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Discuss religion and spirituality topics.
after having watched this video
I decided to write a comment to that video that I'm copy/paste here below to share it with you readers of HA forum.
Hi, you have a great sense of morality young man. I enjoyed listening to your arguments because they make much sense if someone uses own good inner sense of morality (not poisoned by the surrounding culture) and applies it to the "mainstream" Christian theology. Following your same arguments, many years ago, when I was as young as you, I was very near to becoming an atheist because if I have to choose to believe in a God with highly questionable morality, or in no God at all, I'd rather chose the latter.
But... I tell you what... after much experience in life, and much reading, and studying and pondering... I found out that isn't God immoral.... but it's the mainstream theology that uses wrong arguments and turns out giving a picture of God as an immoral being.
The idea that every man deserve punishment due to original sin, which was committed by their far far far very first ancherstors Eve and Adam, is immoral itself. Human justice (at least in the so called "civilized" world) doesn't punish the children for the crimes commited by their parents; it would be an unaccettaple injustice if that would happen. So, if human justice doesn't do that, how can we believe that an all loving and all just being as God is told to be, could be less just than the human justice?
Doesn't make any sense.
Also, as you well said, not only mankind is supposedly deserving God punishment due to the "crime" committed by their ancestors thousands and thousands generations earlier, but the delivery of such UNJUST punishment is allegedly waived due to the punishment delivered to a single innocent man which is said is even more innocent than any innocent man as he's not affected by the so called "original sin/crime". That's also immoral (to punish an innocent because of the crimes committed by others) and it doesn't make any sense; not in terms of equity (because the amount of punishment delivered to the innocent is likely near to almost zero compared to the amount of punishment waived, so why not waive it all and spare the innocent?) not in terms of logic (if God is only tied to His own will, why if He wants to be merciful to mankind, he still needs to deliver a punishment to an innocent?).
But... then, one day, I finally conceived (partially inspired by the writes of S. Freud, Emmanuel Swedenborg and CS Lewis) the solution to the mistery that can put together a loving God, an original sin, and the sacrifice of God's begotten son himself.
First of all, if there's anything to understand out of the reading of "The book of Job" (included in the Bible) is that suffer IS NOT a punishment from God... God doesn't make people suffer to punish them... indeed punishment isn't something that viable for an all loving being.
Secondly, the great mistakes that do all religions is to think of God as a man, a "father", therefore as authority BEFORE than love... while God, by definition of "all loving", is likely more like a woman, a "mother", therefore as LOVE BEFORE authority.
So, what is the original sin? and why it's passed from generation to generation? and what the original sin caused? and why there's need of sacrifice to repair the damage caused by the original sin? Here are the answers.
The original sin, IS NOT, as they all teach you, the disobey to God's authority which therefore would cause God to deliver a punishment... the original sin is THE LOSS OF TRUST on God's love. Such loss of trust (due to Satan deception and free will) has caused the mankind to detach itself from God's love, and that's why end up living in a Godless earthly realm where there's suffer... not as punishment but as consequence of losing the love connection with God.
Because such trust and love can't be easily recovered in a Godless world, all the generations that came after, which didn't know God, had also suffered.
So why Jesus, God's begotten son, has incarnated on earth? and why he sacrificed himself not just his earthly life (that is not much valuable after all) but bearing one of the most terrible torture ever conceived by men?
Because Jesus has come with a message which is the WAY to restore our trust in God an our love for God through Jesus.
So, it's NOT Jesus resurrection or His death that SAVEs, but His message (His WORD) and His WAY (so, it's the WORD that can save us from the eternal void once we die. The VOID is what expects who can't love God, because outside God there's only the void in the spiritual transcendent dimension, or there's the immanent universe, which is where we experience our earthly lives).
But WHY Jesus had to suffer that much? why so much sacrifice in terms of terrible PAIN? why He HAD TO go through that?
The answer relies on the mystery of suffer, love and free will.
God loves us, He wants us to love him back, but can't force us to love him/her... love is such only if it's a free choice of heart. So God's love doesn't allow Him to do anything which may violate our free will... to interfere in our lives with His direct manifestation, which wouldn't make us love him, but rather be submitted to Him (notice that the word "Islam" means "submission").
