Does Jesus tell people to love Him or die?

A conversation I had this morning has prompted me to bump this older post.

Call it lazy blogging if you want, I’m OK with that 🙂

“And any ‘god’ that demanded subservience – love me or else – is not worth my spit.

And the Yeshua of the bible is not who you follow or revere, but the church’s version of this character as revealed in Pauline doctrine , you sanctimonious ignorant half wit.

Go and do some serious study.”

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A skeptical friend of mine recently told me he believes that Jesus offers the world an immoral “love me or die” ultimatum regarding Hell, a scripturally inaccurate claim that misrepresents both the true nature of God and the love God showed for us.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

– Romans 5:8

Since the God of the Bible is all about love, I would reword “love me or die” to the more accurate “chose to love me as I love you, chose to honor me, worship me, and receive my free gift of salvation, or chose to live out your eternity forever separated from all that is good”.

Anyway, denying Hell, not liking the idea of Hell, or objecting to Hell because you believe you are more loving and moral than God doesn’t mean that Hell isn’t real and real people don’t end up there in accordance with God’s perfect justice.

Jesus himself spoke often of Hell (Matt. 25:41-46; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 16:19-31), and warned us so we would not have go there.

I wonder if people like my friend believe their idea of Hell is more accurate than Jesus’.

I wonder if they believe their words have more value than His. Do they think that the Son of Man was lying or that He didn’t know what He was talking about regarding the reality of Hell?

A real Hell that exists regardless of what anyone thinks.

Hell was originally created for Satan and his angels and will one day be the permanent eternal residence of those who chose to join Satan because of their willful rejection of God.

Think about that for a second.

Are your views similar to those of my friend?

If so, you do know that if you chose to reject God’s provision for the forgiveness of your sins, then you chose to spend eternity with a fallen angel who has been rejecting God from the beginning, right?

Is that what you want? Is redefining scriptural truths about Hell, sin, judgement so they better fit your version of morality worth it?

If eternal torment isn’t what you want and you still chose to see the free gift of salvation as a “love me or die” ultimatum you can’t live with, it might help to look at it in a different, and more accurate, way.

If you can’t accept the God of “love me or die” ultimatums, why dont you give the real God a try?

Could you accept, have faith in, have trust in, and worship a God who wanted so desperately for people to avoid Hell He became a human, suffered at the hands of humans, and allowed himself to be murdered by humans, all so that His death could pay for the debt of your sins?

Would you agree that a God who would do that is extremely loving and worthy of praise?

Fact is, God is saving people who deserve to go to Hell every day as long as they don’t wilfully reject His free offer of salvation.

But, if they do reject it, what is God supposed to do? Does the almighty, who can do no wrong, have any choice other than to judge?

If you believe that it is unjust or immoral for God to send people to Hell, how do you maintain that it would be just or moral for God to give people who are guilty of sin a free pass when they fail to repent in accordance with His plan?

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

– Romans 6:23

But death is a pretty harsh penalty for committing a few small sins, right? Eternal torment is over the top, right?

Sins are not only wrong, they are crimes committed against an infinite and holy being that require infinite and eternal punishment that is levied against all, uniformly, justly, and without fail.

If you disagree with that, what would you like God do to those who chose to oppose Him and do evil?

Do you want Him to ignore that which is wrong?

Do you want Him to say “oops, my bad, that whole Hell thing was crazy, I can’t believe I was so wrong?”

Do you want Him to turn His head and not be holy and righteous?

If you understand the “love me or die” ultimatum as it actually is, it becomes much easier to accept the fact that people, not God, are the ones who chose their eternal destiny.

The Bible says “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17).”

If God is the author of all that is good, and you choose to live a life separate from Him, you have also chosen to separate yourself from the provider of all that is good. This might seem like a good plan while you are on Earth living in a reality of your own making.

Bad news is that when you leave your earthly life of choosing to separate yourself from God behind, He will not violate your free will and will, just as you wish, allow you to live out your eternity in the state, and place, YOU CHOSE.

The only men who will suffer in eternal torment are those who chose to reject God and all His goodness.

In other words, “love your version of truth more than God’s objective truth and die.”

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Categories: Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

140 replies

  1. This really resonated:

    “Love your version of truth more than God’s objective truth and die.”

    I read an interesting article on the perfect justice of hell at patheos.com. Some salient points:

    “Hell is nothing to apologize for or laugh about. It’s real, it’s indispensable, it’s just, and—but for the inexplicable and irresistible grace of God—it’s precisely what I deserve.”

    “Evil is real, even if we don’t like to talk about it. Rather than face moral reality, we redefine our evil actions to make them palatable, even sympathetic. For example, we aren’t addicts; we “struggle” with porn or suffer from from the “disease” of alcoholism. We don’t commit adultery; we “have affairs”—or worse—”follow our heart.” We don’t worship idols; we have “misplaced priorities.” Sins are events we “go through” rather than evils we commit.”

    “Evil demands a response. It demands justice. In 2008, I walked through a deserted Iraqi village where every man, woman, and child had been killed by al Qaeda (we found the videotape). As I stepped over bloody, abandoned children’s shoes, it seemed as if the very rocks were crying out for justice. The relatives of the fallen longed for justice, and we felt it calling to us in our very souls.”

    “Why did we feel that longing? Because a just God has written his law on our very hearts. God commands us to “act justly” in our calling as his followers. Justice isn’t hateful. It isn’t vindictive. It isn’t toxic. And the divinely ordained penalty for sin—the just penalty—is death and Hell.”

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  2. Hell was originally created for Satan and his angels and will one day be the permanent eternal residence of those who chose to join Satan because of their willful rejection of God.

    Where do you get your ideas from?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love cannot be forced, why we were given free will, along with came the right to choose death! A tragic and totally unnecessary consequence, but we are free to do it all the same!

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  4. And back to deleting my comments, I see. What are you afraid of, James?
    If what you write is correct it will stand up to scrutiny.
    Why are you hiding?

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    • I’m not afraid, I’m annoyed.

      And. If you don’t want your inane comments moderated, you are free to find another blogger to bother.

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      • Then get cross about the text.

        and refute the comments, with reason and a proper scholarly approach.
        Don’t simply delete the bloody things!

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        • Ark,

          The record of your behavior on this blog (and many others) shows that I (and many other bloggers) have gone out of our way to make a good case for faith.

          All you ever do is get angry, act like you don’t understand, then insult us.

          It’s a tedious and mind-numbing exercise in futility.

          Especially futile when you readily admit that you would refuse to worship God on principle even if you knew He existed.

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          • I don’t need ”a case for faith” – this is not the issue. The issue is evidence, and on this post we are talking hell and you have provided Christian interpretation and I have repeatedly explained to you where this was derived and you have simply denied it and deleted the comments.

            You deny that the words Sheol, Hades and Gehenna were later adopted and generally referred to as Hell. Why?

            Demonstrate that you understand this topic by refuting my comments with scholarly integrity not by simply quoting biblical text and deleting my comments.

            This just makes you look cowardly and ignorant. And I know you aren’t either.
            Maybe a bit flustered to be confronted by this for the first time perhaps?

