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do nonbelievers burn?

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 
What is your take? If you are Christian, what is your church's take? Do you think that so long as one truly accepts Christ, even at the last minute of life, that they get in the Pearly Gates, no matter what they have done wrong on earth? Do you believe that GOOD people who are not Christian are doomed?
post #2 of 116
I'm not a christian so I probably shouldn't be answering this. However, it is a question which I have wondered about for many years.
post #3 of 116
Thread Starter 
OM I want the opinion of anyone who cares to share, regardless of their religion. I was totally irate about this last week, and angered, but now I just want to know about it.
post #4 of 116
I'd be very interested as well, in a would like to know way rather than an agro stomping way.

I vividly remember a very heated arguement I had with a Jehova's witness once on this very topic. I had to majorly practise deep breathing since it was like talking to a brick wall. There also seems to be some division within the branches of christianity as to whether you get into heaven too. Like you have to be the right flavour christian or you're for the trip down below as well.

In my book good is good, regardless of what religion you happen to belong to. I s'pose I just had to get a post in so I get emailed when someone answers this else I'll lose the thread. I'm very good at that.
post #5 of 116
Thread Starter 
me too, OM.

I have to warn you all, I have some strong feelings here. I don't want to flame anyone or their beliefs but I am really passionate about this. I want to know about it.
post #6 of 116
I consider myself leaning toward my Christian upbringing in my spiritual beliefs (my dad was a minister).

But I don't believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, nor do I believe in exclusionary Christianity (where those of other faiths don't have it right unless they have Jesus).

So my "christianity" is sprinkled with pearls of wisdom from other faiths and spiritual beliefs.

That said, I don't believe in literal heaven or hell.

I DO believe in afterlife. I believe in karma. I believe in heaven and hell right here in this life on earth. I believe in reincarnation. I believe in a spiritual world.

No, mamapie, I don't think anyone is going to burn in hell.
post #7 of 116
I just remembered this funny little story about my grandma who passed away at the ripe old age of 97 in 1986 (she could remember coming to Kansas in a covered wagon in the 1890's as a small child). It kind of illustrates OceanMamma's point.

My father was the minister of an independent Christian church in a very small farming town close to KC where we lived. My grandmother used to go to church with him often to hear him preach.

This particular church immersed people when they were baptised. My grandmother, being Methodist, had not been immersed. She had been "sprinkled", as is the norm in the Methodist church.

An older man, who was a fairly wealthy rancher, took a liking to my grandmother. He had her to dinner after church on several occassions.

On one of those occassions, they started discussing religion. He ended their relationship soon after because, as he put it, he wouldn't be seeing my grandmother in heaven since she hadn't been baptised the "right" way. My grandmother thought it was a hoot! She told him that she might not see him in heaven either, but it wouldn't have anything to do with baptism!
post #8 of 116
LOL, dfoy.

My thoughts on hell: I don't see how there is any room for it in what I see as true Christianity. In my book, no matter what faith one adheres to, God is love, love is God. There is no way anyone can convince me that Christ did not come to us to spread unconditional love. There is no way anyone can convince me that any force of true love would condemn us to an eternity of suffering.

I do believe in karma. I do beleive that the God who is Love is a part of each and every one of us. We are all sacred and we are all potentially divine.

Those are my thoughts on hell in a nutshell. I know that they sound kinda new-agey idealistic and the Christians on board can point out Biblical evidence to prove that we are not all God's children so that it is not as problematic for them to reconcile the belief that their loving God could damn people.
post #9 of 116
I am not a Christian. And, I sometimes try to see things how G*d would see them. Here's how I have constructed an argument:

I know that I have a fair amount of compassion for people. I understand that someone's life circumstances can lead them to murder, rape, or other heinous acts. Of course, I think those things are terrible, but it is oftentimes all too easy to see patterns of abuse and hurt emerging when you hear about mothers killing their children and similar. That is, I think it is unusual to hear about someone who is mentally healthy, with a happy life commiting a bunch of murders.

The first thing that I think to myself is that there is something really wrong with that person, not that they, themselves, are "wrong." And if I (a tiny, little, everyday person) can feel compassion and forgiveness for cruelty, how much more forgiving and compassionate is Divine Oneness (G*d), who is infinitely compassionate and forgiving?

That is why I personally think that there is no punishment. If I (the mere peon) realize that punishments do no good, why would Oneness resort to such a primitive tactic?

Of course, in order for my beliefs to make sense to me, I have to believe in reincarnation. And if one doesn't believe that, it is harder to make sense of cruelty and hatred in the world. In fact, life would seem downright unfair, IMO!

Anyway, that is my take on the whole deal.


p.s. Sometimes I modify this belief in August here in Texas. Whoo-boy! Hot as hell!!
post #10 of 116
Mamapie, this is an issue in my life that will make me stark-raving mad! My ILs are VERY Christian and do believe that you will be hell bound if you do not except Jesus either b-4 you go or right after you go. My dh doesn't believe this and hasn't since he was 18 or so.

I wasn't raised with any particular religon but my parents did believe in a higher power and karma, but their beliefs were pretty open and non-judgemental. That being the case I personally feel drawn toward Paganism and so does dh and this is how we are planning on raising our dd. This of course is not something that is okay in the land of the ILs and we have tried to tell them that we aren't Christian (didn't even get into the Paganism thing) but that we believed in God but just not the way that they did. I cannot tell you how frustrating it has been for us. I have gotten more Christian crap from my MIL than I can handle even though she knows that I don't believe in God the same way that she does and we have been asked if we are going to church. WTF! Were they out of body when we talked to them! (Sorry, ranting )

Anyway, I was never really bothered by the fact that some people thought that I was going to hell for not being a believer but now I am just totally offended. I do not believe that there is a heaven and a hell. I believe that there is heaven (for lack of a better word) that everyone goes to and once there our soul recaps this particular life and what it has learned while here in the physical world. Karma comes into play here for me as far as past lives are concerned and so forth. My God doesn't have all those rolls and guidelines.
Ahhh, I think that ranted more than actually answered your question. Sorry
post #11 of 116
well i guess i'm on board with the majority so far - i don't believe in a litteral heven or hell. i think we create them both here on earth and within ourselves. i do believe in karma, though not in the "if i'm a white klansman in one life, i'll be a poor black sharecropper in the next" - i don't things are that simple. but i do think if we're an @**hole in this life, we learn from that in some manner in the next. my concept of the divine is pretty vast - i think everything and everyone is god - or at leaste some aspect of god - like facets on a diamond for example. i have gotten plenty annoyed and offended by those well meaning types who just don't want to see me burn (perhaps they were the ones who lit the torch under my feet in a previous life for being a pagan?) bottom line, like newma said if god is love (as i believe), then the whole concept of punishment is ludicrous. for me god is not a person and therefore there are no ego hang-ups to be accountable for (i.e., worship ME and not some other dude).
post #12 of 116
I've had this discussion with my best friend a few times. She is Christian, I'm not. What it always came down to is this, " what if your wrong?" I see that question as proof positive that when you get down to it, it's not about faith it's about fear. Fear that you'll burn in hell if you don't believe.

I refuse to be bullied into faith. That isn't faith to me anyway. I have no use for a religion that keeps it's members by cohersion and fear. JMO flame me if ya want, I'm tough. I'm planning on surviving "hell" LOL.
post #13 of 116


That no professed Christians have said anything. I think the tone of the orginal post might be a bit scary/antagonistic if you believe that non-Christians will go to hell.

I am not Christian but was for awhile and from what I understand, if you don't believe Jesus is your savior, prepare to burn in damnation.

Actually, some of the Christians I know have said hell is merely being away from God or without God.
post #14 of 116
I agree with NM. Except to add children are excluded from this.

Besides if it makes you so angry then why ask??
post #15 of 116
I’m a Christian. I don’t think it is my job to decide who is going to hell and who is not. It is up to God.

That said, I do believe in hell. And like NM said, people speculate and come up with ideas about hell that fit into their worldviews. My favorite was formulated by a theologian, but I forget who (DH says it was Milton.) He basically said that there are 2 kinds of people. One kind of person says to God “Thy will be done.” To the other sort of person God says “thy will be done.” In my mind, this suggests that God respects our choices. If we choose not to know him, He allows that (though it makes him sad.) How does this lead to hell? Well, I believe that without God’s guidance and companionship, people more or less create their own hell.

