The following posts/discussion was taken from the topic, Why do bad things happen to Christians? A modified poe
. Please discuss issues of God, Heaven and Hell here rather in the original thread.
Ivellious wrote:As much as this might ruffle some feathers, I think it's not right to look at it from the perspective of "Well, we know why bad things happen to the unbelievers, but why us?" As far as I can tell, Godless people have been the most powerful and abundantly influential people in history, far outweighing the successful pure Christians. Likewise, bad things happen to all kinds of people.
It is totally non-discriminatory as far as I can tell, which leads me to believe God doesn't really care what religion you are, if you look at good/bad things as a function of God. Of course, that almost sounds naturalistic in a sense, to think that nature is what it is and does not consciously do things for or against anyone.
But these questions are almost insanely impossible philosophical questions, so...I'll leave it at "I don't think there is a good answer."
B. W. wrote:Where do such spend eternity? That is what matters. Maybe, this life is the only good some Godless people will ever know...
Such things the justice of God holds that many fail to see it.
Where will you spend eternity Ivellious?
Ivellious wrote:It's a bit of a loaded question, don't you think?
Look, I'm not here to bash the beliefs of those here, or to get in trouble again for being too vocal about my opinions that directly contradict Christianity. Not at all. All I'm saying is that I can't imagine an afterlife where most of the people I know and love will not be there. I can't imagine a God so open to punishment without much room for error. I could write a small novel on that subject of Heaven alone. You don't need to quote scripture to prove my points wrong, because I've read it, and it's part of the reason I have stepped away from the church and pursued my own avenue of spirituality and connection with a higher power (you may call him God).
Ivellious wrote:But isn't it a bit cruel to teach them a lesson, let them learn, and then say "oh well you're a slow learner so I'm damning you to Hell."?
Tina wrote:Whoa, slow down. GOD doesn't damn anyone to hell. Each individual damns his or herself. You choose to love GOD or not. Due to freewill, you go to hell because GOD is respecting your decision of you not wanting to be with HIM. And, besides, natural disasters are necessary to keep the planet working properly. Yes, people get effected by it, but if they love GOD, they will trust HIM, they will rely on HIM to help them through the terrible event, therefore, strengthening their relationship with GOD, strengthening themselves, and helping them deal with situations later in life.
Ivellious wrote:But isn't what you said before contradictory to that? What is "learning the hard way" if you never learn to love Christ as your savior in life? Then you die, and you get punished, like a good parent would if you screwed up as a kid. But, as opposed to your dad grounding you for not learning something fast enough before, God supposedly decides that eternity is a much better punishment. It seems to me, and most outsiders, that it is incredibly sad to think that our father could take a finite amount of failure and turn it into an infinite amount of punishment. No matter how you look at it, it's punishment.
Tina wrote:Here's an example--You keep doing something you know you shouldn't do. Your dad keeps telling you not to do it. You ignore him. You go out and do it again, but this time you suffer the consequences for your actions. Then, you come back to your dad, apologizing, and asking him for help. Being the loving father he is, he helps you, and reassures you that he'll always be there for you, and you learn your lesson.
I've seen bad events turn into love fests. They can bring people together, they can teach a lesson, they get people's attention. GOD has done things in the Bible to do just that. He wants to get people's attention. He wants them to be with HIM, so He has to get their attention. If anyone wants to be with GOD, GOD wants them to be with HIM even more. The FATHER loves us. If you already love Christ, and then die, you'll go to heaven and be with GOD. As I said before, GOD wants people's attention, unbelievers, followers that stray, believers He wants a stronger relationship, everyone. If everything went perfect, then we wouldn't learn. I also think we wouldn't turn to GOD as much. GOD is an all powerful, all knowing being. HE loves us. HE knows what HE's doing. The issue is how much we trust HIM.
* I used to ask these same questions until I finally accepted that GOD truly loves us. It's easier to understand the things that happen, if you understand more about GOD
Kurieuo wrote:Just wondering and interested to know, if you were God what would you set up in the afterlife for people?
To spec that out a little, God for me is the source of everything that has been created, the source of good, righteousness, love and in control of what happens to the destinies of created beings. Without God, these things do not exist.
When someone dies, how much "error" would you accept in someone as God? A little error, no error, all -- where do you draw the line? What does this say of your righteousness?
How do you handle those who might be frightened by you and just want to run and hide?
What about those who despise you, do you impose yourself upon them or let them be as separate from you as is possible? Also add in, someone in their family loves you and does want to be with you?
I will critique your response, but there is no real right or wrong answer. I'd just find your response interesting.
B.W. wrote:I posted this answer on another thread but it fits here as well with an added paragraph for Ilvellious
When you understand how people desire to slay the good in the world as they did so Christ Jesus – One's faith in humanity is lost. You also see the same thing in people’s attack against Christians as well. Such folks, shout in similar contexts like this: We must Prove them hypocrites ! Their faith no better than anyone else’s, so off with their heads! Christian aren’t Good, so let’s slay them, mock them – lets write on websites and put them on trial – so we can shout Crucify!
Why do people want to slay goodness in others? Look at the occupy wall street people – if one does well – you hear them shout –Rich people are evil we need to take what they have! Does matter the charities they give too or the character – if they are decent folk – its let put them on trial and slay them and take what they have.
No Offence to you personal Ivellious, but you sure seem behaving just like that with the tone of your post on the Forum, which seek to belittle, mock Christians, put them on trial. I wonder if you are seeking to slay goodness? Not all of Christians are hypocrites and charlatans so why so busy trying to paint every Christian as they were all bad apples? Would you be satisfied doing so with Christ, shouting crucify or fetching the nails? A tree is known by its fruit…
When people desire to poke fun, mock, despise goodness, put people on trial and all that and then is it any wonder bad things happen to good Christian people? And with every false accusation, mocking, trail, etc, a greater foe is revealed so that the events of Revelation chapters 19 thru 20 will come to pass, justified, and beyond all shadow of doubt. What bad are you doing here Ilvellious? Why would God desire you to be His next door neighbor in heaven?
