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Something (else) I don't get about Christianity

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Mercy Not Sacrifice, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. Mercy Not Sacrifice

    Mercy Not Sacrifice Well-Known Member

    (Set at the gates of Heaven, with people lined up ready to enter.)

    God: (To Person #1) Why should I let you into Heaven? You stole from people who didn't have much, you backstabbed close friends and coworkers people left and right, yet you clearly profess an undying devotion to my Son.

    Person #1: Right, and the Bible says that whoever believes that Jesus your son is Christ will be saved.

    God: Fair enough; you've satisfied the criterion. You may pass.

    God: (To Person #2) Why should I let you into Heaven? You murdered people, you got some people hooked on drugs, you raped more than one woman, and I have here a document that says you molested two young children. Yet you believe 100% in my Son as your Savior.

    Person #2: Right, and I believe that you will spare me because of this.

    God: I will. You may pass.

    God: (To Person #3) OK, your sin record looks fairly thin, because you devoted your life to philanthropism; you successfully launched an inner-city after-school program that wound up rescuing a lot of people, you took a huge paycut to ditch a corrupt corporation in favor of working at a domestic violence shelter, and you constantly reminded politicians and other people to defend people who cannot defend themselves. Yet this entire time, you weren't even sure if I, the Lord your God, existed; and you certainly didn't believe in my Son. Why should I let you into heaven?

    Person #3: God, please bear with me if a strong belief in you has never emerged until now, as this is the first time that I've had resounding evidence that you really are there. Forgive me, but you have to realise that I've seen a world where it was awfully tough to see your direct acts of healing. Don't get me wrong, I would have loved to have you pay us a visit, but based on the evidence I acquired after decades worth of humanitarian work, it seemed like good deeds were the result of hard work and kind hearts. Now, I wasn't perfect--I did fuss at some co-workers that didn't deserve it, I disrespected my parents from time to time, and I occasionally told white lies that didn't really need to be said. Also, please realise that I say this with all due respect to the fact that you really do exist, and that you must make a decision now, so I ask you to consider the story of my life and what all I have done, as little of a drop in the bucket as it may have been.

    God: None of your story matters. You didn't believe in my Son; that *does* matter. You are not perfect; therefore, you deserve Hell. And that is where you will go!


    Obviously these scenarios are hypothetical and a bit contrived, but the underlying point remains: You can be a horrible person, but believe in Christ and ask him to be "Lord of your life" (whatever that means), and it all goes away like it never even happened. Similarly, you can be one of the greatest humanitarians the world has ever seen, but woe betide you if you fail to accept the claim that Jesus is the Christ.

    And Christians, I ain't looking for a huge review of what the Bible says. I know Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:16, and Romans 10:9 quite well. Instead, I'm calling this whole system into question. Can God really be considered fair and just if belief of his Son as the Christ takes higher precedence over living a good life within reasonable parameters?
    uumckk16 likes this.
  2. Super Universe

    Super Universe Defender of God

    The bible does not say that heaven is the next step. Christ did not say that heaven is the next step.

    We still have a lot to learn and a very, very, long way to go.
  3. angellous_evangellous

    angellous_evangellous Pater Familias Staff Member Premium Member


    The kind of heresy in the OP only applies to fundamental evangelical Christianity in America.

    I don't think that this reflects Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Coptic Christianity. Orthodoxy - and even the Reformers - taught that Chrisitian living is just as important or more so than belief in Jesus Christ to get to heaven.

    The heresy propounded in the OP is a very modern idea and has no place in Christian teaching whatsoever.
    MaddLlama and !Fluffy! like this.
  4. angellous_evangellous

    angellous_evangellous Pater Familias Staff Member Premium Member

  5. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

    LDS Christian
    Well I'm glad you at least admitted that your examples were pretty extreme, but what I really wonder is this: Do you really think that the average Christian sees salvation in these terms? I'm sure some do. I've run across some here on RF who do. But there are a lot of us who don't -- including nearly 13 million in my denomination. Seriously, you should have included a poll for Christians only, asking, "Is this what you believe?"
  6. astarath

    astarath New Member

    That concept portrayed is contradictory to the teachings of Yaheshua. He clearly says "truly all those that cry Lord..Lord in heaven will not enter the gates. You will say I spoke your name and sent away demons in your name Lord. The Lord will reply I never knew you!!" as well he told us that "a good tree will bear good fruit a bad tree will bear bad fruit, this is how you will tell bad from good by the fruit of their tree."

    In whole, to claim you know the Lord is not enough to be said it must be shown in your actions and your works. As well though works alone are not enough, you also must have faith in the Lord and Yaheshua. So in all actuality all three of them go to hell!!!
  7. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

    LDS Christian
    According to my beliefs, all three go to heaven.
  8. Comprehend

    Comprehend Res Ipsa Loquitur

    God isn't a dummy. Here is something to consider.

    What would a person who truely believed in Jesus Christ live like? If I believe in Christ, I will obey His teachings and then I wouldn't do those things listed.

    God has said what will happen to those who claim to have faith in Christ but don't live like they believe:

    Mark 7:6-9
    6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me.
    7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
    8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
    9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

    Matt 7:16-21
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
  9. MaddLlama

    MaddLlama Obstructor of justice

    Well, what about people who convert in jail, or when they are older after they've done things like the examples in the OP? Is there a difference between the serial killer who repents and lives morally adaquetly afterwards, and the person who devoted their lives to helping others, and never harmed anyone?
  10. TurkeyOnRye

    TurkeyOnRye Well-Known Member

    I see nothing reasonable about sending any human being into an eternal lake of fire for not utterly appeasing such a jealous God.