            Think logically: why would Jesus, a Jew, who knew hell did not exist in word or concept in Judaism suddenly condemn to eternal torture anyone that did not believe in him?
            And this would include everyone he couldn’t reach either geographically or logistically ?
            Viewed in this light the answer is obvious.
            It is simply a mistranlation of a word/s that developed into a doctrine that became dogma.

            Can you truly imagine Jesus condemning anyone to burn for eternity?

            Tell me to my ”face” that he would do this.

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          • Ark,

            Why would Jesus, a Jew, claim to be God in the flesh and the Messiah?

            Did Jesus come to the world to teach Judaism as the world already knew it (as you seem to be saying) or did He come into the world to redeem humanity in a way Judiasm could not?

            Also. Are we talking about the Jesus you claim is a made up myth?

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          • Answer the question first.
            Tell me to my face that Jesus would condemn someone to eternal torture in a fiery lake.
            Don’t quote scripture, don’t use analogy.

            Jesus would condemn you to eternal torture etc ….

            Say it to my ”face”.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Do you want me to tell you that Jesus would condemn you?

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          • Do you want me to tell you that I think you’re going to Hell, Ark?

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          • No. I want you to tell me that Jesus would condemn me to hell.
            Tell me to my ”face”this is what Jesus would say.

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          • And, how is Christianity just distorted dogma?

            I made a good, scolarly, and logical case that the NT is as reliable as a book can be and all you did was say that William Lane Craig is an arse (or something) and you don’t need another dose of polemic nonsense from a mentally imbalanced indoctrinated fool.

            Hard to take you seriously at times.

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  5. So, are you considering it?

    Tell me that Jesus would condemn me to hell.
    Tell me to my ”face”this is what Jesus would say.

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    • Ark,

      I once presented you with a very clear and concise Gospel message that you admitted you couldn’t even fake an interest in reading.

      So, why is it important for me to tell you what someone you don’t believe in would tell you about an eternity you don’t believe in?

      Do you push Muslims to tell you what will happen to you if you don’t embrace Islam?

      Not sure why you’re asking about what you have no logical reason to care about.

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      • Because it forces you to confront the truth – that you are wrong. Period.

        And at last we have established that Jesus simply would not say this.

        Thank you.

        Now go and do some genuine historical study and stop behaving like some fundamentalist nutter.

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        • “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one gets to the Father but through me.”

          You know full-well what Jesus would say Ark.

          And, since you believe He is a made up myth anyway, why do you care?

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          • We have already established what he would and wouldn’t say. And now you are simply skirting the issue.

            And you simply cannot handle the truth.

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          • Ark,

            Why would Jesus, a Jew, claim to be God in the flesh and the Messiah?

            Did Jesus come to the world to teach Judaism as the world already knew it (as you seem to be saying) or did He come into the world to redeem humanity in a way Judiasm could not?

            Also. Are we talking about the Jesus you claim is a made up myth?

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        • Ark,
          I once presented you with a very clear and concise Gospel message that you admitted you couldn’t even fake an interest in reading.
          So, why is it important for me to tell you what someone you don’t believe in would tell you about an eternity you don’t believe in?
          Do you push Muslims to tell you what will happen to you if you don’t embrace Islam?
          Not sure why you’re asking about what you have no logical reason to care about.

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        • Ark,

          Why would Jesus, a Jew, claim to be God in the flesh and the Messiah?

          Did Jesus come to the world to teach Judaism as the world already knew it (as you seem to be saying) or did He come into the world to redeem humanity in a way Judiasm could not?

          Also. Are we talking about the Jesus you claim is a made up myth?

          Like

          • He did not claim to be anything of the sort.
            You are simply mistaken and grossly ignorant of the text.
            I have explained this too you before. Please stop being dense.

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          • You are a fool and an embarrassment to atheism.

            Jesus most certainty did claim to be God and you know it.

            I would quote the verses for you but all you would do is ejaculate hate and accusations that I am an indoctrinated moron all over them so…

            Seriously, grow up!

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          • Nope he did not. This is quite simply interpretation, and fundamentalist indoctrination my friend, and we have gone over this on previous occasions.
            But to reiterate.
            The notion of god -hood (including the Trinity) was not decided until the 4th century after much deliberation and a number of perspectives, notably Arianism and the movement begun by Marcion.
            And before you start frothing at the mouth I suggest – once again – you toddle off and do some serious study

            What you believe is simply based upon Christian Doctrine, instituted by the Church – the Roman Catholic Church to boot – oh, sweet irony!

            I hate nothing ( why do continually assert this nonsense? ) – a word that is never far from the lips of the Christian, ( It’;s all over your silly Bible, do you notice? – hate everywhere. Disgusting! )
            the Fundamentalist who love to charge the atheist with hating their god! How ludicrous! Hating something we do not have any belief in.

            It’s all made up, James. I am sorry to tell you. But you know this really?
            In your heart.
            Indoctrination or not, you know a donkey or a snake cannot talk.
            You know there really was no garden of Eden or Original Sin nonsense. I have demonstrated this often enough. Neither was there a global flood, that the Exodus is a fiction and that someone could walk on water and come back from the dead.
            I know you know this is fiction because you have read the books and you are not a complete idiot.
            Simply accept it.
            Oh, and why would I be considered a fool and an embarrassment to atheism?
            No atheist believes in you man god or any of the spurious clams you out forward.

            Now you, on the other hand , as a Creationist are most definitelyan embarrassment to many of your fellow Christians who cringe every time a Young Earther or evangelical fundamentalist opens his mouth.
            And the Catholics, the founders of your religion, are smirking on the other side of their face at such a credulous bunch of nana’s. Ask the bloke who headed up the genome project , James.

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          • Ark,

            Now before you bugger off in a huff, I also want you to know this.

            “I don’t want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction…”

            Peace, God bless, have a good life…just do it all somewhere else, mkay?

            Since you mentioned that you think Monty Python is funny (I think this is the one thing we agree on) I thought you might enjoy that as a parting shot.

            Now don’t go away mad, just go away.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I see your Monty Python and raise you a Life of Brian.
            ”He’s making it up as he goes along!”

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Reblogged this on The Living Message of Christ and commented:
    I can’t do any better than this, so I thought you might like to read someone else’s writing for a change. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can certainly understand why you might say that the god of the New Testament is love, although John said that no man has ever seen God. However, many Christians don’t give a second thought to the god of the Old Testament. That god is the Jewish god and he is anything but love. How do you reconcile the two?

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    • chicagoja,

      I give lots of thought to the God of the OT and, while He did do some things many people find hard to understand, He is most definitely a God of love.

      Here are a few examples.

      “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”

      Exodus 34:6-7

      “Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD.”

      Jeremiah 31:20

      “I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.”

      Jeremiah 32:40-41

      “The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

      Hosea 3:1

      The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

      The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.

      You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

      The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.

      Psalm 145:14-17

      He upholds the cause of the oppressed

      and gives food to the hungry.

      The LORD sets prisoners free,

      the LORD gives sight to the blind,

      the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,

      the LORD loves the righteous.

      The LORD watches over the alien

      and sustains the fatherless and the widow,

      but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

      Psalm 146:7-9

      “In particular, God’s love and concern for people who are disadvantaged is frequently mentioned throughout the OT. The law contained several rules for treating orphans, widows and foreigners fairly and providing for their needs.”

