Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Fundamental Question


Fundies help me out here:



1. God is omnipotent - all powerful

2. God is omniscient - all knowing

3. In order to be allowed beyond the pearly gates one must embrace Jesus Christ as one's lord and saviour.

4. One has until virtually one's last cognizant moment to do this.

5. Living a good life, doing good deeds, thinking pure thoughts will not get you into heaven.

6. It doesn't matter if one sins as long as he or she takes care of #3 above BC (before croaking.)



Preachers and the like constantly direct their parishoners, and anyone else who'll listen, to live a righteous life and avoid temptation and sin.

Why?

TLS

9 comments:

Terra said...

Ramen.

Perhaps the golden rule has some basis beyond being written down thousands of years ago, hmmmm fundies?

Terry S said...

Terra,

Christians love to take credit for about everything, and claim that all the biblical tales were original with them.

Take Noah's ark. The Tale of Gilgamesh, which originated a couple of thousand years before the bible had the story of a fellow build an ark and gather all the animals on board to survive a coming flood.

Versions of the golden rule predate the bible as well.

More to the point, the gist of my post is simply that what is being taught to fundies about the means to gain admittance into heaven does NOT include living a moral life. Be Ted Bundy. Be Saddam. Just give it up for god before your last breath, and you get your ticket punched for the paradise express. It's all such a sham.

TLS

jazzycat said...

Terry,
I would suggest a careful read of Romans. Grace is a gift that is not earned by being "good" and those changed by the power of God respond in faith and have a new attitude that enables them to want to follow Jesus. This does not come from human decision apart from divine intervention. Man cannot and will not come on his own.

For example: You cannot apart from God's power become a believer. Many atheists like your self have come to be believers, but it was not from them doing it apart from God's regenerating power. I hope this answers your question.

jazzycat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry S said...

Jazzy,

What you say may well be a truer biblical interpretation. However, that is not the message that is coming down from many pulpits. And it still indicates that someone who leads what would be construed as an exemplary life - perhaps one dedicated to eradicating disease or other types of human suffering, working for peace, etc., is still apt to be destined for eternal damnation because he or she didn't pause to acknowledge god. Is serving god's ego paramount to serving one's fellow man?

Also, I come back to this once again. The assumed omniscience of god necessarily implies that it's all a done deal. There is no choice to be made. The game is over before the ball goes up. Everything is predestined. The fact that we don't know the outcome is irrelevant. Nothing that one says, does, feels or believes will change the outcome. If we could change our eternal course, then god would have to have changed his mind, altered his course. Omniscience does not allow for an "if/then" scenario.

TLS

jazzycat said...

Terry,
How salvation is applied is not agreed upon by all Christians.

My view is not a majority view right now, but it is was the majority view after the reformation.

Dr Dreadful said...

Not that I'm necessarily on board with the following view, but...

Christians speak of "Judgment Day", when Jesus will send humanity to Heaven or Hell, depending.

Call me obtuse if you like, but doesn't "judgment" imply a trial? And at a trial, wouldn't one have an opportunity to offer Christ an apologia for one's life?

All seems a bit pointless if the sole criterion for judgment is whether or not you accepted the judge as your Lord and Savior.

Terry S said...

DD,

Yeah, it's pretty much a crock. Add to it the fact that god supposedly already knows all, and that then implies that all is predestined in any case. Where is the judgement? It's a done deal before one ever stands before the big courtroom in the sky. All pretty much an exercise in futility. It makes for a pathetically comical scene - someone standing before god pleading his or her case while god and the arch angels sit there snickering in the knowledge that the defendant is already toast.

By the way, Dr. D, thanks for dropping by. It gets lonely here sometimes.

TLS - aka Baritone

Matthias said...

There are many pitfalls to life, the majority of which most will fall into traveling down one avenue or the other. The complete predestinarian view is one I view as such. Though I am a devout christian I must say that the Word of G_D is more human than Calvanism, more divine than Arminianism & certainly more christian than both. In as much as G_D Himself would make a decision, HE created us w/ the same capacity. Still, only HE alone has complete objectivity on the full span of time, knowing its beginning and end, its rise and its fall. Recognizing the mystery of divine personality is a place where one must be content in being man (finite) and letting G_D be G_D (infinite). Since "faith is the evidence of things not seen & the substance of things hoped for," the whole premise for faith alone is that one's beliefs are sufficient despite the number of answered or unanswered questions. What we believe shapes our worldview and becomes the substance of our convictions. Our convictions then give rise to our actions b/c ultimately we're compelled to act upon what we believe.
I am not feigning to know the answer to your question of "why", nor am I looking to defend the truth. Absolute truth needs no defense. I do know that most Socratic roads run in redundant circles & provide no real answers. A 75 year-old man spouting "the sinner's prayer" on his deathbed will result in salvation just as it would for a five-year-old praying the same for the first time. G_D does not play favorites b/c HIS love is undivided & HIS grace is sufficient. Rather than to judge, HIS intent is to love b/c that is HIS nature. The consequences of not accepting Jesus as our Lord & Saviour are judgement, not b/c G_D wants us to go to Hell, but that by choosing this world we have already judged ourselves.
It was an enjoyment responding to this. Here's to obtaining the whole council of truth. Be Blessed.

-matthias