Monday, April 16, 2007

(Almost) Everyone is going to hell

I'm probably going to make a lot of people mad today. But at least read the post first before you decide to get mad.
Okay, so it's not that I'm telling everyone to go to hell, or that I want some people to just go to hell, or that I think that you're not a good person, or that people deserve to go to hell. Well, maybe I do think that some people deserve to go hell, but that's not the point. That's not why I am writing.
But the fact is, according to church theology, a lot of people are going to hell. So a certain person has wondered why people are praying for her, since she is Jewish and going to hell anyway.
Well, that is the point isn't it? People are praying for her because they don't want her to go to hell, but they are pretty sure that she is.
I just don't happen to be one of those people. She can go to hell if she wants to.
But I didn't write this to tell people that they could go to hell, even if they want to. I wrote this to apologize to all the other people out there that I'd rather did not go to hell, even if they want to. I apologize for not actively praying for those people. I've probably not given it much thought. I don't think that I've ever prayed for them before. Except for the little prayers I am doing right now for them, I haven't prayed for them before, and possibly I will not pray for them ever again.
Go ahead and say it, that makes me a terrible person. I care more about what is going on in ceramics class than I do about the souls of a few dozen people that I have never actually met. That kind of thing has lead to the downfall of America and civilized behavior and all of that. And I know that, and I am sorry, and I apologize. Many years ago I had all these big plans, but in the end I decided that I just wanted to lead my quiet little life and be left alone. But last year someone decided not to leave me alone, and perhaps that is just what I get for not sticking with the original plan. And, again, this year, I started something but then decided that what I really wanted was get my quiet little life back. But that's really not going to work either.
So I don't really have a good excuse for not doing what I ought to be doing. I just haven't been doing it. Forgive me.
And before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, the Jewish person being prayed for that I do not care to pray for myself is NOT the person who leaves comments here and occasionally does sort of a Jewish Stuff for Dummies on his own blog. I'm not going to say anything silly like that man needs to turn to God. It doesn't sound like the man ever turned away from God in the first place. Just that I don't think that he's ever turned toward Jesus, and according to the teachings of my church, that is a necessary part of the process if you don't want to go to hell. So I should pray for my fellow blogger and his family, even though he does sound very much like he cares about God and does good works and all of that cool stuff.
There was a joke in school. To shorten it a bit, when you die and are going up the elevator in heaven, you have to be quiet passing a certain floor, because that's where the Baptists are. The Baptists think that only other Baptists get to heaven, and everyone else there just lets us keep thinking that, so they keep quiet and respect our privacy.
Anyway, back then I didn't really know many non-Christians and I don't think I knew any Jewish people. Back when I was having serious theological discussions, I didn't think up any Biblical arguments to win over the Jewish souls. Our discussions, mostly friendly, where against the Pentecostals. And for the most part we thought that the Pentecostals were probably going to heaven too, but we had these discussions just in case. And for the most part those discussions were not meant to save anyone from hell, just to point out that it is still better to be a Baptist.
I have been out of such things for so long, I don't think that I'd know where to start a religious argument with someone. And even if I remembered such things, a religious discussion with Pentacostals is probably very different from one with Jewish people, or Mormons, or Catholics, or people who don't claim any particular religion, or atheists.
So while I am wondering about silly things like if a certain person had a really stressful day at work, or if someone nearly strangled StepMonster, or if someone smashed a stroller into a useless twist of metal, or if someone is having too much to drink after breaking up with her boyfriend, there are more serious problems that are not getting my attention at all. A bunch of you are going to hell, and I just really wish you weren't. And most of the time that even goes for that other Jewish person who needs to turn to God, even if I have not yet prayed for her.


Rachel said...

