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Old 08-28-2001, 09:26 AM   #21
bd-from-kg
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Nomad:

It appears that Bede has abandoned this thread, but your comments are welcome. Perhaps you would like to clarify your views on Bede’s position.
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If one reads Scripture alone, it is not possible to determine that Hell involves the eternal torment of the damned ... any objective reading of Scripture could be shown to involve only the destruction of the damned in Hell. Belief that these individuals will be sentient or conscious of their suffering is an interpretation based on Church teachings found in "Tradition" outside of written Scripture.
But Bede is not arguing for the destruction of the damned; he is arguing for universalism. (Or at least the article he provided a link to as a source of further information on his position does, and the sources it cites are even more explicit on this point, so what else is one to think?) Do you consider it a tenable position that the Bible can be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with this doctrine?

Moreover, at the same time he claims to be espousing orthodox Catholicism. [See the Eternal Punishment thread ; all of Bede’s comments are on the first page.] Do you consider this a defensible claim? Is it reasonable to call any “Christian” theology at all “orthodox Catholicism”? Is the Catechism so flexible as to accommodate any interpretation that anyone wants to put on it?

And finally, if one argues (as the sources that Bede cites do) that the plain words of the Bible have been distorted beyond recognition by a corrupt early Church under the spell of heathen ideas, can one meaningfully call oneself a Christian at all? In the final analysis, doesn’t calling oneself a Christian involve accepting the authority of the early Church on at least the most basic points of doctrine? If not, Gnosticism and Docetism must be regarded as legitimate versions of “Christianity”.
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Old 08-28-2001, 09:51 AM   #22
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bg,

The link is intended as an example of alternative views on Hell. I do not agree with it all and do believe the damned will be annihilated (a view I consider, like Nomad, supported in scripture). I am not a universalist but neither do I see Christian teaching as exclusive.

Sorry I wasn't clear.

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Old 08-28-2001, 09:56 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bede:
<STRONG>I do not agree with it all and do believe the damned will be annihilated (a view I consider, like Nomad, supported in scripture).</STRONG>
Gee, THAT's a relief! Guess I won't need that sunscreen after all!
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Old 08-28-2001, 10:05 AM   #24
Ron Garrett
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Nomad posts:

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Just for the record, this statement is simply not true. If one reads Scripture alone, it is not possible to determine that Hell involves the eternal torment of the damned (with the notable exception of Satan and his angels). In the case of human beings, any objective reading of Scripture could be shown to involve only the destruction of the damned in Hell. Belief that these individuals will be sentient or conscious of their suffering is an interpretation based on Church teachings found in "Tradition" outside of written Scripture.
Nomad, for the record, your statement is your subjective opinion and is simply not true.

The following passage is a supposed statement of Christ and not an extra-biblical tradition.

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Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil.42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
No reference to Satan and his angels is present in this passage. The victims of the fiery furnace are "all who do evil." In the fiery furnace "there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." This taken in conjunction with Mark 9:

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Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
48 where "`their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'
provides the scriptural basis of the traditional teaching of hell as a place of unending torment. Of what significance are these passages "their worm dies not and the fire is not quenched" to destroyed beings who have no cognizance of either? The Matthew passage and the Mark passage taken in concert have been read by the church to refer to hell as a fiery furnace of unending torment throughout its history. As to whether this reading is "objective", or as to whether any reading of a religious text can even be "objective" is beyond me to defend, but my interpretation of the church's interpretation is nonetheless correct.

[ August 28, 2001: Message edited by: Ron Garrett ]
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Old 08-28-2001, 11:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by bd-from-kg:

But Bede is not arguing for the destruction of the damned; he is arguing for universalism. (Or at least the article he provided a link to as a source of further information on his position does, and the sources it cites are even more explicit on this point, so what else is one to think?)
I think that Bede is not arguing for universalism. In past discussions he has argued that the damned will be annihilated, and that appears to be his current view as well.

Quote:
Do you consider it a tenable position that the Bible can be interpreted in a manner that is consistent with this doctrine?
No I do not, nor have I seen a coherent argument put forward for universalism based on Biblical texts or orthodox Christian traditions.

Quote:
Moreover, at the same time he claims to be espousing orthodox Catholicism. [See the Eternal Punishment thread ; all of Bede’s comments are on the first page.] Do you consider this a defensible claim?
Are you asking if I think that his view is "orthodox"? From my own point of view I would have to say no. Church teachings that the damned will suffer in hell (not just be destroyed) are pretty clear.

Quote:
Is it reasonable to call any “Christian” theology at all “orthodox Catholicism”? Is the Catechism so flexible as to accommodate any interpretation that anyone wants to put on it?
No.

Quote:
And finally, if one argues (as the sources that Bede cites do) that the plain words of the Bible have been distorted beyond recognition by a corrupt early Church under the spell of heathen ideas, can one meaningfully call oneself a Christian at all?
I do not think that the author of the site makes a very coherent argument, and relies upon a good deal of special pleading to "prove" his point.

Quote:
In the final analysis, doesn’t calling oneself a Christian involve accepting the authority of the early Church on at least the most basic points of doctrine?
Yes it does, and these basic doctrines are defined in the Nicene Creed, a creed that Bede willingling confesses with full sincerety.

Quote:
If not, Gnosticism and Docetism must be regarded as legitimate versions of “Christianity”.
The purpose of the Creeds was to distinguish heresies from orthodoxy, and a true Gnostic or Docetisist (or any other heretic) will not confess any of them.

