Tag Archives: Hell

Shocking news: Rob Bell mocks Bible

Via Oprah Asked This Ex-Megachurch Pastor When Christianity Will Embrace Gay Relationships — and His Answer Seemed to Take Her By Surprise 

What a shocker: Rob Bell said:

I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life with someone

Did you see how he mocked the word of God?  Yeah, as if the Bible is too old to be a good defense.

Jude 3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.  For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Once again, http://wp.me/p1wGU-3P7 The Bible couldn’t be more clear.  Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:

 

– 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

– 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

– 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

– 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind.  There are no exceptions for “committed” relationships.

– 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to LGBT couples parenting children.

 

Having said that, I believe that Christians should support and encourage those who are fighting same-sex attraction.  And no one needs to grandstand on the issue before getting to the Good News of the cross: http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2008/05/27/evangelism-experiences-1/ .

 

* The three general types of pro-gay theology people:

 

1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God.” (Obviously non-Christians)

2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling the theological Left.” (Only about 10 things wrong with that.)

3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)

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I agree that it was a message from demons . . .

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus

Lest anyone think this is gratuitous Catholic-bashing, please note that I spend way more time addressing false teachers within Protestantism.

The Mother Mary Facebook page shared this story about how demons allegedly fear Mary and her power for salvation.  These demons also give you tips on how to be saved — but only because they were allegedly forced to.  I completely agree that the message is demonic in nature, just not in the way the author intended it.  I see these possibilities:

1. A demon really said it, but was lying because Satan wants to confuse people about Mary’s role, take away glory from Jesus and keep people in bondage.

2. Someone made it up as “evidence” of the Catholic Church’s false claims about Mary.  And we know who the father of lies is.

This is only believable to those who don’t study the Bible and/or those who are hostile to its truths.

When Saint Dominic was preaching the Rosary near Carcassone, an Albigensian was brought to him who was possessed by the devil. Saint Dominic exorcised him in the presence of a great crowd of people; it appears that over twelve thousand had come to hear him preach.

During the exorcism, the demon was forced to speak the following about devotion to the Mother of God: “Listen well, you Christians: the Mother of Jesus Christ is all-powerful, and She can save Her servants from falling into hell. She is the Sun which destroys the darkness of our wiles. It is She who uncovers our hidden plots, breaks our snares, and makes our temptations useless and ineffectual.

Please stop and consider for a moment whether a demon of Satan just might lie about how people are really saved. 

So we are supposed to be her servants and not Christ’s?  Mary is all-powerful?

The Holy Spirit forgot to mention any of that in the Bible when He addressed the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

“We have to say, however reluctantly, that not a single soul who has really persevered in Her service has ever been damned with us; one single sigh that She offers to the Blessed Trinity is worth far more than all the prayers, desires, and aspirations of all the saints.
“We fear Her more than all the other saints in Heaven together, and we have no success with Her faithful servants. Many Christians who call upon Her when they are in the hour of death, and who really ought to be damned according to our ordinary standards, are saved by Her intercession.

They slip up here when referring to “our ordinary standards.”  Uh, wouldn’t that be God’s standards that are involved with the damnation question?

“Oh, if only that Mary (it is thus in their fury that they called Her) had not pitted Her strength against ours and had not upset our plans, we should have conquered the Church and should have destroyed it long before this, and we would have seen to it that all of the Orders in the Church fell into error and disorder.

So they fear Mary but not Jesus?  Interesting.

“Now that we are forced to speak, we must also tell you this: nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because She obtains for Her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins, and by means of this they obtain God’s forgiveness and mercy.”

So we’re saved by saying the rosary and not by repenting and believing in Jesus?  I missed that part in the Bible.  Must have been right after the part about vain repetition.

For the record, I think that some people in the Catholic church are saved but just don’t know what the foundations of the religion really are (works-based justification, Mariolatry, indulgences, purgatory, etc.).  I also think that many in the Protestant church aren’t saved.

But people who believe what that Facebook page said have some wildly inaccurate theology.  The comments there were as creepy and sad as the post itself.  I beg people to read the Bible for themselves and abandon these man-made / demon-made tales.  Read the Book of Acts, the history of the early church, and ask why Mary was only mentioned once — and that was merely noting her presence a room.  Why no mentions in Romans?  And 1 Corinthians?  And 2 Corinthians?  And so on.  If the Bible was given to us by the Catholic religion, as it falsely claims, then why doesn’t it include more about Mary?

This is from another post on that site.  I don’t recall any Bible verses about this, either.

mary

A pleasant dialogue with an atheist

A recent visitor asked some common questions. I appreciated his tone and his willingness to concede one of my points from the The “Bronze Age Mythology” fallacy post. Here are his comments and my responses.

LoneWolfArcher, your belief that there is an all-powerful creator who cares about the little details of our lives and your disbelief that we might actually just be here, without being created or having a bigger purpose — THAT is egoism at its finest.

