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do nonbelievers burn? - Page 2

post #21 of 116
I promise not to pounce, Mamapie. I am a new Christian. I am new to the Bible. I had no clue growing up about JC and his awesome sacrifice. After talking to a few Christians who were (are) good friends, I decided to read the Gospels. I was immediately taken with the history of it all. I had been taught to believe that the Bible was just a 'bunch of stories' meant to frighten people into behaving a certain way. What I found, instead, was a history book describing the awesomeness of God's love. (is awesomeness even a word? oh well, ykwim) I find Christianity to be so gentle, kind, HUMBLE, that I think no true Christian could ever tell another soul that they are going to 'burn'. To do say goes absolutely against everything in the New Testament. Only God knows a person's heart. As I turn more and more to Faith, I realize that I always believed, I always had faith in Something, I just didn't see it. I know that's probably difficult to understand. It's difficult to put into words. What I mean is... I think that if I had died before my conversion, I still would have been forgiven, because He knows me better than I know myself.

I also believe that NO ONE on their own, is GOOD ENOUGH to go to heaven. I know I'm most certainly not!!!!!! I need Jesus' help every single day to keep patience, humility, kindness in the face of (minor) disaster, on and on..... I also need His help to get to heaven.

The true Christians I know are quiet, concerned, LOVING people. I am sorry that you have obviously dealt with another sort. It's impossible to hear the message if the messenger is too loud!!!
post #22 of 116
Thread Starter 
Thank you Marie. Would you email me your number again? It is stupid that we live like a mile away and have not met. I am so busy in the summer.
post #23 of 116
The Jewish view of heaven is beyond my ken, and I don't think it is our thing that there's a hell as such.

My understanding of the Jewish view is that we keep being reincarnated until we "get it right." And once we get it right, the only way to go is up.

- Amy

edited to invite B'Bird, dddD, Mom2Five, dandelion ... any Jewish mama who knows more, to please correct my mistakes ...
post #24 of 116
C'mon, mamapie, you love to ride the tide You're one of the few mamas with the huevos to post such a question in spirituality. And you know heathen pinko commies should stay in activism.

I was raised Catholic and educated Catholic for 8 yrs. I've been baptized, communioned and confirmed. I've questioned faith since I was a very little girl, can remember asking tough questions to the nuns.

The thing that drives me away from that faith more than anything else in the exclusivity aspect. I cannot accept that one way is the right way to live and every other way is wrong. That deifes the very concept of God, IMO. Those that quote scripture as the fact sound to me like they believe in the book, not the concept.

There are many books. There are many ways to believe in a higher power. I believe firmly in a higher power. Which I have come to see as love.

I think people that do not love burn in hell everyday. I can see them around me when I look. They are writhing in pain and agony.

So, I think people who do not act in love and keep love in their hearts above all else, will/are burning in hell.
post #25 of 116
I just wanted to say that in my original post I was totally ranting and I hope that it didn't come off too offensive. I had just gotten off the phone with my MIL and it was a HORRID call. While on the phone I was lectured on our up coming move and told that I needed to make sure that by us moving dh wouldn't be throwing away his life Then I stubbed my little toe and I think it's broken: And then I got this whole guilt trip about not finding a good church where we are moving to b/c this is the first thing that they did when they moved.
So I am sorry about my first post.

Mamapie, I know that you wanted this to be a thread that educates and not judges so I just wanted to say that I don't want to judge anyone or come off as judging and I really don't want to blow smoke. Anyhow, this had been bothering me and I just wanted to say sorry if I sounded bitchy or made anyone feel afraid to post, there won't be any flaming from me.
post #26 of 116
The true Christians I know are quiet, concerned, LOVING people. I am sorry that you have obviously dealt with another sort. It's impossible to hear the message if the messenger is too loud!!!
mariek, there is alot of this out there (the loud ones)... my cousin-IL at a family gathering a couple years back, felt compled to stand up and announce that she was just so sorry and worried that we (non-believers) were all going to hell. and that she loved us all so much and just wanted us to be with her in heaven!!! mind you aside from her and her dh and ds, the rest of the family's pretty non-religious - though vaguely christian in orientation. so, as you might guess we were all pretty annoyed at her comment. my mil insists that the ONLY reason any of her kids and their spouses are going to heaven, is because she prays so hard for us. after awhile you feel like sticking your fingers in your ears, "i can't hear you, lalalala"... :
post #27 of 116
Steph, I suppose that when people have been 'in' the religion too long, they forget what they thought of others who were always trying to 'convert' them. I guess in a roundabout sort of way it's good for me to be surrounded by my family of non-believers. I love them all, I want to 'save' them all, but ranting like that sure won't do it! I'm convinced that the better way is to teach through example (like we're supposed to do with our kids). I know EXACTLY what you mean by wanting to put your fingers in your ears!!! I'm sorry that this is the example of Christianity you have to see. Can I quote myself?! IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HEAR THE MESSAGE IF THE MESSENGER IS TOO LOUD!! Ok, now *I'm* starting to be the loud one:
post #28 of 116
Originally posted by amyrpk
The Jewish view of heaven is beyond my ken, and I don't think it is our thing that there's a hell as such.

