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Rules You Don't Like

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Question from a friendly atheist to faithful Christians:

Is there any item within God’s doctrine (defined sins, requirements of faith/observance, standards for punishment/reward in any afterlife, etc.) according to your own personal understanding of that doctrine, that you either disagree with or wish were not so? Of so, what is it/are they?

For instance (and please don’t think I am being patronizing or insulting – I promise I respect your right to your opinion/faith):

Do you wish that you did not have to rely on Jesus’s sacrifice in order to be redeemed?

Do you dislike the fact that gay sex is a sin?

Do you consider the doctrine of eternal damnation for unrepentant sinners unjust or unnecessarily severe?

My questions are not veiled challenges to your faith. I am not here to argue my atheist case. It’s just that, among the faithful in my social milieu, none are interested enough to get into the nuts and bolts of this sort of dialectic.

Thanks in advance for any response.
 
Loyal Member
Question from a friendly atheist to faithful Christians:

Is there any item within God’s doctrine (defined sins, requirements of faith/observance, standards for punishment/reward in any afterlife, etc.) according to your own personal understanding of that doctrine, that you either disagree with or wish were not so? Of so, what is it/are they?
Being a man I have had thesethings but being a child of God He has led me away from many of them. But the road still lies ahead of me. I see the Light and it is brighter than it was at the start. Soon, if I endure with Him to the end, it will be as the as "the light of seven days".

For instance (and please don’t think I am being patronizing or insulting – I promise I respect your right to your opinion/faith):

Do you wish that you did not have to rely on Jesus’s sacrifice in order to be redeemed?
At this point in my walk, definitely not. For God to accomplish His purpose in me, my purpose must become equal to His purpose. To desire to get to that point other than by the Way that He sets before me is to look down at the water and sink instead of continuing to look in the face of Jesus until I am able to see him face to face.

Do you dislike the fact that gay sex is a sin?
I dislike the fact that people love sin, any sin, more than they love God. This is why "Jesus wept". Am I not to be like Jesus? If I still miss being directed at that mark perfectly, is expressing a dislike of any part of what God requires going to improve my aim?

Gay sex like adultery or fornication or bestiality are things expressed in scripture as abominations to God. God never changes so it does not matter if the written text is in the Old or New Testaments.

Do you consider the doctrine of eternal damnation for unrepentant sinners unjust or unnecessarily severe?
My own belief is toward what men might call annihilationism rather than that to which you refer. All people are dead until if and when they receive the Life which Jesus is. When a man who is already dead walking around in buried I believe that he is done. Few here on this forum are likely to agree with me on this. But, it is not knowledge for me. It is a belief. I have changed some of my beliefs previously. I believe in the necessity to grow until we have reached the end of our course.

My questions are not veiled challenges to your faith. I am not here to argue my atheist case. It’s just that, among the faithful in my social milieu, none are interested enough to get into the nuts and bolts of this sort of dialectic.
Nuts and bolts, is it? You want facts when in fact it is by faith we live rather than by facts. We do have facts, but an unbeliever cannot understand those facts unless he is led to them by God. He will not be led to them unless he is sincere and open his heart to God rather than simply to man as you seem to be trying to do here
 
Loyal Member

RJ

Is there any item within God’s doctrine (defined sins, requirements of faith/observance, standards for punishment/reward in any afterlife, etc.) according to your own personal understanding of that doctrine, that you either disagree with or wish were not so? Of so, what is it/are they?
None, I really have no say in it, so it doesn't matter what I think. Do you have a disagreement or wish it were not true?

Do you wish that you did not have to rely on Jesus’s sacrifice in order to be redeemed?
No, it is God's fool proof plan to have me Redeemed, otherwise it would have to come by my actions and God said that was not allowed. Is that a hindrance for you?

Do you dislike the fact that gay sex is a sin?
Not at all, that is up to God! Do you dislike it?

Do you consider the doctrine of eternal damnation for unrepentant sinners unjust or unnecessarily severe?
No, that is just God's divine plan, why would I object. Do you object?
  • Since you say you keep coming back here not to argue, then if you don't believe, then why are you here? Do you come back in search of something? Are you missing something in your life?
 
