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  1. #51
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    giggly, i think the view you're mentioning in the OP is one of extremely conservative or fundamentalist christians (possibly calvinists). it certainly isn't my view and i know christians who have experienced rather dramatic changes in their current lives since following jesus. some now have a ridiculous peace about them that is so apparent and others have an incredible joy. i do think some people have just had hard lives so the thought of heaven gives them comfort but i don't know anyone who is just hanging on for heaven. eternal life starts here, now. it isn't just for the afterlife.

    edit to add: you said "deprived" in your OP. did you mean "depraved"? depraved is a word frequently used in calvinism. calvinists talk an awful lot about heaven and how sinful (aka depraved) we all are. i think they also talk about what "miserable wretches" we are, lol. personally, i find them to be quite "unbalanced" in every meaning of the word.
    Yes! This must be it! I did mean depraved. I didn't realize that this belief was from a certain denomination. I used to know a guy who was the worst misanthropist ever. He hated himself and everyone else (he always called himself "Vile and depraved"). He would insult people constantly too. Maybe he was of that denomination.

    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    Giggly I have always had trouble imagining or being motivated by an idea of heaven. Too far away and too difficult to verify.

    A couple things wise people have said to me that seemed to make sense to me: the whole idea behind the teachings of Jesus Christ is love: loving God, loving your neighbor as yourself... we serve God and other people through acts of kindness and love... we can create heaven or hell on earth right here, right now, by how we act and how we treat others. Nobody is perfect, of course, but I guess the idea is that through our own labors and God's grace we can refine ourselves.
    I like this. I love this.

  2. #52
    Senior Member wildflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    Yes! This must be it! I did mean depraved. I didn't realize that this belief was from a certain denomination. I used to know a guy who was the worst misanthropist ever. He hated himself and everyone else (he always called himself "Vile and depraved"). He would insult people constantly too. Maybe he was of that denomination.
    they aren't really a denomination but more like a category such as saying charismatic or liberal or conservative. they are also known as "reformed". they tend to be (southern?) baptists and some presbyterians and in other denominations. i know a few in real life and they are pretty normal people but some of the ones you meet online come across like the guy you describe. i'm curious as to why you were listening/reading that sort of teaching. all i can say is if you meet a guy who wants to date you and he's into this stuff i'd be rather cautious. they may hold views regarding women that are extremely conservative e.g. women can't work outside the home, wives must submit to their husbands, women can't be pastors, etc. unfortunately, it can get pretty controlling.

  3. #53
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Heaven and Hell

    To find out the value of Heaven for Christians I consulted the world's greatest theologian and Doctor of the Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas.

    Thomas told me he was looking forward to Heaven. "And why's that?", I asked. And he told me he was looking forward to seeing the suffering souls in Hell.

  4. #54
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    To find out the value of Heaven for Christians I consulted the world's greatest theologian and Doctor of the Church, Saint Thomas Aquinas.

    Thomas told me he was looking forward to Heaven. "And why's that?", I asked. And he told me he was looking forward to seeing the suffering souls in Hell.
    How disappointing about Thomas. That sounds suspiciously like gloating.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  5. #55
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    they aren't really a denomination but more like a category such as saying charismatic or liberal or conservative. they are also known as "reformed". they tend to be (southern?) baptists and some presbyterians and in other denominations. i know a few in real life and they are pretty normal people but some of the ones you meet online come across like the guy you describe. i'm curious as to why you were listening/reading that sort of teaching. all i can say is if you meet a guy who wants to date you and he's into this stuff i'd be rather cautious. they may hold views regarding women that are extremely conservative e.g. women can't work outside the home, wives must submit to their husbands, women can't be pastors, etc. unfortunately, it can get pretty controlling.
    Well I think we sometimes hold some of the same values but what I can't handle is misanthropy. And I'm not really religious either.

  6. #56
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    How disappointing about Thomas. That sounds suspiciously like gloating.
    Looking for something to confirm a view you already have = science?

  7. #57
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Looking for something to confirm a view you already have = science?
    I'm looking to find joy in my own fortune, rather than in the misfortune of others. I had more respect for Thomas Aquinas than to think he would do the latter, but I am no scholar of religious literature, so I obviously did not know him as well as I thought.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #58
    sswwwaagggg gmanyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    If "strong faith" = positive life, I tend to see the ones who use heaven as an excuse to not live this life effectively to be the ones with weak faith -- they seem to be the most self-absorbed. The people who I see as having truly strong faith tend to be very focused on doing the right thing now and enduring whatever trials come their way; yes, they believe in heaven after, but it's not like a freebie prize. They want to please God and don't focus on the heaven thing that much.
    The fact that heaven is free is an essential point of Christianity, and the Bible says that focusing on heaven is important. The idea is that life is not permanent, and heaven is eternal, so any suffering we face in life is temporary. More importantly, since this life is temporary, Christians should focus strongly on sharing the message of forgiveness of wrongdoing through belief in Jesus' payment for those wrongdoings. I guess that doesn't mean that this belief will work out better in everyday living, but from what I've seen the Christians with the strongest faith do, in fact, have this mindset. I'm also not saying that I live like this as a Christian.

    Also, we should define 'faith'. I don't think faith means blindly believing something without proof, by the way.

  9. #59
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanyo View Post
    The fact that heaven is free is an essential point of Christianity, and the Bible says that focusing on heaven is important. The idea is that life is not permanent, and heaven is eternal, so any suffering we face in life is temporary. More importantly, since this life is temporary, Christians should focus strongly on sharing the message of forgiveness of wrongdoing through belief in Jesus' payment for those wrongdoings. I guess that doesn't mean that this belief will work out better in everyday living, but from what I've seen the Christians with the strongest faith do, in fact, have this mindset. I'm also not saying that I live like this as a Christian.
    I think I was referring to the mindset where people have dismissed wrongdoings in this life and suffering in this life because they will soon be going to heaven, to the exclusion of investing in the Now. The whole concept of heaven is certainly not part of Jewish culture in the Old Testament, and Jesus specifically said that the Kingdom of God is at hand as soon as you believe... immediately you are part of God's kingdom, and God's kingdom is wherever members of the Body are within the world. Perhaps people are motivated by the fear of others going to hell, but there's still a sense of not waiting for the future but investing in the Now in order to engage others. You feed the hungry, you heal the sick, you love the loveless, etc., all in the now, rather than sitting around and waiting for heaven. Jesus worked tirelessly in the Now, he wasn't just someone who preached the future and talked about life after death, he brought life more abundantly in the present.

    Also, we should define 'faith'. I don't think faith means blindly believing something without proof, by the way.
    I used to believe that faith didn't mean believing something without proof, but my opinion has changed over the last twenty years -- it exactly means believing something without the ability to "prove" it. If you can prove it, it is no longer faith. But I think we agree on the "blindly" part; faith is not blind at all, it incorporates experience and hope together in order to place one's trust in things that cannot be seen or proven but that still seem believable to the person involved. You feel that the faith is worth taking a risk on because you've come to believe it is true -- or that even if the possibility exists that it might not be true, it's still worth giving your life for.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #60
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Illusions in belief and faith create an illusion of reality no?

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