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  #1  
Old Sep 4, '09, 1:34 am
bloke916 bloke916 is offline
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Default Does God Punish

Does God Punish? I think not and this is why:
Punishment is something us sinners have devised to keep ourselves from harming ourselves and others. No one would enjoy punishing but our goal is to prevent harm and to encourage "good."

God can encourage good and prevent harm in many ways, in which way(s) is not the issue I would like to raise in this thread. He does not punish because for example. If I were to do something wrong but immidiately repent and realize my actions were wrong and ask for forgiveness, then I do not think he will be "sorry, I have to punish you for what you did." On the other hand, as humans with limited intelligence, we can not discern whether someone has genuinely repented and if they will commit the same mistake or sin again- therefore we devised punishments to try to ensure that the person does not do that again. This is only because we are unable to tell whether that person has repented or because we do not know for certain if they will do it again, without punishment.

In essence, punishment is an earthly thing meant to deter future harm. If God is going to intervene and punish then he would intervene and prevent harm. If he just punishes it would be vengeful because he can prevent harm.

Your thoughts?
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  #2  
Old Sep 4, '09, 3:20 am
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Eucharisted Eucharisted is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

God chastises sinners and punishs reprobates.
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  #3  
Old Sep 4, '09, 5:56 am
Newbie2 Newbie2 is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

Is the original question referring to punishment in this life, the next or both? If it includes the afterlife, yes, we will be punished for our sin. Now the punishment may be an admontion or "go sit in the corner", but we don't get off scott free. We're forgiven if we repent, but like a good dad "I forgive you, but I'm still going to yell at you and spank you".

I guess it has to do with what one considers "punishment". Eternal punishment, no. Purfication "punishment" in Purgatory, yes.

In this life, I'm not sure that the Almighty doesn't arrange circumstances to help correct us when we need correcting. Whether or not certain circumstances count for "punishment", I'm not sure. But if someone sins and later that day stubs their toe, I don't think that's how God works it.

Just my thoughts...no theological backup here.
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  #4  
Old Sep 4, '09, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Does God Punish

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloke916 View Post
Does God Punish? I think not and this is why:
Punishment is something us sinners have devised to keep ourselves from harming ourselves and others. No one would enjoy punishing but our goal is to prevent harm and to encourage "good."

God can encourage good and prevent harm in many ways, in which way(s) is not the issue I would like to raise in this thread. He does not punish because for example. If I were to do something wrong but immidiately repent and realize my actions were wrong and ask for forgiveness, then I do not think he will be "sorry, I have to punish you for what you did." On the other hand, as humans with limited intelligence, we can not discern whether someone has genuinely repented and if they will commit the same mistake or sin again- therefore we devised punishments to try to ensure that the person does not do that again. This is only because we are unable to tell whether that person has repented or because we do not know for certain if they will do it again, without punishment.

In essence, punishment is an earthly thing meant to deter future harm. If God is going to intervene and punish then he would intervene and prevent harm. If he just punishes it would be vengeful because he can prevent harm.

Your thoughts?
I think it may be more helpful to view God's punishments in terms of justice. God, being perfectly just, requires that justice be done. All other things being equal, for example, justice requires that a person who spent his life doing good and a person who spent his life doing evil be treated differently. Of course, we're incapable of knowing what God's perfect justice consists of. All we have is our own, imperfect understanding of justice. In addition, as Catholics, we know that there are heaven, hell, and purgatory, and that God's justice takes into account true contrition and faith.

(I think this idea comes from St. Anselm, but I'm not certain.)
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  #5  
Old Sep 4, '09, 11:46 am
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JG77 JG77 is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloke916 View Post
Does God Punish? I think not and this is why:
Punishment is something us sinners have devised to keep ourselves from harming ourselves and others. No one would enjoy punishing but our goal is to prevent harm and to encourage "good."

God can encourage good and prevent harm in many ways, in which way(s) is not the issue I would like to raise in this thread. He does not punish because for example. If I were to do something wrong but immidiately repent and realize my actions were wrong and ask for forgiveness, then I do not think he will be "sorry, I have to punish you for what you did." On the other hand, as humans with limited intelligence, we can not discern whether someone has genuinely repented and if they will commit the same mistake or sin again- therefore we devised punishments to try to ensure that the person does not do that again. This is only because we are unable to tell whether that person has repented or because we do not know for certain if they will do it again, without punishment.

In essence, punishment is an earthly thing meant to deter future harm. If God is going to intervene and punish then he would intervene and prevent harm. If he just punishes it would be vengeful because he can prevent harm.

Your thoughts?
God cannot prevent anyone from doing wrong - it would violate the free will that e gave to each and every one of us. Also, I think that your messed up notion of punishment is also accompanied by a messed up notion of good. It does not make any sense that we (humans) would make up punishments. Punishment or the thought of being in Hell are things that frighten people to not sin - and it should - but our base fear is to lead us to eventually leave sin behind because we know how it damages us and others and to leave it out of a loving response to a loving God.

