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  1. #1
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    A dsicussion of judgement

    On this Sunday morning I want to share the follwing article as a basis for discussion. It's by Ron Rolhheiser

    http://www.ronrolheiser.com/columnar...php?rec_id=480

    God Judges No One

    2009-09-20

    There's a question about God's goodness as old as religion itself: How can an all-good God send someone to hell for all eternity? How can God be all-merciful and all-loving if there is eternal punishment?

    It's a false question. God doesn't send anyone to hell and God doesn't deal out eternal punishment. God offers us life and the choice is ours as to whether we accept that or not.

    God, Jesus tells us, doesn�t judge anyone. We judge ourselves. God doesn�t create hell and God doesn�t send anyone to hell. But that doesn�t mean that hell doesn�t exist and that it isn�t a possibility for us. Here, in essence, is how Jesus explains this:

    God sends his life into the world and we can choose that life or reject it. We judge ourselves in making that choice. If we choose life, we are ultimately choosing heaven. If we reject life, we end up living outside of life and that ultimately is hell. But we make that choice, God doesn�t send us anywhere. Moreover, hell is not a positive punishment created by God to make us suffer. Hell is the absence of something, namely, living inside of the life that�s offered to us.

    To say all of this is not to say that hell isn�t real or that it isn�t a real possibility for every person. Hell is real, but it isn�t a positive punishment created by God to deal out justice or vengeance or to prove to the hard-hearted and unrepentant that they made a mistake. Hell is the absence of life, of love, of forgiveness, of community, and God doesn�t send anyone there. We can end up there, outside of love and community, but that�s a choice we make if we, culpably, reject these as they are offered to us during our lifetime. Hell, as John Shea once said, is never a surprise waiting for a happy person, it�s the full-flowering of a life that rejects love, forgiveness, and community.

    Sartre once famously stated that hell is the other person. The reverse is true. Hell is what we experience when we choose ourselves over community of life with others. Human life is meant to be shared life, shared existence, participation inside of a community of life that includes the Trinity itself.

    God is love, scripture tells us, and those who abide in love, abide in God, and God abides in them. In this context, love should not be understood primarily as romantic love. The text doesn�t say that �those who fall in love� abide in God (though that too can be true). In essence, the text might be reworded to say: �God is shared existence, and those who share life with others, already live inside of God�s life.�
    But the reverse is also true: When we don�t share our lives, we end up outside of life. That, in essence, is hell.

    What is hell? The images the bible chooses for hell are arbitrary and vary greatly. The popular mind tends to picture hell as fire, eternal fire, but that is only one image, and not necessarily the dominant one, in scripture. Among other things, scripture speaks of hell as �experiencing God�s wrath�, as �being outside� the wedding and the dance, as �mourning and weeping and grinding our teeth�, as being consigned to the �Gehenna� (a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem), as being eaten by worms, as fire, as missing out on the banquet, as being outside the kingdom, as living inside a bitter and warped heart, and as missing out on life. In the end, all these images point to the same thing: Hell is the pain and bitterness, the fire, we experience when we culpably put ourselves outside of the community of life. And it is always self-inflicted. It is never imposed by God. God doesn�t deal death and God sends nobody to hell.

    When Jesus speaks of God, he never speaks of God as dealing both life and death, but only as dealing life. Death has its origins elsewhere, as does lying, rationalization, bitterness, hardness of heart, and hell. To say that God does not create hell or send anyone there does not downplay the existence of evil and sin or the danger of eternal punishment, it only pinpoints their origins and makes clear who it is who makes the judgment and who it is who does the sentencing. God does neither; he neither creates hell nor sends anyone to it. We do both.

    As Jesus tells us in John�s Gospel: �God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, the light has come into the world, and the people loved darkness rather than light � I judge no one.�

    He doesn�t need to.

  2. #2
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    The only thing I can say that is worthy of my time is that this is an opinion from a non-believer, and it is based on his feelings, and not on scripture.

    There are two judgments in the Bible awaiting us, one for believers based on the reward for what they have done AS believers, and a judgment of spiritual death for the non-believers.

