Originally Posted by Hallie
I like your point; it shows me that you are intelligent, but I want to be clear with you that I am not asking for autonomous free will. Yes, it is true that I think burning your children for eternity is a bit harsh for doing one bad deed in life. All I'm saying is that the punishment is unjust, not that there shouldn't be a punishment. For example, when your child makes a mess of the house, you send them to a time out until dinner time. This gives them time to think about what they've done and come to the conclusion that they were wrong, and so they can learn from it and do better later on in life. But in hell, you can never escape, no matter how much you are sorry for what you did. There is no redemption. In god's eyes, there is only good and evil. I see much more to the human species. I don't think that everything is so black and white, but that there are shades of gray. And just because you've done a bad thing, does that necessarily make you a bad person? All I'm saying is that it seems unfair for god to punish his own children and cause them agony for an eternity. Think about that for a second. An eternity. A whole day, burning in agonizing pain would be horrible. A year, inhuman. a thousand, unbelievable. How about a million? and a billion? a trillion? a hundred trillion? ten hundred trillion? Not even. None of these lengths of time come close. Can you imagine? Being tortured non stop for an eternity? Does that sound like an all loving, forgiving god to you?
Listen, I very much enjoy debating with you. I would like to continue, because you seem very knowledgeable on the subject, and I am looking to understand. I always try to keep an open mind. I was wondering if you could answer this question for me: Why christianity? Why do you choose to be a christian? I am assuming that you think all other religions are false, yes? So why do you think christianity is the true religion? What makes christianity more valid than all the other thousands of religions that have existed during the course of history?
I'm sorry if I came off a bit rude. I'm sorry if I offended you. I am just very passionate about this subject and would like to share my views. And I want you to know that disliking the beliefs is not the same thing as disliking the person, just like hating the sin is different than hating the sinner
You have to understand God desires that NONE should perish however he allows you to make a choice you can choose to obey him and spend an eternity in heaven with him or you can choose (AND MAKE NO MISTAKE IT IS A CHOICE) to spend eternity apart from him ie Hell. There are two kinds of people in this world those who say to God "thy will be done" and those to whom God says "thy will be done."
Now to your question. Did you know every major world religion has a story of a great flood? In fact most cultures have one as well. This suggests a common history for all mankind. Christianity is by far the most documented religion in history. We have more evidence for the life and actions of Jesus Christ than we do for Socrates. In fact there are still theories that Socrates never lived that He was just a made up teacher created by Plato for Plato to demonstrate his own ideas. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years on across 3 different continents by over 40 different authors all from different walks of life including a doctor, cupbearer, fisherman, prime minister, military general, etc. and each of them told the same story overall. They spoke of a personal relationship with the living God. The Bible as a whole is really just a single story namely God's plan of salvation for all mankind. Jesus Christ is that salvation, He is the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Now it's been said Jesus has to be 1 of 3 things. He was either a liar, a lunatic, or He was who He said He was. C.S. Lewis wrote about that you should check out his writings. Also Josh McDowell writes about it in his book More than A Carpenter. He also has a book called Answers to Tough questions and the The New evidence that demands a verdict. That last one is really great it presents a lot of historical evidence for the Bible and Jesus. Josh McDowell started off as an atheist and was challenged by some of his friends at college to search for the truth. He started his journey trying to find a way to disprove the Bible, Christ, and God. He ended up becoming a Christian instead. He is not the only one with a story like that either. If you really studied up on this you would see so many people the world over have had their lives changed and changed for the better because of Jesus. Not just because of Christians helping them either with clothes and food and such although that is a great thing too. That is another reason I choose Christianity over the other religions. No other religion out there has done more to aid humanity in general than Christianity. I know what you're thinking didn't Christianity also cause a lot of wars. Dr. Walter Martin another Christian apologist asked a history professor once to research how many people died in all the religious wars throughout history. I think they only went back to Jesus's time but still it was counting the crusades and all. They came up with a number of about 3 million. Did you know the philosophies of Karl Marx and Nietzche influenced Russia and Germany a lot in the early 1900's and are indirectly responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. They held atheistic philosophies by the way. Certainly Stalin was an atheist. Another reason I am a Christian instead of say a Muslim is well no other religion actually offers hope in this dark world. Even Islam the only sure way to get to heaven is by killing others. You can do everything else right in accordance with the Koran but Allah may just turn you away on a whim and say no you may not enter heaven. The only way to get to heaven is to kill others in the name of Allah which is why so many terrorists have been muslim. They are trying to earn their way into heaven. Christianity on the other hand specifically says you can not earn your way to heaven. You can not get to heaven with works. Instead you must accept the gift of Christs sacrifice and have faith in Him. Now in doing so you will also end up doing good works by default but those good works are not what get you into heaven. Ya know in the beginning God created the Garden and us and gave us choice and He knew before He even created us that we would at some point make the wrong choice and sin would enter the world. If not Adam and Eve then someone down the line would have done it. So even before He made us He also designed a plan of salvation for us. He knew we would mess up and He would have to save us. It is up to us to accept that free gift though.
There is a lot more I could say on this an other subjects but it would be a lot to read. Instead try checking out the authors i mentioned. Also R.C. Sproul and Walter martin have podcasts. Walter martin is deceased but you can still find the podcasts. Those two have taught me a lot. The information is out there sometimes you just need a little help finding it. The Bible also says "seek and you will find." Sometimes all it takes is a person to open their heart and honestly seek God and He will answer. Keep in mind He answers in his own timing not ours.