Re: Russian 'chessboard killer' convicted of 48 murders

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1st Century Apostolic Traditionalist UK.RC

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Oct 25, 2007, 2:26:07 PM10/25/07
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Now why did God let this 'evil man' keep continually killing, and abusing
the down and outs, and the elderly and vulnerable, Celia, or anyone?

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL247048420071024?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
"Pichushkin preyed on the marginals of Russian society -- drug addicts,
alcoholics, the poor and the elderly. He would get them drunk in Moscow
parkland and then smash in their skulls."

Jeff...
"16 Take heed unto thyself, and the doctrines; continue in them: for in
doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
1 Tim 4:16 (KJV)

Gareth McCaughan

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Oct 25, 2007, 4:23:56 PM10/25/07
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Jeff Hickling wrote:

> Now why did God let this 'evil man' keep continually killing, and abusing
> the down and outs, and the elderly and vulnerable, Celia, or anyone?
>
> http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL247048420071024?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
> "Pichushkin preyed on the marginals of Russian society -- drug addicts,
> alcoholics, the poor and the elderly. He would get them drunk in Moscow
> parkland and then smash in their skulls."

What's your answer, Jeff? That God is loving in the same way as you are?

--
Gareth McCaughan
.sig under construc

celia

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Oct 25, 2007, 5:35:07 PM10/25/07
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On 25 Oct, 19:26, "1st Century Apostolic Traditionalist UK.RC"

<broadband[remove]1...@ntlworld.com> wrote:
> Now why did God let this 'evil man' keep continually killing, and abusing
> the down and outs, and the elderly and vulnerable, Celia, or anyone?
>
> http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL247048420071024?feedTyp...

> "Pichushkin preyed on the marginals of Russian society -- drug addicts,
> alcoholics, the poor and the elderly. He would get them drunk in Moscow
> parkland and then smash in their skulls."
>
> Jeff...
> "16 Take heed unto thyself, and the doctrines; continue in them: for in
> doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
> 1 Tim 4:16 (KJV)

Hang on a minute Jeff, I discover someone who might well have 'killed'
that number of young people and you blamed the victims !
Is one sort of murder more acceptable than another ?

This much I know- God is good - this is evil and therefore it is not
of God.
If we as Christians marginalise any group and treat them as less
than human, of less value than the rest of society, we make this sort
of sin easier. If we turn our backs on those on the edges of
respectable society and let them become invisible then these things
can happen. Do you think if these had been middle class citizens there
would have been so many murdered ?
Do You think that a confidence trick leading to the death of
teenagers would have continued for perhaps more than four years if
they hadn't been troubled youngsters?
Why ask me Jeff ? I might be a crap Christian but I do try to be
part of the solution and am not afraid of taking the light into dark
places.

Celia

1st Century Apostolic Traditionalist UK.RC

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Oct 25, 2007, 5:41:12 PM10/25/07
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"Gareth McCaughan" <Gareth.M...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:873avzq...@g.mccaughan.org.uk...

Come off it Gareth, you know I have the answer already, otherwise I would
not bother to ask the question.
But let us see who of the professing Christians on here can give an
explanation and help relieve poor Celia with her grieving.

Maybe Ken, can take the stage......
Although I am quite confident you yourself, will be able to give your
reasons why?.......{;o;}

So...come on....off you go....

Jeff...

Gareth McCaughan

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Oct 25, 2007, 7:33:24 PM10/25/07
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Jeff Hickling wrote:

>>> Now why did God let this 'evil man' keep continually killing, and abusing
>>> the down and outs, and the elderly and vulnerable, Celia, or anyone?
>>>
>>> http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL247048420071024?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
>>> "Pichushkin preyed on the marginals of Russian society -- drug addicts,
>>> alcoholics, the poor and the elderly. He would get them drunk in Moscow
>>> parkland and then smash in their skulls."
>>
>> What's your answer, Jeff? That God is loving in the same way as you are?
>
> Come off it Gareth, you know I have the answer already, otherwise I would
> not bother to ask the question.

I'm entirely willing to believe that you wouldn't ever ask a question
without already having made up your mind what the answer is, yes.

> But let us see who of the professing Christians on here can give an
> explanation and help relieve poor Celia with her grieving.

But I have some doubt as to whether you in fact have the slightest
interest in relieving Celia's, or anyone else's, distress at this
sort of thing.

(Not that this has anything to do with Celia other than that you
appear to have latched onto her as your favourite person to throw
faeces at.)

> Although I am quite confident you yourself, will be able to give your
> reasons why?.......{;o;}

Yup. God didn't stop him committing the evil he did because there
is no God to stop him. Whether that's any comfort to anyone I don't
know, though on the whole I think it probably should be to anyone
whose idea of God resembles the horror you appear to worship.

Giles

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Oct 26, 2007, 6:56:11 AM10/26/07
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On Oct 25, 10:35 pm, celia <c_a_b...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
> This much I know- God is good - this is evil and therefore it is not
> of God.

citizens there
> Celia

Surely the god you appease is far worse than this serial killer. He
punishes people for all eternity for not appeasing him. Somehow though
christians preserve their god in their minds as a god of love. The
word "love" takes on a whole new Orwellian meaning. Love: the act of
causing pain to someone for all eternity.

Philip Gardner

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Oct 26, 2007, 7:53:52 AM10/26/07
to
Giles wrote:
> Surely the god you appease is far worse than this serial killer. He
> punishes people for all eternity for not appeasing him. Somehow
> though
> christians preserve their god in their minds as a god of love. The
> word "love" takes on a whole new Orwellian meaning. Love: the act of
> causing pain to someone for all eternity.

Oh, please! If you made the slightest attempt to understand what
Christians actually believe and do, we might take your posts more
seriously.

PhilG

michaeld

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Oct 26, 2007, 10:26:25 PM10/26/07
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On Oct 26, 12:53 pm, "Philip Gardner" <pcgardn...@operamail.com>
wrote:

While it's certainly true that not all Christians believe in Eternal
Conscious Torment, so in that respect Giles' post was misleading, it
also seems a bit of a stretch to suggest it is a total distortion. The
belief in eternal hell actually seems to be quite popular in many
mainstream Christian circles, and in such cases it seems quite hard to
fault Giles' post.

Michael

John Blake

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Oct 27, 2007, 2:48:03 AM10/27/07
to

I have been lurking in this group and posting the occasional comment
for a few years now. What has become abundantly clear is that it is
impossible to know just what 'Christians believe' as each one believes
something different from the next.

This I find very hard to understand, as they also claim to be guided
by God/the Holy Spirit/Jesus. This trio are supposed to have made the
entire world/universe and everything in it and yet seem unable to get
their message across coherently to their creations.

Ask any random selection of Christians about what they believe hell to
be and see if you can get any sort of consensus.

Philip Gardner

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Oct 27, 2007, 3:28:28 AM10/27/07
to

I wasn't only objecting to Giles' reference to 'eternal conscious
torment', though that's part of it - he also smuggled in the idea that
God *causes* or *inflicts* the pain of hell, which most thinking
Christians who believe in hell would deny. There was also the idea
that Christians are 'appeasing' God; that's certainly not what I or
any of the Christians I know are doing.

