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Heaven or Hell


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As an atheist I have a question, if I lead a "perfect" life according to the bible but refuse to believe in God would I go to heaven or hell?

Is this the Abrahamic god? I think you need to follow whatever the rules of the faith require. Christians would say you didn't accept Christ as your savior so you gonna burn. Jews and Muslims would probably say that you don't believe in God, so it wouldn't matter that you did everything else right, your afterlife is set on "broil".

 

Leading a "perfect" life doesn't necessarily include doing the things required to get into heaven.

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As an atheist I have a question, if I lead a “perfect” life according to the bible but refuse to believe in God would I go to heaven or hell?

 

 

Heaven. The reason, as I pointed out in another thread, is that built into your knowledge of what is good is the intrinsic belief in God's Word written on your heart. As such, God doesn't play semantics.

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Heaven. The reason, as I pointed out in another thread, is that built into your knowledge of what is good is the intrinsic belief in God's Word written on your heart. As such, God doesn't play semantics.

I was recently told in another thread that I was going to hell because I did not accept Jesus. Does 'The Church' have a ruling on this? Seems like it depends on who you ask.

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Heaven. The reason, as I pointed out in another thread, is that built into your knowledge of what is good is the intrinsic belief in God's Word written on your heart. As such, God doesn't play semantics.

 

 

So God is petulant? Isn’t a good life worth rewarding? What if I have dedicated my life to bringing happiness to as many as I can? Compared to the man that has sinned his entire life but accepts God into his heart on his death bed?

 

 

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So God is petulant? Isn't a good life worth rewarding? What if I have dedicated my life to bringing happiness to as many as I can? Compared to the man that has sinned his entire life but accepts God into his heart on his death bed?

If you're not paying your dues for the country club membership, why do you think your good behavior entitles you to golf there?

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If you're not paying your dues for the country club membership, why do you think your good behavior entitles you to golf there?

 

 

Not a very good analogy, I’m not attacking the church here (my father’s a lay reader and a very prominent member of the local church and of course I respect him) I’m trying to find out what the aim of the church is, for me a good and decent society depends not on believe but rather on a happy populous.

 

 

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Not a very good analogy, I'm not attacking the church here (my father's a lay reader and a very prominent member of the local church and of course I respect him) I'm trying to find out what the aim of the church is, for me a good and decent society depends not on believe but rather on a happy populous.

I didn't say you were attacking the church.

 

You questioned why you wouldn't be allowed into heaven even though you've led a good life. Perhaps just living a good life is not enough to get into heaven, not the right "dues" to pay for this particular country club. Maybe they want something you're not willing to give, like faith and worship. If that's what's required for entrance, why are you surprised they won't let you in?

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As an atheist I have a question, if I lead a “perfect” life according to the bible but refuse to believe in God would I go to heaven or hell?

Christians believe that it's accepting Christ as your lord and savior that gets you into heaven. That's why the deathbed penitent goes to heaven. If you refuse to believe in God, then that seals it. Christians believe that you can't really live a Christian life without accepting Christ as your lord and savior.

Edited by ewmon
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I was recently told in another thread that I was going to hell because I did not accept Jesus. Does 'The Church' have a ruling on this? Seems like it depends on who you ask.

 

 

Well, I can't speak for that person, but there are billions of Christians out there so one person doesn't quite breach the threshold for "most". :)

 

Also, it depends on the church. Not all religions spell it out explicitly as the scripture does, but the difference is really semantic. The Catholic Church is fairly explicit on the subject as stated.

 

So God is petulant? Isn’t a good life worth rewarding? What if I have dedicated my life to bringing happiness to as many as I can? Compared to the man that has sinned his entire life but accepts God into his heart on his death bed?

 

 

I'm not sure where you got the idea. In fact I am saying precisely the opposite of what you state. The man who lives a good life bringing good to others is saved as they have demonstrated a belief in God and God's law whereas the man who sinned his whole life but says he believes in God has demonstrated that he really doesn't believe in God at all through his contempt for God's law.

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There are at least 3 major religions. If you accept the God of one of them it's still odds on that you picked the wrong one and so you are going to hell anyway.

Since you are statistically doomed to hell you might as well have a good time while you are here.

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I didn't say you were attacking the church.

 

You questioned why you wouldn't be allowed into heaven even though you've led a good life. Perhaps just living a good life is not enough to get into heaven, not the right "dues" to pay for this particular country club. Maybe they want something you're not willing to give, like faith and worship. If that's what's required for entrance, why are you surprised they won't let you in?

