"Are you sure this is theologically sound?"

Last night, I decided to amuse myself by getting into a religious flame war.

I figure, why don’t those people directly and honestly pray for Yhwh to annihilate them entirely so that there’s no danger of their imperfect will doing imperfect deeds?

The main group being bashed upon was, of course, the Christians.

One participant inparticular was saying that all humans are sinners and that your only hope of avoiding Hell (and thus going to Heaven as there are only two alternitives…) is through salvations in the J man.

When confronted with “Well what about young children who don’t know the J man?” he responded by saying that the bible endorses an “age of acountability” so that children who do not yet know good from evil will go to Heaven.

I then argued that the Christian thing to do then is to sacrifice yourself to the pits of Hell for the sake of the children.

“WHAT?” was the reply.

So I argued: If a child dies before they learn of good and evil they go to Heaven for all of eternity right? So kill them all before they get there and save them from the pain of life and the possibility of going to Hell.

Unfortunately, my remark was taken seriously and not as a demonstration of how absurd his reasoning was.

He is now praying for my soul.

But is my analysis off base?

I had a good chuckle when the night was through…

{visualizing confused and uncertain xtians slaughtering all their kids: “Are you sure this is theologically sound?”}

No such phrase as “age of accountability” in the bible. Nor even anything remotely like it.

Biblical criteria for heaven/hell are not as simplistic as they are made out to be by some. But without endeavouring to go too deep into a theological debate there are some over-riding principles ioutlined in the bible.

  1. God is the judge. He knows. It is not up to any person to presume to know – even if there are some obvious indicators. (2Timothy 2:19)

  2. Heaven is only part of the salvation process. Salvation encompasses salvation from sin, salvation from the consequences of sin, salvation from the control of the sinful nature, salvation from judgement, salvation from sickness, salvation from broken relationships, salvation from depression, salvation from poverty (being in need), salvation to good works, salvation from barrenness and ineffectiveness etc. etc… Those who focus only on the heaven/hell issue have sidelined some of the really good stuff.
    In case it isn’t obvious, salvation is a process that takes a life time and not a one-off event.

  3. Salvation, including entry to heaven, happens through exercising faith. Let me de-mystify this often abused word – salvation comes through trust and being in a relationship. It is not at all age-specific and is in no way dependent on intellect. (Otherwise quite a few professing Christians would be excluded. You can argue the merits/demerits of that one for yourself.)
    Of course, you may choose for yourself whether or not you wish to subscribe to any of these concepts. But it sure helps to have a few facts before slinging your way into a theological debate. This especially applies to Christians who have a responsibility to know what they believe and what they are talking about.

Yes, your analysis is off base. You are only considering the immediate impact that killing the children would entail, with no regard for the long-term consequences.

For the sake of argument, let us assume that these children do indeed automatically go to heaven. Who’s to say what they would have accomplished if they had been allowed to live? Moreover, what about the impact that this would have on non-believers? Here on the SDMB, we’ve already seen how vehemently non-believers decry the killings commanded by Yahweh in the Old Testament. How might they react if a believer unilaterally chose to kill all young children (without a direct command from Yahweh, I might add)?

In other words, if you look beyond the immediate results of killing children, then it’s not at all clear that this is the better route to take. Indeed, it would take an omniscient being to determine whether this was indeed a wise action to take.

I think that it does raise an interesting question from another angle. If those who never hear about JC are exempt from hell, wouldn’t it be better for all Christians to just clam up about Jesus, to never tell anyone? That way they could ensure that everyone goes to heaven.

Good question DTC. But that’s a big if. The bible would indicate contrary to your hypothesis. Romans 2, Psalm 19 and other places.

Why do you suppose that (some) christians are so persistent?

I don’t know ANY churches which claim that those who never hear about Jesus are necessarily exempt from hell. I’ve heard some churches opin that some of those individuals might be spared from hell, but I haven’t heard any extend this to every single person that has never encountered Jesus Christ.

So who are the ones who can go to Heaven?

Diogenes, for the purposes of this discussion, it doesn’t matter. The point is that killing people who have never heard of Christ would not be the smart thing to do, for the reasons that I’ve already outlined.

Besides, you’d get different answers on that question from different people, as this isn’t something which is directly addressed in the Scriptures. It’s also not something which is accepted by all the Christian churches.

Do you want to go to heaven Diogenes the Cynic?

Since when has the Church become evolutionarily sound.

Consequence of nature seems to be not quite a “consideration” in regards to theology - or “the smart thing to do”.

The point is.

If the idea is that children who have not known of him; go to heaven.

Then the goal should, thus be, to not know him.

Not avoid it.

But to know be shown him.

It’s quite the ailment, as I understand it - to know Jesus - according to Jesus.

If your rational is that we cannot know “god’s plan”, then how are we to deliver it?

I’ve noticed that Christians are supposed to spread this word.

I’m not talking about killing anybody, just about keeping them in the dark. rejecting Christ is supposed an unforgivable sin. It’s easy to ensure that someone people at leadt avoid damnation in that way be simply not tellinh them about Jesus. it seems to me that proselytization just puts them more at risk.

I don’t believe in souls or afterlives but if I did believe in heaven i wouldn’t want to go, at least not forever. I’d rather just be snuffed out. I started a thread about that once.

Sidenote:

This is not (just) a gratuitous gripe on Christianity, but a check on the logical validity of this particular theology.

This has nothing to do with faith.

But all to do with equation.

Not do drudge up written territory, but why?

Perfect happiness is less preferable than nill?

Why not off yourself now then?

If you reject happiness in an infinite sense; why persue it in the finite?

Thanks Diogenes. I thought that was your position. I won’t bother answering your question in this thread.

To answer the OP, EJ’s logic is flawed on the following grounds:

  1. It assumes that entry to heaven is the only reason for being a christian.
  2. It goes against the moral framework of christainity. Which includes a prohibition against murder.
  3. The argument rests in the assumption that one person should take personal responsibility for the destiny of another. Not true. Every individual has the right and the responsibility to decide for him/herself on matters of faith. The biblical pattern is persuasion (the foolishness of preaching) rather than coercion or duress.

It’s the “infinite” part that bothers me, or to be more precise, the eternal part. An eternity of anything would become boring and unbearable eventually. I don’t want to live forever. I wouldn’t be able to stand it.

But if you were unable to stand it, it would not be eternal happiness.

Hence the beauty of the idea.

Your tolerances would obviously be not what your tolerances are now.

I, personally, assume relativity non-exists.

And in a perfect world, this is possible.

The everlasting exponential heroin high.

On the contrary, it’s the eternal part that is cool. Jesus, after his resurrection appeared in a locked room. He was not constrained by the realms of time and space. To exist outside of time and to be free from constraints and to enjoy good relationships – that sounds exciting.

Either way, the point remains. Since the church does not teach that people who have never heard of Christ will automatically go to heaven, the proposition which you raised is moot.

Only if that rejection is absolute and final. Saul of Tarsus rejected Jesus at first, yet he became one of the greatest evangelists of all time.

I did that at least once. Probably in an abortion thread against some Christian anti-abortionists.

Killing millions of people?

What is “this?” That Christians offing infants to send them to Heaven?