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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:36 pm 
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Light of the East Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 am
I'm curious to know if this idea means that it is no longer God's will to save all men (1 Tim 2:4). If so, how does that relate to God's immutability?

St Paul:
“8 And here you are, doing the injustice and the defrauding, and to your own brothers.
9 Do you not realise that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake -- the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites,
10 thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” [1Cor 6:8-10].

Thus, without repentance for grave sin, there is everlasting punishment.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
I'm curious to know if this idea means that it is no longer God's will to save all men (1 Tim 2:4). If so, how does that relate to God's immutability? And then, if God can be changed, then what is to say that down the road He cannot change from love to hate? I'm trying to wrap my mind around this idea of God's changing will in regards to the scriptural statements of God's will that He wills all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.

God doesn't change. At all. I don't know if "consequent will" is a term used in Catholic theology, but I don't like it. I imagine there might be some sense in which it can be used. Theologians and philosophers are clever like that. But the word "consequent" implies, to me anyway, that it is the result of something else. Now, if we are talking about God's will in this case as a consequence of His will in some other, then maybe we can use the term. But if we speak of God's will as a consequence of what we've done, then now we're saying that we are changing, or affecting, God. And that's absurd. We respond to God, not vice-versa.

I'm not saying this is easy to grasp, nor am I saying that I myself have grasped it. But I am saying that it's true, regardless. There are some things that can make it easier, like understanding what free will really is, being extra careful not to try to use "cause" univocally with God and man, recognizing that the whole notion of "before" and "after" when applied to God is an anthropomorphism at absolute best, etc. But the fact remains that we are not God, and so all we can do is accept what is revealed as true--as well as what must be true based on both what has been revealed as well as what we observe in daily life. And part of that is piety, but another part of that is seeing our human limitations. Since I am not God, I don't have any experiential understanding of what it means to be God. It just won't "click" at that level.

So on the one hand, we recognize that God is not a puppet master. On the other hand, we recognize that all that is, is because God has caused it. Some things He causes in a deterministic fashion. Some in a voluntary fashion, and the latter means He truly does bring about voluntary causes. So free will is real, yet it does not cause God to be a bystander. Stay within those bounds, and you should be okay.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:38 pm 
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"Consequent will" is a Catholic theological term, but not in the sense you're worried about it (which does seem to be the sense in which Staples is using it, which is why he's wrong). http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1019.htm#article6, reply to Objection 1.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:30 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
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God not only wills all men to be saved, but wills it to the same extent in every case; and further, that precisely the element which distinguishes the just from the wicked is not to be referred to God as its author; He is simply an onlooker.
Garrigou-Lagrange's definition of semipelagianism.


So if I understand this correctly, the foundation of any form of Pelagianism is that God is not the sole and prime mover in our salvation, but in some manner, it is contingent upon man's decision? Full Pelagianism, if I understand correctly, is the idea that man could find God apart from ANY influence or directive of the Holy Spirit whatsoever. Correct?

Therefore, semipelagianism, as expressed above, is that God does some of the work, but it is contingent upon man?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:48 pm 
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Full Pelagianism denies the need for any actual grace at all. Semipelagianism is the idea that God gives us the opportunity but that the final decision is made by each person without reference to any choice on God's part. I invite you to consider how unlikely this is with respect to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom I believe all pre-Reformation groups will agree was given special graces by God in light of her mission to be the mother of the Redeemer; and once we admit the exception exists, most of the arguments crumble.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:52 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Full Pelagianism denies the need for any actual grace at all. Semipelagianism is the idea that God gives us the opportunity but that the final decision is made by each person without reference to any choice on God's part. I invite you to consider how unlikely this is with respect to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom I believe all pre-Reformation groups will agree was given special graces by God in light of her mission to be the mother of the Redeemer; and once we admit the exception exists, most of the arguments crumble.


As Jesus told His apostles, "You did not choose me, I chose you". John 15:16. I would guess this would be one of the verses against semi-Pelagianism?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:50 pm 
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Speed Racer wrote:
Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
Full Pelagianism denies the need for any actual grace at all. Semipelagianism is the idea that God gives us the opportunity but that the final decision is made by each person without reference to any choice on God's part. I invite you to consider how unlikely this is with respect to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom I believe all pre-Reformation groups will agree was given special graces by God in light of her mission to be the mother of the Redeemer; and once we admit the exception exists, most of the arguments crumble.


As Jesus told His apostles, "You did not choose me, I chose you". John 15:16. I would guess this would be one of the verses against semi-Pelagianism?


John 6:44
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them"


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:55 pm 
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1 Cor 4:7


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:51 am 
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Thomist wrote:
Quote:
Light of the East Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 am
I'm curious to know if this idea means that it is no longer God's will to save all men (1 Tim 2:4). If so, how does that relate to God's immutability?

