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Author Topic: Go to Hell...Orthodox style  (Read 3682 times) Average Rating: 0
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PoorFoolNicholas
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« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2013, 07:30:48 PM »

What sources are you using that state CLEARLY that hell isn't eternal?

Lives of the Saints.

If you become a disciple of an Orthodox saint then you'll learn the teachings.

Huh?
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« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2013, 07:33:24 PM »

What sources are you using that state CLEARLY that hell isn't eternal?
I'm not making that argument.  I'm saying I don't know.  I'm asking you what is your basis for contending with confidence that people are going to burn in hell for all eternity.

Yes you are. Read your OP the bolder points. You said to Greatest that Orthodoxy does NOT teach eternal hell. What sources are you using?
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« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2013, 07:40:20 PM »

What sources are you using that state CLEARLY that hell isn't eternal?
I'm not making that argument.  I'm saying I don't know.  I'm asking you what is your basis for contending with confidence that people are going to burn in hell for all eternity.

Yes you are. Read your OP the bolder points. You said to Greatest that Orthodoxy does NOT teach eternal hell. What sources are you using?
No, I said a soul does not have to suffer torture eternally because of his short time on earth.  I believe that a soul continues in torment because of his continued attitude throughout eternity.  I am not putting it on God that someone is tortured.  If you are actively refusing God in His very presence and you cannot stand being in the presence of God, it isn't God's fault. Whether or not a soul can change and to what point that can happen, I don't know.  You, however, seemed to be able to state with confidence on the matter, so I was curious where your basis was.
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« Reply #48 on: July 17, 2013, 08:49:59 PM »

Declaring that we are Christians demands faith in a loving, merciful God. We are also to love God with all our heart and soul, believing he loves us and will always be merciful to sinners. And second Jesus said was to love our neighbors as ourselves.

In the process of doing this we have no place for these issues as they cause us to lose faith and thus make it harder to love God .IMHO

So disengage our reasoning faculties because it could cause a lack of faith?

That is what monks are supposed to do I believe, as it does make faith easier, however I cannot do it either, nor do Monks do it easily.But that is where obedience to the leader of the order comes into play for their own good.

My thoughts were meant as a guide for questions sometimes better left alone, Or as we advance through faith we will be able to understand better through God's Grace.

Jesus also said this towards this issue, or at least towards heaven which is just as hard for us to understand as hell.We need to focus on doing what we need to avoid it, not understanding it's nature, just as you know to avoid many dangerous things but do not need, or have the understanding of a nuclear physicist
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« Reply #49 on: July 17, 2013, 10:08:04 PM »


I'm of the opinion, and mind you, it's just MY opinion...that Hell IS a place, not only a state of being.

There are too many references of it being an actual location to dismiss it.

Same with paradise.  "Today you will be with me in Paradise."  Not, today you will enjoy the glory of God and bask in His everlasting love.

^ This
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« Reply #50 on: July 17, 2013, 11:31:43 PM »

Hell is said to be full of fire and brimstone.   The fire is said to be unquenchable and eternal.  It is said to be an oven, a pit, a lake of fire.  These terms are what we use to describe a truly horrid place.  Its darkness verges on unfathomable.  I'm prone to say that if right now any one of us was actually given to feel the full weight of its darkness that we would probably die.  I've worked with people that have seen the devil's face and there are truly no words to describe it.  With that said, I do not believe there is a fire there.  I do not believe it is an oven, a pit, or a lake.  I do not believe there are people tortured there.  I do not believe it is a physical place in the same sense that Texas is a physical place, although it is real and humans (with their bodies) will one day be said to reside there.  I do not believe that the devil has any power there nor do the demons.  I believe God is there along with His All-Pure Mother, the Angels, and the Saints from all ages.  I believe that if one person in hell were to cry out in repentance that God would deliver them.  Some Fathers seem to indicate that some will in fact cry out and God will deliver them while others believe that none, not even in eternity, will cry out in repentance.  While some of the Fathers spoke about these things, I believe it was all speculation.  And even if they saw things in divine vision, their relaying of that vision is impossibly deficient.  No words can describe the glory of heaven or the ugliness of hell.  All that we need to know is that any life apart from the Lord is no life at all.  He loves us so very much.  How could a soul bear to transgress His love?  I ask that question, but I sin daily and my soul bears it and even worse, seeks to do it again and again.  That is hell and that should scare us.  We shouldn't need terms such as "unquenchable fire" and "gnashing of teeth" to scare us.  And we should remember that the line that divides the sheep from the goats is not so easily seen and that many will be surprised by what happens when the first are made last and the last first.  
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« Reply #51 on: July 17, 2013, 11:38:55 PM »


