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  #1  
Old Jul 24, '11, 8:46 pm
dchezik dchezik is offline
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Default What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

I'm a former Christian who couldn't accept the irrationality in the different denominations. Which one is really the true one?
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  #2  
Old Jul 25, '11, 6:15 am
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AntalKalnoky AntalKalnoky is offline
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Default Re: To former atheists: Finding God

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchezik View Post
I'm a former Christian who couldn't accept the irrationality in the different denominations. Which one is really the true one?
Your's is The Reason who even many Protestant Ministers convert to Catholic, many even as just layman. And search into the History of Cristianity finds the Same things: The Church Christ founded has always had the same basics, and The Apostles, now Cardinals, locally The Biship to settle basic disputes. Our Protestand prothers have theie idea that whatever the members think is ok: The Anglicans of the 1930's on No Right to Life, etc. The Reformation Founder, Martin Luther, has Written he would never have begun the Reformation if he would have known the outcome: Calvin :Singin and Preachin onlu, no Mass, Etc., Etc.
  • You might start watching
    EWTN
    on Cable/Satellite worldwide, and All Media:
    EWTN.Com Internet
    , 24/7, fascinating always. One that might Most interest you: Journey Home, weekly: why Protestant Ministers leave their Ministery to become Catholic: fascinating Hour Long. The daily Chaplet Mass: The Mass is the Last Supper Feast and Real Presence Eucharist Our Lord told the Apostles to do In His Memory, as we've don Since the Last Supper. ! Corrinthians: 21-29. And Only The Roman/Orthox Church live The Full Bible as God wanted; and we have the same 7 Sacraments Christ began
The way to try His Church is a Mass: The Last Supper Feast with the same elements as The Apostles practiced in the First Century, Kneeling is also In the Bible as is Everything Catholic. The place tpo learn more, and consideer becoming Catholic is ther Local Parish RCIA Class that begins in Sept. Call your local parish to get the details. It is no Obligation, as everything Catholic. Mass and RCIA are the 2 best ways to find out.
  • Not many know that over 65% of all Christian of the 2 Billion in the World are Roman (Over a Billion) and Orthodox (over 300 Million) in The Church Our Lord founded, giving The Keys to Heaven to the Big Rock Peter, as his Leader of Church on Earth: Matthew 16:18-19
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  #3  
Old Jul 27, '11, 8:10 am
dchezik dchezik is offline
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Default What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

Hi, Eveyone. I am a former Christian who became an atheist. And I love you all! (Jesus would have been proud.) I don't want to call you unthinking and uninformed because I know you're not. Some of you are probably much brighter than I. I'm fascinated by what you write here. I am intrigued by your willingness to accept some really (in my opinion) unlikely things.

If I may draw upon your collective wisdom here, I have a question that is very troublesome to me. Any answers -- speculative, scriptural, authoritative, etc. -- that you may offer, I would appreciate.

Modern humans have been on the scene now for 100,000 to 20,000 years (estimates vary). They appeared thousands of years before Christ died on the cross. Numerous generations - thousands of people -- have come and gone since Jesus lived, taught, died, and never knew about him.

Let me make clear -- these were not cave men or prehistoric barbarians, but as cognitively capable as you or I with just as big a brain. Thousands of them! They would be just as tempted to sin as you or I but they couldn't possibly know they needed to believe in Jesus. What happened to them when they died? It's hard for me to believe they all ended up in hell. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you in advance for any insight you may have on this.
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  #4  
Old Jul 27, '11, 12:12 pm
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AntalKalnoky AntalKalnoky is offline
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Default Re: To former atheists: Finding God

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchezik View Post
Hi, Eveyone. I am a former Christian who became an atheist. And I love you all! (Jesus would have been proud.) I don't want to call you unthinking and uninformed because I know you're not. Some of you are probably much brighter than I. I'm fascinated by what you write here. I am intrigued by your willingness to accept some really (in my opinion) unlikely things.

If I may draw upon your collective wisdom here, I have a question that is very troublesome to me. Any answers -- speculative, scriptural, authoritative, etc. -- that you may offer, I would appreciate.

Modern humans have been on the scene now for 100,000 to 20,000 years (estimates vary). They appeared thousands of years before Christ died on the cross. Numerous generations - thousands of people -- have come and gone since Jesus lived, taught, died, and never knew about him.

