|Boy, I dunno. I get what you are saying, but the devil is in the details. Is there really anyone out there (besides Lucifer and his angels) that would do this? When I try to think of the most evil people I can imagine, I come up with images of Talibani soldiers burning girl's schools and stoning women... but chances are most of them genuinely believe that what they are doing is for the good of the girls and the community, I doubt they think it is wrong. Or their conscience bothers them, but they are too afraid to go against the flow because it could get them killed. Maybe Hitler and Stalin were pure evil, I don't know. It's also possible they were mentally ill (personality disorder, delusions of grandeur, schizophrenia, something along those lines) in which case can they be held responsible?
There are so many factors that weigh into why people make the choices they do. But it's all speculation. Neither of us can possibly know, right?
I personally do think there are people like that out there. Just for an example... Lets say Hitler was mentally ill, or Stalin or Mugabe, or whoever. What about those who followed them, those who approved of thier dealings and wrongdoings and did nothing about it because they wanted to save their own necks... I mean really, these people, supposedly mentally ill, you say, really what power do they hold if they are just
crazy? How does a crazy person hold such power and sway over an entire nation. And then to go on and continue denying you did anything wrong... it wasnt just Hitler (or Stalin, or Mugabe or a talibani soldier) you know, it was a whole regime, a whole hoard of people who approved of Hitler and what he did and stood for... Im just using Hitler as an example, there is a multitude
of examples we could draw from to make this point. Is everyone who follows these men, who approve of what they do, mentally ill as well, the whole nazi party? Or afraid to stand up for what is right? And being afraid to stand up for what is right, is that a good excuse to do nothing... or worse to obey and commit these typse of atrocities? What is your life worth is you arent willing to stand up for what is right? Is being afraid a good enough excuse when so many are being wronged, murdered, gassed, beaten? Or do they choose
to approve of what is wrong... And in choosing to 'go with the flow, bc it keeps my neck safe'... is that right in itself or can it possibly be wrong? Now, I can see a point if you were talking about child soldiers, who are kidnapped, drugged, and told they have no choice... But that is evil done to them... They are the oppressed and wronged.. they are out of their minds bc of the, Ill just say it, Evil men forcing them to be child soldiers... These are the extreme examples, but so what, there are these things happening every single day... in other parts of the world... there are everyday little examples I could draw from too. Calling light darkness, denying that something is wrong, sometimes means we choose not to see it, its a choice. Is there a black and white here? I believe there is... I also believe that it can be, in some cases, very difficult for us to judge from where we are standing, in other cases, well I dont know, its obvious to me. I believe we can make choices to become the kind of person God created us to be... to me that involves being in communication with Him to know what kind of person he created me to be. To not be in communication with him would leave a lot open to speculation, a lot of guess work, a lot of assuming I know a lot about what is good... when I dont, as if I can pull something out of nothing, some kind of goodness out of me, when really, there is none to begin with. IME, it is only God who knows what is good, and therefore it is only Him who can teach me, step by step, not ever going to get it right this side... no chance
of that happening (thats what sin is, we never fully are set free from it this side of eternity, thats another thread tho...). Ive learned that a lot of what we speculate as to what is good... we just havent got a clue... Speaking in general here, some might find that offensive, I dont know. I also believe, along the lines of what Ive already stated that it is ONLY God who can mould us and shape us into a Good person. We take a lot of pride in thinking we are a 'good person' but what is a good person, without the knowledge of the Creator, how do we know. Which, in turn, isnt just about reading scripture, memorising it and whatnot. Its about really knowing Him whose likeness we are to become. Moving further away from that place called Hell and closer to that place where we want to be going. We could go on about people who really believe they are doing good when what they are doing is clearly wrong... that is almost a perfect example of someone who is...dare I say it... blinded to what is truely good? Someone who thinks such evil things can possibly be good? Could that be a person who has gone too far and their entire thinking has become darkened... not just confused... but downright evil in their thinking? There are countless other stories of people who have been punished (quite severely) for standing up and against
such things, Christian and non-christian, people of all faiths, I think it takes a whole lot of humility to be able to admit that we dont know even the tiniest bit about what Good is. And conversely it take a really big ego to assume that one does...
Now, what do I believe about hell? I dont know exactly. Im just being honest. I know it is real, in whatever form it is, be it spiritual, a state of mind, or an actual physical place. I dont know. I dont know if it was created as a place to torture those who reject God or who are 'evil' or if it is just a place where there is complete seperation from God, bc to me that would be a bad enough situation. It sometimes sounds like a place where there is no truth, no light, enlightenment, confusion, depression, no hope. And for what its worth... Im kind of sort of in the mind of a pp who said
|I'm one of those naughty christians that has faith that God knows our hearts and doesn't expect a fudamentalist prayer to be spoken to gain entrance into heaven.
God is so much bigger then that anyway, and if he were a God who didnt take into account everything, he wouldnt be a merciful God, and I believe in a merciful God, he is perfectly Just and perfectly Merciful... That I believe to be a fact.
|what sort of person, once they have entered the afterlife and can see clearly God's love for them, would continue to reject God?
The sort of person who hated God... What if they simply didnt like being loved by God, I dont see how that is not a possibility... its about rebellion, willful rebellion. Because when we face God we see what our hearts are made of... really what is in the depths of our hearts, the stuff that even we dont know about... until it is revealed to us by the One who can see everything, that requires a choice, to let him reveal it to us, and to accept his verdict about us, however ugly that is... Not saying this bc I learned it in a church, or the church, or a bible study... Im talking about myself here if I can be honest. Its what Ive learned about myself.