Ivellious wrote:I'll try to answer those questions, but if you will, I won't put myself too much in the shoes of God, so to speak. I don't claim to know the perfect solutions.
The way I look at the afterlife is this. I believe that everyone is the "child" so to speak of a higher power. I think that the higher power that had a hand in shaping the universe certainly identifies us all as its children. I think all people have the opportunity when they die to go to heaven, or an afterlife, or whatever you want to call it. People can be with their loved ones, live free from pain and suffering, can watch over loved ones still living, and so on. I don't know if heaven conforms to one all-encompassing place that all people go to, or if it is somewhat "specialized" for each person. I do believe that all people will be there someday. Let me clarify:
I do not see eternal punishment for anyone, not Hitler, not serial killers, not rapists, psychopaths, or so on. There are several reasons for me coming to this conclusion. First, I do not believe the higher power that I believe in is quite the taskmaster or pompous egomaniac that some religions make it out to be. I believe it goes by many names, takes many shapes, and does not play favorites with any of us. I think that it recognizes that people are all individuals, and whether God has a place in their lives is irrelevant because being happy and respecting ALL the world around us is the key. I don't think God takes an active role in shaping our lives. For this reason, I do not believe God chooses to let certain religions (or lack thereof) into heaven.
Second, I maintain the ludicrousness of eternal punishment for finite crimes. That's fairly straightforward, especially when certain individual's "crime" is simply not accepting Jesus as their savior.
Third, I think God recognizes that some humans are broken. Hitler was a broken man. Many people who commit awful crimes are simply put, broken individuals. No human being that is put together properly in the head could be that girl who killed her neighbor's children and laughed about it. Frankly, I would believe that when she dies, she will be reprimanded and punished, but those truly broken individuals will be seated closest to God, because God recognizes that it is not always their fault, in a matter of speaking.
To clarify, I do believe in punishment. Evil and depraved people will be punished, but I firmly believe that God will absolve everyone when their conscience shines through. For those who cannot realize the error of their ways (the "broken" ones), I believe God has the ability to hold them closely and fix them in a sense, so that their souls can be whole again. I believe that our souls, free from dark feelings and mortal concerns, can even come to forgive those who have committed crimes against us. Honestly, some people may take a long time to be punished, and it may seem like eternity. I wouldn't be shocked if God punished us all to some degree, that is, for the errors in our ways, we would have to atone and accept responsibility for them. The severity would be judged by God, and once completed, you could be accepted into your afterlife.
Error is hard to quantify. Like I said, I know that there are broken people out there, physically and mentally. Is that a fault of God? Hardly. Again, I don't believe in a God who takes those kinds of actions regularly. It also depends on what you consider error. Is murder an error? Yes, of course, and I can't fault God for human actions. Is being Hindu an error? We would disagree on that. At the same time, I again believe that God could very well find punishments to suit all "errors," as long as that might take for some. I don't believe God accepts people with errors into heaven, at least not until they have properly atoned.
Again, religious belief is not a concern. Now, say an atheist runs from the concept of God because they simply want to avoid morality and commit crimes and depraved acts. That would obviously be a situation where God may punish an individual. If someone is an atheist because they genuinely don't believe and yet they still live a more fruitful, happy, and moral life, then their punishment may be less severe than others who do believe in Christ.
Of course some people might despise God, whether they wrongfully blame God for certain events in their lives or they simply have some inborn hostilities. But, here's my take: Say you die and the higher power greets you. You say that you hate God for what he did to you. I'm sure God, being patient and loving, would strip away the mortal antagonistic attitude and show you that God was not responsible. If that disposition led to improper actions by you, God would punish you. But the God I choose to believe in would not push away someone for selfish or mortal beliefs. It may take a long while, but certainly God could ease the hate in that heart and let him/her into the afterlife eventually.
Obviously there's much more, but I've already got a good novel going so I'll stop and let you tear into my idealistic worldview. I don't really ask for much other than please don't simply respond by attacking it or throwing Bible verses at me. Not that you can't compare this to Christianity, but comparing this to scripture would be an obvious conflict and really get nowhere fast.
Ivellious wrote:OK, I don't have loads of time but to BW:
I really don't intend to attack Christians, especially not as a whole. I seek to respect others, and perhaps share my opinions, but I ask not for your support or your sympathy on the matter. I realize some people take it personally when I debate the scripture or other aspects of Christianity.
I seem to be a rather polarizing figure on the forum, and I guess I can't be too shocked. I have had personal messages and thread posts praising my patience and understanding and respectfulness, and I've also had an admin. ban me and I get a few other members infuriated over the same types of posts that others praise. I'm not trying to be offensive at all, but the reason I'm here is that most of the time I am allowed on this site to express an opinion without being obliterated by negative messages. I understand that sometimes I seem like I stereotype and label and by disagreeing with the Bible I might seem like I'm personally attacking you. I'm sorry if you feel that way, but you can take my word that I hold no animosity toward Christians as a whole, nor am I out to be an "anti-Christian troll."
And, for the record, while most people on the site are respectful, and I don't ask you to take responsibility for this, but I too have felt strongly under attack at times here so you'll have to forgive me if I get worked up occasionally. When certain members here stereotype, label, and openly condemn me for my beliefs, you had better believe I feel disrespected.
Forgive my rant, I'm tired and I just needed to get that out there. Night all.