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March 05, 2011

I received comments from very special people in response to this post I wrote last month about "Heaven and Hell". I would like to offer some of my thoughts in response to what they said. 

     My intention in the post was not to overemphasize the ‘gospel of heaven’, at the exclusion of Christian faith as a whole. I realize I did, and can see how it could be read that way. I should have been clearer. I was attempting to criticize the Christian mentality of exclusive, “who’s in, who’s out” to emphasize what I believe matters more-living this life the fullest we can (whatever that entails…) instead of defining one way or another what is assured after death, because I don’t see how we can know beyond reasonable doubt what actually happens and who goes where.

“From Genesis 3, our biggest problem is not that we are going to hell, but that our relationship with God has been fractured by our sin (which will result in eternal death - hell).”

Deducing from this statement, it seems Hell is a big problem. If fractured relationship with God=Hell and everyone fractured the relationship, then everyone has a huge problem if they don’t figure out how to mend the relationship. The Christian assumption of how we mend the relationship is troubling to me, because it seems, then, that people have to be born in the right place at the right time and believe the "right things" to understand Christ as Savior. I am not saying that Christians do not achieve salvation by putting trust in God for forgiveness, but that the Christians’ exclusion of others achieving that salvation damns an awful lot of people very specifically just because they don’t believe a, b, c, and d.

I don’t think we can really know one way or the other who “goes to Hell” and who “achieves salvation”.  I know this sounds very anti-Christian of me, but my intention is not to bash Christianity (at all!).  I exclusively criticized that idea of “heaven and hell” because I hear Christians these days claim that “reaching the ‘lost’ for salvation” should be the main focus of Christian life. I have to disagree with that notion, because I believe life is so much more than accepting a conception of reality to escape eternal death and separation from God.  I believe if one cannot know without reasonable doubt one way or the other who goes where and what happens after death, then obviously that should not be the focus of life. 

I probably made you more confused with my ramblings. Forgive me!  I am still musing, reading, and contemplating, so I definitely do not claim to have everything figured out All I have is my limited reasoning abilities and 22 years behind me, so I know I have a lot to learn and not a lot to show for what I have learned. So be it.

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