Being a man I have had thesethings... ... He will not be led to them unless he is sincere and open his heart to God rather than simply to man as you seem to be trying to do here
Thank you for the thougthful (and, frankly, peutifully posed) response, Amadeus2. Good stuff upon which to ruminate. :smile:
 
...why are you here? ...
Hi, RJ. Thanks for the pithy response!

Last things first, I am here, and I keep coming back here, because I am concerned with the nature of the universe to the point of obsession. When I self-identify as an atheist, it simply means I neither find sufficient evidence to convince me of the existence of any gods, nor have I experienced any sort of personal revelation. I am an avid follower of science, politics and ethical discourse. But, while there may be 1 billion human earthlings who are as atheist as I, certainly the majority of people do believe in some supernatural, and usually divine, element to existence. I come here because I find that simultaneously amazing, perplexing and (forgive me) silly. Knowing full well my own personal knowledge is imperfect and limited, I want to keep checking to make sure I'm not missing something. I live in a very secular community and only a few of my friends enjoy discussing religion, etc. And most of THEM already agree (broadly) with me.

Anyway, my point is, if there are any gods, I want to know and I want to find out how I CAN know.

Now, having said all that, WHETHER I believe in God (or any gods) is a completely distinct subject from what I think OF God as described by the Abrahamic religions. He may be imaginary, but he still has a personality. He has attributes and policy ascribed to him.

If I were suddenly to become convinced that the Christian or Jewish or Muslim God is real (and, much though accommodationists protest otherwise, they are quite different from each other), AND assuming that my coming to belief in him did not also entail a conversion of my other ethical standards, I would have no choice by to defy him outright. Let's take the Christian version of God as an example, as he also entails that which I disapprove in the Jewish God and much of the Muslim God as well.

I reject that human children are born already in a state of sin. Hence, I reject the notion that any human must be saved, especially by a human sacrifice 2,016 years ago.

I can find no sin in consensual gay sex (or any consensual intimacy) between adults. Christian and Jewish sexual strictures are no inconvenience to me -- I am, and expect I always shall be, in a very happy monogamous relationship with my wife. Yet I find the notion of finding sin in the intimacy between any pairing (or even more) of humans preposterous.

But the notion of eternal damnation in Hell for any thoughts, speech or acts during mortal life is, to me, the most nonsensical notion of all. Justice (as I practice it) is the righting of wrongs by those responsible. If someone devotes an entire, 80-year life to doing nothing but good for his or her fellow humans and nature, and their only sin was that they privately worshipped some false god, I cannot and will not accept that there is any justice in consigning that angelic soul to Hell.

I find these conundrums fascinating and perplexing. If I believed in God, I would have SERIOUS problems with the policies set out in scripture and preached in church/synagogue/mosque. So I started this thread interested in seeing if there were any faithful here who believed in God but also shared my misgivings about his law.

So, to sum up. The reason I don't believe in God is not because I dislike his policy. I do dislike his policy, but knowing whether or not he exists is much more important to me than being happy about it.

Not to press you too far on the subject, but I assume there are laws in the bible you don't obey. You haven't (I assume) killed any gays or fortune tellers, i'll guess you may have had the odd ham sandwich and wear wool/linen blended fabrics, etc. Do have a system for evaluating which biblical laws you observe?

Sorry to ramble on. And thanks.
 
Loyal Member
Is there any item within God’s doctrine (defined sins, requirements of faith/observance, standards for punishment/reward in any afterlife, etc.) according to your own personal understanding of that doctrine, that you either disagree with or wish were not so? Of so, what is it/are they?
None

Do you wish that you did not have to rely on Jesus’s sacrifice in order to be redeemed?
Absolutely not!! There was no other way for a "imperfect" being to dwell and live inside a "perfect" being.

Do you dislike the fact that gay sex is a sin?
It does not take much thinking to know that men do not mate with other men, nor do women mate with other women. You do not even have be a Christian to know this is totally against nature itself.

Do you consider the doctrine of eternal damnation for unrepentant sinners unjust or unnecessarily severe?
All men have the God given right to choose were they will spend eternity.[/QUOTE]
 
None

Absolutely not!! There was no other way for a "imperfect" being to dwell and live inside a "perfect" being.