St Paul:
“8 And here you are, doing the injustice and the defrauding, and to your own brothers.
9 Do you not realise that people who do evil will never inherit the kingdom of God? Make no mistake -- the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, the self-indulgent, sodomites,
10 thieves, misers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers, none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” [1Cor 6:8-10].

Thus, without repentance for grave sin, there is everlasting punishment.


Well, yes, but that doesn't answer my question regarding God's will. Jack said something apropos to the discussion in his response - that our exercise of our wills does not change God's will. I had this exchange on a different board regarding the same question:

Quote:
ArmyMatt said: ↑
a good point, God's Will as is, is something totally beyond our understanding

(To which I responded) Not to totally be disagreeable here, but despite God being beyond our understanding, He communicates to us in our language, that is, in words we do understand, and in words that have a very specific meaning. This has been my bone of contention with those who have a nasty habit of either ignoring or deliberately changing the Greek to fit their preconceived philosophical notions of who God is and how He acts. Quite dishonest.

When we see the word "will," we know that this means "intention." Thus it is different from the word "wish" in that a wish does not necessarily convey the idea of real intention with real ability (omnipotence) to carry out that intention. Thus, to say that God has a "prevenient" will and then a "consequential" will does utter injustice to the meaning of the word itself. It is saying in effect that Gods intention for any man or woman changes based on the response of the human being, which then makes God's intentions completely subject to the will of the creature!!!

Which is utter hogwash.

Men may turn from God, but that does not in one iota change His intention that all be saved. He remains the same in intention, regardless of our response to Him. He doesn't suddenly say "Oh, well, I guess I'll change my intent for that person because that person doesn't want me." It is the creature walking away from God, not God walking away from His creature.

** Clarification: I'm sure someone will bring up the many times in which God is spoken of as repenting of something He intended to do because of the actions of a person. For instance, He turned from striking the people of Nineva when they repented at the preaching of Jonah.

The issue with the OP that troubles me is this: love (and God IS love) can only have one intent for the object of its love - the good of the beloved. So while God may change His mind regarding certain actions of men as indicated in the Bible, His intent to do good to His creatures does not change. This would even be true of us in the Orthodox understanding of the next life. God brings all to Himself, but not all will enjoy it. Many will find His love to be joy, but others will, according to St. Issac the Syrian, find it to be hell. But in keeping with His intent for us, even that scourging by fire is ordered to a good intent - burning away our sins and bringing us to repentance.


So the point I am trying to make is that the will, or intention of God, does not change in His desire to do good to all creation. It is our reception of that good, either good as believers, or bad, as unrepentant sinners, which determines how we experience that will and the outpouring of that will, which is love.

EDIT: Hmmmmmm.....after re-reading the question in the OP, I would say that salvation simply cannot be lost. Christ has, according to Romans 5:18, saved all mankind. The difference is how we experience that salvation in the next life. The wicked will find His love an absolute torment which they will wish to escape but cannot, since there is no place that God is not. Those who have repented and persevered in their journey of divinization will find His love to be joy, peace, and bliss. Same God, same salvation, different experience for the two camps.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:43 pm 
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Light of the East Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:51 pm
I would say that salvation simply cannot be lost

See CCC 1861 which contradicts that assumption.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:23 pm 
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Thomist wrote:
Quote:
Light of the East Posted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:51 pm
I would say that salvation simply cannot be lost

See CCC 1861 which contradicts that assumption.


As I said, there will be those who find God's love and presence to be joy unbounded and peace, and then there will be those who will find that same presence to be an unbearable torment. But the point I am making is that God's salvation, according to Romans 5:18, is for all and has affected all.

I guess you could make a case that the person who experiences that salvation as torment has, in a certain sense, lost it. But the bigger picture I see is this: either God wins, Satan is defeated, and all souls, which rightfully belong to Him, are returned to Him. Anything less than that, even one single soul in the possession of the devil, is not a complete victory for the Cross or Christ. One soul would give the devil something to gloat about for all eternity. Stripped of the very thing that he has tried to achieve, that is, to usurp God's authority, to claim something that belongs to God, to steal God's property and hold it forever - he is left without anything. Barren. Tormented by failure and lack of meaning for his very existence.

The fact that some, perhaps many, will experience this salvation not as joy but as torment, does not take away from the fact that the devil is utterly, thoroughly, and completely defeated, stripped of everything, and left to himself.

Yes, in one sense, there most assuredly is something to lose for us, but God never loses, especially not to a created being like the devil.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:13 pm 
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Light of the East Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:23 pm
even one single soul in the possession of the devil, is not a complete victory for the Cross or Christ.