I am unable to have theological discussions with people. I am not the kind of person who likes to debate anything, including religion.
I am a Christian so I understand the thought of praying for people who don't believe the same way that you do.
I know non Christians who thing that Christians are full of hooey and are two-faced and wouldn't become a Christian if their eternal soul depended on it.
I think that God is a loving God. He wants His children to come home to Him.
We have put so many restrictions on faith and belief. Religion is an eartly entity, not a spiritual entity.
I believe that if you believe in Him, no matter what you call Him, Elohim, Messiah, Allah, Jehovah, Alpha & Omega, El Shaddai, Emmanuel, that He will welcome you home with open arms.

laughingattheslut said...

Obviously Rachel is not a Baptist, and I will have to pray for her soul too.

Seriously, I do worry a bit about the people who are too much into the God is love bit. Like they don't really think that God even made a hell or any of that. But if there's not a hell that we had to be saved from, then why was Jesus sent to die for us. And if you don't believe Jesus was sent to die for us, then you're probably not really a Christian.

Doesn't mean you're not a nice person, just not really a Christian. People get the two confused.

Rachel said...

I look at it this way. I have accepted Jesus into my heart. That means that I am a Christian regardless of whatever other people believe or what each religion espouses.
I also belive that God is benevolent. He wants His children to come home.
Do you think that it is right that people who have never had a change to learn about Jesus will automatically go to hell?
For some reason I don't buy it.
God sent us here with free will to make our own choices.
He sent Jesus here to suffer for our sins so that we don't have to.So that our sins will be wiped clean with His blood.
Does that mean that people won't have a chance to redeem themselves or choose to suffer for their sins for a certain amount of time and then get into heaven?
God is all knowing and Almighty. Our perception of Him is so minuscule compared to the wholeness of who he really is that we could sit and debate for the next millenia and still not even get a microscopic grasp of how great He is.
I don't believe in a hellfire & brimstone God. I am sure that as multi-faceted as we are, God is even more so.
Because we can't ever grasp His vastness our religions will never be able to fit Him into a nice, neat little package to make it palatable to the masses.
My relationship with God is an intensely personal one that NO religion can quantify.
You can pray for me if you would like to. Just as I pray for everyone that I can. Just don't pray that I don't go to hell. Instead pray for a desire to learn more about God and for understanding, peace and prosperity.
That is what I pray for you.

laughingattheslut said...

See Rachel, you are up to the challenge of a theological discussion, even if you don't like them. Don't worry so much about it and join in once in a while if you have something to say.

But I still worry about the God is love people. I'm afraid they are in for a bit of a shock.

To be fair, most Baptists believe in the Post-Tribulation Rapture, so I'm afraid that they are in for a nasty surprise too.

And I also have trouble with the bit about people dying and going to hell because they never got a chance to hear, but it might be more just an I don't want to believe it thing than an actual based on the Bible thing. They used to teach us something about people in very remote places getting to heaven somehow because they were searching for God or something like that. But it was so long ago and I must have been so young, there's no way I could tell you what passages that came from. And it seems like the one of the signs that Jesus was coming back was when every person had a chance to hear.

But right now with the global traveling and the internet and satellite TV and everything else, there can't be many people left who haven't had the chance to hear.

playtah said...

Actually, most Baptists are pre-tribs, not post-tribs. :) Just thought I'd correct ya. :)

I grew up in a Baptist Church. I don't know where to start here. I would just say be careful. If I weren't a Christian and someone said, "A bunch of you are going to hell, and I just really wish you weren't", although in some ways that's a nice sentiment, it's also a huge turn off. It sounds arrogant (though I know you aren't saying it that way) and I would totally be ticked and pushed farther away from even considering whatever message was being pushed.

On a different note, the beauty of Christianity is that yeah, it gives a remedy to separation from a relationship with God, but it also gives hope for this life. The life that Jesus calls us to is not just a rope to escape from hell. He shows how to live life right by encouraging restoration--restoration in relationships with him, others, and the earth. Most people focus only on the restored relationship with God. But the way Jesus lived showed us that all our relationships can be restored. We can actually work to bring heaven to earth. That tree you planted? That was a Christ-like act. That stray cat you took in? That was a Christ-like act. That old lady you helped across the street, or the smile you flashed at that kid? All Christlike acts. It in these ways that you can show others that there might be a better life for them, not necessarily in words or admonitions to avoid hell. Just a thought. :)

evil-e said...