PhilG

Philip Gardner

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Oct 27, 2007, 3:33:44 AM10/27/07
to

You say this as though it were a problem, but that was one of the
things that I found annoying about Giles's post - he implied that all
Christians believe in eternal torment and spend their time appeasing
God, whereas [a] as you rightly say, there is a great diversity of
Christian beliefs, and [b] the number of Christians who believe in
eternal torment *and* spend their time appeasing God is very low.

PhilG

John Blake

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Oct 27, 2007, 4:53:57 AM10/27/07
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On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 08:33:44 +0100, "Philip Gardner"
<pcgar...@operamail.com> wrote:

Me:


>>
>> Ask any random selection of Christians about what they believe hell
>> to
>> be and see if you can get any sort of consensus.

Philip:


>
>You say this as though it were a problem, but that was one of the
>things that I found annoying about Giles's post - he implied that all
>Christians believe in eternal torment and spend their time appeasing
>God, whereas [a] as you rightly say, there is a great diversity of
>Christian beliefs, and [b] the number of Christians who believe in
>eternal torment *and* spend their time appeasing God is very low.
>

It is a problem in as much as some Christians believe in eternal
torment and accept that their god is responsible for it and yet still
claim that he is loving.

I'm reasonably sure that there are more Christians that believe in
this than you think. But regardless of numbers, how can you subscribe
to a religion which is unsure of one of the most basic concepts on
which it is founded, i.e. what happens to those who are 'not saved'?

Gareth McCaughan

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Oct 27, 2007, 5:15:09 AM10/27/07
to
Philip Gardner wrote:

> You say this as though it were a problem, but that was one of the
> things that I found annoying about Giles's post - he implied that all
> Christians believe in eternal torment and spend their time appeasing
> God, whereas [a] as you rightly say, there is a great diversity of
> Christian beliefs, and [b] the number of Christians who believe in
> eternal torment *and* spend their time appeasing God is very low.

Re [b]: Is it? (Do you mean because firm belief in hell goes along
with a theology that emphasizes faith over works? I'm not sure that
that's true, though clearly sometimes it does, and it seems to me
that a notional faith-over-works theology goes along with a strong
preoccupation with works in practice -- especially other people's
works, I fear.)

Not very long ago, I think just about all serious Christians believed
in hell.

Gareth McCaughan

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Oct 27, 2007, 5:29:41 AM10/27/07
to
Philip Gardner wrote:

["Giles":]


>>>> Surely the god you appease is far worse than this serial killer.
>>>> He punishes people for all eternity for not appeasing him.
>>>> Somehow though christians preserve their god in their minds
>>>> as a god of love. The word "love" takes on a whole new Orwellian
>>>> meaning. Love: the act of causing pain to someone for all eternity.
>>>
>>> Oh, please! If you made the slightest attempt to understand what
>>> Christians actually believe and do, we might take your posts more
>>> seriously.

...


> I wasn't only objecting to Giles' reference to 'eternal conscious
> torment', though that's part of it - he also smuggled in the idea that
> God *causes* or *inflicts* the pain of hell, which most thinking
> Christians who believe in hell would deny.

I think most thinking Christians who believe in hell manage it
by not thinking too hard about just what they're believing in.

The idea that God sends people to hell is clearly present in
the New Testament, in the very words of Jesus. "Fear him who
can destroy both soul and body in hell." "Then shall the King
say to those on his left: Depart from me, you cursed, into
the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

The idea (more popular these days than what the Bible actually
says, and a good thing too) that the suffering of hell is
basically self-inflicted is a more recent invention -- I think
really very recent, but I wouldn't be astonished to find it in
Aquinas or somewhere of the sort. More to the point, it doesn't
really get God off the hook, as it were. Is it really plausible
that he couldn't, if he chose, have found a way for human sin
not to result in eternal conscious torment for a substantial
fraction of the human race? It's as if defenders of the Rich Man
in the parable were to say "Oh, but you have to bear in mind
that he didn't *make* Lazarus poor, and never *wanted* him to
suffer, and didn't cause the sores that afflicted him" -- well,
no doubt he didn't, but he could have helped and chose not to.

(Such considerations are part of why some Christians *don't*
believe in eternal conscious torment, of course.)

> There was also the idea
> that Christians are 'appeasing' God; that's certainly not what I or
> any of the Christians I know are doing.

There's no shortage of Christians who say something very close to
the following: Those, and only those, who acknowledge God as Lord
and choose to worship him will be saved from eternal torment in hell.

Describing this position as saying that God "punishes people
for all eternity for not appeasing him" is doubtless unkind,
but I'm not sure it can actually be said to be *wrong*. Certainly
not so wrong that saying it indicates that Giles has made no
attempt to understand what Christians actually believe and do.

Nick Milton

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Oct 27, 2007, 9:07:04 AM10/27/07
to
On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 07:48:03 +0100, John Blake
<johnremov...@f2s.com> wrote:


>I have been lurking in this group and posting the occasional comment
>for a few years now. What has become abundantly clear is that it is
>impossible to know just what 'Christians believe' as each one believes
>something different from the next.

Mayhe you are coming to realise that Christianity is not "a set of
beliefs"

John Blake

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Oct 27, 2007, 10:15:40 AM10/27/07
to

Indeed, which leads to the question of just what it is; I'm beginning
to think that no-one really knows.

Philip Gardner

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Oct 27, 2007, 10:26:46 AM10/27/07
to
As usual, Gareth, you make some good and thought-provoking points,
which I want to try to answer, but I don't have the time or energy
right now, so I hope you'll forgive me if I come back to it later. If
I forget, please remind me.

PhilG

Quasin

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Oct 27, 2007, 10:59:54 AM10/27/07
to
John Blake wrote:
>
> What has become abundantly clear is that it is
> impossible to know just what 'Christians believe' as each one believes
> something different from the next.

Yes, isn't it fun?! :)


> they also claim to be guided
> by God/the Holy Spirit/Jesus.

Yup. Different people are led differently, that's part of the fun.


> unable to get their message across coherently to their creations.

Are you trying to listen to the superficial chatter instead of the
underlying message? It's about love. You are loved. Yes, you! Really
passionately wholly completely unchangeably loved.

But there is a problem that some people use "Christianity" for their own
goals - such as to feel socially accepted, or to obtain power. The more
socially acceptable a religion, the more people are in it for mis-uses,
and others ignorantly mis-learn that those mis-uses are what it's all
about.

But hey, some people use secular charities the same way; if you don't
believe me, go work for one. Oh, the internal power plays. We learn to
look past the folks using a charity for their own self-centered
purposes; surely we can deal with religions the same way.

Mark Goodge

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Oct 27, 2007, 11:00:55 AM10/27/07
to
On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 15:15:40 +0100, John Blake put finger to keyboard
and typed:

It's a relationship with God.

