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R.I.P. Christopher Hitchens
NRO ^

Posted on 12/15/2011 9:12:53 PM PST by Arthurio

R.I.P. Christopher Hitchens

December 15, 2011 11:51 P.M. By Daniel Foster     Vanity Fair reports that Christopher Hitchens has passed away. Often frustrating, usually provocative, always brilliant. He added to the culture, and the conversation.

I’m sure I join many in hoping he is in for a glorious, glorious surprise.

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


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KEYWORDS: cancer; christopherhitchens; hitchens; obituary; prayforhissoul; rip; vanityfair
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To: mporter345

You said: “Well, I guess all of the non-christians, who are good, i.e. the “golden rule” are damned to hell.”

If they ONLY live by the golden-rule, then, yes, they are [self]damned to hell. Because the “golden rule” (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is a paraphrase of what Christ called the second great commandment. Christ prefaced it by citing the first and great commandment: “You shall love the lord, your God, with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, all your strength.” According to the Bible, this is done by entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ by accepting Him as your savior (confessing your sins, acknowledging His redemptive work on the cross) and allowing Him to be Lord of your life (repenting from your sin, walking in the Spirit by faith).

Living by the golden rule is wonderful. But it is not a qualification for heaven. ONLY knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as your savior gets you in to heaven.

Do you base your understanding of my faith/comments on the scriptures or your own “gut reaction”?

Again, you said: “Many of you freepers act like Hitchens was Timothy McVeigh. So sad to see so many Christians assume equal punishment for a nonbeliever to that of murderer”

What does the Bible say about the punishment for sin?

Ezekiel 18
“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”

1Corinthians 6
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5
“...Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Ephesians 5
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”

Man makes distinctions among types of sin. God does not.

Finally, you said: “Me thinks many of you will be on bended knee apologizing for the polarization of people who have differing religious and nonreligious beliefs.”

I currently live my life on bended knees before the Lord of glory. My professing with confidence to know Him and state with certainty what His word reveals about Him, I believe, will, in glory, bring me rewards, because I do it for his glory, not my own. As to bringing “polarization” I stand with Christ. He was villified for His view of His Father. I will endure the villification for expressing my views of the Son.

Now, tell me...what do you base your views of God, His will, His intentions, His views of sin and sin’s punishment on?

Lastly, you, like quite a few other freepers today have been incensed...offended that there are some here who would dare say they know just how God might/would treat an unrepentant individual (like the late Mr. Hitchens)...and then have turned around to say (such as you’ve done) words like, “Me thinks many of you will be on bended knee apologizing for the polarization of people who have differing religious and nonreligious beliefs.” What makes you “know” so much about what will happen before God’s throne? Hmmmmmmmmmmm? You are offended at the supposed “effrontery” expressed in such an unchristian spirit, and then with all sobriety commit the same effrontery. Such hypocrisy!

I tried to have a discussion about the bible once with a very intelligent colleague of mine. She was prefacing our discussion with all manner of intellectual understanding and I simply listened. After a time, she paused. I asked her, “Have you ever read and studied the bible?” She, answering honestly, replied, “No.” I said, “well we are about to try to have a discussion and one of us doesn’t know what we are talking about.”


251 posted on 12/16/2011 12:50:13 PM PST by MarDav
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To: ArrogantBustard; metmom

The truth is, Hitchens is where he belongs. And I can’t say where that is, but my first statement is absolutely the truth.


252 posted on 12/16/2011 2:06:15 PM PST by AndrewC
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To: aruanan
That's odd: #2 is the first thing that came to mind when considering death-bed conversions, or vice versa; although a close second would be late 20-th Century North American Christians like me being allowed in (at least I *hope* I will be...) compared to martyrs such as Antipas.

And then there's always the thief on the cross, as mentioned earlier.

He died to save us, why should He be picky about *when* people repent?

Cheers!

253 posted on 12/16/2011 2:57:43 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: MestaMachine
Oh stop it.

I posted Scripture where God states clearly and unambiguously that those who reject His Son as Savior will not have eternal life. I don't have to claim to speak for God - He does a fine job of it all by Himself.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)

Like I said, God speaks for Himself without anyone's help. God said that those who reject Him will spend eternity in Hell, not me. Most of the world hates that fact and hates God for the fact that there is only one road to Heaven, but it is what it is.

Take it up with God.

254 posted on 12/16/2011 4:03:46 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
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To: Larry Lucido; SatinDoll
Larry, are you mind-reading again?

