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Atheist Tuesday: Jeffery Dahmer, Ex-Atheist

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Jeffrey Dahmer was a notorious mass murderer who killed seventeen young men, ate them, and stored various body parts in his refrigerator. The police ended up finding eleven corpses in his apartment.

Here’s an excerpt from Phillip Yancey’s excellent book, “What’s So Amazing About Grace”:

One network showed a television program taped a few weeks before Dahmer’s death. [In 1994 Dahmer was himself murdered, beaten to death with a broom handle wielded by a fellow prisoner.]The interviewer from a network asked him how he could have possibly done the things he had been convicted of. At the time he didn’t believe in God, Dahmer said, and so he felt accountable to no one. He began with petty crimes, experimented with small acts of cruelty, and then just kept going, further and further. Nothing restrained him.

 Dahmer then told of his recent religious conversion. He had been baptized in the prison whirlpool and was spending all his time reading religious material given him by a local Church of Christ minister. The camera switched to an interview with the prison chaplain, who affirmed that Dahmer had indeed repented and was now one of his most faithful worshipers.

Dear atheist friend, I appeal to you before the start of a new year: Put your trust in the Risen Savior who can forgive you of your rebellion and sin. Quit the phony arguments that there is no God. You know there is.

If you wait, no telling where your sin will take you.

***See what Dahmer had to say about all this in this short 5 minute interview:

48 Comments

  1. Oh, come on, Steve. You’re kidding with this one, right?

    Ed Gein was a Lutheran. John Wayne Gacy was a Catholic. According to FBI reports, Gary Ridgeway (the Green River Killer) “attended church regularly, read the Bible at home and at work, and talked about religion with co-workers” (quick search doesn’t tell me which denomination). Dennis Rader (the BTK killer) was president of his church (Christ Lutheran). Robert Lee Yates was a Seventh Day Adventist. Derrick Todd Lee was conducting Bible studies in Atlanta when he was arrested.

    Toquemada and Hitler were both good Catholics, as were most of the soldiers in the Crusades.

    Are you seriously going to tell me that little Jeffy solved his cannibalism problem by converting to a religion that follows the maxims “Take, eat, this is my body… Drink, this is my blood”? More likely he just liked the irony.

    • Nameless, Calling yourself a religious name means nothing. Doing religious things means nothing. According to John, this is how you can know a true believer: If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 6-7)

      As for this: “Toquemada and Hitler were both good Catholics, as were most of the soldiers in the Crusades.” This may indeed be true. Again, they are not born again, which means they, too, will not see Heaven. Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” (John 3:3)

      And your last statement coincides with all the other religious people who misunderstood. No doubt, you are familiar with what happened after Jesus said these words.

  2. What are you talking about?

    Dahmer wasn’t a True Atheist.

    • Garrett,

      You’re wrong. Dahmer was just practicing his religion, the natural outcome for one who believes he will not ever be accountable.

      And you’re right, Dahmer was not a true atheist; he came to his senses in the end. For once we agree.

      • Garrett says:
        December 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm
        What are you talking about?

        Dahmer wasn’t a True Atheist.

        Honstly, your really desperate Garrett grasping at straws, denying reality, if Jeffery Dahmer says he was an Atheist because He did not believe in the existence of God and all we see was evolved, what more clear and defined statement could he have made?
        No wonder you cannot comprehend God, no matter what the evidence says and in this case Dahmers very own words your incapable of taking it at face value because you REFUSE TO! Its a clear act of your will to ignore the truth!

      • RyanShirtz: It’s a joke. Let me explain. You see, whenever someone brings up Christians that, say, beat children to death or kill people for witchcraft (and justifying these behaviors with the Bible), they’re usually told that said Christians aren’t True Christians. Get it?

      • Ryan Shirtz is in the house!

  3. Whooo boy. I for one will be disappointed if Dahmer is in heaven… though its not a question of if, he was born again, he believed in Jesus Christ, so it doesn’t matter that he murdered 17 people and defiled their bodies in the most unspeakable ways. It doesn’t matter that he molested and raped teenage boys, stealing their innocence, he’s in heaven now receiving his eternal reward. Will Jeffery Dahmer greet you at the pearly gates? What about his victims? If they were homosexual and he murdered them before they had a chance to repent then they’re burning in hell. Its amazing how the man who took away any chance they had at redeeming themselves gets to get into heaven.
    Steve I must say this article is pretty sick especially at this time of year, Jefferey Dahmer was a serial killer, he was an atheist by choice, there are millions of atheists, doubters, and agnostics in this country who wouldn’t even dream of doing anything remotely close to the depraved acts that he committed. This man was a monster, and the very notion that he received any sort of divine reward sends the most terrible message possible.
    It says to people, that it doesn’t matter what sins you commit because Jesus will forgive you, so even if you’ve killed thousands of people, raped, stolen, lied, tortured, or committed the most wicked and depraved acts against your fellow man, it doesn’t matter, because if you pray to Jesus and trust in him as your lord and savior and promise to turn away from your sins, you are washed clean and can enter heaven. That isn’t justice, by ANY definition of the word. If you stood before a judge guilty of murdering 17 people, and your only defense was, “I believed in you judge and I promise not to do it again.” and the judge deemed you not only, not guilty, but gave you a reward afterwards, you’d call the judge a corrupt judge.

    I also find it suspicious, that Dahmer only decided to become born again AFTER he was caught. He could have found God anywhere when he was still free but it was only when he could no longer satisfy his need to kill and his freedom was taken away that he turned to God in the face of life in prison. Only when a spot light was turned on him, and his secret obsession became public knowledge and the whole world knew what a monster he was, that he attempted to turn to Christ in some vain attempt to save himself.