Mark
--
http://www.BritishSurnames.co.uk - What does your surname say about you?
"You gotta live with your dreams, don't make them so hard"

Quasin

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Oct 27, 2007, 11:15:50 AM10/27/07
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Gareth McCaughan wrote:

>
> I think most thinking Christians who believe in hell manage it
> by not thinking too hard about just what they're believing in.
>

I think you are correct.

Gareth McCaughan

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Oct 27, 2007, 12:08:04 PM10/27/07
to
Philip Gardner wrote:

> As usual, Gareth, you make some good and thought-provoking points,
> which I want to try to answer, but I don't have the time or energy
> right now, so I hope you'll forgive me if I come back to it later. If
> I forget, please remind me.

I'll try to remember. But if you forget and I forget to remind you,
please remind me to remind you. :-)

loiner2003

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Oct 27, 2007, 12:10:58 PM10/27/07
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Mark Goodge wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 15:15:40 +0100, John Blake put finger to keyboard
> and typed:
>
>> On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 13:07:04 GMT, nick....@knoco.co.uk (Nick
>> Milton) wrote:
>>
>>> On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 07:48:03 +0100, John Blake
>>> <johnremov...@f2s.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> I have been lurking in this group and posting the occasional comment
>>>> for a few years now. What has become abundantly clear is that it is
>>>> impossible to know just what 'Christians believe' as each one believes
>>>> something different from the next.
>>> Mayhe you are coming to realise that Christianity is not "a set of
>>> beliefs"
>> Indeed, which leads to the question of just what it is; I'm beginning
>> to think that no-one really knows.
>
> It's a relationship with God.
>


Now there you go, John. Something on which this liberal Christian and
Mark, a fairly conservative one, agree. So, you see, there IS such a
thing as Christianity! ;-)


--

Revd. Eric Potts,

www.lanarkshiremethodist.scotshome.com
www.theinterface.org.uk

Kendall K. Down

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Oct 27, 2007, 1:47:18 AM10/27/07
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In message <1193396171.6...@50g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>
Giles <g_ha...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Surely the god you appease is far worse than this serial killer. He
> punishes people for all eternity for not appeasing him. Somehow though
> christians preserve their god in their minds as a god of love. The
> word "love" takes on a whole new Orwellian meaning. Love: the act of
> causing pain to someone for all eternity.

What a silly idea you have. "Appeasing God" doesn't come into it; those who
are punished - whether for eternity or not - are punished because they are
evil, like the serial killer who is the subject of this thread.

If you would like to spend eternity with this chap living next door to you,
I'm sure it can be arranged.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

--
================ ARCHAEOLOGICAL DIGGINGS ===============
| Australia's premier archaeological magazine |
| http://www.diggingsonline.com |
========================================================

Kendall K. Down

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Oct 27, 2007, 1:48:56 AM10/27/07
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In message <1193451985.6...@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>
michaeld <mich...@cantab.net> wrote:

> While it's certainly true that not all Christians believe in Eternal
> Conscious Torment, so in that respect Giles' post was misleading, it
> also seems a bit of a stretch to suggest it is a total distortion. The
> belief in eternal hell actually seems to be quite popular in many
> mainstream Christian circles, and in such cases it seems quite hard to
> fault Giles' post.

Certainly, but Giles claims that eternal hell is the consequence of failing
to "appease God". That is so far removed from what Christianity actually
teaches that I do not believe it to be an accidental misunderstanding; more
like a deliberate distortion.

Michael J Davis

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Oct 27, 2007, 1:12:19 PM10/27/07
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In message <87myu4o...@g.mccaughan.org.uk>, Gareth McCaughan
<Gareth.M...@pobox.com> writes

After years on this group, I'm not able to speak of what 'all' serious
(or even all joyful) Christians believe. Except perhaps that God [1]
loves everyone and wants us to be in loving relationship with Him.

[1] As Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit

Insofar as Jesus' teaching is concerned there is no doubt that hell
(prepared not for humans but for the 'devil') exists.

However, it is the current understanding[2] among those who do believe
in such a destination that:-

[2] Let's say 'middle of the road' - and for once the RCC
teaching is, IMHO, in this position.

a) Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from
the moment of his death in a particular judgement by Christ, the judge
of the living and the dead. In this people will be judged not just on
their acknowledgement of God, but upon the way they have treated their
fellow humans with love or with hatred. (In many understandings the way
they treat others - with *full knowledge* of what this means - may
demonstrate whether they acknowledge God or even 'good'.)

b) Although represented as a warning as torment (in Jesus' own words),
Hell's principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in
whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created
and for which he longs.

c) God loves each person fully and completely. The mission and sincere
desire of all Christians (as we understand God's will to be) is that no
one be lost.

d) Hell, if anyone is so destined, comes *after* the final judgement
when we are resurrected and our deeds will be obvious to all so that the
justice of that judgement is clear.

e) At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness.
Then the just will reign with Christ for ever, glorified in body and
soul, and the material universe itself will be transformed. God will
then be "all in all", in eternal life.

The CCC, from which some of the above is taken, states (para 1037):-

"God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a wilful turning away
from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the
end. In the liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church
implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to
come to repentance"

For more details see:-
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P2O.HTM


There are, on this group, those who believe that *all will be saved*
regardless of their actions; there are others who believe that God has
chosen only a few from all mankind to be saved.

My personal understanding is that those who sincerely attempt to follow
Jesus (in love and faith, and do what that entails) will be saved, and
those who follow their conscience as best they can, through whatever
belief system they are brought up in, will be saved (through the merits
of Jesus Christ who is God).

But the *full* assurance of salvation - i.e. the fullness of being
humanity - may only come through the discipleship of Jesus (i.e. in
loving relationship with Him) in the power of the Holy Spirit, which is
why the Church (i.e. all Christians) seek to proclaim the mercy and love
of God. That is called evangelisation, spreading the Good News of Jesus
Christ because we share Jesus' love for humanity.

Blessings

Mike

[The reply-to address is valid for 30 days from this posting]
--
Michael J Davis
http://www.trustsof.demon.co.uk
<><
For this is what the Lord has said to me,
"Go and post a Watchman and let
him report what he sees." Isa 21:6
<><

michaeld

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Oct 27, 2007, 3:56:47 PM10/27/07
to
On Oct 27, 8:28 am, "Philip Gardner" <pcgardn...@operamail.com> wrote:

[...]

> I wasn't only objecting to Giles' reference to 'eternal conscious
> torment', though that's part of it - he also smuggled in the idea that
> God *causes* or *inflicts* the pain of hell, which most thinking
> Christians who believe in hell would deny. There was also the idea
> that Christians are 'appeasing' God; that's certainly not what I or
> any of the Christians I know are doing.

You could well be right - but, in the context of the view of God held
by some, appeasement seems to me to be the *generous* explanation of
their actions. If the universe were ruled by a God who allows some
people to suffer for eternity for being disobedient to him, then I can
well understand people wanting to appease him to save their own skin
(who can blame them?), but to freely and enthusiastically give love to
God under such circumstances seems morally far worse. The difference
is akin to going along with the rule of some evil dictator out of fear
of the secret police versus freely supporting and contributing to the
regime.

