Donations to Discovery

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Is Heaven Hoax, Hype or Hope?

Oh boy, Wills, you're really gonna go there?

Yeah.... might as well.  I ain't getting any younger and this topic isn't getting any clearer so might as well throw my hat in the ring and let 'er rip.

First of all.... the qualifications and conditions of this literary purchase:
  • Nothing in this post is meant to be sacrilegious, disrespectful or disdaining of God, Christianity, or any religion or any participant in any religion.
  • This opine will not be scripturally based but may be scripturally influenced and inspired.
  • It is the collection of observations, experiences and deductions of one man and is worth what you are paying for it..... which is nothing.
So, with that out of the way, let's press on.

I wouldn't say I grew up in a Christian environment but I did grow up attending a Christian Church - the Seventh Day Adventist Church - to be specific.

I have been in and out - mostly out of - several Christian churches since then.

The whole concept of heaven has been presented to me throughout life as some sort of Nirvana reward you get for accepting Christ as your personal Savior at some point in your life and developing a Personal Relationship with Him.  

First off, nobody has ever explained to me how you have a personal relationship with a Divine Deity that you cannot perceive with any of the 5 senses. 

And those that claim to have a personal relationship with God cannot explain to me how they got it or how that relationship is conducted and most importantly, how the relationship is experienced or manifested in their own life..... and the key word here is "manifested" which to me means "tangible proof".

About now is where the Bible Scholars hit me with the whole "Live by Faith" thing.  Don't know what to say about that.other than to say I'm a "Show Me" kinda guy.... and they can't.... Show Me, that is.

Now, let me throw you a curve ball at this point.... Not having tangible proof of God or Heaven is not the problem for me.... I can do that Faith dance as good as anybody.

What burns my ass up, besides a fire about yay high, is the fact that people, through the teachings of the church, get so enthralled with the concept of the afterlife, Heaven, whatever, that that's all they look forward to.

I say, F that.

Let me introduce another concept to you that is actually biblically based.... well, at least in my interpretation.

You make your own personal Heaven or Hell.... right here right now.... every day you Live.

Focus on being your best, doing your best, giving your best, conveying your best to others.... every minute of every day.... Focus on turning someone else's Hell into Heaven.  Focus on turning your Faults and Weaknesses into Triumphs and Strengths.

Live that everyday and guess what.... 

You will think less about the Heaven you will go to after dying and enjoy the Heaven you are living in.

The whole takeaway from this argument is that Heaven is just a carrot dangled in front of a Mule tied to a water wheel.

It has the most appeal to those that are nearing the end of their earthly life or those whose earthly life is so miserable that the only way they can survive is to focus on some concept that promises them the perfect life.... once they're done with the miserable life they're living.

Don't know about you, but the more I hear about and think about Heaven, the less appealing it sounds.

I mean come on.... Everything is Perfect. There's no Struggle, no Strife, no Illness, no Pain, no Wars, no Prejudice, No Lieing, Cheating, Stealing, Murder or Adultery.

Take all that away... and you got nothing to resist, overcome, or be tripped up by.... or indulge in.

Hell... that's all the stuff that makes Life worth Living.

My Mistakes, My Failures, My Sins, all the Bad Decisions, all the Pain I have caused and all the Pain I have felt.....

These are all the things that have defined me, that have scarred me, that have sent me Bumbling, Tumbling and Stumbling to the Life Line where I now stand.

Take all that away and just leave the Good and Pure.... and well, I wouldn't want to think about it.

But it would definitely be boring.

So the Good Hype of Heaven doesn't get me all that excited.

Another aspect of Heaven that I don't buy is the Sell job it gets from the Church.

Heaven represents Hope.... and you can sell Hope.

For at least 10% of your gross annual income..... 

A little penance the church calls Tithe or Offering.

As my 2nd Wife explained to me several times, the concept and function of Tithe has been lost in time.

In Biblical times, the Christian Church actually did something for people....

Besides trying to bring in aka "convert" non-believers so that they would become members of the church....

Which brings in more tithe......

See the Money Cycle here?

What the church of yon used to do is basically everything....

That our government and other entities now provide.

The Church of Bible times was a Medical Facility, a Money Bank, a Food Bank, a Legislative Body, Social Security and much much more.

Didn't know that and don't believe me.... just Google "functions of the ancient Christian Church" and start reading some of the links.... like this one...

So, bottom line, your tithe actually benefited YOU tangibly.  

You give tithe now so the Pastor and 10 members of the Church can go on some mission trip to the jungles of Cambodia or Indonesia or the Amazon Rain Forest or wherever.

I can honestly say I have never seen a single dime of the thousands of dollars I have given to the Church ever benefit me in any Tangible Way.... not a penny.

So Heaven doesn't get my Hope vote either.

Finally, does Heaven even exist and if it doesn't what do you do with the whole God thing?

This is where it starts getting a little gray for me.

On one hand, I, personally have not one shred of evidence that God or Heaven exists.

One argument is that God works through others or that evidence of Him is realized in the answers to Prayer for troubles and problems presented to Him.... Fair enough.

Again, personally, I can't say that I have experienced any Miracles or even happenstance where the outcome was so incredible that I could say.....

Holy S*it, I guess God does exist.  There's no way that could ever have happened without Divine Intervention.....

Nope. Never been there or done that.

Now here's what I have seen.... I have seen the Wrath of God....

Or what I perceive to be the Wrath of God.... because that concept has been planted in my mind.

Let me tell you.... that will make me a Believer way faster than some fortuitous outcome to prayer.

Every single time in life, I have gone against whatever you wanna call it,  God's Plan.... God's Instructions.... the Will of God.... or maybe just plain ole Human Common Sense....

I have been struck down by such significant negative consequences that by the time I dug myself out of the hole that God (or just my idiocy) piledrived me into, I swore I'd never do anything like that again.

Now that's Behavior Modification 101 right there!

A Biblically inclined person listening to this little tattletale of Life might say.... Well, however you get there.... just as long as you get there.

To which I say, I'm not really there.

But here's where my natural (or God-given) Human Nature steps up and says....

Hey Stupid - What's the Risk / Reward here?

Whacchu talking about Willis?

It's like this.... I may not have the evidence in hand or experience gained that gives me a certain nod on the existence of God and Heaven.... BUT....

And this is an important BUT....

What if I'm wrong?  What are the consequences if I'm wrong?

Eternal damnation with a bunch of real crazies in a Lake of Fire?

F that.

I'll keep a handful of Faith in my Pocket and give God and Heaven the benefit of the doubt.

Cause the Reward of Believing is so much better than the Risk of Not.

I'll take my chance on God and Heaven not being a Hoax....

And Live my Life like the only Heaven I'll ever see is the one I make out of every day of  My Life.

But I'll keep my Backup Plan.

It works for me.

Now you  know what I think about Heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment