Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hell; Ethical/Rational?


*Eternal Hell is not in any way restorative – it eternally severs relationship and eternally prevents redemption
+For those who reject Christ in this life ... it is just and appropriate

*In fact, eternal Hell is the teaching that there are people and things that can never be redeemed, even by God
+See above comment ... redemption is offered to all who will choose and receive the satisfactory substitution provided by God for said redemption

*Eternal Hell is vengeance made infinite, and is therefore even less noble than vengeance
+Hell is not vengeance ... it is punishment

*Eternal Hell lacks the sole moral underpinning of punishment, which is correction
+When correction has failed and the offer of redemption has been irrefutably denied, then all that is left is separation, permanently

*Eternal Hell is beyond disproportionate – eternal Hell cannot be an earned punishment, no matter what a finite being does
+ "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" ... there is nothing in damnation nor salvation that is earned... we are born into one and by grace (unearned favour) we have access to the other

*Humans perpetrate horrific, incomprehensible evil – eternal Hell is infinitely worse than any human (finite) evil
+There are no gray areas in the rejection of God's offer of grace through His Son Jesus Christ, our 'finite' evaluations of good and evil are just that, determinations based on a limited ethical/rational value system

*Punishment in an eternal Hell would even be unfair to Hitler, who committed incomprehensibly evil but finite crimes
+Hitler's punishment is based on his rejection of salvation, not on any inherent evil he perpetuated, we as rational people would like to believe that there are greater and lesser punishments, but God's economy does not

*With the effects of poor information, bias, culture, neurobiology, psychology and so on, we do not make free decisions
+We are born knowing the absence of God in our lives, the information we receive predominantly trys to devalue and replace that void with the things of this world and the teachings of rationality

*This amounts to a situation where human fallibility, not even human misdeeds, can result in eternal torture in Hell
+"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,  and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man..."

*As eternal Hell is traditionally understood, mental illness could easily be an absolute bar from salvation
+There are those who have no understanding or knowledge, but God is a God of mercy, we have to let God be God, afterall God is Love and where unmerited favour through grace can be displayed to God's glory, He will, we all must trust in that grace regardless

*Fear of (eternal) punishment is the most brutal, crass and callous way to seek to encourage good
+Hell is not encouragement to do good ... but the result of rejection of God's salvation

*Fear of punishment is not effective in encouraging good, it only prevents overt misdeeds while being watched
+We need not fear... God is omnipresent and omniscient, Who do you think you are hiding from?

*Whatever happens after death, there is no concrete evidence whatsoever that anything like Hell exists
+There is no concrete evidence that Heaven exists either... but if you choose not to believe in Hell, why believe in Heaven?

*Eternal Hell is the worst possible story ending – for the vast majority, the end is an infinite and insurmountable tragedy
+The only one they have to blame is themselves... it is a free choice of a free will ... however the story as absurd as it is tells of a merciful and grace filled God who provided at his expense the sacrifice needed for me to have  apersonal relationship with Him and subsequent to that eternal life in Heaven

*It is morally untenable to expect any person of conscience to enjoy Heaven knowing that others are in Hell
+Since when are the decisions of others my responsibility ... and if in this life they had no compunction to believe or follow God, then why would you expect an eternity with God to be a place where they would want to be?

*Eternal Hell makes Heaven look a lot like North Korea – worship the ruler or else, and ignore the suffering around you
+Once again the personal decision is reflective of the freewill choice made in this life, there will be no more suffering in Heaven

*Believers in eternal Hell must either be hypocritical, saying they believe but not behaving as if they do or  believers in eternal Hell must be callous, understanding the infinite stakes but not caring proportionally
+This may be the most valid point made, Christians do not always act with the immediacy and urgency that the ultimate stakes imply, Yes we are fallible as well

*The doctrine of eternal Hell encourages either hypocrisy or callousness by necessity
+No Comment

*A reasonable person’s response to any possibility of eternal torture in Hell would be constant panic and desperation
+I don't believe this is true or the conversation about Hell would be much more prevalent in our culture, we are blinded to the possibility of Hell by the lack of knowledge and the pressure of living daily

*A doctrine of annihilation is morally preferable to eternal torture by every conceivable measure
+I agree but the preference is not ours to decide... as with salvation God has provided what He deems to be the just and appropriate resolution of His purpose and to His glory

*A doctrine of universalism is morally preferable to annihilation, given that God is both powerful enough to save and good
+God is good as well as just and holy, one attribute does not a good God make, nor does one idea a good theology

*Since Aristotle, we have a strong case that good is not good simply because God says it is
+God says;
"There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one."

*For God’s actions to be good, they must actually be good, not just called good; eternal Hell could only be “good” by fiat
+In a world where power and authority and the striving for power and authority is prevalent, understanding an omnipotent God should be easy

*The only crime that might justly warrant a punishment of eternal torture would be…eternally torturing people
+This is as close to blasphemy as the writer will ever be 

*Yesterday, 100,000 human beings died. In traditional Hell theology, we must conclude that the majority are in Hell that’s at least 18,250,365 human beings to be tortured for eternity in a single year – the pop. of Shanghai or Mozambique
+The existence of Hell is not the issue, the issue is the personal decision of each individual

*Given that being in Hell is to burn, and scream, and beg, and weep for eternity, 1 human being in this condition is too many
+ You mirror God's heart in this;
"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

*For all of these reasons and more, eternal Hell is an ethically unjustifiable belief.
+For all of these reasons and more, eternal Hell is an ethical and justifiable belief.

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