      Deuteronomy 24:10-22

      But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;

      you consider it to take it in hand.

      The victim commits himself to you;

      you are the helper of the fatherless…

      You hear, O LORD , the desire of the afflicted;

      you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,

      defending the fatherless and the oppressed,

      in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

      Psalm 10:14,17-18

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      • However, the Old Testament god is almost universally unrecognized by scholars and theologians alike as an angry, jealous god. One of many biblical passages which confirms that is Isaiah 45:7 – “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

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        • chicagoja,

          Angry and jealous are subjective terms based mostly on, where the God of the OT is concerned anyway, presuppositions.

          Do you believe God is angry and jealous? If so, why? Have you looked up the verse you just quoted in a Bible commentary to find what theologians say about it?

          Whether you believe the explanations or not, the OT paasges that trouble some do not trouble everyone which means that the God of the OT is not thought to be objectively bad at all.

          What many peopke think about God is oftentimes their opinion, not necessarily the truth.

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          • Obviously, it doesn’t bother you although I’m still not sure why. But, that’s okay; to each his own, I guess. It’s just that to many Christians and scholarly types, who make a career out of studying the Bible, that’s what they say so that’s why I asked the question. As for whose opinion is right and who understands the truth, that’s a subjectively thing as you said. What does that leave us with, though. Well, it seems to leave us with “picking and choosing” and reinterpreting the Bible or as Stuart Chase said, “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” As for Christian theologians interpretation of the Old Testament is concerned, I’m more apt to belief the Talmud, which is the Jewish reinterpretation of the Old Testament/Jewish Bible. After all, the Old Testament was written by Jews, for Jews and about Jews so it’s logical to believe that they know what THEIR own scriptures far better than anyone else. For example, the messiah of the Old Testament was supposed to be named Immanuel, as also mentioned in Matthew 1:23. Funny thing is, Jesus was never named Immanuel.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Hey James and chicagoja

            Sorry to just jump in out of the blue, but that question is one that actually was on my mind fairly recently. We were talking in Sunday School about the names of God and that exact subject came up from a student. Why wasn’t Jesus named Immanuel? Good and valid question with an easy answer, really

            It all keys on what the word “Emmanuel” means. What does it mean? “God with us.” And the phrase “he shall be called” comes up also in Isaiah 9:6″ His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”

            So, what you have here chicagoja, is a description of Jesus, not a name of Jesus. Jesus itself was simply a name…a fairly common name in fact. I heard it said that Jesus name was not Emmanuel, but Jesus was the meaning of Emmanuel..God with us…God in the flesh.

            Hope that helps chicagoja

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          • I forget which translation and origin goes with which word, but my understanding is that Jesus and Christ mean Messiah and Savior in Latin and Greek. Approximately…my memory is fuzzy…so is there a historical reference for what Jesus’s given name may have been? If Emmanuel is more of a description, I’ve never come across an answer to that otherwise. Would t he have had a Hebrew name?

            Liked by 1 person

          • Jason
            Jesus Christ is not a first and last name. Jesus is the name. Christ does mean Messiah. So really its Jesus the Christ. Jesus…Joshua. ..yeshua…all rooted in Hebrew from my understanding. And that name does mean savior from my understanding. But…Im no lingiust.

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          • Ok, that’s sensible. It makes sense, given the presence of the Messianic movement a name like that could actually be pretty common. But like I said, that memory was hazy. Thanks.

            Liked by 2 people

          • Jason,

            Thanks for your comments here, they are a refreshing change from what I normally get.

            I spent some time on your blog today and I have to say I really like it.

            The writng is good, the topics are relevant, the style is kind of in-your-face, and it’s definitely not PC. All of these things I like.

            If I had to offer a criticism, I would say that many of your posts are a bit too long. If you keep doing what you’re doing but cut the posts by half, I’m sure you will get many more readers.

            And there’s your unsolicited advice. I hope you find it’s worth slightly more than what you paid for it.

            James

            Like

          • It’s good to have the opportunity to participate in the discussion James. Discourse is good. Thanks for being open to it.

            I appreciate your compliments and criticism. My wife says the same thing and you’re both right. It’s hard though, to condense the entire Soviet Afghan war AND the history of G.I. Joe while drawing parallels and making it socially relevant…in 1500 words. There was a significant amount of relevant information that was left out or it would have been even longer.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Same name as Joshua the leader of The Israelites. Sorry hit enter lol

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          • Jason:

            The Hebrew name of Jesus was Yeshua. It basically means God delivers his people (the Chosen People, the Israelites). As it says in John 4:22, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” The word salvation was meant in a Jewish context; after all, Christianity didn’t exist at the time the gospels were written and the disciples were, themselves, Jewish who followed the Torah. Salvation, for the Jews meant God redeeming the people of Israel from their various exiles. The concept of salvation was later reinterpreted by Christian church doctrine to mean redemption from Original Sin. Original Sin is not a Jewish concept and is not in the Old Testament/Jewish Bible, notwithstanding church doctrine which states otherwise. The idea of Original Sin is said to have its roots in the Genesis story about the Garden of Eden. The problem is that the Garden of Eden story is allegorical according to Jewish holy men and even according to Origen, the first great Christian theologian. To complicate matters further, both the Old Testament and the New Testament are somewhat written in what is referred to as a midrashic form of writing (for example, the parables of Jesus). In midrashic writings, there is a surface meaning for the unenlightened with the true message being able to be interpreted only by people who were highly enlightened. As a result, not even the disciples understood the teachings of Jesus (as stated in the Bible). That’s why in Judaism the rabbis wrote the Talmud – to explain passages in the Old Testament that were steeped in allegory and symbolism. Further, church father Clement of Alexandria admitted that Christianity withheld this “esoteric wisdom” from the masses (i.e. it’s not in the Bible). Verses about the withholding of esoteric wisdom are actually in the Bible (I can give you biblical quotes if you want). Hope this helps. Let me know if you want more or even if you don’t agree what I’ve just stated.

            Liked by 1 person

          • chichoja,

            While I don’t necessarily agree with all of this, it’s well thought out, obviously written to get people to think, and generally kind sounding.

            A refreshing change, thanks 🙂

            Like

      • Again, you are misinterpreting what I wrote. On purpose it seems.

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      • I’ll give you that it was probably a poor choice of words, I’m far from perfect.

        What I meant is that God is what God is regardless of what people think.

        The Bible teaches that God is all good and incapable of doing any bad because it’s against His nature.

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  8. My mom used to say something that made a lot of sense. An unbeliever friend was telling her she didn’t believe in God or heaven and hell. My mom said to her “maybe you’re right. Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. Maybe I’m living according to Jesus teachings and following Him and when I die it all means nothing. What’s so bad about living that way? BUT…. What I’m right and YOU’RE wrong? I think the consequences are a lot worse”

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  9. I like your blog. I don’t exactly agree with you a lot of the time, but as Christian blogs go, I’ve found yours to be engaging and authentic and for the most part representative of what’s right about the religion.

    That being said, I have a lot of trouble with the whole “hell” concept myself, for some of the same reasons “Ark” pointed out. Coming to that understanding brings a person through a period of anger and resentment, ultimately feelings of betrayal by those whom we trust the most. It’s hard to forgive people for using what you understand to be scare tactics to manipulate your behavior. Right or wrong, that’s the perspective a lot of people seem to reach and it’s ultimately erosive, driving rifts between man and God that don’t need to happen.