My understanding of the Jewish view is that we keep being reincarnated until we "get it right." And once we get it right, the only way to go is up.

- Amy

edited to invite B'Bird, dddD, Mom2Five, dandelion ... any Jewish mama who knows more, to please correct my mistakes ...
You could be right.
From what I learned, Olam habah (the world to come) is something there is no "guidelines" about. There is only one thing that is known for sure. After death, at some point we are judged and it is up to each person, during there life to do as many mitzvot ( commandments, good deeds) as possible and as few sins. We cannot know the value of any action, that is only up to G-d to decide.

post #29 of 116
Will nonbelievers burn?

This is a very complex question, so bear with me.

According to Judaism, worthy gentiles do have a place in the next world (olam habah). All people must follow seven laws, and Jewish people must follow these laws and then some. The seven laws are:

Do not steal
Do not murder
Do not commit adultery
Do not blaspheme God
Do not worship idolatry
Do not eat a limb torn from a living animal
Establish a justice system to enforce the above laws

If a gentile (a non-Jewish person) sits in his kitchen all day doing crossward puzzles, that person has not done anything wrong, and goes to olam habah. But that person was not neccessarily a GOOD person, as doing crosswards all day does not compare to, say, trying to rid the world of slavery . A person who is actively (as opposed to passively) good, gets a "higher" place in olam habah- as I understand it a place closer to God's throne. This is true for all people, Jew and gentile.

If someone does not obey the above laws, theoretically has no place in the next world. I'm not exactly sure of the extent of this, and the following is my understanding which may have no actual basis in anything besides my opinion.
Because God created us all differently, a kleptomaniac has very different tests that someone who would never dream of invading another's privacy. Accordingly, God will judge the act of stealing differently in each case. We each start off at our own place, and we each end at our own place. What matters is not the "finish line" but how far we've come. Here in this world we do not know where someone else has begun, and we don't know how close they are to their goal, and we are obligated to judge others favorably. So no-one can say who will "burn" or not.

There is also a concept called teshuvah, which literally means return but is taken to mean repentance. If someone does sincere teshuvah, the offending action is wiped from that person's slate. If it is a person-to-person sin, forgiveness must be asked and granted before teshuvah can happen, but if it is a person-to-God sin, the forgiveness asked and granted is part of the teshuvah process. This is a big factor for the next world, because even deathbed teshuvah can earn a person a place in the world-to-come. (On a side note, the sin still exists in the world, and there are still consequences of that action, but it is no longer on the record of the person who committed the act.)

So anyone can avoid "burning" if they so desire.

I hope this wasn't too rambly, and that it actually answered the question.
post #30 of 116
dddD that was enlightening.

Did you ever see the Albert Brooks movie This is Your Life (I think) with Meryl Streep? It touched upon kind of what you're saying - that we are all tested in our life throughout our life.

I don't beleive in heaven or hell. I have hard time beleiving that someone who is morally good but chooses not to beleive would be sent to hell. I beleive in karma.
post #31 of 116
The Qur'an speaks about the fire as the place for bad people...there is also the idea, though, there there is purification in the fire, and that it is not necessarily a permanent residence for all.
At the same time, I truly believe in the infinite grace and mercy of the Creator--and, as someone mentioned above, only our Creator is in the position to make the judgment. If I attempt to tell you what will actually send a soul to the fire, then I am assuming to know the Divine--Lord forbid!
We are all accountable for the good and bad we have done. I have done some pretty bad things myself, and I have faith that Divine Justice will be served when I am called to answer for my actions. In the meantime, we all try to do better--not out of fear of punishment, but out of knowledge of right and wrong, and a desire to serve Divine Creation.
post #32 of 116
According to the New Testement (and I believe the Bible is true and Jesus was who he said he was) it is not a matter of good or bad. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans somewhere). Sin is an archary term that means to miss the mark. Either we hit the bullseye of perfection or we miss the mark. It diesn't matter if we miss it just a little or end up in anothe time zone we have still missed the mark of perfection. We are all doomed to hell. That is the bad news.

