Voice of Choice

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at 12:16 PM
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  • What of the millions (maybe billions) of those who have never heard "God's word"? What is their fate?

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 6:24 PM
  • That is an excellent question, Benevolus, and to be honest, I cannot documented anything in the Bible that provides an answer to that question. I have asked it many times, myself.

    I do have an idea, but until I can find a way to support the answer, I must remain silent, because the answer smacks of heresy, and we cant have that. Ha. I did ask some folk, once, in a study group, and they almost choked on their tongues, fighting to be first to condemn my even asking, or suggesting I had been given an answer, like that. nuff said.

    If my dream is right, don't be concerned, and if wrong, ... w e l l . I'm back to I don't know. God knows though. That's what is important.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 6:44 PM
  • Wow, a study group reacted like that? Not much of a group if you ask me.

    I am disappointed by your answer (or lack of one), but not terribly surprised. I can't find a clear answer either. I also can't make sense of a benevolent God who would condemn an enormous portion of its creations to doom and suffering.

    Supposing for argument's sake that there is a creator, my thinking is that three choices exist given the problem above: a) most religions are wrong and our creator is not benevolent and in fact purposefully condemned millions/billions of people to torture and anguish; b) Christianity is wrong and it is not the only vehicle to paradise in the afterlife; all religions offer salvation, or c) Christianity is wrong and there is no such thing as hell.

    A = Christianity is wrong; implies God is malevolent

    B = Christianity is wrong; other religions offer salvation; God is benevolent

    C = Christianity is wrong; hell doesn't exist, all go to paradise; God is benevolent.


    -- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jan 22, 2013, at 7:15 PM
  • Biblically speaking, humanity came from a single source, Adam and Eve. Even as humanity began spreading out, the elders of each family taught their children about God the creator and sustainer of life. But with each generation, the teaching became diluted with the failures of humanism. Then God cleansed the earth with the flood.

    We are now in the second half of humanity with Noah and his offspring being the new Adam and Eve. They did as instructed by God to teach each generation the Truth of God. And each generation failed. To where we are now. But, every human has had the opportunity to know God, it was the sins of others that failed them. Missionaries throughout the world are doing God's work to get the word of God's saving grace to His followers out.

    So as disciples of God, we have a lot of work to do.

    -- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 7:45 AM
  • "But, every human has had the opportunity to know God."

    That simply is not true where western religion is concerned. Not all humans come into contact with Christianity. In fact, millions if not billions don't. Which means that if there is a God, and if Christianity is the only path to heaven, God condemned its creations on purpose. A pretty horrible thing to do actually.

    No matter how you reason through this problem, Christian scripture has something wrong. Clearly, this is yet another example of the bible not being inerrant.

    Regarding the gibberish in your first paragraph, none of it is true. That much we know for certain.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 3:11 PM
  • Benevolus, CPB, You, I believe are referencing:

    Mat_24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    The key is '...unto all nations...' not, 'to all people' The gospel has been taught in all 'nations,' so strictly stating, that directive has been fulfilled. a thought.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 6:09 PM
  • But clearly, villagers in rural Afghanistan, monks in Tibet, Chinese laborers, those meek and poor Indians in Kolkata slums have never heard of Christianity. This isn't speculation, it is recorded fact. Many illiterate folks in this area of the world have no access to Christian churches, and cannot read for themselves.

    So your passage is once again inaccurate. The scripture may be preached in every nation (also debatable) but certainly not every person in a given nation has had the chance to come into contact with Christianity.

    What you suggest is like if your dad says to wash the car, so you spray it down with a garden hose and call it good.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 6:55 PM
  • Gee Ben, sometimes you come accross kind of waspy! I do enjoy reading your posts though and marvel at your dug-in position on things. Hey Arley could you tell us how God changed your life after you were born again? What were you like before you were saved? I'm all ears! I sure do like reading your writings, you must be a wonderful person!! I thank God for how He has gifted you in your ministry to all of us!

    -- Posted by walkwithhim on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 7:53 PM
  • Thanks for your kind words, walkingwithhim, and your request. I'm not sure I have the strength of character to write about myself, at least I find it difficult. I found that out, when applying for Commission in the Navy (always got passed over // their loss, Ha). My life has been very eventful, and diversified, even as a child. I will share a bit, but not a lot, for space reasons, and sleep reasons, since many good folk might fall asleep before I could find a place to implant a period (my teachers warned me about two sentence pages, but, I fear I never learned how to orate better.

    I was born in 38, about three years before the actual end of the Depression, when WW-II started. I was raised by my Paternal Grandparents, from age two, and all I remember before that was hunger, and living in a shack, and a tent. My Grandfather worked on the Railroad, CB&Q, in McCook, and we three kids (Sister, me, and baby brother) mostly grew up attending Church, and believing deeply in Jesus, but when I was about twenty five, I walked away from Jesus, for allowing a Minister to preach a sermon, with my wife, three sons, and me (in full dress Navy Uniform), in the front pew, about us 'Baby killing Warmongers,' who were slaughtering the poor Vietnamese ... etc. I blamed Jesus, more than I blamed the idiot on the pulpit, and quit going to Church. Though I didn't understand relationship with Jesus, I was a devout Christian, and did my best to live in full accordance with the 'Big Ten.' I grew up, a Boy Scout, and I guess I forgot to lay it down, so, I had a few problems with bullies, and the like. ... Yadda Yadda ... I traveled the world, went to school after school, working with what I felt was the best Sailors in the world, Submariners, primarily, until I retired in 79 (Many adventures unmentioned).

