Rethinking My Beliefs about God Apart From Traditional Christianity

Archive for the ‘Hell’ Category

Just How Hard Should We Try To Remove The “Ugly” From Life?

In Good and Evil, Heaven, Hell, Life on August 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Lately I’ve had this nagging drive to find the happiness and beauty in the darkness. I think I’ve experienced it, but is it really possible for such a dichotomy to coexist? Can we be depressed and elated at the same time (without blowing a fuse?) Might heaven and hell actually be the same place?

People talk a lot about the balancing act of nature. The sun comes up in one part of the world while it goes down in another. When a creature dies, another is born. While we damage our ecosystem, groups are mobilized to protect it. And the world continues to turn.

In my personal life, I feel torn between conflicting directions. I want to live natural and healthy but I also thrive on what some consider to be toxic technology. I want to be a mom but I also want to be an entrepreneur, a student, friend and dancer. I’d like to respect the religion and politics of all people, but my own doesn’t always find it easy to get along. Read the rest of this entry »

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I’d Like To Find A Cave, Cry and Listen To Emo Music

In Hell, Jesus, Life, Love, Suffering on August 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

During a 7.0 earthquake in 1989 while I was living in Santa Cruz, CA, I remember a very strange feeling. It revolved around the idea that things such as solid floors, walls and even the ground are not as solid as we would hope. Things that aren’t supposed to move were suddenly knocking things down.

22 years later, living 2 states away from my entire (wonderful but dysfunctional) family and having pretty much lost my life-long Christian community, my world continues to prove its instability. Last week I talked about bravely facing the darkness we can’t escape anyway; and my world just recently got darker.

When my brother had life-threatening health issues 5 years ago, I took in his youngest son and he became one of my own kids. But 10 year old Brian has always missed his dad and now it’s time for him to go back – next week. Read the rest of this entry »

Afterlife Plans 4 U – ACT NOW! Offer Ends Soon

In Heaven, Hell, Life, Reincarnation, Suffering, The Bible on June 11, 2011 at 5:24 pm

I’m not sure if I skipped the midlife crisis stage or if I just couldn’t afford it, but all of a sudden I started thinking about the end of my life. Basically, someday, I’m going to die…. This is normally a conversation stopper, even if only conversing with the self. But I guess I got tired of ignoring it, or something.

Actually, I’ve learned that accepting our impending death is what people do when they reach their 40’s and 50’s so maybe I was just following the book. Either way, I am happy to say that I have found peace when it comes to closing my eyes on this life as I know it.

I mean, I’d prefer not to fall 40,000 feet to my death in an explosion of fire or lose a long drawn out wrestling match with a ferocious animal, but no matter what happens, I know that everything and everyone are going to be okay.

Somehow I had avoided the whole topic of dying for four decades. Maybe I thought in the back of my mind that I would be the one person to defy death. Or maybe I just believed that I was going to heaven and that was that. There was no need to concern myself on the matter any further. I made a rash decision based on perhaps some many quick decisions made before me. Read the rest of this entry »

I Was Christianity’s Tool, But Am I Still?

In Deception, Heaven, Hell, Life, Politics, Sin on March 10, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Just when I think I’ve finally awakened to reality, I find myself awakening some more. Did I really once believe in a Nazi God that was bent on torturing and annihilating the majority of the world’s population? I mean, really? Please tell me I wasn’t a total muppet.

What makes me sigh even more is to think that I might have actually wanted to believe this. Sure, maybe I just wanted to shift the blame off of my own perceived guilt onto the rest of the world but… was I seriously okay with the idea of any soul being tortured for eternity?

And did German civilians feel similar to this after WWII? I feel like I’ve got some pretty serious psychological issues concerning the after-effects of the Christian religion.

To top it all off, if I think I’ve awakened but still find myself awakening, doesn’t that mean that I’m still deceived? I think I’ve arrived in glory land just in time before I realize, “Nope, I’ve still got a lot more mind renewing to do.” I haven’t finally arrived. I might only be a little closer to… who knows what? What’s around the corner? Read the rest of this entry »

Why Do I Get A Mansion While The Rest Of The World Gets A Lake Of Fire?

In Freedom, Heaven, Hell, Life, Love, Universalism on February 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I love a good debate because it means that at least two persons are engaging their brains and passion in a controversy that might have otherwise gone ignored. There’s something to be said for struggling through challenges together. Somehow we can come out a little more enlightened on the other side, as well as exhausted.