It does not take much thinking to know that men do not mate with other men, nor do women mate with other women. You do not even have be a Christian to know this is totally against nature itself.

All men have the God given right to choose were they will spend eternity.
[/QUOTE]

Thank you, Curtis. If you read around some, you'll find that homosexual relationships has been a constant and, sometimes productive, dynamic in human history. True, gay couple do not reproduce, but the achievement of breeding is not the gold standard of any person's contribution to the human world. At 7 billion, we have become most populaced large mammal on the earth, with a relatively constant homosexuality rate of about 5%.

But, getting back on track, I don't know if you have kids. I do. When they misbehave, I correct them. And I punish them. I make them undo whatever wrong they have created, to the extent they can, and I constrain them in punitive ways to teach them a lesson. I punish them for the sake of justice (they are my responsibility, so I am obliged to see them make amends) and for the sake of love -- making any given incidence of misbehavior unpleasant in hopes that this will discourage such repetition in the future.

The punishment of eternal damnation appears logically flawed either as a means of justice of punitive punishment or of reform. Let's say there is a person who believes and worships God and prays, etc., etc., his whole life, but the only satisfying romantic/sexual relationship they find is with someone of the same gender. Plunged into Hell everlasting in no way undoes whatever "wrong" this "sin" achieved. And the damned has no system for appeal, no term of sentence other than "Forever" whence he or she might be released a reformed, straight believer.
 
Loyal Member
Thank you, Curtis. If you read around some, you'll find that homosexual relationships has been a constant and, sometimes productive, dynamic in human history. True, gay couple do not reproduce, but the achievement of breeding is not the gold standard of any person's contribution to the human world. At 7 billion, we have become most populaced large mammal on the earth, with a relatively constant homosexuality rate of about 5%.

But, getting back on track, I don't know if you have kids. I do. When they misbehave, I correct them. And I punish them. I make them undo whatever wrong they have created, to the extent they can, and I constrain them in punitive ways to teach them a lesson. I punish them for the sake of justice (they are my responsibility, so I am obliged to see them make amends) and for the sake of love -- making any given incidence of misbehavior unpleasant in hopes that this will discourage such repetition in the future.

The punishment of eternal damnation appears logically flawed either as a means of justice of punitive punishment or of reform. Let's say there is a person who believes and worships God and prays, etc., etc., his whole life, but the only satisfying romantic/sexual relationship they find is with someone of the same gender. Plunged into Hell everlasting in no way undoes whatever "wrong" this "sin" achieved. And the damned has no system for appeal, no term of sentence other than "Forever" whence he or she might be released a reformed, straight believer.


Homosexuality has been around a long time, but it is even worse today than ever before. People used to be ashamed of their behavior when found out, but today they are proud of what they do, and display it openly. Longevity does not make it right, as sin as been around from the beginning of time.

There are two families on the earth today, the children of the devil, and the children of God. When a child of God gets off track and goes astray, God the Father corrects, chastises, and sometimes punishes his children to get them back on track, just as any good father would do. The children of the devil are not punished for their misbehavior as he encourages them to do evil.

No one needs to be stuck and enslaved to darkness or evil, as Jesus came to set men free to where they could have peace, and joy unspeakable in this life, and forever.
 
People used to be ashamed of their behavior...
No one needs to be stuck and enslaved to darkness or evil, as Jesus came to set men free to where they could have peace, and joy unspeakable in this life, and forever.

Interesting. Let me flip my original question around then. Are there any laws that God has not made now, so far as you understand him, that you wish he had?
 
Loyal Member
People used to be ashamed of their behavior...
No one needs to be stuck and enslaved to darkness or evil, as Jesus came to set men free to where they could have peace, and joy unspeakable in this life, and forever.[/QUOTE]
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kirby DP said....
Interesting. Let me flip my original question around then. Are there any laws that God has not made now, so far as you understand him, that you wish he had?[/QUOTE]

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The "laws" of God are not given to make life hard for man, but only as a means of protecting man from harm. Why would you tell your children not to do something? Is it not for their own good?
There is not anything I can or anyone else ask God for that is greater than what he has already given to his Church corporately and individually. The scripture tells us........

