This has been a most interesting discussion. I'd like to address one of the original questions:
"Do these believers really feel that God put us here just to destroy us in such an awful manner?"
I do not for a second think He put us here for that. He put us here to fellowship with Him. We, male and female, were made in His image to commune with Him. He walked with us on earth. And it was totally organic, naked, free, pure peace and love. No death, no division, no seperation.
Can you imagine walking with God in your garden and just talking to him face to face while you're scratching a gorilla's back?
Can you imagine hearing His voice audibly and running to greet Him, throwing your arms around His neck and feeling His love for you as He hugs you back?
Can you imagine sitting in the cool of the evening with God and enjoying the sun setting while you listen to the birds and feeling completely safe and content?
Can you imagine running free with all animals and not feeling fear of predators?
He created us for these things.
And then we made our choice and disobeyed. He was specific. He wasn't wishywashy. He spelled it out clearly to not eat of the fruit of knowledge. But we did. And he knew we would and He already had a plan b/c He wants MORE THAN ANYTHING for us to be in fellowship with Him. He wants us to CHOOSE Him. He wants us to inherit what He has layed aside for us. He wants us back in the Garden with Him. He doesn't want us to WORK our way there.
My children do not work their way to becoming my children. They were born to me created in my womb. They will gain my inheritance if they choose to remain as my children when they become adults. If they were to reject me and walk away as they grew older I am sure I would seek them out and try to show them my love but ultimately they make the decision. If they come running back no matter what they have done and ask for forgiveness for rejecting me I am not going to tell them to get lost. Even if they do this on their deathbed I would not turn them away. And why? Because I have such incredible love for them and I wept daily for their rejection of me.
Consider this. If we are driving a car and choose to not wear our seatbelt and we get into an accident and are killed do we blame the car for the death or the person who chose to not cover herself in safety. The authorities determine that she would not have died had she worn her seatbelt. What I hear on threads like these is that folks are blaming the car for the death and not the persons choice for rejecting the safety of the seatbelt.
Ultimately God wants all of us in fellowship with Him and THAT is why He created us. Whether you choose to accept or reject this is your personal decision, but don't blame God. He wants us back in the Garden...ALL of us...but He will protect those who CHOOSE Him and if that means seperate places for his followers and believers then so be it. It's not about being good, it's about being HIS.
peace, moondancer who wants to dance with ALL of you in His presence