From the guy who started it, but is as confused as when he started it, I guess I just have to go back to "what we think was symbolic was literal and what we think was literal was symbolic" and pause at the stage that I HONESTLY think that I respect our GOD enough to always search for the ABSOLUTE answer, but also to HONOUR HIM enough to know that I will STILL never know it. (the ABSOLUTE) Thanks for your input...
"Dead conscious of nothing at all" .....
You live up to your name!
So ya knowI LOVE IT!!!!
Gotta luvz ya, U_R
Absoluteism, well said!!! I think you are right about us not knowing alot of things now. Although there are some things that are alot more clear than others. I hope its not too late to comment on this topic, in view of what you said about being confused, but this topic has always interested me much like several other orthodox teachings.
What i have learned so far, (and i'm just scraping the tip of the iceburg) is that the "Immortality of the Soul" as mainstream Christianity teaches is incorrect in that the title itself is flawed. To be immortal not only means no ending, but no beginning.(Everlasting) At the very least, it means pre-mortal existance. If you have a basic understanding of the bible, you know this to be unbiblical. Only Christ himself was immortal (not in his earthly body) in that he existed before his incarnation and after.
What everybody is talking about on this post i think, is the interim state. The state of the soul/spirit immediantly after death. I agree with neon-madman about the book of Ecclesiastes and what is implied. If only christ (and possibly some angels that materialized in physical bodies) had immortality than it stands to reason he never ceased to exist. I know now we could go on and on about where Christ was in the 3 days before his ressurection. Of course the JWs believe he didnt exist those 3 days. I dont really believe that, but at the same time, i dont think WE have immortal souls, perhaps everlasting souls. We are made from the dust of the ground, and the soul that sins will die. From the early writings of the early church fathers, the main theme of the bible was the Ressurection. Paul even said in 2 Cor. 5:1-8 that he desired to be clothed. Surely he wouldnt be refering to some disembodied spirit waiting for a body. But at the same time, his language was very strong that to depart, would mean to be with the Lord. My immediant thoughts to this, are 2) conclusions : 1) Those who are dead are apparantly outside of time. Since they are not aware of time, it could be as simple as blinking your eyes. In the blink of an eye, you are transported to the presence of God. 2) God literally creates a heavenly body for believers immediantly upon death. Then they are given a glorified body at the ressurection. But im just not convinced that everyone has some part of them that doesnt die, but floats off to a destination. The greeks believed in this, and i think the doctrine crept into the church through time.
As you probably know, there are many scriptures on both sides of the argument for or againts soul sleep. As utopian (i think) posted earlier, it really doesnt matter, we know that it will all turn out right, for we are in his hands, the Grand creator who does all things for his Glory and for our good. Maybe someone can start another topic on Soul Sleep (i'm sure its been done a thousand times).
To be immortal not only means no ending, but no beginning.(Everlasting) At the very least, it means pre-mortal existance.
Interesting points, Sangdigger, and this is by no means an area where I'm prepared to be dogmatic. But I do have to question your definition of "immortality". According to my Webster's New World Dictionary (3rd College Ed.), "immortality" is defined as "not mortal; deathless; living or lasting forever." I'm not sure why you think the term would imply a prehuman existence, when the term is really not related to life or existence, but to death. The Latin root word mortalis = death is related to the word mori = to die. Therefore, to be immortal means not to be subject to death, and has no bearing on whether there was a prehuman existence.
I'm glad the dead are conscious of nothing at all.
When my father died, some of the things we said at his gravesite...holy mackerel !
We looked down, but nothing happened, we were glad he was down there, and we were up above (ground level that is).
The jokes we made...woohoo!