Christians I need your thoughts on how you rectify these problems.

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posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 10:55 PM
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How can these fundamental problems be rectified within the Christian religion?

Problem 1 : Original Sin (or “Sins of the fathers” doctrine)

We all know this one. It’s one of the first things you’re taught to accept as a Christian: you are flawed and sinful, an aberration in the eyes of god; worthless and bound to an eternity of suffering by default just for being born. Why? Because 6000 or so years ago, a woman was tricked by a talking snake into eating a magical fruit. This indiscretion is now your inheritance, and as far as god is concerned, you are equally responsible.

Original Sin is precisely why Christians are told to never ever question god. The doctrine is so unjust and unreasonable that the only way anybody could possibly believe or defend it is if they’d been actively discouraged from thinking about it critically.

Not in any justice system in the world would you find a judge that would punish the protegee of a criminal for the actions of said criminal. No parent would hold their grandchildren responsible for the misdeeds of their children. In no way is such a system fair or just. That any reasonable person could equate such behavior with the unconditional love of a benevolent creator is beyond ludicrous. This one doctrine alone makes the god of the bible not worth serving. So, not only am I personally guilty for the sins of Adam and Eve, but if my own biological father committed a crime and was sentenced, according to biblical laws and Christian thought, his “sins” are also “visited upon” me as well.

If we are to believe that as humans, we are flawed and imperfect but can devise a better standard of justice than a supposedly perfect, infallible being then what does that say of this so-called god? And if we are to accept that we cannot possibly fathom his ways because they are so beyond us, then one has to question why an infinite, unlimited god is somehow limited in making himself understandable to his own creation.

Problem 2 : Satan

Now this one has never made sense. According to Christianity, Satan is the enemy of god, the fallen angel, the Rebel that caused man to sin and messed up god’s creation. The belief is that Satan, in the form of a talking snake tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden having been cast out of heaven for insubordination (even though this is not actually what the Genesis account says).

So, instead of simply destroying the usurper that the omnipotent god already knew in advance would screw everything up, he simply “cast him down to earth” and left him hanging around so he could mess up the perfect world that he created. What’s more, having tricked Adam and Eve, god doesn't punish Satan directly at all, instead, he curses his “beloved creation” and then curses all snakes which, according to the bible, used to have legs and now eat dust. However, the fundamental issue remains: why did god let his arch rival off the hook? Twice?

If Satan is the root of all the world ills, and god is omnipotent, then that makes the god of the bible entirely responsible for the consequences as he is the only being that could completely stopped him in his tracks. If a serial killer was rampaging your town, and the police knew who he was, where he lived and how to capture him but instead chose to do nothing, then not only would the police be grossly negligent, they’d inadvertently be responsible for any further killings. It could even be argued that they were somehow colluding with the killer. The same applies to bible god with regard to Satan.

Problem 3 : Hell

An obvious one, but still worth mentioning. In relation to the previous problem, the concept of hell is a direct contradiction to the notion of a god of love. Even as Christians we knew this, but were too scared to give it much thought, so instead we came up with all sorts of excuses to make god look like the good guy by laying the blame at the feet of humanity. It’s not that god is wicked and cruel for creating a system by which most of his creation will burn and writhe in excruciating pain forever upon death, we are the ones at fault for pissing him off. We are bad, we are sinful, and we deserve whatever we get. All we need do is pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, fall into line and OBEY and everything will be OK. God doesn't send us to hell he created, we send ourselves there.

These were the excuses I used to justify god’s apparent cruelty. Of course, they are merely apologetic hand-me-downs dreamt up by Christian thinkers intent on blaming the victim.

The biggest problem I had with the doctrine of hell was that it seemed too binary, too simplistic. Any misdeed, no matter how small meant eternal torture in hell if one was to die at that moment. Thus, someone who simply didn’t believe in Jesus and a child molester, according to this doctrine get the same punishment. Some Christians console themselves that the “bad people” of the world (such as the aforementioned molester) will one day get what they deserve in the fires of hell, but fail to realize that if another person gets the same punishment for much less, then justice has not been served. Interestingly, for all their claims to objective morality, these same Christians are blind to the fact that the doctrine of hell, rather than discouraging “sin” can actually have the opposite effect. After all, if the punishment is always the same in the end, does it really matter what one does?

How are these refuted?




posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by RobFox
 



How are these refuted?

By the Catholic Church.

The "problems" that you cite are problems that non-Christians or anti-theists raise due to the beliefs or claims of some branches of Protestantism. They are all answered in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, if you take the time to read it.

