25 January 2008

Holy Shit!

In its most literal sense.

I don't even know where to start...
Such a loving god, hm?


A-Ruthie said...

Toby....what do you mean by your last comment? Aunt Ruthie.

Toby said...

I don't think a loving god would condemn about 70% of the people he created to hell, simply because they hadn't heard about him. By the logic of this video, it doesn't matter if you do good your entire life; if you don't believe in Jesus, you go to hell. That doesn't fit the definition of "loving" in my book.

Aunt Ruthie said...

Really? Hmm. Does condeming your only son to a horrific death in order to save millions of undeserving people seem like love? Wait until you have a son before you answer. I know I wouldn't sacrifice either of my boys for someone, anyone...especially someone who would take it and throw it back in my face.

Aunt Ruthie said...

So....Even if you don't "think" a loving god would condemn those who don't believe....He still WILL condemn those who don't beleive.

Rachel said...

Umm interesting. I have a problem with that video for a couple of reasons. First of all when did testifying about your religion become about scare tactics? Last time I checked (and it wasn't that long ago) that was supposed to be about pride and joy. It is not supposed to be done out of fear and anger.
Another thing is the idea of people judging people. Isn't the idea that he who is without sin can cast the first stone. Well I don't know anyone who that statement applies to. If God made each of us in his image then he is aware that there are going to be flaws, forgivness is not conditional, that is why it is forgivness. I was baptised a Catholic, so I know all about the dogma, and it just doesn't hold with me. We put all of our faith into religious systems based more in man's judgments then in God's teachings. Until I meet a person who has been there (the "pearly gates") and back and can tell me yes, if you dont accept Jesus you don't get in, the I am going to go on believing what my heart tells me is true. That no matter what my faults, as long as I do my best to lead a good life, those transgretions I do commit will be forgiven by a God that loves us no matter what. Love doesn't come with strings, its given freely or not at all.

Aunt Ruthie said...

Yea! I love that we have a conversation going about this!

I have a few questions:
1. If we can all be "good enough" to go to heaven...then why did Jesus have to suffer and die?

2. How good is good enough? If I give $10K to a charity and you give $11K. Which one of us was good enough?

3. Where does the Bible say that you have to be "good" anyway?

I am SO full of pride in my faith! I love my Lord and know how much his loves me and you and all of us. It breaks his heart to have to punish us. I don't ever use scare tactics when talking about my faith, because it's not pc. But, in the end, if your house is burning down, and someone doesn't tell you....because it might upset you...??

and finally, like a good little Christian should, let me quote the Bible...."It is by faith alone that we enter the kingdom and not by works....so that no man can boast"

Faith...not "being good"

Rachel said...

I think a good life is different for each person. Its a personal choice. My neighbors idea of leading a good life may be donating 50K to a charity, wheras a good life for me is volunteering when I can, and caring for the people I love. There is no right or wrong answer on what makes a good life for all people, we are too different, too individual for a broad definition to apply.
That being said lets go on the idea of faith. There are a hundreds, perhaps thousands, of variations of faith. What makes one type of faith better than the other. It's fantastic that you are proud of your faith, and I'm so glad that it makes you happy. But that doesn't make my idea of faith bad, or inferior. Just different. Just because I don't go to church every Sunday, and don't hold with a lot of the bibles teaching doesn't mean I don't have faith. I still believe. What I believe, and why are my choice. That is my faith. It comes from inside my heart, from things I believe to be true. Why should things written in a book by man thousands of years ago make me doubt what I know in my heart simply because they disagree. What makes them more knowledgable about my soul then I am?
If jesus died for our sins so that we would be forgiven why does that only cover a certain sect of people? That plays too much back into love and forgivenss with strings attached. If he died so that we would be forgiven then he died for all of us or none of us. Love and forgivness are never parital, or segregated.
Believing differently shouldn't condem a person, we are intelligent beings that are willing and able to make our own choices.

Toby said...

First, Hi Aunt Ruthie! It's been too long. You're never on Messenger anymore!