    And finally… Steve… Harold Shipman murdered over 218 people and he was a Methodist and came from a Methodist home. He knew he was accountable to God but he committed murder on a horrific scale regardless. Perhaps he was following this same philosophy? Kill as many people as you want and become born again before the end.

    • Vin wrote: Jefferey Dahmer was a serial killer, he was an atheist by choice, there are millions of atheists, doubters, and agnostics in this country who wouldn’t even dream of doing anything remotely close to the depraved acts that he committed. This man was a monster, and the very notion that he received any sort of divine reward sends the most terrible message possible.
      It says to people, that it doesn’t matter what sins you commit because Jesus will forgive you, so even if you’ve killed thousands of people, raped, stolen, lied, tortured, or committed the most wicked and depraved acts against your fellow man, it doesn’t matter, because if you pray to Jesus and trust in him as your lord and savior and promise to turn away from your sins, you are washed clean and can enter heaven. That isn’t justice, by ANY definition of the word.

      That is the exact response expected from someone who knows not God, knows not grace, and has not received it himself. The standard of justice is breaking any of the Ten Comm. as you know. Fortunately, this murderous cannibal is a now in Heaven because God broke through is stubborn pride. God did the same to Saul of Tarsus (Paul), the same to me, and to all others who realized that they were not the center of the universe. Hopefully, you, too, will bow the knee before something worse happens to you.

  4. Wow!!! This makes me think of the “son of Sam” killer who is now a disciple of Jesus Christ. Very powerful!

    What Dahmer says about evolution (Darwinism) is so true. Thank God for the conscience which is a constraint from keeping things in this world from getting totally out of control. Though there will come a day when that constraint will be lifted, through the searing of the conscience and the ungodly having their time before the return of Christ.

    To answer Nameless- What you bring up is a case study in true and false conversions. Ultimately God is the only one who can know the heart of a man or woman.

    God bless!

  5. Obviously they were false Thomas, no true Christian could be a serial killer…. unless they followed the old Testament. Of course I will say this, no true atheist could be a serial killer. My statement makes as much sense as yours. And wow, you agree with Jefferey Dahmer? Jeez I just wonder Thomas if Dahmer were still alive and was turned loose from prison, would you want him living next door to you or your family? He is born again right, he would never slip back into his old habits….

  6. Alright, let’s run it down.

    Fortunately, this murderous cannibal is a now in Heaven because God broke through is stubborn pride. God did the same to Saul of Tarsus (Paul), the same to me, and to all others who realized that they were not the center of the universe. Hopefully, you, too, will bow the knee before something worse happens to you.

    This is, of course, where your religion really goes off the hinges. You love court metaphors, so what would think of a judge that knew no degree in his or her punishments? Stealing? Death. Perjury? Death. Speeding? Death. This judge would be seen as cruel and unworthy of his position, not boast that he claims “a higher standard.”

    Yet you let your God slide. Is this because you honestly believe that he should damn a Jewish girl who’s done little wrong (beyond not buy into your nonsense) whereas a serial killer gets off the hook entirely? Or is it because you, Steve, are ultimately a true believer in your religion and also very selfish. You will bend your knee to a bloody tyrant so long as it saves your bacon. Were this a grim dictatorship, you’d play the part of the ruling party’s toady. Shameful.

    You’re wrong. Dahmer was just practicing his religion, the natural outcome for one who believes he will not ever be accountable.

    I didn’t realize being a sociopath was a religion, Steve. Now, I won’t assume you are trying to make commentary on atheism, because I’ve explain that to you countless times. At this point, you’d be intentionally posting falsehoods. And I know you are a True Christian and thus cannot lie on purpose! So either you are ignoring my post (you reply to many of them, so this can’t be true) or you are a false convert lying for Jesus.

    So which religion are you talking about? If it’s atheism, then welcome to false conversion. Donuts are on the table.

    Not to mention that Dahmer is in jail, which suggests that we’re all quite accountable to the law of the land. Not the law-of-the-invisible-man-which-won’t-kick-in-until-after-you-die.

    You also contradict yourself by trying to act like you know what we think. If we all know God is real, then we all know we’re accountable. If everyone knows they are accountable to God, then there’d be no Dahmers, right? Perhaps we actually don’t believe in a God and you need to just make peace with that fact.

  7. Wow Steve, you’re on the warpath this time. You’re right, we’re only accountable to God, because Jefferey Dahmer was born again he gets into heaven, and the people he murdered are most likely burning in hell for being homosexuals. (Although they weren’t looking at ‘women’ with lust in their hearts if the Law is the standard from which we judge people as you stated) No atonement needed, he doesn’t even have to apologize to the families of the victims either. Imagine the families and Dahmer in heaven together, perhaps he killed one of their brothers thus condemning him to hell forever, their families comforted by the fact that they’ll be eternally separated from each other despite all the loving moments they shared perhaps at Christmas time with each other. They can take solice in the fact that their dear brother is currently roasting forever in a lake of fire because he committed a sin of lust before he was dismembered. In any case, I doubt Dahmer was a true convert Steve. He found Christ because he was in prison, surrounded by people who wanted to murder him because of how depraved he was. He survived one attempt but not the second, and he figured his days were numbered so why not? We’ll only know for certain if we meet him in heaven, you know… once I stop thinking of myself as the center of the universe and all.

    The question I have to ask now Steve, is that this country was founded by Christians, is populated predominantly by Christians and claims strong Christian values….. so why do we have a justice system that punishes people at all for their actions? God is our Judge, Jesus paid the fine for our sins, so our transgressions are forgiven no matter how depraved we act before hand. Why doesn’t our justice system work this way? Why do we punish people with imprisonment or even death and not simply turn them loose if they profess a belief in God and the Risen Christ and promise to turn away from their past transgressions? The moment Dahmer was born again and gave himself over to Christ he should have been let go by this string of logic. He could have moved in next door to you or your family Steve. (I’m sure you’d love that.) I’m making an absurd argument of course because the notion is absurd, of course we don’t do that because its not justice, if we truly believed as a society in divine justice then we wouldn’t have a human based justice system at all.

    We’d trust that God’s judgement was good enough for the actions of a person upon death and leave it at that, if they aren’t born again they’re going to hell so why bother to imprison them or punish them, hell is far more worse then a jail. Likewise we wouldn’t need to protect the victims because God will judge them as well, if they were believers then they’re going to heaven, if not then they’re hell bound. And Dahmer could have gone right on killing, what’s a hundred more victims? And then he could have gotten saved, found Christ, repented and gone on to Heaven, same as Hitler, same as Stalin even, perhaps we don’t know what was going on in their final moments. Would you associate with these people in heaven? Would you ask them why they chose to commit murder on such a large scale? Would you even give a second thought to the souls of their victims who never got the chance to get saved the way they did?

    Disgusting.

    Is our sense of MORAL outrage supposed to change when we die, that a man may share Heaven with the man who, in life, attacked him, chained him in his basement, sexually violated his children and wife and then killed them by burning their house to the ground. I would say that the man who forgave that criminal has grace, but that doesn’t excuse the act itself if no punishment ever comes to that criminal. And worse, what if the man’s wife and children didn’t get into heaven with him, what if one of his children had stolen a penny from a jar thus backsliding, and wasn’t able to pray for forgiveness before he died. (Or some other reason). Would that man not move Heaven and Earth to save their loved one from that torture? Its the premise of the movie What Dreams May Come I know but the argument is valid.

  8. Hi Steve~
    Watching this I am reminded of these verses:
    Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
    And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

    So many people say “I am going to let my children make their own choice about religion.” Well the results can be heinous and are eternal, what a deception we have believed.
    Only the grace of Jesus Christ can save, not any “goodness” on our part. Thank you for sharing! You may find this article interesting too!
    http://www.epm.org/resources/2010/Feb/18/westley-allen-dodds-eternity/

  9. “Fortunately, this murderous cannibal is a now in Heaven because God broke through is stubborn pride.”

    Steve – your religion is pretty messed up. There is no accountability in your faith. You believe murder and cannibalism get the same punishment as telling your wife those pants don’t really make her look fat. You believe that no matter how despicable your crimes, you can repent to avoid any judgment. Here are some natural outcomes of following your religion:

    1 – Rape and murder, then repent. You get to go to heaven.
    2 – Realize that eternal punishment for telling a lie is no worse that eternal punishment for mass murder, so might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, right? Why not go on that killing spree?

  10. See. Steve, now you’re just practicing the weak tea known as apologetics. “This mass murderer was an atheist, so they don’t have morals! These other religious serial killers? They aren’t really religious – they’re just faking it.” That’s garbage and you know it. Your “point” is flawed from the first word you typed.

    Incidentally, Thomas, “a case study in true and false conversions”? Let’s make the case that anybody who lived before Jesus gets a pass, as long as they do what God wants, right? So those party animals in Numbers 31: 7-18 are in heaven now?

    Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    By the way, “He was born again, so it doesn’t matter what he did – he’s going to heaven.” Really? He gets to live in Heaven after everything he did, but Mother Theresa, not “born again” (see, once is enough for the Catholics) gets to burn in hell? Is that the road (to Damascus) you want to go down?

  11. It’s so easy for us to talk about Jeffery Dahmer; To look at him and rip his life apart. What about you and me? Shouldn’t I be taking a good look at myself and where “I” will spend eternity?

    You know, on the cross, Jesus asked the Father to forgive his torturers “for they know not what they do.” It seems like Jeffery took a good look at himself and saw the error of his ways.

    How about all of you? Do yo see the error of your ways even if they’re not as blatant and public as Jeffery’s were? Or, do you still insist on pointing the finger at others?

  12. Hmmmm… so it would be possible for a man to live an entirely homosexual lifestyle, gay marriage, adopted children, the whole nine yards, but when he gets up in years he can turn to Christ, turn away from his sins (once he’s had enough lusting and all) and as long as he doesn’t commit the sin of fornication with the man he’s partnered to, he gets into heaven. I mean he could even stay in love and partnered with the man as long as they obey the rules of sexual conduct written about in the Bible. God could legally dismiss his case if he lives in obedience to the Law. His partner could even do it too, and then they’d be together in Heaven when they died. Lovely.

  13. Gee, Jenny. Big fan of sanctimony, are we?

    Yes, I saw the error of my ways. But many years before that, I saw the errors inherent in Christianity. Check out vintango’s last reply (and actually read it this time, instead of just dismissing it as the rantings of some deranged atheist. Think about it.

    It’s Steve trying to claim that poor Jeffy and his eating disorder were the eventual outcome of not taking communion. You know, speaking of people not admitting the error of their ways.

    (Incidentally, it was only Luke who claimed that Jesus forgave everybody from the cross – the other 3 Gospels have completely different accounts. Shouldn’t the Son of Man’s last words have been important enough for one of his followers to have gotten them right?)

  14. vintango2k’s responses are those of someone that does not understand that we are all sinners on the way to hell. Christ is the only answer for it. We often times like to put different degrees on sin such as murder, adultery, lying, stealing, cannibalism, etc. These are horrible crimes and sins, but they are a manifestation of a sinner, they prove a sinner is a sinner they do not make them a sinner. Jesus showed that sin is a heart issue when talking to the rich young ruler. The acts of being a “good person” do not buy favor with God. Favor with God can only be found through the redemptive work of Christ and His shed blood. If we must be “good” then the grace of God has been cheapened. We can’t be good except for the grace of God.

    Thinking of Dahmer’s salvation in human thoughts is reviling, just as you claimed. “IT ISN’T FAIR!” is your cry and many others, that a man can be so evil and gain salvation. I say that is true too, but THANK GOD that it is. If we all got what is “fair” we would all be baking in the fires of hell right now, after we first sinned and failed to meet the mark set by God. We deserve nothing but damnation, but God in His mercy and through His grace sent Christ to die for you, for me and for Jeffrey Dahmer. That is good news indeed.

  15. A book says that people whom disagree with the authors secretly agree with them.

    Yeah, really convincing stuff, Steve.

    Now, how about addressing the meatier points as opposed to dodging it all like you are prone to do?

  16. Whoa, that’s heavy duty. I didn’t know he had come to the Lord. I have no reason to doubt whether he’s genuine or not. I hope that his faith is genuine. God knows. But wow… pretty intense, needless to say. But the point being, that God can take anyone, as wretched, sinful and disturbing as they may be and change them into a new person through the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. There is forgiveness to all who repent and believe the gospel. Not just those who seem worthy in the sight of man.

  17. “We often times like to put different degrees on sin such as murder, adultery, lying, stealing, cannibalism, etc. ”

    So, you agree an insincere compliment deserves punishment? The same punishment as murder? Do you think our civil laws should operate this way?

    “We deserve nothing but damnation…”

    Speak for yourself. Eternal suffering for finite crimes is sadistic. The God you think exists – that you worship – is a petty tyrant. Well, except He can’t seem to get the trains to run on time.

  18. The slight problem is, Rachael, that it kills Thomas Moore’s point that he often makes:

    That, without Hell, people who commit crimes and “get away with it” will never get punished.

    Dahmer would be a good example of someone who committed heinous crimes but, because he repented, he got away with it.

    Lastly, to Jeffro, telling us that we all deserve to burn in Hell isn’t the least bit convincing. If anything, it only convinces us that your morality is… off.

  19. Also, to Steve:

    Really? Dahmer? Seriously? I didn’t get around to replying to this because I was so shell-shocked that you’d bring up this guy to support your beliefs.

  20. @Jeffro

    You’re right Jeffro, we’re all sinners, we all sin as the likes of Steve and Ray love to point out, so why in the world do we have varying degrees of punishment in our legal system? If the degree of sin doesn’t matter when it comes to divine justice why should our petty mortal justice system be inferior? If we go by God’s standard as you proudly announce, we should put to DEATH all liars, thieves, blasphemers, murderers, adulterers, and fornicators, because why should OUR standard be any less then God’s. We should show no mercy to people who break the Law unless they are born again, because God will certainly not! If this is the standard for justice, than our own justice system, which was founded and maintained by Christians, should emulate it as best as it can. Anyone who violates the Law should be tortured with fire until they perish and then they will be judged in the same manner by God. UNLESS….

    When they are called before the Judge they proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ and promise to repent, then it doesn’t matter, we can turn them loose because their sins are forgiven and whatever crimes they committed, no matter how outrageous and depraved have been paid by the sacrifice of one man two thousand years ago. Imagine it! Think of how many would be converted to Christianity if we did this! Every Muslim, every Jew, every Atheist, that came before the judge once they were accused of a crime would either repent of their sins and accept Jesus or face a fiery death. We could rid ourselves of every non-believer, they’d either perish or convert, its amazing, its wonderful, its JUSTICE!

    On the subject of fairness Jeffro, yes its a very unfair world. One might wish to ask God why he created it that way. Why he made deserts, and limited resources on this planet so not everyone can fill their bellies or play on the internet all day. Why he made Earthquakes, floods, poisons, parasites, viruses, bacteria and all sorts of things that kill people. I for one will ask when I meet him, why he chose a book that is subject to interpretation as his means of speaking with children that he loves, rather then not talking to them directly. He does that ALL the time in the Bible, so why not now when we need him the most? If he loves us so much and wants us to be in heaven with him then why rely on a book to tell people what is right and wrong? Because you know what ISN’T FAIR is not telling the rest of us that belief in Jesus ALONE is the only way to salvation. So the year after Jesus died, everyone in East Asia, Australia, North and South America, Europe, and Africa that perished was burning in hell because their actions no matter how good were not enough to save them. Generation after generation after generation would burn for over a thousand years and even to this day because they didn’t have Bibles, because they didn’t know about Jesus. Because they can’t believe in something they know nothing about. If belief is the ONLY key to salvation and not works then geography alone damned them.

    And finally, I think of leniency. Mortal judges can hand out harsh sentences for crimes, people can serve the maximum number of years in prison for a crime or the judge can show mercy to people based on circumstance. A man might steal a loaf of bread to feed his starving family, or a kid from a broken home might be acting out and vandalizing public property when he really just needs to be in school. Judges might hand out reduced sentences based on these very circumstances. I once got a ticket from a cop for not wearing a bicycle helmet because I honestly didn’t see the signs posted in the area that said I had to wear one (They were in the opposite direction I was going) and I took it to court. I was guilty of this crime but rather then forcing me to pay the 75 dollars like I deserved to, the judge was merciful and dismissed my case based on circumstance. If a mortal judge who didn’t know me personally can show mercy then God who loves us more than our parents do and has a special purpose for us despite us being wicked, certainly can. If he can let a monster like Dahmer into heaven simply because he begged forgiveness he can let a doubter who actually contributed to humanity in some meaningful way in as well. God makes the rules, he’s accountable to NO ONE but himself.

  21. The gospel is scandalous!! There is no getting around it.

    A loving lady who grew to be a loving grandmother, a loving friend, a loving neighbor and communty volunteer, who in all her life only told one little lie but had not repented of it, nor was her faith in Christ.

    She dies and stands before God, her creator who is righteous, holy and just. She stands before Him in her own self-righteousness. When God looks at her, He sees her as one who has broken His law, even if only once. She is judged and cast into Hell.

    A friendly and unassuming fellow, say, Jeffery Dahmer, somehow during his life embarks on a road of treacherous murder and cannibalism, as he was found guilty of doing. But he comes to know the gospel of Jesus Christ, his heart is broken, he truly seeks the forgiveness of God, repents and puts his faith in Christ for the forgiveness of His sins.

    Dahmer dies and is found standing before God on Judgment Day. When God looks at him, He sees him standing not in his own self-righteousness like the sweet lady above, but in the righteousness of God’s Son, Jesus. God looks at Dahmer as though He had never sinned and welcomes him into eternal glory.

    But what of Dahmers crimes and sins??

    God, in His great mercy, gave His one and only Son to pay for Dahmer’s sins. All of them! God unleashed the fury of His justice for Dahmer’s sins upon His own innocnent Son while He was hanging nailed to a cross.

    Dahmer’s sins were not swept under the carpet. They were paid for by a substitute: God Himself! God punished Jesus for Dahmer’s sins as though Jesus had murdered and ate his victims Himself.

    The gospel is, indeed, scandalous…to the world, but not to biblical Christians.

    And this same gospel, this same offering of forgiveness and grace from God extended to Dahmer is offered to anyone who stands outside of God’s grace at this moment.

    You don’t think you are as bad as Dahmer? Probably not. You think you’ll make it to Heaven because of that fact? Think again.

    To vintango2K: you said “Whooo boy. I for one will be disappointed if Dahmer is in heaven…

    If you died today, would YOU end up in Heaven? That statement alone clearly indicates you won’t get there unless you come to accept the true gospel and repent. In the eyes of GOD, who is a better person: you or Dahmer?

    The fact that Dahmer is in Heaven is absolute proof that God does NOT judge people on a curve. Again: salvation is by GRACE alone, through FAITH alone, in Christ alone.

    You can’t enter Heaven by your good works, like in the loving grandmother analogy. On the flip side, you can’t enter Hell by sins that have already been repented of by the offender and paid for in full by the Savior.

    One may think that God is unfair in the way He has His redemption plan set up. I agree. But if God were fair, NOBODY would make it into Heaven. We have all sinned and broken God’s laws. We are all deserving of His eternal wrath in Hell. No one is better than the other.

    I, for one, am glad my sins have already been paid for and that I am going to Heaven by God’s grace. Better Jesus than me. I never would have been able to pay for them in full. Jesus paid it all!

    “But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” Romans 5:20

    Repent and recieve Christ as your Lord and Savior while God has still given you time.

    • But Paul, it’s so much easier to not believe in God and try to be a good person and foolishly believe that I can work my way to Heaven, if it exists.

      It’s easier to live an unaccountable life and do what I please as long as I don’t hurt anyone.

      But Paul, it’s easier to believe that I really have no ultimate purpose than to eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow I die.

      But, but, but… Paul!

  22. But Paul, Jesus died for our sins! Would you want me to make his death meaningless by not committing them?

    “I’m going to make a bunch of people in My Own image (only, you know, capable of being looked upon without your brain melting), and command that they worship Me. Only I’m not going to give them any proof that I exist, except for a book of unknown authorship that frequently contradicts itself! Plus, I’ll make sure that there is ample evidence that this book is false, in that, among other things, there will be a significant field of study that shows that the Earth was not made in the way that the beginning of the book says that it was!”

    LOL@God, dude! The Man was a prankster!

  23. Great, got it, works are irrelevant, we have a free pass to sin as much as we want because we’re already loathsome sinners worthy of death as long as we have faith and ask forgiveness for our transgressions. Its a good system really, and makes sense why a predominantly Christian country like the US has the highest murder rate of all the G-8 nations whereas Japan which has a higher rate of non-Christians has a much lower one. Why fear God’s wrath when you pray to him after you sin, beg forgiveness and have faith in him knowing that you’ll eventually sin again and the process starts all over again.

    As a Catholic we have confession, we ask a priest to hear our sins and he can forgive our sins if we offer up prayers to God, but under certain circumstances if the crime is great enough the Priest can make turning oneself in for their crimes part their penance to be punished accordingly by Law, barring them from communion till they do. That’s at least something.

    If prayer alone to God and faith is enough to get into heaven then those that commit sins and get away with it have no incentive to stop. Take Ted Haggard for example, born again Christian pastor, whom no one doubted his righteousness, he kept cheating on his wife with a male prostitute with no intention on stopping, and why should he? After every carnal act he committed he could pray for forgiveness and trust in his faith. It was only after he was exposed to his flock and his fellow man that he changed his ways, but even then he was dismissed from his job by his fellow pastors. Why? If we all sin, and Ted was born again, so he has faith in Christ then why not forgive him and let him continue his job? Why would a Christian church cast this man out when his sin was already forgiven? What about Judge Not lest ye be judged?

  24. “It’s easier to live an unaccountable life and do what I please as long as I don’t hurt anyone.” (Steve)

    Steve, You don’t think I’m accountable for my actions? That I don’t have friends and family? That I’ve never been employed? That I don’t don’t live in a society with laws and an expectation of reasonable behavior? That I’ve never thought about my place in this world and what I can contribute to it?

    It is your theology that doesn’t hold us accountable for our actions. After all, don’t you believe we are all sinners – regardless of behavior? Our actions don’t doom us to Hell – our nature does, right? Therefore – all of our actions are equal, a fib is as bad as an angry thought – is as bad as eating someone’s brains.

    It is your theology that renders life meaningless. You seem think that without a God threatening you with eternal punishment or commanding you to love your neighbor, then there is no reason to do good and not bad.