While it is a very flawed institution, due to the sinful nature of some of its members and leadership, it has had 2,000 years to look at the issues that you raise, and, yes, it has answers. If you are truly seeking knowledge, rather than just being critical of something you disagree with and don't care what the response might be, start reading through the Catechism, and you will have your refutation.



posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 11:32 PM
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Ok. I am going to respond based on what I was taught as a child about each of these things.


RobFox
Problem 1 : Original Sin (or “Sins of the fathers” doctrine)

We all know this one. It’s one of the first things you’re taught to accept as a Christian: you are flawed and sinful, an aberration in the eyes of god; worthless and bound to an eternity of suffering by default just for being born. Why? Because 6000 or so years ago, a woman was tricked by a talking snake into eating a magical fruit. This indiscretion is now your inheritance, and as far as god is concerned, you are equally responsible.




I was taught what original sin truly was, the fact that we are sentient beings. According to the bible, the fruit Eve was tricked to eat was from the Tree of Knowledge, and to eat that would make us with the same awareness of god. This means, instead of thinking like a squirrel, dog, ox or bird, we now know that we have bodies that need clothing, think and dwell on the future, and have the ability to think out rational plans. The Tree of knowledge gave us the capability of logical and rational thought and the potential to invent things on a scientific nature.

I was also taught that this knowledge had consequences. Now we had worries, we knew what reproduction was, we would have to work hard for our daily bread, instead of being hungry, seeing food and eat it. We would know about our pending demise, and worry about that. We were on our own for the most part.

That doesn't mean god isn't there guiding our every move and helping provide for us. It just means we wouldn't be as aware of it as we were before. Our lives would be stressful.


RobFox
Problem 2 : Satan

Now this one has never made sense. According to Christianity, Satan is the enemy of god, the fallen angel, the Rebel that caused man to sin and messed up god’s creation. The belief is that Satan, in the form of a talking snake tricked Eve in the Garden of Eden having been cast out of heaven for insubordination (even though this is not actually what the Genesis account says).



Satan was an angel God created. As an angel he was created immortal. As god is infallible and our universe was created with this as a building block, destroying a being that was immortal would be the same as saying he made a mistake, which in theory would then unmake the universe. That is a huge consequence for everyone with in it.

Not to mention, Satan has a very important purpose. God gave to us all free will. Because of that, he has to test the will of man, to help show what each man and women is made of. God is huge on testing. He tested Abraham. He tested Moses. He tested Jesus, his own son. He tests us all. Some pass, most fail. Still, we need to be tested, simple to prove we are the creatures he wants us to be.

It was pretty clear after a while, that he needed to give us an out clause, since most of us were failing those tests. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. That's why he sent his only son to die a brutal death and rise up 3 days later. We needed to be saved so we can avoid your next problem.


RobFox

Problem 3 : Hell

An obvious one, but still worth mentioning. In relation to the previous problem, the concept of hell is a direct contradiction to the notion of a god of love. Even as Christians we knew this, but were too scared to give it much thought, so instead we came up with all sorts of excuses to make god look like the good guy by laying the blame at the feet of humanity. It’s not that god is wicked and cruel for creating a system by which most of his creation will burn and writhe in excruciating pain forever upon death, we are the ones at fault for pissing him off. We are bad, we are sinful, and we deserve whatever we get. All we need do is pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, fall into line and OBEY and everything will be OK. God doesn't send us to hell he created, we send ourselves there.


Hell wasn't created for man. Hell was created by Satan for him and his followers. He wasn't the only angel to deflect from god, about half fought the other half. They Satan's followers were beaten back by God's Angels into hell, where they currently reside. Earth is as far as they can get to heaven. When Satan saw he lost, he then decided if he can't take Heaven's gates with the followers he has now, he would recruit some more. So he uses all his tricks to get the souls of men and women to follow him down to hell. Once there, he convinces them they can never leave, corrupt their souls and will use them to gather more numbers. The theory is, during Armageddon, Satan will take his forces, all the souls in hell and the fallen angels he originally recruited and storm the gates of heaven.

So, there is that huge battle going on for souls.

I hope this clears it up. Now mind you, I was taught this as a child and I'm sure it will differ from other's point of views.

Thanks!



posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 11:40 PM
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You're addressing a caricature (if you will) of Christendom based on some of the more peculiar beliefs of select denominations. I'm not sure you'd find a Christian who believes everything you've laid out as such.



posted on Dec, 24 2013 @ 11:54 PM
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Personally I don't like organized religion, any kind of worship should not have a power hierarchy because whomever gets in power can and will enforce their own beliefs.

On the other hand I am spiritual, I believe the message is that no human will ever be perfect but we should always strive for that unatainable perfection. The closest we can get to perfect seems to be having the ability to recognize our flaws and strive to overcome them. We were provided free will to determine our own fate and anytime we choose evil, greed, or so on above kindness I think we may pay overall by spending more time on earth.

Regarding satan, I believe he represents all sin or temptation that we all face. It is because we have free will we are able to determine our own destiny whether it ultimately be for good or evil. Free will would mean nothing without temptation so the originator of evil could not be destroyed without losing the litmus test of determining who is ready for a higher level existence.

I believe our decisions and actions ultimately determine whether we are prepared for something far greater in the afterlife. Something we will all make it too eventually, if not ready then I think re-incarnation is very likely so we get as long as we need to show ourselves worthy of a higher existence.

Of course that effectively makes hell moot, or it would mean we currently live in what would be understood as hell but could make our way out of it eventually with learning needed lessons.

These of course are my beliefs only, just like atheists who have beliefs that there is no god or existence after death. Nothing can be proven either way but if I am correct then my life and actions might get me to a higher level. If i am incorrect then maybe I am able to help some others when they need it which does tend to provide it's own pleasure or happiness. Personally the overall good feeling of helping others seems to support the idea of some higher power. We may all understand instinctually the need for kindness and when accomplishing it experience good feelings. The feelings of guilt when doing something wrong also seem to support instinctual knowledge or understanding beyond mere intilectual level.

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posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 12:00 AM
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1. Original sin is a farce, even the god of the bible agrees that original sin is bunk.


Ezekiel 18
14 “But suppose this son has a son who sees all the sins his father commits, and though he sees them, he does not do such things:

15 “He does not eat at the mountain shrines
or look to the idols of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife.
16 He does not oppress anyone
or require a pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery
but gives his food to the hungry
and provides clothing for the naked.
17 He withholds his hand from mistreating the poor
and takes no interest or profit from them.
He keeps my laws and follows my decrees.

He will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. 18 But his father will die for his own sin, because he practiced extortion, robbed his brother and did what was wrong among his people.

19 “Yet you ask, ‘Why does the son not share the guilt of his father?’ Since the son has done what is just and right and has been careful to keep all my decrees, he will surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.


If the son does not bear the sins of the father, then why did god create original sin or if not create it allow it? Original sin is just a lame justification for the churches teachings, it has absolutely no basis in reality.

2. Satan is nothing more than the negative aspects of human nature: hate, greed, deception, ego, etc. I agree with your assessment of Satan's role, god is a negligent parent who refuses to help his children who are in need.

3. Hell is a conversion tactic, nothing more. How can you base an eternal judgement on a very few short years on Earth? How is that fair at all, especially when you take into account the number of people who will be sent there on the basis of them not believing something alone.

A serial killer can have a deathbed conversion and get a ticket to heaven but someone who hasn't done a thing wrong in their life will be sent to an eternity of suffering based on not believing something. If you don't find that disgusting, you're probably a Christian. Just saying.

You're right, a truly loving God would never created a place like hell and send 99% of his children to suffer forever, the idea is beyond ridiculous. The only hell is the one WE have made here on Earth, there is no such place made specifically for eternal torture.
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posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by Silenceisalie
 


FYI, I liked you're explanation Silenceisalie, I may not agree with it completely but I do believe somehow everything will lead up to an ultimate battle between good and evil.

If so I'd like to be on the side of good. These ideas seem to be far beyond our actual understanding though as humans which is why we have to resort to beliefs. Those beliefs, I think can be reinforced by our inherent understandiong of what is good and evil. Overall in general we have a pretty low tolerance for evil, religious or not.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 01:25 AM
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Thank God the first response tells the OP to look up the explanations to these questions in the Catechism (which will direct you to the necessary Bible verses for all you sola scriptura Christians). All that needs to be said. Not sure why you are saying "we" when you refer to Christians OP.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:27 AM
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1. Original sin. The sin caused death to enter the world. That would have been the end to it; however, Adam and Eve (not God) elected to have children. All children of Adam and Eve, therefore, would be made in the image of Adam and Eve, and therefore be subject to death. The fact that God provided a way out is just more points for God.

2. Satan. Since Adam and Eve decided to have children who would also die, God knew that they would have a sin nature like their parents. Satan, a rebellious created angel of God, willingly taunts God's creation to sin. He is, therefore, useful to destroy and to create suffering in man, which is therefore good for developing the soul of man, which can bring man back to God. Satan, being a creature, has the free will to follow God or not. In his case, he decided not.

