Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Let’s Talk About Love… And a Transgender God

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 14, 2023

First, A Couple Prefatory Notes To Aid Ease Of Understanding As You Read:

1.) In this article, the term referring to deity, i.e., “God,” will be capitalized to indicate reference the Jewish/Christian deity in particular, Who almost always, i.e., 99.9999% of the time, is referred to in the masculine gender, i.e., as a male — despite evidence strongly suggesting that “there is no male and female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus,” Galatians 3:28 (English Standard Version), and “God is a Spirit” John 4:24 (KJV), and others.

2.) References to that same deity in particular, by using personal pronouns in lieu of a proper name, for clarity sake, and with regard for traditional practice, will be capitalized, i.e., Him, His, He, etc., although there is abundant evidence pointing to the fact that the proper name of God is Jehovah, although the second name, or “surname,” changes, e.g., Jireh, Nissi, Rapha, Shalom, Tsidkenu, Sel’i, Go’el, Tsuri, Shamah, Sabbaoth, M’Kaddesh, hyphenated as Jehovah-Jireh, etc.

3.) To identify the speaker when a Gospel verse is stated, the words of Jesus of Nazareth will be emphasized in RED, and italicized.

4.) Unless otherwise specifically stated, all Scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, and when other versions are used, will be so noted by their abbreviated three, or four-letter designation, i.e., NLT=New Living Translation, AMP=Amplified Bible, NKJV=New King James Version, NASB=New American Standard Bible, etc.

5.) The word “theology” is taken from two ancient Greek words:
a.) Theos, referring to a diety, and;
b.) Logos, referring to the spoken word, such as in conversation, or discourse.

In a nutshell, theology means talking about God.

Regarding the origin and derivation of the word “theology,” it emerged c.mid-14 century, and is “the science of religion, study of God and his relationship to humanity,” which term is derived from the Old French word “theologie” meaning a “philosophical study of Christian doctrine; Scripture” (14c.), and stems from the Latin word “theologia,” from the Greek word “theologia” meaning “an account of the gods,” from “theologos” meaning “one discoursing on the gods,” from theos “god” (from the Proto-Indo-European root *dhes-, forming words for religious concepts) + -logos meaning “treating of” (see -logy). The meaning of “a particular system of theology” is from 1660s.

So, in essence, what you’re about to read is about Christian religion, which makes it Christian theology. However, I dare say that the ideas and thoughts which you’re about to read are rarely, if ever, discussed, much less taught, in schools of Christian theology. But the central and ultimate idea is inescapable, even blatant — making it the proverbial “elephant in the room.”

So, without further ado, let’s get underway.

Evangelical type folks, which notably includes Baptists, are the ones who are almost always saying “accept Jesus as your savior… get saved today,” etc., seem to relish telling folks that if they don’t ever pray, or repeat, what they call the “Sinner’s Prayer,” that, when that individual dies, that person is going to a place of eternal torment and damnation which they call “hell.”

And typically, that “hell” is described by them as a place that burns with fire and brimstone — which, interestingly enough, was NOT EVER described that way by Jesus of Nazareth. The phrase — “the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” — is found in Revelation 21:8 as the King James Version (KJV) reads. It’s also found in Revelation 19:20 which states in part, “were cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone,” and in Revelation 14:10 “tormented with fire and brimstone,” “the lake of fire and brimstone” Revelation 20:10.

There are other mentions of fire and brimstone, but not in the context of mentioning a lake, or as a place of perdition, torture, or torment, eternal, or not. Linguistically, however, such a place, as a proper name, is NEVER capitalized. And for that matter, neither is heaven. Where they proper names of places, they would be so identified by capitalization. They are not.

Jesus of Nazareth does mention hell a few times, vis a vis, “destroy both body and soul in hell” Matthew 10:28; “the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” Matthew 25:41; “to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire” Mark 9:43; “liable to the hell of fire” Matthew 5:22; “and in Hades being in torment” Luke 16:23; I am in anguish in this flame” Luke 16:24, and; “this place of torment” Luke 16:28, etc.

Some of those citations were in parable form, such as “The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus” in Luke, some were metaphor as in Matthew, and Mark. But one must also remember the style of teaching and preaching that Jesus is supposed to have practiced — it was full of analogy, parables, and rarely ever were direct remarks made about any given topic. And so for some, those inferences are considered confirmation, yet there’s little-to-no substantial evidence of confirmation.

More than anything else, hell is a metaphor used to describe a wretchedly horrible place, where NO ONE would ever want to go. It’s certainly not like a vacation at the Dead Sea. And for observant Jews, that would be the garbage dump outside of the city, where debris and refuse of all kinds was always burning, along with an equally wretched accompanying stench. It was a place where vultures, hyenas, and other ceremonially unclean wild animals would scavenge for food from among the rotting and decaying debris. The gasses emitted by decomposition would frequently ignite — which occurs in garbage dumps even today. Garbage dumps are NOT pleasant places to be.

So, observant Jews, being fastidious, and seeking to observe the Law of Moses, and the teachings of the priests, would do everything in their ability to avoid such a place, primarily to maintain ceremonial “cleanliness,” if for no other practical purpose.

And in the age and era when Jesus used parables to teach, the worst possible place that could be imagined, was the garbage dump… thus, the imagery of an eternal fire, and brimstone, a “burning hell.” It’s all imagery designed to create a picture in the listeners’ imaginations, more than it is a description of a real, or actual place.

Ardhanarishvara, (Sanskrit: “Lord Who Is Half Woman”) composite male-female figure of the Hindu god Shiva together with his consort Parvati. As seen in many Indian and Southeast Asian sculptures, the right (male) half of the figure is adorned with the traditional ornaments of Shiva. Half of the hair is piled in a hairdress of matted locks, half of a third eye is visible on the forehead, a tiger skin covers the loins, and serpents are used as ornaments. The left (female) half shows hair well combed and knotted, half of a tilak (a round dot) on the forehead, the eye outlined in black, a well-developed breast, a silk garment caught with girdles, an anklet, and the foot tinted red with henna.
The symbolic intent of the figure, according to most authorities, is to signify that the male and female principles are inseparable. A predecessor of Ardhanarishvara appears in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, which states that the first creature “was of the same size and kind as a man and woman closely embracing. He caused himself to fall into two pieces, and from him a husband and wife were born.”

So, if anything, the way that Evangelical types describe it, it’s a hell of a place to be.😂 And to hear them tell it, “hell” is a place that NO ONE wants to go because it’s so horrible. To characterize it as torturous would be generous. The picture they paint of hell is wretched, to say the least. And the only way to get there, is to never “give your life & heart to Jesus,” by becoming a Christian, i.e., by saying the “Sinner’s Prayer.”

But hey! Here’s the upside! Once you do, you’re scot-free. You’ve got a ticket to ride, a boarding pass to heaven, where the living is easy. No more worries about hell. You’re forever in the clear. That’s the “Once Saved, Always Saved” logic also used by most Evangelical types. It’s like being born in the United States; once you’re born here, you’re ALWAYS a citizen, EVEN IF you grow up in Pakistan, China, India, or Bhutan. Once an American, ALWAYS an American.

The Christian God, as identified by Evangelicals, is supposed to be an all-loving, all-kind, all-forgiving, all-knowing, all-powerful divine being Who also sees all.

We’re told that God loves everyone, regardless of what they’ve ever done, including murder, and they point to the Jewish patriarch Moses as a case in point to illustrate, and to the New Testament priest known as Saul, a Pharisee, who later converted to become a Christian, and was thereafter known as Paul, and is credited with writing much of the New Testament. In fact, Moses and Saul both were responsible for the deaths of others — Moses, who reportedly killed a slave driver, while Saul gave orders for others to be killed. In other words, Moses and Saul are often pointed to as examples of that God’s love, long-suffering, acceptance, and forgiveness. It’s ironic, however, that few ever think about Adolph Hitler being in Heaven, nor Pol Pot, nor Leon Trotsky, nor Mao Tse Tung, nor Vladimir Lenin, nor any other wretched government leader, including Caesar… and his salad.😜

And while the notion of a place of eternal torment in some type of afterlife is fodder for some theologians and preachers seeking to strike fear into people’s hearts, to scare people into “believing” or becoming Christian, there is yet another corollary to it, another idea that fundamentally arises from that same notion, and it is an idea that strikes at the very core, the essential crux of the argument, and is one made IN FAVOR OF God.

Again, it’s a fundamental point that they NEVER talk about (at least not as I’ve read, or heard). Perhaps the reason why, is that it strikes at the very essence, the very heart of their idea about God — about how they think of, and present God as being — God’s character, the way God is, if you prefer.

There’s an inherent inconsistency with the whole ordeal.

That inconsistency ought to be fairly evident to anyone who’s thought critically about the claims that are made about so-called “turn or burn” teaching — which is the pithy moniker given to the “Get-Saved-Or-Else-You’re-Going-To-Hell-When-You-Die” message touted by Evangelicals and Baptists — and an all-loving God, Who posits “That whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” cf.John 3:16 (WBT), also as “that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life [after physical death, and will actually live forever]” (AMP).

In other words, God does not want (God’s “will”) to see anyone perish (go to hell), but that all should come to eternal life (go to heaven). (cf.John 3:16)

More specifically, regarding God’s will, the word rendered to English as will is the Greek θέλημα (thelēma)
Noun – Nominative Neuter Singular, is Strong’s Greek 2307: An act of will, will; plur: wishes, desires. From the prolonged form of ethelo; a determination, i.e. choice or inclination.” A determination, choice, or inclination, are all based upon desire — what one wants, or desires. It is applicable to the self, and only to the self. It is, in that sense, a selfish thing, and cannot be anything other than the hope for something to benefit the individual taking such action, e.g., expressing such desire. And if a determination, choice, or inclination is, or has been made, it’s a done deal — it (an action) has already been done. A determination, choice, or inclination indicates action, and is only applicable to actions. A will cannot apply to any other thing.

So, if it is God’s will, then it would seem that the Almighty has already decided what will happen… or, as some tell it, what ought to, or should happen, less than what could happen. And that touches upon the argument for predestination… in some sense, at least insofar as the idea, or notion, of something which has occurred, exists. And that regard, as the argument which Evangelicals and Baptists make goes, the ONLY one in control, is humanity. So that when someone goes to hell, it’s their own fault. That line of thinking absolves God of any responsibility in the matter whatsoever. It totally clears God of any involvement whatsoever. That’s the classic “it’s not my fault” argument and claim. However, such a notion does not “hold water,” as is said, because the idea is diametrically opposed to the statement in the Psalm 24: 1 which states that “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (NLT)

Another factor and feature in the broader calculus, is John 3:17, which states that, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” That verse itself, is widely overlooked, while the preceding verse 16, is much more widely known. However, verse 16 cannot stand alone, and requires verse 17 to more fully clarify, and expound upon the statements made in verse 16.

Naturally, the Greek terms in verse 16 are somewhat self-explanatory, at least in their English translation from the Greek. A unique note, however, is that the word translated as “believes” is πιστεύων (pisteuōn), a verb, which is the Present Participle Active form, and a Nominative Masculine Singular, which is Strong’s Greek 4100 (Strong’s Concordance, pisteuó: to believe, entrust; Original Word: πιστεύω; Part of Speech: Verb; Transliteration: pisteuó), and derives from the root word “pistis,” meaning to have faith, i.e. Credit; by implication, to entrust. Strong’s Concordance states that “pistis” is defined as meaning: to believe, entrust, with usage as “I believe, have faith in, trust in; pass: I am entrusted with.” What we see emerging is the idea that, in a sense, faith, or “belief” is a gift, rather than something which someone pursues, or earns. It is a thing which, by its very nature, gives forth, puts out, or produces abundantly, to any, every, and all — a type of naturally-occurring artesian well, of sorts. It’s just there, abundantly flowing, 24/7/365, day and night, ’round the clock, day in, and day out. And that understanding is complementary to the article of speech which it is — a verb.

And in verse 17 the word translated into English as “condemn” is κρίνῃ (krinē), which is a “verb – Aorist Subjunctive Active [Editor’s NOTE: The term aorist is a verb form in certain languages, such as Classical Greek, that “expresses action without indicating its completion or continuation.”] – 3rd Person Singular Strong’s Greek 2919: Properly, to distinguish, i.e. Decide; by implication, to try, condemn, punish.” What we see there is seemingly discernible, insofar as most everyone knows what the word condemn means. However, what is neglected is that a genitive sense (a relational possessive sense, as in one who is [being] condemned) of condemnation of necessity requires segregation. To distinguish is to identify, uniquely, for the purpose of separation, segregation, or exclusion, less often for inclusion, whether for bad (as in to punish), or for good (as in to reward, or award). A thing cannot be condemned unless it is first identified, and identification is requisite for that purpose.

To be clarifying, here’s what one source writes about the term genitive:

  • In grammar, pertaining to or indicating origin, source, possession, and the like: an epithet applied to a case in the declension of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, etc., which in English is called the possessive case, or to the relation expressed by such a case: as, patris, ‘of a father, a father’s,’ is the genitive case of the Latin noun pater, a father.
  • noun In grammar, a case in the declension of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, etc., expressing in the widest sense a relation of appurtenance between one thing and another, an adjectival relation of one noun to another, or more specifically source, origin, possession, and the like; in English grammar, the possessive case.