I was born, baptized, and confirmed a Catholic. I went to a Catholic school for 13 years. I went to church the whole time I was in school, because I had to. This is what I came out of my religious experience with:

1. "You cannot play football at recess, becuase the visiting Bishop parked his Caddy in the lot and does not want you little monsters to damage it" (Humility)

2. Killing and war is OK if you do it in the name of God. (inquisition)

3. Alter boys are not the same as having sex with women.

4. History changed when I got to college. I had some gaps in my education when it came to issues of the church it seems.

5. God is all loving and caring and created you in his likeness....just don't fuck with him or you will burn.

I am going to Hell and I can accept it. The reason for my "stage-name" is sarcasm for that very reason. I am evil, hear me burn!

laughingattheslut said...

Playtah, that's all wonderful stuff too. And I am sorry about the Post or Pre thing, I was typing too fast again. Thank you so much for pointing that out cause what I meant to say was that most of them are Pre and I'm Post. I used to have so many discussions with people who were so glad that they were going to get Raptured before the Tribulation, and I'm like where is that? Please show me where you read that? I mean, in the actual Bible show me where you read that, okay? But nobody ever had anything to show me, it was just supposed to be in there somewhere.

I only ever met one Baptist preacher who admitted that he also believed in the Post Tributation Rapture. What the text actually says is that we're going to be "taken out of" tributation, not before or after or anything. But "taken out of" really does not sound like you get taken before. So this one preacher told me that he found evidence that might support a rapture at the end or maybe right in the middle of it, but he didn't have much evidence for the pre-tribulation thing that I'd been taught everywhere else. He said that he hoped he was wrong, but that was his interpretation of the evidence.

All that other stuff was great too. But people don't get into heaven by works. I still like the whole plant a tree thing anyway.

I know some people get offended by people praying for them, and it is a bit strange. What got me thinking about it was this person who seemed to be offended by it, but really there is more going on there which I will get to later. But in the middle of it all she says that she doesn't know why this person is praying for her since she's going to hell anyway, and it just seemed a really odd statement in the middle of all of that.

I've had people offer to pray for me for some odd things over the years. I once drew a picture of a unicorn for a friend, and the mother of another friend said that she would pray for me because of it. I guess she thought the unicorn was demonic or something.

I was hoping that someone would stop by with some Jewish Stuff for Dummies, but I guess that he's busy.

dmarks said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
laughingattheslut said...

Evil-E, some of that sounds familar.

2. Killing in war is okay. That's it. Doesn't have to be in the name of God or anything. And we certainly do not want to discuss pacifism or running off to Canada.

4. I have a B.A. in English. I might be the only person to ever get one without reading Romeo and Juliet first. I mean, it wasn't assigned in any of my college courses, but it was mentioned a lot cause everyone assumes that you read it in high school. Read something about pre-marital sex and dis-obeying parents? What evil creature wrote that?

5. Doesn't sound too far off. We'll leave it the way it is.

I can't comment as much on the rest of it. I know what a Caddy is, but I know nothing of bishops (other than on a chess set) or alter boys.

I am sorry that you are going to hell.

And I'm sorry that I can't hear you burn. Do you think that there is something wrong with my speakers, or do I have to visit one of your sites to get that feature?

dmarks said...

I guess I need to find out about the Post/Pre Tribulation Rapture difference... I wasn't taught that.

My previous pastor certainly didn't help: he didn't believe in any of it at all. Got out of that church.

evil-e said...

A bishop is just a regional manager in church corp world wide. he oversees a general area or a diocese.