I'm of the opinion, and mind you, it's just MY opinion...that Hell IS a place, not only a state of being.

There are too many references of it being an actual location to dismiss it.

Same with paradise.  "Today you will be with me in Paradise."  Not, today you will enjoy the glory of God and bask in His everlasting love.

^ This

To be honest, I think a case could be made for either position.  

On the one hand, there's something to be said for the idea of heaven/hell as states of being in the presence of God which depend on the receptivity or lack thereof of the individual person.  It is proposed by some of the fathers, and has a Scriptural basis (e.g., Ps. 139.7-12).  References to heaven/hell as places in Scripture may just as well be a divine condescension to the capacity of the human mind to understand the message: a place is an easy thing for most people to relate to, but it takes some "imagination" (for lack of a better word) to appreciate a state of being; references to a place in the writings of the fathers may simply depend on Scripture unquestioningly.  

On the other hand, it's not unheard of for God to create places.  He already created heaven, earth, "outer space", etc.  And, in addition to the numerous references to heaven/hell as places, it is important to remember that, at the resurrection, our souls and bodies are reunited (if we have died by then) never to be separated again.  While the resurrection body has certain characteristics our current bodies don't have (e.g., walking through closed doors), they clearly continue to do other things our bodies do even now (e.g., eat, walk, talk)...they must "occupy space" as bodies are wont to do.  So if the body occupies space, it's reasonable to presume that it will need a space to occupy, and I agree that "the burning fire of God's love" seems insufficient as a physical location.  

So again, I think you could argue it either way and still be faithful to Scripture, the interpretations of the Fathers, and other sources of our theology.  Each "explanation", while different, is based on theological concepts which are unquestioned.    
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« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2013, 12:01:30 AM »

Since only God is immaterial, and we call human souls and angels and whatnot immaterial only as a form of comparison with grosser forms of matter, it is impossible for hell to be a "state of being," if by that we mean a place without substance or materiality, or some such spiritualized thing.
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« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2013, 12:24:11 AM »

It has been theorized with good evidence that we live in a certain dimension, and that it is possible that there are other universes that are in different dimensions, therefore we are unable to see them and can never exist there in our present form.

This also is how I see Heaven existing, because Jesus once said the Kingdom of heaven is all around us.

This does not mean it has no physical existence just as our dimension has matter that we can touch feel and see, so would another that we cannot see, but those who exist in that dimension have matter and can see and feel it the same as us.

However there are most likely different physical laws than here. So it could have attributes similar to what we have been taught about heaven or hell.
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« Reply #54 on: July 18, 2013, 12:39:27 AM »

Pertaining to Matthew 10:28, the Blessed Theophylact writes, "He teaches them to despise even death, for punishment in Gehenna is yet more fearful, He says.  Those who slay accomplish the destruction of only the body, while they are perhaps the benefactors of the soul.  But God punishes both soul and the body of those whom He casts into Gehenna.  He says, 'in Gehenna," indicating the perpetual nature of the punishment, for Gehenna is never ending." -- Blessed Thophylact, Archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria.  The Explanation of the Holy Gospel According to Matthew : Translated from the original Greek by Fr. Christopher Stade. Chrysostom Press, 2008. P. 88.
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« Reply #55 on: July 18, 2013, 12:42:23 AM »

We're actually talking a lot about our souls in our Theology class at Church so here's what I've learned. Please correct me if needed and I apologize if I got it wrong.

