Jun 13, 2010

Truth Beyond The Sacred Texts (Is There A Literal Hell?)

5And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died
Subject: The 900 Years of Punishment: Humans Need To Play Catch Up!

Introduction: Isn't hell simply a manmade invention? One has to wonder, for when you read about hell in the Christian Canon, you find an incredible anomaly that exists between what was written in the book of Genesis about punishment, and what was written about and reported later in the New Testament.

If you are a new convert, or just beginning your religious trek, I suspect that what I write about is not the best thing for you to be reading at this time. My aim is not to destroy anyone's faith, for mine is stronger than it has ever been. On the other hand, if you are seeking after what is real, you might be wise to join the rest of us, individuals who are willing to put certain sacred texts in their proper historical context and the ones who teach and are stuck in these texts in mothballs, so that we can move on.

Scripture Text: Genesis 5:9-24
9And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. 13And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. 14And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. 16Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
20And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. 21Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. 22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Problem 1: A child of four would have to wonder, after being taught about the hellfire that awaits every human that does not adhere to the teachings of certain sacred texts, how come Adam and his wife Eve, who were reportedly found to be sinners and issued a punishment by God itself, according to the book of Genesis and those who teach it, got off so easy.

By that I mean, they lived for an extended period of time by today's standards, almost one millennium, even though God caught them red-handed, purportedly, committing a crime. And not only did they disobey God, according to the mythical book of Genesis, they sought to hide from him. Why did God permit them to get off so easy, provide them with long-life and incredible prosperity and posterity, if for the rest of us he has set aside a place that we will burn and burn for over a millennium for their errors.

In other words, when it comes to you and me, God dispenses with mercy and his teaching role and instead, according to the sacred texts and the teachers of the texts, decides to simply 'burn us forever and ever without end’, if we make mistakes. The God of the New Testaments wants us be tortured throughout eternity?

In this story, possibly a manmade allegory, it tells of the true nature of a loving forgiving God, as opposed to a burn baby burn God. In John 3:17, we learn of a loving God who tasked Jesus as follows: 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Again, when did God change from being a loving, instructor, teacher, savior God, to a mercenary God that believed in unmerciful torment? If you accept the Canon literally, God’s intended punishment for man, and the manner in which he punished Adam and Eve for their ‘sins’, diverge. There is clearly a disconnect between what is taught in the Canon, Old Testament, in comparison to what is written in the New Testament and other New Testament sacred texts.

Am I trying simply to do away with hell because that is the contemporary thing to do? No, I simply suspect, based upon my research, that the kind of hell that is written about in scripture is simply a manmade invention, particularly, the kind where God wants to burn man, over and over and over again and forever and ever. If that were true, then what is man that God is so mindful of him, is the question that bears answering

According to scripture, we are as blades of grass, or breath that is here today and gone tomorrow. I suspect that even if God were the God that our forerunners believed in, not only in terms of his nature and essence, that two things contradict, i.e., God loves but God would torture forever.

Still, some would have us to believe that an infinitesimal and eternal God could get so angry with us that (IT) would issue such a cruel punishment for humans, some person who has never heard of God, hmm!! Folks, according to scripture he didn't do that to Adam and Eve, and yet he punished them apparently with punishment that met the crime. And given the egregious nature of their sins (consuming fruit/disobeying a direct command of God), that resulted in the fallen nature of all human beings, God still gave Adam a millennium to live.

Where is Adam now? In the story of Abraham and the Rich Man, Adam was never mentioned in either plane as being in torment, in the bosom of Abraham or walking through the Elysian fields. When will we be able to admit that we have been had by old folksy stories that met the needs of people of the past, and move on?

Ask yourself, what changed within the nature of God, that over a period of time that the very nature of the biblical God changed to the extent that IT would derive pleasure from watching ‘a human’ suffer along with Satan forever and ever and ever’.
, I’m sorry, what is reported in this text sounds more like a human invention to me, and if we were to remain stuck within these, well-intended texts, for the most part, we will never discover the source of life – whatever it turns out to be and live lives to the fullest or experience a metamorphosis.

Again, am I and others like me attempting to gain something by raising these questions? , In fact, I can speak for myself and others in this regard that I know. Some of us simply want to put the fairy tales that have been codified into many religious texts aside, and to pursue, with all honesty and integrity, that entity or non-entity that we refer to as God and what is true. We have gone around the same mountains long enough.

Why alter the course a bit? So that we can ensure that we are living our lives as they were intended to be lived - to the max, or, as best as we can live them. Also, so that if there is more that we can attain to, we can then reach our objectives.

Do we believe that we deserve punishment for our mistakes. I certainly do, and I certainly have been punished for many mistakes that I have made. However, I cannot think of anything that anyone has done, in our short, which would necessitate a sentence of eternal suffering. They would have to be deified to live in eternity, just as the creator purportedly does.

Now having said that, some humans have committed some fairly egregious crimes against humanity and perhaps against God. However, would the punishment fit the crime even for a Hitler, for a United States Government past and present (which is an apparent marauding military regime state itself), that has followed in the footsteps of Hitler. How many human lives have we incinerated, and how many lives are being destroyed by Christian America’s drones?

Oops, I wasn't supposed to say the latter, was I? The fact is, it is time to move on, because things are not getting better on Earth, sicknesses are not being sufficiently healed, genocide is on the up rise, ethnic tensions persist, America is flying drones around the world (Christian America I might add), murdering innocent people, and occupying nations in both a real and in a defacto sense ...hegemony?

We do not have to live our lives in polemics, poetry, prose and fear. Instead, like soldiers in the human army, we can: Be All That We Can Be! Religion and religious texts, if taken too literally, can and will, I believe, prevent us from doing so.

What gives me the right to speak? Oh, it will sound so arrogant to say so, but the average Christian or other religious person that I meet, oftentimes, have not experienced a true spiritual conversion, that they often talk about. Not even the teachers, ministers, priests, imams ... have experienced, in many instances a conversion! Oftentimes, religion simply put, is being used to accomplish personal and institutional objectives, or being acted upon out of fear.

When Jesus attempted to move the Jews beyond ancient paradigms and rabbinical teachings, they came up with the same solution that most religious people use today, they exterminate the other. But please don't hang me on the cross for I do not go well with nails!

To be continued, amended and corrected

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