Thursday, April 22, 2010

Must Heaven Be Larger Than A Narrow Box?

Why are views regarding who will go to heaven and who will not seem to be getting less restrictive? Because as different cultures with different religious views come together as a result of globalization, it becomes more and more apparent that exclusive views are no longer tenable.

In the USA, for example, the European settlers (invaders might better describe it for the realist) came over here and decimated the native people and subsequently adopted a predominantly Christian landscape. Up until the USA started seeing substantial numbers of non-Christian peoples, there were largely Christians and atheists. Even now, though probably not as much, atheists are thought of as largely expendable and as such it is easy to believe they will not get into heaven and worse yet will suffer eternity in hell.

But what about a wonderful neighbor who happens to be a Muslim, Buddhist or member of some other belief system? Is one prepared to believe these people will not adopt a place in heaven solely because they did not adhere to or believe in the “right” system? Increasingly less so I would say.

So what is a believer in "some will go to heaven and some will go to hell" to do with this new reality? Most will simply conjure up their own arbitrary belief to circumvent this dilemma. “God will ultimately evaluate us based on intentions,” something or other. (see How Will We Be Judged? for further consideration)

But then how does belief have anything to do with this? If we are evaluated on the basis of belief, then one must believe. On the other hand, if it is based on the purity and intention of a person's heart, why does belief matter in the least?

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