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Christian Conditionalism

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What do you guys think about this concept?

In Christian theology, conditionalism or conditional immortality is a concept of special salvation in which the gift of immortality is attached to (conditional upon) belief in and submission to Jesus as God's Anointed One and chosen King. This doctrine is based in part on the idea that if the human soul is naturally mortal and immortality ("eternal life") is a gift granted by God through Jesus. This viewpoint stands in contrast to the more popular doctrine of the "natural immortality" of the soul, but advocates of it point out that nowhere in the scriptures is the soul depicted as being immortal and that such a concept (an immortal soul) is totally foreign to the scriptures.
This idea is usually paired with mortalism or annihilationism which assert that those who do not accept Jesus will be ultimately destroyed and cease to exist, rather than suffer unending torment in hell. Conditionalism places emphasis on a person's dependence upon God for life and considers the extinction/death of a person/soul as a passive consequence to separation from God's quickening spirit or lifegiving force.
 

Danus

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:chin....sounds like the old "soul sleep" idea to me. I have heard of annihilationism, but not conditionalism for say.

The scriptures speak more to the idea of eternal separation from God rather than destruction. The idea behind the eternal torment is based more on the separation from God rather than being tortured. In other words the torture of Hell is being separated from God. Lakes of fire and poked with a pitchfork are more metaphorical to me, and not of any consequence.

The scripture scales do not seem to lean much at all to the idea of annihilation.
 

childeye

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Torment seems to be active in scripture but could be taken to mean other things such as regret. I could never understand why God would torture anybody forever. He seems to give to each person according to their own belief.
 
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:chin....sounds like the old "soul sleep" idea to me. I have heard of annihilationism, but not conditionalism for say.

The scriptures speak more to the idea of eternal separation from God rather than destruction. The idea behind the eternal torment is based more on the separation from God rather than being tortured. In other words the torture of Hell is being separated from God. Lakes of fire and poked with a pitchfork are more metaphorical to me, and not of any consequence.

The scripture scales do not seem to lean much at all to the idea of annihilation.
That then begs this question:
When are the souls that are eternally separated from God given the ability to exist without God?
Therefore, if souls can exist without God, then the scriptures that teach us that God ALONE has immortality are fallous.
 

Danus

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Torment seems to be active in scripture but could be taken to mean other things such as regret. I could never understand why God would torture anybody forever.
Well, I guess that's my point. I mean why would God want to set up a place to actively torture people who do not want him to begin with? I mean he himself would have had to design Hell and decide how it might be run, what the policies are ect. There would be no reason to do this to "teach" anyone something. It would be more for revenge than anything, and all this goes against the nature of God.

So it seems to me he is wanting to protect and keep clean those who desire him, and simply not allow those who don't to be in his presence. That seems to fit to the nature of God.

However, the scriptures give us a seance of awareness of this separation, both while we are physical alive on earth and after we pass on from physical death. So surely that awareness would be a great remorse. seems very sad. :sad

Some tend to say that God uses Hell as a way to threaten us into his grace, but again this would be contrary to God's nature as well. Why would he want us to be scared into loving him? That's not love.


That then begs this question:
When are the souls that are eternally separated from God given the ability to exist without God?
My first inclination is, WHO CARES?. :) However, I think it's pretty fair of God to allow souls to exist separated from him since those souls did not want him to begin with. Don't you? It's certainly JUST of him. I don't want to be in haven with souls that do not want to be with God. Do you? God is not into desegregation of good and evil. He is WHOLLY ...good. That's where I want to be. In a place untainted by evil.

Therefore, if souls can exist without God, then the scriptures that teach us that God ALONE has immortality are fallous.
Your setting up a false dilemma with that statement. Your saying it has to be this way since it's not that way. If that statement is true then no one has eternal life. How about that? :)
 
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That then begs this question:
When are the souls that are eternally separated from God given the ability to exist without God?
My first inclination is, WHO CARES?. :) However, I think it's pretty fair of God to allow souls to exist separated from him since those souls did not want him to begin with. Don't you? It's certainly JUST of him. I don't want to be in haven with souls that do not want to be with God. Do you? God is not into desegregation of good and evil. He is WHOLLY ...good. That's where I want to be. In a place untainted by evil.
Sigh......... It seems you are missing the point of it all. It's not about God "allowing" souls to keep existing, rather it's about why you would even believe that souls CAN exist apart from God providing them with life. According to the Bible and biology, we become living souls sometime between conception and birth when the "breath of life" is given to us. In addition, the Bible declares that souls do in fact die, not relocate, but die, you know CEASE LIVING and all.