It is my understanding that the soul will always be driven by God's commandments. The soul belongs to God, as He is its Creator.The soul will always want only what's best, good and right. It is our fallen state causing our immaturity to actively make the right choices even though our soul tells us what is right. Our immaturity also causes us to just simply not know what the right choices are sometimes. The body itself is the one NOT in communion with God, but the soul is and always be. Our goal is to get our body to listen to our soul and get them to work together towards God. It is absolutely the hardest thing we have to do. So when our ignorant, immature, mortal bodies disagree with our souls over and over again, we go further away from God. There's no "good" or "bad" , black or white situation, but better or worse, closer or away.  When our soul finally leaves our mortal body (putting actually a stop to our sinful ways, which is actually a good thing if you think about it), it will take the same route it was always forced to take by our bodies. Further away or closer to God.

Further away from God might as well mean "hell", but it's just the state in which a soul, that is not with God, will be until the Second Coming, when it will be judged. Our hope is to receive our resurrected body which will be ours for eternity, filled with the Love and the Light of God. I assume the opposite is the worse darkness in which a soul will be tormented for eternity.
It makes sens the way it was explained to me. I hope I made it clear myself. Smiley
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« Reply #56 on: July 18, 2013, 03:50:01 AM »

Has no one yet mentioned how problematic the word "hell" is to English speakers?

In a nutshell, there are several words in the Bible all with a different meaning which are translated into one word, "hell", in our English Bibles.  Understanding the difference between them can really help clear up some of the confusion.

Currently I am leaning much more towards "Hell" being very different from the idea of eternal conscious torment (ECT).   
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« Reply #57 on: July 18, 2013, 05:00:15 AM »

Has no one yet mentioned how problematic the word "hell" is to English speakers?

In a nutshell, there are several words in the Bible all with a different meaning which are translated into one word, "hell", in our English Bibles.  Understanding the difference between them can really help clear up some of the confusion.

Currently I am leaning much more towards "Hell" being very different from the idea of eternal conscious torment (ECT).  
Most people think of the Lake of Fire.
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« Reply #58 on: July 18, 2013, 05:48:57 AM »

That's because "reward/punishment" is a valid way of talking about it, but there is just so far that you can push the analogy before it stops making sense.

The real issue is: do you like the fact that you exist? Do you like reality as it actually is and not how you like to think it is?

Because that's the point. The Second Coming is a turn where no illusions will exist anymore. Even if you spent your whole life lying to yourself, you will see things as they really are. It's the arrival of Truth itself, after all.

If you hate reality, you'll hate it. If you love reality, you'll love it. People are not condemned into Hell. They struggle to be there.

I will second Fabio. First we have to make sure we have the same understanding of Heaven and Hell before we can offer apologetics. Reward and punishment does not represent the depth of this subject, even though it is true: the righteous will have their wish to be with God rewarded, while sinners punish themselves by rejecting God who is forced to cut them away from Him. (so, God punishes them knowingly, but involuntarily, so to speak). But it's all based on free-will. If you love God, He will love you. If you hate God, He will "hate" you (for your "benefit"). Ultimately, it's that simple; the rest is just details or the process of salvation. 
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« Reply #59 on: July 18, 2013, 11:44:53 AM »

The way I see it, we live our life on earth and develop our souls towards God or away from God.  After death, all souls are brought into the presence of God.  Some souls will enjoy and cherish that and some souls will despise that.  I would kind of liken it to going to the DL.  As someone who loves Orthodoxy, I enjoy being there.  For someone who is a devout atheist, he is going to find it boring and dreadfully dull. Another example would be like a someone running a long distance race.  Someone who has prepared for it will enjoy it.  Someone who has not will find it to be torture. Those who have developed themselves towards God obviously pray for those who despise Him and those prays we hope will be effectual in bringing them around. Heaven and Hell are therefore degrees of union or disunion with God.

The best comparison is with the sun's light that is a blessing for a man with healthy eyes. The natural light is good for him, he expects the day to enjoy it very much. But for another man who has an eye illness, the same light is hurtful. Until he treats his disease, he has to cover the eyes or to stay in the house. He will prefer the darkness of the night instead.

