Oldie but a goodie: Christian Heaven Question

Author: ludofl3x ,

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  • ludofl3x
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    Open to Christians of any stripe, I have never received an answer to this quandary. Good luck.

    I was thinking this weekend about the idea of the 'eternal reward' that Christians are after, and I keep getting stuck on one problem, the problem of mixed family and mixed 'state of graces' or whatever the actual condition is called for getting into heaven (some say you have to be free of sin, some say you just have to accept Jesus, depends on the doctrine, as with all things Christian). Here's the problem, I was wondering how theists solve it, because if it remains unsolved, then as far as I can tell the only good thing about heaven is that it isn't hell.

    As a Christian, you fall in love with someone who let's say is Jewish. You go through your lives together, have three children, one of who decides they don't believe in any gods, one of whom decides to be Jewish, one of who is a Christian. For the most part you all lead good lives, by most measures. Then, you get sick and pass away and find yourself in heaven, or right on the doorstep. Your judgement is meted out, and congrats, you get to go to heaven. "So...will my wife be here? I mean maybe not now, but once she passes away. And what about my kids?"

    "Sorry, but they cannot get in, at least two of the three children and your wife do not accept Jesus. Good thing for you, and that one kid, you were smart, and accepted him, because otherwise, it would have been hell for you." Wait a minute, you ask, how is my heaven not only eternally missing 60% of my family, but knowing that 60% is being eternally tortured in a lake of fire?

    What is the answer? Here are the options I came up with. Please feel free to add or comment.

    • (A) No, don't be silly. We're going to give you perfect copies of those people, except they're going to be Christians this time! (And thereby would not be copies)

    • (B) It only seems bad now. When you get inside, we're going to wipe your mind and all your earthly memories, you won't think about them at all! (And thereby you seem less "YOU" than before) You're going to spend eternity singing praises to god and not remembering anything about your family, friends, or life, but it's really going to feel so good, you won't care about them at all.

    • (C) Well, I'm afraid those are the rules. All the good deeds and other stuff, it's all canceled out by the fact they didn't believe in Jesus, and the rules are pretty clear. Sorry man, should have done a better job evangelizing I guess.

    • (D) No, of course not. They're good people, they lived good lives, so they can get in. (Except now Christian heaven isn't just for Christians, because they're letting in two Jewish people and an atheist who do NOT believe in Jesus)

    How does a Christian in a mixed family settle this issue?

  • keithprosser
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    --> @ludofl3x
    It's B.

    "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."

    Matt 22:30.

  • ludofl3x
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    --> @keithprosser
    Then why do Christians tell each other they'll meet again in heaven? 
  • keithprosser
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    Christianity is very vague as to what life is like in heaven.   Individual Christians can imagine heaven as they please with no obvious negation.  It is clearly in the church's interest to not stress that heaven might not be all that great...

  • Deb-8-a-bull
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    --> @ludofl3x
    What if your wife or husband dies at say 35, and you get remarried. 
    That would make things awkward in heaven. 

    But ummmmm, I'm thinking ( C ) would be the answer here. 


    Thinking of a heaven makes me feel that When i / you die there will be a person with a checklist. 
    As a atheist i believe in something like this heaven place the christians speak of.  But i DO NOT put much thought into it as ummmmmmm, what happens when you die is not really a question. 
    However i  assume that the same thing that happens to a Christian upon death happens to a Muslim and a atheist. 

    If a bloke kidnapped five kids , tortured them then ate them. I assume that when this person dies he will encounter the same thing as the kids he ate did. 

    I feel its a little rude of religious people thinking they could possibly know what happens when you die. Not assume , but know.
    But yeah,  that's cool. 

    I'd like to know what religious groups have the best " SIN REMOVERS "  like.
    How many visits to a confession booth is needed to be sin free.  
    Orrrrrrrr
    Does 600ml of holy water make the rape of a person all go away. 
    Because I'm sure you can eat like four maybe five kids then get born again and ya all good. Sin free. 
    So so many questions that will simply be answered in a not at all straight foward way. 