Therefore, if souls can exist without God, then the scriptures that teach us that God ALONE has immortality are fallous.
Your setting up a false dilemma with that statement. Your saying it has to be this way since it's not that way. If that statement is true then no one has eternal life. How about that? :)
The scriptures set up this real dilemma for any who would assert that man has an immortal soul. Man does NOT have eternal life in any way, shape, or form UNLESS that gift (see Romans 3) is given to man by God through his Anointed One, Jesus.
 
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What do you guys think about this concept?

In Christian theology, conditionalism or conditional immortality is a concept of special salvation in which the gift of immortality is attached to (conditional upon) belief in and submission to Jesus as God's Anointed One and chosen King. This doctrine is based in part on the idea that if the human soul is naturally mortal and immortality ("eternal life") is a gift granted by God through Jesus. This viewpoint stands in contrast to the more popular doctrine of the "natural immortality" of the soul, but advocates of it point out that nowhere in the scriptures is the soul depicted as being immortal and that such a concept (an immortal soul) is totally foreign to the scriptures.
This idea is usually paired with mortalism or annihilationism which assert that those who do not accept Jesus will be ultimately destroyed and cease to exist, rather than suffer unending torment in hell. Conditionalism places emphasis on a person's dependence upon God for life and considers the extinction/death of a person/soul as a passive consequence to separation from God's quickening spirit or lifegiving force.
Seems to have it's source in greek philosphy, and a basic misunderstanding of the age of to come. We have to bear in mind that the resurrection is physical thing. We will be body and soul in the eternal kingdom. When the bible speaks of everlasting life, and everlasting punishment, such statements demand that our souls do not die.

Also the whole concept questions the biblical understanding of what death actually is, death is never the end of life in the bible, it might involve a chnage of state, ie physical death, but it never ends life! Death is seperation from the life giver, which is why Adam began to die after the fall.
 
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Seems to have it's source in greek philosphy, and a basic misunderstanding of the age of to come. We have to bear in mind that the resurrection is physical thing. We will be body and soul in the eternal kingdom. When the bible speaks of everlasting life, and everlasting punishment, such statements demand that our souls do not die.

Also the whole concept questions the biblical understanding of what death actually is, death is never the end of life in the bible, it might involve a chnage of state, ie physical death, but it never ends life! Death is seperation from the life giver, which is why Adam began to die after the fall.
It all comes down to something you stated, and that is exactly what death is. Is death separation or is death cessation of life? When the entirety of the Biblical narrative is brought into view, the evidence that it presents does in fact appear to favor the idea that death is the cessation of life as opposed to a separation event.

Certain words like 'eternal' are dangerous to throw around when one considers that such a concept is foreign from the scriptures with the exception of the description of God. The Kingdom and reign of Jesus as king is said to be an AGE LASTING one, not eternal, for even it will be at some point turned over to the Father (1 Cor 15:28).
You make the claim that terminology like age lasting life as well as age lasting punishment demand that humans have a soul that is itself a separate entity from the person when in fact no such demand is made or commuynicated. The way one comes to such a conclusion is to read it into a scripture where the very idea is absent. With that logic, why is the ressurrcted physical body not immortal as well?
 

Danus

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Sigh......... It seems you are missing the point of it all. It's not about God "allowing" souls to keep existing, rather it's about why you would even believe that souls CAN exist apart from God providing them with life. According to the Bible and biology, we become living souls sometime between conception and birth when the "breath of life" is given to us. In addition, the Bible declares that souls do in fact die, not relocate, but die, you know CEASE LIVING and all.



The scriptures set up this real dilemma for any who would assert that man has an immortal soul. Man does NOT have eternal life in any way, shape, or form UNLESS that gift (see Romans 3) is given to man by God through his Anointed One, Jesus.

Lets break this up a little.

the scriptures tell us that when we die we are either in haven or or hell/hades until the final judgment and Resurrection, when all will be brought out from the grave. This “awakening” is the transformation into the everlasting body a person will possess for eternity, whether in heaven or hell.

