No, this isn't a 'bash the believers' thread, nor do I wish to see it become as such. Instead, I have an earnest question I want answered, and I'm afraid non-believers aren't qualified to answer this one, for reasons that will be become readily apparent as soon as I ask the question.
Given all of the religions in the world (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu, etc), which one(s) will lead a follower on the correct path to heaven?
Again, I ask that non-believers let this one go as I am trying to find an answer to a question that has plagued me for years. I just want honest answers from those who believe they might have an answer. I also ask for no name calling, insults, or trashing of others beliefs, though I might be asking for a bit much on this one.
I, myself, am a believer, but as I am the one posing the question I don't obviously have the answer, so I will refrain from posting in this thread and go through the responses I receive to see if there really is an answer to this question, or if this is one of those things where there is really no straight answer.
I don't believe that any single religion has an exclusive passage to Heaven. To me religion is a map that guides you in the right direction. You can believe in the map but if you don't follow the steps prescribed you won't get to your destination. Most religions have very similar steps within their map; love this God, accept this truth as being the ultimate truth, love one another, follow these teachings, spread the word and you'll get to Heaven. I think that if followers were to follow the teachings of their individual religion they stand a very good chance to get to Heaven, regardless of the religion they choose.
There is definitely no religion that leads you to Heaven, I am sure of it. If Heaven does exist, to think that a religion would lead you there is arrogant and misguided. A Divine Creator, with the power to create the entire Universe, would not act in the ways that religion says this power acts. It is just completely illogical based on the facts presented to us. If you want a good afterlife, considering the afterlife exists, then just be nice to everybody and do your best. What kind of God could deny you Heaven for acting that way? If he does because you don't follow the proper religion, that is not a God I want to support.
The straight answer is that Christianity (following Jesus) is the only way to Heaven.
It's the only thing that makes both Spiritual sense and common sense.
Honey that answer makes no sense. You have to tell us why. In addition, what happens to all those other folks who do not believe in Christianity or Jesus? Where do they go? And why is it Christianity and Jesus and not any other religion?
Well don't forget to check the box " It takes me longer than most" on the blue form.
Not really, no, I don't have to tell why.
And do you know why?
Okay I'll tell....ha
God made man in His image. He gave us a built-in thing called a conscience, and He sent us His Holy Spirit that draws "all men to Him". We are special, so-to-speak, out of all the beings (including the angels) that He made; and we have that "tie", that "link", ya might say, to our Creator.
The Bible says that concept is one that even the angels are curious about.
The Bible is the only Book that tells us that story, and that confirms those events, and which helps confirm in our spirits that connection to God.
Jesus came to issue us a challenge-----to be a part of His kingdom, or to be a part of the adversary's "kingdom".
It's that simple. At least to me. Because true Believers walk by that Faith, the offer and possibility of which is in-bred from day one.
All will,but once they are there classes for those who missed it the first time will be available. Just make sure you check the box marked,"It takes me longer than most.", on the blue application. Have a Blessed eternity!
They all show you the path to heaven. They are teachings of enlightened ones who have gone across or merged with god .
I think it depends on how much you really seek the truth.
why are seeking it and are you going to accept or refuse it.
anyway, it isn't up us to say who go to heaven or hell.
we just recognize things and paths lead to tehm.
judge yourself, leave others to the creator.
God knew that there would be people that would ask this question so he said that whenever the Word is preaches there would be signs following so the non-believer would believe because of the signs that would follow. Healings, deliverance for demon, speaking in tongues, Mark 16:
There are many out there that talk a good talk but there is no power in their ministry. We must believe "for" the signs that are to follow.
Just curious....what ministry are you talking about?
The are two types of Christians.
1)Them that believe in the gifts of the spirit and walk in them.
2) them that believe in "part of them" and don't walk in part of them and don't believe in the rest of them.
! Corinthians 12:3 No man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Ghost. How do we know we have the Holy Ghost? Mark 16 These signs shall follow them that believe!!!!!!
Many religions have ecstatic tongues (the NT really meant other languages which at the time and now useful for preaching to other people groups). Many heal. Many claim exorcism.