Isn’t the real question whether or not it is true? If my kids felt that my wife and I created them, cared deeply about the details of their lives, sacrificed for them, had their long-term best interests at heart, etc., would they be unjustified in claiming it?

And under atheism, where would be the rationale that egoism is wrong? Wouldn’t that be expected? And where would be the grounding to criticize any behavior as universally wrong?

The core of my atheistic beliefs, and the core of many others, is the lack of any evidence of a creator or god.

Have you studied the cosmological, teleological, moral, etc. arguments for his existence? If you haven’t seen it yet, I encourage you to subscribe to this blog — http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/ or especially Stand to Reason at http://www.str.org or http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com

Atheists who act well are actually more moral than the religious, since the religious are acting out of doctrine or fear of hell.

I concede that many atheists behave relatively well on human terms. But they have no philosophical grounding for universal morality.

In their nothingness to molecules to life to man view, my conversion from atheism to trusting in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is solely due to Darwinian evolution (or some such thing), so why would they criticize what their worldview created?

Also, in Christianity, we are not acting properly because we think it will gain us entrance into Heaven. No amount of good deeds can undo my countless sins against God. We act differently because God has changed us and out of gratitude for what Jesus did for us. We believe He is God in flesh and that we should see the world as He does and act accordingly.

Atheists acting well are doing it for exactly the right reasons — compassion, empathy, and knowing what is right with having it threatened into us with a big stick (hell etc.).

But on atheism you have no reason to say those are the “right” things.

Speaking of not having to answer for your actions: if you believe in a biblical god, you can be a ten time murderer and as long as you accept Jesus etc. you go to heaven. An atheist who murders no-one and acts charitably all their lives, but doesn’t accept Jesus or whatever nonsense it is, goes to hell. THAT is not having to account for your actions, or in fact, the very opposite. Your god is a sick joke and to dress it as morality is wrong wrong wrong.

Technically, you are right. Grace, by definition, isn’t fair. If you want fairness, you’ll get it. You will be punished in Hell for your sins. That is fair. If you want unfairness, then trust in Jesus and how He paid for your sins on the cross. Was that fair for him to pay the penalty I deserved? Not at all. But I’m eternally grateful for it.

If your god actually exists, then they’re welcome to actually show up and communicate with us. But if they exist and are doing an extremely good impression of not existing by hiding, then they might as well not exist at all at this point.

He did show up. We killed him.

He also reveals himself through the Bible. I highly encourage you to read it carefully, even if it is just so you can be more effective at criticizing us.

Something being right, or not wrong, in a book doesn’t make everything the book claims correct. Lots of stars, yes. Doesn’t prove that the bits about a god are true.

I agree. My claim wasn’t that one true statement makes everything in the book true. It was merely that this was a rather significant claim and one that, in my experience, is completely (and conveniently?) ignored by skeptics. Seems like in fairness they’d want to give some credit for it.

On the flip side, I assume you’d agree that even if a book contained errors that other parts could be true and would have to be evaluated as such. I believe in the inerrancy of the original writings of the Bible, but I don’t need to prove that to share the good news of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection with people. We have plenty of evidence to point to.

The point of this post is spot-on — it’s a good point which I hadn’t paid much attention to in the past. “Bronze-age” does seem like a lazy slur. The fact that it is used doesn’t mean the people who are using it are wrong, either, but yes, it’s lazy.

Thanks, I appreciate that. I don’t like when either side uses cheap sound bites to dismiss the others.

If there was a god defining good and evil, it’s just as arbitrary as man defining it. If there is some notion of good that is higher than a god, then god isn’t defining it. So which is it?

I think you may be referring to something known as the Euthryphro Dilemma (I’m sure I misspelled that!). The answer is that God doesn’t “make” good and He also doesn’t sit under “good” in the sense that He is under authority to some standard. Good is simply part of his essence.

Plus, christians regularly “redefine what is good” themselves, in theory, by overriding god/Jesus in the bible, by (rightly!) ignoring the morally repugnant parts of the bible. So is god actually god or not?

I look at it differently. God is good, all the time. It is part of his essence. In our fallen nature we may misunderstand him, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t good.

There are plenty of morally repugnant things in the Bible, as an overarching theme is that we are fallen sinners in desperate need of a Savior. The Bible records many such acts. But God is perfectly holy and sovereign and just, so He can punish as He sees fit.

Screwtape starts a blog

If you like satire, check out Satan’s Blog.  It is akin to what C.S. Lewis might have done if blogging was around when he wrote The Screwtape Letters.  Sometimes considering the perspective of what Satan wants makes it more clear what God wants.

From Obama is NOT a Muslim! You MUST believe me and help me convince others!

Regardless of whether Obama is truly a Muslim or not, he clearly, by his actions, is not a Christian.

And that’s all I care about.

