Apologetics question: Why does God create people who are going to go to Hell?
#11
(02-20-2018, 05:49 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(02-20-2018, 01:44 PM)Bourbon Apocalypse Wrote: @Melkite: I would like to "hear" you elaborate on your second comment.

From an Eastern perspective, when you die, you are enveloped in God's love.  If you love God, that fire will be comforting.  If you hate God, that fire will be torment.

There are a number of icons and mosaics of rivers of flames flowing from the throne of God, enveloping both those on his right and his left, showing those on his left tormented by the flames, and those on his right praising him.  These exist in both the east and the west.

It is still common to hear people in the West refer to heaven and hell as our personal choice, as Zedta mentioned above.  Some mystics have reported that the love of God is such a torment to the damned at their judgement that they run to hell for relief.  This isn't so different from the Eastern perspective, but in the West it tends to get drowned out by the pious (or impious) imaginations of those who prefer God's justice to be fulfilled at the expense of his mercy (and often presume that they themselves are not subject to this final justice!).

I have encountered that Eastern perspective before, and am rather inclined toward it. I agree with you on the following (if I am correctly educing from your statement) : those who seem particularly inclined to talk about the fewness of the saved (e.g., and cavalierly post the famous/infamous sermon by St. Leonard) have always come across as characters who believe that they will be counted--if no one else--among that redemptive elite
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#12
(02-20-2018, 11:26 PM)Bourbon Apocalypse Wrote: I have encountered that Eastern perspective before, and am rather inclined toward it. I agree with you on the following (if I am correctly educing from your statement) : those who seem particularly inclined to talk about the fewness of the saved (e.g., and cavalierly post the famous/infamous sermon by St. Leonard) have always come across as characters who believe that they will be counted--if no one else--among that redemptive elite

That's exactly right.

The Our Father and the parable of the Prodigal Son show that there is no reason to be afraid of hell.  If you merely forgive those who have hurt you and ask God to forgive you of your own wrongs, he will!  At best, the horrible descriptions Western Christians have concocted of the torments of hell should not inspire fear to do what's right, but merely to remind us of just how great a debt God is letting us off the hook from.  As long as we forgive others and truly repent for ourselves, the gates of heaven will swing wide open.
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#13
(02-20-2018, 11:26 PM)Bourbon Apocalypse Wrote: I have encountered that Eastern perspective before, and am rather inclined toward it. I agree with you on the following (if I am correctly educing from your statement) : those who seem particularly inclined to talk about the fewness of the saved (e.g., and cavalierly post the famous/infamous sermon by St. Leonard) have always come across as characters who believe that they will be counted--if no one else--among that redemptive elite

It's quite true. You find it quite a lot online where people act so righteous and post all sorts of stuff about how almost no one is saved except those who are so amazingly holy and they do so in almost a presumption that they'll be one of those saved. 

The Western tradition still is of the idea that the more one loves God, the greater their glory in heaven. I can imagine that the opposite would go for hell. Basically, when one grows in their spiritual life, they grow in love of God. The more one delves into sin, the more they hate God because they are doing that which is against God. While the Eastern perspective is different, I don't think it's really all that different in a sense. If one doesn't practice their Faith they will never love God.

No one knows how many are/were/will be saved and I think based on that it is important to live in a way that we should do whatever it takes to be saved. Knowing human nature we also know that most people just don't care and that the many others will do just enough to get by. If the bar is set low, many will do enough to reach the bar and many more will won't even get there. If the bar is said to be much higher than it actually is, then those who reach it and excel past it are rewarded even more greatly, those who try to achieve it but fall short are still rewarded, those who don't even try are still punished. The reason that I say this is that while we don't know for sure where the bar is, if the God and the Saints told us it is easy to achieve heaven, then even those who have a fervent faith would become more lax, those who are lower may fall off completely. Human nature is what it is.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.

“It is my design to die in the brew house; let ale be placed in my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “Be God propitious to this drinker.” – St. Columbanus, A.D. 612
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