Thursday, November 05, 2009

A message of urgency: how would annihilationists respond?



I have some thoughts and questions i'd like for my annihilationist friends to think about and possibly respond to. First, does your presentation of the gospel present any urgency? Obviously, we can debate all day long with the meaning of Jesus' words when he spoke about "hell." But in my opinion, Jesus spoke with an urgency that I feel is even more sobering than what is offered in this video. What I have a hard time accepting is that all this "hell" talk simply boils down to one going to the grave. And that's it.

Just to give credit where credit is due, I think that even given the annihilationist perspective, there is much to offer in terms of eternal life. Even if there were no consequences for one's sins outside of going to the grave, I think that we should all be telling others of the good news of the Kingdom and what they must do to have eternal life.

But all this judgment and wrath stuff, it just doesn't add up with the annihilationist's perspective. Think about it this way: if the annihilationist perspective is true, then Jesus' "hell" statements are for all of us (well, unless Jesus returns in our lifetime). That is, we are all going to die. We will all experience the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" as well as all the other horrific depictions of hell that Jesus portrays, in addition to those in Revelation. But this "experience" in the annihilationist's perspective is fulfilled in one's dying and ceasing to exist, which will happen to us all. I guess the difference is, some will experience this "destruction" eternally whereas all others will have eternal life.

Its quite possible that I just don't understand the annihilationist's position. And I will certainly accept correction if offered. But it just doesn't seem like annihilationists can preach like this guy, or like Edward's famous sermon, "sinners in the hands of an angry God."

Much more could be offered in terms of my problems with the annihilationist view. But more than any of this, i'd simply like an annihilationists to think about and explain their view in light of the presentation of this YouTube video.

(ht: 21Crosscheck21)

8 comments:

micheygirl66 said...

Mike,God had wrath for Adam and Eve,for Sodom and Gomorrah ,for Edom ..etc..what happened to them all?Did they turn to ashes or not?Did God really expect anyone to believe "ashes" meant eternal life preserved in flames?Isn't revelation symbolic?Passionate lies are still lies.If having to misrepresent God and say that love=eternal conscious torment and the wicked won't just receive an "eye for an eye" punishment(as opposed to eternal conscious torment for inherited temporary sin,far from an "eye" for ANYTHING..and a gross ignoring of God's definition of his own justice) and then perish is the only way to get people to listen to the gospel,then it is being accomplished in a malicious deceitful and treacherous way.God is love and the wicked shall perish.He will magnify his holiness by eliminating evil because he hates it as opposed to preserving it in flames forever for the righteous to what?Enjoy the cacophanous screams of people they loved?Be reminded that they're serving a God who eternally torments Mother Theresa?I don't think so.After all,that would put a damper on the peace the righteous are supposed to be enjoying,no?In all sincerity and reality,there is no such thing as righteous sadism.That is what the traditional greek philosophical hellfire interpretation dictates..a world chockfull of righteous sadists.Righteous sadism=fairy tale.So I would like to ask all the people reading this..are you a sadist?And not just ANY sadist but the most sadistic sadist imaginable?Could you live peacefully and blissfully forever with ALL those people in eternal conscious agony and torment?If so,HOW?Now that's an honest answer I'd love to hear.No one has answered it yet.God is not a Disney movie..he doesn't require evil and villainy for a good story.He wants to eliminate all that for a BETTER story.(the bible makes this clear!)He doesn't actually enjoy chaos and the preservation of evil..hence the bible and his promises for an annihilation of all our travails,again,as opposed to a preserving of them for much of humanity.God said his anger is not forever.Probably because he is going to eliminate evil.God does not need therapy like we do.He doesn't create chaos for entertainment like we do.In fact,that would be REALLY messed up and even WE know it.The guy in this video seems to hate the "f" word yet thinkks he can live righteously while trillions of people are screaming it forever?God told Adam if he sinned what would happen?And why doesn't anyone believe him?Instead,why does everyone believe Satan?Rebellion=everlasting life.Right?Urgency in the gospel?Absolutely.Lies and literal symbolism?Hell no.;)..Literal application of succint terminology like perish,consumption,ashes,death,destruction, etc.??.Only logically.Has anyone pondered what love means today?Or how about death?Has anyone studied how God actually defines the word as opposed to Platonic interpretations?Cessation of thoughts and consciousness..as opposed to preservation of thoughts and consciousness.In other words,I believe God will torment sinners in an agonizing way similar to how Jesus was tormented..then they will die.If Jesus represents God's wrath against sin,well then there you have it..agony leading to death.If one doesn't feel an urgency to serve and praise and live for Jah simply because one desires to out of love and appreciation then I dare say that one doesn't deserve to serve him in his kingdom forever..unless God has mercy on him.And if being thrown into a symbolic lake of fire(consumption,ashes) where one will never see the light of day again as opposed to seeing the light of day FOREVER in pure peace,bliss and perfection doesn't compel one to make sure he doesn't miss out then I would venture to say that one needs to wake up.It would be better to lose eyeballs,limbs and anything else than one's eternal life in Edenic conditions,obviously.

Mike Felker said...

But Kellie, both Christians and non-Christians suffer extremely horrible deaths. So, given your view on annihilationism, we are all going to experience this (assuming Jesus isn't returning in our lifetime). So, what are we being "saved" from if billions and billions of people, both Christian and non, have shared the same fates in experiencing God's wrath in destroying them?

micheygirl66 said...

Do you really have to ask what we're being saved from?

option 1:eternal life as described poignantly in scripture
option 2:sorry,not so much PLUS you will see my anger in whatever measure I pour out to you while you watch the righteous receive their reward.