Altar Boys were all the rage in the news a couple of years ago, it seems some priests found it OK to break their celebacy (sp?) vows with young males.

laughingattheslut said...

Dmarks, I'll try a short version.

Before Jesus comes back there are three and a half years of peace and three and a half years of war. The war to end all wars and all of that stuff. That's the Tribulation or the Great Tribulation or whatever. Sometime during this the Anti-Christ shows up and makes everyone get a mark on their hand or their head. This mark might be a barcode or a computer chip, but we'll save that for some other time. Anyway, if you don't get this mark, life is going to be very hard for you because you can't buy or sell or any of that stuff without it, and seven years is a lot time to go without a trip to the grocery store. But, you can't get this mark because if you do you can't get into heaven. Also during this time, there are a lot of plagues and things like that. The sun turns black, and the moon turns red. There is also an animal mentioned with the body of a horse, face of a man, hair of a woman, and tail of a scorpion. I probably missed something in that description, but the point is there's a lot of scary stuff going on.

So most of the Baptists that God is going to magically whisk all of the Christians away right before or right at the beginning of these seven years. Mostly, I think that is just wishful thinking. I think that it is more like the Egyptian plagues. The Jewish people didn't get sores and such themselves, but they didn't get magically whisked away anywhere either. All kinds of bad things happened to the Jewish people while the Egyptians were dealing with frogs and locusts.

So I've heard some arguments for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, but I can't say that I've actually heard any good arguments for it. I just think that's what they want to believe because they don't want to deal with it. But I think that they should face the fact that we'll probably be stuck here til the end of it like everyone else. Except that most of us will die without trips to the grocery store and such. And of course in the movies made about the Tribulation, all of the Christians who are caught get their heads cut off anyway.

laughingattheslut said...

Damn. I missed a comment while I was typing.

dmarks said...

(The deletion was mine. There was nothing in it that wasn't in the comment I left right afterwards). Thanks for the explanation. Hope you are not typing during this comment too!

Some of this is a little familiar, but only from a long time ago. I know some related material; and I've gone to see preachers talk about this... but only a long time ago. The churches I've been going to, however, hardly if ever talk about any of this. One pastor even did a sermon in which he chucked out the entire Book of Revelation.

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture looks like the "easy way out".

Great item, great comments by the way.

laughingattheslut said...

Evil-E, I had heard the stuff on the news about sex with the alter boys. I hear that such much, but I never hear whatever it is that the alter boys are supposed to be doing.

So do you think that it is mostly a bunch of hype and a few isolated incidents? Or do you think that alter boys everywhere are (were) in danger?

Way back when, I knew a kid who was very proud that he was getting to be an alter boy, but he could never tell me what that meant or what he did. In your opinion, should I be worried about him?

laughingattheslut said...

Thanks Dmarks, and yes this is all really great stuff, great comments. Didn't quite expect it to go this direction but it is all good stuff.

Hardly missing the Jewish Stuff for Dummies at all, but I'm still missing it.

Don't guess he'd have much to discuss on the Pre or Post Tribulation front, but he's still welcome to comment on anything else he wants to.

Rachel said...

I find myself fascinated with Messianic Judaism. It speaks to my soul in a profound way.
Basically you live the tenants of Judaism but you believe that Christ is the Messiah.
If you haven't ever heard of it, check it out on Wikipedia.

David in DC said...

No way I can tackle this on work hours. I'd be typing the rest of the day.

I appreciate anyone who's worrying about my eternal damnation. I'm not. But thank you.

In the meantime, we can agree to try to make this world a better place. No harm's done there.

Coincidentally, last night was my synagogue's monthly Board meeting.

If there is a hell, I'm confident I get a glimpse of it every time I sit at a Board meeting (one Tuesday each month) or an Executive Committee meeting (a different Tuesday each month.)

If there's a heaven, I'm pretty sure I get a glimpse of it when I'm tutoring Bar or Bat Mitzvah students. There's nothing quite like watching a 13-year-old accomplish something they thought was impossible a few months earlier.

laughingattheslut said...