So in essence, what we see emerging in the Greek word “κρίνῃ (krinē), which is a verb,” is that there is, or it very much seems to be implied, that a wholesale forgiveness, exemplified as a type of willful refusal to uniquely identify or single out any person, or group of people, for any purpose whatsoever, is occurring, or has occurred. And that action, more properly as the lack thereof, is undertaken, or has already been undertaken, by God. It is already a form of “forgiveness,” per se, insofar as the requisite unique identification of any one person has not, nor will it ever, occur, thereby making moot any possible condemnation.

The Greek word translated as “the” which is in Greek τὸν (ton), is the Accusative Masculine Singular article of speech, and is Strong’s 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the,” identifies something unique and particular, which is also “including the feminine he.” Several Romantic languages, including Greek, have masculine, and feminine forms, and some words are masculine, while yet others are feminine. But what is interesting in this sense is “the feminine he.” Strong’s identifies the word as number 3588, and of that article in the Greek New Testament, it may be found as ὁ, (ho, hé, to) — of which there are 20,012 Occurrences.

But let’s more fully concentrate on parenting, to make an analogy in order to illustrate the case in point.

The Christian God is often said to be like a parent, and some folks assert that God is the perfect parent, a far better parent, even, than any earthly parent ever could be.

So, let’s work with that idea a little bit, the idea of God being a perfect parent.

Now, for those of you who are parents, or have raised children who may now be nearing adulthood, or late adolescence, perhaps you can attest to some difficult times raising your child, or children. But, on the whole, you’d probably say that your love for your child is so great, that you’d sacrifice your very life for your child. You would literally die so that your child could live. And, that’s a picture of what Christians say is the analogy to Jesus of Nazareth, whom they say is the Son of God. Never mind the idea that men can’t have babies. They assert and say that God can do anything, and if God wanted to make Himself pregnant, He could. After all, He DID make Mary pregnant… or, so the story goes. But that’s another argument for another day.

Again, that’s a bit of a sidetrack, and the main point is that we’re told that God loves everyone so very much that such a love is almost incomprehensible to humans.

As a parent, doubtlessly, there have been times that you’ve been so angry with your kids that you could have squeezed the very life out of them. But, of course, you didn’t… unless you’re in prison for doing that while reading this. And, that’s normal, to have been so angry with your kids, that for whatever reason, you felt as if you could’ve killed them. But again, of course, you didn’t… because you love them, despite being so very pissed off at them, for whatever it was that they did, or did not do, to so anger you.

And likely, even if your children are adults, you’d probably still do anything for them. That’s just how strong a parent’s love is for their offspring — natural, or adopted.

So again, as a parent, it would be unimaginable for you to threaten the life or welfare/well-being of your children, much less even consider for the briefest of moments beating them senseless — literally, physically, to beat them, or to torture them as an expression of your outrage, anger, and disappointment. And it would be equally unimaginable for you, or for any parent, to condemn their child to a place where they’d be subjected to torture — such as chaining them naked in a cold dark basement, and whipping them for hours at at time, never adequately feeding, watering, or caring for them, to allow — nay, to force — them to be cold, lose weight, get sick, etc., all at your hand — neglect, and torture of the most unimaginable kind.

Sadly, however, there have been cases where such torturous abuse has occurred. And to be absolutely certain, NO ONE IN THEIR PROPER MIND would ever imagine doing such wickedly wanton, heinously cruel, horrifically egregious, and treacherously malignant acts.

So, if God’s love for all of humanity is far, and exceedingly superior to human love, and God does not will to harm anyone, or to punish anyone, it is inconsistent for God to condemn a child who is so very loved to a place of everlasting torment and permanent torture. And recall, of course, that we’re told that God’s love is perfect, very unlike, or superior to, human love.

Once again, if we who are human, would never dream of harming our children, it is inconsistent with the message and actions of God’s love to eternally punish anyone for any reason, whatsoever. And yet again, it cannot be said that the individual did it to themselves, which would absolve God’s responsibility, and negate any assertion of ownership.

Some have said that there is no hell.

I concur.

And those same individuals have similarly asserted that, if there is a hell, it is here on Earth.

I also concur with that statement.

There is NO denying that we are troubled on every side, and there are songs and verses aplenty that characterize and “talk about suffering here below,” which also indicate a place where there is no suffering, no sickness, no disease, no infirmity, no hate, only love.

Once again, it is inconsistent with the most perfect love imaginable to assert that God loves us every one, and then to permanently condemn one’s beloved to eternal perdition and torment.

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