    I think people focus too much on hell, whether it’s real or not. Religion is about man’s relationship with the Creator. Relationships built upon foundations of fear are not only meaningless, but sometimes even detrimental. It seems that the mainstream religion might find a way to show man’s responsibility to take part in this relationship as something that’s real and good and concrete and based in the right-now. Engaging the Pearly Gates of Heaven/Fiery Depths of Hell paradigm, to me, amounts to motivating people through the two great sicknesses of man’s heart, Greed and Fear. It’s an unnatural relationship doomed to fail.

    If a man lives his whole life without believing in heaven or hell, it really doesn’t change anything about his responsibility to his Creator during his time on the earth, nor does it affect it. If the relationship is real, feeling disconnected from it should be distressing in itself, like the loss of a spouse/parent/child, and external motivators to engage are unnecessary.

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    • Thank you so much, Jason for this. A dollop of simple common-sense.
      I hope the host takes careful note.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have taken note and will reply in kind Ark.

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        • I await with relish and glee, as might a child on Christmas Eve.
          BUt you wonlt jesus saying , ”YOu are gong to Hell”
          Didn’t happen, won’t happen. But have fun , James.
          I know you will simply love wrangling yet another apologetic answer out of this.

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          • Ark,

            “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one gets to the father but thorough me.”

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          • And this is supposed to mean, what exactly?
            Please explain the relevance, James.

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          • You tell me what that verse means Ark. What’s it mean to you?

            What, exactly was the man who claimed to be the son of God saying there?

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          • Son of god … Good, James. Very good.

            That is a start down the right path.
            Now, go and dig up all the other instances in the Old Testament where someone was referred to as a son of god.
            If you need links, let me know, okay?

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          • Jesus Said He Is the Judge and Can Grant Eternal Life

            “For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father.”

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          • Excellent, James! Yet another example of Jesus stating the difference between the father and the son.
            Jesus clearly acknowledges that ‘God’ is a separate entity entirely.
            Now, toddle off and research all the other instances where son/s of god is mentioned.
            It should take you half an hour, tops. I am busy with a bit of editing.
            Let me know how you get on?
            You can even list each occurrence in the Old Testament if you like?
            This is now becoming interesting … and fun!
            See you soon?

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          • The Bible never records Jesus saying the precise words, “I am God.” That does not mean, however, that He did not proclaim that He is God. Take for example Jesus’ words in John 10:30, “I and the Father are one.” We need only to look at the Jews’ reaction to His statement to know He was claiming to be God. They tried to stone Him for this very reason: “You, a mere man, claim to be God” (John 10:33). The Jews understood exactly what Jesus was claiming—deity. When Jesus declared, “I and the Father are one,” He was saying that He and the Father are of one nature and essence. John 8:58 is another example. Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth … before Abraham was born, I am!” Jews who heard this statement responded by taking up stones to kill Him for blasphemy, as the Mosaic Law commanded (Leviticus 24:16).

            John reiterates the concept of Jesus’ deity: “The Word [Jesus] was God” and “the Word became flesh” (John 1:1, 14). These verses clearly indicate that Jesus is God in the flesh. Acts 20:28 tells us, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” Who bought the church with His own blood? Jesus Christ. And this same verse declares that God purchased His church with His own blood. Therefore, Jesus is God!

            Thomas the disciple declared concerning Jesus, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus does not correct him. Titus 2:13 encourages us to wait for the coming of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ (see also 2 Peter 1:1). In Hebrews 1:8, the Father declares of Jesus, “But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.’” The Father refers to Jesus as “O God,” indicating that Jesus is indeed God.

            In Revelation, an angel instructed the apostle John to only worship God (Revelation 19:10). Several times in Scripture Jesus receives worship (Matthew 2:11; 14:33; 28:9, 17; Luke 24:52; John 9:38). He never rebukes people for worshiping Him. If Jesus were not God, He would have told people to not worship Him, just as the angel in Revelation did. There are many other passages of Scripture that argue for Jesus’ deity.

            The most important reason that Jesus has to be God is that, if He is not God, His death would not have been sufficient to pay the penalty for the sins of the world (1 John 2:2). A created being, which Jesus would be if He were not God, could not pay the infinite penalty required for sin against an infinite God. Only God could pay such an infinite penalty. Only God could take on the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21), die, and be resurrected, proving His victory over sin and death.

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          • Thank you for the confirmation. Took a while, didn’t it? But at least you got there.
            Interpretation.
            Well done, James. Now you are beginning to understand.
            We’ll get there. Patience.

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          • Did you read the whole comment or stop after the first sentence? It clearly goes on to explain that Jesus believed He was God in the flesh.

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          • No. He did not. As I said. Interpretation.

            ”Why call me good?”
            You know this line for sure!

            There is never any ambiguity when he refutes any notion of him being a god, have you noticed? None whatsoever.
            He is succinct and one can understand without scratching one’s head thinking What the hell (sic) was that about?

            The rest,all the I Am crap etc is just a snow job by the Church and its doctrine. You know this!

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          • You call this a rebuttal Ark?

            I’m done with you. Going to have some fun with John Z’s post about Jesus being a failure because He didn’t drive around the Holy Land in a ’67 Camaro talking about bras and cable TV.

            Nonsense for sure but at least it’s amusing.

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          • I don’t need to lay out a rebuttal.
            Your ignorant intransigence is sufficient for both of us.
            And John, or someone like Tildeb will shred you. Be warned.

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          • John I actually llike and get along with but he has never shredded me.

            I have less of a tolerance for Tildeb than I do you, utterly worthless arguments, was banned from here months ago for absurd nonsense.

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          • Absurd nonsense? Please explain.

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          • Same nonsensical babling I’ve heard for years, nothing new, nothing different, nothing logical…

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          • Meaning you don’t understand it.
            Ever wonder why this is? Ever consider this is another part of indoctrination.
            Tildeb is one of the most erudite and well read bloggers around.
            He is busy explaining something to ‘Truthis stranger than fiction’ on Violetwisp’s blog.
            Truth is stumbling all over the place with his dogma, and he is an educated bloke – but a fundamentalist none the less.
            It is quite sad, and I mean this, as it is obvious a high level of cognitive dissonance is occurring right there on the page.

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          • He is a troll who only engages bloggers who are arguably not great at defending the faith and thinks he’s winning because of it.

            He has never said one thing that hasn’t been utterly trashed hundreds of times.

            If he comments here, it will be immediately trashed.

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          • Anyway Ark, it’s not nice to talk about someone behind their back so I’m done with Tildeb.

            Send the link to the discussion you spoke of and I’ll check it out. Doubt I will think the same way you do but I will give it a look.

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          • No link?

            Oh well. I did a little looking around on Violetwisp’s blog (well written by the way) and found no evidence of Truth is Stranger Than Fiction stumbling.

            In fact, I have found that the comment sections on your, and your core group of blogger pals, consist mainly of friendly banter and virtual slaps on the back about how good a job you all do mocking IB, Wally, Citizen Tom, CS, and SoM.

            The first I have no problems with, the second I find boorish and juvenile.