Let me make clear -- these were not cave men or prehistoric barbarians, but as cognitively capable as you or I with just as big a brain. Thousands of them! They would be just as tempted to sin as you or I but they couldn't possibly know they needed to believe in Jesus. What happened to them when they died? It's hard for me to believe they all ended up in hell. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you in advance for any insight you may have on this.
Great question I've heard before, and found The Answers to In The Ideal Church: Only God Decides who goes to heaven, not any Verses or opinions. Only The Church teaches that those who Don't know Christ/God can be Saved/go to Heaven; God judges Each as to Their Life; quit different than some churches teachings that Verses detrmine.
  • The Church has Never said Anyone has gone to Hell; It is Not for Us to know.
  • We have to Try to Choose Hell as our Destination: (1) by Sanelly, clearmindedly Reject Christ, His ideal Church, (2) by being Glad at Death at some great Evil we did, instead of repenting. (3) If we always choose to stay away, we Are rejecting Christ, His Church for Our Own viewpoints.
    • I was gone from The Church since College, but didn't rebel or go bad. I did get bored with My Ideas!/attitude; Found brilliance in the Church's Wisdoms, Teachings and Liturgy. Returning to The Church in 1991 by Lifetime Confession turned out to be the Best Thing I've ever done. I didn't need retraining. I've never been so All Positive, Untroubled as since returning then, have grown in Knowledge and Confidence.
  • The Cause of my return was catching EWTN 1990, realizing the Greatest Wisdoms, Intelligence, Answers to All Problems, And the Humor! EWTN now is Very Worldwide, All Media. (And several relatives Prayers for my return)
I've found Zero negatives, only greatest Positiives in The Church of 1.3 Billion Roman/Orthodox.
Only Misunderstandings or personal issues can prevent being in The Church, easily resolved by talking to a Priest. I sleep to EWTN; it's Aweome evidence of the ideal nature of The Church, Of Christ: Love, all positive. Bless you
  • PS: Everything indicates that mankind has Always realized some form of God: cavemen on and Every culture. Only 8% of the World are Atheists now.

Last edited by AntalKalnoky; Jul 27, '11 at 12:31 pm.
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  #5  
Old Jul 28, '11, 7:12 am
dchezik dchezik is offline
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Default Re: To former atheists: Finding God

"PS: Everything indicates that mankind has Always realized some form of God: cavemen on and Every culture. Only 8% of the World are Atheists now."

You need to cite some references. Here is another set of statistics which show a much higher percentage:
http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_atheist.html

Yes, and every culture has always had some sort of superstition.

As far as every culture recognizing some kind of god, this is true. When a naturalistic explanation is obscured or otherwise unknown, the tendency is to attribute it to some god - look at all the gods the Greeks and Romans had.

But there is a scripture - James 2: 19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

It's clearly not enough to believe there's a god -- you have to believe in Jesus.

Note: Acts 16:30 - 31: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

It seems reasonable -- doesn't it? -- that you would have to be aware there was a "Lord Jesus" to believe in him?

Can an early homo sapiens get into heaven without believing in Jesus? Those thousands and thousands of people born centuries before Jesus. (Oh, the humanity!) I'm looking for some scriptural evidence here, People!
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  #6  
Old Jul 28, '11, 11:49 am
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Jessica Cecilia Jessica Cecilia is offline
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Default Re: To former atheists: Finding God

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchezik View Post
"PS: Everything indicates that mankind has Always realized some form of God: cavemen on and Every culture. Only 8% of the World are Atheists now."

You need to cite some references. Here is another set of statistics which show a much higher percentage:
http://www.adherents.com/largecom/com_atheist.html

Yes, and every culture has always had some sort of superstition.

As far as every culture recognizing some kind of god, this is true. When a naturalistic explanation is obscured or otherwise unknown, the tendency is to attribute it to some god - look at all the gods the Greeks and Romans had.

But there is a scripture - James 2: 19: Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble."

It's clearly not enough to believe there's a god -- you have to believe in Jesus.

Note: Acts 16:30 - 31: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

It seems reasonable -- doesn't it? -- that you would have to be aware there was a "Lord Jesus" to believe in him?

Can an early homo sapiens get into heaven without believing in Jesus? Those thousands and thousands of people born centuries before Jesus. (Oh, the humanity!) I'm looking for some scriptural evidence here, People!
Dchezik, There is a big difference between being saved and not going to hell.
There is also Luke 25: And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?"27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 28 And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

There are many ways people could have done this very thing throughout time. It is only when people desired more, and to experience the culmination of the Jewish law and religious experience that they were given the answer to follow Jesus specifically. God will work with work with us wherever we are. He always gives us that chance because he created us and loves us.
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  #7  
Old Jul 28, '11, 11:59 am
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Rolltide Rolltide is offline
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Default Re: To former atheists: Finding God

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchezik View Post
Can an early homo sapiens get into heaven without believing in Jesus? Those thousands and thousands of people born centuries before Jesus. (Oh, the humanity!) I'm looking for some scriptural evidence here, People!
The answer is "yes", and it has always been so. You don't even have to go back that far in history to see a similar theological / philosophical problem. When Columbus discovered the New World, the Vatican was very concerned with the fate of Native Americans theologically. Why would God created two entire continents of people, only to condemn them to hell for hundreds of generations? The answer is that he didn't. The church reaffirmed what it had always believed once again at the Council of Trent... that there are other ways into heaven besides being a baptized Christian. This is partially borne out by the story of the Thief on the Cross in the Gospels. He was not baptized, or even a practicing Christian, but he was still permitted an eternal life in heaven.