3. Hell. The qualities of Hell equal the same qualities as the absence of God. With God you have love, light, a relief from suffering, kindness, no sickness, etc. Hell, being the absence of these qualities, would therefore be darkness, suffering, hate, etc. God does not force us to believe in Him or to love Him. If you choose to be without God, you choose to be without His qualities. You choose. Everyone gets to choose.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 04:59 AM
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reply to post by RobFox
 


When the bible says the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the sons to 7 generations, this is not what people think it is.

If your dad is an alcoholic it means you and your brothers and sisters, because of the way you were raised, are more likely to be alcoholics, the same goes for many "sins" like abusiveness etc.

Once a cycle like abuse or alcoholism starts, it takes a long time, generations in fact, to thoroughly break that cycle. According to the bible, it takes a full 7 generations. As humans, each generation may learn from the mistakes of their parents, but any change is incremental. Little by little the cycle gets overcome.

I believe there is also a scientific basis for this belief. Its called epigenetic inheritance, these are patterns which can be inherited, but are not genetically hardwired into our genes. Science is only now discovering the effects of epigenetics, and does not yet know a lot about it. But I believe God knew all about it, and this was what was being discussed in the "sins of the fathers" being visited upon the sons.

From Genealogy Sites: Collecting Medical Information for Eugenics Programs?:


...what epigenetics does is essentially like a 'software' program written on the DNA 'hardware'. You stress the organisms and they adapt to the stimuli. The pattern of adaptation may be passed down to the next generation, especially if the stress continues.


...epigenetics has thrown a real surprise into the evolutionary theory mix.

Epigenetic inheritance? It's Lamarckable!

It turns out that it's not just our genes that we pass on to our kids — they can inherit those epigenetic patterns of which genes are switched on and which are off too. If your dad took up smoking in primary school, he not only affected his own health and pocket money, he also increased the odds that you were chunky as a kid. And if your grandparents were gluttons while they were growing up you're not only more likely to be obese, your life expectancy is shortened. Their underage smoking and overeating didn't change the DNA or genes they passed on, but you might have inherited their 'epigenes' — the on/off gene switching pattern — along with their genes. That's the power of epigenetics!

...Diseases and development are complex things, but the mechanisms behind epigenetics couldn't be simpler. They're the molecular equivalent of throwing a spanner in the genetic works.



So yes, your "sins" will be visited upon your children, and their children and so forth. What you DO, how you react, are things that are passed down, whether or not you realize it. This makes it all the more important how you live, and what you do in your life... if effects your children more than you can imagine. Scientifically, and Biblically. It does not however, effect them in the afterlife, it effects them daily in this one.

Where the afterlife is concerned, God is clear on the matter, your own sins are what you will answer for when you stand before God on the Day of Judgement.

As far as what happened in the Garden with Adam and Eve, that is up for debate as to what exactly that was... but I think if we take the epigenetics theme, then it stands to reason that whatever happened there caused an actual genetic difference in them which would thereafter effect every single human being on the planet. But their sin... we do not carry in the afterlife, only in our genetic makeup in this one.
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posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 06:14 AM
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reply to post by RobFox
 


I can answer the hell part. It is very much a metaphor for the very real absolute that time is eternal.

If a person does not become enlightened, accept Jesus into their heart, accept that love is the most important force in existence...whatever you want to call it, then that fact will be true and unchanging for all of eternity.

If a child molester does not realize that their actions were wrong and truly repent, then for all of eternity it will always be true that that person was never sorry for their actions. When one gains sentience, one has the ability to understand the consequences of those actions, and know whether or not those actions were right or wrong.

The teachings of Jesus stress that how we interpret the consequences of our actions, and truly repent those consequences, is just as, if not more important than our actions themselves. Both the consequences, and our understanding and feelings towards those consequences, are eternal, for the fact that they existed in the state that they did will remain true for all of eternity.
edit on 25-12-2013 by maus80 because: grammar



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 07:53 AM
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Google: "Orthodox view of ______" and you'll find these "problems" are merely modern inventions of protestants and not part of Christian tradition.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 08:13 AM
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1. "Original Sin" isn't some past misdeed for which all people are blamed and Hell bound. It is the tendency to sin, which was introduced into Adam and Eve and is passed down genetically. We must learn to shed it if we are to enter God's presence. Why can't people with the tendency to sin go to Heaven, you ask? Well, why can't shadows go to the sun? ( I realize that there are cool and dark spots on the sun-it's not a perfect metaphor, but you know what I mean.)

2. Your "serial killer" metaphor is inaccurate. Satan doesn't go around killing people. He offers them the opportunity to exercise self-will and self-worship, which is what sin is.

