In This Together: A Poem and Poll

pope-francis-2-300

 

Heaven is for all:

atheists, agnostic, yes,

even religious.

 

You don’t believe me?

Ask the Pope. We all do good

in a true god’s eyes.

 

 

 

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “In This Together: A Poem and Poll

  1. Religions with its notion of God have too many meanings as levels for interpretations/understanding and such four (even if thousands) questions are simple too simple.

  2. None of the above. The correct answer is not listed in your options. The answer is certainly that all people do NOT exist with God after death, but not for the reasons you offer. To exist after death with God is by freely receiving the sacrifice of Christ for our sins as offered freely from God as a gift that we can never earn. Trying to gain access to heaven by our works (earning it) is first of all an insult to grace, and secondly falls infinitely short of the requirement. Receiving the free gift by grace hits the one issue God has with us – pride. All other sin is predicated upon pride. Man’s first sin involved setting himself on a course of self-sufficiency, and God’s redemption requires the acknowledgment that we are not sufficient to save ourselves without Him. The cure fits the problem.

    • I don’t find there to be a ‘correct’ answer. We are all correct in our own minds. Concerning pride, I find the concept of pride to be a cover/excuse for judgment. I know I always go back to it, but bare with me. Pride is the feeling of self-satisfaction. In many situations, there is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s self. There are two ways the pride can be utilized as a negative. The first is through stubbornness. A person can become so self-satisfied in their thoughts, their actions, their achievements, that they refuse to acknowledge when the source of their pride is faulty. The second way, which can tie into the first, is when one takes this self-satisfaction and projects it against other people. This is where pride, especially pride in the ignored fault of one’s self, causes pain and suffering toward others. I suppose if you want to follow the concept of Adam and Eve, then yes, pride is the source of all sin. But again, as I’ve said, to pin all our eternal souls on the negative act of one predecessor seems utterly unkind and bitter to me.

      I also don’t really get your ‘cure fits the problem’ statement. I get the cure, but what problem are you talking about? The problem of how to ‘get to heaven?’

  3. Rana,
    Your statement that “We are all correct in our own minds” is certainly true. (At least in my mind! 🙂 ) But does that hold true once we get beyond our own mind? In other words, we cannot all be correct when it comes to objective reality – the epitome of which, is God. We do not determine objective reality; we simply relate to it and reap the consequences of how close our maps of reality match or do not match that reality. Our maps of reality and reality are rarely the same, though some are clearly better than others. (And a very poor map is worse than no map at all.)

    I believe the issue of pride is one of value, position, and the accuracy of our position. To acknowledge our intrinsic value in being created in the image of God, and the gifts and talents and all that goes with it is not the negative kind of pride – so long as it matches reality. To fail to give God glory for our abilities, on the other hand, is very dangerous and wrong. To overestimate our abilities is also wrong. (We are placing ourselves higher than our our true place) When we get into God’s territory, this is a very destructive pride – not unlike a child playing around in a high-voltage enclosure. On the other hand, when Jesus said that He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, this is a simple statement of reality, and in proper position and proportion. (And He also quite properly defers to the Father) For God to say, “I Am, and there is none beside me” is also a statement of reality – not a boast. (In fact it is impossible for God to boast. Anything He says will either be accurate or an understatement) So the question becomes whether our position and claims are fitting. God has no problem with he idea of us being above all the other creatures on the planet. This was by His design, and it is UNFITTING to exalt animals on an equal level to man (which is what many animal rights groups seek to do) This is as much of an abomination to the God of Truth as lifting ourselves above God. As far as humility in our gifts that excel others, this is fitting also, in that we have no abilities except what we have received by God’s choice and determination, and if we are to walk in a proper position with God, this means that we do not lift ourselves above our brothers and sisters. (Kind of rambling, but I hope the point got across)

    Regarding the seeming unfairness of all of us falling with Adam: Being created in the image of God, it is just a fact of reality that we reproduce after our own kind. This is a statement of our incredible significance before God, and just how seriously He takes our choices, which most certainly do affect others as a matter of reality. If the seed becomes corrupt, in cannot produce an offspring that is not. It also attests to our eternal nature, and the reality of what it means to depart from God – The tree, its roots, and its fruits all become corrupt, and when those creatures are eternal, they become eternally corrupt – apart from a work of grace that can only come from the One who created man in the first place. I believe also that God, in His wisdom, uses this to settle once and for all the issue of rebellion. I believe that by our beginning in a fallen state, God can extend mercy to us that He did not extend to the fallen angels. Ever wonder why God offered redemption to fallen man and not to fallen angels? The angels, in a sense, sinned with their eyes wide open. They lived in the presence of God, and if they would sin with full knowledge, no amount of mercy or chances would avail anything. Man began in a state of innocence, without a knowledge of good and evil. It’s not like there are, shall we say, “alternative lifestyles” (groan!) to God’s ways. All alternative lifestyles end in destruction. (And by “alternative”, I am not speaking of proper creativity within the boundaries God has set for us)