I’ve noticed that some of the issues we often argue about are beliefs that we are trying to convince our own selves to believe. I mean, if we really believed it, couldn’t we simply relax and let the truth keep on being the truth whether anyone believes it or not?

Our avid defense of a certain concept such as say, God, can also be an indicator that we really don’t know what we’re talking about, but wish we did. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, but maybe this understanding can help us to comprehend just what we believe and don’t believe within our soul of souls.

Awareness.

Our real beliefs seem to dwell somewhere in some great unknown, such as maybe our subconscious, or what some people might call the spirit within. We can get glimpses of these mental truths through our words and actions, especially when we’re caught off guard.

Read the rest of this entry »

What Does God Think Of Churches?

In Church, God, Hell, Life, Relationships on February 2, 2011 at 7:23 pm

I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

Amos 5:21-24 The Message

For those who believe the Bible is God’s word, or inspired by God, here is God’s opinion of what I think very aptly describes religious Christianity, spoken through Amos the prophet.

When I was a devoted church-goer, I would have ignored the full brunt of this scripture on the basis of two aspects:  One, The Message translation is not a valid Bible translation and two, churches perpetuate justice so we don’t have to worry about God’s hatred of our injustice.

Although I wouldn’t say that anyone has to necessarily worry about anything, I now believe that The Message is a very valid translation and that institutional churches are most certainly unjust. Read the rest of this entry »

Do We Create Hell By Believing In Eternal Torture?

In Heaven, Hell, Love, Suffering on January 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm

If you know me by now, you know that I like to question the assumed major doctrinal beliefs that are supposedly required for salvation according to Christianity. And this questioning makes for some very hot topics such as, the errancy of the Bible, salvation for gays and the non-existence of hell. And about the subject of hell….

I actually believe in hell. I have already experienced quite a bit of hell myself as a slave to religion. And I still do, especially when people threaten me with being tormented for eternity. Any time I suffer and feel separated from all that is good, I experience hell. It’s horrible, and maybe that is what Christ felt while he was being tortured by the religious leaders.

Maybe our limited beliefs as ignorant humans determine just what we each experience here and now. If we believe that God is full of wrath and will punish some people forever but reward others who hold to a certain theological belief, are we not creating our own world of wrath and discrimination? If we believe that God loves us all equally and that his love is unconditional, are we then creating our own personal experience of loving kindness? Read the rest of this entry »

Does Real Love Hurt?

In Heaven, Hell, Jesus, Love, Suffering on December 31, 2010 at 11:47 pm

This is a question I’ve been grappling with lately and just to warn you, I am not going to have a conclusive answer for you by the time you finish reading this post. But I have discovered a few surprising elements about this thing called love – however we might define it.

My dilemma begins with my 30 year belief in a Utopian type of heaven where tears have been wiped away and suffering is a thing of the past – forever and ever and ever. This is where love reigns and evil has been smoked out of existence and, apparently, even memory.

The problem with this concept of heaven is that it seems to be void of all reality. I’ve been coming across Christians who are discovering the love of God for the first time in their lives as they exit the church institution. This is a beautiful thing, except that they are so heavenly minded that they seem to be oblivious to the idea that suffering still exists.

While religion tends to detach us from the real world, I would say that discovering truth (or following Jesus – however you want to call it) should engage us more and more with reality. Our eyes are being opened. The veil is being lifted – not the other way around. Read the rest of this entry »

Questions For People Who Believe In The Traditional View Of Hell

In Hell on November 14, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Why would a soul suffer for eternity for wrongs committed only during one lifetime? Is that really justice?

If the consequence for sin is eternal punishment and separation from God, how could Christ atone for every sin of the world, or even only for the elect, in only six hours?

Was the love of God, or the blood of Christ, not enough to atone for the sins of the whole world, or must people suffer for sin in addition to this great love by which we are saved? If so, why must there be two punishments?

How could we be happy in heaven while souls are suffering in hell? What if one of those souls was a personal loved one? (Yes, we will know they are suffering – See 1 Cor 13:12.)

Wouldn’t we then spend our eternity trying to get out of heaven and into hell to do what we could to rescue those who were painfully suffering?

If we really believe hell is eternal torment, why aren’t we dropping everything to rescue people now? Is it possible that we do not really believe this in our soul?

Read the rest of this entry »