 

 

Your analogy is now clear and is good but I still question the ultimate aim of the church, surely Jesus would have preferred a good moral to an acceptance of fate?

 

 

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Well, I can't speak for that person, but there are billions of Christians out there so one person doesn't quite breach the threshold for "most". :)

 

Also, it depends on the church. Not all religions spell it out explicitly as the scripture does, but the difference is really semantic. The Catholic Church is fairly explicit on the subject as stated.

 

I kind of missed what you are saying. Did someone say that the person I referenced represented 'most' Christians?

 

Are you saying the billions think I will go heaven or hell?

 

I missed where it was stated what the Catholic Church's explicit message is. Do they say I am going to heaven or hell?

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Your analogy is now clear and is good but I still question the ultimate aim of the church, surely Jesus would have preferred a good moral to an acceptance of fate?

 

As well He did. I don't think heaven and hell is decided by any church, and neither did Jesus. I think for most theist believers the dicision resides in the heart, not in the opinion of others and especially not in the church. This could be argued by catholics though, who believe that to go against the church is to go against God. Judeism only requires that a person be spiritual to gain heaven. Some other religions believe that it is a person deeds in life that earn him a place in heaven.

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my father’s a lay reader and a very prominent member of the local church

But it complicates your pursuit of what to believe and what you can question. Here you are asking us. You situation may be similar to the situation for pastor's kids. They can find it difficult to openly question their faith within their church because they're the pastor's kids. They feel pressured to conform. Wow, if any kids in a church "get it", it must be the pastor's kids. What do you mean the pastor's kids are a rambunctious and unbelieving lot? What's going on here, what kind of pastor is he anyway that his own kids don't believe?

 

If you want to live a Christian life, which you seem to want to do, I think there's a church/denomination out there for you. You mention "happiness", so, offhand, I'm thinking Congregationalist. They're not strong on doctrine, but are more people-oriented. They typically have great kid/teen/young adult programs. To me, they're at the very liberal end of churches — country clubs with crosses on top. And then there's lots of denominations in between.

 

I suggest that you do some "church shopping", make contact with another local church, explain your situation, and begin talking with someone there. If they are Christian, they will respect you (and not go over your head to your father). I have seen time and time again, that each generation's faith is generational. In the 1980s, Oldsmobile attempted to freshen its image by advertising that "This is not your father's Oldsmobile." The same is often true with Christianity — different perspective on the basic Christian theme. More emphasis on some parts, less emphasis on others. Shop around.

 

I think the Bible version a church uses can indicate their Christian perspective. I wonder if your father uses the KJV, used by many conservative/fundamentalist/fire-and-brimstone Christians. If you're coming to us instead of your father, he seems unapproachable on such topics. Such Christians tend to focus on God's punishments instead of His love. It's a Christian perspective that's not popular among young Christians (or even middle-aged Christians), and it seems to be going out of style (unless you live in the Bible Belt).

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But it complicates your pursuit of what to believe and what you can question. Here you are asking us. You situation may be similar to the situation for pastor's kids. They can find it difficult to openly question their faith within their church because they're the pastor's kids. They feel pressured to conform. Wow, if any kids in a church "get it", it must be the pastor's kids. What do you mean the pastor's kids are a rambunctious and unbelieving lot? What's going on here, what kind of pastor is he anyway that his own kids don't believe?

 

If you want to live a Christian life, which you seem to want to do, I think there's a church/denomination out there for you. You mention "happiness", so, offhand, I'm thinking Congregationalist. They're not strong on doctrine, but are more people-oriented. They typically have great kid/teen/young adult programs. To me, they're at the very liberal end of churches — country clubs with crosses on top. And then there's lots of denominations in between.

 

I suggest that you do some "church shopping", make contact with another local church, explain your situation, and begin talking with someone there. If they are Christian, they will respect you (and not go over your head to your father). I have seen time and time again, that each generation's faith is generational. In the 1980s, Oldsmobile attempted to freshen its image by advertising that "This is not your father's Oldsmobile." The same is often true with Christianity — different perspective on the basic Christian theme. More emphasis on some parts, less emphasis on others. Shop around.

 

I think the Bible version a church uses can indicate their Christian perspective. I wonder if your father uses the KJV, used by many conservative/fundamentalist/fire-and-brimstone Christians. If you're coming to us instead of your father, he seems unapproachable on such topics. Such Christians tend to focus on God's punishments instead of His love. It's a Christian perspective that's not popular among young Christians (or even middle-aged Christians), and it seems to be going out of style (unless you live in the Bible Belt).

