem judgement, afterlife with reward or punishment, appear to have originated in Zoroastrianism, entered Pharaseic Judaism, and passed into Christianity.  This open the very fascinating question: can / does divine revelation occur in religions other than Judaism and Christianity?   I personally think so.   Nevertheless, I believe that Christiany contain the fullest degree of God's revelation inasmuch as Jesus Christ is God' fullest self-revelation.
:)


I did not know that every TEC diocese has an excorcist on call.  I wonder how often they are used?

Quick Reply
Cancel
9 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2009 - 11:20AM #10
RJMcElwain
Posts: 3,013

holst wrote:

I did not know that every TEC diocese has an excorcist on call. I wonder how often they are used?


Not often, but it does happen. When we bought our house, 25 years ago, we had an exorcism done as part of a House Blessing. The house had previously been owned by a couple who bought and sold American Indian artifacts. As such, they dealt with grave robbers. An Indian friend of my brother in law said that he could still feel the angry spirits of his ancestors when he entered our house.

So we asked a priest/friend of ours to do an exorcism along with a House Blessing. He had to get permission from the Bishop, but it was done.

Robert J. McElwain

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government." (Supposedly)Thomas Jefferson

"He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral."
St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato
Quick Reply
Cancel
Page 1 of 3  •  1 2 3 Next
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook