I love woodworking as a hobby and the machines and tools I own. With
these machines and tools I turn lumbers into functional things I need
around the house. Beside woodworking, I also love sex (no offence
please, in heaven naked and no sex permitted?), travel, music, books
and other activities too numerous to mention. To give up all these
activities and go to heaven doing nothing forever is just not worth
it, especially living with liars and murders?
IMHO, many will be surprised when their final destination is revealed.
I'm hoping for the better but I know what I deserve. We are all just
people, not gods(little g intentional).I can not say who is a Christian
or who is not. Only you and your maker know where you stand. And even
that may be wrong. I sometimes wonder if I really know where I stand.
A person's actions judge that person more than any amount of attention
you give to those actions. OR, What a person does, speaks more directly
of his character than anything that could possibly said about him.
We are ultimately responsible for what others think of us. If we
promote the image of ourselves as a fool, then we will be perceived as
such. A genius IQ commands no respect from a man who no-one understands
or cares to listen to. Likewise a person whose condescending attitude
and judgemental speaking habits are the mainstays of his personality,
will have a hard time projecting a good Christian testimony.
Christianity, or any other religion is not enough to make you upright
and wise in all other eyes. You have to live the part and lead by
example. Just believing and labeling yourself is falling considerably
short of the mark. Walking with your Lord is a task that many can't
handle. I for one, fall behind and have a terrible time catching up. I
don't believe that the mercy of God, whoever your God is, is enough to
make any of us a judge, jury or executioner. We have to work out our
own salvation. Not everyone else's.
Tom in KY, remembering some old Hank Williams songs, the general
message is, what I'm doing ain't none of your business so go back to
whatever you hypocrites do. In other words, he knew where he stood, and
wasn't trying to cram his religion down anybody's throat like they were
trying to do to him, all the while ignoring their own faults.
By their actions - so shall you know them.
What you do to the least of mine - you do to me.
Be good to each other, lend a hand when you can
and try to leave the place better than you found it.
If you do these things, what comes next shouldn't
worry you any.
To quote Cecil Frances Alexander:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
If you believe that God made all things,
he made those of all colors and regions.
Not just those who agree with your particular brand of religion.
It may turn out that you ALL end up _very_ surprised...
Yadda, Yadda, IMHO, etc...
I was raised in a fairly religious family, had two aunts that were
Nuns, and years ago had a conversation with the oldest aunt about
heaven and hell, and the concept of "church" generally. A wise woman,
and one of, if not the purest soul I have ever met (she took her vow of
poverty literally - if you gave her a present within 48 hours she gave
it away to someone who might need it) and never had a bad thing to say
about anyone - she always looked for, and generally found, goodness in
Anyways, the conversation was sparked by an incident in my church where
the choir director, VERY well thought of in the church, was a deacon,
ran the youth group at church, taught religious instruction, always
pious and god-blessing everyone he saw, local businessman, shaker and
mover, etc., who was revealed to have been keeping several women on the
side, including a 16 year old girl for whom he rented an apartment.
Divorce ensued, business pressure led him to not pay his sales taxes
(liquor store business), and he was shorting his employees on wages and
overtime, etc. Quite a mess. I was young (15), and had looked up to
the guy, and my faith was shaken. I asked Sister what I should make of
this, and she told me the following:
She said that I should not pay much attention to what "leaders" of
religion say, or do. They are human, with human frailties, and over
time there are very, very few among us that live a consistently
upstanding life. She said that all organized religions existed to
create a belief system that was culturally consistent with where it was
located and that most of these organizations were primarily concerned
with increasing attendance and building more churches, so there could
be more priests and monseignors and bishops and deacons and choir
directors; and that there was too little emphasis upon helping those
who are truly in need, which should be the whole point of religion,
e.g., folks should organize to do helpful things for their fellow man,
not to put on displays, ceremonies and pagents that have the goal of
showing everyone else how good and pious they are, or how successful
their particular brand of religion is, or how many people belong to
their church, etc. She told me not to pay too much attention to what
religious leaders told me to do, but to look for goodness in people,
and to try and help those who needed the help I could provide - and to
give that help with kindness without looking for something in return.
Well, that sounded to me like the golden rule, and pretty much since
that discussion that's what I tried to do. I also don't pay much
attention to any organized religion, and their myths about heaven,
hell, nirvana, reincarnation, be they the myths born of the christian,
muslim, jewish, hindi, or whatever faith. I also get a little annoyed
when those who think they KNOW start telling me if I don't accept [fill
in the blank] as my personal god, savior, or whatever I'll be doomed to
the worst myth they believe in. As far as such people are concerned,
they can go to heaven, hell, or wherever, as I'm simply not buying the
rubbish they are selling.
Now, its entirely possible there is a supreme being. That being said,
the question is which of the organized religions have gotten it right
and are serving the "correct" being? And even if they are, will this
supreme being be really, really happy with some of the things they are
saying and doing in his/her name? Somehow, I don't think so. So I
take the view that the supreme being has a sense of time, space and
perspective, and that he or she will use that understanding to
recognize that if folks just try and live their life without cheating,
killing, robbing and abusing their fellow man, and use their talents to
try and help those around them improve their lives, one will be judged
fairly at the final roundup. So that's what I've been doing for the
last 38 years, and I sleep real good every night. And if I'm wrong,
well I'm sure there will be lots of suffering in hell that I can help
folks out with.
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