    I met a Minister who taught Book Chapter and Verse, in English, Greek, and Hebrew, in the latter 90's, and realized, even though I had walked away from Jesus, He had not left me out of His heart. To that point in my life, Jesus had saved my life more than ten times, and though I knew it, I hadn't taken the time to thank Him.

    So, I thanked Him, ... and I haven't been the same person since. That was in 1999. I was having a good life, but it got better, in a way, and not so good in a couple of others (but needs no elucidation at this time). Shortly after realizing my Rebirth, I started writing Christian lyrics, to melodies I liked, and was allowed to sing them in Service (catchy little things, the Congregation liked).

    When I moved to Bartley, six years ago, I felt I was supposed to start writing Praise and poetry, and I did, slowly at first, but picked up production fairly quickly. The more I write, the better I feel, so I decided to write, with greater zeal. I haven't counted for a while, but I had managed over 600 at last peek.

    There are many things I could talk about, bragish type things, that, for now I will leave silent, except to say, I've saved more lives than contrary, ended up with more schooling than taxpayers would like me to say. I feel sorry for people who feel they must tear people down, to make themselves look big. And, I am anxiously keeping the watch for what I feel is the Bridegroom sneaking back to Snatch His Bride/Church, very soon. If I'm right, some of us will have a great flight home, doing what I call, 'Graduating' Home (My heart tells me: Christians don't die, they Graduate), and I would love to help as many as I am able to open their hearts to Jesus, and accept His Redemption. He already paid the Price, but as you know, a person need 'Accept' His Freely given Gift. But then, we all know that, but some refuse....their choice.

    Oh, Benevolus, I know of no scripture that states the Gospel must be preached to every 'soul/person,' only every 'nation.' I'm fairly sure you already know, but Matt 24:19 was orated by Jesus/Emanuel, Himself; and when God say's it, I don't argue with Him. So, unless you are God, you really shouldn't be telling God what He says, or means. a thought.

    See how windy I get, not saying anything?? Ha (^8

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, Jan 23, 2013, at 9:29 PM
  • Great life story Arley! We serve a Wonderful and Faithful God who answers all that call out to Him!

    -- Posted by walkwithhim on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 11:01 AM
  • "So, unless you are God, you really shouldn't be telling God what He says, or means. a thought."

    I am not certain there is a God, but I am certain that no religion has figured out how to describe or understand God is it exists.

    It's like Carl Sagan said, "I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in religion. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true."

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 12:18 PM
  • Carl, now knows the answers, but sadly, cannot, with his Science resurrect, to tell us if his lack of Faith was the 'Right way to live.' We, all, will know, sooner than some would like, I believe.

    I'll pray you find your way back to Jesus, as I did, once I realized I was the one, wrong.

    Have you ever wondered why, Scientist always seem to 'Find,' and then work diligently to figure out how to prove what they find?? IMHO, God never bothered with the 'Proof' part, since He 'created' everything Scientists are ''Finding.'' a thought.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 1:11 PM
  • Well what is interesting about science is that it doesn't seek to prove, but rather to falsify. If I form a hypothesis, make an observation, come to a conclusion, and report my findings...your job as my colleague is to retest (or prove the null, or falsify) my results. If you can prove me wrong, then I have to redesign my study and try again, or accept that my findings were in error. If you can't, and our other colleagues can't either, then my 'findings' become facts..and once facts become internalized by someone, they become knowledge....and the entire historic and current body of scientific evidence is up for review. Sometimes there are what Kuhn called paradigm shifts in science, where our entire way of looking at the world is turned on its head because new evidence emerges. The sun at the center of the solar system is one such paradigm shift.

    What I find inspiring about science is that people actually do this everyday...they admit they are wrong when better evidence and sounder arguments come out to explain a phenomenon. I don't find much of that in religion (or politics).

    But you make an interesting point about "finding" and "creating". Assuming there is a God, then the underlying point of science becomes understanding the cosmos that God created. What better way to experience God than by understanding how his creations work? Which we can do! If there is a God, science is the greatest tool we have to 'get to know' our maker.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 1:32 PM
  • Your last paragraph speaks well, Benevolus. The only caution needed would be to 'take care so as not to turn your Science into a replacement for God.' It is a simple matter of priorities, IMO. I have never said anything about Science being a bad thing. If it were, then I wasted much of my adult life, as have many other, by working in that milieu.

    You being well versed in the Bible, I offer this 35 minute video, that may constitute a semblance of Proof, for your doubts:


    If it doesn't 'prove' anything to you, no problem. I feel it may be of some interest, as to the viability of Prophecy and Historic events.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 3:18 PM
  • I have a stats quiz Friday so the video will have to wait. Maybe I'll have time to watch this w/e.

    Regarding science replacing God, that wasn't my point so much as science replacing religion. I would advocate for that.

    -- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 5:16 PM
  • Ooops, they took the site down, but I managed to find the original teaching, from a few weeks ago.

    Go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXei0Zb3dxM

    This one is the full length teaching of 56 minutes, but I feel well worth the view.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 10:25 PM
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