            What is this, seventh grade?

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          • 5th grade, I think. The average atheist has need or desire to extend themselves much more than this, otherwise it goes over the theists head.
            And ”Truthis stf” is simply reciting the same usual arguments believers are indoctrinated into. They are unable to think laterally as I have attempted to explain to you.

            Liked by 1 person

          • You don’t need to lay out a rebuttal but you insist we do, then fail to even fake an interest in reading them. Curious behavior , IMHO.

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          • I have listed at least one example where Jesus dismisses the notion of his godhood.
            But you steam roll right over it
            I have explained how hell is a Christian concept over and over again and offered links plenty of times and you have steamrolled right over it.
            This is what indoctrination is all about James.
            You have been closely lulled into a situation where questioning what has been inculcated is deemed ‘wrong’; This is all part of the punishment/reward system of religious fundamentalism.
            You can read where Jesus says ”Why call me good?” You recognise it for what it is, understand what Jesus is saying but it will not compute. Why? Because it immediately conflicts with what has become a fundamental bedrock of your faith. Not evidence based, not the evidence that is staring you right in the face from the pages of your own Bible. No. The faith that has been hammered into you by fundamentalism.
            Why do you think there are apologists such as Habermas and Craig in this day and age? More so than before when questioning was unthinkable?
            To shore up this indoctrinated belief with cleverly devised answers.

            And when the tough questions come around – did the saints really climb out of their graves and go walkabout? we will already have a malleable, indoctrinated christian who already believes they are born into sin etc so such nonsense are mere trifles to explain.
            Although Licona was fired from his job for saying it was metaphor. And the Catholics don’t recognise this as verbatim.

            So let’s recap the main points.
            1. Hebrew does not have a word for Hell.
            2. Hell as described in Christian doctrine is not part of the Old Testament
            3. The words Sheol, Hades and later Gehenna were eventually amalgamated by biblical translators and lumped together as hell.
            Gehenna is what Jesus referred to when he mentions smoking fires.
            Research Gehenna Jame, please.
            The notion of a fiery pit of eternal torture is a Pagan adaptation.

            Jesus does not say he is god anywhere in the bible.
            Wally’s old testament assertions are plain nonsense.I know you are not that bad!
            Jesus was Jewish and the mere thought of such a suggestion would have been anathema to him. In fact he is quoted as refuting such a charge, in a clear unambiguous fashion.
            And once more, if you would like links to demonstrate I am not simply sucking this out of my thumb, let me know.

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          • Ark, Ark, Ark,

            I have answered all of this in posts and comments you don’t even read so…

            As far as Jesus being a Jew goes, why do you continue to harp on this point?

            Did Jesus preach the message of Judiasm as the world already knew it, or did He come to Earth to do something entirely different?

            If you read the NT, it clearly shows that Jesus’ entire ministry was a significant departure from traditional Judiasm.

            So, again, why do you insist on bringing the fact that Jesus was a Jew up ad naseum?

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          • Why bring up the fact that Jesus was a Jew?Simple. Because two of the fundamental (sic) doctrines Christianity preaches would have been anathema to Jesus.
            1. The Doctrine of Original Sin. It is not part of the Old Testament. I have explained this to you several times. It is not Jewish doctrine and neither Jesus or his disciples would have been aware of it or taught it.
            It is Church doctrine -period.
            2. The mere thought he would have considered himself a god is ridiculous.
            This is not what the Jewish Messiah was about.
            Christianity in large part is based upon Pauline doctrine. I have explained this also.

            Finally, Jesus is emphatic when he states he came to fulfill the Law. Mosaic law.
            Not one jot or iota … etc. Remember that speech?
            We’ll get there , James. No problems.

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          • Ark,

            I answered plainly and clearly in a comment that you won’t even read that Jesus believed He was God.

            He also preached that He is the Messiah, that He can forgive sin, and that He is the fulfillment of OT law. Is this typical Jewish teaching?

            Again, you’re not making a point.

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          • Damn you Ark, I’m supposed to be ignoring your nonsense.

            That’s what I get for checking WP before I’ve had coffee, I guess.

            Liked by 1 person

          • We are learning together, James.
            Slowly but surely.
            At the moment you simply fall back on reciting the doctrine you have been indoctrinated with.
            I know you have never had to confront many of these issues before.
            Probably actively discouraged from even asking such questions, maybe?

            But once you do begin asking questions it opens up a whole new ball game, doesn’t it? And this is a good thing.

            Before long you will be reading such things as Isaiah 7:14 and wondering, Just how the hell(sic) did they come to the conclusion of a messiah born of a virgin from this.
            It’s nonsense!
            Maybe you will initially dismiss it … from fear probably. But it’s all about baby steps.

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      • Hey Ark, here’s some stuff for ya. From a class I taught on this very subject. Now, you read that, research all the scriptures and some good commentaries and come back in a few months.