Did me and SatinDoll post some threatening Scriptural truth that made you afraid like those nasty prophetic Scriptures?

I stand by what I said and the Scripture I posted. If you don't like what I posted, take it up with God. He is the One Who said it.

255 posted on 12/16/2011 4:07:08 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
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To: reaganaut
Thank you very much reaganaut.

And the visceral reactions to the plain, clear Scripture about the fact that there is only one road to Heaven is expected also.

No one is cheering the fact that Christopher Hitchens has died, and no one is happy that he very well may have not changed his choice to spend eternity apart from his Savior, in the place God created for Satan. No one is happy about that, and hopefully in the days to come we will hear someone who was with him at the end come forward and tell us that Hitchens did indeed accept Christ before he died.

But the idea that because Hitchens was "honest", or "good" or anything but a sinner who had thrown himself at the feet of Christ and accepted His free gift of salvation was somehow acceptable to God because of characteristics that man considers admirable but which God calls "filthy rags" cannot go without being corrected.

Even if the world hates the message, Jesus Christ wants that message told. Because some will hear and believe and choose life over death.

256 posted on 12/16/2011 4:19:08 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
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To: reaganaut
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

It's not surprising at all.

257 posted on 12/16/2011 4:21:42 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
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To: ToranagaSama
If only those people understood that it was man, not God, who created the world the way it is now.

If only those people understood that this God they reject has provided a way of escape from the eternal consequences of the sin that has made the world the way it is now and if only those people understood the incomprehensible love it took for that God to leave Paradise, become a man, and die an excruciating death so that man could have a second chance at eternal life and a personal relationship with the Person Who spoke everything into existence.

If only they knew and understood.

258 posted on 12/16/2011 4:34:21 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
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To: goat granny
Define for me please what that justice is. If possible...

Question: "What does it mean that God is a God of justice?"

Answer: Justice is a term used for what is right or “as it should be.” Justice is one of God’s attributes and flows out of His holiness. Justice and righteousness are often used synonymously in the Bible. Since righteousness is the quality or character of being right or just, it is another attribute of God and incorporates both His justice and holiness.

We cannot begin to understand God’s justice unless we first understand sin. Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4) and iniquity (Daniel 9:4-5; Micah 2:1; James 3:6). It embodies everything contrary to God’s holy nature and is offensive to Him. Thus, sin is a crime against God and justice demands a penalty of death and separation from Him for it (Romans 1:18-32; 2:5; 3:23). But God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to pay that penalty for us (Romans 5:8-11; 6:23) and made salvation available to all who believe in His name (John 1:12; 3:15-17; 20:31).

God’s own righteousness is provided as a gift to sinners who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and is based upon His grace and mercy in response to our faith (Romans 3:23-26; Ephesians 2:3-7). His mercy and grace are not in spite of His justice, but because of it. He loved us so much that despite the fact that our sin demands our death, He sent His Son to be our substitute upon the cross, thus demonstrating that His justice was not violated, but instead satisfied (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9).

Having been made in His image (Genesis 2:26-27), we humans long for moral justice to prevail upon the earth and are outraged when we see injustice happening around us. Why do we seek justice for crimes? It’s in our DNA. King David’s outrage when the poor man’s lamb was taken away by the rich man resonates within us (2 Samuel 12:1-14). That is why Nathan told the story to David in the first place because it revealed David’s own injustice in taking Uriah’s wife from him. David’s immediate repentant prayer was effective because by admitting his sin against God, he acknowledged the righteousness of God. The Lord told David through the prophet Nathan that even though his sin was forgiven, the child resulting from the adulterous affair would die, demonstrating the fact that his sin still had to be judged.

As for the future, the book of Revelation reveals the justice of God in all its glory during the end times. When the saints watch the destruction of the earth, their song will be of God’s righteous judgment upon the inhabitants for their ultimate sin of rejecting Him (Revelation 11:16-18; 15:3-4; 16:7; 19:1-4). And as 2 Peter 3:13 says, we are promised that someday, when Christ physically reigns on earth, God’s righteous justice will finally be on full display.

What Does it Mean that God is a God of Justice?

259 posted on 12/16/2011 4:40:43 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
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To: miss marmelstein

I don’t even mean to challenge you.

I just truly don’t understand.

If one doesn’t have faith, or believe in God or sin or heaven or hell, why would one care what another thinks about the afterlife of Christopher Hitchens or anyone else?