I don’t care what people say they are.  Half the people in Hell say they were Christians.  Big deal.  They didn’t act like it.

And Obama, because he has no core values beyond those of a socialistic worldview, will, if pushed, shamelessly act like a Christian.  And if Obama starts acting like a Christian, my kingdom on earth will suffer.

And I don’t like to suffer.

From Me and Rush Limbaugh’s big mouth!

The dictator was dictating that other people must, based on His Dictateness alone, pay for the sex needs of all women everywhere, including one Ms. Sandra Fluke, a 30-year-old privileged law student going to one of the most expensive law schools in the country.

In a fit of pride, I gloated a rhetorical question: “Where are the sane Americans?”

Remember?

And then I asked this fateful question:

Where is someone to stand up and tell Ms. Keely and Ms. Sandra to stop begging for someone else’s money and control their own friggin’ bodies or go pay for their own damn birth control?

Well, that’s when my luck turned, and out of nowhere surfaced One Sane American.

. . .

He is Conservative One, and he nailed this one: on what basis should taxpayers or insurers (i.e., other people) be required to pay for women’s recreational (and apparently uncontrollable) sex needs?

Hat tip: Sifting Reality

God’s unconditional love. Sort of.

Mark from Facebook was lamenting his church’s overly simple “Remember, God loves everyone” billboard.  It is true in a sense, of course.  As Marie noted there, Jesus loved the rich young ruler who walked away and He commanded us to love our enemies.

A former church of ours had the “God loves you unconditionally” message preached nearly every week and posted on a local billboard.  While it was true in a particular sense, they never finished the sentence: “And He’ll unconditionally send you to Hell for eternity if you don’t repent and believe.”

My guess is that many people read the message on the billboard and thought, “That’s great — I don’t have to change a thing and don’t even have a reason to go to their church.  I’ve heard all I need from the experts.”

Eternity is a mighty long time to hold bad theology.  Another good Facebook find this morning was a link our pastor posted: My Take: Stop sugar-coating the Bible.  That was surprisingly good for CNN. Too many people don’t realize that by editing the word they are making a god in their own image and not seeking the real God.

Do I like to share the truth of God’s love?  Absolutely!  But we must be careful not to distill it down so far that it loses its real meaning.

Remember that even the oft-misused John 3:16 notes that without believing in Jesus people will perish eternally, and the following verses make it even more clear.

16 “For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

 

Do Christians want non-believers to go to Hell?

Of course not.  We spread the Good News because we want to obey Jesus and we want people to avoid eternal punishment.

But you wouldn’t know that by reading criticisms from some atheists.  They think we’re being big meanies by pointing out our belief in an eternal punishment for those who don’t repent and trust in Jesus.

They are missing something obvious, of course.  If we wanted people to go to Hell we’d do like the theological liberals and withhold the Gospel. We’d tell everyone that any path to God will do, or just to conceive God however you want him to be, etc. — basic fake Christian / Hindu / New Age / etc. beliefs.  Think of all the time and money we would save!  Think how much more popular we would be!

Oddly, these folks often give you the “But I like the definition [of being a Christian] being people trying to live according to the teachings of Jesus” view of Christianity as they are ignoring the reality of Hell, Jesus’ exclusivity and divinity, biblical teachings on marriage and the sanctity of human life, etc.  But Jesus’ teachings covered all those things.

How they conflate our warnings about Hell with their view that we want them to go to Hell is puzzling.  It is like saying that by warning people not to steal that you really want them to go to jail.

Jesus said Hell was real and He warned people how to avoid it.  He is the only way to salvation.  Here are a few verses on that topic.  I’ve got lots more if you need them!

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Acts 4:11-12 He is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 16:30-31 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

1 John 5:11-12 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Luke 10:16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

Luke 12:8-9 “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.

John 3:18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”

John 10:7-8 Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.

Do you ask yourself questions like this?

Randy Alcorn had a great list of questions to think about in light of eternity.  Everyone spends eternity somewhere.  Don’t let the distractions of the world keep you from the most important questions in life.  See Questions in Light of Heaven – Blog – Eternal Perspective Ministries.

  • Do I daily reflect on my own mortality?
  • Do I daily realize there are only two destinations—Heaven or Hell—and that I and every person I know will go to one or the other?
  • Do I daily remind myself that this world is not my home and that everything in it will burn, leaving behind only what’s eternal?
  • Do I daily recognize that my choices and actions have a direct influence on the world to come?
  • Do I daily realize that my life is being examined by God, the Audience of One, and that the only appraisal of my life that will ultimately matter is his?
  • Do I daily reflect on the fact that my ultimate home will be the New Earth, where I will see God and serve him as a resurrected being in a resurrected human society, where I will overflow with joy and delight in drawing nearer to God by studying him and his creation, and where I will exercise, to God’s glory, dominion over his creation?
Think carefully and often about matters of eternity, because eternity matters.