The good news is that "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (somewhere else in Romans I believe - sorry don't have a Bible handy) and his death made a bridge for all of us sinners into life with him in eternal glory. Yeah! It doesn't matter how good or bad we have been Christ's blood is sufficent to cover all of our sins and all of out short comings. It doesn't matter when we come to Christ be it when we are still small children or on our death bed. There are two illustrations of this in the Bible. one is in the form of a parable about two men hired for a job. one started working in the morning and another started working at the end of the work day and they both recieved the same wage. The story goes onto talk about our attitudes and hopw we shouldn't think we deserve more salvation just because we came to Christ earlier or worked harder. The second illustration is Jesus on the cross. He was talking with the man next to him who believed he was the Messiah and he assured the man that he would be in glory tonight since he had believed. So doesn't matter when so long as thier mouths speak the truth that is in thier hearts.

So what about unbelievers? No matter how "good" they were they still weren't perfect and perfection or redemption by someone perfect (Jesus) is what is required for heaven. Jesus is the way the truth and the life and noone comes to the father but through Him. So without Jesus the only ending is hell. I know that sounds harsh but God wouldn't have given His son as a sacrifice unless there was no other way.

To say that salvation can be earned or that man can do it on his own or that it doesn't matter if you believe Jesus to be who he says he is totally cheapens what Christ did on the cross. He wasn'r dieing because some people would be more comfortable with thier reigon. He did it because it was the only way a person could come before the father and have eternal life in Him. He did it because he loved us so much that even that seemed like a good idea. It is His desire that none should perish and it is the desire of every Christian that none should perish (or should be) and that is why we are so passionate about telling others. I don't want people I love to go to hell. I don't want people living pretty good lives with the best intentions to go to hell. I want to go to heaven and I want to take as many people with me as possible.

So there is what I believe.
post #33 of 116
Lilyka, you expressed very eloquently what I believe. Thank you for being able to spell out what I couldn't quite formulate into a coherant post.
post #34 of 116
3boys4us, that movie was "defending your life" and i loved it! it actually, with humour, has some spiritual truth, imho. ok, on with the thread...,.
post #35 of 116
To provide a vivid illustration of what Christians really think of heathens, bottom-line.
My Christian belief system has nothing to do with "what I think of heathens." You make it sound as though we believe non-Christians are disposable human beings. Or as though we wrote the "rules" we subscribe ourselves, in order to justify being judgmental. Not fair and not true.

Those who wish to play the Christian game should have the courage to adhere to their own rules. Come on -- denounce us. Mention brimstone.
I don't think you must know very much about our "rules" if you believe that by refusing to pass judgement on you we are showing a lack of courage. It just is NOT our call to denounce you. Nor would any one of us WANT to.

Furthermore, subscription to a longstanding Faith and its traditions is not "playing a game." You make light of something that is DEEPLY lived, felt and respected by some of the mothers on this board. The implication is that we are either cruel or idiotic, and I resent it.
post #36 of 116
For those who believe that the only way to avoid hell is to accept Jesus: Do you have to call him by name? Suppose a person lives by the teachings of Jesus, lives a truly honest and humble life with compassion and love for all beings. Suppose that person seeks enlightenment and seeks to live in a state of grace, by meditating in the woods rather than praying to Gop/Jesus? If this person dies with peace in her/his heart, but without declaring Jesus as saviour, s/he will go to hell? I am trying to ask a genuine question here, to understand something, not make trouble.
post #37 of 116
One of the things about this board that really frosts my cookies is the tendancy of a few fundamentalists to speak of themselves as "true Christians" or feel like they are the sole voice of Christianity. In fact, they speak for their particular denomination or for their own belief system but they do not speak for all Christians.

I'm a Christian. I don't believe that all people who are not Christians will burn in hell. I also believe that lots of people who profess belief in Christianity (some of whom profess it quite loudly) will not make it to heaven.
post #38 of 116
I agree with every word, EFmom! Thanks for putting it out there!
post #39 of 116
What appears to me to de the stumbling block here is that it is not our place as Christians to judge anyone. Therefore, I do not know, Zina, whether that person would go to hell or not! I believe that the best and most assured way to heaven is to acknowledge that WE ARE *ALL* SINNERS, and therefore, can not *earn* our way into heaven. However, it is possible that there are exceptions, that is not my decision, nor my place to speculate. Only He can Judge. I can tell you alittle about my own story, however. DH is Christian, but did not profess this to me for a *very* long time. He had very little to do with my accepting Christ. I wish he had told me the Truth from the very beginning! I am a little perturbed that he spent no energy at all trying to save me, who was once unsaved. He thought that since he could not judge whether I was unsaved, I may be saved in a different way, and so why should he share his beliefs with me? I tell you that was a mistake on his part. I was not saved. Sorry for rambling. I hope you can get a glimpse of my POV.

For those of you who do not share the opinions of the fundamental Christians here, please share your beliefs!!
post #40 of 116
I did post my beliefs earlier in this thread. The 6th post, I believe.
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