 

I have no compulsion to conform in any way to the doctrine of the church, or any religion. My reference to happiness is an observation that if people are happy then religion becomes obsolete.

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My reference to happiness is an observation that if people are happy then religion becomes obsolete.

Could depend on what makes you happy. Some might derive pleasure from other people's suffering. That sort of happiness wouldn't gain someone admittance to heaven I wouldn't think.
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HA! We're all screwed if we don't convert!

 

That's what I was told...

 

 

New International Version (©1984)

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.New Living Translation (©2007)

in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus.

 

English Standard Version (©2001)

in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

 

New American Standard Bible (©1995)

dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

 

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

International Standard Version (©2008)

in blazing fire. He will take revenge on those who do not know God and on those who refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)

Whenever he executes vengeance in blazing fire on those who do not know God and on those who have not recognized The Good News of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah,

 

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)

He will take revenge on those who refuse to acknowledge God and on those who refuse to respond to the Good News about our Lord Jesus.

 

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

American King James Version

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

American Standard Version

rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:

 

Douay-Rheims Bible

In a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Darby Bible Translation

in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who know not God, and those who do not obey the glad tidings of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 

English Revised Version

in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus:

 

Webster's Bible Translation

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

 

Weymouth New Testament

He will come in flames of fire to take vengeance on those who have no knowledge of God, and do not obey the Good News as to Jesus, our Lord.

 

World English Bible

giving vengeance to those who don't know God, and to those who don't obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus,

 

Young's Literal Translation

in flaming fire, giving vengeance to those not knowing God, and to those not obeying the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 

 

 

Lucky it's all crap eh?

Edited by Tres Juicy
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Could depend on what makes you happy. Some might derive pleasure from other people's suffering. That sort of happiness wouldn't gain someone admittance to heaven I wouldn't think.

 

 

Happiness and pleasure are two different states of mind. You can't associate a pleasurable experience to happiness, as happiness is, in effect an absence of pleasure it's the default state of all animals. Pleasure is meant by nature to be a fleeting experience any attempt to associate this to happiness results in addiction.

 

 

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HA! We're all screwed if we don't convert!

 

That's what I was told...

 

/... snipped

 

Lucky it's all crap eh?

Respectfully - where did it say you needed to believe in God. you need to know him and follow the rules - the jesuitical amongst us would state that anyone following a good and blameless life has done exactly that. I am an atheist now but in my (admittedly very liberal) Catholic upbringing I was never told that belonging to a certain group or even believing was the important bit - it was always one's actions and following one's conscience. Some reformation protestants had a distinctly different view - ie some were saved and others were not, regardless of actions. Act with a good conscience and you were ok - the religious have the ultimate get-out clause here, ie the ability to examine one's conscience and follow it arises from god's intercession. If you act in a way that you know is incorrect then you must acknowledge it, be sorry for it, and endeavour not to do it again. it's a pretty good catch all ethos - it's survived for quite a few centuries. every so often people try and change it to their own selfish ends and you have problems (and the religion tries to take over the world); but the general gist is that that actions are more important than words.

 

edit although reading that full verse it is a bit ott and condemnatory. - but then paul was a bit of a #!*&. I know what you mean - but it is not quite as cut and dried as many in this thread have made it out to be

Edited by imatfaal
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Respectfully - where did it say you needed to believe in God. you need to know him and follow the rules - the jesuitical amongst us would state that anyone following a good and blameless life has done exactly that. I am an atheist now but in my (admittedly very liberal) Catholic upbringing I was never told that belonging to a certain group or even believing was the important bit - it was always one's actions and following one's conscience. Some reformation protestants had a distinctly different view - ie some were saved and others were not, regardless of actions. Act with a good conscience and you were ok - the religious have the ultimate get-out clause here, ie the ability to examine one's conscience and follow it arises from god's intercession. If you act in a way that you know is incorrect then you must acknowledge it, be sorry for it, and endeavour not to do it again. it's a pretty good catch all ethos - it's survived for quite a few centuries. every so often people try and change it to their own selfish ends and you have problems (and the religion tries to take over the world); but the general gist is that that actions are more important than words.

 

edit although reading that full verse it is a bit ott and condemnatory. - but then paul was a bit of a #!*&. I know what you mean - but it is not quite as cut and dried as many in this thread have made it out to be

 

Fair point.

 

But the general gist is "do as I say or else"

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