You're ignoring why it is a problem. It isn't unbelief that keeps us from the Kingdom of Heaven in and of itself.
The Lord God created us, in His image, that we are to reflect His glory in His creation. He in His loving rule gave us commandments that we might follow after Him, these commandments were given for our own good rather than our own detriment. God as Creator has full authority to do this, and indeed He does this because He cares for us and He loves us and wants us to do what is good.
Man decided to reject the Lord by sinning against Him, man decided that he wanted to break away from God and do things their own way. As a result of their rejection of God, they did what was clearly wrong, and fell into sin, choosing to follow their own selfish desires above and beyond God. As a result of breaking God's commandments they deserve punishment, they deserve to be condemned. They are guilty under God's commandment.
God in His mercy, sent Jesus Christ into the world to live, teach, and ultimately to be crucified in our place, so that we might be forgiven. That we might have a new relationship with God. That we can be forgiven, and live for Him is a grace upon grace. We deserve to be sent to hell. I deserve to go to hell. The good news is that God loves us enough not to send us there if we're willing to truly repent. The good news is by Jesus, we can have eternal life rather than eternal condemnation.
If we are still stubbornly unwilling to believe and trust in Jesus, we are condemned. Not because of unbelief - but because our sin will remain unpunished - therefore without Jesus we must bear it ourselves.
Hell exists because God is good. It is because God is profoundly angry at wrongdoing, and it is because God cannot tolerate what is evil to enter the Kingdom of God. It is because God is righteous, that He is just. He's just insofar as He desires punishment for wrongdoing. He's merciful insofar as He has already sent Jesus into the world to pay this penalty.
One day, Jesus will return to judge the world, Jesus is coming back, and on that day, He will rightfully judge the world. Will He say "Good and faithful servant. Come and share in your masters happiness"? Or will one be thrown into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth?
marienbad: That is the Gospel, that is what mankind needs to hear. That's why man needs to repent and turn to Jesus. That's what God has said, that's what God has declared.
I'm simply saying this - stop being foolish, stop being stubborn, stop running from Jesus, stop avoiding the topic. Stop ignoring the knock on the door. Give Jesus a chance, give His word a chance.
I say this for your own sake. It is for your own good that you consider this, and not ignore it. Please do not treat this message flippantly. I post this because I hope that one day God will dwell richly in you, I post this because I believe that one day you might not run any more. I post this because I long for you and others to believe in Jesus and have life in His name as He promises us.
It's as if a murderer tried to run away from the police but got caught because he didn't run fast enough.
Would we say, "It seems very unfair that he got sentenced to life imprisonment just for not being able to run fast."?
I give up
You're ignoring why it is a problem. It isn't unbelief that keeps us from getting presents from Santa Clause. Santa Clause cares for us, and wants us to be good and wants to give us presents. Man decided to do bad things, as a result from this we will get a lump of coal. We deserve coal. We're wicked as under Santa's commandment.
The point I'm making is, you can not see it from the perspective of one who doesn't believe there is a god. I don't object to any of the 10 commandments outside of placating the ego of god. But, imagine if in the scenario I concocted, for any wrong doing I had said you ought to pray. Would you be more likely to pray to Santa? No, of course not. Would you be worrying about getting some coal instead of presents? Again, no, of course not.
Hey folks, Just reading Genesis 3. Im interested as to how people make sense of this one? How could she see the apple if her eyes were not opened yet?
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Of course they could see before but they were clothed in a garment of Glory, of Grace, and that is what was stripped from them so that they became naked. We are clothed in the same garment though because of our fallen nature we dont see it clearly at Baptism- the Church is the Garden of Paradise come to us again in a very real sense.
"...it wasn't the eating from the tree that opened their eyes: they could see before eating. Instead, the eating from this tree was the symptom of their disobedience and the breaking of the command given by God; and through their guilt they consequently divested themselves of the glory surrounding them, rendering themselves unworthy of such wonderful esteem. ...because of the Fall, they were stripped of grace from above... [So] they were not really naked [before the Fall]: the glory from above garbed them better than any garment... You see, transgression of the command entered the scene and snatched away that novel and remarkable garment - I mean the glory and favor from above enveloping them - and it both lent them an awareness of their nakedness and also clad them in unspeakable shame."
St. John Chrysostom.
Sermon on Genesis Chapter 3.
But it says:
"...and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."
This seems to simply refer to a visual awareness of their physical nakedness.
Yeah, that's it, they were physically blind before they ate the fruit.
Btw, it doesn't mention an apple.
I think that is wise.