3. Hell isn't literal flames-it's the complete absence of God. People spend a lifetime telling God they don't want to be around Him, and He gives them that wish. They go to a place devoid of Him-no love, no hope, no joy.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by Snsoc
 



1 John 3
9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.


According to the bible those who are born of God cannot go on sinning meaning they no longer even have the tendency to sin. If Christians are born of God (born again) then why do they claim sin is unavoidable even after conversion?

If someone born of God cannot go on sinning then they are no longer under the doctrine of original sin according to John, yet the church says otherwise. The churches teachings contradict the book they claim to uphold. Christianity is an oxymoron in itself.
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posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 02:09 PM
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I can't accept the fact if you don't follow Christ/God then you are doomed to spend eternity in a void. What about the Buddhist that gives them totally in helping others or any person from another religion who are good people? Why couldn't God just take that tendency away from our nature. It would have saved a lot of heartache and mankind wouldn't need to suffer, Satan wouldn't have to be here etc.
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posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 06:54 PM
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3NL1GHT3N3D1
reply to post by Snsoc
 



1 John 3
9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.


According to the bible those who are born of God cannot go on sinning meaning they no longer even have the tendency to sin. If Christians are born of God (born again) then why do they claim sin is unavoidable even after conversion?

If someone born of God cannot go on sinning then they are no longer under the doctrine of original sin according to John, yet the church says otherwise. The churches teachings contradict the book they claim to uphold. Christianity is an oxymoron in itself.
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That's not what that verse means. The English translation does an injustice to it, making it sound like a contradiction, but the in the original Greek there isn't a contradiction. "Go on sinning" means "constantly abiding" in sin or "making a habit of sin." See here. As the Christian grows both in knowledge and experience, sin becomes the occasional mistake rather than the perpetual state of affairs.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 07:21 PM
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RobFox
I can't accept the fact if you don't follow Christ/God then you are doomed to spend eternity in a void.



It's not a void; it's a place without God. Imagine a place where mankind does as they wish-but no one has the ability to feel happy or be loving-because those things come from God. There will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth."



What about the Buddhist that gives them totally in helping others or any person from another religion who are good people?


The Catholic Church teaches that all truth comes from God, and that those who love truth will go to Heaven. My question for those who help people: would you still do it if you got no good feelings from it?



Why couldn't God just take that tendency away from our nature. It would have saved a lot of heartache and mankind wouldn't need to suffer, Satan wouldn't have to be here etc.


Indeed. He could have simply removed that tendency, but then we'd no longer be human beings with free will. Once we became "fallen," He now had a wonderful opportunity to show both His justice and mercy- if we weak beings in our limited misunderstanding can still learn to submit to His rules, then He is fair and if our struggling helps us to fully appreciate what Heaven is, then He is merciful. A person who is born rich and then inherits billions is not as happy as the poor man who suffers poverty and through hard work attains riches.

And the suffering because of sin is but a speck of dust compared to the universe of joy in the eternal presence of the Almighty.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by Snsoc
 


The word used is "ποιέω" which means:

(a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause.

The one who is born of God cannot make/manufacture/construct/do/act/cause sin. It says nothing about being a "habitual" sinner.

Lexicon



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by RobFox
 


Problem 1 : Original Sin (or “Sins of the fathers” doctrine)

I agree. The idea of being born with sin on your soul is contradictory to the Bible. Original Sin is the recognition that Man can not avoid sinning, and all will fall short.

Problem 2 : Satan

Satan offered a choice, nothing else. Without choices free Will is meaningless. Since God IS omnipotent, He already had a plan in place for salvation.

Problem 3 : Hell

No. We do not pull ourselves up by the bootstraps. No we do not obey. One signifies WE can save ourselves, the other that the Law is what is important. Love, and more specifically loving God, is what is required.

It seems to me based on your comments throughout your post you have no clue what the Bible teaches and instead learned an incredibly warped set of teachings that has nothing to do with the Bible, or the God of the Bible.



posted on Dec, 25 2013 @ 09:06 PM
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3NL1GHT3N3D1
reply to post by Snsoc
 


The word used is "ποιέω" which means:

(a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause.

The one who is born of God cannot make/manufacture/construct/do/act/cause sin. It says nothing about being a "habitual" sinner.

Lexicon

Incorrect. The best way to understand the verse you used is to look at other verses using the same word.

Mat 3:10
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.


A tree that produces good fruit will still have some bad apples, but on the whole the fruit is good.

So the one who is "born of God" will be a tree that "produces good fruit". One who is not born of God will not produce good fruit.





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