Of course if, as Gareth suggests, people holding this view of God
simply don't think about it then this doesn't really apply. (This
doesn't really jive with my limited experience though, since when I've
discussed this with people holding this view of God they appear to
have quite well thought out views on this.)

More importantly, I also realise that few here believe in eternal
hell, and so none of this applies at all.

Michael

Philip Gardner

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Oct 27, 2007, 4:19:47 PM10/27/07
to
Gareth McCaughan wrote:
> Philip Gardner wrote:
>
>> You say this as though it were a problem, but that was one of the
>> things that I found annoying about Giles's post - he implied that
>> all
>> Christians believe in eternal torment and spend their time
>> appeasing
>> God, whereas [a] as you rightly say, there is a great diversity of
>> Christian beliefs, and [b] the number of Christians who believe in
>> eternal torment *and* spend their time appeasing God is very low.
>
> Re [b]: Is it? (Do you mean because firm belief in hell goes along
> with a theology that emphasizes faith over works? I'm not sure that
> that's true, though clearly sometimes it does, and it seems to me
> that a notional faith-over-works theology goes along with a strong
> preoccupation with works in practice -- especially other people's
> works, I fear.)

(Sorry, I missed this post initially.)

Quick reply, as you've misunderstood what I meant (probably my fault
for not spelling it out more clearly). I meant something along these
lines:

(i) Although the number of Christians who believe in hell as a place
of eternal torment (and that contains some actual human beings) is
still substantial - though a good deal fewer than it would have been a
century or two ago -

(ii) the number of such Christians who, because of that belief, are
terrified of God and whose prayer, worship etc is done in order to
appease that stern, punitive deity is very low. I don't think it was
ever that high among thinking Christians, but nowadays even very
conservative Christians rightly see that Scripture emphasises God's
love, mercy and compassion far more than his anger.[1] As I said
before, I don't think I've ever come across a Christian who worships
God in a spirit of appeasement - and that includes the time long ago
when I was a fundamentalist.

> Not very long ago, I think just about all serious Christians
> believed
> in hell.

If by not very long ago, you mean before the rise of
liberalism/modernism in the 19th century, I agree. I think this is an
example of the Spirit leading us into more truth; conservatives will
disagree.

PhilG

[1] I don't count Jeff as a 'conservative Christian'.

Philip Gardner

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Oct 27, 2007, 4:30:16 PM10/27/07
to
John Blake wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 08:33:44 +0100, "Philip Gardner"
> <pcgar...@operamail.com> wrote:
>
> [John B]:

>>>
>>> Ask any random selection of Christians about what they believe
>>> hell
>>> to
>>> be and see if you can get any sort of consensus.
>
> Philip:
>>
>> You say this as though it were a problem, but that was one of the
>> things that I found annoying about Giles's post - he implied that
>> all
>> Christians believe in eternal torment and spend their time
>> appeasing
>> God, whereas [a] as you rightly say, there is a great diversity of
>> Christian beliefs, and [b] the number of Christians who believe in
>> eternal torment *and* spend their time appeasing God is very low.
>>
>
> It is a problem in as much as some Christians believe in eternal
> torment and accept that their god is responsible for it and yet
> still
> claim that he is loving.

It may be a problem for those Christians, but not for me!

> I'm reasonably sure that there are more Christians that believe in
> this than you think.

As I've explained in another post, I accept that a substantial number
of Christians still believe in hell; it's Giles's assertion that they
worship God in order to *appease* him that I think - in fact I am
sure - is untrue of the vast majority.

> But regardless of numbers, how can you subscribe
> to a religion which is unsure of one of the most basic concepts on
> which it is founded, i.e. what happens to those who are 'not saved'?

Well, for a start because that isn't one of the most basic concepts on
which Christianity is founded! Indeed, Christianity isn't founded on
concepts at all, but on the person of Jesus. Nor do I have to
subscribe to Christianity as a religious system, but simply to respond
in faith to Jesus's call to follow him. (Obviously there's a lot more
to it than that, but I'm trying to get to what is really basic or
central.)

PhilG

Gareth McCaughan

unread,
Oct 27, 2007, 6:52:53 PM10/27/07
to
Philip Gardner wrote:

[He'd complained that "Giles", writing about hell and such things
upthread, completely misunderstood what Christians believe and do;
I queried some particular claims he made; Phil replies ...]


> Quick reply, as you've misunderstood what I meant (probably my fault
> for not spelling it out more clearly). I meant something along these
> lines:
>
> (i) Although the number of Christians who believe in hell as a place
> of eternal torment (and that contains some actual human beings) is
> still substantial - though a good deal fewer than it would have been a
> century or two ago -
>
> (ii) the number of such Christians who, because of that belief, are
> terrified of God and whose prayer, worship etc is done in order to
> appease that stern, punitive deity is very low.

I think you're reading more into Giles's post than was actually
there. I think someone could be said to be "appeasing God" even
if they aren't motivated mostly by fear of being cast into hell.
(I also think Michael D. has a point when he suggests that if you
believe that God is in the habit of consigning people to eternal
torment for not worshipping him[1] then it's morally worse to
worship him out of admiration for his character than to do so
out of fear.)

[1] Which of course is something that many Christians
don't believe, though some Christians say they don't
believe it but turn out to believe things that differ
from it only sophistically.

> I don't think it was
> ever that high among thinking Christians, but nowadays even very
> conservative Christians rightly see that Scripture emphasises God's
> love, mercy and compassion far more than his anger.[1] As I said
> before, I don't think I've ever come across a Christian who worships
> God in a spirit of appeasement - and that includes the time long ago
> when I was a fundamentalist.

Noted. As against that, there's a remark in C S Lewis somewhere
(I think it may be in "The problem of pain") to the effect that
he's seldom known anyone who had a really lively appreciation of
the prospect of heaven who didn't also have a firm belief in
hell. Make of that what you will :-).

>> Not very long ago, I think just about all serious Christians
>> believed in hell.
>
> If by not very long ago, you mean before the rise of
> liberalism/modernism in the 19th century, I agree. I think this is an
> example of the Spirit leading us into more truth; conservatives will
> disagree.

Not only conservatives, I think :-).

I think what you're offering here is a version of the following
very popular general defence: "Yeah, so Christians used to believe
silly and/or morally odious things, but we've put all that
behind us now; what's the problem?".

The trouble with this is that if you are specifically a Christian
(i.e., not just a theist who happens to think highly of Jesus and
think there's some good stuff in the Bible) then you need some sort
of reason for that; and I don't see any good reason that doesn't
ultimately come down to "Well, there's this ancient Christian
tradition, and for one reason or another I trust that tradition
a lot". (You may, according to taste, consider the Bible as part
of that tradition or as something that the tradition vouches for.)

But once you start accepting that the Christian tradition as a
whole is capable of serious factual and moral error -- as, e.g.,
anyone who regards the idea of eternal conscious torment for
the great bulk of non-Christians pretty much has to -- I don't
see how you can justify continuing to trust that tradition to
the extent required to support anything as specific as Christianity.

