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Old August 6th, 2015, 10:12 PM   #11
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I think that last guy missed the point.
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Old August 6th, 2015, 11:00 PM   #12
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I appreciate the tone you hope to set here. I enjoy civil discussion about questions where there is room for intellectuals to disagree. I'll tell you what I think, and you can take it with a grain of salt.

You've probably all heard in one form or another Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Of course. We're all sinners, yada, yada, yada, ad nauseum. It gets used, and I think misused, a lot.

What gets left out of a lot of pulpit pounding fires-of-hell messages is this: In Genesis, and again in Paul's letter to the Romans, we are reminded that "Abraham BELIEVED God and it counted for him as righteousness." In other words, there is nothing to DO or NOT DO, it's a free gift in exchange for a believing heart. That means nothing else counts for or against you.

Where is heaven, and what's it like? After a half century of Bible study, here's my take: I don't know. It's a mystery. What I DON'T believe is that it's up in the sky somewhere, with angels sitting on clouds and strumming harps. For eternity? Yuck!

I'm inclined to think it may exist in another dimension where spacetime has no relevance. But that's just my personal hunch. I can't back it up with either scripture or science, except that in the realm of eternity time would be meaningless. That's all. I know I'll get the crap beat of me for sharing this, but that's okay, because we're going to be civil. Right?

I have this discussion fairly often w/ my family and associates. My wife was raised fundamentalist and my mother is a pastor of sorts. I recall my mother inlaw once asking me something along the lines of "why don't you believe in heaven? Don't you want to see all of your friends and family after you die?" I quickly answered "no, that sounds terrible" it's not that I don't care for them but I cannot fathom an eternity of Easter dinners...yuck!

I bring this up because my kids were teaching VBS a bit ago and one of them was helping w/ the final sermon on heaven. They changed the dialogue because it had come from some sort of baptist teachings where people had to "earn their way" and the process of "being saved" exc. I encourage my kids to be open and they enjoy youth ministry so they go about it. They are fully aware that it am an atheist and an anarchist so there are many points of view for them to explore.


Anyways besides the different "styles" of Christianity I have studied I have also had the privilege to study under the head monk at the watt just south of Farmington along w/ a forest monk from Sri Lanka. Our discussion the other day I think I explained that they could picture heaven/nirvana/what have you as the peak of a mountain w/ many paths leading to the top all littered w/ troubles and beauties. It is the journey and the teachings that make reaching the summit great and for them to beware of someone selling them a helicopter ride to the top.

I don't know I guess that's why I was curious.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 04:36 AM   #13
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I have this discussion fairly often w/ my family and associates. My wife was raised fundamentalist and my mother is a pastor of sorts. I recall my mother inlaw once asking me something along the lines of "why don't you believe in heaven? Don't you want to see all of your friends and family after you die?" I quickly answered "no, that sounds terrible" it's not that I don't care for them but I cannot fathom an eternity of Easter dinners...yuck!

I bring this up because my kids were teaching VBS a bit ago and one of them was helping w/ the final sermon on heaven. They changed the dialogue because it had come from some sort of baptist teachings where people had to "earn their way" and the process of "being saved" exc. I encourage my kids to be open and they enjoy youth ministry so they go about it. They are fully aware that it am an atheist and an anarchist so there are many points of view for them to explore.


Anyways besides the different "styles" of Christianity I have studied I have also had the privilege to study under the head monk at the watt just south of Farmington along w/ a forest monk from Sri Lanka. Our discussion the other day I think I explained that they could picture heaven/nirvana/what have you as the peak of a mountain w/ many paths leading to the top all littered w/ troubles and beauties. It is the journey and the teachings that make reaching the summit great and for them to beware of someone selling them a helicopter ride to the top.

I don't know I guess that's why I was curious.
Beware the helicopter ride to the top. Hmmm. That's an interesting analogy. That kind of goes along with Philippians 2:12: "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Meaning, I think, take yourself seriously, and try to make each day better than the previous one, ie. enjoy life and be good to the people around you, because you can't really do anything to EARN salvation anyway, so I say relax. (The fear and trembling part I think is badly misunderstood because we don't have the words in English to capture exactly what Paul meant, and even the English words have changed in meaning over the years.

