I only read the last few pages out of curiosity, so forgive me if I'm missing something here.
I am fairly certain that most of you realize that I am a Christian by now...my denomination does not matter in my opinion... from previous threads, so maybe I'm unwelcome here.
However, I'm utterly confused about what a few of you are saying, beginning with Saddlebag's comment,
Originally Posted by saddlebag
I don't understand the importance of a belief that heaven waits for believers. If heaven is the place many Christians would have us believe, then why don't they end their lives and be done with their earthly existence? I know when I die I'll become dirt and that's ok by me.
Yes, heaven waits for those of us who are believers in Christ, but we don't "just end our lives" for a large variety of reason. I'm actually kind of horrified by your statement. Surely you don't believe all of us are that selfish or petty? We aren't just so 'holy above holy' that we WISH we could just die and go to heaven, but don't because we're not allowed to.
In fact we live in freedom, and if we want to kill ourselves, just like you can kill yourself, so can we. There are consequences, but that doesn't condemn us to hell- although that is a popular myth. Salvation, remember, is a gift. You can not un-earn a gift by doing something bad. That doesn't mean it is right to do it though.
Some of those reasons that we stick around thought, are that we are
called to 'advance' or 'share gospel. However, it actually isn't our job to 'convert' anyone because I think you will all agree with me when I say that you have independent minds and choices, and it is 100% entirely up to YOU what you do. We are also called to glorify God, who is our creator, and take care of each other- Christian or otherwise.
We do not earn entrance into heaven. As I said, it is a gift. Good deed are to be done for his glory as we try to be more like him, but they aren't required
I'll stop trying to correct your beliefs about our beliefs now, and get to the point I actually came here to make.
Like I said, Endiku = a Christian. Not one like any of the ones you guys seem to be describing...I work very hard to "walk what I talk" and I, also, see a big problem with hippocracy...everywhere. Not just church and not just outside of it.
I'm not incredibly verbal about my faith. If you ask me, you'd better believe that I'm going to tell you about my faith, but I am otherwise more of an observer. I do not tell people they will go to hell after meeting them and finding out that they aren't Christians, and I NEVER lower myself enough to make fun of unbelievers. However I do realize that their are Christians who do these things.
But you know what else I've found out? Athiests are a big culprit when it comes to this too, but because they're 'not religious' they seem to get less flack for it. I have a History Professor at my college who, from the moment he opened his mouth, obviously had something against Christians and the idea of God. He is snarky, condescending, and cruel in the words that he says towards Christians. He constantly makes fun of us and of God, pretending to apologize to a 'fake god in the pie in the sky' when he curses or says something crude about us, lifting his hands up and rolling his eyes back. When he realized that I was a Christian (and note that I had stayed silent and endured this for 3 weeks before this incident) after directly asking me "well YOU don't believe in this crap do you?!", he turned all of his comments to me, constantly belittling my faith and making the other student laugh. I'm only a month into classes now and feel like I only go in there to be demeaned.
But no one really mentions that or cares, because he isn't religious. Freedom of speech, right? It's ok to say terrible things about my religion, try to quote my bible (by the way he says everything completely wrong, from a different religion that he has mixed up, or out of context), and make me sound stupid for believing what I do, because he isn't push a BELIEF on anything. Except for maybe one that I am a ridiculous person who believes in fairy tales.
Turns out there are a lot of people like that. I know of at least 4 others who use personal attacks and sarcasm to argue with believers, instead of real facts. Isn't this exactly the same thing that you guys complain that we do?
But you aren't associated with them, you might say. Not all athiests are that way. In fact many aren't. Most are quiet about their lack of belief.
It is EXACTLY the same with us. We have good and bad, loud and quiet, cruel and kind. I feel like this is really a "pot meet kettle" type of topic.