Maybe those you oppose here are wrong, or spiteful or overzealous, or just plain stupid, but why would it matter? I liked Hitchens’ writing too, and admired his courage—and I would certainly be willing to defend him on those grounds.

But why would you worry about what I think about his eternal fate?

And why on earth (!) would you go on urging what you see as his dead body to ‘rest in peace’? He’s gone, according to you: he’s done, he’s past. We would do better, again according to you, simply to urge people to read his books.

I’ll do that, and I will pray for him as well, as I have been doing since I learned of his illness. I don’t have the “gift” of faith either, but I’m supposing that neither God nor Hitchens will mind if I continue to try.


260 posted on 12/16/2011 4:50:17 PM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: GiovannaNicoletta

Interesting link...:O)


261 posted on 12/16/2011 7:06:59 PM PST by goat granny
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To: Norman Bates
Sure you do.

You presume to tell me what I'm thinking?

May God forgive you.

262 posted on 12/16/2011 8:18:45 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: AndrewC
The truth is, Hitchens is where he belongs.

That's true of everybody who has died ...

And will be true of the rest of us, when we die.

"Father, into your hands I commend my spirit ..."

263 posted on 12/16/2011 8:25:32 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: aruanan

“Again, you’re making an ad hoc definition of atheist. “

Well, maybe. But what I think is that just getting people to talk about God is the start. The concept of a loving God who knows you thoroughly, your inner motives, your dreams, sins, that you can speak to and communication with this Being and the feeling that he has a destiny in store for you if you will repent and turn to him is captivating.

These ideas are haunting to anyone who thinks about it, even while they deny it with calculated philosophy. Once exposed to the gospel, it quietly does its work.

All the arguments in the world can’t banish the idea of this loving God who is hounding you, trying to connect and save you. No matter what they say, inside something is happening.

Sort of like Saint Paul who persecuted believes and strongly argued against them, until the Damascus Road event.

It took decades to see Professor Anthony Flew have a change of heart. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNkxpTIbCIw

Atheism is just an ideology. God is out for salvation which transcends assent to propositions.


264 posted on 12/16/2011 9:54:05 PM PST by garjog
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To: kevao; All

I am not sure what you mean by a “level.” However, given 2,000 year of scientific advancement, we now know pretty well what the earth interior is like, and with things like the Hubble telescope, we have a pretty good idea of what the universe looks like. So nowadays, where is it suggested that heaven and hell might be located?


265 posted on 12/16/2011 11:12:23 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: wardaddy

What amazes me is that my response was very tacky but her reply was pulled. I don’t get that way often, and expected mine to be pulled. However, her/his initial comment on this thread was way tackier than my reply.

Kudos to the admin moderators. ;o)

Maybe they are on to her/him?

She/he’s been a nasty piece of work for many years.

Just an FYI...I have no idea of the gender of this individual.


266 posted on 12/16/2011 11:41:02 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: PhilDragoo

What an awesome, compassionate, and very cogent post.

You remind me of why I care about you, and consider your posts well worth reading.


267 posted on 12/16/2011 11:52:04 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: DoughtyOne

“It may depend on their exposure to him. Some folks may have only seen him when he said things they disagreed with. I had seen him tweak both sides. When I disagreed with him, I could at least understand where he was coming from, although some of those times I thought he was way off base.”

I totally agree with this part of your post. He was certainly one quirky dude. But, he was always someone to listen to.

I have to somewhat disagree about your God part of the post, though.

God loves everyone, no matter what they do, and He gives us free will to conduct ourselves as we see fit.

If He grieves, it’s because of the choices we’ve made.

Upon one’s death, even until the hour of our death, we have the choice to accept Jesus as the Son of God, and our Lord and Savior.

If God grieves, it’s because those who do evil in this world didn’t accept Him.

But, you might be right that God is happy that those who do evil aren’t allowed to continue.


268 posted on 12/17/2011 12:05:37 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: Steelfish

Shakespeare was a terrible writer......

S’s look like f’s, U’s look like v’s....absolutely terrible.


269 posted on 12/17/2011 1:40:46 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: MarDav

Good post. Too many people think gaining entrance to heaven is about good and evil, where God tells us it first requires His forgiveness.

Instead of wondering how a Perfect God could condemn people to Hell for all eternity, they should wonder why anybody would assume a Perfect God must endure evil in His presence for all eternity. Human good independent of God is parlayed into evil by the Adversary.

It is by His grace that He has provided a brilliant mechanism, from His love, to allow us, who are imperfect, a method by which we may be considered righteous by His gift, so that we might enter into His abode.

A smidgeon more faith than no faith whatsoever is all it takes for a saving faith.


270 posted on 12/17/2011 1:48:59 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Fightin Whitey

I was brought up to say “Rest in Peace” or “May God Rest his Soul.” These are beautiful words to me and it’s my way of saying goodbye to Christopher Hitchens. My complaint is with nasty people who come on a forum like this and wish that he was burning in hell for all eternity. And then they claim to be Christians!


271 posted on 12/17/2011 4:25:32 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Still heartless after all these years...)
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To: miss marmelstein

I appreciate that.

You made it plain yesterday that his death hit you hard.

I would say there are probably many Christians here for whom Mr. Hitchens’ words “God is Not Great” are at least as offensive as someone saying “America Is Evil.”

The big questions, which Mr. Hitchens made a life of addressing, are often going to provoke the big arguments, aren’t they?

Thanks for your posts on the matter. Take care.


272 posted on 12/17/2011 5:47:25 AM PST by Fightin Whitey
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To: Fightin Whitey

Just one last thought: I know that people are upset over God Is Not Great. That’s a stupid title. But he is vicious in his denunciation of Islam. Those are the only parts of the book I have read - and they are masterful.

A Merry Christmas to you if we don’t talk again!


273 posted on 12/17/2011 7:38:40 AM PST by miss marmelstein (Still heartless after all these years...)
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To: dixiechick2000

neither do I.

that poster seemed like something they are not...

very abrasive and all over the board

i hate the word troll except for actual lefty agents here

but we do have folks who post just to be nasty


274 posted on 12/17/2011 9:19:24 AM PST by wardaddy (Michelle, Sarah, Perry now Newt over Mitt.....that is how I've seen it and it's where we are)
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To: PhilDragoo

Chris has always reminded me of the authors and poets of the Catholic Spring in England. A secret believer, who, by nature of the age he lived in, took a contrarian stance.

At the end he said, with Francis Thompson:

“Naked, I await Thy Love’s uplifted stroke.”

~~Hound of Heaven


275 posted on 12/17/2011 11:56:34 AM PST by Palladin (Santorum/Bachmann 2012.)
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To: dixiechick2000; no-to-illegals; All

Here is another link on Hitchens. It has quite a bit of biographical information, and around 2,000 comments pro and con. I did not know that he was pro Iraq war. He was good at throwing stuff at both the right and left if he felt their thinking was flawed.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/christopher-hitchens-dead_n_1152786.html?show_comment_id=123922174#comment_123922174


276 posted on 12/17/2011 5:17:10 PM PST by gleeaikin
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To: wardaddy

I think we there are some folks here who are just plain unhappy, and take out their frustrations here.


277 posted on 12/18/2011 12:31:33 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: gleeaikin

The one thing that I liked about Hitchens is that he was extremely honest and forthright.

One always knew where he stood on any issue.

He was a complicated person in that he held views on both the left and the right.

You couldn’t pigeon hole him.


278 posted on 12/18/2011 12:35:51 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: dixiechick2000

funny how England produces so many gay big drinking wits

Wilde, Coward, Shaw and Hitchens

Hitchens being the least liberal actually

Coward’s last “partner” was my Red Stripe girlfriends godfather...a dapper fop himself

probably gone now too...last I saw him was walking down Madison Ave in 1985


279 posted on 12/18/2011 12:44:20 AM PST by wardaddy (Michelle, Sarah, Perry now Newt over Mitt.....that is how I've seen it and it's where we are)
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To: wardaddy

I love reading your stories.

You’ve seen more than most, and I’m glad to be part of your experiences even though they are, for me, second hand.


280 posted on 12/18/2011 12:47:06 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: wardaddy

I’m off to bed now. We are taking the equestrian granddaughter to see Cavalia tomorrow.

After the show, it will be interesting to see if she wants to enroll in a gymnastics class. ;o)


281 posted on 12/18/2011 12:51:04 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: isthisnickcool; SatinDoll
Hitchens was an atheist. They don't get into Heaven.

Hey SatinDoll:

"isthisnickcool" replied to you with this:

I have never spoke here about this before. My grandfather was an atheist. He lived til the age of 100 and on his deathbed, the day of his passing, he found Christ.

If you believe that atheists don't get into heaven and you have here been presented with evidence of a deathbed conversion...an instance for which any Christian would be offering thanks to God and expressing heartfelt congratulations to the Christian reporting the news of his loved one...why haven't you replied?

And...Congratulations, isthisnickcool...what an amazing story.

282 posted on 12/18/2011 12:54:36 AM PST by Chunga (What a load of codswallop!)
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To: mporter345; dixiechick2000; MarDav; Travis McGee
I try to resist condemning folks but I don't mind having an opinion on them...I will leave condemnation to God and I like Hitchens and his wit and brain though like many an alcoholic homosexual he was obviously a troubled soul

But if as a Christian one reads the New Covenant then it is indeed hard to rationalize away that those who reject Christ can reach his side after death even if they did all sorts of good works.

Good works is new aged philosophy espoused by many new so called Christians who eschew literalism and moral conduct and preach relativism and a Peace Corps mentality.

However I hope God has a place for decent non believers but I sure cannot say that with certainty just wishfulness.

I do though think God will not suffer well those who rejected him when given a chance.....a chance many in history never had...that would be lapsed folks like Hitchens and rejectionist Pharisee types...etc

I hope Hitchens found some accord with God those final minutes of twilight between earth and beyond.

For his sake.

Thinking someone is confined to darkness and the grasp of Satan for eternity is down right scary and just not something I wish on fairly benign damaged souls like poor Hitchens. I'm just not like that.

It's just sad how anyone could not see the love and beauty of life in children, the earth's majesty, the human spirit and valour and glory and sacrifice, the incredible God created beauty of the female form and the life that springs so literally from that...the creativity of man...and so forth

all that and deny there is a higher power...hell, just ponder the skies at night

it takes arrogance to deny God...forget Christendom..just denying God is a leap of hubris denying logic of empirical observance of the wonders that surround us.

must be a sad existence to think this is all there is and it was some billion year accident

and that man is the top of the food chain in the Universe...no way

anthropocentric humanism...the amniotic fluid of messianic liberalism is a lonely death

283 posted on 12/18/2011 1:00:26 AM PST by wardaddy (Michelle, Sarah, Perry now Newt over Mitt.....that is how I've seen it and it's where we are)
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To: wardaddy

“good works”

I believe that good works, so to speak, are the result of someone being a good and loving Christian, and not the other way around. IOW, good works don’t get one into heaven.

“I do though think God will not suffer well those who rejected him when given a chance...”

That’s what the Good Book says.

“...it takes arrogance to deny God...”

Amen!

I love your colorful posts, and this is one of your better ones. You are a compassionate man. You understand God, and don’t presume to speak for Him. I am so thankful for that.


284 posted on 12/20/2011 12:16:20 AM PST by dixiechick2000 (Proud barbarian TEA Party SOB and an evil Capitalist.)
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To: GiovannaNicoletta

Giovanna - no-one to my mind has ever properly addressed the issue of Theodicy.


285 posted on 01/23/2012 7:54:57 AM PST by ToranagaSama
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To: ToranagaSama
Giovanna - no-one to my mind has ever properly addressed the issue of Theodicy.

This is pretty thorough:

Question: "What is theodicy?"

Answer: Theodicy is the branch of theology which defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil. In the course of time, many have questioned the apparent inconsistency of God. Why would a just and loving God create a system in which evil is so pervasive? As it was phrased by Epicurus, a Greek Stoic philosopher,

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

These questions have been keeping philosophers and theologians busy for countless years. To start with, here is part of what we know to be true of God:

1) We know that God is good—in fact, He defines Good (Nahum 1:7; Mark 10:18; 1 John 1:5).

2) We know God is Just (Deuteronomy 32:4).

3) Because of (1) & (2), we know it is impossible for God to do Evil. He cannot violate (1) by entertaining the company of the wicked, nor can He violate (2) by letting them go unpunished (Job 34:10; Psalm 5:4).

4) In the human scope, the basic propensity of evil is to strike out against the will of God, a tendency which is personified by Satan (Matthew 16:23). Evil begins in the form of temptation, which does not come from God, and evolves into eternal death (James 1:13-15).

5) Punishment for those who do evil is simply the reciprocation of striking out against God's will—self-inflicted, we could say (Job 15:20-35; Psalm 7:14-17).

Much of the apparent contradiction can be cleared up by exploring the nature of Evil, and we'll address the nature of God and the universe in the process. It is important to note that we are tackling the problem of Evil as a spiritual force, not simply physical calamities/maladies/atrocities.

Evil “Ain't”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not” (John 1:1-5).

The light is the Logos, or Wisdom of God (Proverbs 8:22-31; Luke 10:22; John 1:18; 1 Corinthians 8:6). This “light” emanates forth, spilling down into hierarchies of existence to form all creation, seen and unseen. However, the “darkness” doesn't understand it—why not?

This darkness is beyond even what we would consider void or vacuum—first, because we alter it by considering it, and, second, because even those concepts involve time and spatial dimension, which are somethings. True “Absolute Nothing” has no intelligence or will—it simply “ain't,” and it is absurd besides to even apply a name to “it.” As soon as we consider Absolute Nothing with our minds, it becomes something. In other words, when you try to conceive it, you automatically bracket “it” by thinking of “it” as a [state], and so you inadvertently convert nothing into something.

How do you get from the non-concept “Absolute Nothing” to the somewhat tangible manifestation we call Evil? It turns out that Evil is a “necessary evil”: we cannot conceive of a world where void does not drive the processes of existence. Void necessitates dichotomy- left/right, light/dark, good/evil.

We can observe the effect of nothing on something in nature. It is what we call “chaos” because of the unpredictability it lends to systems. Entropy, diffusion, and osmosis are examples where something rushes in to counteract a relative nothing. “Nature abhors a vacuum” is analogous to “God hates Evil.”

As Absolute Nothing manifests in sentient beings, it brings an element of chaos to the human soul which we call Evil. Just as “thing” rushes in to fill a void, so also do spiritual elements, especially opportunistic spiritual parasites, rush in to fill the void created by the Fall (see Jesus’ parable of the wheat and the tares, Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43). By choosing the path of Satan, we adopt the Fall into our souls, and the wound gets infected right away, so that it doesn't heal without God's intervention.

The Fall is, to borrow slightly from Augustine, the initial wound of sin/pride on our soul, causing the soul to become an end unto itself... basically attempting to usurp the throne of God who is the ultimate End (and He is the Beginning to boot!—Revelation 22:13).

You may ask, “But if it is our will which adopts the fall, is that decision autonomous from God's will? If autonomous, then how can He be sovereign and omnipotent? If not, then how can we be blamed if it is He who chooses an evil-tainted path for us?” This is a difficult question to answer. In fact, this is as far as brother Paul of Tarsus was willing to go, for at this point we are reprimanded for asking too many questions which we probably wouldn't understand the answers to anyway (Romans 9:20).

Levels of Will

God is characterized by a sovereign will, and because we are made in the image of God, our wills are reflections of His, like little “strings” which can be detached from the overall chord (the Fall) and temporarily reattached into addictions, images, ambiguous ideals, relationships, hobbies, irrational fears, fetishes, greed, or any other form of idolatry.

Now, when we say our wills become detached from God's Will—as if we can have an autonomous will separate from His, it becomes necessary to differentiate the levels of God's will. The Logos is the highest level of God's Will because it is the initial Artist's projection onto the canvas of Absolute Nothing, so we'll call it the higher Projected Will. The Logos is the reference of everything else, so it is free from dichotomy. What emanates through it, however, becomes dichotomous, a “frustration” caused by the void of Absolute Nothing, a price of existence, we could say.

God does not create void, but because it must manifest through what He creates, He can control how it manifests. He does this by subjecting the creation to a catchall pattern which we call the Sovereign Will (SW). While the higher Projected Will (HPW) is outside the SW, the lower Projected Will (LPW) works within the pattern of the SW. This is God's “desire” for intimacy with all sentient beings.

Evil MUST manifest as the dichotomous price of existence. Even though our bodies are part of the SW, our wills begin as part of the LPW. When, in early life, we are bombarded with Evil through the SW, we most certainly internalize some of it and adopt the Fall (Romans 3:23). Without the spiritual armor of God provided by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:10-18), we have no defense against the enemy after we choose the Fall.

Since the human will is free, it is free to be tainted by Evil, but it is also free to realign itself with the PW. When we say the will is free, we mean it is free from the PW, but not the catchall SW. To use a circus analogy, if the lower Projected Will is the tight rope (narrow path), then the safety net below it is the Sovereign Will (wide path). The platform on either side is the beginning and end of Creation—the HPW, which is the unification principle of all dichotomy. If you become detached from the LPW, you “fall” into the realm of the SW, where Satan and all his angels have dominion. The net is sticky, and full of snakes and scorpions—they were the ones using other fallen beings to spit poison at the tightrope walkers in order to knock them off.