As I've said before the resurrection story is like one of those optical illusions of the impossible shapes. Look at one bit at a time (as Christians tend to do) and each piece seems to make reasonable sense. The problem comes when you look at the whole thing as one supposably coherent concept. Then it becomes a contradictory mess.
Of course you cannot make someone look at the whole in such a manner. So arguing with people about this it always just goes back to the pieces with the person you discussing it with going "Well this piece makes sense, it is important to have justice. And this piece makes sense, God loves us so obviously would like to forgive us" etc. They won't see the contradictions between the different pieces unless they are prepared to look at it as a whole, and frankly I've yet to meet someone on this forum who is prepared to do that.
In other words, "Hey it's contradictory - of course, when pressed, I can't point to a single actual contradiction - but why let that be an obstacle? All I have to assert is that anyone who doesn't share my opinion of it as contradictory is refusing to see it as a whole."
This might help:
PDN: Post 4335: "If the atheist has chosen to reject the Gospel of Christ, then I believe his judgement will be to spend eternity separated from God."
PDN: Post 4372: "I pointed out that Christians do not believe that people are punished eternally for simply choosing not to believe in God."
PDN: Post 4378: "We were not discussing what was certain entrance to hell. We were discussing why people would go to hell - ie what people are sent to hell for."
These may not seem contradictory to you, but they are symptomatic of the general problem with the 'logic' presented to convince people.
They aren't contradictory. As you would see if you read them in context rather than quote mining.
So, the general problem is that people like you can't be bothered to take the time to listen to what other people are acually saying.
Touchy! That's the second post in a row you've replied to with anger.
Problems of logic and reasoning are a major stumbling block in the arguments I've seen put forward in support of religion on this forum. And the recurring claim from Christians that atheists cannot point out any contradictions when their own posts are full of them. I've just spent a while reading the last pages of this thread and your own posts are a case in point, as I tried to illustrate. I did read your posts in context. Re-reading several times didn't help. If you are trying to be clear in order to explain your beliefs, you're not being successful.
I think Zombrex made an excellent point above regarding the whole picture - that you just can't see the wood for the trees.
I can point to many contradictions, as I have with you many times. And any time I've discussed them with you you focus on the two (or more) individual points of doctrine and their non-contradictory logic (ie the individual pieces of the impossible shape) but refuse to look at the whole (the impossible shape made up of the individual pieces).
We just go around and around with you continuing to explain to me that the individual logic of each piece (ie God loves humanity), which ignoring my requests to look at the big picture and the inherent contradictions there.
A simplified example is the contradiction between God's nature adhering to a sense of keeping his word and a sense of justice (sounds reasonable) and the notion that God loves us and wishes to forgive us for sinning against him (sounds reasonable). As two individual isolated notions both are fine. But they are contradictory to each other. If it is part of God's nature that he punish sin it cannot also be his nature that he forgives sin. Which the early Christians knew which is why they came up with the nonsense concept that our punishment was some how transferred to Jesus, so we could be both punished and not punished at the same time.
What you are going to tell me is that it is perfectly reasonable that God adheres to justice, and that it is perfectly reasonable that God loves us and wishes that we are with him in heaven, but when pressed on the need to marry these two concepts I predict we will get no where, with you returning to wishing to discuss the two concepts independently of each other. The same with all the other components of the resurrection (another good one is the concept that Jesus is an innocent who can volunteer to accept the punishment on our behalf and the concept that he is in fact God and was sent to Earth by the "Father" in order to fulfil this role). I could go on and on and you will go on and on telling me how reasonable the individual pieces of the story are.
So again it raises the question what is the point. If you have already made your mind up that there isn't any contradictions, but at the same time refuse to look at where the contradictions actually are I don't see any particular value in the discussion.
Which is why I think marienbad made the right choice.
Your mind reading skills are as lamentable as your comprehension. No anger here whatsoever - this thread has been going long enough for me to get used to this pattern.
Atheists claim there are contradictions. Christians press them to name specific contradictions. Atheists retreat to generalities.
If anything it causes boredom rather than anger.
That might carry more weight if, just for once, you actually pointed to a tree. But until you do so then all you have is an imaginary forest of imaginary trees.
Now to address the specific quotes of mine that you have taken out of context:
1. Christians believe that hell is the consequence of the totality of the sins that reach of us commit. The way we can avoid this is by accepting the Gospel message.
2. People, therefore, are not punished for simply not believing in Christ (no more than a murder receives life imprisonment simply for not running fast enough when pursued by a policeman).
3. Post 4378 was pointing the above out to someone who was confusing themselves and were not thinking very logically.
Now, you can disagree with these beliefs, as is your perogative. But there is no contradiction whatsoever.