Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H
Gormley


EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT - DOES GOD REMOVE YOUR FREE WILL AT DEATH SO THAT YOU CANNOT TURN AWAY FROM SIN?

If the Christian doctrine that unrepentant sinners who have turned their backs on God will go to everlasting punishment the moment they die is true then how does that impact on the doctrine of free will - which is essentially the doctrine that we can change our minds purely of our own volition?

One answer is that the person hardens themselves in evil forever and though God can heal them they will not let him.
The other answer is that you choose to get God to fix your will in evil for all eternity.

Here we are looking at the second answer.

The question we have is at death if we reject God do we give him implicit or explicit consent to freeze our wills in evil forever? If we give such consent does that give him the right to give us what we ask?

Some say he freezes us by withdrawing any help from us. That is passive. Others say he actively does something to freeze the will. The difference morally speaking is splitting hairs.

We must get rid of the image of free will as the power to defy God and be independent. Christian teaching is that God has more to do with our will than we do for he creates us 100%. In that sense, sin is an illusion for we try to be independent and only think we are trying. It is clear then that those who say you choose hell and make it yourself have the wrong view of what a creator God means. We are free even when we sin because of God not in spite of him. This then goes with the notion that God freezes our will and has no problem in doing so.

Sin is an illusion so God is being too harsh on the victims of the illusion and using their free will as an excuse.

You might say that God respects free will so much that he will let us reject him forever. In other words, out of respect for free will he stops asking us to turn to him and helping us and inspiring us to live a better life.
What kind of respect for free will is that? Free will is about experiencing different influences and making choices. Genuine respect for free will gives the person who rejects God for all eternity the everlasting opportunity to change.

If we cannot choose good and God without his help that is not free will.

If leaving people to suffer and be lonely and full of hate forever is respecting free will, then it cannot be wrong to hope that your enemies will go to Hell forever. After all, it is respecting them!

Religion says, "The Church says that freedom entails the power to make choices that are irreversible and for which there is no turning back. We canít reverse any of our choices. What is done is done! Therefore God has the right to fix your will in evil if you commit serious sin." But to have the power to prevent yourself from turning away from evil forever contradicts what free will is all about. To have free will you need to be able to choose good or evil and do so forever.

The moment you cease to be free, you become a robot and if you are being punished by God then God is evil and unfair. The fact that we cannot reverse the past choices we made does not mean we have to stand by them now! We cannot undo the past but we can use the present to do something about the results of our past choices. Being unable to undo the past does not imply we may be able to fix our wills in one choice for all eternity! The two are not the same. One is about the past. The other is not. One is about the unchangeable and the other is about the changeable.

When one is dying, no matter how evil one has been in life, one might have repented if one had just got a moment longer. So God has to assume one would have and open up the gates of Heaven.

People are accused of giving up their freedom to do good in order to justify the ways of the Christian God for it is obvious that there is no reason why death should fix the will. The doctrine makes you evil, like a slanderer.

Why is death chosen as the point for the fixing? It is chosen for it is convenient for if it is possible to get God to set you in evil forever it should be possible any time. Religion fears that those who are condemned as damned in this life may start to show they are not. It is an appalling abuse of death and an insult to the dying.

God fixing your will in sin does not respect your free will at all for it is him that fixes it not you. You cannot set it in stone for eternity. The will is changeable by definition.


WHICH OPTION IS MOST RESPECTFUL OF FREEDOM?

Which of the following scenarios best fits respect for freedom?

It has to be one or the other. It cannot be both. Here they are:

John freely chooses to stay away from God forever and freely keeps this up for all eternity.

John is given the choice of being kept away from God forever and gives up the freedom to change his mind and turn back to God. Obviously, God has to fix his will for nobody fixes their own will. We are made to change our minds.

The first fits respect for freedom best. I would go as far as to say it is the only one of the two that really fits it. The second is just the removal of free will in the guise of respecting free choice.

WHICH IS THE CRUELLEST?

Which fear is the most powerful? The fear of a God who will hurt you or punish you forever or the fear that you may bring pain and suffering on yourself and never stop doing it? The latter is the worst. If you have toothache and you can do nothing about it part of you accepts that. But if you cause it yourself and you know you will never stop doing it though you can that adds to your suffering. You have the pain of being unable to accept it. The new doctrine of Hell tries to get people to fear themselves. And by default - each other!



MYSTERY?

Hell is an evil doctrine. Christians say they believe it is not. But they say its a mystery. If it is, then is it right to take the risk of colluding with evil? If Hell is evil then the Christian who does not mean any harm by believing it and teaching it (if such a Christian exists!) could be a good person in their heart but objectively speaking is supporting evil.

The believers say that if you sentence yourself to Hell forever by dying in unrepented sin of adultery or heresy or obstinate hatred of God or whatever that they have no explanation as to why the sins and death make it necessarily irrevocable. Even irreformable people in this world are not fixable now but given time they can soften and become better people. The believers use the doctrine of mystery to accuse you of becoming irreformable. Even to say you are potentially irreformable is totally insulting.

To say it is a mystery why if you molest a child you will become a saint in Heaven is shocking. But think about it. The Hell mystery as just outlined is in fact WORSE! If you are irreformably bad in Hell then you are as bad as a child molester. You would be one if you could get a child.

To say one nasty extreme mystery is true and good doctrine is to open a can of filthy worms.

CONCLUSION

The doctrine of fixed in sin forever is not only silly but malicious. Suppose there is a state of being in which you will stay in unrepented sin forever and be punished forever and God can create such a state. Condone that and you can condone anything God does. Then you have a God allowing the worst possible thing to happen to a person and you will still excuse him. It would be bizarre if you couldnít believe that Jesus might molest a child sexually for a strange purpose when you believe he can torment a child in Hell forever!