The true path will manifest signs. But signs no test of genuine religion. For devil can quote scripture, and manifest signs as well.
I am a believer... I believe that there is one God who is known by many names and worshiped in many different ways. Living with this belief allows me to have no need in passing judgment on anyone for how they worship or what they believe in. As far as how you are to worship or give praise to God is up to you. Find what brings peace and happiness to your life.
If God is Goodness itself, all those who seek and do the good seek and do the work of God, though each may know God by many names.
Some will be Christians, some Hindus, some Jains; some Jews, some Muslims; some Shintoists, some pagans, some Buddhists; some will have no path recognizable as an organized religious path; some will call themselves atheists.
But inasmuch as they care for others and themselves for the right reasons, they will do the work of God, which is to perfect the world.
After this is all done and we die -- it is up to God to decide questions of the afterlife. God is also Justice and Mercy, infinite Justice and infinite Mercy. God is infinite love. I have an enduring faith that the God I worship will not play favorites and give eternal life to this group over that one -- he is not so much concerned with one's knowledge and words as one's intentions, character, and actions -- how hard one tried in this world, what burdens one chose to bear.
No believer in God ought to be willing to enter a heaven where others are barred due to imperfections in beleifs or differences or anything of the sort. All of us ought to be willing to say to God -- take us all, or take none of us.
And I think that is why God will, indeed, take any who desire to be with him in eternity, whatever that may mean.
Almost all the major religions direct towards following Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the final Prophet for mankind and his way of life was Islam. So Islam is the only preserved (in it's origional form) art of living for us.
Sorry but Hinduism believes the all the prophets are equal and divine messengers of god.This truth has been spoken for a very, very long time and they (the prophets- Vishnu Avatars) come and reiterate this truth.
There have been many great master after Muhammad who have tried to unite all religions as the believed that fighting over whose prophet or religion was greater was stupidity as the message was the same. Hindus now expect Kalki the prophet
Heaven is straight ahead. Just fight for the good cause, never give up and you can't miss it. No specific religion is required.
I want to believe its Christianity but the other religions also believe they are on the right path and some of these people are very devoted to their Religions. They live good lives, are humanitarians etc. If they die, surely they can't burn in hell, for all the good they've done.
This is a tricky one - I will visit the thread again to read other views.
I really believe that any Church that worships the creator is a great place to go to be introduced to God? It's kinda like a blimd date! Ya meet the person and have a relationship, If it feels good continue the relationship. Ya do not have to keep going back to the person that introduced ya to that person. Your relationship with that person will thrive best on your own. I feel like Jesus died on the cross so that I can have a relationship with him without inter mediators. Once we meet we are on our own. He knows what is in my heart and if it fits he will wear it. If it doesn't he will let me know how I need to change to fit in. He will tell us. He will not talk to the person that introduced us to tell us what we need to do. He will tell us!!! I like that idea!!
I believe that we can only plant a seed, it is God himself that will do the work in us.
Its not a religion, its a Real God in a Real world, who really loves us and helps us. If you want God to be serious about you, perhaps you should be serious with Him. BL
I'm not qualified in any way to participate, but I will be checking in on this one to see what is being said. It's a very interesting question that I have thought about myself, in terms of other people's beliefs.
As a non-Christian spiritualist, I'd like to chime in. You mention the ideas of many religions, so I hope when you say "believer" you're not just talking about those who follow one of the Abrahamic religions (at least, that's not how I initially took your post to be and so, I am working on that assumption).
I consider myself a Heathen. That is, I'm a Pagan that follows the Norse tradition (I don't consider myself Asatruar because I'm not a member of the organized Asatru religion).
I believe that we go to different places after we die based on what we've done in a given life. For some, that means being reincarnated into another life. For others, it means going to Valhalla ("the Hall of the Slain," Odin's chosen slain warriors) or Folkvangr ("the Field of the Host," Freyja's chosen slain warriors), and for others it means staying in Niflheim (or Helheim), the land of the dead. Most people will either be reincarnated or stay in Neflheim.