    He should do some study before writing an article.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    The only thing I can say that is worthy of my time is that this is an opinion from a non-believer, and it is based on his feelings, and not on scripture.

    There are two judgments in the Bible awaiting us, one for believers based on the reward for what they have done AS believers, and a judgment of spiritual death for the non-believers.

    He should do some study before writing an article.
    He's a Catholic priest!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pneuma View Post
    He's a Catholic priest!
    A Catholic priest knows nothing compared to a self anointed preacher

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pneuma View Post

    What is hell? The images the bible chooses for hell are arbitrary and vary greatly. The popular mind tends to picture hell as fire, eternal fire, but that is only one image, and not necessarily the dominant one, in scripture. Among other things, scripture speaks of hell as �experiencing God�s wrath�, as �being outside� the wedding and the dance, as �mourning and weeping and grinding our teeth�, as being consigned to the �Gehenna� (a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem), as being eaten by worms, as fire, as missing out on the banquet, as being outside the kingdom, as living inside a bitter and warped heart, and as missing out on life. In the end, all these images point to the same thing: Hell is the pain and bitterness, the fire, we experience when we culpably put ourselves outside of the community of life. And it is always self-inflicted. It is never imposed by God. God doesn�t deal death and God sends nobody to hell.
    The modern concepts of hell do not come from the bible.
    I wil try to find the articles of this for verification.
    They come from an Englishman in the 1st century A.D. The man whom I will call John for now, was a drunkard and a playboy whom lived with his mother untill her death. He was 38 at the time. He was convinced that her death was the result of his actions. In light of this he went cold turkey with the alcohol. This sudden cessation of alcohol casued him to decend into madness and also spurred him to write about his decent into insanity with images of pain and torture, and eternal damnation. Monks found his works and began to incorporate these works into religous teachings. It was also the basis for Dante's Inferno.

  6. #6
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    Non-believers are judged and condemned by the law of sin and death. Believers are judged and saved by the law of the Spirit.
    No reserve. No retreat. No regrets.

    For those who have fought for it, freedom has a sweetness the protected will never know.

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  7. #7
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    I too have come to believe in what was written by this priest. If this is not how I understood God's intentions and what we call hell truly is, I could not love God.

    I completely agree that God has given us the complete right to choose, and that our eternal destiny is completely a matter of how choose to live our mortal lives.

    Under these guidelines, any person in any situation anywhere in the world can abide by God's laws of love and forgiveness and be with God for spiritual eternity. Keeping in mind that we are not physical beings destined for a spiritual journey but rather spiritual beings temporarily experiencing a physical journey, we really should be preparing ourselves for our eminent physical death and eternal spiritual life.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Harper View Post
    The modern concepts of hell do not come from the bible.
    I wil try to find the articles of this for verification.
    They come from an Englishman in the 1st century A.D. The man whom I will call John for now, was a drunkard and a playboy whom lived with his mother untill her death. He was 38 at the time. He was convinced that her death was the result of his actions. In light of this he went cold turkey with the alcohol. This sudden cessation of alcohol casued him to decend into madness and also spurred him to write about his decent into insanity with images of pain and torture, and eternal damnation. Monks found his works and began to incorporate these works into religous teachings. It was also the basis for Dante's Inferno.
    In Dante's Inferno, the deepest level of hell, where Satan dwelled, was frigid cold from the beating wings of Satan. I cannot find where that concept would have originated if not with Dante.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pneuma View Post
    He's a Catholic priest!
    That explains it.

    He is being mislead by doctrine that is not Biblical.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    That explains it.

    He is being mislead by doctrine that is not Biblical.
    Sounds more like this priest is going against RCC doctrine.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    That explains it.

    He is being mislead by doctrine that is not Biblical.
    I'm kind of disapointed that's as far as you want to take this discussion.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pneuma View Post
    I'm kind of disapointed that's as far as you want to take this discussion.
    Some people are so afraid of the truth that they hide behind a wall of belief, even if it is false.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pneuma View Post
    I'm kind of disapointed that's as far as you want to take this discussion.
    Maybe you should explain to me in your own words the discussion you would like to have.
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