So... how can an all mighty God prevent Him/Herself to interfere in the life of those who He/She loves. What can prevent the love of a mother to run to her loved son that she miss so much?
Suffer... only the suffer of the loved can stop the loving one.
So, this is my theological theory, if God tries to alter the laws of nature in any way and interfere in our world, that will cause us MORE suffer (in addition to the suffer already caused by men and by the earthly life). God made our universe in this way so to protect us, to protect our free will, from His wish to interfere. God's love doesn't want us to suffer (more than we already do) so God can't interfere in our world. God CAN do everything, but because of being concerned of our suffer and our free will, God's love stop Him from using his power. In other words, it's NOT that suffer exists as a punishment because God is immoral and doesn't love us or God isn't powerful enough to prevent suffer, it exists for a number of reasons, and one of those reasons is that it's a "device" that can even stop God from interfering with our free will.
But there's an exception... if a man bear the suffer and voluntarily OFFERs such suffer to God, then God is allowed, for the amount of such suffer, to do MIRACLES in this world (many Godly men, saints, have been through a great amount of suffer that they voluntarily chose to bear because of their love for Jesus and God).
Now, we all know that Jesus has become so popular because of His many miracles, not because of His army (like in the case of Islam and it's prophet), but those miracles (including His own resurrection... see how the Shroud of Turin, the burial cloth of Jesus, defies all known natural phenomena) have required and caused the violation of laws of nature, therefore a great amount of suffer had to be VOLUNTARILY offered to God, in order to make them possible. So, thanks to Jesus sacrifice, He had been empowered to defy the laws of nature, to show signs to the people of that time, that made them to believe him without doubt and made them to love him because His sacrifice was also the proof of His love for us. And through the love of Jesus, many people had found the way to trust God's love and find their way back to Him/Her, to salvation, and eternal life and joy.
Therefore Jesus sacrifice IS NOT, a punishment that has been delivered to Him instead of to the sinners, so that the sinners can be waived from receive the punishment. Jesus suffer is what has been needed for Him to be able to deliver His WORD to the whole mankind (and provide us a WAY to God/heaven) and in a way that men have still full complete free will if to BELIEVE and TRUST in God's love or not.
Thank you Jesus.
I love you Jesus
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All a person has to do to be saved is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, meaning He is the Christ, the Messiah, and that He died for our sins and was resurrected. Salvation is without works because Christ kept all the commandments of God for us and lived a perfect life. Therefore keeping the commandments is not for salvation. All a person must do to be saved is to believe in Christ.
A person can either accept that or reject it. If a person rejects it too many times they may find that God will finally reject them.
Also, although some consider hell nothing more than a scare tactic, it is for eternity. I have been afraid and in fear in this life for short periods of time. I wouldn't want to be in constant terror for eternity. Also, I don't want any to have to go through an eternity of sheer terror forever after they die. It's easy to believe in Christ, if the person hasn't become a reject.
Salvation is a free gift. But twisting Christ's sacrifice is only going to lead to rejection, eventually, and then destruction. Be careful.
I bet you didn't read all my first post and you stop after the few beginning lines where I stated my appreciation for the arguments expressed on the video by it's author, if you had read all my post you wouldn't have doubt my belief on the great gift out of love that is Jesus sacrifice.
Anyway, as you mentioned it, I take the opportunity to state that the theology of salvation without work (no need to do good deeds, to follow Jesus's way in our life, to follow Jesus commandment "love each others as I loved you") is both immoral (because denies the good to do good and the value of doing good rather than evil at God's judgment) and illogical (why should Jesus have given so many teaching and parables to explain what we should do in life to be "Godly" if then, in the end, it doesn't matter?).
In other words, the theology of salvation without work is another non sense that drives critical thinking individuals away from faith rather than towards faith and God.
Be careful on supporting such theology you may cause more souls to be lost than to be saved
Last edited by halnovemila on November 2nd, 2018, 9:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
We're still expected to do good. It is just that we must only acknowledge that our own good works are not good enough to save us. They certainly get God's attention for our benefit, but only Christ saves. In Christ is salvation. That is the point when it says that we are not saved through works.