I don't think there is "one true" religion, and I don't think that the religion that makes sense to one person necessarily makes sense to another. For me, Heathenry is the only religion that makes "spiritual and common sense." However, what works for me may not work for you, and because of that, I think there are many ways to reach a desirable afterlife. Leading a life that is true to your morals and ethics, be they derived from sacred texts or religious tenets (the Ten Commandments, the Nine Noble Virtues, the Wiccan Rede, etc) or secular logic ("I shouldn't kill people because I take away their right to live..."), is what matters most, in my opinion.
Though I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I completely agree with Cirdon's response. "What works for me might not work for you."
I know that that mentality goes against what is written in the Bible, and I am sure many Christians will be up in arms with my stance...
First of all, thank you, Yoshi, for asking an honest question and being open to the answers that you will be given.
Unfortunately, I do not have a scientific or rational answer for you, because I have never been to Heaven and so cannot prove how to get there.
All I can share with you is that my belief in Jesus Christ FEELS right to me. I studied many - Buddhism, various Christian religions, and even Wiccan. But when I just sat down and let my heart and mind be open, I found that whatever God instructed men to put in the Bible - whether it is true or not - is what has given me the strength, courage, and hope to survive my life.
I know that there are a lot of people who refute the Bible, and a lot of people who refute the life of Christ, and I am okay with that. I understand that Christianity is far-fetched. I know that Christians can be jerks (along with other religious fanatics). I get it. Really. But I know in my heart, mind and soul that Jesus' words, the story of His life and the hope of eternity with Him helps me get out of bed every day.
Whether or not I'll end up in Heaven, I won't know until That day. I believe I will, but I do not KNOW because as a limited human, Heaven is not tangible.
I wish you all the best on your search for an answer, Yoshi.
now see, i respect you and what you say because of how you express it. that was really quite beautiful.
Thanks, Cosette. I appreciate your compliments more than you know
Unfortunately, I do not have a scientific or rational answer for you, because I have never been to Heaven and so cannot prove how to get there.
But I know in my heart, mind and soul that Jesus' words, the story of His life and the hope of eternity with Him helps me get out of bed every day.
Whether or not I'll end up in Heaven, I won't know until That day. I believe I will, but I do not KNOW because as a limited human, Heaven is not tangible.
I wish you all the best on your search for an answer, Yoshi.
Okay, I liked the way you wrote this. It was funny.
However, you seem to be not giving yourself enough credit, for the actions for which you're doing.
I understand you believe it "his" strength, but the reality of the truth is he is not. And, it's all on you.
The fact that you dismiss your abilities or under-estimate your own limitations is perhaps the problem to begin with. That's what religion(all) does.
It tells you give up free choice.
It tells you to give up desires.
It tells you to follow the word of god, as if it's real.
When you needed guidance, you sought out religion or "god", and you found the strength to continue.
And as you said- Your faith is Jesus?
Are you putting his teachings into the right context?
And, just to let you know....the above question is a trick question.
Jesus Christ was a teacher. Not a minister, not prophet, not the son of "GOD" nor was he a "GOD" himself.
He was a human being, who taught people to evolve, from nature guided reactions into self-responsible human conscience beings, and to take full control of their life.
Not to be weighed down by religious/spiritual leaders who spread lies about a false idol.
And, because he taught people to do this...is the exact reason why he was executed. No other reason.
Thank you for your input, Cagsil. It is very helpful to hear others' insight regarding religion, Jesus, and the ilk. Hopefully, I can take in all that you've said and decide for myself what applies and what does not.
First of all, thank you for thinking I am strong enough to overcome the obstacles I have all by myself! (For some of it, you can see my hub The Truth Hurts.)
I know that this has become a cliche, but truly I have no "religion." I have a relationship with my (imaginary) friend, Jesus, and his father, God, and their Spirit, Holy. I am not weighted down by anything but my own mind, my own will and my own shortcomings (and yes, I do have shortcomings, because I am human). Have you read the fiction story "The Shack?" It is a compelling novel that, for me, creates a beautiful word-picture of exactly who I think God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are.
My relationship with the Trinity does not require that I give up anything, but just be open to what God has for me. I am not lacking in any choice or in any desire. My relationship does not, IMO, make me weak; it gives me strength. (It's like using premium gas instead of regular.)