And in the resurrection I'm assuming there will be an "eye for an eye" punishment..I have no idea what that entails..I would assume Hitler will have it harder than Mother Theresa.And yes,annihilation is God's promise for the wicked,clearly,from bible cover to cover.And I don't claim to know it all..but I do know God's personality,symbolism and what death is..inc the second one.

Mike Felker said...

When I asked, "what are we being saved from," I was asking this in contrasting the judgment of believers vs. non-believers.

In the annihilationist view, all the statements about "hell" are simply referring to the grave are they not? And is not "hell" the judgment of God, the debt that sinners must pay for their sins?

If so, then Christians for the past 2,000 years have all been suffering the wrath and punishment of God, just as Hitler and everyone else has been.

So, it seems that the only difference between believers and non-believers is not that one receives God's wrath and one doesn't. Instead, its only that one receives eternal life and one doesn't.

Actually, there's another difference: non-believers stay dead longer. You can't say that "annihilation is God's promise for the wicked." Its God's promise for everyone since all die.

You may claim that someone like Hitler will be resurrected and then judged with something painful and then destroyed. But as I mentioned earlier, believers have suffered even the most excruciating forms of death imaginable.

Overall, Kellie, I understand your points. But for me, though i'd be completely willing to accept them if they're correct, its just not adding up for me.

Trust me on this: eternal torment is not something i'm cool with or that I like. Its just the most Scripturally and logically consistent position.

micheygirl66 said...

Temporary death from which one can awake to an eternal perfect life=that's one thing!
Eternal death from which one can never raise to enter an eternal perfect life=that's so far from the other thing the comparison is confusing me!Stop making my head hurt!
Maybe you don't see how destruction is a perfectly just and biblically obvious way God satisfies his wrath?


For what hell is,logically,what do the words mean in their original languages?..That IS the punishment for unrepentant sinners eternally as opposed to temporarily. The hell from which the righteous can awake and enjoy eternal life is a temporary abode.The wrath is ,again,the PROPER(as opposed to unjustified and wildly illogical) meting out of a similar agony Jesus suffered from God leading to the SECOND death,just as Christ agonized then died(thankfully,he was raised like the righteous can be to immortality).I would only be speculating if I said I knew what agony God may make the worst of unrepentant sinners suffer.It shouldn't be any worse than what Christ suffered though since God satisfied his wrath there.


As for things not adding up,have you prayerfully pondered all that doesn't add up with your view?For one thing,you didn't answer whether there is such a thing as righteous sadism.And if you say the traditional view of hell isn't the most sadistic thing imaginable,I would question your honesty.And if you say a righteous person could tolerate it peacefully and happily,I would say that's impossible.Imagine all the starving children in the world.Is that a tolerable world?No!That's why it must end!Similarly,with hell..is that a tolerable world?No..that's why it's a fairy tale and will NOT be a reality when all things are "made new".That's the difference in this world and the "world to come".This one has suffering everywhere..the new one won't ANYWHERE.We can trust that there will be no more mourning nor tears nor death as opposed to "eternal mourning & weeping" and an "eternal dying process".Otherwise scriptural testimony is meaningless and the kingdom is sadistic..or at least a neighboring place is,which SHOULD bring GRAND distress to the righteous kingdom,rendering peace impossible.....Also,a literal application of symbolic texts doesn't add up.Defining gehenna as anything but annihilation and consumption doesn't add up,and God's continual declaration of the punishment for unrepentant sinners,death and ashes,is made moot of by this orthodox lie.What also doesn't add up is people saying God's wrath against sin was fulfilled in Christ then proceeding to say God's wrath against sin is eternal conscious torment.Was Christ eternally tormented?If not,then that isn't God's wrath against sin.

micheygirl66 said...

cont..You said:Christians for the past 2,000 years have all been suffering the wrath and punishment of God, just as Hitler and everyone else has been.

Yes,absolutely,death is God's anger against sin and we are all sinners(can't say he didn't make that clear with Adam)..the difference for the righteous is that they don't have to suffer this wrath forever.They can LIVE forever :-)


you said:Trust me on this: eternal torment is not something i'm cool with or that I like. Its just the most Scripturally and logically consistent position.

No the logically consistent position is found in what God told Adam and then us at John 3:16 and that revelation is a book of symbols and that gehenna consumed all that entered it. I'm glad you're not cool with it.Neither is God.

Jeremiah 19:5:They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind


Isaiah 34:9,10-eternal smoke and fire=destruction

couple points:Jesus said at Matt 3:12:he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire...ok,the wicked are the chaff..what does burn up mean?Eternal life in flames or consumption in flames,conveniently correlating with all the "ashes" and "perish" and "destroyed" texts!)?
Ez 20:47:the blazing flame will not be quenched and the whole surface from south to north will be burned by it.What happens in unquenchable fire?Here,something was apparently CONSUMED in unquenchable fire.So unquenchable fire=consumption.A fire that consumes cannot eternally torment.
Is 66:24:they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched..so unquenchable fire and worms obviously symbolize destruction..they are on corpses not souls burning alive

I know you've heard all these arguments ..I just hope every time something will click for you or anyone else reading this.:-).You're SO logical sometimes..like in your last youtube..just not other times..like now.

For those reading this ,couple essay recommendations:Google Patrick Navas revelation 20:10 and especially Steve Scianni "everlasting torment examined".

Thanks for reading my views Mike.If I were there I would beat you over the head with an Ed Fudge book.Lucky for you,soft cover. :-).

Rey Discomfort said...

This is why I respect your (Mikes) views over those I consider to be cultists (JW, Mormons and other hateful factions).

I may not disagree with the Author of this blog on many things, but at least he's honest at making an attempt to understand, and most of all not hateful about it.

Rey Discomfort said...

Oops, misread mIchs posts, sorry bout that.