        Many critics of the Divine nature of Jesus Christ try to diffuse the whole issue by simply stating that He never actually claimed to be God. One could debate some things about the Deity of Jesus and almost make sense, but if one relies on the Bible as the primary reference, then no discerning person could possibly say Jesus did not claim Deity.
        Jesus basically said he and God were the same. On several occasions, Jesus simply said it. He may have never simply stated,” I am God”, but some of the things He said were in fact the same as stating that claim..
        In John 10:30, Jesus claimed He and His father were one
        In John 14:1, he said those who believe in God also believe in Him
        In John 14:9, Jesus told Phillip that anyone who had seen Him had seen God.
        Jesus claimed equality with God, that He was the Son of God. It is simply a rule of logic that if two things are equal, they are basically the same. For instance 2=2 clearly shows us that 2 and 2 are the same thing in every sense of the word. It gets more complicated when you compare beings or ideas, but the concept is the same. If Student A claims to be equal with Student B, then in some verifiable way they are equal. Of course, they may not be equal in every way: one may be tall and one short, one may be large one may be small. However, in some way they are equal. In normal usage, to claim equality with another person is claiming positional equality;in other words they share an equal position in the scheme of things and in life. When our country’s founders wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal”, they were not saying we are all alike, they were saying that we are equal in our position and standing before other people as well as before God.
        So, if Jesus claimed equality with God (and He did), then He was stating He shared a position of equality with God. Who can be positionally equal with and infinite God other than God Himself? Therefore to claim equality with God is to claim to be God. Let’s look, then, at some ways Jesus claimed to be equal with God.
        Jesus claimed to be the Son of God. This claim is very important when studied in the context of Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. Ancestry and lineage was of primary importance in the culture of the day. A son, while he might have to grow and mature, was in many ways the absolute equal to his father. Ultimately, every first born son of a Jewish male would assume his father’s place in the structure, authority, and culture of his time. So, to be a man’s son was to imply, basically, equality with that man. So, for Jesus to claim to be God’s son was to claim equality and oneship with God.
        In John 14:7, Jesus informed Phillip that if he had known Jesus, he would have known “My Father as well. John Chapter 14 is, in fact full of references to Jesus and the Father being of one essence.
        John 14:10: “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?”
        John 14:11: “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me”
        In Matthew 26:63, when the High Priest asked Jesus if He was the Christ, the son of God, Jesus answered in verse 64, “Thou hast said”. In other words, He answered, that yes, He was the Son of God.
        The following two quotes sum up the basic meaning behind Jesus’ claiming to be the Son of God.
        “Jesus also claimed to be the, “Son of God.” This title does not mean Jesus is God’s biological Son. Neither does the term “Son” imply inferiority anymore than a human son is inferior in essence to his father. A son shares his father’s DNA, and although he is different, they are both men. Scholars say that the term “Son of God” in the original languages refers to likeness, or “of the same order.” Jesus meant by it that he has divine essence, or in 21st century terms, the “DNA of God”i
        “What did Jesus mean when he called himself the ‘Son of God’? The son of a man is a man. (Both ‘son’ and ‘man,’ in the traditional language, mean males and females equally.) The son of an ape is an ape. The son of a dog is a dog. The son of a shark is a shark. And so the Son of God is God. ‘Son of God’ is a divine title.”ii
        Jesus enemies clearly understood that He was claiming to be God; they had no doubt whatsoever. In fact, they often wanted to kill Him for claiming to be God, since that claim was considered blasphemy and punishable by death. One of the things the Jews of the day believed correctly and devoutly was that there was only one God.
        In John Chapter 10 Jesus was walking and teaching with the Jews in the Temple and gave them His teaching where He made the claim “I and My Father are one,: and the Jews wanted to stone him. When Jesus asked then why they wanted to kill him they replied in Verse 33, “For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”
        In fact, blasphemy was the only crime for which Jesus was actually convicted at his various “trials” before His Crucifixion. In Mark 14:61-64 Jesus and the High Priest had the following conversation.
        “61But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?62 And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses?64 Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.”
        The Jews of the day understood that to forgive sins was a claim to be God, since only God could forgive sin. In Mark Chapter 2 we can again see the story of the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof of the house where Jesus was preaching so that Jesus could heal him. In Verse 5 note, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” The scribes quickly realized just what Jesus was saying here and though in their minds, “Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?” in Verse 7. Actually Jesus’ ability to read their thoughts was also a claim to Divine nature, as who is omniscient, or all knowing, but God? And that leads us conveniently into our next section.
        Jesus laid claim to many of the attributes of God. Jesus made statements in which He claimed to possess attributes we normally only associate with God.
        Jesus claimed to possess the eternal nature of God. We understand that one of the attributes of God is the fact that He has been self existent from eternity past, and that only God is eternal from before time. Therefore, if Jesus claimed that attribute, He was in essence claiming to be God.
        Jesus claimed to be the Alpha and Omega, or the First and Last, or the Beginning and the End in Revelation 1:17,18; He also claimed here to be alive forever more, and that He possessed the keys to Hell and Death.
        In John 8:56-58 Jesus was describing to the Pharisees how Abraham rejoiced at the future coming of Jesus, the Messiah. When the Pharisees questioned how a man not even 50 years old could have known Abraham, Jesus replied in verse 58. “Before Abraham was, I Am.” To fully understand just what Jesus was saying here, we have to go back to Moses and the burning bush. When Moses asked God to say who it was that was sending him(Moses) to lead the Jews out of Egypt, God replied that Moses could simply tell them, in Exodus 3:14, “I AM hath sent me unto you”
        God can call Himself that because He always has been. He can call Himself that because He always will be. He is self existent, not having been created by any other thing. Jesus obviously meant the same thing. He was clearly saying that Abraham was not just rejoicing at the idea of Messiah, but the actual fact not yet taken place, of Jesus Christ Himself! That is why Jesus could also refer to Himself as “I Am”.
        Jesus made a claim to the omniscience or all knowing attribute of God when He told Peter exactly how Peter would react the night of the crucifixion. He told Peter how he would deny Jesus three times; He told Peter exactly when this would occur(before the rooster crowed). This story is relayed to us in Matthew 26.
        Jesus made a claim to the omnipresence of God when He told his disciples that He would always be with them until the end of time in The Great Commission contained in Matthew 28:18-20, telling them “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
        Jesus made claims to be able to forgive sins, and this authority is clearly reserved for God alone; this concept is clearly taught throughout both the Old and New Testaments (Isaiah 43:25 is one place), and the Jews of Jesus’ time clearly understood that was what their scriptures taught. In fact, we will cover the Pharisees’ perception of what Jesus was saying later in this lesson.
        Let us look at some of the instances where Jesus forgave sins.
        In Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, and Luke 5:17-26, the Bible tells the story of Jesus’ healing of a paralyzed man. The real key in each of these stories is not really that Jesus healed a sick man, after all He had been traveling throughout the region healing multitudes of sick by this time. What makes this story so unusual is not that Jesus made a paralyzed man walk, but that in each case He told the man he was forgiven of his sins! He said in each case, “Thy sins be forgiven thee,”
        This sets the stage for the clear biblical teaching of exactly what Jesus’ purpose on earth was. He was not here to simply perform miracles and heal sick people; those were simply tools to show the world who He was. Jesus was here to heal the real sickness that was and is infecting the world: sin. The rest of the things we call sickness, including our ultimate deaths, were only brought into the world because of man’s sin.

        Jesus accepted the worship of others, a prerogative which belongs only to God Himself.

        The Bible makes it very clear that only God is worthy of worship. In fact, there are several recorded instances of men and even angels directing that men not worship them. There is even a recorded instance of severe punishment for a mere man to accept worship. Let us take a look at what the Bible teaches us about who deserves worship and who does not.
        God was very clear to Moses when He gave him the Ten Commandments when He instructed “thou shalt have no other Gods before me” in Exodus Chapter 20. While being tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus clearly told Satan, in Matthew 4:10, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
        In Acts 14:8-18, a story is told of the Apostle Paul refusing worship from fellow human beings. He and Barnabas were in the city of Lystra and had just healed a man who had been crippled from birth. The townspeople were so amazed they thought Paul and Barnabas were the gods Jupiter and Mercury in human flesh! Paul and Barnabas refused to accept this worship, and ran out in the crowd telling them they were just men, and that they should worship God instead.
        The Bible also teaches us that angels are not to be worshipped. In the Book or Revelation, two times John fell at the feet of an angel who had given him a message to worship, in Revelation 19:10 and 22:9. In both cases the angel immediately said, “See thou do it not, I am thy fellowservant.”
        The Bible teaches that accepting worship as if one were God can have severe consequences. Acts 12:21-23 tell us of King Herrod who, when the people tried to worship him as God, accepted it gladly rather than direct their worship to the true God. Herrod was then eaten by worms and died.
        Clearly, then, we are instructed to worship God and God only.
        Jesus on many occasions accepted the worship of others. Knowing the Old Testament Scriptures as he did, only two options are really possible: One is that Jesus was a delusional madman who actually thought He was God, or that He was in fact God.
        Here are some places in the Bible where Jesus either was worshipped, or was worshipped and accepted it.
        In Matthew 2:11, the Wise Men from the East saw Jesus and “Fell down, worshipping Him.”
        In Matthew 14:33, after He and Peter both walked on the water and Jesus stilled the wind, the following occurred, “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.”
        In Matthew Chapter 28, when Jesus met Mary Magdalene and the other Mary at the Tomb, they fell at His feet and worshipped Him.
        In Luke 24:51, after Jesus was carried into heaven, the disciples who were with him “worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”
        In John 9:38, a blind man whom Jesus healed said “Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”
        In John 20:28, after Jesus showed Thomas the wounds in His hand and side, he responded “My Lord and my God!”
        Revelation Chapter 12 describes a scene around the Throne of God, where God and “The Lamb” were both worshipped by the four creatures, the four and twenty elders, and the angels of Heaven.
        Time and time again we can read in Scripture instances of Jesus being worshipped or being worshipped and accepting it. There is not a single instance recorded of Jesus correcting any person who offered Him worship. This is in contrast to Paul and Barnabas, as well as the angel the Apostle John encountered, who quickly corrected those who offered them worship.