How do you explain the countless martyrs that died for Christ and died for their faith? You can't say they died for their faith so they would be scared not to sin anymore - because they weren't living in this world anymore either!
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  #6  
Old Sep 4, '09, 11:49 am
WarriorofJesus WarriorofJesus is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

God does punish. Although he does punish for the sins commited by humans, it is always in a just way. In other words, his punishments are always correct and well deserved for the people that actually sinned. Throughout the while Bible you can hear of God punishing his people for desobeying him and violationg his commendmants. It's his justice that punishes people. If you obey him and remain loyal, there is no reason for punishment to occur. You must be stuck to his love and not his divine justice or else you will see punishment.

The ways in which he punishes people is by giving the town, kingdom or empire where the people are sinning, suffer from hunger, diseases, floods or giving them in hands of their enemys and becoming conquered by other empires or kingdoms. Some examples include, punishing his very own rebelious angels into hell for having revolted, protested and not obeying his will. Those angels shall remain in hell for an eternity. There are always ways of avoiding punishment and it is to regret it and ask for forgiveness.
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  #7  
Old Sep 4, '09, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Does God Punish

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Originally Posted by WarriorofJesus View Post
God does punish. Although he does punish for the sins commited by humans, it is always in a just way. In other words, his punishments are always correct and well deserved for the people that actually sinned. Throughout the while Bible you can hear of God punishing his people for desobeying him and violationg his commendmants. It's his justice that punishes people. If you obey him and remain loyal, there is no reason for punishment to occur. You must be stuck to his love and not his divine justice or else you will see punishment.

The ways in which he punishes people is by giving the town, kingdom or empire where the people are sinning, suffer from hunger, diseases, floods or giving them in hands of their enemys and becoming conquered by other empires or kingdoms. Some examples include, punishing his very own rebelious angels into hell for having revolted, protested and not obeying his will. Those angels shall remain in hell for an eternity. There are always ways of avoiding punishment and it is to regret it and ask for forgiveness.
Thank you for saying that - my thoughts exactly. If we are punished it is because we are guilty of sin. It is God's justice that gives us what is due to us (whether that's good or bad) and many times it is his mercy that gives us more than what we deserve.

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  #8  
Old Sep 5, '09, 10:48 am
ready ready is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

We're chastised in this life and punished in the next (if we end up hell).
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  #9  
Old Sep 5, '09, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Does God Punish

We could be. God is just. If you sin and aren't sorry, you will be punished.
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  #10  
Old Sep 5, '09, 11:57 am
HNA444 HNA444 is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

I don't think God punishes, because he only does good and wants the best for us. God gave us free will, so if we choose to do something wrong, than the punishment came from that wrong choice. God is there to guide us and help us, but I do not think he will punish you.
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  #11  
Old Sep 5, '09, 12:44 pm
teachccd teachccd is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

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Originally Posted by HNA444 View Post
I don't think God punishes, because he only does good and wants the best for us. God gave us free will, so if we choose to do something wrong, than the punishment came from that wrong choice. God is there to guide us and help us, but I do not think he will punish you.
I concur. God is Love and we are drawn to Love from the moment of our conception. Our first step occurs at our spiritual rebirth or baptism. From that point we are called to be holy and to praise and worship our Creator. In His essesnce, or love, God gave us the incredible gift of free will. We constantly move towards or away from Love. The further we move away the less immersed we become and we perceive this as some type of pain. Things start going haywire and we feel that we are being "punished".

I believe that all punishment originates from ourselves through our inability to unite ourselves fully with God. The Old Testament stresses the punishments that God inflicts on those who stray from His ways. But is it really God infliciting these punishments or is it those with hardened hearts who are desparately defeating themselves? God always wants good and will always promote those who do His will. He is infinitely just and infinitely merciful. We see this most perfectly in the crucifixion. God did not "punish" Jesus, we did. It was our sins that He bore and in return He submitted Himself as the most perfect sacrifice to the Father.

Sin causes punishment, not God..............................teachcc d
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Old Sep 5, '09, 12:57 pm
teachccd teachccd is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

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Some examples include, punishing his very own rebelious angels into hell for having revolted, protested and not obeying his will. Those angels shall remain in hell for an eternity. There are always ways of avoiding punishment and it is to regret it and ask for forgiveness.
This is a perfect example of how God does NOT punish. When those angels rejected God they CHOSE to separate themselves from Him for all eternity. God will not grab you kicking and screaming to bring you back to Him. If you wish to leave he respects that and that is where we experience His ultimate love. He loves those angels so much that He let them go. Hell is eternal separation from God and because the angels are superior intelligent beings their decision is total and complete. God sends no one, angels or humans, to hell. That is the state that we set ourselves in with our own decision to reject God. God is Love and that love is so immense that it would rather let go than force us to eternal peace.........................teachccd
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Old Sep 6, '09, 12:08 am
WarriorofJesus WarriorofJesus is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

Techcdd,

You are wrong. If God doesn't punish, then there would be no reason to fear him and we would be able to commit all the sins we wanted. The example that I put of hell clearly states that God DOES PUNISH. He doesn't send anyone to hell, that is correct, but hell is the punishment that those angels deserve for having desobeyed and protested against his will. In other words, God creates the punishment (hell) for those angels that choose on their own will what fate they want. If they choose by themselves that they want to do other things that having nothing to do with God's will, then they choose to go into Hell and the punishment that was established by God for them.

FOR THE FALLEN ANGELS CHOoSE TO SEPERATE THEMSELVES FROM GOD AND CHOOSE PUNISHMENT INSTEAD OF LOVE AND LOYALTY TO GODS WILL.

Sin causes punishment, but who sends forth those punishments? God is the one who sends forth those punishments. God is always there for those that want him and accept him, but for those that want to go against his will there will be consequences. All the punishments that God brings forth to us are well deserved. For humanity throughout all its history has suffered greatly from epidemics, earthquakes, diseases, wars and natural disasters. There are always consequences to those that choose to do the wrong things. That is why JUSTICE exists. If the word, JUSTICE, didn't exist, then punishment wouldn't exist either. For if there is no punishment, then JUSTICE WOULDN'T EXIST EITHER. When an individual is being judged and found guilty, he has to speak up for his actions and suffer the consequences and is brought into punishment in order to pay back for what he/she could have done.

Last edited by WarriorofJesus; Sep 6, '09 at 12:22 am.
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  #14  
Old Sep 7, '09, 9:58 am
Ender Ender is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

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Originally Posted by HNA444 View Post
I don't think God punishes, because he only does good and wants the best for us. God gave us free will, so if we choose to do something wrong, than the punishment came from that wrong choice. God is there to guide us and help us, but I do not think he will punish you.
This is not what the Church teaches.

The impartial and unchangeable justice of God metes out reward for good deeds and punishment for sin. (Leo XIII, 1888)

For the fundamental demand of justice, whose role in morality is to maintain the existing equilibrium, when it is just, and to restore the balance when upset. It demands that by punishment the person responsible be forcibly brought to order; and the fulfillment of this demand proclaims the absolute supremacy of good over evil; right triumphs sovereignly over wrong. (Pius XII, 1953)

That punishment for the vestiges of sin may remain to be expiated or cleansed and that they in fact frequently do even after the remission of guilt is clearly demonstrated by the doctrine on purgatory. (Paul VI, 1967)

Corresponding to the moral evil of sin is punishment, which guarantees the moral order in the same transcendent sense in which this order is laid down by the will of the Creator and Supreme Lawgiver. (JPII, 1984)

For example, some are inclined to replace exaggerated attitudes of the past with other exaggerations: From seeing sin everywhere they pass to not recognizing it anywhere; from too much emphasis on the fear of eternal punishment they pass to preaching a love of God that excludes any punishment deserved by sin (JPII, 1984)

Ender
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Old Sep 7, '09, 11:19 am
mistfall mistfall is offline
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Default Re: Does God Punish

I think the word "punish" is used in scripture and the teachings of the Church because this is a concept human beings can wrap their brains around.

Our problem, as I see it, in resolving the depictions of God that seem to be contradictory (punishing versus all merciful, wrath versus spirit-without-passions, judgment vs unconditional love) is that we are trying to describe the actions, intentions, and motivations of a being that transcends us far more than we transcend the mold growing on last week's bread.

If a goldfish watching your life from the aquarium could preach to his tank-mates about your interaction with him and the part of the world he observes, using only concepts native to fish, he it might come to conclusions that are free from error, in that he has come to the closest description possible for him of your motivations and purposes, but isn't it obvious that he wouldn't even have the ability to formulate the thoughts that correspond to what you are really up to, much less the vocabulary to express it?

We run into trouble when we start insisting that the words we find in scripture that describe what God does (like "punish", "repent" of making man, "hate" this or that) must describe the very same thing when we apply them to God as they would when we used them about another human being, accompanied by the same human motivations, psychology, and emotions.

Jesus asked, "what is simpler, to say 'Your sins are forgiven', or to say 'Rise, take up your mat, and walk'?" Similarly, we might ask, "what is simpler, to say 'God punishes sinners' or to say, 'A certain painfully dissonant condition will be inevitably be experienced by sinners as a consequence of their inharmonious relationship with the foundation, source and summit of all reality"?
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