Even though these agents of God's will have been corrupted, God works them back into the pattern in order to contrast, accentuate, and provide a rigorous medium for the elements which are escaping corruption (by climbing back onto the tightrope). Because of the superiority of the HPW to the SW and the direct link the rope (LPW) has with the platform (HPW), the SW pattern is “bent towards” the agents of God's PW, much like a heavy weight on a mattress (Romans 8:28-39). Meanwhile, the tainted souls caught in the catchall are like dirty rags, soaking up evil.

Judgment and Self-inflicted Punishment—in the Moment

How do we know the PW supersedes the SW? Well, the formula of reciprocal punishment for sin is part of the SW, along with the analogous 2nd law of thermodynamics, while the grace which abrogates the SW is the PW. The SW is not a will of malice, but rather a natural “accounting for” the manifestation of Absolute Nothing as Evil: basically a shrewd reclamation of creation. While this reciprocal reward/punishment system is set in stone by the cold calculation of the SW to maximize overall good, it is overturned by the PW when a person cries out to God in contriteness of spirit (Isaiah 57:15; 1 John 1:9).

To explain reciprocal punishment in more detail, consider yourself to be a pitcher of liquid, the latter being your time, energy, and focus. Let’s say, for instance, you pour a significant amount of liquid into your secular career. Because your pouring is not done in faith in the Most High, the liquid is wasted. However, because of the deception of the enemy, it appears to be getting you somewhere and keeps you busy. Well, come judgment day, the emptiness you began to feel during your lifetime as you were pouring yourself into some ambiguous ideal comes back to you in full measure according to how much liquid you wasted, and you suffer great loss, like a raging fire (Mark 9:48).

Salvation

The only way, then, to escape this reciprocal system is through the PW. When you project your will to align with God's PW, He closes the gap, and the wills merge as you spiritually mature.

To make an analogy, let’s suppose you are an ignorant child who wanders away from your father while chasing after fireflies. They lead you into a cave where you quickly become lost in the darkness. As you stumble around in the darkness, perhaps even following fireflies deeper into the cave, your father comes looking for you, calling. You can vaguely hear his voice above you, but maybe you really think this firefly will take you home. Finally, when you realize you aren't getting anywhere on your own, you look up and cry out to your father. He knocks a hole in the roof and lowers a rope. You grab on, and he pulls you up and out.

The cave, then is the SW. The fireflies are the false light of the enemy. The father is The Father. The hole is the Son, and the light streaming through the hole, as well as the rope, is the Holy Spirit. By venting off our impending reciprocal punishment into Y'shua (Jesus), God knocks a “hole” into the SW, through which we may eventually escape and approach Him.

Someone may ask, “But what of atrocity?”

Atrocity is directly related to Evil, but the deed itself only occurs by God's permission. Every atom of your body is obedient to the will of God, even though you may not be. No other animal is given the option to rebel, because none of them can access the full Image of God. When a person causes atrocious physical or psychological wrong to another, the directive is evil—relating back to the chaotic spiritual arrangement which fills the void of Absolute Nothing in a soul.

If God were to prevent every evil directive from physically manifesting, then His hand would be so obvious in creation that to reject Him would be absurd—really we would be just another animal. No, it is simply fruitless to dwell on some nebulous alternate reality and try to impose it on this one. As it is, God only allows that which He is able to work back into the pattern for the ultimate Good. Without murder, torture, and disservice, we wouldn't really know what it means to promote life, alleviate suffering, and serve. Contrast brings about beauty and promotes refinement.

To tally up:

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?”

To prevent the cause of evil would be to prevent existence, and besides, void brings about contrast, and thus beauty. God's nature is that of creative tendency, so He cannot deny Himself. God's LPW is that we be prevented from evil, but His SW accounts for our decision to remain estranged.

Is he able, but not willing?

Actually, He is able and willing to prevent the negative effects of the price of existence, as demonstrated by the saving role of Y'shua (Jesus).

Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Yes, indeed both! And Evil cometh from Absolute Nothing, not the Light of God.

Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Able, willing, and does, to give credit where credit is due.

286 posted on 01/24/2012 3:21:14 PM PST by GiovannaNicoletta ("....in the last days, mockers will come with their mocking... (2 Peter 3:3))
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