    That you guys seem to find solace in this view is quite disturbing.

  25. But Steve, nobody is being a good person for the selfish reason of salvation. There is no Heaven.

    Clearly I am accountable if I am taking efforts to not hurt people. It’s just not your God. Sorry.

    But Steve, you have no ultimate purpose rather than give glory to a deity that requires none. Were your mythologies true, you’d be superfluous at best and a burden at worst.

    Oh, [i]Steve[/i]. It must be so hard to carry such delusions.

  26. Actually Steve I’d find it easier to be Ted Haggard, as long as I kept asking for forgiveness every time I sinned and wasn’t accountable to anyone but God (Whom I know was going to forgive me anyways because of my belief) I’d find it easy to just keep on keeping on. Or perhaps Benny Hinn? It doesn’t matter than Jesus said its easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle then it is a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, keep collecting that money! Or perhaps Gary Ridgeway, as long as he kept the faith, God would forgive him every time he murdered one of his fellow man.

    You see Steve, I’d love to go around, raping, murdering, stealing, fornicating, and being the most wicked human being I could possibly be (Intense sarcasm) but you see its just NOT that easy for me. I’m accountable for my actions, not to God apparently. I USED to think that but you’ve shown me the light. I used to think that when I died I’d speak with God and he’d tell me why the world works the way it does, what things we got wrong and why, and we’d discuss my life, the wrongs things and the right. Did I think I’d get into heaven? Probably because its impossible to tell, I’ve never spoken directly to God personally, we’ve never had a two way conversation as much as I hoped we could. I did believe he’d love me regardless of my faults and doubts because there’s real reasons to doubt the gospel, but apparently doubt is a sin worthy of eternal torture. I’m finding it harder and harder to believe that a loving God would deliberately cast people in pits of eternal torture for only one crime, doubt. And that the works of anyone, good and bad, are irrelevant making life ultimately pointless. This viewpoint is so warped its beyond me.

    As far as ease, sadly I’m accountable to my fellow man, I’d LOOOOVE to be completely wicked, vile, and all that stuff but that pesky mortal system of justice that is vastly inferior to God’s just says that if I do all those wicked things I get tossed in jail or lose my possessions, home, etc. And just like Jeffery loved to pick up strangers, murder them and eat them it wasn’t till he was held accountable by his fellow man that he tried to save himself in some manner because he certainly wouldn’t have tried to without.

  27. Oh my, so many comments, so little time.

    Nameless: Here’s my article on proof. It says everything you need to know about proof.

    perdita: Sure. we are all accountable to the human laws and cultural mandates, but to Whom or what are you ultimately accountable? Who holds you accountable for your wicked thoughts? I sure in heck hate my wicked thoughts and selfish motives.

    Most Christians don’t live in fear of eternal damnation, Hell, etc.We’re secure in the fact that our Redeemer lives. Because he saved me (though I did nothing to earn that, it was a free gift, a gift He gave to me), I want to show my love for him by doing what He says. I bought flowers for my wife today, not because I had to, but because I love her.

    Life is very meaningful for the true follower of Christ. I now know my purpose, one of which is to love others. I try to do this in many ways, one, of course, is to tell others the truth of the Gospel and to earnestly contend for the faith. I converse with you and the rest because I care about you. Who knows? You may even believe one day. That is, of course, if you have been chosen. How do you know? Believe.

    Garrett, See my comment to perdita. And it’s not so hard to carry my delusions; simply because they aren’t 🙂 Besides, Jesus says to take his yoke upon him because it’s easy and light.

    vintango: Here’s an analogy about grace which may help answer your perceived dilemma about all those hypocritical poseurs passing themselves off as Christians. (This also from the book “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”):

    Would a groom on his wedding night hold the following conversation with his bride? “Honey, I love you so much, and I’m eager to spend my life with you. But I need to work out a few details. After we’re married, how far can I go with other women? Can I sleep with them? Kiss them? You don’t mind a few affairs now and then, do you? I know it might hurt you, but just think of all the opportunities you’ll have to forgive me after I betray you.” To such a Don Juan the only reasonable response is a slap in the face and a “God forbid!” Obviously, he does not understand the first thing about love.

    One who continues to sin willfully after his salvation doesn’t understand God’s love and grace. He cheapens it. It also may prove out, if continued, that he never knew God’s grace in the first place, which means he has never been forgiven.

    Hope that’s helpful!

  28. No Steve, I said ultimate purpose. What is your function once you die and go to your Heaven? All I’ve heard is “glorify God,” at which point I asked if God needed said glory. I was told no. Thus, your purpose in the great scheme of things barely registers.

    There is no “ultimate accountability,” Steve, but a rather intricate web of dependencies we all have of each other. We are accountable to our bosses, our government, but also our families and friends.

    Oh, and you let it slip that you’re a Calvinist. Oops! But hey, thanks for finally telling me.

  29. Ahh so people who become Christians and put their faith in God but break the Law again are just poser Christians? Like Haggard said, there was just part of him that just couldn’t stop sinning, he’s struggled with his nature and he just can’t deny that part of himself. Soooo that means he’s damned? There’s no way for him to stop sinning or having those sinful urges as much as he tries to restrain himself, and in all likelihood once the spotlight is off of him he’ll backslide into that sin, but praying to Jesus, putting his faith in Him won’t work now?

    Haggard lead millions to God and preached the gospel, but could not stop sinning, and worse, his church cast him out rather then forgive his sin and let him continue to preach at the church he was key in establishing. So even though he continues to sin and pray for forgiveness that doesn’t work anymore? He’s not truly saved? I don’t really get this. Its fact that born again Christians continue to sin even after they become born again, as you love to point out in your video’s Steve.