(For convenience I'm taking "Christianity" to mean something like
"those beliefs and attitudes common to a large subset of those
who call themselves Christians". If you define "Christianity"
to mean something like "affiliation with the Christian tradition"
then there's a similar but different problem; if you define it
to mean something like "fellowship with God" then the problem
is that your definition presupposes the correctness of Christian
doctrine. Unless you're happy to say that if Hinduism turns out
to be right then Hindus are Christians and those-generally-called-Christians
aren't.)

[1] NMF.

Gareth McCaughan

unread,
Oct 27, 2007, 7:36:25 PM10/27/07
to
Mike Davis wrote:

[me:]


>> Not very long ago, I think just about all serious Christians believed
>> in hell.

[Mike:]


> After years on this group, I'm not able to speak of what 'all' serious
> (or even all joyful) Christians believe. Except perhaps that God [1]
> loves everyone and wants us to be in loving relationship with Him.

Well, I did say "just about". I'll be more concrete: define a
"serious Christian", just for convenience, to be someone who
calls himself or herself a Christian, who prays or reads the
Bible for an average of at least 10 minutes per day, who
can say the Apostle's creed with a reasonable level of
understanding and assent, and who could claim with a straight
face to try to live as Jesus commanded; then I guess that
200 years ago (probably more recently) at least 80% of the
world's "serious Christians" according to that definition
expected many people to spend eternity in a state of conscious
torment on account of their wickedness, unbelief, or both.
Do you disagree?

(Of course I don't think that's a *good* definition of "serious
Christian". But it's a *concrete* one and near enough for our
purposes.)

[SNIP: Mike summarizes what he considers to be a mainstream
Christian understanding of hell]

> My personal understanding is that those who sincerely attempt to follow
> Jesus (in love and faith, and do what that entails) will be saved, and
> those who follow their conscience as best they can, through whatever
> belief system they are brought up in, will be saved (through the merits
> of Jesus Christ who is God).

Noted. And what do you expect (I understand, of course, that
you may not claim to *know*) to be the fate of those who fail
to follow their conscience "as best they can"? (It's not clear
to me what you mean by this, by the way: is anyone who ever
knowingly does something they consider wrong outside the second
of your two "saved" groups? or only those who disregard altogether
the promptings of their consciences? or what?)

It seems to me that the idea that *any* finite wrongdoing or
wrong attitude, even that of a Hitler or Stalin or whoever,
could justify eternal damnation as traditionally understood,
is a disgusting one.

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Oct 27, 2007, 2:12:40 PM10/27/07
to
In message <83n5i39bfkrhflj54...@4ax.com>
John Blake <johnremov...@f2s.com> wrote:

> This I find very hard to understand, as they also claim to be guided
> by God/the Holy Spirit/Jesus. This trio are supposed to have made the
> entire world/universe and everything in it and yet seem unable to get
> their message across coherently to their creations.

It probably shows that God has little interest in theology - which wouldn't
surprise me in the slightest.

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Oct 27, 2007, 2:14:38 PM10/27/07
to
In message <foh6i3dq4dhifu164...@4ax.com>
John Blake <johnremov...@f2s.com> wrote:

> Indeed, which leads to the question of just what it is; I'm beginning
> to think that no-one really knows.

Christianity is a relationship - and just as your relationship with the
different people in your life is different for each one, so God's
relationship with each of us differs: hence the differences that appear to
upset you so much.

Nick Milton

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 5:29:45 AM10/28/07
to
On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 15:15:40 +0100, John Blake
<johnremov...@f2s.com> wrote:

>On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 13:07:04 GMT, nick....@knoco.co.uk (Nick
>Milton) wrote:
>
>>On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 07:48:03 +0100, John Blake
>><johnremov...@f2s.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>I have been lurking in this group and posting the occasional comment
>>>for a few years now. What has become abundantly clear is that it is
>>>impossible to know just what 'Christians believe' as each one believes
>>>something different from the next.
>>
>>Mayhe you are coming to realise that Christianity is not "a set of
>>beliefs"
>
>Indeed, which leads to the question of just what it is; I'm beginning
>to think that no-one really knows.

It is a relationship with God, through Christ. If you try to define it
as a belief-set, then you are on a hiding to nothing

Michael J Davis

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 7:41:39 AM10/28/07
to
In message <877il8m...@g.mccaughan.org.uk>, Gareth McCaughan
<Gareth.M...@pobox.com> writes

>Mike Davis wrote:
>
>[me:]
>>> Not very long ago, I think just about all serious Christians believed
>>> in hell.
>
>[Mike:]
>> After years on this group, I'm not able to speak of what 'all' serious
>> (or even all joyful) Christians believe. Except perhaps that God [1]
>> loves everyone and wants us to be in loving relationship with Him.
>
>Well, I did say "just about". I'll be more concrete: define a
>"serious Christian", just for convenience, to be someone who
>calls himself or herself a Christian, who prays or reads the
>Bible for an average of at least 10 minutes per day, who
>can say the Apostle's creed with a reasonable level of
>understanding and assent, and who could claim with a straight
>face to try to live as Jesus commanded; then I guess that
>200 years ago (probably more recently) at least 80% of the
>world's "serious Christians" according to that definition
>expected many people to spend eternity in a state of conscious
>torment on account of their wickedness, unbelief, or both.
>Do you disagree?

I think I do (disagree), but it is tentative because it is so difficult
to say what the 'majority' believed. However, there is this tendency -
reinforced by all the churches - to emphasise their claims to being the
correct path. So 'clearly' Hindus, and other 'pagans', Muslims, and even
Jews were stated to be outside the pale. Not to mention Protestants, of
course, when they disagreed with the RCC. That's the nature of schism.
(We see similar attitudes today in Islam, where the people of the book
are tolerated but apostates condemned absolutely.)

But what the common people believed is difficult to say. In a largely
Christian Society the sermons and other propaganda was aimed at the
'Christian' population and the warnings were of departing from the
straight and narrow.

>(Of course I don't think that's a *good* definition of "serious
>Christian". But it's a *concrete* one and near enough for our
>purposes.)

OK, I'd accept that for this purpose.


>
>[SNIP: Mike summarizes what he considers to be a mainstream
>Christian understanding of hell]
>
>> My personal understanding is that those who sincerely attempt to follow
>> Jesus (in love and faith, and do what that entails) will be saved, and
>> those who follow their conscience as best they can, through whatever
>> belief system they are brought up in, will be saved (through the merits
>> of Jesus Christ who is God).
>
>Noted. And what do you expect (I understand, of course, that
>you may not claim to *know*) to be the fate of those who fail
>to follow their conscience "as best they can"? (It's not clear
>to me what you mean by this, by the way: is anyone who ever
>knowingly does something they consider wrong outside the second
>of your two "saved" groups? or only those who disregard altogether
>the promptings of their consciences? or what?)