That is similar with God's love, as this is the river of fire where the sinners and the hell itself will be thrown in the end of Day_7. God does not change the love for His creatures, never, no matter if some/many angels or human beings do not embrace His philosophy of existence.
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« Reply #60 on: July 18, 2013, 02:59:56 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
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« Reply #61 on: July 18, 2013, 03:07:05 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is not forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.
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« Reply #62 on: July 18, 2013, 03:14:44 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is not forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.

if you can be drawn out of it is it not forever obviously

but I cannot imagine any way one would be able to. This reminds me, of a homily on the rich man and lazarus, i think by Chrysostom. perhaps it will shed some light on this. i will go find it.
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« Reply #63 on: July 18, 2013, 03:24:43 PM »

well its a whole book so it will take awhile, but while looking for the relevent passage I found something about slavery so I want to post it in that one slavery thread wonder if its still around

EDIT: I cant find the slavery thread  Embarrassed

EDIT2: Found it,  but my hand will hurt four pages of typing to go... Chrysostom, please keep on track with your sermons next time!
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« Reply #64 on: July 18, 2013, 03:36:28 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is not forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.

if you can be drawn out of it is it not forever obviously

but I cannot imagine any way one would be able to. This reminds me, of a homily on the rich man and lazarus, i think by Chrysostom. perhaps it will shed some light on this. i will go find it.

Yes...the rich man and Lazarus is right on the money, I think.  We are called to repentance before death because after death it is too late, and our "course" is set, one way or the other.  Or so I've been led to understand....One can hope and pray that eventually ALL will be reconciled to God and brought into the light of His love, but, from my admittedly limited understanding, this is not Church dogma or doctrine.
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« Reply #65 on: July 18, 2013, 03:39:57 PM »

well its a whole book so it will take awhile, but while looking for the relevent passage I found something about slavery so I want to post it in that one slavery thread wonder if its still around

EDIT: I cant find the slavery thread  Embarrassed

EDIT2: Found it,  but my hand will hurt four pages of typing to go... Chrysostom, please keep on track with your sermons next time!

LOL! 
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« Reply #66 on: July 18, 2013, 10:54:43 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is not forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.
If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.
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« Reply #67 on: July 18, 2013, 11:05:39 PM »

If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.

On what do you base this opinion?  I don't think it's that simple. 
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« Reply #68 on: July 18, 2013, 11:09:55 PM »

If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.

On what do you base this opinion?  I don't think it's that simple.  
You don't?  I do.  Who, after suffering unbelievable agony, has learned the truth of their mistakes and is offered a way out would not accept?  No one.

Like the old saying goes, "Everyone will believe in God someday."

In fact, if this were able to be done, it isn't all that much different than Purgatory.
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« Reply #69 on: July 18, 2013, 11:13:31 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is not forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.
If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.

You're wrong.  There are those who will not repent.  It is difficult to fathom, but there are those who see God face to face, in all His glory, and reject Him.  
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« Reply #70 on: July 18, 2013, 11:24:16 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is not forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.
If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.
As I said before, I look at is as attending Divine Liturgy.  We enjoy going because we know the meaning and we believe in it.  If you were an atheist, you would be bored out of your mind.  If you were an atheist and attended an unending Divine Liturgy, would you grow to enjoy it or would you despise it more and more as time went on.  Even in hell, the ungodly do not wish to repent.  They will hate then what they hate now, but they will hate it all the more because they will be in the presence of He who they hate.
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« Reply #71 on: July 18, 2013, 11:26:10 PM »

For those who believe that most or all people will eventually concede, not just "bowing" (as Scripture says) out of necessity, but as an admission of Who God is...  wouldn't it seem unjust, unmerciful, and just cruel to let such people go to hell? This is where I don't understand the idea that someone can't change their status (so to speak) in the afterlife. Why would God insist that this confusing and temptation-filled fallen world be the only context in which one could come to be saved?
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« Reply #72 on: July 18, 2013, 11:32:20 PM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is not forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.
If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.