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Old 08-29-2001, 12:35 AM   #26
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First, let me state again that I believe in the Church doctrines on Hell. What I am arguing is that Scripture alone cannot be interpreted as teaching this unless one also accepts early Church traditions and teachings. The passages offered by Ron are a very good example of why my statement is true.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Garrett:

Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Taken alone, I see no reason to argue that this passage tells us that the damned will not simply be thrown into Hell and destroyed. Images found in Matthew of the burning of trees (3:10; 7:19), grass (3:12; 6:30) tend to support this interpretation. After all, trees and grass are utterly consumed in fire.

Quote:
No reference to Satan and his angels is present in this passage.
Here I was referring to Revelation 20:10 where we have the only clear indication that Satan and the devils will not be destroyed in Hell, but will suffer eternally. The contrast with the fate of humans is worth noting, as Revelation is silent on the point (20:14). Note that the casting into Hell is called the “second death”, which could be used to support the view that the damned will not suffer eternally.

Quote:
Mark 9:43-48 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where "`their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'
In itself, weeping and gnashing of teeth proves nothing regarding the fate of the damned. They will be aware of their damnation, but could still be destroyed in Hell rather than suffer. As for verse 44, this too can be disputed. The word in Greek is skolex and is defined by Strong’s Concordance as:

1) a worm, spec. that kind which preys upon dead bodies.

As this word is found only in Mark 9:44, 46 and 48 we have no evidence found within the Bible to tell us that Mark is talking about a human body or soul that will never die.

As I have said before, one cannot prove from Biblical passages alone that Hell is eternal torment for the damned. The exceptions, if one agrees to take Revelation literally would be Satan, his angels (the devils) and the Anti-Christ. As for the remainder of the condemned, unless one accepts Church tradition on this matter, the readings of the supporting text are ambiguous at best. For those that subscribe to the interpretation of the Bible based on Scripture alone, I know that this fact usually comes as a surprise, but it is quite true.

Nomad

[ August 29, 2001: Message edited by: Nomad ]
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Old 08-29-2001, 01:46 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nomad:
<STRONG>As I have said before, one cannot prove from Biblical passages alone that Hell is eternal torment for the damned. The exceptions, if one agrees to take Revelation literally would be Satan, his angels (the devils) and the Anti-Christ. As for the remainder of the condemned, unless one accepts Church tradition on this matter, the readings of the supporting text are ambiguous at best. </STRONG>
First off forgive me for being dense, I am slightly confused as to your position, do you accept the Church's traditional teaching that hell is unending torment?

As far as Revelation goes, here are some relevant verses (KJV):

Revelation 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." [Italics KJV]

Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

Now there are two ways that last passage could be interpreted. One; since we have already been told that the beast, the false prophet, and the devil himself will be tormented forever in the lake of fire, we should think that unending torment is the natural condition of hell. In other words, 20:10 implies eternal torment in 20:15.

Or the second option is; since eternal torment is explictly mentioned in 20:10, but not in 20:15, we should think that hell is not eternal for anyone, unless it is the three specificly mentioned in 20:10.

Unfortunately for those advocating no eternal hell, they have to contend with Revelation 14:9-11 (again KJV):

Revelation 14:9 "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand," [Italics KJV]

Rev. 14:11 "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." [Emphasis mine]

That last line clearly states that there will be others who will have unending torment in hell besides the three mention Rev. 20:10, namely, those who take the mark of the beast. Now one could still argue that Rev. 20:15 does not explicitly mention eternal torture, thereby meaning that only a small population in hell will actually be there "forever".

To think that though, one would have to say that people who worship the beast are so much more depraved than other sinners that they truly deserve eternal punishment. That would be an odd idea, since Rev. makes it clear that people will take the mark to simply survive, and that it is god himself who allows the false prophet to use signs and miracles to deceive all the world. In my mind the only way to interpret Revelation is the traditional Church teaching, hell is eternal torment for all who enter it. Am I misinterpreting Rev. 14:9-11 in your opinion Nomad? (I ask that in all sincerity.)


Of course I am an atheist so I am not going to lose too much sleep on what the author of Revelation was trying to say about hell.

regards,

Cornelius
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Old 08-29-2001, 06:25 AM   #28
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Nomad I think you are being intentionally obtuse.

Matthew 13:41-42 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

In the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Not in the judgement where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. I am perfectly aware that there are verses which support the utter destruction viewpoint, but your claim was that the torment viewpoint was unsupported and this is simply untrue. I agree the support is not definitive, but it certainly exists. You apparently just choose to ignore it so you can deflect the critique of God as being based on extra-biblical sources.

I am hardly advocating for the tortures of the damned, here, but given the ferocity and vindictiveness displayed by this genocidal God elsewhere in the Bible, a god who commands the slaughter of women and children and approves the sexual slavery of captives, the notion of a torturing God is not that hard to reconcile.

Quote:
Numbers 31:1
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2
Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. 3 And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian...
7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males...9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods...12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho. 13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle.
15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
Yeah, this is a loving God worthy of my slavish admiration.

[ August 29, 2001: Message edited by: Ron Garrett ]
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Old 08-31-2001, 01:19 AM   #29
sailor74
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HELL:
its a state of consciousness, its not literal.
consider the following.

Proverbs 15:24 "the way of life is above (using your head) that ye may depart from hell beneath." ruled by your lower or carnal nature.

you see no hell fire, just your state of mind, which if its not right , makes you feel like your living in hell.


edited by danny
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Old 08-31-2001, 11:23 AM   #30
Ron Garrett
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Allo Sailor:

It would be so nice if we just could insert parenthetical comments into scripture to make it say something sensible, but I understand that's verboten.

In any case, hell and heaven are both fairy tales that should have disappeared with oil rigs and space flights.
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