Second, here are some answers to your questions.
1. That question is based solely on faith that Christianity, alone, is the one true religion. If you were born and raised in the Middle East, isn't it likely that you would believe just as strongly that Allah is the one true god? If you were born in Japan, isn't it likely that you would follow in the tenants of Shintoism or Buddhism? What about the ancient Greece? Wouldn't it be Zeus and Athena? How can we be sure that our way is the one right way?

2. Both amounts are great! (I'll take either one. ;) ) But why not give to charity, or volunteer or pick up litter because it is the right thing to do? Isn't that more virtuous than doing it with the expectation of a reward?

3. If you'll forgive me a quotation from the Bible: James 2:14-17 says "My brothers, what use is it for a man to say he has faith when he does nothing to show it? Can that faith save him? Suppose a brother or a sister is in rags with not enough food for the day, and one of you says, 'Good luck to you, keep yourselves warm, and have plenty to eat', but does nothing to supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So with faith; if it does not lead to action, it is in itself a lifeless thing." Or Matthew 7:18-20 "A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men."

Of course, we could nitpick the Bible all day. And find different examples and interpret them to support our own point. But it's really a moot point. Why not do good because it is the right thing to do? Regardless of one's beliefs, if one lives life in the best way s/he can, and if there is, indeed, a loving God, surely he will take that into account

Aunt Ruthie said...

Thank you for the quick response!

Just to be clear. I, personally, don't condemn anyone. I'm sharing my beliefs, but, YOU have God given free will to choose to believe whatever you want to. That is the best part! We aren't puppets. We can choose.

I choose to believe what the Bible says. If I were to take what it says and manipulate it to say what I want it to say...then that would be pretty lame. So, of course, I am going to tell you that I believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. In Christian love I would pray you would hear this and I cherish this "blog" opportunity to tell you that.

By the way, that video could have gone this way.

"Christian Friend" tried to tell his friend about Jesus.
"Non-Christian friend" felt "condemned" by the message and didn't want to be told that only beleivers go to heaven.

In the end, we will only know once we get there...right?

I won't live my life condemning anyone, BUT when given the opportunity, I will preach the love of Christ.

If I am presented, outright, with the question the video poses...you bet I will give my honest heartfelt answer.

I also will not live my life pressuring myself to be "good enough". Because, I honestly believe that none of us is good enough. I WILL however, live my life to honor Him who would sacrifice SO much for little 'ole me.

Aunt Ruthie said...

Sorry Toby, I didn't see your response. Didn't mean to ignore you. Btw, send me your email or online address.

Here is my response to you:

1. Point taken, but it's really no different that here in the States. There are all kinds of religions here besides Christianity and there are Christians in the Middle East and Japan. So Christ is preached pretty much across the world. Ask someone from the Middle East if they've ever heard of Jesus. Whether or not they believe He's God...I bet they've heard of Him and what the Christians think about Him.

2. It is absolutely virtuous to do any kind of charity...but it won't get you to heaven. The point was...what is "Good Enough?"

3. And finally....those quotes are GREAT!! And I completely understand those quotes as meaning...that if you profess with your tongue that Jesus is Savior...then if you live a life that does not honor that...you ruin your testimony.

So for example...if I were say "Jesus is Lord" but then said.."So anyway...who is this Rachel person and who does she think she is?"
But you get my point...

Toby said...

The video made the point that Zack didn’t bother telling Josh about Christianity, so Josh was doomed to hell, through no fault of his own. I’m still having a hard time reconciling how God would condemn poor Josh for not getting information. After all, it wasn’t his fault Zack didn’t tell him…

People in other parts of the world or with other belief systems may have heard of Christianity and may, in fact, know all about Christian beliefs. Just like you have heard of Islam and other religions, but just because you have heard of those religions, doesn’t mean you believe in them. Just as we don’t belief in Zeus or Thor… About 70% of the world’s population does not believe in Christianity. Are they ALL going to hell?

The question of what is “good enough” is only relevant if one is doing good only to get into heaven. If one does good for the sake of doing good, that question doesn’t occur. Or if it does, the answer is that it’s never “good enough.” I try to do as much good as I can and I don’t do it with the expectation that it’s going to get me into heaven.

As far as those our quoted scripture goes, they obviously contradict each other. Paul said that with faith alone, one can get into heaven, while James and Matthew (among others) said that one must do good deeds. I think that’s an important distinction and it’s worth noting the glaring contradiction within the Bible…

Aunt Ruthie said...

