Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Puritan's Mind...NOT the Mind of Christ!

Graphic from: A Puritan's Mind

I am sure that the owner of A Puritan's Mind means well but...

there is one grammatical error,one error in definition, one Christological error, and one major theological error with the graphic above. Can you, dear reader pick them out???

Very well, the grammatical error is that a 'singular soul' cannot be "they." The error of definition is found in Ezekiel chapter 18:4

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

And not only do we find death, that means the cessation of life, in the Hebrew Scriptures as the punishment for sin; moreover we find the same truth in the pages of the New Testament --

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Punishment for sin has always been death in both Old and New Covenant scripture. Matthew 10:28 provided the above verdict. Here is a second witness from the apostle Paul (Romans 6:23)--

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Christological error is that NOWHERE in scripture is Jesus referred to as Lord God Almighty!!! In order to save space, I would direct your attention to the side bar video -> "My God" Jesus has a God. It only runs 16 minutes and covers what we need to know from the Biblical record; no Church Councils are appealed to in the presentation, neither are any vain traditions of men - such as a hypostatic union of Christ, also known as the Incarnation to our Trinitarian friends or as Dual Nature as it is known to those of United Pentecostal persuasion; for certainly the UPCI's appeal to what is written below is nothing more than a restatement of Chalcedon's decree with their own "spin". I must admit that through much mental wrangling on spokesman Jason Dulle's part it is the best example of verbal hoop-jumping that I have read regarding the topic:

[...]If we apply the communicatio idiomatum to mean that whatever can be said of one nature can be said of the other, then we have God's essence being tempted and dying. Such a conclusion is absurd. This is explained by saying that God as He exists in a genuine human existence was tempted. How exactly this could be without splitting up the union of the two natures I cannot adequately explain. This is where our understanding breaks down. Even Chalcedon could not pinpoint the truth; it could only draw a box around it by saying what can and cannot be true, and let the truth lie somewhere inside the box. I am also asserting what must be true, and what cannot be true (insofar as it is knowable), and leaving the rest to the box of mystery.[...] SOURCE

Nay, gentle reader, there is a much more rational and satisfactory answer. An answer that does not appeal to ancient philosophies, Church councils, mysteries, or humanly devised traditions.

Our answer is that God anointed, appointed,and approved a MAN to redeem the world; to die a sinless death, as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world; and to mediate between God and man. No gross theological gymnastics involved. NO appeals to Greek sophistry. No Councils or appeals to any such nonsense. READ THIS

Please watch the video with your mind and Bible open to prove to yourself the message.

As for the overarching theological error that the graphic promotes, that would be "death equals eternal life!"

Death means d-e-a-d.

Merriam-Webster's dictionary definition:dead

1: deprived of life : no longer alive
2 a (1): having the appearance of death; lacking power to move, feel, or respond; incapable of being stirred emotionally or intellectually.

Please notice that the dictionary definition is completely in agreement with the counsel of our Bibles--

"the dead know not anything" (Ecc. 9:5) and that "His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them" (Job 14:21). It is the scriptures that tell us where the dead are and their condition; that they are experiencing neither joy nor sorrow, pleasure nor suffering; that they will have no knowledge of anything done under the sun until their awakening in the resurrection.

Remember the wise man's words, "Do with thy might what thy hand findeth to do, for there is neither wisdom nor knowledge nor device in (sheol) the grave, whither thou goest." (Ecc. 9:10) Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament it is written of both the good and the bad that they fell asleep in death.

The apostle Paul speaks of those who "sleep in Jesus," (1 Thes. 4:14) and of those who have "fallen asleep in Christ" (1 Cor. 15:18) who, he declares, are perished, if there isn't a resurrection of the dead. Could they perish in heaven or in purgatory or in a hell of torment? Assuredly no one teaches such a thing.

They are already in a perished condition in the tomb; and the perishing would be absolute, complete, unless a resurrection be provided for their deliverance from the power of death. Hence we read,
"God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

To completely cover the doctrine of how "Hell" became a place of eternal and fiery torment in Christian doctrine, in a proper manner, would require an entire book--Perhaps I may write one.

Many theological works have been presented over the ages, which contradict the concept of Hell as a place of eternal suffering, since this concept was formally introduced to the Christian world by Justinian, in 530AD. (William Barclay, J.W. Hanson, John A.T. Robinson, Lightfoot, Hosea Ballou, F.W. Farrar, Marvin Vincent, etc.)

Claiming that Hell is a place of eternal suffering is a doctrine with a solid foundation, is to ignore theological reality, and, in fact, is to discount simple logic.

Here are just a few points of logic that give strong evidence that the Hell of the Bible and the Hell of Christian doctrine are two completely different concepts:

* Is God a hypocrite by commanding his people to do something evil and, yet, condemning billions to the same fate, not in a temporary mortal sense, but eternally? "And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." (Jeremiah 32:35)

* No doubt, Hell, as portrayed in Christian dogma, is the worst possible fate any human could possibly imagine. That being obvious, why did Moses not give warning about this horrible fate in the Mosaic Covenant, which contained over 600 laws, ordinances, and warnings, yet, only stated blessings and cursings in this lifetime.

* The concept of "any" human suffering eternal torture after death is completely contradicted by this New Testament verse: “Since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) And this one: "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." ( Romans 5:18)And this one: "For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe." (1 Timothy 4;10).

Unless the word "all" has been declared as synonymous with "some", this gives strong evidence that the Christian doctrine is "negated" by the very scriptures they claim as authority for all their doctrines.

* Why did Paul never mention “Hell” in any of his epistles, except to declare the triumph of Christ over it in 1 Corinthians 15:55? The word “grave” in the passage is the Greek word “hades.”, the same word translated into Hell in other verses. And, why is it not mentioned once in the book of Acts, or in any of the evangelistic sermons that were recorded by the early Apostles?

* Why is the concept of a place of eternal suffering not used by any contemporary of Christ, nor was it ever thus employed by any Christian until Justin and Clement first used it in 150AD?

* If most of the world's population will end up a place of eternal torture, doesn't that imply that Jesus, at least partially, failed in his mission, which is found in this verse? "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world." (John 12:47) And, does that mean that the Father of Jesus, also, failed because of this verse?"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:17)

Combined with the fact that a place of eternal torture was the doctrine of many false, "pagan", religions condemned in the Bible, long before it became a part of modern Christian dogma, there is good reason to question the orthodox view of Hell. For further study on this subject we recommend that our readers consider the wealth of evidence presented in this research work online: What Does the Bible Teach About Hell.

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