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Am I alone?? (Some religious thoughts included) - Page 2

post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfamilygal View Post
Well, Isaiah 11:6 says "The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them."

I haven't seen predators and prey lying about together down here yet.

I don't know if there will be animals in Heaven, but I don't think the Bible definitively says there won't. We'll see.
You think the Bible is talking about real animals there? I think most people think that passage is talking about different types of people/personalities led by Christ. I suppose the Bible could be speaking literally here, but then it really doesn't mean much.
post #22 of 81
No animal heaven?! Wah!

DH and I talk about heaven regularly, even though neither of us really believes it exists as a concrete place where "souls" literally "go," as if they were traveling to Toledo. It just comforts us to imagine our stillborn daughter as she might have been in life, and the concept of "heaven" gives us a culturally-shared, familiar structure to talk about what she might have been like and how she was when she was still with us.

Ditto for our deceased animals. It is comforting to have a concept that allows my imagination to freely and creatively explore the memory of how they were in life, without constantly bemoaning the fact that they are not with us anymore. Allows them to live in my memory. Maybe that is heaven.

"I bet Penelope is fat and glossy and munching on yogies up there. And fighting with all the other ferrets! Givin' em all a lot of sass!"

So. Do I "believe" in all that stuff?

No.

And yes.

I hope to pass on that kind of philosophical idea of heaven to my kids-- but I think a lot of young children have to pass through sort of a Taking It All Very Literally phase before they can get to that spiritual-creative place. To me, that's not lying; that's laying a concrete kid-friendly simplified foundation for them to improvise on in later years.

I would be really disappointed if they got stuck on any sort of bare-bones literal interpretation of my religious and cultural ideas, though!

That would defeat the whole purpose! But I guess that some folks do get stuck there.
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyWild View Post
I suppose the Bible could be speaking literally here, but then it really doesn't mean much.
Forest? All I see is a whole lot of freakin' trees!
post #24 of 81
My dd1 straight up asked me if Santa was real after reading Santa stories and seeing it everywear at Christmastime...I said, "No, Baby, he just pretend...but it's fun to pretend"

I am a Christian and I think that if I told her he was real and then she found out later that he was not she might wonder if I lied about God too!

Besides, I teach her that lying is wrong, and for me to tell her that something is real that I know is not real would most definately be a lie!

I think there is still lots of fun in the holidays to pretend about Santa and Easter Bunny....I always had fun as a kid and we knew the truth...my Grandma believed there was a Santa and when she learned the truth at 12 she said she was devistated!
post #25 of 81
we don't do the easter bunny, and we have yet to have a reason to do the tooth fairy but will also not be doing that in the future. we talk about santa in the same way that we talk about other fictional characters. we've never mentioned that santa has actually come into our home (i think that would freak out our sensitive 4yo son). he's got the most amazing imagination and i'm pretty sure that our conversations about that kind of thing are placed on the same mental shelf as the rest of his cool stories that live in his head.

as for animal heaven, well, i believe in an afterlife that includes all living things so while i don't think i'd call it "heaven" perse, i do believe in a spiritual afterlife for all animals.
post #26 of 81
The Bible does not give any specific teaching on whether pets / animals have “souls” or whether pets / animals will be in heaven. However, we can take some general Scriptural principles and shed some light on the subject. The Bible states that both man (Genesis 2:7) and animals (Genesis 1:30; 6:17; 7:15,22) have the breath of life. The primary difference between human beings and animals is that man is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Animals are not made in the image and likeness of God. Being made in the image and likeness of God means that human being are like God, capable of spirituality, with mind, emotion, and will - and - have an aspect of being that continues after death. If pets / animals do have a “soul” or immaterial aspect, it must therefore be of a different and lesser "quality." This difference probably means that pet / animal “souls” do not carry on after death.



Another factor to consider in this question is that God did create animals as a part of His creative process in Genesis. God created the animals and said they were good (Genesis 1:25). Therefore, there is no reason why there could not be animals on the new earth (Revelation 21:1). There will most definitely be animals during the millennial kingdom (Isaiah 11:6; 65:25). It is impossible to say definitively whether some of these animals might be pets we had while here on earth. We do know that God is just and that when we get to Heaven we will find ourselves in complete agreement with His decision on this issue, whatever it may be.
post #27 of 81
I won't tell my daughter that Santa, etc. are real. However, I'll try to tell her in a way that maintains the fun of all of that.

