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  1. #1
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    Does the Bible teach there is a Hell?

    Hell in the respect of it being a place of eternal damnation and suffering? I'm not interested in PROVING Christianity is right or the "true religion". This thread concerns itself with whether or not Christianity teaches the doctrine of Hell to be an eternal place of suffering (not temporal).

    This discussion is spawning from: What is evil?

    It was said that "everyone is saved" and that eternal suffering is "BS" and is not taught in Christianity. That there will be "temporal suffering" (not eternal).

    So...this leads to the questions:
    1. Does Hell exist at all?
    2. If all are saved, then none are damned. So what does it mean then, when the Bible speaks of those being subjected to eternal suffering?
    3. And what form of punishment should these saved people expect?
    4. Where is the support from scripture that Hell 1) does not exist, or 2) is only temporal, or 3) that humans do not enter Hell?

    Again, this is all from a Christian perspective, or the teaching of Christianity, The Bible, Christ. All arguments re: Christianity is not true, contradictory, or unscientfic, etc...will be immediately deleted. STAY ON TOPIC HERE.
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  2. #2

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    I don't have time to address this thoroughly right now. But I will throw in a couple of quick thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    Where is the support from scripture that Hell 1) does not exist
    Why would the scripture support that hell does not exist? Either it supports that it exists, or it most likely wouldn't address it, no? That's like saying "where is the support from scripture that Barney the Magic Dinosaur is not real?" If hell is made up by man, especially in centuries after the Bible was written, the the Bible would not outright say that hell does not exist.

    And that is my position; that hell was made up by man in later centuries. I believe that in the first century, the idea of hell or eternal damnation was not a concept that need to be argued against. It is a heresy that arose in later days.

    I would suggest that, rather than tackling this gargantuan issue in one big swoop, that we address it verse by verse. Perhaps you could bring up a verse which you believe supports the existance of hell or eternal damnation, and I, or someone, will address them one by one.

    After we have gone through several, if not all, verses which supposedly address hell or eternal damnation, if we have cast enough doubt on each them, perhaps then would be a good time to answer the other questions.

    Let me also make the concession that this idea is rather new to me. I've received enough rational info over the past week to be farely convinced, but I doubt that I'm going to be able to deal with every argument on the opposing side without giving it a lot of thought.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by symantix
    I don't have time to address this thoroughly right now. But I will throw in a couple of quick thoughts

    Why would the scripture support that hell does not exist? Either it supports that it exists, or it most likely wouldn't address it, no? That's like saying "where is the support from scripture that Barney the Magic Dinosaur is not real?" If hell is made up by man, especially in centuries after the Bible was written, the the Bible would not outright say that hell does not exist.
    It's not that the Bible would claim that Hell does not exist, but that since it most definitely speaks, teaches, and refers to Hell quite often, one of the following must be true:

    1) That its references to Hell were wrong (result: Bible is fallible, not the word of God).

    2) That its references to Hell were man created, not from God (result: Bible is fallible, not the word of God).

    3) That its references to Hell are not literal nor metaphorical (result: references to Hell are irrelevant and all teachings about Hell would be wrong, or misunderstood).

    The most viable, would be #3.

    However, you said that there is no eternal suffering, which the Bible says is indicative of Hell.

    So, is it that there is no eternal suffering IN Hell? Or no eternal suffering at all? If no eternal suffering at all, then Hell must not exist or at least, humans will not be there. If that is the case, where will unbelievers and those who reject Christ go? What does scripture tell us about this group of people?

    And that is my position; that hell was made up by man in later centuries.
    Ok, then it is your position that the Bible has been corrupted and it is fallible. Our copies today, cannot be accurate. That being the case, then we have no reason to trust our copies today. If the doctrines of Hell is man made an interjected into the Bible, what else of Christian doctrine is untrue?

    I believe that in the first century, the idea of hell or eternal damnation was not a concept that need to be argued against. It is a heresy that arose in later days.
    Any evidence of this? Also, of what purpose is a mistaken, man made, fallible book that teaches incorrect doctrine?

    I would suggest that, rather than tackling this gargantuan issue in one big swoop, that we address it verse by verse. Perhaps you could bring up a verse which you believe supports the existance of hell or eternal damnation, and I, or someone, will address them one by one.
    I'll throw a few out there. But you've made some pretty big claims above that I hope you can support.
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  4. #4

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    I will attempt to deliver a worthy response as soon as I can. It may be later this week, though.

