Difficult Questions about Christianity(221 Posts)
This is inspired by discussions on mn and also in rl about Christianity. Jesus' death for us can sometimes seem like an easy thing to explain and those of us who've heard about it for many years can become a bit complacent. But I also often find it a really tricky thing to get my head around, despite believing iyswim. It would be interesting to hear what questions people have and also how we might be able to answer questions in a way that's humble and not personally offensive (although Jesus does say that people will be offended by the Gospel.
Further to you directing me here from another thread. Let's start with.
Love thy neighbour as thy self.
If Jimbob and Michelle love fame/money and Josh more than his sisters then they are not followers of the bible and just using it?
Well this thread wasn't primarily susposed to be a thread about the Duggars as other MNers have expressed that they feel a thread about the Duggars isn't an appropriate place to discuss God and forgiveness.
But if someone appears to love money or fame more than their family this would seem as if they were loving themselves more than others. You're right it someone acting in this way would not be keeping God's commandments. I fail to keep this commandment everyday, I find it difficult in every situation and every moment of the day but my needs above the needs of others. But although God really wants us to keep his laws, He's aware that we'll fail because we're human that's why He gave Jesus to take the ultimate punishment for our sins so we, if we truly repent can be forgiven and have eternal life with him. Its good news.
Hope that helps, anyone else have any answers/resources to offer?
sorry some typos *you're right someone acting in this way
* to put my needs above the needs of others
Someone taking the punishment for someone else is not moral. If I let someone down I am the person who should suffer any consequences. If someone ran over you while drink driving would it seem fair that the drunk drivers nan goes to prison instead?
If I hurt you, it is for you to forgive me for what I did to you.
You make it really good point headinhands. It seems unfair particularly when we look at others but when we think about ourselves and all the things we've done wrong and deserve punishment for and think that Jesus took this punishment for us its amazing. And Jesus isn't still experiencing that punishment hes been raised and is in heaven with God. Heres a piece by CS Lewis, its a bit wordy but it explains this really well.
I've made mistakes, none that would justify being physically tortured though. If people do dreadful things they should be prevented from doing it anymore, I don't think they should be tortured, they should have their liberty removed. It would be nice if they realised what they did was wrong, but that is by the by. Going back to the drunk driver. What is more important. That he realises what he did was wrong (which he already knew) or that the police/courts do what they can to prevent him from driving. I believe that an element of the criminal system is rehabilitate but that is through education and to ultimately stop them hurting society, it is not to please a deity.
Oops double typo I should have said that I find it difficult to put others needs above my own
There have been times I have suffered the consequences of my poor decisions. Anyone else doing so for me would be pointless. I find it offensive that someone else can be responsible for righting my wrongs.
God wants us to become more like Jesus (aka a perfect human) He says in the bible that He is making all who trust in him more like Him as well as forgiving their sins. So yes there is an aspect of rehabilitation as well as forgiveness and He does allow us to suffer the consequences of our poor decisions.
If there was a way for me to right my own wrongs then I may be offended by someone else doing it for me. As I am powerless though to secure forgiveness and eternal life for myself I'm trusting Jesus to do it for me.
Sometimes we simply can't right wrongs. The best way we have of avoiding making wrongs is education. Also wrongs change as I said with the gay issue. 100 years ago it was wrong to be gay but now God supports gay marriage. So who is to know what needs repenting of?
Secure forgiveness and eternal life for myself
Who else can secure forgiveness for what you have done to people other than you? I'm responsible for the mistakes I have made, no one else is going to or should take the rap for me.
What happens to the people who haven't secured forgiveness?
You're absolutely right we can't avoid getting things wrong and although things like education can help prevent us from doing things wrong doing wrong can never be completely eradicated from our lives which is why we need Jesus.
My belief is that God's standards don't change but peoples interpretation of them does. It would be interesting to hear what others think about this.
All of us our powerless to right the wrongs we've done and continue to do on a daily basis. The only way for God to forgive our wrongs is for Jesus to suffer in our place and pay our debt. The C S Lewis link I posted above explains this really well.
He is making all who trust in him more like him
How come there is no discernible difference in the goodness of christians and non-christians. How come there are massive differences in what christians think being like jesus means such as voting yes and no for goat marriage? How come I am able to become better and learn from mistakes and to become more understanding needing jesus as an example? It seems like the Gods efforts are just like what people without him do anyone through thinking and learning from mistakes and using their 21st century morals. How come being more like Jesus 400 years ago entailed bringing witches.
It's immoral for someone, something to take the rap for what I have done. And nothing I have done deserves being crucified and I'm fairly sure the same is true of you. Do you honestly think you deserve to be physically tortured to death for not being perfect. At what age does a human start deserving to be physically tortured for not being perfect? 10? 16? So a kid could refuse to tidy his bedroom one day and God starts keeping a tab, whereas if he had refused to tidy it up the day before God wouldn't have held him accountable. Unless you think even babies deserve to be physically tortured? However you look at it, it is immoral.
Another way to look at it is to say that none of us are worthy to be in heaven with God because we're just not perfect. This video and the one the follows it (about hell) might help explain this all better than I've been able to do.
I know I am not perfect, I'm not pretending I am. Do you honestly think I deserve to be physically tortured for the mistakes I have made? As for heaven I have no reason to think it exists but it doesn't matter because I don't need the prospect of a heaven to be as kind and as loving to people as I can.
When you go to heaven how will you be happy knowing there are people you loved not with you/being tortured? The wrong things I have done will never magically disappear. I can try to make amends, I can learn from it but no one can make it like it didn't happen.
So how does God forgiving you make you suddenly perfect? If you forgive someone for hurting you it doesn't make them perfect, it doesn't make what they did go away. It still happened.
I know I have hurt people, but I don't think I deserve physical punishment for it. What about you?
Questions about heaven and hell are really difficult to answer I don't claim to know all the answers. Did you watch this video headinhands? It addresses some of the questions you've raised.
I know that I'm completely incapable of being kind and loving to people with or without the prospect of heaven. I need God's help and I need His forgiveness.
Yes I did and my posts since we're in response to it .
You think you are completely incapable of being kind and loving to people without God? You're joking right. How did humans manage without Yahweh for the 194'000 years they existed for before the Old Testament.
are really difficult to answer
Because it makes no logical or moral sense, if it did it would be a doddle.
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