I know only two things - one is that God is the just judge, and Jesus
died for all mankind. I have stated here before that I see the
consequences as being twofold - we are called to perfection (i.e. the
fullness of life), though which we require a supernatural gift of
redeeming grace to receive it. This is called 'salvation'. However, I
believe that that which is in each one that is loving (ie still reflects
God's image in us) is saved, that which doesn't is stripped away. That
may leave some in a reduced state but able to enjoy God's company. Those
who have given themselves over to total selfishness (ie. self serving
while denying others) may have nothing left of God's image - i.e. they
are spiritually dead.

>It seems to me that the idea that *any* finite wrongdoing or
>wrong attitude, even that of a Hitler or Stalin or whoever,
>could justify eternal damnation as traditionally understood,
>is a disgusting one.

I understand your repulsion. I have to say I just don't know, I just
trust in God's justice (eg Gen 18:22-32). But isn't it interesting that
these arguments are always carried out about third parties? Frankly all
that matters is where do *you* stand and where do *I* stand before God?
Everything that happens after my earthly life is in God's hands.

I hang on to Julian of Norwich's word that she received in response to
this question; "All shall be well, all shall be well, all manner of
thing shall be well".

Michael J Davis

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 7:52:06 AM10/28/07
to
In message <87bqakm...@g.mccaughan.org.uk>, Gareth McCaughan
<Gareth.M...@pobox.com> writes

>Philip Gardner wrote:
>
>I think you're reading more into Giles's post than was actually
>there. I think someone could be said to be "appeasing God" even
>if they aren't motivated mostly by fear of being cast into hell.
>(I also think Michael D. has a point when he suggests that if you
>believe that God is in the habit of consigning people to eternal
>torment for not worshipping him[1] then it's morally worse to
>worship him out of admiration for his character than to do so
>out of fear.)

I'm not aware of saying that. Indeed if I made such a comparison, it was
to say the opposite.

Something like:
God is the only object of worship.
God calls us into a loving relationship with Him, in that relationship
can true worship take place, but...
If we are not in a relationship with Him, then worship because of fear
(of hell) is good enough for our own salvation.
(ISTR quoting Faust as an example.)

> [1] Which of course is something that many Christians
> don't believe, though some Christians say they don't
> believe it but turn out to believe things that differ
> from it only sophistically.
>
>> I don't think it was
>> ever that high among thinking Christians, but nowadays even very
>> conservative Christians rightly see that Scripture emphasises God's
>> love, mercy and compassion far more than his anger.[1] As I said
>> before, I don't think I've ever come across a Christian who worships
>> God in a spirit of appeasement - and that includes the time long ago
>> when I was a fundamentalist.
>
>Noted. As against that, there's a remark in C S Lewis somewhere
>(I think it may be in "The problem of pain") to the effect that
>he's seldom known anyone who had a really lively appreciation of
>the prospect of heaven who didn't also have a firm belief in
>hell.

I think there's much truth in that. Eschatology [2] is not popular these
days, yet it is essential to full Christian belief (in my and that of
the mainstream Christian opinion).

[2] Study and meditation on the 'four last things':- Death,
Judgement, Heaven & Hell.

>Make of that what you will :-).

;-)

Michael J Davis

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 7:52:55 AM10/28/07
to
In message <954177384...@diggingsonline.com>, Kendall K. Down
<webm...@diggingsonline.com> writes

>In message <83n5i39bfkrhflj54...@4ax.com>
> John Blake <johnremov...@f2s.com> wrote:
>
>> This I find very hard to understand, as they also claim to be guided
>> by God/the Holy Spirit/Jesus. This trio are supposed to have made the
>> entire world/universe and everything in it and yet seem unable to get
>> their message across coherently to their creations.
>
>It probably shows that God has little interest in theology - which wouldn't
>surprise me in the slightest.

Probably not, He knows it all!

Philip Gardner

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 10:37:54 AM10/28/07
to
Michael J Davis wrote:
> In message <87bqakm...@g.mccaughan.org.uk>, Gareth McCaughan
> <Gareth.M...@pobox.com> writes
>> Philip Gardner wrote:
[actually I didn't; the paragraph below is by Gareth]

>> I think you're reading more into Giles's post than was actually
>> there. I think someone could be said to be "appeasing God" even
>> if they aren't motivated mostly by fear of being cast into hell.
>> (I also think Michael D. has a point when he suggests that if you
>> believe that God is in the habit of consigning people to eternal
>> torment for not worshipping him[1] then it's morally worse to
>> worship him out of admiration for his character than to do so
>> out of fear.)
>
> I'm not aware of saying that. Indeed if I made such a comparison, it
> was
> to say the opposite.

Different Michael D.!

Giles

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 11:42:06 AM10/28/07
to
On Oct 27, 5:48 am, "Kendall K. Down" <webmas...@diggingsonline.com>
wrote:
> In message <1193451985.676841.253...@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>

> michaeld <micha...@cantab.net> wrote:
>
> > While it's certainly true that not all Christians believe in Eternal
> > Conscious Torment, so in that respect Giles' post was misleading, it
> > also seems a bit of a stretch to suggest it is a total distortion. The
> > belief in eternal hell actually seems to be quite popular in many
> > mainstream Christian circles, and in such cases it seems quite hard to
> > fault Giles' post.
>
> Certainly, but Giles claims that eternal hell is the consequence of failing
> to "appease God". That is so far removed from what Christianity actually
> teaches that I do not believe it to be an accidental misunderstanding; more
> like a deliberate distortion.
>
> God bless,
> Kendall K. Down

According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
That's appeasement.

Giles

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 11:49:51 AM10/28/07
to
On Oct 27, 5:47 am, "Kendall K. Down" <webmas...@diggingsonline.com>
wrote:
> In message <1193396171.698131.231...@50g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>

> Giles <g_har...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > Surely the god you appease is far worse than this serial killer. He
> > punishes people for all eternity for not appeasing him. Somehow though
> > christians preserve their god in their minds as a god of love. The
> > word "love" takes on a whole new Orwellian meaning. Love: the act of
> > causing pain to someone for all eternity.
>
> What a silly idea you have. "Appeasing God" doesn't come into it; those who
> are punished - whether for eternity or not - are punished because they are
> evil, like the serial killer who is the subject of this thread.
>
> If you would like to spend eternity with this chap living next door to you,
> I'm sure it can be arranged.
>
> God bless,
> Kendall K. Down

Are you getting more liberal? Surely it's not just the evil that go to
hell in your outlook. Christianity certainly has taught for a very
long time that you have to "accept Jesus". Are you now saying that the
nice bloke next door who never goes to church and rarely even wonders
if there is a god, goes to heaven too?

Mark Goodge

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 12:06:54 PM10/28/07
to
On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 08:42:06 -0700, Giles put finger to keyboard and
typed:

>According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the


>Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
>to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
>That's appeasement.

Oh, for goodness sake. Are you deliberately saying stupid things
because you think it's funny, or something?