I know that faith in Jesus' saving works is not for everyone. I accept that. I'm not asking you to believe as I do, or feel as I do.
You said, "He was a human being, who taught people to evolve, from nature guided reactions into self-responsible human conscience beings, and to take full control of their life." I've never heard that before. Where are you getting that from? I like it. I don't know if I agree with it, but I would like to research it.
We obviously disagree about the validity and/or value in the Bible. And like I said in my original post, I'm okay with that. I understand that for some, the Bible is a bunch of hooey. But for me, it brings peace and joy and hope.
I am interested to know, Cagsil, what brings you peace and joy and hope?
You and I are not so different in how we ended up where we are, really. I studied a number of religions as well and had grown up in Christianity, and it wasn't until I just sat down and opened myself up to listen that I found the path that feels right for me.
I'm glad you found it, Cirdon. I definitely intend to look into the Norse tradition a little bit more, as I hadn't heard of it before your post.
I really like what you wrote. Especially, "Leading a life that is true to your morals and ethics, be they derived from sacred texts or religious tenets (the Ten Commandments, the Nine Noble Virtues, the Wiccan Rede, etc) or secular logic ("I shouldn't kill people because I take away their right to live..."), is what matters most, in my opinion."
It allows for the understanding that I CAN derive my morals and ethics from a text rather than depending upon what I have inherently. Because for me, anyway, I depended on myself for 21 years, and what is inside of me does not seem to have any ethics or morals
I'm of the opinion that we derive our morals, points of view, outlooks, and other aspects of ourselves from both internal and external sources, be they books, ourselves, other people, or even movies or TV shows. I don't think we should discount any potential source of insight just because of the source. We learn from our experiences and the input we get from around us the things that work and the things that don't, and if we use the knowledge we already have, we can learn from any source.
But, I'd like to interject if I may.
How you develop your own personal conscience is different than being conscious. Your consciousness, your awareness and your ability for compassion is unrivaled in the universe.
There is nothing, proven, by any stretch of the imagination, that can compare with your abilities as a human.
You know- what is right or wrong. It is feeling inside you- your conscience tells when you've done something wrong. Even, if you don't think you've done anything wrong.
You cannot avoid or escape your own consciousness, because it is individually yours and you also cannot escape your own conscience from getting the better of you.
You may be able to delay it from affecting/effecting you and how you live, but it will come back to haunt you.
Life is a circle. What goes around, comes back around.
Great post. I would like to suggest that the more conscious we become the easier it is to see right and wrong in many ways more clearly.
If we give love from knowing that our reward is in the giving itself and not the reward we are to recieve, we receive love of self that is healthy and enables us to give more. We also teach those around us and the recipients of our love that this is a worthwhile way to behave.
I love reading what you write in these forums. I love your perspective. It is very intriguing to me. I don't necessarily fully understand it, but I love reading it. It's very encouraging to read that you have so much optimism regarding humans.
I appreciate that you explain your viewpoint without degrading mine.
I appreciate you, Cagsil, and I hope that you continue to write!
I don't believe I ever said anything about being conscious and having a conscience, so I honestly don't know where your reply is coming from. You do have an interesting point, though.
That said, what about psychopaths? You seem to be suggesting that there are certain rights and wrongs that are innate, within our conscience, but psychopaths don't have that (yet they are conscious of themselves and what they do).
Many people would say that it's wrong to kill another human being, under any circumstance, yet human sacrifice is a very prominent part of human history. Those people didn't have a little voice in the back of their head saying "it's wrong to kill them."
Right and wrong are social concepts. It's pretty universal that killing someone outside of war, sacrifice, or self-defense is "wrong." But why is it considered "wrong"? Survival of the tribe. If it was socially acceptable to kill someone at will, then the tribe would never survive.
And is it wrong to eat the flesh of a fellow human? Most people would say yes, but when put into a situation where it's either eat another human or starve to death, what's socially acceptable goes out the window and "right" and "wrong" are determined by what it takes to survive.
You know how they always say the truth is stranger than fiction?
Well, for those non-believers....I congratulate you on your successful transition.