If we could be saved by our own works then there would have been no need for Jesus to die on the cross for us.
Good works are still expected, and we must still keep the commandments. However, the keeping of the commandments does not save us. It is Christ and what He has done for us that saves us. In essence, Christ paid the price and buys the salvation of every soul that believes in Him.
A person cannot purchase his own redemption by doing good works. Good works get God's attention, but they cannot save the person from hell. Only Christ can cover sin. A person cannot cover or pay for his own sins; he cannot redeem himself from hell; he cannot exalt himself to heaven and everlasting life. Only the power of God through Christ can do this.
As for breaking the commandments, breaking the commandment can certainly condemn a person's soul to hell (before they get saved, after they get saved premature death or disease may be the result of breaking the commandments), just like unbelief.
Keeping the commandments doesn't save us. It does keep the person "clean enough" so that God doesn't reject the person before they finally believe and get saved. Rebels are law breakers who will be rejected and therefore they will never be able to believe or accept the simplicity of the gospel as true.
Salvation is simple: Believe that Christ is the Son of God (the Christ, the Messiah). Anyone who is not rejected or who doesn't love law breaking can do this.
God doesn't want anyone to go to hell, which is why He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever BELIEVES in Him, will have everlasting life. Salvation is free, because God wants everyone to go to heaven and to have eternal life. That was His original intent before it got ruined by the fall of man in the Garden of Eden by original sin. God doesn't want anyone to go to hell. So He literally does all the work. Just as the person didn't do any work to be conceived into this world, there's no work to be done to be born again into God's Kingdom. A person must only believe that Jesus is the Christ, and the job of the Christ is to redeem people from their sin.
If salvation were by works then there would be no need for a Messiah or a Christ. We wouldn't need Christ, and He wouldn't have needed to come to save anyone. We could do it ourselves, simply through repentance and good works.
It is really sad when adults still believe Christian fairy tales. Grow up!
By transgressing against the commandment of God in the Garden of Eden, death was brought into the world. Before then, Adam and Eve were going to live forever (and so were all their children), and God Himself was going to dwell with them and their children on the earth.
When death entered into the world, that meant God Himself would no longer dwell with us (and them) physically. It also meant that mankind then had to suffer death.
Everyone automatically had eternal life before the fall. But after the death of the body, for unbelievers, there may be the death of the soul, which means fire and sulfur and lots of other terrible things.
But now everyone gets a choice, whether to believe in Christ to be reconciled unto God to receive everlasting life, or to remain in unbelief and then suffer eternal destruction.
Jesus as the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah, was able to do something that no other man is capable of doing. He lived a PERFECTLY SINLESS life from birth. He never committed a single sin. Everyone else has committed sin. Therefore because He was sinless, He fulfilled the entirety of the commandments for all of us. Meaning He was righteous for us. All we must do is trust in Him, and by doing that, God imparts the righteousness of Christ onto the believer. God has done all the work. All we have to do is believe and accept that Jesus is the Messiah.
(Take note that both the Jews and the Islamics reject Jesus as the Son of God/Messiah.)
God can hold the children accountable for their parents' sins. In any case, this goes far further than even that. The point is, that God demands perfect holiness, spotlessness, and unblemished perfection for eternal life. Because the first people on earth sinned, that tarnishes the earth and every person born in it. The whole of creation fell. Even the animals became "murderers" in that they should be eating grass instead of flesh. Everything is tainted.
Also, every person is a sinner as a result. If sin had never entered into the world by original sin, then none of this would be a concern. The only way to become spotless and blameless, is to be washed by the blood of Christ, which He shed for everyone who believes in Him. After a person believes in Christ, God counts that person righteous, granting them permission to enter into eternal life to dwell with Him.
Besides that, if a person has chosen not to believe, they are rejecting Christ and His sacrifice. Therefore they may not get a chance to life again for eternity, but may suffer for their sins, as they may not be covered or paid for by Christ. When a person believes in Christ, He purchases the soul of that person, and redeems them from hell.
Last edited by Neo on November 4th, 2018, 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
It just means that punishment isn't the ONLY reason for suffering. It could be a test or a trial.