You're wrong.  There are those who will not repent.  It is difficult to fathom, but there are those who see God face to face, in all His glory, and reject Him.  
Okay, but damnation is eternal, so the question has no value to begin with.
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« Reply #73 on: July 18, 2013, 11:33:19 PM »

You don't?  I do.  Who, after suffering unbelievable agony, has learned the truth of their mistakes and is offered a way out would not accept?  No one.

That's too simplistic a view.  It doesn't take into account that those who are "in hell" have in large part done it to themselves.  At a certain point, it's not about the external suffering or unbelievable agony they endure, but about who one has become in relation to God.  Even with the most severe pain, they can still be stubborn and prefer their way to God's.  That may only make their situation worse, but so what?  It's just a downward spiral powered by pride.  Satan has been defeated by Christ.  He's already lost.  He never had a chance from the beginning, but definitely not after the Cross.  But he still keeps going.  Man can do this too.  Suffering is not enough to conquer that.    

Even here on earth, we know that there are people who suffer unbelievably due to situations that, whether or not they are responsible for them, are only worsened by their inability or unwillingness to do what it takes to get out.  That might continue the suffering, but it's by no means guaranteed that they'll eventually "snap out of it".  Some people don't.  If we can do that here, why not there?  

At the judgement, everyone will learn the truth of their mistakes as they look Christ straight in the eye and see what perfect humanity looks like and see how they compare.  They'll see, they'll believe, they'll know.  And God is always merciful, even when acting just.  But will it matter?  When the rich man went to Hades and asked Abraham to send poor Lazarus to his family to warn them, Abraham said they wouldn't believe someone raised from death if they won't believe Moses and the prophets.  So again, I believe man is powerful enough in determining his own way that he can choose opposition to God, in spite of sufferings already endured and the guarantee of more and worse.  Man is free to choose freedom or to choose imprisonment.  And when he has chosen a "hell-bound" imprisonment, something fundamental has changed in his relation to God that suffering may not change.  
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« Reply #74 on: July 19, 2013, 02:07:22 AM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is noth forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.
If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.
Many people get sick and pain after they smoke/take drugs/get drunk.They always have the opportunities to give them up.However, most of them would choose to go on with them.

Moreover,they are too prideful ,so they do not want to repent,even in the sufferings!
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« Reply #75 on: July 19, 2013, 02:53:41 AM »

I do not know where this concept that hell is not forever is coming from

Never read such a thing before.
I don't know if anyone is arguing that it is noth forever, but rather that we can legitimately hope that those that experience it might have the opportunity to repent and be drawn out of it.  For someone who does not repent, it unquestioningly would be eternal, but I think there is a question on when/if people can repent who have entered it.
If this opportunity were given, who would not repent?  All would so I doubt it would be given.
Many people get sick and pain after they smoke/take drugs/get drunk.They always have the opportunities to give them up.However, most of them would choose to go on with them.

Moreover,they are too prideful ,so they do not want to repent,even in the sufferings!

Put a drill bit through the knee cap of a pot head and tell him to stop smoking pot or you will drill the other knee cap, guess who stops smoking pot.

Now, place a person in the most horrible situation imaginable, multiply that by ten, let them know it is being done by the very God they rejected and watch how fast that person submits.  Of course, this is all hypothetical.
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« Reply #76 on: July 19, 2013, 03:33:49 AM »


Put a drill bit through the knee cap of a pot head and tell him to stop smoking pot or you will drill the other knee cap, guess who stops smoking pot.

Now, place a person in the most horrible situation imaginable, multiply that by ten, let them know it is being done by the very God they rejected and watch how fast that person submits.  Of course, this is all hypothetical.

You may be able to control one's body or behaviors through violence, but you can never control their heart or soul by violence. Their hearts and souls are still very ugly, very sinful, full of pride ,full of hatress on men and God.

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« Reply #77 on: July 19, 2013, 03:37:29 AM »

Yes, It was also very effective during prohibition , everyone  was helped by that law ,  even the rum runners were rewarded with Nascar.
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #78 on: July 19, 2013, 03:44:15 AM »


Put a drill bit through the knee cap of a pot head and tell him to stop smoking pot or you will drill the other knee cap, guess who stops smoking pot.