An eternity of Easter dinner with the relatives...? Let's not.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 05:27 AM   #14
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Universalism, the idea that everybody goes to heaven, is the primary source of modern evil.

The Marching Morons has a happy ending with all the morons going to heaven. Now that is one form of (almost) everybody going to heaven that I could support.

But then I follow the Old Testament which says:

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Ecclesiastes 3:19-22
For the fate of people and the fate of animals is the same. As one dies, so dies the other; they all have the same breath. People have no advantage over animals since everything is futile. All are going to the same place; all come from dust, and all return to dust. Who knows if the spirit of people rises upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth? I have seen that there is nothing better than for a person to enjoy his activities because that is his reward. For who can enable him to see what will happen after he dies?
Universalism bows to the omnipotence of God, that nothing can stand in the way of God's intentions, certainly not an arrogant mass of self-impressed protoplasm who heaps judgement upon others yet spares himself his judgement due.

Once a person sees it, the Gospel is universalist through and through. A short example.

"The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." -- John 3:35

"Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." -- John 17:2

"All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out." -- John 6:37

If you're ready to see it, you will, but if you're not, that's understandable. The churches have done a thorough job of hiding the Gospel's universalist message, because religion and government have been bound together since before recorded history.

Telling people that God will not have even one of his/her children perish isn't of much use for instilling fear in the people, fear that makes them give up their minds, makes them easy to control.

And, if some are going to Heaven while others are going to hell, and the church has the keys to the gate of Country Club Heaven, well, it's always an ego boost to be a member of an exclusive club.

You're an atheist, Franklin. Why don't you just admit it?

Last edited by imaginethat; August 7th, 2015 at 05:29 AM.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 05:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Asimov View Post
I appreciate the tone you hope to set here. I enjoy civil discussion about questions where there is room for intellectuals to disagree. I'll tell you what I think, and you can take it with a grain of salt.

You've probably all heard in one form or another Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Of course. We're all sinners, yada, yada, yada, ad nauseum. It gets used, and I think misused, a lot.

What gets left out of a lot of pulpit pounding fires-of-hell messages is this: In Genesis, and again in Paul's letter to the Romans, we are reminded that "Abraham BELIEVED God and it counted for him as righteousness." In other words, there is nothing to DO or NOT DO, it's a free gift in exchange for a believing heart. That means nothing else counts for or against you.

Where is heaven, and what's it like? After a half century of Bible study, here's my take: I don't know. It's a mystery. What I DON'T believe is that it's up in the sky somewhere, with angels sitting on clouds and strumming harps. For eternity? Yuck!

I'm inclined to think it may exist in another dimension where spacetime has no relevance. But that's just my personal hunch. I can't back it up with either scripture or science, except that in the realm of eternity time would be meaningless. That's all. I know I'll get the crap beat of me for sharing this, but that's okay, because we're going to be civil. Right?
In eternity, the dimension of time wouldn't be meaningless. Presently, we are apparently and irresistibly "moved by" time, but in eternity time would be a dimension in which one could move around, as we can move around in the three dimensions.

Probably....
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Old August 7th, 2015, 05:37 AM   #16
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If I get to heaven, it better be filled with sexy muscle builders with "yes" tattooed on their chests LOL
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Old August 7th, 2015, 05:49 AM   #17
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If I get to heaven, it better be filled with sexy muscle builders with "yes" tattooed on their chests LOL
Chippendales with halos?
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Old August 7th, 2015, 06:37 AM   #18
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Chippendales with halos?
those are the ones!

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...047194ebbb.jpg
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Old August 7th, 2015, 09:16 AM   #19
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I think that last guy missed the point.
I usually do.
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Old August 7th, 2015, 01:40 PM   #20
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those are the ones!

Last edited by Asimov; August 7th, 2015 at 02:33 PM.
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