So there’s some huge debate thing going on with two sides. I don’t really know much about it, except it seems one side is pro-love and the other side is anti-pro-love-side.
I also gather that one side staunchly believes in the existence of hell (as in agony and flames for eternity), and the other side is questioning that. (If that’s not exactly right, don’t bother to correct me because these are my thoughts and I don’t really care who is saying what…it’s just that all this has made ME think.) Which really, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to question. Hell, I think even God should be questioned, because if he’s really God, he’ll hold up under it.
So then there’s other people, that say “if hell didn’t exist, would you still believe in God?” I guess that’s kind of nice to say, but is it really practical?
I admire the “pro-love” side because of…well, the love. It’s nice to be accepted and loved.
On the other hand, I’m seriously thinking…and honestly, at this specific point in my life, I can’t say I would want to love/obey/follow God if there was no hell. Why? Well, being raised in an extreme fear-based home, hell is why you need Jesus, because he saves you from it. You know, eternal life vs. death (whatever that means).
OK, let’s say there was no hell, no real consequence for bad actions. If there aren’t any eternal consequences, why bother trying to be “good”? Why chain yourself in the trappings of morality if there’s no reason to?
If there was no hell, I wouldn’t be afraid. I wouldn’t have to believe in something to save me from it, either, because whether or not God still existed, who’s to say I’d have to do whatever he wants?
Right now, the whole idea of “christianity” makes me feel stuck. I mean really…if there wasn’t the threat of hell, for me there would be no reason to believe in God. No real reason to try to imitate Jesus, unless it’s because he was a good person who helped people.
Certainly, if you take the examples of some so-called christian people as what the “new man” is supposed to be in Christ, you’re going to be very put off, as I am. My dad always said he hated christians because they were such hypocrites, and the only reason he decided to be one was because his mom said it was about living like Jesus, not living like the hypocrites.
But why? Why live like Jesus?
I’m getting tired of the circular belief that because the Bible says itself true, that wow, it must be true. In order to make sense, logic must be linear, not circular. Circular proves nothing.
I’ve read “A Case for Christ”. (Admittedly, a while ago, so I don’t remember much of it.) So you can scientifically prove the validity of the Bible? Nice…to what end? So you can believe in a God who damns people for stuff like loving someone of the same sex?
I’ve grown up with the whole Christian thing. I know all the pat answers (that my dad would say aren’t “pat” because he hated pat answers. haha.). But I don’t know what’s true or not. I don’t know what I believe, because I believe it, not because someone else told me.
I don’t like going to church because I feel like a fake. I don’t like listening to the pastor, because a lot of times it’s triggering, and even when it’s not, I feel like I’ve had enough preaching for one lifetime. I don’t like singing songs because I’m not sure if I really mean them.
I want to get away from it all, I want to not have to believe in all that. But it’s the fear of hell that brings me back in.
Fear of hell is the reason when I was six or seven, I thought I had to “confess” all the “sins” I could remember committing to God, so I could be “saved”.
Fear of hell is the reason I didn’t leave my parents’ house sooner.
Fear of hell is partly the reason I never killed myself. (Self-murder, you know.)
Fear of hell is the reason I didn’t leave when first presented the chance in May.
Fear of hell is the reason I’ve believed in God for 20+ years.
It’s like saying…ok, if there’s no such thing as gaining weight or getting sick…why SHOULDN’T I eat a whole carton of ice cream a day? You see?
So someone might say…”But you’ve said you’ve seen God work in your life!” How do I know it’s God? Someone else might say it’s a coincidence, Karma, luck, or something else. Or do they mean nothing good ever happens to anybody who doesn’t believe in God? (which is stupid.) Could it be Christians attribute stuff happening like that to God because they’re looking for stuff like that? Like, was it going to happen anyway…but since it happened to a Christian it was God; and if it had happened to a non-Christian it would have been something else?
That makes me think of something else; why pray? Sure, I know it’s supposed to be talking to God, blah blah, he’s your friend, blah blah, you talk to your friends, blah blah blah. But seriously, why? I mean, if he’s your friend and all…why doesn’t he answer? I thought that’s something that makes a good friendship, two-way communication? (Oh yeah there’s the bible…riiiight…unlike some people would have you believe, the bible does NOT have ALL the answers to life.)
A starving Christian prays for food. Maybe he’ll get it, maybe not. If he does, WOW, it’s God!
A starving atheist doesn’t pray for food. (OK maybe he does, haha, idk.) Maybe he gets food, maybe not. (Though in my cynicism, I’d say the atheist is more likely to get the food than the praying Christian…just how things seem to work.) If he does, YAY, he has food.
What’s the use of praying for something for five years, and getting it in the sixth? Maybe it wasn’t supposed to come for six years anyway, and you could have spent your praying time doing something else useful. But no, it’s an “answer to prayer”. So if a non-Christian got whatever they wanted after six years…is it still an answer to prayer, or is it just what was going to happen anyway??
Sigh. Tomorrow I’ll probably think “Oh I was being silly yesterday”, but even if I think that, it’s not true; some of this stuff I’ve been wondering for a while. I just haven’t had a place or the guts to say it. I think it would be ironic if after everything my parents did, that ultimately is what makes me turn from God…because seriously, that has a huge hand in why I’m thinking all this. (I never blame the women who DO turn from God because of growing up like me, too. Sometimes I almost envy them…because I’m still afraid.)
Then again, if none of the bad stuff happened, maybe I wouldn’t question why I believe or disbelieve all this stuff and go on through life not knowing.
(Hopefully this post wasn’t TOO disjointed.)