Mark
--
Blog: http://Mark.Goodge.co.uk Photos: http://www.goodge.co.uk
"We do what we like, and we like what we do"

Nick Milton

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 12:54:03 PM10/28/07
to
On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 08:42:06 -0700, Giles <g_ha...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:

>According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
>Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
>to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
>That's appeasement.

wrong again

Michael J Davis

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 12:55:04 PM10/28/07
to
In message <fg27ke$l1e$1...@aioe.org>, Philip Gardner
<pcgar...@operamail.com> writes

>Michael J Davis wrote:
>> In message <87bqakm...@g.mccaughan.org.uk>, Gareth McCaughan
>> <Gareth.M...@pobox.com> writes
>>> Philip Gardner wrote:
>[actually I didn't; the paragraph below is by Gareth]

Yes, but the attributions work out right....


>>> I think you're reading more into Giles's post than was actually
>>> there. I think someone could be said to be "appeasing God" even
>>> if they aren't motivated mostly by fear of being cast into hell.
>>> (I also think Michael D. has a point when he suggests that if you
>>> believe that God is in the habit of consigning people to eternal
>>> torment for not worshipping him[1] then it's morally worse to
>>> worship him out of admiration for his character than to do so
>>> out of fear.)
>>
>> I'm not aware of saying that. Indeed if I made such a comparison, it
>>was
>> to say the opposite.
>
>Different Michael D.!

Doh! Sorry for butting in then...

Mike

[The reply-to address is valid for 30 days from this posting]

Kendall K. Down

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Oct 28, 2007, 5:54:23 AM10/28/07
to
In message <K7zLxpNz...@trustsof.demon.co.uk.invalid>

Michael J Davis <?.?@trustsof.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> After years on this group, I'm not able to speak of what 'all' serious
> (or even all joyful) Christians believe.

Oh tut, Mike. You should know by now that it is entirely possible to tell
what *true* Christians believe - because obviously anyone who states a
contrary opinion is not a true Christian.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

--

Michael J Davis

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 6:50:36 PM10/28/07
to
In message <1879cd384...@diggingsonline.com>, Kendall K. Down
<webm...@diggingsonline.com> writes

>In message <K7zLxpNz...@trustsof.demon.co.uk.invalid>
> Michael J Davis <?.?@trustsof.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> After years on this group, I'm not able to speak of what 'all' serious
>> (or even all joyful) Christians believe.
>
>Oh tut, Mike. You should know by now that it is entirely possible to tell
>what *true* Christians believe - because obviously anyone who states a
>contrary opinion is not a true Christian.

I'm expecting them to evolve into one, Ken!

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 2:35:28 PM10/28/07
to
In message <1193586126.1...@o38g2000hse.googlegroups.com>
Giles <g_ha...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
> Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
> to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
> That's appeasement.

That sort of "love" wouldn't keep you out of hell anyway, so you're talking
nonsense.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

--

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 2:36:20 PM10/28/07
to
In message <1193586591.3...@o3g2000hsb.googlegroups.com>
Giles <g_ha...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Are you getting more liberal? Surely it's not just the evil that go to
> hell in your outlook. Christianity certainly has taught for a very
> long time that you have to "accept Jesus". Are you now saying that the
> nice bloke next door who never goes to church and rarely even wonders
> if there is a god, goes to heaven too?

Only the evil go to hell.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

--

Kendall K. Down

unread,
Oct 28, 2007, 2:33:28 PM10/28/07
to
In message <7Boj97FX...@trustsof.demon.co.uk.invalid>

Michael J Davis <?.?@trustsof.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> >It probably shows that God has little interest in theology - which wouldn't
> >surprise me in the slightest.

> Probably not, He knows it all!

Wrong, Mike. He *is* it all.

Giles

unread,
Oct 29, 2007, 9:08:27 AM10/29/07
to
On Oct 28, 6:35 pm, "Kendall K. Down" <webmas...@diggingsonline.com>
wrote:
> In message <1193586126.199282.300...@o38g2000hse.googlegroups.com>

> Giles <g_har...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
> > Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
> > to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
> > That's appeasement.
>
> That sort of "love" wouldn't keep you out of hell anyway, so you're talking
> nonsense.
>
> God bless,
> Kendall K. Down
How do you know your love is real and not just "sucking up too God"?

Giles

unread,
Oct 29, 2007, 9:10:24 AM10/29/07
to
On Oct 28, 6:36 pm, "Kendall K. Down" <webmas...@diggingsonline.com>
wrote:
> In message <1193586591.322630.219...@o3g2000hsb.googlegroups.com>

> Giles <g_har...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > Are you getting more liberal? Surely it's not just the evil that go to
> > hell in your outlook. Christianity certainly has taught for a very
> > long time that you have to "accept Jesus". Are you now saying that the
> > nice bloke next door who never goes to church and rarely even wonders
> > if there is a god, goes to heaven too?
>
> Only the evil go to hell.
>
> God bless,
> Kendall K. Down

Have you changed your tune or do you define "evil" as anyone who isn't
a 7th day Baptist?

Giles

unread,
Oct 29, 2007, 9:07:05 AM10/29/07
to
On Oct 28, 4:06 pm, Mark Goodge <use...@listmail.good-stuff.co.uk>
wrote:

> On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 08:42:06 -0700, Giles put finger to keyboard and
> typed:
>
> >According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
> >Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
> >to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
> >That's appeasement.
>
> Oh, for goodness sake. Are you deliberately saying stupid things
> because you think it's funny, or something?
>
> Mark

If there wasn't the threat of hell you wouldn't 'worship' him. God
requires worshipping. Your god is insecure like that. And he's a
"jealous god" too. If he doesn't get worshipped there's hell to pay.

Then again there is the reward of heaven. Christians will worship/
appease God for the chance of eternal paradise. There's nothing noble
about this. On the one hand God is appeased due to fear. On the other
hand God is grovelled to in order a gain a place in paradise. Sucking
up to God for a place in heaven is just selfish behaviour. It's got
nothing to do with love.

You do fear your God, don't you?

Quasin

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Oct 29, 2007, 10:38:31 AM10/29/07
to
Kendall K. Down wrote:

>
> Only the evil go to hell.
>

But -- it's an interesting question to me -- do the evil know they are
evil?

I once read a news report about a drug courier who sincerely prayed for
God's protection in his work; in his mind, he was doing good by
providing for his family.

I'm sure Bush thinks he is doing only good, that's why he won't admit to
past mistakes in judgment-- he genuinely thinks there haven't been any.
And from recently reported comments Bush apparently believes he would
be doing good if he starts WW3 by bombing Iran. (Or, as one
"conservative" "corrected" me in a different group, Bush would be merely
responding to Iran's starting WW3 by Iran acquiring the info needed to
make a nuke - not acquiring a nuke, just the info. Hey, I thought any
teenager can do that by prowling the web!)

(Five "tactical" nukes were recently flown to the base in Louisiana used
as staging for the middle east conflicts. Everyone involved claimed to
not know they were nukes, even though such things are under extreme
security and are clearly marked. "Just a mistake" says the air force
brass.)

Michael J Davis

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Oct 29, 2007, 11:55:50 AM10/29/07
to
In message <1193663225.1...@o80g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,
Giles <g_ha...@yahoo.co.uk> writes

>On Oct 28, 4:06 pm, Mark Goodge <use...@listmail.good-stuff.co.uk>
>wrote:
>> On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 08:42:06 -0700, Giles put finger to keyboard and
>> typed:
>>
>> >According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
>> >Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
>> >to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
>> >That's appeasement.
>>
>> Oh, for goodness sake. Are you deliberately saying stupid things
>> because you think it's funny, or something?