I'm so sorry David was stuck in a meeting when we were having all this fun.

I really didn't expect most of this discussion. I thought a few people was say something like "that's nice dear" and a couple of people would tell me to mind my own damned business, but that most people would just ignore it. But a lot of it was interesting.

Got a bit off the subject of whether or not people get offended by other people praying for them. For the most part it hasn't bugged me since I was a teenager, and well, I was just being a teenager. Since then it doesn't bug me, except when it's my relatives, and that has more to do with being bugged by the relatives than being bugged by the idea of someone praying.

Anyway, I'm glad that everyone stopped by, and I'd like to look up that stuff in Rachel's last comment and continue the discussion, but some other time. I'm rather busy here.

Thanks again for everyone's comments.

Babybull40 said...

I'm glad you are keeping busy.. I was here ealier and was reading some of the comments and I couldn't decide at the time if I would have anything relevant to add to this discussion. I don't think I do..Still I don't care if someone prays for me.. But I do know that if I'm one that could go to hell it will be on my dime.. thanks.. and I really think that is for Him to decide if I'm that horrible of a person that I deserve to go there in the first place.. I don't believe that I will go there.. But if you still want to pray for me then go for it.. I pray that you don't go there yourself.. I don't know anything about being a Baptist.. but I certainly didn't go to church so I could figure out who would be going to hell or not.. Still an interesting post. Leaves alot for more discussion.. It's hard to make judgements of people that we don't really know or may never meet. Especially through the internet.. because we read blogs about other people we find interesting doesn't necessarily mean we are all bad people.I doubt that was your intention with this post.

Anonymous said...

fanaticsm and racism are wrong. accepting god is a choice and something that needs to to be really understood,and not everyone has the capacity to empty the cup. Its human nature to ask why and is there more and did the person who wrote this have an agenda. blind faith isnt easy when you only see bad in your life. god eventually will take those who wish to be saved because its never to late.

Anonymous said...

The reply that came 3 years later.

Yes most everyone is going to hell.
Why? Because its in our nature to sin and be rebellious against God. Although Adam and Eve had a free will to do right or wrong, we (mankind) on the other hand have no choice but to sin. From the fall of Adam and Eve gave birth to such rebellious sinners as ourselves.

You can't deny the truth. It is what it is. Deal with it!
How? For the most part if you are reading this comment and agree on the condition of your sinful nature, then there is hope.
Why? Because you have been given spiritual eyes and ears to see the truth. God will not turn-away from a repenting heart! Humble yourself before God and place all your trust and understanding on Jesus Christ.

The salvation of one's soul is the work of God and God alone. There is absolutely nothing you can do of yourself to be "born again from above" or as most people put it , be saved.

God is one that has do the change so that you are humble. In that change God allows you to see Truth and Grace.(Those that understand know why I am capitalizing those words.) Its all about what Jesus Christ did at the cross. Jesus did it all, there is nothing a man or women can do to add to the great sacrifice Jesus accomplished. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY ANYONE SAYING YOU HAVE TO MEET GOD HALF WAY! Christ either did it all or nothing, there is no part mankind has to play to be saved. Its work is that of Christ and Christ alone.

It is not God desire for "ANYONE" to perish, but for all to repent and be saved.
Keep that in mind for those who feel lost. There is always hope! Even if you don't understand the Bible or don't go to church, Jesus Christ can still save you. Trust in Him as a small child would trust his father to save you from your sins. God will not fail you.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you are the one going to hell. Who are you to judge? Focus on your own sins before focusing on other's sins! You are NOT God and you have NO idea how he decides who goes to heaven or hell. MANY religions feel that theirs is the only way to heaven LOL! It is ridiculous actually. And I think that many want to feel special because of their own insecurities and so feeling as though they are the very few chosen ones makes them feel better about themselves and feel above others(which is sinful by the way).

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