Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Heaven?


There is something inescapably immature about the philosophical belief that when we die we are sent to a magical paradise where all our dreams come true. Or maybe that's just me. It is consoling when Fido's being scraped of the windscreen. The idea has been effective in keeping the poor in their place throughout history: it doesn't matter if you spend all your life in appalling conditions making money for someone else if your duration is only a fraction of an eternity in Eden.


What confuses me is the lifestyle of people who really do have faith. Surely anyone who is certain they will be rewarded so richly will not take any chances. 50% of America's population should be crowding round the poor in Africa and Asia. And why does death grieve people who 'know' their loved ones will be with them again in somewhere other than a comparative shithole?


Maybe that's just my depressive cynicism. But what's for certain is that until people realise that this is probably 'it' then we will continue destroying our planet.

6 comments:

Carol said...

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Please clarify.

What confuses me is the lifestyle of people who really do have faith. Surely anyone who is certain they will be rewarded so richly will not take any chances.

Do you mean we should ensure our salvation by feeding the poor in Africa and Asia?

If so, then my response is: doing any kind of work won't get you saved, no matter how noble. We are saved by faith. And if you're already in the faith, then NOT feeding the poor is not going to have an affect on your salvation (unless you personally reject someone in their time of need and you have the means to help them.)

Yes we are to feed the hungry, give shelter to the poor but this is if we are able. This doesn't mean every Christian should become a missionary - not everyone is called to do that. But we are to operate within our own circles - where God has placed us. So if our neighbor is hungry, we feed them etc.

We are also to use our spiritual gifts and they are different for every believer. Not all of us have the gift of hospitality, or speaking in tongues, or healing etc. Not everyone is called to go to a third world country and preach the Gospel. We are all to spread the Great Commission but that doesn't necessarily mean missionary work. We are to do His Command wherever He has placed us.

And as far as a Christian getting upset when a loved one dies. Of course we get upset - we're human. We have feelings just like everybody else. :) Yes we cry but the only thing that keeps us going, that gives us that glimmer of gladness is the fact that they are with the Lord. But they are still not here with us and that makes us sad, naturally.

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Why I hate Jesus. Why I hate Jesus? Why, I hate Jesus!

Depending on your tone, this can indicate many things. I've only read a little of your blog, and a few of the comments, some quite interesting. Whoever or whatever it is you hate, it's not the Jesus who really exists, but one of the many fantasy duplicates that individuals and institutions have fadged up for their amusement.

In Orthodoxy, we have people like you. In fact, in some ways, I'm almost one of them myself. There's no way to break up the dry, desolate soil by pounding it with your feet. You have to pour on water, and wait. Then, that soil can be broken up, so the good seed can be planted and take root.

I will be back, brother.

GCT said...

For Xians, funerals should be joyous occassions, but they are not. Why do Xians fear death, especially their own deaths? The logical course of action for Xians would be to be reckless and live wildly, hoping that they die as quickly as possible so that they can attain heaven as quickly as possible and escape the curse that god has placed them in by putting them on this planet in the first place.

To Carol,
"Yes we are to feed the hungry, give shelter to the poor but this is if we are able."

Funny, that's not what the Bible says.

MR. X said...

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós: Thanks for the comment. I love how you put one of your interests as: 'The word of God'.

I've poured water on myself and got a few mates to stamp on me, but nothing seems to be growing yet.

I think that's one of the problems with taking stuff literally.

pilgrim said...

Brothers and Sisters in Christ

The goal of these men are obvious--Let us not waste time with foolish arguments and long defenses. This has been going on for nearly 2000 years. Let us continue to build each other up in our most holy faith, keeping our eyes upward and our minds on things above. Those who are drawn to Christ will find him, for He finds all of His lost sheep.

But these men are not open to dialogue, only ridicule and persecution. Indeed, their knowledge puffs them up, and they will only continue to try and put us to shame with their tests, their questions and their fine sounding arguments. Let us be like sheep and remain silent and dumb.

Brothers and sisters, the Son of Man is coming--let no man tell you otherwise--and when He is revealed from the heavens with power and glory, our hope and vindication will be made manifest. Keep your eyes on the shepherd of your souls.

Grace and peace...

MR. X said...

I think there's a reason why our arguments sound fine.