Eph 3:20 God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us.

Not only is God able, but he has done for more for his children than what I could ever ask him for or imagine in my mind. I have pretty wild imagination, but my imagination can not think greater then what the Lord God has already given me. So, no there is nothing I could ever wish the Lord had done that could make things better than what he has already done.
 
1 Corinthians 1:18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction!...
Yes, and also, Psalm 14:1 "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God."

Again, for me this is a matter of purely academic fascination. But, were I a believer (in fact, when I used to believe -- or thought I did), I was astonished when I realized, despite all the drama of the tale of the Exodus, that neither the Old nor the New Testament outlaws slavery. I find that a mind-boggling shortcoming and still would even if I had not lost my (admittedly not very strong to begin with) faith.

And I don't just mean it would give me pause or simple doubt. If I believed I would have to agitate for some re-framing of religion (or switch to another religion) that does not mete out the price and treatment of humans owned as chattel. This isn't quite as clean-cut as the injunction to kill homosexuals because there is no REQUIREMENT, pr se, to own slaves. But I think you get the general idea. It places me squarely at odds with God's policy as articulated in scripture. I was wondering if could find some believers who share these same misgivings but who also don't plaster it over with the old "God works in mysterious ways" chestnut.
 
Loyal Member
I was wondering if could find some believers who share these same misgivings but who also don't plaster it over with the old "God works in mysterious ways" chestnut.
God's ways are only a mystery to those who do not know him. It would not have been wise to create a son of God without the ability to know fully his father that brought him forth.
The Christian has "the mind of Christ", and God has given to us his Spirit which are the thoughts of God. How could we not know his ways if we have all these things?
Homosexuality is something that will kill the person who is practicing it, which is why it is forbidden in scripture. I wish no harm to anybody no matter what they are doing, for my war is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and powers in the heavenly places.
 
Administrator
Staff Member
Hello Kirby,

I appreciate your questions. I hope my (and others') responses bless you and enlighten you to the truth of who Jesus really is and why we humans need his free gift of grace & salvation.

Is there any item within God’s doctrine (defined sins, requirements of faith/observance, standards for punishment/reward in any afterlife, etc.) according to your own personal understanding of that doctrine, that you either disagree with or wish were not so? Of so, what is it/are they?
None. What right does a human have to question God's holiness and decrees?

Do you wish that you did not have to rely on Jesus’s sacrifice in order to be redeemed?
Why would anyone not want to rely on His free gift of love, forgiveness, grace, eternal life in Heaven with Him? John 3:16-17

Do you dislike the fact that gay sex is a sin?
No. It's unnatural, despite what a man's opinion is. God, who created man and woman to be together within the conformity of marriage has the final say. He is holy. He wants the best for each person and it angers Him when we sin against Him because He knows that it hurts us and others, and deprives us of His promised blessings and a fulfilling life.

Do you consider the doctrine of eternal damnation for unrepentant sinners unjust or unnecessarily severe?
So this one is hard to wrap your mind around, but when get to know GOD's attributes, about His Holiness and the fact that He has sacrificed His begotten Son Jesus Christ on the Cross so no one should go to hell, it's fully just and reasonable. Here's a question to ask, with human opinions and indifference on this subject, who has the final say to determine what a person's final outcome should be? See the world's chaos? A result of people rejecting GOD's moral laws, rejecting Him as Lord and Savior and clearly people cannot get along and make things work apart from Him. It's right there in front of your eyes, from day one after the Fall in the Garden of Eden.

Anyway, my point is, if there are any gods, I want to know and I want to find out how I CAN know.
In all honesty? Just ask Him. Not kidding. Ask Him in all sincerity, "God, if you are real and who you say you are please reveal yourself to me. Make yourself known to me. Show me that you exist and love me unconditionally.". If you genuinely, wholeheartedly pray something like this eventually and without a doubt, He will show you that He indeed is Almighty GOD and there is no other but counterfeits and frauds (just as the Bible warns us).

I reject that human children are born already in a state of sin. Hence, I reject the notion that any human must be saved, especially by a human sacrifice 2,016 years ago.
Isn't it interesting though that out of all the famous people, so called prophets, gods, religious leaders, religions, beliefs...the entire globe's calendar is based on the birth of Jesus Christ?.