    "women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church."
    1 Corinthians 14:34-35

    "Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people. For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"
    Exodus 31:14-16

    [/FONT]anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death."
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Leviticus 24:16

    [/FONT]The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open."
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Hosea 13:16

    [/FONT]Jehovah only seems to love those who blindly follow his insane directions. That's not love at all. That's jealousy and coercion. [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I don't care what the context is, this is evil scripture. Such hate-filled words could only have been written by man.[/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT]
    Gentoo likes this.
  11. UnTheist

    UnTheist New Member

    Wait. If I am a good person but I don't believe in God, I can still go to Heaven?
  12. angellous_evangellous

    angellous_evangellous Pater Familias Staff Member Premium Member


    God gets to define what "good" is, though, not us.

    IMHO, God judges everyone through Jesus Christ according to their works (eg, what they do in this life) - judging Christians and non-Christians with perfect righteousness.

    It would be a tremendous divine error for many blood-sucking Christians to receive heavenly blessing for something so small as a foolish belief.
  13. UnTheist

    UnTheist New Member

    I think I have a good grasp on what God sees as 'good'

    Sadly, my mom think non-believers will go to Hell, and she always uses that as en excuse. She thinks not believing is the worst thing a human being could possibly do against God.
  14. astarath

    astarath New Member

    Actually I would have to agree, it is not enough to have good deeds because by works alone you don't accept the salvation of the crucifixion. Good deeds are neccessary, but onyl if you have first accepted the Atonement of Christ as an integral part of your life. With the two combined one makes it into to heaven.
  15. UnTheist

    UnTheist New Member

    Then you still don't know how unnecessary it is to burn one in Hell for eternity for simply not believing. Having good deeds SHOULD BE enough. I believe in punishment only to the amount that you sinned, so infinite punishment does not equal to a finite sin. God shouldn't care what the person believed in, as long as he was a good person and true to him/herself.
  16. astarath

    astarath New Member

    And this is the common misconception who are you to say what God should think?
    He has told us very clearly he only holds two expectations. Love and Serve God, Love and serve each other. Very simple, not difficult as some would like to make it. But because of it's simplicity God would require that we meet a measly two commandments. It is not about being true to yourself but rather being true to others and God. The punishment isn't for the sin, it's for denying the person who redeems them from sin. If you dont believe in the person who is to forgive you than you dont believe in the forgiveness. If you chose to believe you are unforgiven you accept the punishment for the decision.
  17. LogDog

    LogDog New Member

    Depends on who you ask. Each individual has their own interpretation of the word of god. Even though the words appear to clearly indicate how god intends his followers to behave and seem to be definitive about the fate of nonbelievers, there is indeed much confusion. Todays followers have taken the liberty to suggest that when the bible says one thing, it means another and that in many cases, what is written is not supposed to be taken literally. Are these not attempts at softening the harsh reality of what god's words dictate? Aren't the manipulations and distortions an attempt at making religion more attractive to and less out-of-touch with a much more cynical modern world?
  18. UnTheist

    UnTheist New Member

    It is your misconception to think God would burn me in Hell for something as small as not believing. Yes, it is small, and that isn't my opinion.

    God should only want us to be good to people, and ourselves. God does not need to be recognized until we see Him when we die.

    I am not 'denying' God at all, as you may think that is what I'm doing. Until God gives me a divine experience with him, I can never know for sure if He is there. He has to do His part of the deal. Unless you can tell me why Hell is necessary for God, your reasons are severely flawed
  19. yuvgotmel

    yuvgotmel New Member

    Great Opening Post "Mercy Not Sacrifice" ;) By the way, when I first saw your User ID, I smiled. I have been using that line "Mercy not sacrifice" for quite some time; and even my full name has the word MERCY spelled out in the letters. :cool:

    Without addressing the responses you've gotten so far to the thread, I will say that from what I have seen that: Yes, your Opening Post does present a problem that seems to allude most all Christian teachers. I'm sure there will be plenty that would/will argue with me, but I stand by my words.

    To a large extent, Christianity does not concentrate on a long-term commitment to spiritual growth through introspection, meditation, etc. Instead, many Christian demonations, of all types, offer a quick solution of cultural laws, standards of dress codes, appearance, rules pertaining to romantic relationships and food consumption (such as alcohol, tea, etc.) and so on and so forth ad nauseum. However, adherance to those rules (and more) are NOT to be mistaken as some sort of spiritual growth. It is a farce to believe that any person can clean the outside of a bowl and pretend that the inside of the bowl is also clean subsequently.

    As I wrote in another thread, the laws of any religion are nothing more than cultural standards. http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48156

    And no man or preacher or co-worker or friend, etc. can know the heart of another. Therefore the "acceptance" of others--into whatever social group--is on the basis of the person(s) compliance to a cultural standard (for that particular location, group, etc.).

    Furthermore, just my .02: If a person was really devoted to spiritual growth, they would not be in church or listening to any preacher for guidance. As it is, most churches are nothing more than social clubs, whereby the tithes are the equivalent of dues.
  20. astarath

    astarath New Member

    A dog doesnt tell it's master what to do, nor does a student tell the teacher what lesson is to be learned.

    God removed the apparent confusion of 10 commandments and limited them to 2.
    1.Love God
    2. Love you neighbour

    He requires that you follow these commandments. To deny the existence of God is not loving it is extremely disrespectful! So in the state of OP where they arrive in heaven the 3rd person has gone their entire lives doing the work of God but denying his existence. This will not be forgiven. If however before he were to die he said"Lord I know you, then the forgiveness would flow through him and God would forgive him a life of denial.

    For the creator to ask of us 2 things and us not to comply, God does not punish us. We punish ourselves because God did not make the decision for us that we would ignore the existence of God
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