Now, place a person in the most horrible situation imaginable, multiply that by ten, let them know it is being done by the very God they rejected and watch how fast that person submits.  Of course, this is all hypothetical.

You may be able to control one's body or behaviours through violence, but you can never control their heart or soul by violence. Their hearts are still very ugly, very sinful, full of pride ,full of hatress on men and God.



And which of you are without sin , throw the first stoner out. Wink
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« Reply #79 on: July 19, 2013, 03:58:38 AM »

You guys...so much thought placed into a theoretical situation and wasted on something that will never take place.  The worst part is you fail to see human nature at every turn.  

The problem isn’t whether or not a person may or may not repent of their sins after they die, but prior to their physical death.  Once physical death takes place a person is no longer given an opportunity to repent of the sins they committed in that flesh.  If they were, knowing they denied God in their flesh because they doubted His existence or that He would fulfill what He stated upon their death, and once faced with the knowledge He indeed is real, just and all powerful, being shed of their sinful flesh, would no longer desire to cling to their long lost physical form stained by sin and would not just accept God and repent of their wrong doing, but run to His arms as fast as possible.  You are missing the point where the stain of sin is in our fleshly form.  Once we are liberated from that what pulls us to that sin?  Nothing.  

You folks keep altering the situation as the debate develops, which is imprudent.  The situation is we are provided all the opportunity in the world to live the best life we can for God here, in this life, in this world, and once that opportunity has passed, so has any chance of salvation.  The Holy Scriptures are explicitly clear on what takes place to those who deny God once they leave this physical form.  It isn’t pretty and it’s eternal.
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« Reply #80 on: July 19, 2013, 05:49:10 AM »

You are missing the point where the stain of sin is in our fleshly form.  Once we are liberated from that what pulls us to that sin?  Nothing.  

I think there is more to it than that. It is not only the body that causes us to sin, but some sins are rooted in the mind and soul, and in all sins it is the mind/soul working together with the body. We would not be free from the pull of sin just because we were bodiless...

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Tell me not that the body is a cause of sin. For if the body is a cause of sin, why does not a dead body sin? Put a sword in the right hand of one just dead, and no murder takes place. Let beauties of every kind pass before a youth just dead, and no impure desire arises. Why? Because the body sins not of itself, but the soul through the body. The body is an instrument, and, as it were, a garment and robe of the soul: and if by this latter it be given over to fornication, it becomes defiled: but if it dwell with a holy soul, it becomes a temple of the Holy Ghost.

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 4, 23

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The Lord came 'to seek and to save that which was lost' (Luke 19:10). Now it was not the body merely, but the whole man, compacted of soul and body, that was lost: indeed, if we are to speak more exactly, the soul was lost sooner than the body. For disobedience is a sin, not of the body, but of the will: and the will properly belongs to the soul, from which the whole disaster of our nature had its beginning, as the threat of God, that admits of no falsehood, testifies in the declaration that, in the day that they should eat of the forbidden fruit, death without respite would attach to the act.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, 2, 13

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Mortality then is not the cause of sin: accuse it not: but the wicked will is the root of all the mischief. For why was not Abel at all the worse for his body? Why are the devils not at all the better for being incorporeal? Wilt thou hear why the body's becoming mortal, so far from hurting, has been positively useful? Mark how much thou gainest  thereby, if thou art sober. It drags thee back and pulls thee off from wickedness, by griefs and pains and labors and other such things. "But it tempts men to uncleanness," perhaps you will say. Not the body, but incontinence, doth this. For all these things which I was mentioning certainly do belong to the body: on which account it is impossible that a man who has entered into this life should escape disease and pain and lowness of spirits: but that he commit no uncleanness is possible. Thus it appears that if the affections of vice were part of the nature of the body they would be universal: since all things natural are so; but to commit fornication is not so. Pain indeed cometh of nature: but to commit fornication proceeds from deliberate purpose. Blame not the body then; let not the Devil take away thine honor, which God hath given thee.