And I unquestionably wouldn't tell my daughter, "Oh, no, sorry, your pet is dead, suck it up. No, you'll never see your pet again, only humans get to go to heaven."
post #28 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Devon* View Post
I think the Santa, etc, thing is sort of a "gray area"... I think he's a representation of the Christmas Spirit, the spirit of giving and love and joy that we are filled with that time of year. I believe in him!!
yeah, I think that Santa is a metaphor for giving without expectation of recieving anything back. Santa is cool and fun and we always leave him cookies, and he always fills stockings!

The tooth fairy leaves our kids money, and the easter bunny leaves them candy and money, and our kids are well aware that it is my DH and I doing all the this stuff, but it is all fun. Neither Dh or I are good liars and we are the least sneaky parents on the planet.

I grew up in a home with no Santa, no Easter bunny, etc. I think that if you have issues with these things, that you should give your kids the stuff and let them know it is from you.

You will not make your children love your god by telling them that they don't get an easter basket because that isn't what easter is all about it. It is, of course, great to teach your kids what you feel these holidays are really about, but they are just kids and it really wasn't fun as a child to know that all the other kids get stuff and that I didn't because of GOD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amris View Post
And I unquestionably wouldn't tell my daughter, "Oh, no, sorry, your pet is dead, suck it up. No, you'll never see your pet again, only humans get to go to heaven."
post #29 of 81
I haven't read any replies yet, but I have a problem lying to my kids about Santa/Easter Bunny/etc. I never thought about it until I actually had kids. And then it just felt wrong. Up until age 4 or so, we just didn't talk about Santa. But then my son was in pre-school and learned about it on his own. I lean more toward neither confirming nor denying the reality of Santa/Easter Bunny, rather than saying straight out that they are real or not. Though the other day I did end up telling my 5 year old straight out that the Easter Bunny isn't real. I did feel like I was depriving him of some fun and magic.

Recently I've wondered if there's something wrong with my conscience. For example, I feel like certain types of mystery shopping is lying. I have never run across anyone else who feels this way. Instead of making me feel like I'm more moral, it makes me wonder if something is wrong with me.
post #30 of 81
I'm sorry, but I just don't understand how you could consider perpetuating the myth of Santa/the Easter Bunny/the Tooth Fairy "lying"? To me, the term lying is synonymous with a certain amount of willful and (malevolent) deceit. Lying is a purposeful misrepresentation for ill-conceived reasons. I wouldn't consider being dismissive or contentious of my dd when she is a fairy or a superhero or an angel -- and at 3, there is a certain part of her that truly believes she is indeed all of these things. I am not a religious person (at least not in any traditional secular sense) and I apologize for what I am going to say, but saying it I am, nonetheless -- your belief in an actual God can be as emphatically proven or substantiated as someone else's belief in Santa Claus or water sprites or dryads or elves. You are simply taking what you've read in a book and choosing to believe there is a sentient being with creative and benevolent powers. You can cite the Bible as much as you'd like, but there is no empiric, conclusive, stand-up-in-a-court-of-law evidence to prove otherwise. I'm not trying to stir things up, we must each parent in accordance with our own hearts and souls, as long as the child's welfare and best interests are our principle guiding factors -- but to say Santa is an out-and-out LIE, but colorless, odorless, bodiless, invisible God is concretely real, just smacks of hypocrisy to me (and smacks my funny bone around a little, too -- sorry -- insert sheepish grin moniker). Like mostly everything in our spiritual lives, things are as we believe them to be. I don't think that stories about visits from the Easter Bunny comprise any more of a lie than stories of burning, talking bushes or of water turning to wine. We all follow what makes each of our individual lives happier and more fulfilling places to be (so long as it harm none -- including ourselves), and though I'm not 100% certain, I've a strong feeling, call it a hunch, that that is the way God (at least my God) intended it to be.
post #31 of 81
Maybe my ds is just a natural skeptic, but some of our relatives do santa and easter bunny stuff for him, and even without discussing it, it's obvious we all know it's pretend. I think when he first heard about monsters and dragons we spent so much time talking about things that were just pretend, and he has such an active imagination--but clearly distinguishes his play from reality--that he assumes lots of things (including God) are pretend. I think he's a little skeptical about germs, too!
post #32 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by jomomma View Post
your belief in an actual God can be as emphatically proven or substantiated as someone else's belief in Santa Claus
I can prove without a shadow of a doubt that the presents from Santa that show up under Christmas trees did not come from a man who flies around the earth on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. I'm sorry, but it's just not up for discussion in the way that religion is. It's a fact that parents put the presents under the tree; not Santa. Therefore, telling the kids that a man in a sled comes into the house and puts the presents under the tree is a lie. It doesn't matter if it's malicious or malevolent. The definition of a lie is telling something that is untrue.
post #33 of 81
No, we don't do the childhood lie stuff here.

