927 thoughts on “What Makes Something Right or Wrong?”

  1. Hi tildeb,

    Christians who don’t believe in original sin still think Jesus’s sacrifice was entirely necessary, because all people sin (Romans 3:23). They acknowledge that people aren’t perfect, and no one could follow the law perfectly (the Mosaic Law, when it was in effect, and the more forgiving law of grace / faith / whatever-you-want-to-call-it that was brought into effect in the NT).

    So in the end, they still kind of come around to the same position — people are sinful and need a remedy, which Christ provides. But they don’t believe that child inherits sin just through being born. In fact, these same Christians don’t practice infant baptism or anything either, because they believe children are born innocent. It’s only once a person has reached an “age of accountability” that they even need salvation. Until that time, though they may have an inherent “sinful nature,” they haven’t actually sinned yet.

    Does that make sense? I could probably elaborate a bit more and include some verses, if you’re interested in hearing more. Not sure how much detail you’d like to know about it…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nate,

    In your former Christian belief system, did they believe that it was possible for humans to choose to be perfect? If not, isn’t that the same thing as saying that God has predetermined that we will all sin eventually? That doesn’t seem much different from original sin except it covers up an embarrassing problem in orthodox Christian theology: that unbaptized babies go to hell.

    But I think it opens up another can of worms for Christians who don’t believe in original sin: If babies are perfect then they don’t need a Savior. so there will be souls in heaven who never needed Jesus and therefore Jesus is NOT the only way to God. So the passage in the Bible that says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father but my me” needs to be changed.

    So if you don’t believe in original sin and you don’t believe in infant baptism, if you want to be 100% sure that your children will go to heaven, kill them before they reach the Age of Accountability! This is the excuse used by the woman in South Carolina who drove all her little children into a lake to drown them: She was making sure that they would be saved and in heaven to live forever with Jesus…

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  3. for every excuse and every answer that a christian will provide to explain a problem away only creates new questions and problems that need solving.

    It’s a silly child’s game where the kids keep making up rules on the spot to make up for a poorly thought out game. the longer the game goes one, the sillier it gets.

    I’m done playing it.

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  4. It’s a great question, Gary. It’s not actually something that we talked about that much… I suppose many of us would have said that it might be theoretically possible to live a sinless life, but the odds would probably be about the same as flipping a coin and getting it to land on its side, or something. You’re right — it still raises questions about a God who would create such flawed individuals and then judge them for it.

    If babies are perfect then they don’t need a Savior. so there will be souls in heaven who never needed Jesus and therefore Jesus is NOT the only way to God. So the passage in the Bible that says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes to the Father but my me” needs to be changed.

    Well, according to the Adam and Eve story, they didn’t need any kind of mediation to have a relationship with God. They had it by default, and it was only lost through their sin. So I viewed children as being in a similar situation, and I don’t know that I’d say it’s a true contradiction with Jesus’s statement. Something to consider, though.

    But I do agree that this scenario sets up a situation in which it would seem better to kill children before they reach an age of accountability. There’s no real way around that, and it was something I realized while I was a Christian.

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  5. I just watched the video Carmen posted. Praise Jesus! A picture book of tormented souls burning in the Lake of Fire, otherwise known as Hell (the audio version is a real bargain; just an additional $19.99! I can just hear the life-like screams of agonizing pain as we speak.) This is exactly what every Christian parent should read to their young child as a bedtime story before turning out the lights and tucking little Johnnie or Susie into bed!

    Praise our Loving Heavenly Father!

    I just ordered TEN of “A Young Child’s Guide to the Doctrine of Hell and Eternal Torment” for my young children, nieces and nephews. I plan to give them as Christmas Stocking Stuffers.

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  6. I wonder why the comments are disabled. . .hmmmm. .. .also, the video has rec’d MANY ‘dislikes’. . perhaps the arsewipe will realize he’s made an error in judgement, releasing that?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carmen,

    If you click on the author’s name on the video link, it allows you to send him an email.

    I sent him an email encouraging him to obtain psychiatric help. Anyone who threatens young children with being burned alive for not believing in/obeying an imaginary ghost in the sky, is sick. We would arrest anyone else who threatened children with being burned for disobedience, but we let these religious wackos get away with it under the guise of “religious free speech”. It’s appalling.