So, theologically sound or not – these are my thoughts.
post #16 of 116
I was raised in a fundamental Christian home, my parents (looking back on it) were pretty openminded towards alternative thinking and not melding with most of society. I love the traits that they modeled for me...

However i do not believe in a literall Hell, that is a subject that we agree not to discuss, bless you Nursing Mother for being willing to talk about it. I always enjoy your posts though my flavor is more pagan or nature based...youre posts remind me of my mama
I went through alot of fear about going to "hell" when i was growing up..i loved the idea of floating around with the angels who have golden wings, that sounds like such fun..but burning for eternity?? count me out.

I believe in Karma, for me that means that i will experience the way i affected othhers in life..this could be a completely unconscious way that i hurt someone , i would feel the pain i caused them. Or an intentionally cruel action...i will feel the intensity of pain or happiness and Love that i inflicted/gifted on other souls. Also, i believe that we could see clearly what we couldve done with our lives, if not for fear.
I used to get really angry at people who tried to bully me into accepting Christ to avoid hell, now i have compassion for the ones who sound really desperate...they are trying to care for me, to 'save my soul' the intentions are pure (mostly)
I can now tell them that i have accepted Christ, i truly embrace what i believe to be his true message..which is unconditional love, and i try to practice it in my life...i never understood how simply repeating a prayer could save you from "hell"
I don't label myself as having a religion, i am part Buddhist, Pagan, Christian, agnostic...??...

I am always open to leave behind the beliefs that limit me, i think of G*d as the great mystery. There could be a fiery Hell, it just doesn't feel true to me.

Blessings, Kelly
post #17 of 116
Thread Starter 
Besides if it makes you so angry then why ask??
Well abimommy, so I can learn and understand and let go of my anger over the idea. Is that okay or no?
post #18 of 116
As a UU I believe that the only people who 'burn' are those of us who choose cremation!
I don't believe in any kind of afterlife.
Every living thing has a beginning, a middle and an end.
Nothing more, but more importantly, nothing less!
Of course, this is not to be taken as representative of all UUs!
post #19 of 116
Wow! I can't believe I'm posting a reply,b/c the question was stated so harshly.

My history is I was raised in an ultra conservative independant Baptist church. I attended a religious christian school supported by my church from the age of 4-18. I also attended a independant baptist college for two years, until my husband and I concieved our first child(I was in college to appease my parents-not b/c I wanted to be there). Since college I have moved away from some of my conservative upbringing in the way of everyday
living, but not so much doctrinally.

I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven, john 3:15-21,36. Based on scripture I believe that God would have ALL people to be saved. I Timothy 2:4, IIPeter 3:9. I also believe that God is the only one who can judge the heart of a person, and that I have no place to condemn someone else for not believing what I believe. Matt.7:1&2- "Judge not that ye be not judged, for with what judgement ye judge we shall be judged."

As far as the initial question of "do unbeleivers burn." I believe there is a leteral hell that is cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of the millenial kingdom. The lake of fire was original intended ONLY for Satan and his his angels. God's desire is for ALL to be saved. Revelation 20 talks about Satan being thrown into the Lake of Fire vs.10. In the following verses it says that ALL the small and great are bought before God and the books are opened and their works are judged, and "whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." (Through earlier scriptures the BOok of life is always mentioned in reference to believers in Christ.) Also in Revelation 21:27 says only those that are written in the book of life will enter in[heaven].
So yes I believe that all those who choose not to belive in Jesus Christ will spend eternity separated from God.

Please take note that this is what I believe God's Word teaches. The first thing to accepting any belief similiar to mine is accepting that the Bible is God's Word, without this initial belief it will be hard to accept anything that I have said. With all that said, please remember that I am not choosing to judge anyone's heart for that is only the place of a just and holy God, not me an imperfect sinner who daily asks forgiveness for my sins.
post #20 of 116
Thread Starter 
I do not believe I was that harsh! Sorry. Can we have this thread without tearing me apart please? Have I disrespected or even commented on anyone's viewpoint?

I respect your right to believe as you do. Thank you for sharing those beliefs with me. I have nothing else to say about it, I can feel everyone waiting to pounce on me. Thanks anyway.
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