Born again Sinners...

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Blake Bowden, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I've always wondered what happened to "evil" men who were born again Christians. For example, if Hitler prayed for forgiveness and confessed his sins moments before committing suicide, would he be in Heaven? How do protestants and/or members of the Catholic faith view this?
     
  2. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    My brother I am a student of the Christian faith for more than 40 years now, and love to talk about it, but are we getting into very deep subjects about religion in the forum? Are we not a Masonic Forum?

    The Masonic orders as you know is made up of many faiths, and rightly so. If we are going to discuss religion then let him speak and not be offended as to his belief and pull his post if we disagree.

    And to answer your question, HE WOULD BE.
     
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you for the response Bro. Jones as your insight and wisdom are greatly appreciated. I've been a Baptist all my life, but I cannot accept the fact someone like Hitler gets a free pass by simply asking for forgiveness at the last minute.
     
  4. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    You like many others feel the same. If you feel that it is a free pass, where do you drew the line as who can and who can’t confess at the last minute? I cannot understand the will of G_d, but I know from his word He is a just G_d and He alone knows the heart of man.
     
  5. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Excellent point.
     
  6. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Ah, the ubiquitous “Thief-on-the-Cross, escape clause”…

    But you still have to ask yourself, will I still be held accountable? I think only a fool would believe otherwise. But then again I’m reminded of Thomas Paine on religion…
     
  7. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I agree on all points.

    As I have stated before, for a masonic forum we spend a lot of time "discussing" religion, which has the potential to be divisive among brethren. Actually, this discussion would likely be divisive among brothers of the same faith and even demonination, much less brethren of differing faiths.

    However, I will offer my beliefs to the question. If the salvation experience and the profession of faith were genuine (true) then yes Hitler, like the thief on the cross would be in Heaven. The deep part of my response is what makes is genuine. I believe that the basis for a true salvation experience is a "call" from the Holy Spirit, answered by a profession of faith from the person. The experience involves confession, repentance and forgiveness. However, simply feeling sorry for what you have done, confessing sins and asking forgiveness falls short of a true salvation experience (as I believe it).
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  8. ctp2nd

    ctp2nd Premium Member

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    A couple of points, if I may:

    1) Discussion of Religion on a Masonic Forum - Nothing says that we, as Masons, shouldn't discuss, argue, defend, debate, etc. our respective faiths and viewpoints amongst brethren, only that during lodge we refrain from such. Friendly and Brotherly discussion about our faith only gives us a greater insite into our own beliefs and allows us to develop deeper fellowship. Granted, if we fail to keep our passions within due bounds and fail to square our actions, such discussions have the potential to be quite volatile. I refer back to the "Friendly and Brotherly" part of my statement.

    2) The best answer to whether or not Hitler, and those like him, may go to heaven, IMO and to borrow from the Presbyterian Church: "The limits to salvation, whatever they may be, are known only to God."
     
  9. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    I guess I have mixed opinions, but in the end it is neither my place nor the place of any other in my opinion to judge the salvation of another. I'll use Ted Bundy for an example, before his death he expressed great remorse and claimed to have accepted God. I take it for face value. I neither know what was in his heart nor do I know what was in his soul, so other then taking it at face value I have nothing else to evaluate it on.

    Hitler in my opinion may have accepted God etc. but to then end your own life who is to say. Suicide is typically a touchy subject for most religious people, I happen to be one that view it as a Sin. So if I accept God and then continue with premeditated sin have I really accepted anything.

    There is only one sin in the Christian faith that is greater then any other and that is blasphemy.

    Since we are under the folder of "Esoteric Freemasonry" this would in my opinion not really be part of that discussion. More of a General topic in my humble opinion, because by discussing this under the banner of "Esoteric Freemasonry" we are discussing it from a Masonic principle and my answer has nothing to do with Masonic principle.
     
  10. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    Well, suicide is frequently viewed as a sin.

    Other than that, I think most recognize it requires more than words and an actual change with a confession of faith, etc. In that case, I'm often surprised how how easily some Christians are willing to refuse the idea of men rehabilitating honestly.

    That said, I was reflecting on the phrase "we take good men and make them better." I have family in some denominations that, in my opinion, focus too much on the "original sin." It's one thing to believe we all sin, we all make mistakes, etc. But some folks focus on this to the point where the majority message is the degeneracy and miserableness of mankind as opposed to the message of grace. I've come to appreciate the message of recognizing fellow masons as starting out good, at least in the context of the fraternity if not in their individual religious contexts. Not perfect, but starting out as a good person.

    Some men have different cornerstones. I don't think Hitler started in a good place and I think after so much work from his starting point, I don't think he could rebuild at the last minute. However, if his heart could turn, I have to say my Christian side has a
    strong appreciation for redemption.

    Some fundamentalists anti-masons accuse freemasonry of having a "plan for salvation" that contradicts Christianity. I think there are two problems. 1) It suggests all religions or philosophies *require* a plan for salvation or sees a need for one 2) We start out by investigating and voting on "good men"

    Since we investigate and insist on good men, I think we leave the path or need for "salvation" up to the individual while providing a journey or tools to augment what they have already started out doing.

    So, linking this question to masonry, as a Christian I might accept a man's heart might be turned, but as a mason I think there are more limits on accepting that change. I'm sure there are some things men can do which might not pass through an investigation committee for recommendation - even if it was a one time event.
     
  11. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    we're not in lodge, and this is a discussion forum that attracts masons. i would say that we aren't "Masonic," but more a forum that talks a lot about Masonry.

    otherwise, ctp2nd phrased it pretty well.

    just make sure that you realize that there are members of this forum that aren't masons, as well.

    not agreed.

    i don't think someone can commit suicide and make it in.
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I have to disagree. I cannot pretend to know what depths of despair someone gets to that make suicide appear to be their best or only option and I believe my God takes that into account. I further believe that, no matter how good a person one may be, he cannot attain everlasting life without the grace of God i.e. accepting Jesus as his Saviour.

    I have always questioned why someone who "accepts" Christ on his deathbed after living a life of sin should get the same reward as someone who has lived a pure & righteous life, but that's probably one of those things I wasn't meant to know. I figure I've got all I can handle just keeping myself straight! As always, YMMV.
     
  13. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    This is one of the big theological debates since MArtin Luther - Good Works versus Faith.
     
  14. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    on your same argument, a man must accept christ before dying to get in, or they get in regardless? if your last act is to kill yourself, i'm saying you don't really have all that much time to accept christ.
     
  15. ctp2nd

    ctp2nd Premium Member

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    Re: Is God universal?

    WWJD? Damn you to hell for committing suicide. Your God may take more into account than JTM's, but it wouldn't be very "universal" of Him.
     
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I understood your statement to be that no one who committed suicide could go to heaven. I was thinking of someone who had been a Christian long before ending it all.
     
  17. TexMass

    TexMass Registered User

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    "Why is it, when you talk to God your praying but when God talks to you your Schizophrenic"

    - Lilly Tomlin
     
  18. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    well, i see those as largely the same thing... would be like the opposite, a long time christian turning on god at the last minute.
     
  19. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    As Baptists, we get a free pass once we ask for forgiveness and accept Christ as Lord thus all of our sins are forgiven, even proactively. That being said, if one of us committed suicide, would that sin be null and void in the afterlife?
     
  20. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    from the catechism:



    2280 Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him. It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life. We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls. We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of.

    2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

    2282 If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

    Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

    2283 We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives
     

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