    We need a heaven access granted , "counter ".  A app maybe so like  if you got way heaps enough points to get into heaven. You can spend a few.  So you can Lie, cheat and steal a little. 
    Maybe you can have relations with the married wife nextdoor and still have enough gold heaven entrance coins to get in. 
     

     

     







  • Mopac
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    Saint Paul at least expresses a belief on this in his first epistle to Corinth.


    "But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.
    And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.
    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
    But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
    For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?"

  • keithprosser
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    --> @ludofl3x
    Christianity is very vague as to what life is like in heaven.   Individual Christians can imagine heaven as they please with no obvious negation.  It is clearly in the church's interest to not stress that heaven might not be all that great...


  • Tradesecret
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    --> @keithprosser
    Christianity is very vague as to what life is like in heaven.   Individual Christians can imagine heaven as they please with no obvious negation.  It is clearly in the church's interest to not stress that heaven might not be all that great...
    That is an interesting statement - Keith but really it reveals only that many Christians in the West are platonic in their views about Heaven. 

    It is the Greek idea that the real heaven is a vague notion in our heads. And therefore any picture we try and make of it is really only going to be at best a vague mirror /  reflection of that vague notion. 

    The Christian idea is not like the platonic view at all. True, some similarities and comparisons can be drawn. For instance - that heaven and earth have been separated. the mystery religions - fertility cults of the first century - thought that to appease the gods in heaven might enable them to enter the heavenlies - after they die here on earth. The Gnostics of course took this futher - the material is evil. the spirit is good. Even some forms of Hebraism got involved with the kabala - Jewish magic stuff - and quite good at it too - (despite its prohibition by God) - but all these things are still wrapped up in the Hellenistic notion that earth is just a reflection of the vague notion of earth. It is to get to heaven that these cults and others tried to get at. Gee the letter to the Colossians by Paul was directly on point. 
     
    the Christian view is however that Christ reconciles heaven and earth. We look forward to a time when a new heaven and new earth together - hence the material is not evil. the physical is not bad. Glory for the Christian is going to be a lot like heaven and earth are now - but minus the sin. That is the Christian message and i respectfully submit what Jesus taught. Christians - at least those who read their bibles are not looking for an escape from this earth per se. They are looking forward to being with Jesus - who is king of heaven and king of earth. 

    Which is why the queries at the beginning of this topic are intriguing. 

    it strikes me ironic, that a Christian who disobediently marries a Jew and then fails to train up their children in the Christian faith is going to somehow try and get on their high moral horse when they get to heaven. Why does any person reach glory - and be reunited with Christ? Is it to do with their goodness, their morality, their religion, their sex, or gender, or money in their pocket, or intelligence or lack of it? The Bible says that no one deserves God's mercy. Hence if someone is to be reconciled with God, it is not on their own basis - but by God's decision to demonstrate mercy or not.
    Interestingly, I don't believe that God wipes away people's memories in the afterlife. I think that some people like to believe that - because they fail to recognise God's overall sovereignty and they maximise their own importance.  our memories are part of us.

    People who reject God make their own path. But Heaven is not some sitting on clouds playing harps with a stupid smile on our face place. I think there is going to be lots of hard work - in the new heavens and the new earth. Our journey here of 80 odds years is only going to be a drop in the bucket of all that we will know. but I still think that our memories will be real. and every person - child, parent or friend that we know now and who will be lost in the future is going to add to who we are.  