        The Writers of the Bible Clearly Describe Jesus as Being Divine

        Time and time again, various writers of Holy Scripture describe the Divinity of Jesus Christ. We have already covered how each and every word in the Word of God was, in fact, inspired by God. Therefore if the writers of Scripture call Jesus God, then it is just as if God the Father called Jesus God. The only way to escape this conclusion is to deny that ,as Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
        One of the most clear descriptions of the Deity of Jesus Christ is contained in the opening words of the John Chapter 1. In this passage, The Word clearly refers to Jesus, as context makes clear. In Verse 1, we are told “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That clearly states that Jesus is Eternal and that He is also God. On into Verse 14 we see “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
        God Himself said Jesus was God in Hebrews 1:8. That entire chapter is a good summation of God comparing Jesus to anything else He created, and how Jesus is superior to all created beings..
        Isaiah said the child born would, in addition to all the other things He would be called, would also be called “Mighty God” and “Everlasting Father” in Isaiah 9:6.
        John 5:23 teaches we should worship the Son just like the Father.
        Philippians 2:5-7 describes Jesus as “being in the form of God”
        I Timothy 3:16 says “God was manifested in the flesh”
        Writing to Titus, Paul said in Titus 2:3 that we are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ
        So it goes on, time after time, numerous passages clearly show that the writers of Holy Scripture considered Jesus Christ to be Divine. And since we believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, we can only come to the conclusion that God the Father is clearly informing us that Jesus the Son is also divine.

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        • Been there done that Wally. Thanks all the same.
          The godhood was bestowed upon Yeshua ben Josef at Nicea.
          Go do some serous study and stop falling back on fundamentalist dogma.
          Oh, and for what it’s worth, Wally, 1 Timothy is a forgery. In case you didn’t know?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ark…you did not read all of that, nor did you read the associated scriptures. In fact, you have, when presented with compelling arguments, chosen to run off in another direction. Obviously, your intent here is to try to deconvert people. That is quite obvious. Why? Don’t believe it, fine. But why the obvious, concerted effort to actually coerce, harass and berate people into changing their beliefs?

            Go back, actually read what I wrote, study it. Take some time with it. If you won’t, you simply prove you are not interested in actual answers to your questions.

            The matter is clear. The Bible absolutely, clearly and unequivocally teaches the Divinity of Jesus. Oh..and that would be true even if you chucked 1 Timothy…so pick another rabbit trail to run down.

            I’m not going to clog up James blog with arguments with you, I presented what I wanted to present.

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          • No Wally, he didn’t read it. He simply responded with “fundamentalist dogma” and “do your research” as always.

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          • I don’t need to Wally. Everything you cited I have read before – and studied. Something you are only capable of doing at an indoctrinated fundamentalist level. In other words, the mere concept that your understanding may be flawed is anathema to you.
            So, I reiterate, Jesus never says ‘I am god” and in fact unambiguously refutes this assertion on several occasions.
            God hood was bestowed upon Jesus at Nicea to try and thwart any accusation of polytheism.
            Go and do some proper study rather than simply drink in fundamentalist Young Earth Creationist nonsense.
            Afterwards, you may even be able to hold an intelligent discussion.

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        • Wow Wally. You weren’t jiving. That is a couple of months worth.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Ark, while we may agree on a few points, engaging people with hostility about their beliefs is no way to have a discussion with another person. People have an intrinsic right to their beliefs and to express their beliefs, just as others have the same right to disagree. It’s good to talk about. This is a subject that people need to talk about and aren’t, and it seems a shame to let anger and resentment (which I absolutely relate to) get in the way of objective dialog. Just saying…

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hear you, and many’s the time I have attempted to get such indoctrinated fundamentalists to simply say to themselves. Hang on… let’s just think about this.
          But they don’t.
          What I despise is the utter lack of humility and downright arrogance when the subject of indoctrinating kids comes up.
          It is this that grates more than anything else. As adults they are perfectly entitled to believe what ever they like.
          Just keep it to themselves. It is like an STD: I don’t want it and there is no need to spread it around. Simple.
          Oh, and I object to being told , tacitly or otherwise I have no moral foundation and I am going to hell.
          That they can stick in their ear. Or other suitable orifice, where light will not escape from. 🙂

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          • Ark,

            If you don’t believe in God, Heaven, Hell, and think religion is all nonsense, why do you care if someone tells you you’re going to Hell? Shouldn’t bother you a bit.

            Would it bother you if a Hidu told you you won’t be reincarnated?

            Would it bother you if a Muslim said there won’t be 23 virgins waiting for Ark in the afterlife?

            Would it bother you if a Mormon told you you will never be god of your own planet someday, or whatever?

            Seems silly to even care, IMHO.

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          • Oh, I don’t really care .
            The real problem lies in extrapolation.
            When someone sits at home and says it to the ether, it means diddly squat.
            When a sanctimonious do-gooder like you and Wally, Colorstorm IB etc say it is laughable, because I know it is simply ignorance.
            Though you do have an audience, only fellow fundies will nod their heads and give high fives and say Right on Brother! Praise the Lawd. Atheists are so going to Hell!

            Now, when this gets to state level then National Level you have fucking idiots like George Bush claiming he talks to his god every day, and a few million monkeys in the US of eh? nod their heads and suddenly he’s sending troops to the Middle east.
            Wel hey ho, and fuck that shit!
            And before you know it body-bags are coming back and its okay because it ‘s a just war. Right?
            And of course your current Wanker of a President is just carrying on where he left off … more or less. And the monkeys are still nodding.
            And kids have to be subject to this.
            That’s why. Are you getting it yet?
            You are a Christian I get it. You are a sinner. Fine no problem. You love Jesus. I get that, too. Really I do .
            But just Sssh about it.
            And maybe … just maybe, arseholes like George Bush and every other Christian and every other Muslim will eventually shut the fuck up too.
            Now, please please please … just simply SHUT THE FUCK UP!

            Got it? Good.

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          • Oh, I really don’t care but here is a long diatribe about why I totally care. Is that what this is?

            For the record, I have never told you or any atheist they are going to Hell Ark. They want me to tell them that but I don’t.

            Like

          • You see; you are so dense you don’t seem to possess the ability to comprehend.
            Or you simply chose to be willfully ignorant.
            Which is it James?
            Imagine I am typing in crayon – just for you.
            I do not care what you as an adult believe a about god, Jesus the bible, hell sin or any of this shit.
            Really. I am happy for you if this is what you need to live a long a fulfilling life. I mean it. And who could honestly wish for more?
            Just keep it to your fucking self !

            Understand?

            Super!