    So does this mean that if they continue to sin after being born again they’re not real Christians, just posers? And if this is the case then why at the very beginning of this debate did you put forth the notion that Dahmer was in heaven? Because… in all likelihood Steve… he’s NOT. Dahmer’s last words were, “I don’t care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me.” Do these sound like the words of a man who believed that God had a special purpose for them in this world? Or do they sound like a man who was committing suicide by cop so to speak? I know suicide is a sin (thou shalt not kill) and the method varies from self inflicted mortal wounds, to poisons, doctor assisted, or even goading other people into terminating your life. The result is still the same, you’ve taken your own life.

  30. “Sure. we are all accountable to the human laws and cultural mandates,”

    You implied that we weren’t accountable to anything. So, which is it? And do you really not understand love and empathy and how that works?

    “Whom or what are you ultimately accountable? Who holds you accountable for your wicked thoughts?”

    When we’re children, we’re accountable to our parents. Unless we take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions, we will remain children in grown-up bodies.

    Rather than accept responsibility, your way is to move accountability away from yourself and onto an Ultimate Authority, make it an impossible task that no one can achieve (“Hey, it wasn’t just me! No one can do it!”), and then claim to be freed from it. Easy-peasy.

    “I sure in heck hate my wicked thoughts and selfish motives.”

    Is this seriously a problem for you or is this an exaggeration in order to prove to yourself you’re an unworthy sinner?

    “Most Christians don’t live in fear of eternal damnation, Hell, etc.”

    Yes, but once you were not a Christian, right? And if you didn’t have fear of death or damnation then, why preach it so often to the unredeemed? Because you and others bring it up so often, I have to assume this was an issue for you before.

    I’m glad you have meaning in your life, but it’s what you put there even though you won’t admit it.

  31. vintango2K,

    “Great, got it, works are irrelevant, we have a free pass to sin as much as we want because we’re already loathsome sinners worthy of death as long as we have faith and ask forgiveness for our transgressions.

    You’re missing the key element and precursor to forgiveness: “repentance”. Being saved does not give you a license to sin. To purposely continue in specific sin is an indication that you are still as lost as ever. Hence, a false convert.

    Being saved does not make one perfect. Struggle with temptation and sin continue til death for the Christian. But the sign of a true Christian is contrite and quick repentance for sin.

    “As a Catholic we have confession, we ask a priest to hear our sins and he can forgive our sins if we offer up prayers to God…”

    The RC sacrament of confession (reconciliation) is anti-biblical and, therefore, worthless. Priests, among other things, have no power to forgive sin. The RC church is one of those denominations (the biggest one) that preaches a different gospel than the one in the Bible. It steers people away from the only means of salvation. The blind leading the blind.

    I’m not Haggard’s judge. But the Bible says about false teachers (false converts) that “you will know them by their fruit”. His fruit has proven to be bad. All things point to the fact that, despite his claim to being “born again”, he truly is not.

  32. vintango2k:

    In case you are interested, I added a comment addressed to you back on the “Christless Christmas” thread. Hope you’re having a good day.

  33. @Paul

    Great day, haven’t died yet, but you have a point there, death comes when you least suspect it. That’s why the last thing that goes through my head will be a prayer to Jesus to save my soul. If all I need is faith because all my works are irrelevant then surely that will be good enough. Sadly, the last prayer I uttered Sunday wasn’t for myself, it was a prayer for God to help my father and make sure he’s alright, he recently lost his job.

    In regards to the News, the goal of news is not to show a bias. We have a serious problem with that in the way of cable 24 hour opinion driven news networks in this country. The problem with claiming the facts of the Bible as Fact is that Jews will claim the facts of the Torah as Fact, and the Muslims will claim the facts of the Koran as facts. This is why we have temples of worship so we can get these facts told to us and reaffirm our various faiths. News reports on current events, but honestly Paul what would you want to see reported on the News? Rapture Watch? Reports on the ‘facts’ of Genesis? Reports on how Insects have four legs and how bats are birds?

  34. But Paul surely you realize that the Pope is the mortal spokes person for God, the lineage of popes have prayed long and hard about which doctrines to include in the Catholic faith. Just as the bible was written by people who were inspired by God so is Papal doctrine! God told the Pope how to build the Catholic Church and the Pope obeyed, just as the writers of the Bible did. To claim that the blind leading the blind is true is insulting against my faith and quite frankly arrogant beyond words. Papal doctrines came directly from God, sorry you can’t accept that and sorry that you’re in violation of them, but I pray someday you will see the light and become Catholic. There are approximately 1.1 billion Catholics in the world, the largest religious sect of Christianity, and we were here first. Sorry. We also got it right. Sorry again. Could it be that you’re not Catholic because you simply wish to rebel against the decrees of the Pope, despite them being the word of God?

  35. @ vantango2K

    “Great day, haven’t died yet, but you have a point there, death comes when you least suspect it. That’s why the last thing that goes through my head will be a prayer to Jesus to save my soul.”

    How do you know you will even have time to pray before you die? Heart attack, brain annurism, hit from behind, shot. You can be snuffed out like a candle at any moment. What then?

    You are choosing to refuse accept what the Bible, God’s Word, requires. REPENTANCE! True repentance. Now!

    Coming to Christ for salvation is not a “hocus-pocus” thing and you’re in. It requires a broken heart for your sins (repentance) and a trust in Christ for your salvation. Your good works will be taken into account on Judgment Day but only after you are saved, not as a means to get saved.

    Also, faith is a GIFT from God, given to you when you repent (another gift) not anything you can muster up on your own.

    “But Paul surely you realize that the Pope is the mortal spokes person for God,”

    No. That is heresy. God’s Holy Word, the Bible, is the one and only authority here on earth. Catholics follow a man. Christians follow God. There is no such thing as papal doctrine in the Bible.