>If there wasn't the threat of hell you wouldn't 'worship' him.

Rubbish. Some people love their dads and want to be like them. My dad's
bigger than your dad.

>God
>requires worshipping.

Oh! Did you learn that from an angel. Frankly I worship Him because he's
magnificent!

>Your god is insecure like that.

Don't think so. He didn't have to create me.

>And he's a
>"jealous god" too. If he doesn't get worshipped there's hell to pay.

No, he knows it's bad for me if I go after the wrong sort of love.
Doesn't want me in bad company. What do *you* do if your kids get into
bad company? (My guess is that you haven't got any...)

>Then again there is the reward of heaven.

More rubbish. I hope for heaven, but I live in my dad's love each day.

>Christians will worship/
>appease God for the chance of eternal paradise. There's nothing noble
>about this.

You do talk rubbish. Are you naturally fearful?

>On the one hand God is appeased due to fear. On the other
>hand God is grovelled to in order a gain a place in paradise. Sucking
>up to God for a place in heaven is just selfish behaviour. It's got
>nothing to do with love.

Don't judge everyone by yourself.

>You do fear your God, don't you?

Not in the sense you seem to imply. I am in awe of anyone who can create
such a wonderful universe, and then respond to me.

Mike

--
Michael J Davis

<><
Most of the atheists I know don't believe
in the same God I don't believe in
<><

Alec Brady

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Oct 29, 2007, 2:07:38 PM10/29/07
to
On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 12:56:47 -0700, michaeld <mich...@cantab.net>
wrote:


>More importantly, I also realise that few here believe in eternal
>hell, and so none of this applies at all.

I'm afraid I do believe in it and Gareth's right - I try not to dwell
on it. I just hope that (in heaven) it will all make sense to me. I
start from the presumption I'm not going to be able to grok it in this
life, but that when I do it won't reflect badly on God.

Can't see how, right now, which is why I prefer not to dwell on it.

Mark Goodge

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Oct 29, 2007, 2:42:32 PM10/29/07
to
On Mon, 29 Oct 2007 06:07:05 -0700, Giles put finger to keyboard and
typed:

>On Oct 28, 4:06 pm, Mark Goodge <use...@listmail.good-stuff.co.uk>
>wrote:
>> On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 08:42:06 -0700, Giles put finger to keyboard and
>> typed:
>>
>> >According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
>> >Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
>> >to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
>> >That's appeasement.
>>
>> Oh, for goodness sake. Are you deliberately saying stupid things
>> because you think it's funny, or something?
>

>If there wasn't the threat of hell you wouldn't 'worship' him.

That's a bit like telling me that the only reason I must be staying
with my wife is because she'd murder me if I left. Is your life really
so miserable and unfulfilled that you are unable to grasp the concept
that the vast majority of Christians worsship God because they love
him?

"Let's see colours that have never been seen"

michaeld

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Oct 29, 2007, 9:28:50 PM10/29/07
to
On Oct 29, 1:07 pm, Giles <g_har...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> On Oct 28, 4:06 pm, Mark Goodge <use...@listmail.good-stuff.co.uk>
> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 08:42:06 -0700, Giles put finger to keyboard and
> > typed:
>
> > >According to the dogma if a human fails to worship/love/accept the
> > >Christian god, then he goes to hell. Christians thus find it prudent
> > >to worship/love/accept him in order to avoid God's clunking fist.
> > >That's appeasement.
>
> > Oh, for goodness sake. Are you deliberately saying stupid things
> > because you think it's funny, or something?
>
> > Mark
>
> If there wasn't the threat of hell you wouldn't 'worship' him.

This statement cannot be correct for all Christians, since some do not
even believe in hell. In fact, as I understand it, the early
Christians were mostly universalists.

[...]

Michael

michaeld

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Oct 29, 2007, 10:38:38 PM10/29/07
to
On Oct 29, 6:07 pm, Alec Brady <alec.br...@virgin.net> wrote:
> On Sat, 27 Oct 2007 12:56:47 -0700, michaeld <micha...@cantab.net>

> wrote:
>
> >More importantly, I also realise that few here believe in eternal
> >hell, and so none of this applies at all.
>
> I'm afraid I do believe in it

I'm genuinely sorry to hear this.

But what type of "eternal" are we talking about here? Earlier I was
careful to use the term "eternal conscious torment", which is what I
meant here too, but it's possible I suppose that "eternal hell" could
be referring to an atemporal state. While eternal hell in that sense
certainly doesn't sound pleasant, it's much harder to empathise with
(given our state) so harder to assess its real implications.

> and Gareth's right - I try not to dwell
> on it. I just hope that (in heaven) it will all make sense to me. I
> start from the presumption I'm not going to be able to grok it in this
> life, but that when I do it won't reflect badly on God.
>
> Can't see how, right now, which is why I prefer not to dwell on it.

Of course one can never expect to understand everything in this
lifetime (and, as I don't believe in an afterlife, I don't expect to
understand everything ever, or even x% of everything where x is a
positive number). However it seems to me that, with our limited
perspective, our *current* views should be based on our best
assessment of *all* the evidence available to us now.

So I guess that, even presently, you have reasons that, in your view,
trump the consideration of eternal hell when it comes to the questions
of whether God is worthy of worship and whether the truth of
Christianity is good news. It's almost impossible for me to imagine
what reasons in the former category could be like, even in principle,
and the latter seems still more inconceivable: if the ECT form of
Christianity turned out to be correct then I'm as sure as I am about
anything that it would be the most utterly horrific thing I've
discovered in my life, by a mile. (In contrast to, say, the
Universalist form of Christianity, which would be by far the best news
I've ever discovered!)

Michael

Kendall K. Down

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Oct 29, 2007, 2:32:23 PM10/29/07
to
In message <1193663225.1...@o80g2000hse.googlegroups.com>
Giles <g_ha...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> If there wasn't the threat of hell you wouldn't 'worship' him.

Nonsense. I thank Him for creating me and this wonderful world; I thank Him
for giving me such excellent rules for living; I thank Him for giving me
daily guidance.

No fear there.

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

--

Kendall K. Down

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Oct 29, 2007, 2:30:43 PM10/29/07
to
In message <4725F067...@nosuchisp.com>
Quasin <qua...@nosuchisp.com> wrote:

> But -- it's an interesting question to me -- do the evil know they are
> evil?
> I once read a news report about a drug courier who sincerely prayed for
> God's protection in his work; in his mind, he was doing good by
> providing for his family.

They may not know it, but if they thought or researched the matter, they
*could* know it.

Kendall K. Down

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Oct 29, 2007, 2:29:13 PM10/29/07
to
In message <1193663307.9...@z9g2000hsf.googlegroups.com>
Giles <g_ha...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> How do you know your love is real and not just "sucking up too God"?

Grammar?

God bless,
Kendall K. Down

--

loiner2003

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