Now, while the Catholic Church has *indeed* always believed that there is "no salvation outside the Catholic Church", that does NOT mean that non-Catholics cannot be saved! It means that they might be saved in SPITE of a lack of knowledge. They will be doing the will of God, as passed down through the Bible and proclaimed most fully through the Catholic Church, without even realizing it. It's akin to this. Imagine the Catholic Church as a 16 year old who goes out and buys a brand new car. They read the entire instruction manual, sign up and take driving lessons, and successfully make it to school. Now, imagine other groups are 16 year olds who go out and buy used cars. They have only partial instruction manuals, or perhaps no instruction manual at all. Some get lessons, but some do not. Now, they *may* eventually make it safely to school as well, but if school represents the Kingdom of Heaven, which route is the safer choice? If they DO make it to school, it will be by unintentionally following the rules that were in the book they never read and the lessons they never signed up for. (In other words, they were still saved THROUGH the Catholic Church). However, these people will have to have been "invincibly ignorant" about the truth of the Catholic Church. A Native American in the New World certainly would have been.

continued...
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  #8  
Old Jul 28, '11, 12:07 pm
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Rolltide Rolltide is offline
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Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

Now, as far as what happened to the thousands of generations before Jesus... remember that NO ONE went to heaven before Jesus. It was inaccessible to us. They went to Sheol, sometimes referred to as the "Limbo of the Fathers". All right and just people went there, and they were happy, but NOT in the presence of God. We learn more about this from the Apostles' Creed, where it states that we believe that Jesus "descended to the dead" and "On the third day He rose again." When Jesus "descended to the dead", He went to the Limbo of the Fathers to preach to them and open the gates of heaven for them as well. Aside from the Jews, many of them would also have been "invincibly ignorant", and would have gained entry to heaven if they were trying to follow the will of God to the best of their ability and the natural law.
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  #9  
Old Jul 28, '11, 12:29 pm
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Carlan Carlan is offline
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Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dchezik View Post
Hi, Eveyone. I am a former Christian who became an atheist. And I love you all! (Jesus would have been proud.) I don't want to call you unthinking and uninformed because I know you're not. Some of you are probably much brighter than I. I'm fascinated by what you write here. I am intrigued by your willingness to accept some really (in my opinion) unlikely things.

If I may draw upon your collective wisdom here, I have a question that is very troublesome to me. Any answers -- speculative, scriptural, authoritative, etc. -- that you may offer, I would appreciate.

Modern humans have been on the scene now for 100,000 to 20,000 years (estimates vary). They appeared thousands of years before Christ died on the cross. Numerous generations - thousands of people -- have come and gone since Jesus lived, taught, died, and never knew about him. Let me make clear -- these were not cave men or prehistoric barbarians, but as cognitively capable as you or I with just as big a brain. Thousands of them! They would be just as tempted to sin as you or I but they couldn't possibly know they needed to believe in Jesus. What happened to them when they died? It's hard for me to believe they all ended up in hell. Any thoughts on this?

Thank you in advance for any insight you may have on this.
Hello Dehezek,
Christ descended into hell... from the Apostoles creed.

Church teaches that Jesus decended into hell and in his soul joined other in ther realm of the dead.
But he decended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.
Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was rec’d into “Abraham’s bosom”.
It is precisely these holysouls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.
Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned ,nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.
/From my notes, hope this helps, Peace, Carlan
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  #10  
Old Jul 28, '11, 12:37 pm
StrawberryJam StrawberryJam is offline
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Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

I'm confused. You have protestant listed as your belief.
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There is nothing that a non believer can not do that a believer can do.
You can not tell me that believers have some special way of doing good. They can't and don't have any superiority in goodness
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  #11  
Old Jul 28, '11, 1:40 pm
Big Dummy Big Dummy is offline
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Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

1 Peter 3:19
By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

1 Peter 4:5-6

Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

Luke 23:43
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Ephesians 4:9
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

short answer, between his death and resurrection Jesus entered the paradise side of the grave and preached the good news to the righteous dead, then on his ressurection lead them after maybe 40 days on earth into heaven.

