My comments were not meant to offend. If they did, my sincerest apologies to all.
I too, welcome the comments and insights from all here. It is through these comments and insights that we can grow and expand our own knowledge and insights.
Interpretations are what I disagree with the most. To whom do we listen and to whom do we feel has the correct or best interpretation. This is what I feel has lead to many of the problems we face today. I too, do not believe in the God that gives and makes absolutes the only option. Either repent or face torment and pain for all of eternity. My way or the highway attitude. But what if our interpretations were wrong? What if there were another way to interpretate these passages? Would the clergy or heiarchy of the churches, temples and synagogues allow them to be taught? Parents give absolutes to their children to keep them in line and to prevent them from getting hurt when the children do not yet have all of the knowledge they need. IE: Parents teach their children not to touch the stove for they will get burned. This is not the entire story or truth. It is only when the stove is on that the danger exists. But the child does not have the capacity or knowledge to tell when the stove is on. Therefore the parent gives the absolute. That does not mean the absolute exists even after the child gains the knowledge. Our knowledge has changed but we keep the same interpretations. God want us to love him and be obedient for love's sake not out of fear of retribution. The word annililation conjers up some very terrible thoughts. "In physics, the word is used to denote the process that occurs when a subatomic particle collides with its respective antiparticle. Since energy and momentum must be conserved, the particles are not actually made into nothing, but rather into new particles" (Wikipedia). So what if in the book of Revelation when God talks about annihilation, God means they are changed into something new? This interprtation now changes the meaning of the passage. Is it correct? is it better? That is for all to investigate on their own.
It is through this process that God has given man ethics and values. My value and ethics are rooted in the primary belief that God knows what he wants me to do and that if I believe in the covenent, that he will not leave me without guidance. It is up to me to search for and find His guidance. God makes it easy because God wants his children to benefit from it. Each person has the free will to choose their path. But we are responsible for the path we choose. This is the guidance I have found and the path I am on.
"To be no cause of grief to anyone.To be kind to all people and to love them with a pure spirit.Should opposition or injury happen to us, to bear it, to be as kind as ever can be, and through all, to love the people. Should calamity exist in the greatest degree, to rejoice, for these things are the gifts and favors of God.To be silent concerning the faults of others, to pray for them, and to help them, through kindness, to correct their faults.To look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, look at the ten and forget the one. And if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten.Never to allow ourselves to speak one unkind word about another, even though that other be our enemy.To do all of our deeds in kindness.To cut our hearts from ourselves and from the world.To be humble.To be servants of each other, and to know that we are less than anyone else.To be as one soul in many bodies, for the more we love each other, the nearer we shall be to God; but to know that our love, our unity, our obedience must not be by confession, but of reality.To act with cautiousness and wisdom.To be truthful.To be hospitable.To be reverent.To be the cause of healing for every sick one, a comforter for every sorrowful one, a pleasant water for every thirsty one. A heavenly table for every hungry one, a star to every horizon, a light for every lamp, a herald to everyone who yearns for the kingdom of God" `Abdu'l-Bahá
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