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The Christian religion

Updated on September 23, 2015


Understanding of Christianity is based first on the leap of faith that there is a God. The condition and nature of God varies considerably from one denomination to the other, however, God exists. Some other generally accepted views are;

God created the Heavens and the Earth. God is the fount and basis of all goodness. God knows everything.

God dwells in Heaven. This is a not easily described. Various denominations attempt to say what living there will be like but agreed specifics are hard to come by. Two principles, however, are generally agreed upon by all denominations.

a) It is the most desirable place to be.

b) God will not allow sin to enter Heaven.

This raises an important question: “What is sin?” The answer generally is, “To disobey the will of God.” The question that logically follows then is, “What is the will of God?” With slight variations, the answer is given that: “The will of God is that you Love Him with all your heart and soul and that you accept Jesus Christ, his son, as your savior believing that he died for your sins at Calvary then rose again to conquer death and lead those without sin into the presence of God. Then strive to live the commandments of God that you may demonstrate outwardly that you are a new person inwardly.”

This is Christianity as I understand it. Various denominations within Christianity have variations on what all of the above actually means but this seems to be a common thread.

Everlasting torment in Hell?
Everlasting torment in Hell?

Christian beliefs and their dificulties

I have a number of difficulties with the above philosophy. Not least is the idea of worshiping a God who was tortured to death. That seems way too freaky. The belief among Christians is that this was done at the will of his father. That is disturbing.

Another bothersome point is that love is shown to God and absolute devotion must be given. Total faith and total love. These are the prerequisites of entrance into Heaven. “Love me or I won’t have anything to do with you and I will banish you from my home forever.” This sounds like blasphemy. It appears to take the creator of heaven and Earth, a being with the ultimate in intelligence, inspiration and creativity and give him the petulance of a small child. Moreover, this love extends to kneeling on the floor, clasping hands together with head bowed. The God who created iron, who made the wind and the storms, how can it be believed that He made slaves? How can anyone believe that He would want slaves?

Most troublesome of all is the doctrine of Hell. The place reserved for those who do not love God in the manner described and who reject the notion that someone could take on themselves the karma of the world. Those who refuse to believe are damned forever. If the Bible is to be believed, and Christians insist it is the word of God without lies, then hell is a place of eternal torment. A lake of fire and brimstone where the pain never ends. So somewhere out in the cosmos is a massive concentration camp. It’s not like the Reich, built for a thousand years, but for eternity. The Kommandant is God and the guards are his angels. If you ask a Christian why would God do such a thing? The answer is “Because he loves you.”

This is my understanding of Christianity along with some of the questions I have. If anyone has serious answers I’d be glad to hear them.


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    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl


      Thank you for your kind comments,and my apologies for getting your name wrong!

      Yes ,I agree with you about the forum business,I stepped in there tentatively and jumped out rapidly.Discussion,argument differing views are great and healthy:there is never any need for downright rudeness.

      I have to say that generally I agree with most of James's opinions and would see him as a true follower of Christ.

      Some differences of opinion would be as much a result of denominational teachings and practices as anything else.

      Sadly differences which I'm sure are man-made and not Christ-made!

      So long as we keep our focus on Him-Christ...and not fret too much about these issues.

      I am enjoying reading your hubs,they are articulate ,and well thought out and so interesting.

      God Bless.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales


      I too have enormous regard and respect for James. Thank you for approaching this subject in the way you have. It is evident that people with wildly different views can still have reasonable discussion on these issues.

      If only other forums could conduct themselves with the same courtesy I would be more inclined to join them.

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl


      First let me say ,I have enormous regard and respect for James ,however ,on this occasion,I do not agree with him. So the short answer to your question is yes.

      Let me try to explain why I believe this to be the case.

      Each soul created by God is of unique and unrepeatable value.We are made to love and serve God,and to enjoy the beatific vision of knowing God directly.God will not force this on us.

      Therefore,the choice rests with us;happiness with God for eternity (perhaps after a period of purification).Alternatively,living eternally with the consequences of our 'free' choice to focus inwardly on ourselves and in the process reject God.

      This outcome is not what God wishes-but it would be a contradiction in terms for God to give us free-will in such a central decision-and then remove the consequences of our having made that decision.

      Of course,if souls were to be annihilated,that would remove both the consequences of our actions ,and also negate the 'truth' in God's creative power.

      He does not annihilate what He has created.

      With regard to devotion,yes we can be devoted to anything or anybody,but we can worship no one but God-distinct difference.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      itakins; Thank you for reading my Hub and thank you for your comments. James seems to be saying that sinners will be consumed and be no more, that eternal suffering is a misconception. Are you saying he is wrong?

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl

      When Christ spoke His Great sermon relating to judgement -when 'the sheep' would be separated from 'the goats',i.e. the good from the bad-He specifically said that those who had not given help to the hungry and the thirsty,who had not visited those in prison..etc., would be banished to eternal fire ,prepared for the devil and his angels.

      The issue of Annihalation of a soul who,in the words of Christ,had not treated the least of His Brethren as they would have treated Christ Himself ,simply does not arise ..there is no scriptural basis whatsoever for it.We would be foolish indeed to feel that we are more merciful than Christ or better able to make allowances for all the frailities of human natiure than He does.Ultimately you cannot love ,without being free not to love .The free decision by an individual to reject the love of God means that they ,by an act of their own free will,put themselves permanently outside the happiness He prepared for them.

      Hell is a place of eternal suffering,not just eternal fire.

    • iantoPF profile image

      Peter Freeman 8 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

      James; Thank you for stopping by.

      I hope you do see this article as someone questioning what is going on in Christianity. Not as someone being provocative. I have been given the notion that the fires are eternal and burn the sinner forever in that, as I have been told, that if the flames consumed anything then they wouldn't be eternal.

      This is the problem really. There seems to be endless interpretations of scripture with numerous people clinging to their belief and insisting that their way is the only valid one. So how would someone find the truth in this morass?

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      I will answer two of your questions. Hell is not a place of eternal torment. It is a place of eternal fire—unquenchable fire (you can't put it out with a hose)—but fire always does one thing: it burns things up. Those who go to hell will be burned up and be no more. Not tortured forever. This is a common misunderstanding.

      Regard devotion: I know people who are devoted to their jobs, their art, their girlfriends, their football team. Why should God expect anything less for the gift of eternal life?