Matthew 27:52
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,



Ephesians 4:7-9

7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
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Old Jul 28, '11, 1:40 pm
Big Dummy Big Dummy is offline
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Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

Hebrews 11
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2For by it the elders obtained a good report.

3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

22By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

31By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

32And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

33Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

34Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38(Of whom the world was not worthy they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
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Old Jul 28, '11, 3:57 pm
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Carlan Carlan is offline
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Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Dummy View Post
Hebrews 11
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

2For by it the elders obtained a good report.

3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

5By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

9By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

12Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

13These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

17By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

21By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

22By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.

24By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;

25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

27By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

28Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

29By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

31By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

32And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

33Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.

34Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38(Of whom the world was not worthy they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Hi Big Guy, you do rather well for being a doubter,Peace, Carlan
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  #14  
Old Jul 29, '11, 2:04 am
dchezik dchezik is offline
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Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawberryJam View Post
I'm confused. You have protestant listed as your belief.
Well, there was no option "Atheist or Agnostic." I used to be a Protestant. My reason for being here is that I am writing a book on critical thinking and I find the thinking of the list members here fascinating. I'm looking for the reasons that people believe things that I have come to abandon as simply too improbable. I wish you could appreciate how hard I tried to believe -- or I should say "continue to believe" -- in Christianity.

I hope no one takes offense at my curiosity of your beliefs and how you are able to believe what I think is highly unlikely.

I had a friend of many years ago who I used to argue with back then. Recently, on a whim I called him and after exchanging updates, asked if he still held onto his Catholic faith that he used argue so fiercely. He said, "Oh, Don, I gave that nonsense up long ago!" (Just as I did!) But I wondered: What was the essential difference we shared from other believers? Why did some give it up and others not? With me, it was the persistent weight of the illogical premises that made me finally cave in.

I was so intrigued by Mother Teresa who told of her tormenting doubts at the end. Do any on this list ever wonder if all this is true? There are so many contradictions -- especially for Catholics. Protestants can shift their beliefs here and there as suits the situation. They don't have to have a uniform doctrine for everyone. But Catholics are locked in with their dogmas. They have to be more clever and subtle when science makes them change. It took them centuries to apologize to Galileo. And in this decade, the Pope has even endorsed evolution! (way ahead of the protestants here!). You would have thought the Vicar of Christ would have been advised by God that Galileo was right (and Darwin!) at the time. You would have thought that Christ's church would have been alerted by God that pederasty was going on with some of its priests! You would have thought that God would have advised the church that Malleus Maleficarum was nonsense and that no one should be burned for witchcraft. You would have thought that the Bishops would have known that Mother Teresa's insomnia didn't require exorcism but a good sleeping pill. ( Jesus believed in demon possession, too!) Of course, you have Protestants believing equally unlikely things: Sarah Palin had a prayer said over her to protect her from witchcraft. Michelle Bachmann is a strong fundamentalist!

Anyway, I wish I could meet some of you somewhere to inquire more deeply into the dynamics of your beliefs.

Finally, I noticed on some Islamic websites that they present something to read and then say, "If you doubt this, pray to God for answers and he will tell you it's true!" Do you guys ever do this? Interesting isn't it? Islam and Christianity can't both be true, can they?

P.S. Sometime check out the Mormons' beliefs. I have a couple of Ph.D. colleagues who believe this very strongly.

Anyway, if no one objects, I still want to check in from time to time and see what's being discussed.

Best wishes!
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  #15  
Old Jul 29, '11, 6:01 am
dchezik dchezik is offline
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Join Date: August 6, 2010
Posts: 77
Religion: Atheist
Default Re: What happened to all the people before Jesus came?

One more question:
What about intelligent life we are likely to encounter on other planets? Paul Davies discusses this in his book Are We Alone?. Apparently this has concerned several theologians who wonder if a Jesus analogue would have to emerge on those distant planets and undergo the equivalent of crucifixion for these beings to escape God's unrelenting justice.

Some say it is too horrible to contemplate -- that the Son of God would have to be reincarnated in different life forms and suffer innumerable deaths to provide salvation for those sinners as well. Others say that radio transmission to them about Jesus' life on earth would serve as a kind of techno-evangelism. The problem is they'd have to wait for millions of years for the message to travel those light years across space!

What do you guys think? Will there be "redeemed" extraterrestrials in heaven? The scriptures are strangely silent on this although there is a quote from Jesus who says "Other sheep I have that are not of this flock." Was he referring to extra terrestrials -- or just the Gentiles?

As always, I'm interesting in your thinking on this.
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