CCC 1864: "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven." 136 There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. 137 Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss."
Notes for the above paragraph:
136 Mk 3:29; cf. Mt 12:31; Lk 12:10.
137 Cf. John Paul II, DeV 46.

Continued disregard for the teaching of the Church is hardly “Catholic”.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:11 am 
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The argument about a "complete victory" runs aground on the same shoals that wreck the "best possible world" argument: We don't know what God's plan was. If the plan were to bring about the redemption of all, then the argument would hold. But we don't know that such was the plan--that's an assumption that's smuggled into the argument.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Thomist wrote:
Quote:
Light of the East Posted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:23 pm
even one single soul in the possession of the devil, is not a complete victory for the Cross or Christ.

CCC 1864: "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven." 136 There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. 137 Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss."
Notes for the above paragraph:
136 Mk 3:29; cf. Mt 12:31; Lk 12:10.
137 Cf. John Paul II, DeV 46.

Continued disregard for the teaching of the Church is hardly “Catholic”.


You keep forgetting that I am not ROMAN. I am Orthodox in Communion with Rome, which means that I am Orthodox in praxis, doctrine, and dogma. And if you have a problem with this, take it up with our Patriarch, His Holiness Svaitoslav Svechuk. That is the definition he gave a while ago in response to Orthodox slamming the UGCC.

FYI - We have our own catechism, different from that of the Roman Church.

Now let me ask you this, since you opened this can of worms. If disregard for the teaching of the Church is not Catholic, then how is the Roman Church "catholic" when She has changed the Creed, which was written by and approved by the Church, as well as innovating dogmas which were not known to the Church for over 1,000 years, such as the Immaculate Conception, which BTW - both your mentor, St. Thomas Aquinas as well as other Catholic leaders in his time? How "catholic" is that???

For your enlightenment, if you wish to understand where I am coming from better, here is a link to concerns the East has with certain Roman teachings. These things are going to have to be addressed if there is ever going to be a reunion of East and West, but quite frankly, having come to view the Roman arrogance I have seen in the last 16 years of being in the Eastern Church

Hell will freeze over first.

Roman Presidency and Christian Unity in Our Time

I have been trying to "fly under the radar" so to speak and avoid conflict here, since many here are long-time friends and all are good people, but since you pushed the button, I am tired of hiding. I'm praying about leaving for Holy Orthodoxy. Several of my friends have and I have come to understand the reasons why they have. If this concerns you, then your duty to me as a fellow believer is to prove to me that such doctrines as the Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, Merit, Indulgences, etc, existed before the lamentable schism of 1054AD.

And if this makes me personal non gratia on this board, so be it. We shall see who my real friends are now, won't we?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:44 pm 
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Light of the East wrote:
The wicked will find His love an absolute torment which they will wish to escape but cannot

I've tried to make sense of this simply can't. What do you think this means? I ask because it's very easy to write sentences in which all the words have easily understood meanings and that are grammatically feasible, but, in fact, mean nothing at all. The classic example of such a sentence (or, at least, Chomsky's example), is "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." What does this mean? Absolutely nothing.

In a similar way, I'm concerned that the sentence here means absolutely nothing, particularly the idea that "the wicked will find [God's] love an absolute torment." I think you need to say quite a bit more than that.

As an aside, Obi's comment is worth considering, that the entire argument is predicated on an assumption that you clearly not only make but trumpet as obvious that just isn't. But even setting that aside, I fear that what you've left us with is a bit of candy coated nonsense . . . and not nonsense in some derogatory way (as if, thinking an argument is stupid, I call it nonsense), but rather in the proper sense, such as a notion of square triangles, heavy photons, or beings greater than God. Such statements may or may not be "nonsense" in the derogatory sense, but they are certainly nonsense in the sense that they are quite literally meaningless. And so, I think, might your construct here be.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:47 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Light of the East wrote:
The wicked will find His love an absolute torment which they will wish to escape but cannot

I've tried to make sense of this simply can't. What do you think this means? I ask because it's very easy to write sentences in which all the words have easily understood meanings and that are grammatically feasible, but, in fact, mean nothing at all. The classic example of such a sentence (or, at least, Chomsky's example), is "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." What does this mean? Absolutely nothing.
Quote:

It is a quote from St. Issac the Syrian.

Here's an article about it. St Isaac the Syrian: The Triumph of the Kingdom over Gehenna

Quote:
In a similar way, I'm concerned that the sentence here means absolutely nothing, particularly the idea that "the wicked will find [God's] love an absolute torment." I think you need to say quite a bit more than that.