    Regarding the “problem fitting the cure”, the problem is the very heart of the fall – sin at its most basic level, which says, “I will be as God”. The lie of self-sufficiency and life apart from the giver of life. This is where the creature exalts himself to the one place he does not fit or belong – God. By very definition, the creature cannot be God. This was Lucifer’s error:

    Isa 14:12-15
    12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
    15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
    (KJV)

  4. Rolling Thunder, I liked your balanced and humble summation of the religion’s role in human life. For ages our human minds were busy/focused on better understanding of the existing world and our individual roles. The most uniting/synthesizing it were religious concepts of God and His Plans. I also share the biggest respect for the Christian religion.

    In this perspective I see Rana as a proud and gifted intellectually young person trying do discover her very own individual vision of the World Order. Nobody should oppose and teach her, even if very upset by her ‘mistakes’, as in today’s lazy world are disappearing more active and thinking independently people – similarly to bees (haha!). It happens in this dominating cult of consumerism, never ending competitions in run for more pleasures/life enjoyments and ridiculing religions that allowed for logical control of our beast/animal instincts with presentation of more dignified concepts of human lives.
    I believe that one day, Rana will start to think religiously and search for the most true for her religion.
    Amen.

  5. Spoplawski,
    Thank you for your kind comment. I share your same hope for Rana, and see the very thing in her you see. (Both the danger of her thinking and the thought that there is a place of integrity and seeking in her which will ultimately lead her to the truth.) Her independent thinking may lead her to the truth, or into disaster. For this reason I actively engage her – not wishing to annihilate her independent thinking, but to challenge it. Nowhere in my expectations do I believe that through arguments and polemics that I or anyone else can persuade another in regard to God. God ultimately is at work in His creatures drawing those who are willing back to Himself, and orchestrates events in our lives – involving both joys and suffering to that very end. Sometimes the harder truths that someone resists in a forum like this will speak later in a quite, off-guard moment either now or somewhere in the future. The battle is spiritual before it is intellectual. The spiritual is foundational to the intellectual and supersedes it. For this reason I not only respond to Rana, but I pray for her often. No argument can persuade a person against his foundation. But God is at work on the foundations!

  6. My answer to the question is this: We have no good reason to believe that anyone will exist with god in heaven because there’s no evidence to support that conclusion. You’ve asked a question that no living human being can answer. Dead people don’t come back to life and tell us about their experiences. I understand that many people believe that they’ll be going to heaven after they die. No one wants to get old and die, so we make up these places to make ourselves feel better and convince ourselves that we’re not really going to die. We try to convince ourselves that we’re not going to get that tap on the shoulder and be told that the party’s not over, but you have to leave, and instead we’ll get a tap on the shoulder and be told “Great news! That was the small party – now you’ve made it to the big party! This party’s going on forever and you can’t leave! You’ve got to stay and the boss insists that you have a good time!”
    This is a belief that is predicated on nothing more than wish thinking and fear.

    • It seems that the both: presented ‘question’ and your Ashley answer are playing the same role of/in trivialization of our highest human notion of God. Talking about heaven as reminding certain parties and ridiculing some small religious aspects/interpretations is very easy to do. It reminds discouraging young kids from, for example, painting/playing instruments by showing them how far from perfect are their attempts when compared to the masters.

      So, before destroying traditional religious structures/concepts please try to create its very own concept explaining/justifying human existence and only after it you can use your own created altars as a legitimate tool for destroying/confronting sacred fundamentals/altars of other religions.

    • I have to say your party metaphor gave me quite a chuckle, Ashley! XD It is quite reflective of what I believe the original intent of religion was; a way to avoid fear of death. Eventually, and very sadly, it evolved into a fear all its own, a fear of a being or beings greater than us and punisher to our wrongdoings.

      Although I do believe religion causes far too much conflict in the world, either due to lack of empathy for those of other religions or more aggressive demands on the basis of religious beliefs and values, I do think that is can have a place in people’s lives, if taken with a grain of salt. That, however, is practically blasphemous to most religions, so say you believe but are willing to express respect and understanding towards others’ beliefs which do not match your own. If religions did not breed this kind of pompous attitude, the world would be far better off.

*Insert your thought here*

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s