            Like

          • Soviet style repression of ideals?

            Ain’t happening Ark, I will never stop.

            Like

          • No. It is simply respect.
            I respect your right to believe what you want.
            You must also respect children in this regard.
            So simply keep it to yourself.
            Got it?

            Like

          • So everyone has a right to say only what Ark believes in?

            Like

          • No. You have a right to believe in what you like. You have no right to preach it to kids.
            You have no right to insist any of your religious values be imposed on society in general in any shape or form
            Keep it to yourself.

            Like

          • You don’t value freedom of speech, freedom of thought, or freedom of religion at all. You want to silence people like me until religion is gone.

            You’ve said it yourself. “Imagine if all evangelism stopped, even for a generation or two, all forms of religion will disappear forever.”

            What a wonderful world it would be Ark.

            Same world the Soviets imagined.

            Like

          • Are you so dense you cannot read, James. I value freedom of speech.
            You don’t.
            Leave the kids alone, do not try to impose religious values on society and simply shut the fuck up!
            Got it?

            Like

          • You don’t value my freedom of speech at all.

            Like

          • Of course I do. Say whatever you like, believe whatever you like, write whatever think what ever you like,just don’t try to impose it in any way on the society I live in and most importantly, keep it away from children. How difficult it this to do?

            Like

          • I will keep it away from no one Ark.

            In fact, I will indoctrinate kids while underpaid lackeys bring me goblets of sweet and refreshing militant atheist tears.

            Well gosh darn it, that wasn’t very Christian of me now was it?

            Like

          • Where have I heard this before?

            “For seventy years, from the Bolshevik Revolution to the closing years of the Gorbachev regime, militant atheism was the official religion, one might say, of the Soviet Union, and the Communist Party was, in effect, the established church. It was an avowed task of the Soviet state, led by the Communist Party, to root out from the minds and hearts of the Soviet state, all belief systems other than Marxism-Leninism.”

            J. D. Van der Vyver, John Witte (1996). Religious Human Rights in Global Perspective: Legal Perspectives. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers

            Like

          • Ah … in this case we must all sit back and wait for the likes of ISIS to do their thing?
            This is what disgusts me about people like you, James. YOU think this is all about your fucking religion, your fucking bible and your fucking god. Oh dear. Sorry to piss on your cornflakes . It is about religion. Period Get it?
            Do you understand, James?
            Your piss-willy god belief is not that special

            I know you love Jesus, just keep it to yourself, and please, simply shut the fuck up. How difficult is this to do?

            Like

          • What does ISIS have to do with me?

            If you have a beef with them, take it up with them. Surely you can find one of their websites and talk about their faith like you talk about mine.

            Go ahead Ark. Tell them to shut the f@#$ up.

            Go ahead Ark. Silence them. Mock them. Make them think about the error of their ways. Tell them they need an education.

            Be a sport Ark, write it in crayon if you have to.

            Or would you rather bitch and moan here where your neck is safe?

            Like

          • Religion James. RELIGION.

            You can write fuck James. It won’t bite. It isn’t a sin. It’s just a word.

            Like

          • Go ahead Ark, take your cause to the people with swords and explosives and stop frustrating and anoying Christian bloggers who mean the world no harm.

            Go ahead Ark. What are you waiting for?

            Like

          • So, you will not preach this stuff to children? You will not fuck up their minds with Original Sin, Vegetarian Dinosaurs, Young Earth Creationism, and salvation. Are we agreed?

            Like

          • “Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

            – Mark 13:13

            Like

          • And there you go. Hate is on the lips of every christian.
            I don’t hate anything.
            But sure as hell do.
            You are , once more projecting James.
            Do you not understand what indoctrination has done?

            Are you getting it yet, James?

            Like

    • Jason,

      Thanks for the compliments on my blog, I appreciate it and value my readers, even those I disagree with.

      While I haven’t spent much time on your blog as I just found it, it seems to be full of good stuff too.

      As for your comment, I don’t agree with all of it but you did make a few good points about greed, fear, and the importance of man’s relationship with his creator.

      While there is punishment and reward, so to speak, the first and foremost importance of Christianity is a loving relationship with our Creator through Christ. Heaven and Hell are secondary.

      I have said on here a few times, and I mean it, people can have a long relationship with Christ without thinking of eternal reward or eternal punnishment much at all or talking about either to others whether they are believers or not.

      In fact, the vast majority of the time Hell comes up in a conversation I’m a part of, it’s raised as an objection by a non-believer who either rejects it on moral grounds (as Ark does) and/or wants me to tell them I think they are going there.

      Anyway, I agree with you, at least in part, and like your comment.

      This seems a tad rambling, it’s very early, but I am glad you stopped by and took the time to comment.

      Happy to have you as a reader.

      James

      Like

  10. I have to say, I really appreciate the arguments here between Ark and you. It actually reinforces my belief in God, mostly because of what Ark says. Although, I do find it amusing that so many atheists read Christian blogs. Thank you, James. Also, I have one last thing to add: the dictionary definition of hate is 1. To feel strong dislike toward, 2a. To have a strong feeling of disgust for, 2b. to find distasteful. While you may say you hate no one, your actions show hatred. Being kind will get you far in life.
    Peace and love,
    Ivy Soul

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and commenting.

      I only let Ark post here (he is highly moderated) in the hope that what he says will reinforce belief in God and/or get people to see the dark side of atheism.

      I like how you included definitions of hate, hatred of God is clearly evident in many comments on this blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I call it conservation of energy!

    Like

  12. Excellent, well-thought out post, brother. We really do have to preach the WHOLE gospel, including the reality of Hell. Looking forward to more! Be blessed. Remain in the Truth – Reuben

    Like

  13. People who criticize God for ‘torment’ forget that torment doesn’t come from without but from within, it is wholly, a product of bad choice. When it comes to free-will a lot of people want to have their cake and eat it too.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Very timely James, thanks! .)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It is a good post to bring back up. I like how you explained God as the author of everything good therefore people who reject Him are rejecting everything good. To do everything u can to help someone who is already doomed is not the same as sending them to hell. Free will is something and I have never met a Christian worth anything who didn’t give up something significant to follow Jesus.

    Like

  16. I read this conversation again, and it shocks me every time the venom I see in it. And for the record, I support every response you made in it. I certainly didn’t mean the venom was from you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. In re-reading this post, (which is NOT lazy blogging I might add), it makes my heart sick at what some people say and hold in their hearts about Jesus’ love, (to say nothing of the Father’s love)! And the very first comment at the top of the post is most disturbing! No wonder God has planned such wrath for those who are so unmoved and misunderstanding of His love for us! Thanks for this re-post!!

    Steve

    Liked by 1 person

    • It makes me sad too Steve. All.i can do is tell people about Jesus and pray The Spirit moves in them.

      If their hearts have been hardened and they hate me for their he measage, so be it.

      God bless,

      James

      Liked by 1 person

      • “If the world hates you, remember…they hated me first…” (Jesus Christ)

        Sometimes, all we can do is make the word known to people and let God make the decisions as to what happens…

        May the Lord love and keep you James!

        Steve

        Liked by 1 person

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  1. Open thread. What do you think about God? | The Isaiah 53:5 Project
  2. Love Me Or Die | Godless Cranium

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