As an aside, Obi's comment is worth considering, that the entire argument is predicated on an assumption that you clearly not only make but trumpet as obvious that just isn't. But even setting that aside, I fear that what you've left us with is a bit of candy coated nonsense . . . and not nonsense in some derogatory way (as if, thinking an argument is stupid, I call it nonsense), but rather in the proper sense, such as a notion of square triangles, heavy photons, or beings greater than God. Such statements may or may not be "nonsense" in the derogatory sense, but they are certainly nonsense in the sense that they are quite literally meaningless. And so, I think, might your construct here be.


Well, it's nonsense from one of the great saints of the Church. Unless you have experienced it yourself, you will have a hard time wrapping your mind around it. I had an infinitesimally small taste of this when I was in a monastery 10 years ago. God's love showed me my sins, and I cannot begin to describe to you the ache it caused me. But was God acting in anger and revenge, or in love showing me my failures? His action was in love, but to me it was a fire of pain in my soul as I realized the depths of my failures, both against my family, my fellow man, and against God. I believe this is something of what St. Isaac was describing.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:53 pm 
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So, according to you, it isn't God's love that is causing the torment but rather the recognition of sin. I'd have follow up questions, but that wouldn't necessarily be nonsensical.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:19 pm 
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theJack wrote:
So, according to you, it isn't God's love that is causing the torment but rather the recognition of sin. I'd have follow up questions, but that wouldn't necessarily be nonsensical.


I once heard the presence of God described in this way: "Imagine going to a party where everyone is happy and having a good time. You enter and immediate are set up by the one person in the world who both annoys you and bores you to tears with his incessant, nonsensical gabbing away about everything in which you have absolutely no interest. Now imagine you are stuck with this person forever. That is a very tiny picture of how the wicked view being in the presence of God. They have no interest in His love, His expressions of love are of no interest to them, and they cannot stand the presence of His absolute holiness.

That is one description which touches on it in a small way. Here is another:

Quote:
In Orthodoxy soteriology (the study of salvation), hell is not a place. It is a spiritual state in which the soul A.) sees the reality of all the evil it has done B.) sees the reality of what it could have become but will never be C.) is still consumed by lusts which it will never fulfill. Thus, John D. Rockefeller, who once was asked by a reporter “Sir, you are the richest man in the world. How much more do you need” and replied, “Just a little more, sonny. Just a little more.” is still feeling the tormenting lust for money, the insatiable desire for yet one more dime, even at this hour. When Hugh Hefner dies, unless he repents, he will be tormented for all eternity by his intense, unrestrained desire for fornication. And the young woman above, whose appearance is a walking billboard of her hatred for God and all that He stands for, will be consumed by that hatred forever. Add to that the torment of seeing what they could have become, and you have an unspeakable misery which cannot be relieved.


God is there in love, the wicked desire their sin. It is tormenting to them not to have it, and add to that the pure and unadulterated knowledge of what they were and what they did to people and you have a perfect recipe for torment.

And my little description doesn't even begin to cover the immensity of this.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Now, with due respect, you're back to the nonsense. The analogy of God's love with a whiner is absurd. The reason the whiner bothers us is that it is trivial and self-aggrandizing. Love, particularly God's love (His essence), is the opposite of that. Moreover, when you understand more fundamentally that the will is necessarily attracted to the Good, and that God is Good itself, then the will will be drawn to God necessarily. It will never be averse to Him. Put differently, to suggest that one could have an aversion to God if they are in His presence would be to say that the will could prefer evil, which is, again, meaningless nonsense. People can have an aversion to God in this life, but that is completely a defect in intellect. They have failed to grasp what God is and are actually averse to something of their own creation. But in the presence of God Himself, such aversion would be impossible. If anything, the agony would be related to wanting what they cannot have -- God Himself.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Salvation received when you truly believe? never lost
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:00 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Now, with due respect, you're back to the nonsense. The analogy of God's love with a whiner is absurd. The reason the whiner bothers us is that it is trivial and self-aggrandizing. Love, particularly God's love (His essence), is the opposite of that. Moreover, when you understand more fundamentally that the will is necessarily attracted to the Good, and that God is Good itself, then the will will be drawn to God necessarily. It will never be averse to Him. Put differently, to suggest that one could have an aversion to God if they are in His presence would be to say that the will could prefer evil, which is, again, meaningless nonsense. People can have an aversion to God in this life, but that is completely a defect in intellect. They have failed to grasp what God is and are actually averse to something of their own creation. But in the presence of God Himself, such aversion would be impossible. If anything, the agony would be related to wanting what they cannot have -- God Himself.


YES!!!

Most assuredly that is the main part of it. The rest of these things - knowledge of sin, the lack of love for God, the lusting for other things, simply add to that torment.


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