For those believers, I also want to congratulate you on blowing the entire concept of life out of the water and completely misunderstanding Jesus Christ's true work.
But, then again, you don't know about the people of that time, except what you've learned through your religion.
Scientific history can be researched, if you choose to, but you have to dig deep into Humankind's development of the metaphor and how that came to be?
Before you run off half-cocked, believing in a GOD that doesn't exist.
Jesus Christ's teachings and the followers he taught, his work was seen as going against GOD's word. Why do you think he was executed?
Another thing to note: many humans at that time....didn't or were not consciously aware of their own being. His followers learned to expand their mind, to enable Human Consciousness and Free Will take over.
There is NO divine power, guiding your life and your life isn't controlled by anyone except for you. Unless, you're 100% convinced GOD is real. And, in that case, you still don't understand Jesus Christ's teachings.
Otherwise, you would see religion as a fake.
I don't have a cut and dry answer for you, but if you truly want answers you pray about and pick up your king James Bible and read, from beginning to end until you get your questions answered. Godspeed and blessings to you. creativeone59
But, what do you think you're reading exactly?
It's fiction. It's religion's ancient practice of controlling those who don't understand life's true meaning.
Unfortunately, that's truth.
They want you so deeply entrenched that you won't listen, to even basic reasoning. So, they can continue to powerfully influence people's life, when in fact- they shouldn't even exist.
in short, i don't expect to go to heaven. In the lords prayer, it asks for the kingdom to come on earth..... I would like to live in paradise conditions on earth, as it was intended right back in the beginning.
I believe god's original intention, was for mankind to enjoy everlasting life on earth, and we will come back to his original intention.
I cannot visualise heaven, but i can visualise a beautiful earth full of wonderful things, crime violence pain a thing of the past...... i fixed my hope on that coming about, whenever it happens i want to be there. Maybe i will die, but i think a resurrection to a paradisaic earth, in wonderful conditions, is a reality...........
Remember, the old saying, "You only get one life, so you better make it good."
Well, that's about it. There is no after-life, because once you lose your consciousness you will no longer be alive or with the living.
Life after death, would suggest that only in death are we truly free to become what GOD intended.
Which is what "religion" has taught most people. A "GOD" is going to accept you into his kingdom and absolve you of your sins, because Jesus Christ already died to pay for your sins.
Life is Eternal. You should be able to live forever and the only reason life isn't seen in that manner is because you've been told all your life that you will die, it is going to happen.
But, that's purported by false "religion" interpretation of Jesus Christ's teachings.
His teachings shouldn't even be in any religious context, because he wasn't preaching religion....he was preaching "HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS". And, nothing more.
Legend in your own mind. Free yourself from your illusion!
I honestly wish that there were many more people with a "HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS" I don't care If they believe in God or not. This could mean less murders, rapes, thefts and other acts of violence. If people being religious helps to instill this conciousness in people.. well I'm all for it.
The Bible agrees with what you believe. However, it takes a belief in the entire Bible and God its author in order to benefit from its promises. And really requires a study of the Bible and a comparison of religions to understand that the Bible and the God of the Bible is the only true way.
Yeah poetlorraine. I don't think I've once heard this said on the Religious forum. Kingdom of Heaven/Fields of Peace is all about it being on earth.
As a "believer" in many religions, my view is that every path leads to God. We came from God - we go back to God. There may be many twists and turns on the way, but we all get there.
The Dalai Llama said in one of his books that there should really be 6 billion religions - one for each person on earth, because we are all unique and therefore the way we believe is unique.
John 3 verses 1-8
1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Another great book report! You have learned your subject well.
Can you offer the man an answer to his question rather than telling him how you found it?
I believe these Scriptures answer the question. You may not believe they do if you do not believe in Gods Word to have those answers. But I think God Himself is the best one to answer the question and Jesus being God answered it many times as written in the Scriptures.
There are great lessons in all religions. My heaven is a journey without destination. What heaven could be created or evolved that would satisfy any spirit?
I've been to heaven many times...when I fell in love...when my children laugh....when my grandchildren hug me and say,"I love you grandpa"....when I see my wife next to me every morning.