Blame not the body then; let not the Devil take away thine honor, which God hath given thee. For if we choose, the body is an excellent bridle to curb the wanton sallies of the soul, to pull down haughtiness, to repress arrogance, to minister to us in the greatest achievements of virtue. For tell me not of those who have lost their senses; since we often see horses, after they have thrown out their drivers, dashing with their reins over the precipices, and yet we do not blame the rein. For it is not the breaking of that which caused it all, but the driver not holding them in was the ruin of every thing. Just so do thou reason in this case. If thou seest a young person living in orphanhood and doing innumerable evil things, blame not the body, but the charioteer who is dragged on, I mean, the man's faculty of reasoning. For as the reins give no trouble to the charioteer, but the charioteer is the cruise of all the mischief through his not holding them properly: (and therefore do they often exact a penalty of him, entangling themselves with him, and dragging him on, and compelling him to partake in their own mishap:)  so is it also in the case before us. "I," say the reins, "made bloody the horse's mouth as long as you held me: but since you threw me away, I require satisfaction for your contempt, and I entwine myself about you, and drag you along, so as not to incur the same usage again."

Let no one then blame the reins, but himself and his own corrupt mind. For over us too is a charioteer, even reason: and the reins are the body, connecting the horses with the charioteer; if then these be in good condition, you will suffer no harm: but if you let them go, you have annihilated and ruined every thing. Let us be temperate then, and lay all blame not on the body, but on the evil mind. For this is the Devil's special work, to make foolish men accuse the body and God and their neighbor, rather than their own perverted minds; lest, having discovered the cause, they get free from the root of the evils.

-- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 17 on First Corinthians

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It is not the body which blinds the soul; far from it, O man; but the luxury. But whence do we desire the luxury? Not from our having a body, by no means; but from an evil choice.

-- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 39 on First Corinthians

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And Adam and Eve--for that is the name of the woman--were naked, and were not ashamed; for there was in them an innocent and childlike mind, and it was not possible for them to conceive and understand anything of that which by wickedness through lusts and shameful desires is born in the soul. For they were at that time entire, preserving their own nature; since they had the breath of life which was breathed on their creation: and, while this breath remains in its place and power, it has no comprehension and understanding of things that are base. And therefore they were not ashamed, kissing and embracing each other in purity after the manner of children.

-- St. Ireneaus, The Proof of theApostolic Preaching, 14
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« Reply #81 on: July 19, 2013, 06:33:58 AM »

Has no one yet mentioned how problematic the word "hell" is to English speakers?

In a nutshell, there are several words in the Bible all with a different meaning which are translated into one word, "hell", in our English Bibles.  Understanding the difference between them can really help clear up some of the confusion.

Currently I am leaning much more towards "Hell" being very different from the idea of eternal conscious torment (ECT).  
Most people think of the Lake of Fire.

True, but it never says the Lake of Fire is hell.  Plus the Lake is highly symbolic, as for most of the Revelation.  
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« Reply #82 on: July 19, 2013, 06:35:51 AM »

double post
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« Reply #83 on: July 19, 2013, 06:37:06 AM »

Do people who make it to heaven still sin?  If not, this view point doesn’t appear to be valid.  

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Romans 8:1-3

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:


Our minds and soul exist in this body.  To say sin originates from our mind or soul still says it originates from this body because in this life, they are contained within.  Once this container is opened and our soul released and faced with the reality of God (being in his presence, etc.), and experiencing the pain of eternal torment, there will no longer be any question of “Does God really exist?” or “Will God really punish good people who don’t live the life of a Christian?”  The answer will be obvious and I believe people would no longer cling to the things they felt important in flesh.

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Philippians 2:1-11
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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Romans 14:10-11
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

So, if every person who ever lived will bend their knee and confess unto the Lord, even at the moment of their judgment, where does the idea of getting out of eternal damnation originate?  I say it originates in the hearts of the naïve, of the dreamer.  
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« Reply #84 on: July 19, 2013, 06:38:34 AM »

True, but it never says the Lake of Fire is hell.    
But this is what most people think of when they think of hell.

Plus the Lake is highly symbolic, as for most of the Revelation.   