All that was put on me as a kid and I was severely traumatized by the lying once I figured it out. I mean, the major cool events of kid's life revolve around santa, the tooth fairy and the easter bunny. If my parents had lied about all that, what else had they lied about? I never trusted my parents again and left their religion as soon as I was able.
post #34 of 81
I tell my kids that Santa and the Easter Bunny are imaginary beings that some grown-ups and kids like to pretend about. We don't do it (we're Jewish).

Much more interesting to me is another aspect of the OP's post. I'm curious about how it works when you raise your kids to believe that only people of your particular faith are going to Heaven. How do kids who believe this relate to people who are of different faiths?

Is the corollary that everyone else is bound for Hell? Or that people of other faiths end up someplace else? Would you encourage them not to make friends with my kids, for instance, since they won't be going to your Heaven? And how are such children raised to think about the sizeable portion of the world that doesn't believe what they do? Ripe for conversion? Live and let live? Doomed anyway, so not worth bothering about?

I'm really curious about this, as it would never occur to me to tell my kids that only people who believe what we do are going to Heaven. I'd think that would give them a pretty bad impression of God.
post #35 of 81
I'm not the OP, but we also teach our DD that Christians only go to heaven. We believe in the whole Bible, and Jesus pretty clearly says that he is the only way to the Father.
I think it would be more confusing to only teach her the comfortable parts of Scripture, KWIM?

And we 'do' Santa, ect- but it's all in fun and she knows that. I think it's the best of both worlds.
post #36 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
I'm not the OP, but we also teach our DD that Christians only go to heaven. We believe in the whole Bible, and Jesus pretty clearly says that he is the only way to the Father.
I think it would be more confusing to only teach her the comfortable parts of Scripture, KWIM?
Ok, but what do you tell her about my kids?
post #37 of 81
Well, I've never met you or your children, but if we did and she asked I'd tell her that hopefully you come to the Christian faith. She's not old enough yet to have grasped that only way to heaven= others go to hell, but we'll explain it as such when she does grasp that.
post #38 of 81
I don't tell them that Santa is coming, etc.

I ask them what they believe, and leave my position neutral. I don't want to be the bad guy. But I do tell them that I do believe in some things that others do not believe in. Like fairies. Don't laugh at me.
post #39 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
Well, I've never met you or your children, but if we did and she asked I'd tell her that hopefully you come to the Christian faith. She's not ol enough yet to have grasped that only way to heaven= others go to hell, but we'll explain it as such when she does grasp that.


I don't tell my children that anyone would go to heaven or hell because of their religion. I guess that just shows a HUGE difference between our thought systems. Whatever. All the cool people are in hell, anyways. Looks like the pope says that at least unbaptized babies are going to heaven, though. But what if they were born to non-xian parents?

Just pondering. Sorry OT.
post #40 of 81
I can't answer for the pope of Catholics, because I'm not.

But the rest- it's something that personally I've struggled with, a lot. I don't like to think of- that people I like and love will not be with me in heaven, but my church is pretty clear on the teaching, and I think that if I put my faith in one part of the Bible I need to put it the whole Bible, if that makes sense.
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