Your question centers around what happens in Hell.....are those people,...those souls destroyed? We know they are not destroyed before the final judgment, and we know they are separated from the souls in haven.

So, your point is that if people in hell suffer for eternity then they in essence have eternal life?

Also clarify your scripture reference please. Romans 3....does not really address eternal life.
 
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guibox

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Au contraire, Danus. There is MUCH support for the total destruction and eternal death of God's enemies. The scriptures are rife with it! I have pages of biblical references to it and a paper I did on this very subject if you are interested. I can send it to you if you PM me with a contact e-mail.

Especially as TRUTH has pointed out, nowhere is immortality a given for the wicked. The wicked do not have immortal souls as immortality is a gift given to the righteous. Thus they can not exist or be tormented eternally.

It is amazing that so many take the terms 'death', 'destroy', 'destruction', 'perish', 'consume', 'extinction' and say that this means 'conscious eternal separation of the soul from the body and eternal torment'. RF Weymouth, Greek translator of the NT and one of the foremost scholars of his time said this:

""My mind fails to conceive a grosser misinterpretation of language then when the five or six strongest words which the Greek tongue possesses, signifying 'destroy,' or 'destruction,' are explained to mean maintaining an everlasting but wretched existence. To translate black as white is nothing to this" (R. F. Weymouth, Life In Christ, page 365, translator of "The New Testament in Modern Speech.")

There is soooo much more biblical references and things to say on this subject but I will leave it for now. This site has some good stuff on it though.

Conditional Immortality: Major Problems in the Eternal Torment Position
 
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Lets break this up a little.
the scriptures tell us that when we die we are either in haven or or hell/hades until the final judgment and Resurrection, when all will be brought out from the grave. This “awakening†is the transformation into the everlasting body a person will possess for eternity, whether in heaven or hell.
That is very debatable. It seems that there is more evidence from scriptures that teaches that when people die, they are simply dead and are thus existing nowhere other than in the memories of those that knew them.
The resurrection event is depicted as simply a quickening where life is given to what was formerly dead and get this, the dead are raised back to life on THIS EARTH just as Jesus was!

Your question centers around what happens in Hell.....are those people,...those souls destroyed? We know they are not destroyed before the final judgment, and we know they are separated from the souls in haven.

So, your point is that if people in hell suffer for eternity then they in essence have eternal life?

Also clarify your scripture reference please. Romans 3....does not really address eternal life.
My question is not really an inquiry of what happens in sheol (hell), but rather a tool used to bring people's attention to what the scriptures say bout the state of the dead as that of being DEAD, unaware, possessing no knowledge, etc.
 

guibox

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Seems to have it's source in greek philosophy, and a basic misunderstanding of the age of to come. We have to bear in mind that the resurrection is physical thing. We will be body and soul in the eternal kingdom. When the bible speaks of everlasting life, and everlasting punishment, such statements demand that our souls do not die.

Also the whole concept questions the biblical understanding of what death actually is, death is never the end of life in the bible, it might involve a chnage of state, ie physical death, but it never ends life! Death is seperation from the life giver, which is why Adam began to die after the fall.
The Bible just doesn't teach what you think it does, reformed. First of all, the word for 'death' is 'thanatos'. Nowhere in the usage of it applying to the wicked in the afterlife are we to interpret it other than it's intended meaning 'cessation of life'. 'thanatos' is the Greek equivalent of the OT Hebrew 'muth' which never denotes 'consicous existence'. Your view makes 'death' a parallel meaning to 'life' instead of clear opposites, and it is based on a Greek dualistic interpretation of the scriptures in which it just doesn't support.

Second, the wicked do not receive eternal life and are not inherently immortal. The Bible is clear on this. Only those who accept the gift of salvation from Christ receive immortality.

Third, the terms 'everlasting' and 'eternal' in the Greek is not used the same way we interpret them, or at least it has many more meanings. Both of these terms have conditions. 1) They mean 'age lasting' 2) They can speak about 'results' and not 'duration' 3) They are relative to whom they are talking about

As the wicked do not have immortality, the term 'everlasting' means 'as long as their life life lasts'. When Samuel was to serve with Eli, the bible says that he was to 'serve in the house of the Lord forever'. Obviously this meant for his entire life and this is further reiterated in 1 Samuel 1 when his mother says, 'As long as he lives'. The righteous are given immortality, thus 'eternal' means without end because they are immortal.
 
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