  5. #5
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    No problem. But before I submit any passages of scripture, I am not clear on what it is, that you are claiming Hell actually is (or is not)?

    Does it exist, but it is not eternal?
    Does it exist, but it is not a place for humans?
    It does not exist at all as an actual place and it is just a "state of mind"?

    To be honest, the only claim I can see, is that "People do not suffer eternally in Hell."

    I will await a full explanation of the position that you and Spart have, before moving foward. Without a proper understanding, I think I'd be creating a lot of straw men.
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  6. #6

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    Also, I think your question is phrased somewhat loosely. The most common forms of Christianity today definitely do teach that there is a hell. I would suggest better defining "Christianity".

  7. #7
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    I'll reword the title to "Does the Bible teach..."
    -=]Apokalupsis[=-
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  8. #8

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    Alright then. And I will assume that, by "Bible", you mean "the Word of God", and not "the English translations"

  9. #9
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    Of course. The Bible would be the original manuscripts of which we have more copies of than any other literature of antiquity.
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  10. #10

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    Thumbs up

    There you go.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by symantix
    Let me also make the concession that this idea is rather new to me. I've received enough rational info over the past week to be farely convinced, but I doubt that I'm going to be able to deal with every argument on the opposing side without giving it a lot of thought.
    I will gladly stand with Sym on this one.

    Although I do not think Sym is quite near ready to start kissing icons yet -- I do think Sym has come to appreciate that some generally accepted Western Christian ideas are not in and of themselves biblically based.

    The traditional Western idea of Hell...that it is a place of fire and brimstone where non-repentant sinners are tortured and tormented for all eternity is -- from an Eastern Orthodox perspective -- an oversimplification of an already pretty simple idea.

    In Orthodox Christianity we believe that at the end of time we will all dwell forever in the presence of the Lord our God for eternity. For those who love the Lord with all their hearts this will seem like Paradise -- Heaven. For those who do not, it will seem like varying degrees of Hell, depending on what is in their hearts.

    As an analogy imagine eternity with God is an endless perfect symphony concert in the park with wine and cheese and every body has a great seat. Now for those who love Classical music, wine and cheese -- this will seem like Paradise -- Heaven.

    For the headbangers and non-music lovers though this will seem like Hell. They will wail and nash their teeth...they will wish to be thrown into a lake of fire ...but they might learn to love the symphony? :o


    Apok can you please provide some chapter and verse that supports the traditional Western concept of Hell?

    I will be off for a day or so as Wednesday 5/19 is the eve of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ and is a great feast day so I will be worshipping and feasting with my Orthodox icon-kissing Christian brothers and sisters. I do though look forward to this intercourse and sharing and debating of ideas an beliefs.

    Christ Is Risen!!!

  12. #12
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    According to the NIV version (English), the word Hell is mentioned 14 times (all New Testament)
    The word heaven is mentioned 404 times (both OT and NT)

    I think the foremost focus of Christianity is definetly Heaven. However, here are some verses that talk about Hell

    2PE 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;
    ...
    2PE 2:9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.

    apparently the devil and his angels are in hell right now.
    To speak about the state of people after they are judged we should go to Revelations which is highly debated for its symbolism but thats what the Bible says so...

    REV 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    REV 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.

    REV 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

    REV 20:13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

    REV 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

    REV 20:15 If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

    It seems to me that people who were not found written in the book of life were thrown into this lake of fire and received the second death. Satan and his angels are apparently made up of some other substance which makes it possible to torment them day and night forever and ever. I'm suggesting that the afterlife for people who reject God consists of being judged, thrown into the "lake of fire" and then dying. If you think this sounds like an easy way out just imagine being confronted by God and all your sins are laid bare. Every creepy, nasty, perverted, hateful thought and action you ever did will be exposed. Then you will see others going to live in Paradise forever while you are sentenced to be killed for your unwillingness to follow God.

    Thats not what the Bible says happens, but thats the TYPE of pain I think a person would feel. Either way, it REALLY blows.
    The more often one feels without acting, the less one will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less one will be able to feel

    "And spite of pride, in erring reason's spite
    One Truth is clear, Whatever is, is right. " -Pope

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve43872
    If you think this sounds like an easy way out just imagine being confronted by God and all your sins are laid bare. Every creepy, nasty, perverted, hateful thought and action you ever did will be exposed. .
    God already knows all my sins and so do I -- they are already laid bare....