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  8. I don’t think it’s quite that cut and dry. The real problem is that this guy believes Hell is real and kids are really going there. Based on that, his actions are actually very sane. I mean, who among us wouldn’t want to warn children if they really faced such a threat?

    So I might reach out to him as well. But if I do, I’ll agree with him that Hell would be a terrible place that all should avoid. And the absolute worst case scenario would be for any children to wind up there. So how much sense does it make for a loving God to implement such a plan?

    It’s a long shot that it would do any good. But I think there’s a way to talk to him about it without seeming like it’s an attack.

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  9. You can do that, Nate, but you are stepping into his paradigm where he will always have the upper hand as he believes that HIS interpretation of the Bible is the correct interpretation, and yours is wrong.

    I am trying to get him to see that even HE would not condone the same behavior by any other adult human being in any other circumstance. I am trying to get him to see that threatening a small child with being burned alive for disobedience is ALWAYS wrong, immoral, and unjustifiable.

    That is the only way, I believe, that you can break through to a fundamentalist. Shock them. Rattle their cage. Show them in stark terms how their religious belief is inconsistent with their own moral standards. It doesn’t mean that we tell HIM that HE is evil, but we point out just how evil his BELIEF is.

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  10. Oh, I wrote him – you can be sure of that. He wrote back – a bible verse – and I wrote him again and asked him why he hadn’t addressed my questions. So far, *crickets*.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. “Believe it or not, there are some groups of Christians that don’t believe in original sin.”

    For what it’s worth, Nate, I haven’t believed in a conventional doctrine of “original sin” for decades now. I think I used to interpret Romans the way you said, but even more loosely. But now I recognise that first century Jews (which included Jesus and all the apostles) used more flexible and creative ways of interpreting and applying OT passages than is often recognised (sometimes called Midrashic interpretation), and I can see this as an example. When discussing with more conservative christians, I sometimes quote “as in Adam all died so in Christ all are made alive” and ask are they universalists? If not, then they already recognise that this statement is using Midrashic interpretation.

    On top of all this, there are different versions of the original sin doctrine, and it is all changing anyway now more and more christians accept that Genesis 1-11 is mythical, or at least not literal history.

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  12. The idea that children are exempted from hell until they reach an age of accountability raises all sorts of issues. If it is true, that young children are given a free pass to heaven then why should Christians protest abortion? Surely based on that logic abortion is the kindest thing one can do.

    Think about it:
    1, Kill a child before age of accountability – straight to heaven;
    2. Let a child live – chance of hell.

    I raise this logical fallacy because it shows that the problem is not accountability, it is not original sin, the actual problem is the concept of hell. The more I think about it, the more I see it as an insidious device to scare people into accepting religion and then to terrify them of ever leaving. Where is the morality in that?

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  13. @Carmen, I have thought long and deep on these issues. No doubt because my real fear in leaving Christianity is that I might be wrong and be tortured by God for all eternity as a result.

    Though I comfort myself with the logic of sound thinkers like Zach van Houten:
    https://boldlybiblical.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/50-questions-for-those-who-believe-in-eternal-torment/

    Interestingly shortly after this post Zach left the faith and no calls himself a free thinking humanist.

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  14. I read through it and he certainly had a comprehensive list of questions! I must confess that I am blown away by the lengths people go to, in their quest for the answers to spiritual questions. I know that I have read a fair amount and considered much – and I find it very interesting – but the philosophical pondering that some people do amazes me! Or perhaps it says something about the amount of indoctrination one has been exposed to — for myself, it didn’t take very much for me to come to the conclusion that it really IS all nonsense. Or maybe I’m just a natural cynic? I guess, at the end of the day, I wonder if I even NEED to know the answers to some questions.
    Peter, I really wish I could think of some prophetic, comforting advice to give to you so you would stop worrying about eternal torture. I honestly don’t think that kind of thing could ever even be possible, and any entity who would willingly do that to a great fellow like you – and all the other good, decent beings I’ve ‘met’ on these blogs – I think would have to be a real shit, in plain language.

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