The video made the point also that Josh recalled every time the subject was brought up too.

I am NOT the judge of who will or won't go to heaven. But, I also will not sit around and choose "nothing" over choosing to believe what I beleive. Those other religions certainly assert their beliefs. Where would I be if I didn't take some kind of stand. Luckily, I have some knowledge behind what I believe as well.

Briefly...be good for the sake of being good. But don't be fooled into thinking it will ever get you into heaven.

And finally...there are NO contriditions in the Bible. You can take anything out of context, but if you study the Bible as a whole you will understand that it all works together. I read James this morning...in detail and James was saying that if you just have faith, and don't ever display it...what good is it? The Bible would be a pretty short book if those folks just had faith and no works. It would read something like this:

Noah had faith
Moses had faith
Abraham had faith
Jacob had faith

Their works displayed their faith...

Toby said...

So, according the video, both Josh and Zack are going to hell. For such a small and petty indiscretion. Sad, really.

One's beliefs are their personal choice, and if it causes that person to be a better person, that's awesome. But that doesn't make those beliefs true. All the religions cannot all be right, can they? If the answer is that they CAN all be right, then the basic tenants of Christianity -- that Christ was born of a virgin, was crucified to save mankind, then rose bodily after three days -- are false.

I have no illusions or expectations as to where my good deeds will get me. They might very well get me nowhere. I do good deeds because it is the right thing to do, not because I expect a reward at the end. And according to just about every religion, I am in the express lane to hell. But, I'm not too worried, as I don't believe in those hells. I believe that I am living my one and only life right now and I am supremely fortunate to have this life. And since I believe that there is no life after this one, I am going to make the most of it while I can. No strings attached. No threat of eternal torture.

Aunt Ruthie said...

So...this could open a can of worms....but once a person accepts Christ...they will not go to hell. So Josh will go to heaven...he's a Christian. Not tell someone about Christ is SAD...but will not condemn you.

Ones beliefs are DEFINITELY a personal choice. God gave us free will. No doubt.

I choose to beleive what I beleive too. And because I beleive it with all of my heart, I will share it with those that I am given the opportunity to. Why wouldn't I if I beleive that non Christians go to hell. Will I use tactics like that video...NO! That's a pretty bad way of spreading the "good" news.

But...and this is important...I do not beleive that me being a Christian makes me a "better" person. I am the same sinful person I've always been.

I'm not going to heaven because I am "better" than anyone.

I am going because I am accepting a gift that was given to me...and everyone.

But, as you said, everyone has a choice.

As for doing good deeds...let me try and end that line of the conversation by saying I agree.

Doing good deeds is good. It makes you feel good, it's the right thing to do while you're here on this earth.

Honestly, I do not do many good deeds. I find it hard to keep up with my own life much less trying to help someone with theirs. If I were basing my trip to heaven on my good deeds...I would DEFINITELY not be going.

I am really sorry to hear that you think this life is the only one we get. If that were me, I'd live it up. Screw everything. If this is the only chance I get and none of it matters....then why try and be a good person or even an average person. If this is my only chance, then man...it's all about me and move out of the way!

Timbo said...

Toby, you should read "a year of living biblically" by A. J. Jacobs.


It's funny, it's interesting, and it's a good read. What it isn't is some sort of argument to make you believe any particular way, nor is it a book meant to convince anyone to become a Christian. It's simply the story of one guy who tries to live by the rules set forth in the bible as literally as possible for a year. Check it out, holmes.

Aunt Ruthie said...

Of course, you do understand that....the laws that the Bible gives us aren't meant to be lived out.

Those are the laws that we would be expected to obey if we intend to get to heaven without the help of Jesus.

It is simply a way God gave us of seeing how hard it would be to get to heaven if He hadn't sent Jesus to take our punishment for NOT living by the rules.

As Christians, we do our best to honor God by following his commandments. But, as I'm sure that book points out....it's impossible.

For example....if we would live sine free for 24 hrs.....wouldn't we be dammed proud of ourselves!!??
(Uh...pride is a sin...in case I didn't make my point)