    I would encourgae to re-read my post about the Orthodox Concept of heaven and hell and then apply that concept to what you have cited.

    I would also offer that Revelations is so.....open to interpretation ....that it is practically useless when deabting theology....Interestng yes....but practically useless for a debate.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve43872
    apparently the devil and his angels are in hell right now.

    No I would say they are on earth and amongst us...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus
    The traditional Western idea of Hell...that it is a place of fire and brimstone
    That is not my belief, so I won't defend it.

    where non-repentant sinners are tortured and tormented for all eternity is
    Not "tortured", but tormented, yes. There is a difference.

    In Orthodox Christianity we believe that at the end of time we will all dwell forever in the presence of the Lord our God for eternity. For those who love the Lord with all their hearts this will seem like Paradise -- Heaven. For those who do not, it will seem like varying degrees of Hell, depending on what is in their hearts.
    OK, just to clarify before moving on. Which points are true:

    1) Hell is not an actual place, it is only a state of mind.
    2) Hell is Heaven to those who do not accept Christ.
    3) Those who do not accept Christ will have the opportunity to repent and learn to love Christ.
    4) Those who do not accept Christ will never repent and learn to love Christ.

    As an analogy imagine eternity with God is an endless perfect symphony concert in the park with wine and cheese and every body has a great seat. Now for those who love Classical music, wine and cheese -- this will seem like Paradise -- Heaven.
    Then those who reject Christ, will be in fellowship with him against their will?

    For the headbangers and non-music lovers though this will seem like Hell. They will wail and nash their teeth...they will wish to be thrown into a lake of fire ...but they might learn to love the symphony? :o
    1) So when the Bible speaks of the lake of fire, it never refers to humankind, but only Satan and his demons?
    2) People will WANT to be "on fire" for eternity, rather than spend it with others who are celebrating and glorifying Christ?
    3) Those who reject Christ may learn to love him despite their constant punishment they are receiving?

    Apok can you please provide some chapter and verse that supports the traditional Western concept of Hell?
    Fire/Brimstone? No. I do not believe that is scriptural. That Hell is an actual place where unbelievers and those who reject Christ go for all of eternity? Sure, but first I want the points above clarified.
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  16. #16
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    It is going to take some to try to address these issues here....


    One point I owuld you clarifying though Apok...

    "Hell IS Heaven for those who reject God"

    WHat do you mean by "heaven'? Are you speaking of eterninty in the presence of the Lord our God being ...for lack of a better word..."Hell" for those who reject God?

    If your answer is "yes" then I think you, SYmantix and I agree on this point.....I might have overdone on it the analogy thing.


    Also in Matthew Christ says that those who blaspheme against Him (Jesus) will be forgiven...now he is speaking about Pharisees in this context so do you think it is wrong to interpret this as understanding that "anyone" who blasphemes Christ will also be forgiven...so long as the Holy SPirit is not blasphemed?

    I will be responding in a day or say more fuller but would appreciate your response so I might be more concise.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus
    It is going to take some to try to address these issues here....
    Take yer time. I'll be here all week.

    One point I owuld you clarifying though Apok...

    "Hell IS Heaven for those who reject God"

    WHat do you mean by "heaven'? Are you speaking of eterninty in the presence of the Lord our God being ...for lack of a better word..."Hell" for those who reject God?

    If your answer is "yes" then I think you, SYmantix and I agree on this point.....I might have overdone on it the analogy thing.
    I am referring to the place where God "resides". The place that is promised for all believers. Somewhere though, I missed the promise that Heaven is for unbelievers and rejectors of God. I'll skim through the Bible for that since you are certain it's there.

    It is also the place where, according to your logic, that unbelievers will be...in the presence of God for all eternity. They will also be there with believers, for all eternity. This is another belief that I do not believe is scriptural. And I cannot agree with you and Symmy on this point.

    Also in Matthew Christ says that those who blaspheme against Him (Jesus) will be forgiven...now he is speaking about Pharisees in this context so do you think it is wrong to interpret this as understanding that "anyone" who blasphemes Christ will also be forgiven...so long as the Holy SPirit is not blasphemed?
    This has nothing to do on whether the Bible teaches the doctine of Hell as a place of eternal torment.

    Question though...