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Tradesecret
    the Christian view is however that Christ reconciles heaven and earth. We look forward to a time when a new heaven and new earth together - hence the material is not evil. the physical is not bad. Glory for the Christian is going to be a lot like heaven and earth are now - but minus the sin. That is the Christian message and i respectfully submit what Jesus taught. Christians - at least those who read their bibles are not looking for an escape from this earth per se. They are looking forward to being with Jesus - who is king of heaven and king of earth.
    AFAIK there isn't much in scripture to confirm or deny heaven is as you imagine it to be.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    "But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her.
    And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.
    For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
    But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
    For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
    That needs unpacking!   Paul is mostly concerned with marriages where one partner has converted to Christianity.  In such cases the Christian should not divorce their their non-Christian spouse.   In such mixed marriages the children are considered 'holy', ie Christian.  

    However the non-Christian spouse is 'sanctified', not 'saved' by the marriage and the Christian should try to convert their partner.   If the non-Christian spouse wants a divorce then Christian is released from their bond not to divorce and the divorce should proceed.


  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    It is a bad idea to marry someone who is of a different religion than you.

    I wouldn't ever recommend it.

  • disgusted
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    What an insane proposal. Only a godist could be so ridiculous. Why do people in your church marry?
  • Mopac
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    --> @disgusted
    People marry for a lot of different reasons.
  • disgusted
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    --> @Mopac
    Name ten
  • Mopac
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    --> @disgusted
    No.
  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac
    I'm more interested in the reasons why not to marry outside one's religion.

    I think the world would be a better place if it was made compulsory.
  • Polytheist-Witch
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    --> @keithprosser
    That's because you hate freedom and should loose yours. 
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @Mopac
    It is a bad idea to marry someone who is of a different religion than you.

    I wouldn't ever recommend it.

    Because invariably one of you must end up burning in hell for eternity? Or another reason? Do you have any answer to the question in the original post?
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @Tradesecret
    So for you, the answer is "c"? Wouldn't that then diminish that person's heavenly bliss in some way, thereby making perfect heaven less than perfect? It's a twist on a question I've asked my mom whenever she gets upset thinking that as an atheist, she won't get to see me when she passes away in heaven. If heaven allows you to miss me, is it really all that great a reward? If heaven gives you a copy of me, one that comported with Christian principles in some way, would you know it was not the me you knew? If heaven removes your memory of your otherwise decent son, because he didn't check the box that said yup Jesus, are you really you in heaven?

    The answer was "why do you have to ask all those questions?" Gotta love parents :). 
  • Polytheist-Witch
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    --> @ludofl3x
    Ah so all this hate for theist is because you hate your mom. Makes sense now. Take it out on her. 
  • Mopac
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    --> @ludofl3x
    I can't say who goes and doesn't go to hell. God is the judge.


    What I can say is that strife is likely to develop from a married couple with two different religions.

  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    The idea of a stable and healthy marriage must be obnoxious to you.

  • keithprosser
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    --> @Mopac @Polytheist-Witch
    The idea of a stable and healthy marriage must be obnoxious to you.
    My parents had a stable and happy marriage for 50 odd years, and so did I until my wife died!  I have no experience of unhappy marriages.

    I think people should marry whoever they want to, but maybe if for one generation blacks had to marry whites, Jews had to marry Arabs, Serbs had to marry Croats and so on there'd be less blood on the ground afterwards!
  • Mopac
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    --> @keithprosser
    Ethnicity is not the same thing as conviction.

    I am in a mixed marriage. We are black and white. We are very much united in faith.
  • ludofl3x
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    --> @Mopac
    But don't you already say that, who goes to heaven or hell, when you say stuff like "well that person's a Roman Catholic and heretic" or "this person's a protestant and therefore a heretic" or "that person's a jew / gay / not in my orthodox"? That weak ass answer grates on my nerves. I know deep down you're in full belief you're going to heaven, and at the exclusion of others, but when directly confronted christians don't want to stand up and say it. I have more respect for Westboro Baptist types than I do for the "i don't get to judge, only god does" types. While WBC is a deplorable bunch of people in general, at least they have courage of conviction. Doesn't make them any less gross as a group or as individuals, but they stand for something. Grow a pair of balls and say yeah, atheists, you're going to hell, full stop.