The pursuit of knowledge and truth, through God, through science, through civil and engaging debate


Reply to topic
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:10 am
Reply
The Next World Order...

Like this post
There is, it seems to me, amongst both Christians and non-Christians alike, an extant idea that one can have it all in this life, and the next also.

But Jesus said:*

Quote:

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.


So, in the event that there actually is a next life, I wonder what your take on this verse might be? Will those closest to God be the rich, powerful, predominantly white, predominantly male, predominantly (allegedly) christian hegemony of this world? Or, can we expect that the poor, and the people of colour, and the women, and those of no or any religion, will eventually receive the justice they are denied here? And that they who suffer, will be compensated, and that they who do not, and carelessly ignore the plight of the very many who do, will not be among 'the first', hereafter?

Best wishes, 2RM

*Matthew 19:30 KJV

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:35 pm
Reply

Like this post (1): AdHoc
There appears to be many different versions of Christian theology. In fact, I personally hold that there are at least two main categories.

1. Theological Christendom
2. The Actual Gospels.


1. Theological Christendom

Organized churches have created their own theologies based on their "interpretations" of the scriptures. And apparently they all have different interpretations thus the reason for so many disagreeing factions of Christianity.

I personally disagree with most (if not all) of the interpretations of scriptures held up by organized institutions of Christendom.

2. The Actual Gospels.

In my humble opinion the actual Gospels tell a dramatically different story and message from those taught by Christendom.

One example is the one you have pointed out. Christendom tends to view the afterlife as split into a very simple dichotomy. You either go to heaven (God's perfect paradise), or you go to hell (God's inferno designed to torture disobedient souls for eternity). Ironically either way you obtain "eternal life". It's just that one life is enjoyable while the other life is unbearably horrific.

In the meantime little if anything is said about the social structure of heaven. But as you point out the Gospels actually have Jesus clearly stating that there will be a social structure in heaven.

I prefer to use the following verse to illustrate this:

Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Clearly Jesus is saying that some people in heaven will be considered to be "great" while others will be considered to be "least". We can only imagine that they will most likely be a spectrum of those who are considered better than others.

This presents a problem where we need to ask what it would mean to be the "least" in heaven? Will there be an economic divide in heaven? Where some people have access to more or better resources than others? If not, then what would it mean to be the "least" in heaven? How could someone be consider to be "least" if they has access to the same resources, power, and authority of everyone else?

To be "least" in any society requires a lack of resources, power, or authority of some sort.

Also, won't the "Greatest" in heaven be able to brag that they are better than the "least"?

According to Paul:

Ephesians 2 1:
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.


Paul appears to be demanding that everyone who goes to heaven must be on precisely equal social status lest any man should boast.

But according to Jesus there will be those in heaven who are "Greater" and "Lesser" than others. Therefore boasting will certainly be possible. Also according to Jesus, this is based entirely on their works.

So Paul is teaching something here that is totally opposite to what Jesus had taught.

Who's right? Paul, or Jesus?

And if Jesus was right, then heaven must have a social hierarchy. How could it not if some people are considered to be "Great" while others are considered to be "least"?

And Paul has to then be wrong, because the people who are "Great" in heaven will indeed be able to boast that they are "Great" because of their works. Not that they would necessarily want to boast, but apparently Paul seems to think that they would and views this as a potential problem with his theology. Rolling Eyes

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:38 pm
Reply

Like this post
Divine Insight wrote:


According to Paul:

Ephesians 2 1:
[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
[9] Not of works, lest any man should boast.


Paul appears to be demanding that everyone who goes to heaven must be on precisely equal social status lest any man should boast.

But according to Jesus there will be those in heaven who are "Greater" and "Lesser" than others. Therefore boasting will certainly be possible. Also according to Jesus, this is based entirely on their works.

So Paul is teaching something here that is totally opposite to what Jesus had taught.

Who's right? Paul, or Jesus?


Thanks for that. It was all good.

I am not an entirely uncritical fan of Paul, and would tend to give the Gospels precedence over his letters.

But, to be fair to him, I think he was largely concerned with pointing out that the rich and powerful have opportunities to do good works the poor and powerless lack, and in the interests of justice the poor and powerless must have an equal opportunity for heaven that does not depend on the quantity and magnitude of good works alone.

As for the social structure of heaven, I am inclined to think it to do with character, or what some call 'spiritual stature'. The 'riches' of heaven may very well be the traits of character we value (or pretend to); honesty, courage, justice, temperance, integrity, generosity, humility, etc. They all being bound together in love, such that others would value them in us quite as much as we value them in others.

Clearly, we all might possess such traits, irrespective of our lot in this life, and it may even be that their possession in large extent militates against such possessors ever becoming rich and powerful in worldly terms. Nevertheless, if they are virtues, and if we all might possess them to greater or lesser degrees, it may also be that on such traits is the social structure of paradise founded.

I do not state any of this as dogma, merely suggest it as a possibility for discussion.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:58 pm
Reply

Like this post (1): 2ndRateMind
This topic reminds me of the 1988 resignation letter of senior International Monetary Fund official Davison Budhoo, which talks of the "total preoccupation of Fund people" with "personal material gratification" and with "the lust for, and abuse of power." Budhoo writes of the deaths of "millions of poor and starving peoples" in "our own peculiar Holocaust," admitting that he is "guilty, very guilty, without extenuating circumstance." Budhoo makes it clear that he yearns for some sort of absolution, but "sometimes I feel that there is not enough soap in the whole world to cleanse me from the things that I did do..."

Is absolution possible for a repentant criminal against humanity? Budhoo clearly doubts that, speaking of his "guilt and self-realization of my worthless as a human being," although his Resignation Letter is clearly an act of penance by someone hoping against hope for the possibility of forgiveness. See http://www.naomiklein.org/files/resources/pdfs/budhoo.pdf

Beyond that, the IMF is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and its policies have clearly dovetailed with U.S. foreign policy. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, respectable people walk by the man who was beaten and robbed without doing anything to help. Can that be seen as a reference to the people of the USA, especially those in positions of power, who close their eyes and do nothing?

Respectable people who do nothing in the face of dire need -- this reminds me of Jesus Christ's parable sorting the sheep from the goats on the Day of Judgment. Matthew 25:40 -- "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:48 am
Reply

Like this post
[quote="Divine Insight"]


Quote:
Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Clearly Jesus is saying that some people in heaven will be considered to be "great" while others will be considered to be "least". We can only imagine that they will most likely be a spectrum of those who are considered better than others.


I don't think that "great" equates to "better," (or that "least" equates to worse).

Quote:
This presents a problem where we need to ask what it would mean to be the "least" in heaven? Will there be an economic divide in heaven? Where some people have access to more or better resources than others? If not, then what would it mean to be the "least" in heaven? How could someone be consider to be "least" if they has access to the same resources, power, and authority of everyone else?


During my Christian years, we took these verses to mean that the greatest in heaven would have more responsibility in serving God thereby enjoying his presence in a greater way. The least would not enjoy God to the fullest extent. But who knows?

Quote:
To be "least" in any society requires a lack of resources, power, or authority of some sort.


I think power or authority is the keywords here.

Quote:
Also, won't the "Greatest" in heaven be able to brag that they are better than the "least"?


It is believed by most Christians that there will be no sin in heaven and bragging is the sin of pride. My feeling was that the light of what Christ did for the redeemed would be so magnified that no one will be capable of petty pride or jealousy

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:16 pm
Reply

Like this post (1): 2ndRateMind
Jesus said a lot of things. Interesting that everything considered a blessing from God in Hebrew Scriptures is now a one way street to Hell.
Formerly God promised earthly blessings for obedience but it seems that obedience to accepting Jesus brought only curses.

New International Version (NIV)

20 Looking at his disciples, he said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when people hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil,
because of the Son of Man.
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.

24 “But woe to you who are rich,
for you have already received your comfort.
25 Woe to you who are well fed now,
for you will go hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:44 pm
Reply

Like this post
[Replying to post 6 by postroad]

Quote:
Formerly God promised earthly blessings for obedience but it seems that obedience to accepting Jesus brought only curses.


Yes, for those of us who came to belief later in life, Jesus turns all our moral ideas and preconceptions completely upside down. Stuff like 'How should I best look after myself?' becomes 'How should I best look after others?'. And, I dare say, if we all looked after each other, we might have a far stronger community and society, and each be far better off, than if we only ever considered our own interests, in a dog-eat-dog, devil-take-the-hindmost world. So, looking after each other becomes the best way to look after ourselves.

But, of course, anyone who suggests such a thing in these laissez-faire capitalist days is no longer considered a Christian, but a Godless socialist.

Best wishes, 2RM

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:07 pm
Reply

Like this post
Quote:
Paul appears to be demanding that everyone who goes to heaven must be on precisely equal social status lest any man should boast.

But according to Jesus there will be those in heaven who are "Greater" and "Lesser" than others. Therefore boasting will certainly be possible. Also according to Jesus, this is based entirely on their works.


Wrong again...

Paul is telling us that our salvation is by the gift of faith not our works so no one can boast of saving himself...

while rewards in heaven are for our earthly activities and willingness to serve HIM by serving others: Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. which we can easily see Paul agrees with without contradiction: 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

Our works cannot save us in any way but they are the base for more or less rewards in heaven on the judgment day.

The conclusion misses the mark due to not understanding (or ignorance of) what is written.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:44 pm
Reply

Like this post (1): 2ndRateMind
[Replying to post 7 by 2ndRateMind]

Or traitors if the body of Christ trumps national borders?

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:46 am
Reply

Like this post
postroad wrote:

[Replying to post 7 by 2ndRateMind]

Or traitors if the body of Christ trumps national borders?


Your point reminds me of Jesus' answer to the question: who is my neighbour? It is clear that He thought (as the parable of the Good Samaritan insists) that we are all each other's neighbours, family, friends, compatriots, foreign nationals, and even enemies alike. If that was true two thousand years ago, it is certainly more true now, in today's 'global village'. Striving for best interests, however, does not necessarily mean a woolly minded, liberal acceptance of whatever people think, say and do; on the contrary, it means valuing virtue and promoting it whensoever we can.

And if we are to do that, and avoid the devastating charge of hypocrisy, we need to be virtuous ourselves. And to my mind, advocating those virtues in others we ourselves possess (and only those virtues) would be an all round good result.

Best wishes, 2RM.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Display posts from previous:   


Jump to:  
Facebook
Tweet

 




On The Web | Ecodia | Hymn Lyrics Apps
Facebook | Twitter

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.   Produced by Ecodia.

Igloo   |  Lo-Fi Version