So say a few, but not all.  Many people do not believe it symbolic at all.
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« Reply #85 on: July 19, 2013, 06:40:40 AM »



Put a drill bit through the knee cap of a pot head and tell him to stop smoking pot or you will drill the other knee cap, guess who stops smoking pot.

Now, place a person in the most horrible situation imaginable, multiply that by ten, let them know it is being done by the very God they rejected and watch how fast that person submits.  Of course, this is all hypothetical.

Kerdy, you raise an interesting point.  If hell is a place of such punishments for eternity, then of course no one would choose it over God.  Therefore, they only end up there out of ignorance.  

This to me seems to go against the typical Orthodox teaching that people choose Hell, and God is only giving them what they want.
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« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2013, 06:44:53 AM »



Put a drill bit through the knee cap of a pot head and tell him to stop smoking pot or you will drill the other knee cap, guess who stops smoking pot.

Now, place a person in the most horrible situation imaginable, multiply that by ten, let them know it is being done by the very God they rejected and watch how fast that person submits.  Of course, this is all hypothetical.

Kerdy, you raise an interesting point.  If hell is a place of such punishments for eternity, then of course no one would choose it over God.  Therefore, they only end up there out of ignorance.  

This to me seems to go against the typical Orthodox teaching that people choose Hell, and God is only giving them what they want.


People do choose eternal punishment, by rejecting God.  They make this choice, not out of ignorance (other than they think they are right when they are wrong), but willfully.  Rejection is an action on the part of the person doing the rejecting, a choice made.  They may not want hell, but that is the option they choose.
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« Reply #87 on: July 19, 2013, 07:00:53 AM »

Believe me, I would love to have faith in the idea every person who was ever born would have a second chance to choose God, or even attain salvation without living as they are commanded, but that simply is not the case.  We are to work out our salvation in this life in fear and trembling.  Nothing is found telling us we will have a second chance after physical death to obtain salvation.  If we were, most people would wait until then. 
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« Reply #88 on: July 19, 2013, 07:01:09 AM »



Put a drill bit through the knee cap of a pot head and tell him to stop smoking pot or you will drill the other knee cap, guess who stops smoking pot.

Now, place a person in the most horrible situation imaginable, multiply that by ten, let them know it is being done by the very God they rejected and watch how fast that person submits.  Of course, this is all hypothetical.

Kerdy, you raise an interesting point.  If hell is a place of such punishments for eternity, then of course no one would choose it over God.  Therefore, they only end up there out of ignorance.  

This to me seems to go against the typical Orthodox teaching that people choose Hell, and God is only giving them what they want.


People do choose eternal punishment, by rejecting God.  They make this choice, not out of ignorance (other than they think they are right when they are wrong), but willfully.  Rejection is an action on the part of the person doing the rejecting, a choice made.  They may not want hell, but that is the option they choose.

How can they choose hell, and at the same time not want hell?
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« Reply #89 on: July 19, 2013, 07:03:32 AM »



Put a drill bit through the knee cap of a pot head and tell him to stop smoking pot or you will drill the other knee cap, guess who stops smoking pot.

Now, place a person in the most horrible situation imaginable, multiply that by ten, let them know it is being done by the very God they rejected and watch how fast that person submits.  Of course, this is all hypothetical.

Kerdy, you raise an interesting point.  If hell is a place of such punishments for eternity, then of course no one would choose it over God.  Therefore, they only end up there out of ignorance.  

This to me seems to go against the typical Orthodox teaching that people choose Hell, and God is only giving them what they want.


People do choose eternal punishment, by rejecting God.  They make this choice, not out of ignorance (other than they think they are right when they are wrong), but willfully.  Rejection is an action on the part of the person doing the rejecting, a choice made.  They may not want hell, but that is the option they choose.

How can they choose hell, and at the same time not want hell?
A person can choose to sleep with a prostitute and not want to get Chlamydia, but they still made that choice knowing the consequence.  A person can choose to rob a bank and not want to go to prison.  In the same way, a person can choose to reject God and not want to go to hell.  The question is whether or not they think they will.  Do you not think if the first two people knew what was going to happen to them they would make a different choice?  So would the third, and if given the chance to change the results after it was too late, would, but can't.
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