Until we recognize that heaven can be within us and those we love.....it's going to be a long, long and lonesome ride.
I would like to personally thank everyone who responded to this thread and - as promised - I stayed out of it to hear all of your views.
I'm still as confused as when I asked the question, but I do thank everyone for approaching the question and giving their best answer.
Thank you to all.
On another note,
We are suppose to see signs? What signs?
So, that means you're to obey?
And, what if you don't obey?
Is there death awaiting?
The answer to your question is not found in a religion.
It is found in a Person who gave His life for your life and He will give you your life if you lose it to gain His life.
Why somebody had to give his life for mine ? what was the danger ? And Why would I want his life for?
Are you answering my questions, underwishings ?
Someone pure to give their life for your life that is not pure as an exchange because of love for you.
You would want His life in exchange for yours that will perish and His will not.
The nature to error is within the blood, so He gave Himself as a pure blooded offering in order to cleanse your blood.
How dramatic ! What does purity has to do with life ? Why I would want another's life?. I don't believe. Give a proof that some person gave his life for mine. I never asked though. So why do it ?
Perhaps you saw the film "Man on Fire" ??
"I will give you her life for your life"
more dramas !
A man on fire! that sounds XXX
Well if you ask me, that was a great movie to prove the point because the little girl did not ask him to give his life for her life, but he did.
I saw it many times and thought it was great. Did you see it man?
I can only assume you're talking about Jesus?
However, Jesus Christ didn't DIE for our sins, let alone mine or anyone elses, he was murdered, executed by human beings.
He wasn't killed because of mankinds sins, he was killed because he spoken against religious faith.
And, if you think Jesus Christ was anything more than a human being, then you've obviously misunderstood Jesus' teaching.
Seems like the point is that it was done without your asking.
As to the proof needed? Revelation comes only to some.
Purity is required by someone who is Holy.
Someone Eternal can offer life to someone who is mortal, sounds like a deal to me.
So where is this someone eternal ?I'm sure you know. You must be a chosen one tell me !
You ask where?
Actually we live and move and have are being....."inside" of Him.
So the real question is "where are you inside Him?"
Entonces la verdadera pregunta es "¿dónde estás dentro de él?"
I'm not inside someone I don't believe in. Sorry ! this is going in circles. leading nowhere. You will not convince me
Well it would seem to me that if you do not believe, why ask any questions?
Are you looking for the truth?
Why pester the guy then?
No. I have mine. Now I'm interested in yours. I'm proving my faith in mine.
interested for what?
I see you in here just making jokes and you are not looking for real answers at all, you seem to think everything is a game !!
I don't want to be buried in a Pet Sematary,
I don't want to live my life again.
Wiser words have never been sung. By the Ramones.
If all of us believe in God then all of us are on the right path.
Last time I checked there was only one, God Almighty himself.
Just check the box I'm slower than most on the blue form. You'll get lessons you need to understand the right religion. There's no sense your bothering with us when you can here it from the source.
Theory tested and backed by supported documentation.
These questions are always so difficult to answer as when you are of a certain faith, you beleive you are going to heaven based upon that faith.
With that said, I believe in the bible and the bible clearly says in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that who beleives in him shall not perish but have eternal life"
In John 3:3 "I tell you the truth, unless a man is born again, he can not see the kingdom of God.
These are not my words, but what the word of God states.
Beleive me, I'm not trying to offend anyone, but instead tell you what I beleive.
You're not bothering me! In fact I think you're cute!
Okay, since I no longer follow my catholic upbringing, please verify you are talking about John one of Jesus' apostles? Correct.
I know my religion is out-of-time, but I want to make I'm on the same page.
Honestly, Cagsil, I would have to say it is an unexplainable feeling, but I will try
I guess it's sort of like falling in love...The moment you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with someone.
For me, there is a tingling that occurs in my neck.
There wasn't necessarily a specific moment for me, it was an 8-month process of getting to know who this Jesus character was. And then, 8-months later, I looked back and realized, "Oh wow!"
And at that moment, my gut felt settled. My brain felt less cloudy. My heart felt happy.
