Dear Mr. Foster: Many of the things you have written that I have read have shown that our thinking is very similar. So, I heed your warning that “our thoughts are not God’s thoughts,” and have a suggestion that is this: Your thoughts are not God’s thoughts, either.
You are swinging on a pendulum which has swung from religious legalism (bad) to a socially acceptable and perhaps more nefarious philosophy (even worse). You are swaying into an unbiblical, iniquitous, a kind of social liberalism (anything goes) which has overtaken you in the Gospel race… “Who has hindered you?”
Now, there are many sexsual sins. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t fallen short in this particular dynamic of human experience. My sins, which are many, are no exception, and sexual sin certainly has been one of them. Scripture reinforces this principle that “all have sinned and fallen short.” In this narrow topic, Jesus said a man cannot even look at a woman as a sex object! So, I don’t believe exclusion by my “superior lifestyle” is a valid reason for condemning someone else for theirs. Yet, sin is sin, and in the Biblical perspective, it cannot be condoned. Believers cannot justify whatever is unjustifiable-- even though it might be the easier road to take. Nevertheless, whether hetersexual or other, sin is sin, and the Bible condemns them all… But God does not condemn. What I mean by that is that we condemn ourselves. To illustrate, take the climate crisis: God is not bringing judgment on the world. No. We are bringing those consequences onto ourselves. We are breaking the very first job provided for us to do: protecting our environment and maintaining the groundskeeping of the estate God gave… “God is not willing that any should perish…” It’s like the patient parents who have had enough of trying to teach their wayward children, throw up their hands , and say, “Okay. Just have it your own way!” Yet, they will like you said, accept the prodigal son back into the fold with joy and thanksgiving.
By the by, your recollection of the Parable of the Prodigal Son is inaccurate and the “moral of the story” is therefore twisted, resulting in conclusions that are ridiculous. Omitting and adding stuff to any meal is a recipe for disaster. Too much salt or too much vinegar won't tantalize your guests palette. Sorry. Better read that parable one more time.
As for seeking outside help for spiritual growth, being freed from fellow believers... generally speaking, does the world of sinful man, full of idolatry, have great wisdom impart for the world to assimilate? “All Dogs go to Heaven?” Is that like your current philosophy? It is not in the Bible. Idolatry is in the Bible. Should we accept it, practice it? Yeah. It’s in there, but…
Listen, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right. Using the Scriptures, the person who serves God will be capable, having all that is needed to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NCV) Yes, “But as for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and therefore you do not need anyone to teach you. This same anointing teaches you everything and is true and not false, so abide in him just as he taught you.” Besides fellowship, confirmation of what you think you are hearing from God is quite a safeguard. What about the fellowship of Believers? Weren’t you supposed to be the shepherd? You must be responsible for creating some of that mess! Maybe it was your errant church or maybe it is also you. Maybe. What’s your alternative? Yoga?
So then, do you have this anointing: the anointing of the Holy Spirit? Being led by the Spirit to a place of repentance is essential, and being immersed in water improves the walk of following Jesus. Yet, as you follow Jesus, your understanding of God and the Bible cannot come from the minds of mankind. Yes. Without the baptism by immersion in the Holy Spirit, a Believer cannot come into the fullness of God’s promises. A person can drift off or be susceptible to false doctrine. I can only compare it by saying it is like the difference between the old dial up connection and the new 5G connection!
As for angels and demons. They exist. That’s about all I know. And if your position is absolutely correct. It doesn’t make any difference whether your faith in Science exceeds that of your faith in Jesus. What you probably should focus on is that everyone who came to Him, Jesus cured them all.
Your little ditty on “Come to Jesus” simply shows that you should take responsibility for a bad sermon and a bad ego trip, but have no clue how to change your track.
Finally, “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.” (John 12:47-50, NIV)
I had a vision of hell once, in a dream. First, let’s get away from the Dark Ages. “Sheol” is where the bad translation and awful fables come from. Sure, the body dies, but the spirit of a person doesn’t. So, the person’s spirit has to end up somewhere. Hell is simply the one realm of the dead (not the hollywood version either) just like heaven is the other. People get confused between the temporary hell and the Final Judgment lake of fire, where the eternal separation occurs. I think, but don’t know, the fire destroys the spirit completely and is not a place of infinite torment. I agree with your opinion that a loving God would never punish a living soul forever. They are gone forever. Done. Finished. They will no longer exist anywhere. The punishment of sheol is just a continuance of separation from God that one has chosen while living in this earthly realm. In my dream, it is a dreary, dry, and colorless place. In it was a very bright and colorful church building. But the windows and doors were all enclosed with bricks and blocks. All the other buildings were desolate. Good news: I saw some people exiting stage right, through some warp like fold. Sheol is not out of God’s reach.
Anyways… Your money segment I think I agree with, if you mean where the scammer preachers promise that if you send money to them, God will give them money back by the bucket full. Pathetic.
Your denouement is not as exquisite in my mind as you might have intended. You seem to have forgotten: “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15, NIV). Throwing out the baby with the bathwater is never a good idea. You have been very disappointed with people, but why do you act so disappointed with Jesus?