    It, along with many, many things the Catholic Church teaches will only hold the lost captive. Sadly, unless they come to true repentance and faith in Christ alone, shall die in their sins and, therefore, face eternal judgment.

    ” but I pray someday you will see the light and become Catholic.”

    God does not command us to become “Catholic”. He commands that we repent and believe. It’s what makes a person a Christian…a true biblical Christian.

    John 1:12-13 says: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

    Being born and baptized into a denomination does not make one a Christian. Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, on one can see the kingdom of God unless he is BORN AGAIN.” (John 3:3)

    Jesus said there will only be “sheeps and goats” on Judgment Day. Sheep go to Heaven. Goats go to hell. There is no corner in Heaven for Roman Catholics, another for Anglicans, another for Baptists, Presbyterians, Buddhists, Muslims, Taoists, whatever.

    Just Christians. True Christians.

    Again, don’t take my words for all this. Read the Bible to see if what I am saying is true.

    Lastly, I continue to pray for you. And I would be pleased to pray for your father as well. I know what it’s like to lose a job. Not an easy thing to face and deal with.

    I pray you come to true repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation in 2011. As you said, death comes when you least expect it so I hope it be soon.

    I pray that God will save you from your unbelief and cause you to repent, believe and be saved, for your sake and for the glory of God.

    Happy New Year, friend.

  36. I’m sorry that you reject Catholicism Paul, just as the New Testament was shaped and formed by scribes inspired by God, so is papal doctrine. You can say that it’s heretical but there’s nothing in the Bible against it, you take it all on faith. Either you believe that God has spoken to the Pope as he has with numerous people in the Bible, or he doesn’t. Do you want to take that risk? You may be betting your eternal salvation by rejecting Roman Catholicism, and this concerns me greatly.
    Honestly Paul, I find your arrogance breathtaking, demonstrating a stunning lack of humility for a Christian. Do you honestly believe that a God who has performed so many miracles in the past and talked with prophets, would cease communicating with his children, especially if he loved us? It would break my heart if my father stopped talking with me or stopped meeting me in person. It stands to reason that God would still communicate with people over the years to let them know the way to salvation, and what he expects of us. To reject this notion is to say that God would never communicate directly with anyone to make his intentions known, invalidating much of the Old Testament Scripture. It is perfectly possible that God communicates to the Pope, and the sheer size of the Catholic faith attests to that. So many of us know the truth, sadly, Christianity has splintered into so many smaller factions because of your rejection of Catholicism and that’s sad. The saints that have been canonized over the centuries have performed miracles after death, does this not move you at all?

    You see Paul, I think that you are a sinner. You just want to follow whichever brand of Christianity appeals to you. How do I know this? Because I arrogantly assume so. Just as you assume I haven’t repented yet and am going to hell. But I do find it interesting that now you say your good works will be taken into account AFTER you trust in Jesus. So NOW works matter? I thought you were trying to hammer home that works didn’t matter for salvation? So Dahmer is in hell despite his faith? You’re sending a very unclear message here Paul.

    It also seems to me that you are in danger of committing the sin of idolatry with the Bible, by raising up the notion that an all knowing, all powerful, all loving, all punishing, God that is accountable to no one, is bound by the rules of a single mortal book, that he is incapable of changing his mind about anyone based solely on this, like he was some sort of machine. That once the Bible canon was established that was somehow it. God could not act differently or change anything in the Bible afterwards if he so desired, or make new intentions known to his Children. You see we got a New Testament after the Old, and supposedly that invalidates all those crazy, bloody laws of the first book in favor of a new Covenant, but what if God wants to change his mind again? What if he wants a new deal with humanity? He can’t do it because the Bible says so? I’m not even advocating he change anything in the Bible to ‘lessen’ his standards of judgement, I just figured he might at some point want to make a Newer Testament to explain the things in the Old Testament. And he has to some extent, previous Popes have now changed their stance on evolution, saying that evolution is a fact but the human soul is still divine and given to us at the time of conception. But I forgot… you reject what the popes say in favor of dogmatically believing in an inflexible Bible.

  37. Just think people. What was the worst crime on the planet??? What would have to be worse then what judas did? Yet Jesus even said. That if judas was to repent and not taken his life. He Would have been forgiven. So how much worse can it get then that! Yes we might think it’s unfair. That his victims were sent to hell. But just think of this for a mintue! God gives each and everyone of us, an opportunity to except Jesus, to repent. He knows the future of these victims. Weather they were murdered, or died from an accindetal death, or a natural disaster. They would have never repented or excepted him. Each and every one of us, are accountable for ourselves! When it comes to salvation. Everyone is given that opportunity to except Jesus as our lord and personal saviour. Be it as it may. Every sin is as big as each other. To be excepted into the kingdom of heaven. Is all about us being forgiven from our sins to begin with! No matter what the sin is! I also believe that once this murder was away from being able to continue to keep murdering. Was the time he was able to take a good look at what he was doing. And repent. As well as I believe, be delivered. As I believed to do something, so horrific. You would have to be demon possessed! Jesus is about mercy and grace. And love and forgiveness. Who are we to say who should go to heaven or not! It does also say. The first shall be last and the last shall be first! You would be suprised who is in heaven!

    • But how is that justice, exactly?

    • Tanya… if God knows each and every minute of what someone will do and the decisions they will make then how does a mortal person even begin to have free will if they’re simply an actor or a sprite in God’s little video game of life that’s reading a script. That the person was created with the foreknowledge that they’d never make the choice to accept God and be doomed to hellfire, God knowing full well that’s where they were headed… why even bother creating the person if their fate was to be tortured forever. Its sadistic by every known definition we have the word. I recently watched a video of William Lane Craig being asked this same question… he dodged it masterfully.

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