And like I said, I know that my faith isn't scientific. I know it's borderline irrational to non-believers, but it's rational to me. I don't feel brainwashed or blind or like a sheep. I don't go to church, honestly. I sit and read my Bible and pray and be open-minded to what God has in store for me each day.
And in the end, that's what matter, right? That we each do for ourselves what we feel is the right thing to do?
Sorry to flood the forum, Guys and Gals. I wasn't logged on last night, so I had to catch up
I know the difference between right and wrong, covert and overt abuse, psychological processes that lead to psychological abuse. and as I behave out of love I get to have the fruits of that now. A better decision than to run around telling others to ruin their lives for an illusionary afterlife!
One does not do good or become a good person **in order to** go to heaven. Or to Chicago. Or anywhere. One does it because it is good to do, good to know, good to be -- it is inherently valuable for all humans.
Anyone who does good things **in order to** get some extraneous reward for it has missed the entire point of being a good person already -- by definition, they are hardly good or as good as they ought to be. Doing the good is already its own reward. Failing to do what needs to be done is already its own punishment. Both make one who one actually, fundamentally, is.
Heaven is not a reward -- not in my tradition, which is a form of traditional Christianity. That is very poor theology, though a popular misconception (but the word popular misconception is almost an oxymoron, too). Heaven isn't a reward, it is a gift, gratuitously given, by God to whomever He desires to grant it. It is owed no one.
One ought not think of it as the eternal ice cream party for those who make good grades on the high school finals.
What God expects of us in this life is to live decently and as virtuously as possible -- not to get to heaven, but to be good people, to strive to be good at being people, to give a good example, to do what needs doing for one another.
Heaven is, then, not given to those who've "earned it," as there is no earning it; nor is there any automatic "loss" of it. It is up to God's judgment to whom he will grant it.
As I hold God is merciful, and, in fact is Mercy Itself, I have faith He will withold it from none who desire it, ultimately.
But the desire is shown in our actions and our intentions and how hard we strive in this world -- how hard we strive to make of Earth and our individual and corporate lives a Paradise and not a Hell.
being loving is the reward for being loving. The reward for giving is the gift of having enough to give.
No rewards other than these are real or needed. Give now for life now.
Yes. Pretty much what I said, too. Except I have the problematic religious belief bit added on, but that was the nature of the original question.
Heaven, again, in my belief, is not a reward for anything. It is a gift, one which I see no good reason to expect God will not give to as many as He desires to, regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof.
Arguments about whose beliefs are superior and inferior and whose actions are or are not good enough to earn their way into heaven are moot as far as I am concerned -- these are not what we are to be concerned with in this world, the only world we live in. Being good people and striving are our concerns here -- as these are inherently valuable in this world. Nothing else is.
I 3rd that! Well, except for the absolute statement about a heaven. I haven't died yet, so I am humble enough to admit not knowing the afterlife or if there is an afterlife. Heaven is a nice thought, not enough to hook me into a silly bible contradictory to individual belief.
How you doing Earnest?
I was raised an atheist, never really heard about God and all that until I was just about 13, my brother and I sneaked into a church to find out what they did in those places. When we told my parents, my dad disowned us for being stupid, gullible, embarrassments and my mom just cried at us (later I found out my mom was crying because "my own children don't even know about God"; it was entirely different than we thought.)
I spent a lot of years trying to figure out all the religious messages I heard, contradictions in the bible, why other religions were the same and why they were different. It was all ridiculous and frustrating because I KNEW there was something true in it somewhere but it was damned hard to find.
Then God showed 'himself' to me and nothing else matters. These lyrics by a group called Mercy Me fit so well with me:
I was taught to be practical in everything I do
Holding on to what is tangible, and then came You
That's when I found myself so far away, from everything I knew
I took a leap of faith
Even though You're difficult for me to explain
I know I'll never be the same
You're everything I cannot see
You're everything I cannot say
I know it all seems so illogical
But that's okay.
The whole point of coming to God by Jesus doesn't mean to me that I have to say some rote christian prayer that accepts what someone told me. It's his life in total union with the spirit that is God, a God that is immense and leaves you speechless with awe and wonder, way beyond anything we can discuss, that is what is meant by coming to God through him.
