Joined: July 2007
|Quote (khan @ Mar. 23 2011,19:39)|
|Quote (Robin @ Mar. 23 2011,16:50)|
|Of all the versions of hell out there that I've read about, the most baffling one to me is Christianity's. It has no point. |
Think about the basics of the Christian version of hell for a moment:
1) Any "sin" (this term is a little vague in and of itself depending on the sect you listen to, but in general it means any act against God's proscribed rules) gets you into to hell regardless of the relative effect here on Earth. Kill 100 billion people and destroy 3/4 of the Earth or simply lust after your neighbor's wife and your in.
2) Once in, the "punishment" (again, what this is varies between sects, but in principle it involves fire and lots of it) and your soul's torment from it is eternal. Like 1 above, it doesn't matter what "sin" you committed, all receive the same treatment and it's forever.
3) The only redemption is submission to the God demands/rules (and repentance for your "sinful" behavior) before one ever gets there; there's no option to repent once there.
4) There's no rehabilitation in hell. See 2 and 3 above.
5) Once there, your torture is available to all the saints and blessed for their viewing pleasure (yep, there's schadenfreude in heaven apparently - see Isaiah 14 and 66 for instance. Revelations has some take on this as well).
Chew on that for a minute or so.
So what's the point? In this concept, you can live a good, honest life - help grandmas at swim class, give volunteer at soup kitchens, donate to cancer research, and help your neighbors and community - and burn for eternity simply because you look upon a girl at 15 and thought she was sexy. OTOH, you can be Hitler or Stalin and "find God" on your deathbed and repent your sins, and spend the rest of eternity eating bon-bons and sipping on Courvoisier †with Jesus while waving and whistling at the damned.
Yeeeaah...it just doesn't make any sense to me.
If it made sense, it wouldn't be religion.
Well, to be fair, none of that comes from the teachings of Jesus.
However, it makes infinite sense coming from those who were trying to build a church (i.e., amass political power).
It seems to me that the best avenue of attack is theological: to point out that those pushing this hellish vision are placing the Old Testament and the ramblings of Paul (as well as the ramblings falsely attributed to him) above those of Jesus Himself.
They are OTPaulians, not Christians.