    If one doesn't need to accept Christ to get to Heaven...WHY accept Christ? I could believe he exists and died for me...but hey...if I'm going there anyway, I don't need to sacrifice here, abide by what is expected of me according to scripture...I don't need to do anything at all. I could think Christ is a swell guy for dying for me and perhaps one day I'll thank him. But for now...why not just go out and do as I please (as opposed to what God has planned for us)?
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis
    If one doesn't need to accept Christ to get to Heaven...WHY accept Christ? I could believe he exists and died for me...but hey...if I'm going there anyway, I don't need to sacrifice here, abide by what is expected of me according to scripture...I don't need to do anything at all. I could think Christ is a swell guy for dying for me and perhaps one day I'll thank him. But for now...why not just go out and do as I please (as opposed to what God has planned for us)?
    I'll get to a longer reply as soon as I can take the time and thought. But let me interject this. What you've said here implies that the only reason that following Christ is the best way to go, if it is a reason, is because you won't go to hell. That implies that, without hell, the world's way is better. Which in turn implies that following Christ is wrong, if the only reason to do it is because we are compelled to by the threat of hell.

    So I would turn the question around to you. Why should we follow Christ, if escaping hell is the only reason? Sounds like Saddam Hussein stuff to me.

  19. #19
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    If Hell is a place of torment, it serves the purpose of punishment. If there are those who are punished, it must be due to a wrong of some sort. We ought not to do wrong, and ought to do good or right. The Bible claims that following Christ is good and right (as well as a few other things ).

    If the punishment consists of being with your loved ones, being with God, but having to watch others fellowship, and all you did was mass murder and rape 27 children...hey...not a bad deal. /end sarcasm...in no way am I suggesting it is acceptable to harm children

    There are varying degrees of Hell. Since Hell is only a "state of mind" and not an actual place (according to you and Spart), how does the punishment vary? It is the punishment that varies btw, not the perception of punishment.

    If I can do as I please on Earth and still be with those I love forever AND be with God forever...I just won't like the "symphonic movements"...I'd argue that it's not a bad deal afterall. If I do as I please, but harm no one, accept Christ, and get the exact dislike of watching the fellowship...but still get visitation rights to friends, family and God...just like the guy who raped and murdered 27 children...justice has not been served. If God is the absolute judge, and he has not been just...God is unjust. And this contradicts what the Bible says about him.

    Hell...is not a "state of mind".

    If ALL that separates us in the end (as far as our afterlife goes), is a group who enjoys fellowship and giving praise, and a group who doesn't...Christ overexaggerated his claims of the horrors of Hell.
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  20. #20

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    Well, first of all, I believe that there are much better reasons to follow Christ besides the threat of going to hell. If you'd like me to list them, I will, but I think you know what they are. Either way, your initial question about "Then why follow Christ?" is kind of silly, since you know the answer.

    Secondly. I never said that people were not going to suffer for their crimes. I never said that punishment and torment was BS. I only said that eternal punishment was BS.

    You'll never find one place in the Bible where God punishes anybody, and that punishment doesn't lead to some kind of life lesson; something that they learn that makes them better. So what, pray tell, is the point of hell? What lesson is there to learn once someone is in hell forever? God's punishment, in the Bible, is always discipline. Hell is not discipline; it's just pain for ever and ever.

    I believe that "sinners" are going to suffer. The granny that never accepted Christ, but always did good to her neighbor, will probably have a bit of pain to go through, but the murdering Spanish inquisitioners are going to have a lot of hell to pay.

    I don't care if you murdered, raped, canabalized...whatever. Christ's grace is for all. Even your average protestant will agree that a rapist could, theoretically, accept Christ, and "go to heaven". I'm saying that man's salvation is not dependent upon anything that he does, not even believing. That is easily provable. And if that's true, no conclusion can reasonably follow except that Christ died for all, and therefore all died. The sin in us all has been nailed to the cross.

    Is there a torment in store for evildoers? Absolutely. But God is a God of discipline, not eternal torment. He will teach evildoers a lesson. And when they are done, they will love Him.

    Hard to believe, you say? Why would they love Him, you ask? Well, do you and I not go through pain every day? Does not the Bible say to count it as discipline from God? Were not the Christians fed to the lions? Should they have counted this as any less of a disciplinary measure? Study up on what the discipline and pain from God means in the Bible. It always...always...means good for the object. No exceptions.

    See what you did there? You provoked me to post a long one.
    Last edited by symantix; May 19th, 2004 at 03:35 PM.

 

 
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