So other religions, other religious leaders and adherents are doing the same thing, coming to the almighty through the path of Yeshua by living in union with the Holy One like he did.
If a certain religious belief answers all of your questions and furnishes you with an understanding of 'The Meaning Of Life' that keeps you on the path of righteousness, then so be it. If it doesn't, then the answers you seek must be somewhere else? Keep on looking and you will find. One more thing, heaven is not what everyone thinks it is.
I have real questions for you=)
most favorite religion for success is that of the family. After all any religion that you are you are born out of a womb
at that point you brain is not big enough to concept god it will never be therefore you cannot read about it. Hence fake scriptures
. However one can remember the true feeling of love from the womb.
Any religion that has written material to guide for a concept of god is valid as to chamber pots as to humans.
Any religion that allows value of gold does not serve human race and will not lead to future.
Anything you feel from the heart is your guiding truth all other scripture is just as good as an opium pipe.
I'm going to have to disagree.
Actions and Thoughts are moral and immoral.
All others like feelings and emotions are amoral.
Amoral: not moral or immoral.
Having a moral/good or immoral/bad thoughts are controlled by you the individual, by your consciousness and conscience.
The fact: that you point about that morals are man-made, you are only partially right and partially wrong.
Morals are absolutes, which are built-in(comes with), your conscience. You cannot deny they are there.
Everytime you think, an individual thought, about an action or thing, it becomes moral/good or immoral/bad, long before you take any action.
You will know- before you do it or act upon, whether or not, it's acceptable or unacceptable.
What standards are set for morality? Morals again are absolute.
Any moral action that is beneficial to society is considered right/good.
Any immoral action that is harmful to society is considered wrong/bad.
There is not any other standard to which to live by. It's that cut and dry.
As for your comment about "killers"(all types), as can see from the absolutes I've given above, they too fall into one or the other.
Trying not to state the obvious, but destroying a person's life is immoral or wrong.
I hoped that helped.
You said: "And is it wrong to eat the flesh of a fellow human? Most people would say yes, but when put into a situation where it's either eat another human or starve to death, what's socially acceptable goes out the window and "right" and "wrong" are determined by what it takes to survive."
Actually, believe it or not, not every part of the human body can be eaten by another human being, and expected to live afterwards. So, you be the judge of that. Being a cannibal is dangerous, because we all carry small parasites within our bodies that would be dangerous to other humans, but are not dangerous to the carrier.
What's socially acceptable? There is not a socially acceptable "right" or "wrong". There are only absolutes. If a person was to eat another human because it is for survival and that person is already dead? Then what difference would it make.
That person isn't part of society and can no longer be beneficial to society. Therefore, it would be acceptable for your survival. If you had to kill them? Obviously, killing a human being for any reason is immoral, even if it is for your own survival.
I hoped that helped.
While it may be true that not all parts of a human are edible to another human, that's not exclusive to human flesh.
For example, the liver of a polar bear has so much Vitamin A in it that it can actually kill a human from Vitamin A overdose. The chemicals that the Poison Arrow and Poison Dart Frogs (as well as other various frog and toad species) secrete on their skin can kill a human with just a very small amount.
E. Coli is a poster child for your comment about something not being dangerous to the carrier, but dangerous for a human to ingest, yet it's present in many of the foods we eat even on a regular basis.
Also, cannibalism is considered wrong, period, on a social level. If it wasn't (to use your example, if they're already dead, then they're not contributing to society), then at the very least, people wouldn't get put on trial for cannibalism, even in survival situations (which they currently do).
I still don't agree that you innately know if something is moral or immoral before you ever act on it. If that was the case, then children, who don't have the capacity to foresee the consequences of their actions, wouldn't do things such as lie, steal, or hit another child. However, because they don't know better, adults have to teach them what is considered right and wrong.
Says who? And what about for self-defense? Is it still immoral to kill someone who intends to kill you?
And you still haven't answered my question about psychopaths. They are conscious, but have no conscience. Even if your assertion that everyone has an innate sense of "right" and "wrong" is true, psychopaths do not have this sense. Does that make them something other than human? And how do you explain them?
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