If Jesus is the only way to God as Acts 4:12 says, then Islam is not just cruel, but eternally cruel.
I am not sure why you guys are pursuing this line with Noah. Muslims sincerely believe they are telling the truth. They believe it. Islam, as I believe, is wrong. And, I think there are a lot of lines one can pursue to demonstrate this. But is there a point in trying to say it is cruel because it preaches hell and condemnation for unbelievers? I don't see it.
Would Hell not be logically consistent with the belief that Allah is a morally perfect judge? We may not completely agree with how they portray perfection, or several other matters, but I don't see how it isn't internally consistent with the religion as a whole.
Noah1201 wrote:Now, everyone is suddenly attempting to paint a picture of Christianity that allows one to live however they like - murder, steal, fornicate, and so forth - all while laughing and cursing God, and still get to go to Heaven for their faith in Jesus? Come on, guys. This is not what mainstream Christianity preaches.
Noah, it is a hard picture to paint. A Christian has freedom in Christ. But God also disciplines those he loves. A Christian would be walking contrary to the spirit if he did the things above. That we know. And we know that person will be disciplined. They will lose fellowship. They will grieve the spirit. And they will not find comfort or peace, or security. It is not impossible for a Christian to sin. But it is impossible for a Christian to sin, and think such things, because he is not his own. God will cut off that believer in which they will find no security or peace. The witness of the HS is through faith. And if one is willfully disobedient then they they grieve the spirit, denying it, and thus losing the inner witness. Doubt and despair fill the void. If the person is truly saved, then he is saved. Anyone who looks at salvation as an excuse to get away with these things, has not experienced grace, IMO. Or, has drifited so far from grace that they are vexed. That is what we call WILLFUL sin. Christians do sin. And they also sin knowing it is wrong. But do they willingly sin, thinking, "Hey I can murder this guy and still go to heaven." I would question whether that person has the deposit guaranteeing an inheritance. Could they? man, it's a tough question. Obviously this question came up in the 1st century to Paul. You might want to read Romans 5-7 for starters. Rom. 6:1-2 is where the question is specifically addressed.
As I said Noah, it's a hard picture to paint. But the very conflict you have with it, tells me you likely never experienced it to begin with. A person who says they used to be a Christian is like saying, I used to be Caucasian. Can a true believer get so far from the truth that they would come to your point? Perhaps. But there are some critical questions that you should ask.
Did you know Christ? If you knew Christ, how did you unknow Him?
Okay, so in order to maintain the belief that faith alone is required for salvation, you redefine the word "faith" to encompass "repentance" in its meaning.
This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what repent conveys.
Faith is a matter of the mind. It is submitting in trust. So, when a person goes from unbelief to belief they are repenting. That is they are forsaking one way of thinking to embrace a new one.
Example: Let's say you need surgery. But you don't trust doctors. So, because of your lack of faith in doctors you refuse the surgery. Then you have a meeting with the doctor. He shows you his credentials. He consults you over your illness, and takes the time to show you your need for this surgery. You 'decide' to place your faith in the doctor and trust him to operate on you. You put your fate in his hands. You went from unbelief to belief. And, you repented. You changed your mind.
This isn't a perfect analogy, but it at least scratches the surface of coming to salvation. Repentance is absolutely essential for salvation. It isn't seperate from faith per se, nor is it identical. I wouldn't even say it is a 'part' of faith. But it is all interwoven. If someone is trying to use repentance to argue against faith alone, it would appear that they do not understand either the word, or the human mind.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord
"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious