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So enjoy the eternal torments of hell..

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Thank you, Pastor Chukwuemeka I assume you are a pastor since your email is pastorrdc7 gmail. Your comment is a better example than I could give of how Christianity corrupts the moral emotions of Bible believers, in this case by creating satisfaction at the idea of other people being tortured forever, built on the belief that this is somehow right and just and deserved. Medieval Christians burned heretics at the stake because after all, if their god could burn people for eternity, burning them to death was a small thing. This article does not address the heavens or hell described in Scripture.

At best it approaches the subject, and scripture, from a position of complete unfamiliarity.

That is not my concern, which is rather to challenge the derivative beliefs that plague our society, which are legion. When I first heard it, I did not think it eternal paradise. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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Why so many people-including scientists-suddenly believe in an afterlife -

Founder of WisdomCommons. Youtube: AwayPoint. Skip to content. Let me start by laying out a bit more detail about Heaven itself. Popular Christian Descriptions of Heaven Derive from the Bible Our familiar images of Heaven come from texts written in the first and second centuries and incorporated by Catholic councils into what we now call the New Testament. Heaven is a real place. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

Some Christian leaders use verses from Old Testament prophets to pinpoint the location of Heaven, suggesting that it is somewhere beyond the North Pole. People in Heaven have bodies. This view was affirmed by Church fathers and is now the predominant Christian belief. Many translations of the Gospel of John say that the dwelling places in Heaven are mansions, which fits with other descriptions of heavenly opulence. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. God sits on an ornate throne , and along with crowns, the heavenly hosts are clothed in white, a symbol of purity and a reminder that they do not need to work. Heaven is eternal and reserved for believers. The Bible verse that is most quoted by Protestant Christians is John , which makes both of these points: For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

In this eternity, it is always light Revelation and there is no need for sleep Revelation Even though it is always light, we are told that the saints meaning the saved will serve and worship God round the clock. Several passages suggest that the faithful will receive crowns , which they can then offer up as gifts to God. Some take this literally and some do not. Perfection means sameness. We delight in novelty and laugh because we are startled by the unexpected.

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Curiosity is one of our greatest pleasures, and growth is one of our deepest values and satisfactions. In fact, our whole psychological make-up is designed for tuning in to change, including our senses. When a sound is continuous, we mostly stop hearing it; a static image on the eye registers as a blind spot. Even art relies on imperfection and newness to create beauty or to trigger our aesthetic sense. The problem is, perfect means finished and complete.

Perfection is sterile—in every sense of the word. Your best qualities are irrelevant. Compassion and generosity are pointless, because nobody is hurting or in need of —anything. Not needed. All useless. Sigmund Freud once said that mental health is the ability to love and to work, but in the state of perfection both lose their meaning.

There is no need to create or produce, and little value in offering our affection and commitment to another person who is percent perfect and complete without us. Gone is the thrill of risk. Picture flying down a ski slope almost out of control; pounding a single track over bumps and beneath hanging branches; jumping out of an airplane; racing cars; surfing; or performing.

The adrenaline rush—the high—and the euphoria afterwards surge only because, despite our skill and preparation, there was some chance we would fail. Forget animal pleasures like food, drink, sleep, and sex. Do angels?

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Eating, drinking, or fornicating—each of these physical pleasures depends on hunger of one sort or another. Ice water tastes most heavenly when you are hot and thirsty. The reality is that our bodies and brains are made for each other and optimized for life on this planet where our pleasures are linked to survival. To make matters more complicated, we are predators in a complex web of life. The eating that gives us so much sensory pleasure and sustenance simultaneously destroys other lives and creates waste.

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Christians disagree about whether there will be meals in Heaven. But none dare speculate on the perfect slaughterhouse and sewer. Free will ceases to exist. But that is exactly the opposite condition they predict in Heaven. Why, they ask, would a god who wants love to be freely given threaten us with hell, even if it existed? But that is a different article. Secular philosophers and neuroscientists debate whether free will is real or merely and adaptive illusion. Human reproduction is designed as a big funnel. Most fertilized eggs die before implanting , followed by embryos and fetuses that self-abort, followed by babies and then little kids.

A serious but startling statistical analysis by researcher Greg S. The theological implications are huge. Christian theologians typically explain evil by arguing that this was the best of all possible worlds, the only way to create free will and to develop moral virtues like courage, compassion, forgiveness and so forth , to make us more Christ-like and prepare us for Heaven.

Gems and streets of gold define heavenly wealth and beauty. They may have heard rumors of the gold and jewels amassed by Pharaohs or kings or tribal warlords and wished the same for themselves. Both greed and inequality are timeless, and the story of King Midas has played out in countless variations over the millennia. So, the fascination of the Bible writers with gold and precious stones is understandable.

Their gem-encrusted paradise is the product of limited imagination, the challenge we all face in trying to dream beyond the arts, technologies, and mythologies of our own time and culture. Take your pick of sadism or ignorance. Some theologians have argued that witnessing the torment of the damned will be one of the joys of paradise. When they shall see how miserable others of their fellow creatures are, who were naturally in the same circumstances with themselves; when they shall see the smoke of their torment, and the raging of the flames of their burning, and hear their dolorous shrieks and cries, and consider that they in the meantime are in the most blissful state, and shall surely be in it to all eternity; how will they rejoice!

Other Christians, to be fair, find this thought horrifying or even traumatic , and some teach universal salvation or that evildoers are simply annihilated. The same thing the angels do. They worship God and sing his praises. The writer of Revelation even offers us a sample song. Korea, where the incessant praise music and propaganda were required and all-pervasive, I sometimes wonder if the dynastic leaders there somehow lifted a page from an older playbook.

What are we to think of a deity who creates the earth and her inhabitants — in fact the entire universe—so that a crowd of bipedal primates, most of whom were never born, can spend an afterlife in this posture of praise and adulation?