God is both a man and the Father of everyone. To call God a woman is probably a blasphemous insult. Besides that, I would dispute that mothers or women are necessarily more loving than fathers, but that depends on the person's opinion.
Before the fruit was eaten, Adam and Eve were incapable of committing sin. The wages of sin is death. By eating the fruit, they became capable of committing sin; the same with all their children (all of us). Therefore all of creation and mankind fell from perfection and eternal peace. Every person born into this world is at risk, if they do not get saved, because every person is automatically a sinner. This is why Jesus had to come to save us from our sins.
This is a real disconnect. You must be unable to see it for yourself. If His death isn't part of salvation, then there was no reason for Him to manifest into this world. The words of Moses were there, along with all the prophets. No need to suffer if it is just about teaching. It was about His sacrifice. Jesus died just to teach doctrine that is already in the Bible? No reason to die to teach doctrine. He died to pay the penalty for our sins.
John 6:47 KJV
 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Acts 16:30-31 KJV
 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
1 John 5:13 KJV
 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Yes, that is all. Just believe in the Lord: that He is the Son of God and that He has done all the work to save you.
Most people know that Christ died for our sins, but what they always forget is just as important. That is that He also kept all the commandments of God. He fulfilled the entirety of the law. By completing all the commandments of God, He thereby overcame and conquered the commandments for everyone to be saved. He has overcome the law. All we must do is believe in Him! This is why salvation is not by works.
Romans 10:4 KJV For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Do you still think there must be some works? There aren't any. Salvation is outside the commandments:
Romans 3 KJV
 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Salvation is by faith alone, outside of keeping the commandments:
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
It is the free gift of God to all those who believe in His Son:
Romans 6:23 KJV
 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 3:24 KJV Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
All you must do is believe. Then you're saved from that moment.
Salvation can never be lost:
John 6:37 KJV
 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
John 10:28 KJV
 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Ephesians 4:30 KJV
 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
I can only agree with your short comment.
However let me say, other religions are not better... all of them about the same.
Nowadays, religion is declining, atheism is strongly growing.
Many are 'religious' solely out of tradition, but they know almost nothing about their own religion - ask a young Japanese about Buddhism.
Others are forced to believe if they want it or not within their own country and family. Islam is the best example, no way for exit.
However also Hinduism is forcing people into a strange isolated system, where they have no choice to interact personally with others outside their own group.
Catholic Church is interesting, the clergyman himself is mistreating children, despite he claims after his death he might go to heaven. This confirms, in his thoughts he does not believe what he says...and then are coming 'the others' - Mormons, Jehovahs...
And the others are not limited to Christianity either, we have here for example the 'Happy Science' - a strange mix of Buddhist and Christian values, and the Ma-Hikari, something like Shinto. Christianity is no good business here in Japan, you must show up with something different to attract people.
And all these leaders are rich and have seen 'God' somewhere... religion is a business... operating similar to a charity - it's about yourself first of all as long as you are alive... and tell the others to wait - they will be happy after their death...
Last edited by Yohan on November 8th, 2018, 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
There's nothing Christian about Catholicism. It is the religion of the worship of Mary, the worship of statues, and priest worship. Jehovah's Witness religion is a false religion and not of Christ. It states that Christ is not God and not one with Father God (trinity, but it goes far beyond just that). Mormons are also false and the religion of Joseph Smith, not Christ.
All of them are wrong, there is no true religion - religion is the product of human fantasy about afterlife. But there is no afterlife.
About Christianity, we do not even know clearly if Jesus existed. Who cares anyway. Christianity related 'exporters' are now frequently coming from USA into Asia - see the situation of South Korea - it's full with catholics, baptists, presbytarians, methodists, jehovahs, mormons, adventists etc. and they all hate each other, accusing each other of being greedy, taking away their members...
See yourself, the truth hurts. USA is the largest Christianity orientated country in this world, however as we see it is a total mess - with a huge prison population, feminist infested, seriously overpriced medical care, questionable legal situation with every state following different rules, serious racist issues, violent gun culture and drug issues, aggressive PC-nonsense and a totally broken dating scene and of course with a church at every corner talking about love, while some of them are for and others against abortion - LOL.