So, to sum up. The reason I don't believe in God is not because I dislike his policy. I do dislike his policy, but knowing whether or not he exists is much more important to me than being happy about it.
I'm glad you bring this up. So let me help you get to know more about Him so your heart will hopefully lead directly to Him and actually get to know Him.

There's are great little reads for you to help you, clear your understanding and put away self-understanding. Get to know Jesus, about Him and what He's like. Not what the world has told you He's like.

You asked to know, so here it is. A jump-start in truth.Several angles and topics covered below.

For the Curious Unbeliever
Questions and Objections
Why believe in Christianity?
Skeptic's Instructions for Reading

Ethics & Science
Animals that prove Creation
Messianic Prophecies (list)
What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

About Hell
I can't believe in a God who would send people to hell
A loving God would never send anyone to hell
How is Hell a fair punishment for sin?
Rejecting God Because of Hell Is Illogical

About GOD
The Attributes of God
Father's Love Letter
 
Active Member
What Chad said! (No way to top that). I will add this though -
Do you wish that you did not have to rely on Jesus’s sacrifice in order to be redeemed?
A big resounding no to that! Without Jesus' sacrifice, I would be responsible for my own works to get to heaven, and I (and every other person) would fail at that miserably.
 
Hello Kirby... ...here it is. A jump-start in truth.Several angles and topics covered below.

For the Curious Unbeliever
Questions and Objections...
As ever, Chad, you are generous and considered in your response. :smile:

I will read the links you have attached. As for asking God to reveal himself to me, I have tried before, but, I sincerely will try again. Obviously, skeptic that I am, I'll be looking for some pretty clear and straightforward answer. Still, if he has any particular interest in what I believe and he is indeed real, I'm sure he is up to the task.

In any case, I'll let you know how it goes. And I thank you, and the site, for the continued hospitality to this Doubting Thomas.
 
New Member
Question from a friendly atheist to faithful Christians:

Is there any item within God’s doctrine (defined sins, requirements of faith/observance, standards for punishment/reward in any afterlife, etc.) according to your own personal understanding of that doctrine, that you either disagree with or wish were not so? Of so, what is it/are they?

For instance (and please don’t think I am being patronizing or insulting – I promise I respect your right to your opinion/faith):

Do you wish that you did not have to rely on Jesus’s sacrifice in order to be redeemed?

Do you dislike the fact that gay sex is a sin?

Do you consider the doctrine of eternal damnation for unrepentant sinners unjust or unnecessarily severe?

My questions are not veiled challenges to your faith. I am not here to argue my atheist case. It’s just that, among the faithful in my social milieu, none are interested enough to get into the nuts and bolts of this sort of dialectic.

Thanks in advance for any response.
You stumped me, I can't answer all those questions when they are flying at me one after another. I wish I was a Christian again, I had some crazy sane explanations.

But that time is over, and I'm here just stumped. But it's ok because I see atheists just like Christians, because they need to play dress up instead of being a plain boring human.
 
Least amongst the Best
Staff Member
You stumped me, I can't answer all those questions when they are flying at me one after another. I wish I was a Christian again, I had some crazy sane explanations.

But that time is over, and I'm here just stumped. But it's ok because I see atheists just like Christians, because they need to play dress up instead of being a plain boring human.
Greetings,

if I may,

it will be apparent that those who are indeed Christians do not either need to dress up nor are they"plain boring human". Until then there are many who use the name of Christ and it is not indicative to their identity merely through a title they choose. Also, the world tends to lump all who appear to be Christian as actually being Christian.

You will know them by their fruit:
[COLOR=#330066]Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. [/COLOR]Matthew 7:20

Bless you ....><>
 
New Member
Greetings,

if I may,

it will be apparent that those who are indeed Christians do not either need to dress up nor are they"plain boring human". Until then there are many who use the name of Christ and it is not indicative to their identity merely through a title they choose. Also, the world tends to lump all who appear to be Christian as actually being Christian.

You will know them by their fruit:
[COLOR=#330066]Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. [/COLOR]Matthew 7:20

Bless you ....><>
Yes you will.
 

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