For sure not the place where I want to live.
How do you answer to this questions?
Origin, Meaning, Morality, Destiny?
Can science answer?
Can materialism answer?
Can determinism answer?
I tell you something... computers don't have souls... human being and animals have.
How I know computers don't have souls? because I know what a computer is made of till it's very atomic level... I've been studying and programming computers since the age of 14... more than three decades.
Computers, and all "smart" and programmable electronic devices are basically a huge domino where one tile make another one or many others to fall in a sequence of immense chain of perfectly determined events.
Can a tile in a domino have feelings? feel pain? have wishes? feel joy? have worries have hopes? have curiosity?
Can a domino made of billion of trillions tiles have feelings? feel pain and joy?
I don't think so... otherwise we should start to think that every "smart" object may have feelings and, for example, like or dislike someone, and eventually work or not to work depending on how it feels.
Would you buy a smartphone or a smart tv thinking that it may not like you?
So, if human feeling and self awareness and wishes and sadness and joys aren't out of the matter that make their bodies (because matter doesn't have feelings, no matter how much complex is the way it's structured) then it must come from something that it's not made of matter and therefore it doesn't need matter to exist... hence it will exist even when the matter is totally destructured, disintegrated.
If you agree with what I've just argued, and you are one of those who from time to time have such four main questions that comes to the mind (origin, meaning, morality, destiny) then you don't have other choice than to look beyond the investigation of the immanent realm, beyond science and dare to investigate the realm of transcendent.
Here one example of how a (very smart) totally atheist person, pushed to the limits of his existence, had to turn his attention to what he previously had completely rejected and dismissed as nonsense for gullible people.
The guy in the video of Alex's OP made some valid points. But it's no surprise. Obviously if you use basic logic to examine religion in general, especially Christianity, it makes no sense and falls apart with too many contradictions and problems. That's because religion was meant to be taken metaphorically, not literally. Once you take them as metaphorical and allegorical truths, the problems with them become easier to resolve. See what author Tom Harpur said about that on YouTube.
However, that doesn't mean religion is false or worthless or bad, and that one should jump to atheism, as atheists want you to think. No. Because religion still has value in connecting people to real transformative power which can change lives and produce miracles, healings, answered prayers, inner transformation, etc which are very real and documented.
So even though Christianity is not logical at all, still it has:
1. Produced many miracles, healings, and answered prayers, which cannot be explained by coincidence.
2. Prevented suicides in hotels with Bibles in the drawer or similar situations.
3. Reformed many drug addicts and prison convicts, and even mafia members too. (e.g. Michael Franzese)
4. Changed lives and caused inner transformations in people.
All of this is very real and well documented. I seen and experienced it too. A hoax or a fantasy cannot do all that, thus the atheist comparison of God with the easter bunny falls flat on its face and is invalid. Thus Christianity must connect one to some REAL power in the universe, both inner and outer, both physical and spiritual power. That cannot be denied.
There are also miraculous historical events associated with Catholicism that are well documented and factual, such as:
1) The many healing miracles at Lourdes, France, which are very well documented.
2) The Shroud of Turin mystery, which experts cannot explain nor reproduce. This is attested to by the BBC and History Channel and their experts. Atheists lie and claim it's a forgery of course, but neutral objective experts disagree.
3) The Miracle of Fatima event in 1917, in which 80,000 people (including skeptics and atheists) saw a spinning sun in the sky, which dried the wet grass on the floor from prior rain too.
These cannot be explained away by skeptics and atheists, so they run away in fear and denial at such documented events. The cowards they are.
So how do we reconcile all that? Anyone? This is an important question and I'm surprised it never gets asked publicly, because all the public is privy to are pointless debates between Christian and Atheist extremists and fundamentalists which is merely a debate between tweetle dee and tweetle dum and go nowhere and are highly circular, but resolve nothing.
Experts need to address the mystery or paradox above that I outlined. That's the greatest mystery of all, which could lead to deeper truths and understandings about the spiritual nature of reality.
What do you think @halnovemila?
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne
I very much agree with you @Winston
Very well said