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Old 02-06-2003, 03:56 AM   #1
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I have a question

Okay this is literally my second time in this forum...I really don't belong to a specific organized religon, and I certainly don't want to insult anyone, but I have a question.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my past and childhood, and how that makes me me. I remember as a child my grandmother was catholic, and she was always telling me about how my sister and I were going to go to hell because we weren't Christened. She also said that all other non catholics were also going to hell and that they deserved it. In hindsight, I see that my grandmother was a racist and anti-semite(sp?), and was using the Catholic religon as justification for her hatred.

My Grandmother's skewed views kinda tainted my perception of religon....

So my question is: How tolerant are religons? For example, does a Catholic really believe that a Jewish person is going to go to hell because they don't worship Jesus?

I know it's a stupid question, and I don't mean to insult anyone, so please don't take it that way. It's just something I was wondering.
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Old 02-06-2003, 12:08 PM   #2
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When God "left the garden" man created religion to fill God's space. Since the dawn of religion people have used religion to justify their prejudices and hatred. Every religion. This is why I refuse to associate myself with any organized religion. I've been to services from several Christian denominations, Jewish, and have many friends whose religions stretch from Muslim to Hindu etc. They all have certain groups they don't tolerate.

But it also depends heavily on the individual churches. I know some Catholics that are taught they are the only ones to go to heaven (even other Christian denominations will go to hell) and some that believe that there are certain "other religions" that will get in. I grew up mainly attending a Methodist church. It was very tolerant when it came to race, other religions, criminals, but wouldn't ever reach a hand out to homosexuals. This is the reason I left.

The fault of religion is that it's governed by man and not God. Man has a hard time wrapping their mind around certain aspects of God, therefore they start making up their own rules and seperate themselves from God.

Just my $.02
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Old 02-06-2003, 05:44 PM   #3
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Baptism and Christening neither ensure you will go to heaven or ensure you will go to hell if you haven't had either ritual performed. In fact the only reason infant baptism was instituted in the first place was this sort ofignorant belief. Infant morality used to be ridiculously high and people believed if an infant was baptised it would go to hell (though the least unpleasant part). This is of course a load of garbage since baptism is merely an outward symbol of being part of the Church.

As to other religions, my denomination in general (the Presbyterian Church in Canada) sees other religions as humanity's fumbling attempts to reach God thoughout the ages. All religions contain elements of truth as all religions are an attempt to find God. Christianity is the most perfect human religion since our prophet was God himself in the form of Christ. Other religions aren't wrong so much as further from the thruth. However Christianity isn't perfect either. in terms of being saved or not we only know what happens with regards to those who have heard the message. All will be saved through Christ and Christ alone, but we only know how he saves those who have heard his message, as to those who have never heard it we don't know.

With regards to homosexuals, I personally can't see how one sin can be so abhorrent in the eyes of God to bar entry into heaven. I see Homosexual sex as a sin but just one among many. However I have heard different ofinterpretations of Scripture and would be open to hearing them. Either way homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else, all of them. I've known several gays and lesbians and they were good, decent people. Anyone who tries to make themselves look self-righeous by persecuting gays will get an earful from me.
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Old 02-06-2003, 07:34 PM   #4
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Daisy,

You have a number of interesting questions, which are by no means “stupid”. I can understand why this appears so troubling.

First, as Blacksword points out, christening or baptism is not a means of salvation. These are simply public declarations of personal faith or a commitment to raise a child in the love of Christ.

What this highlights is the ever-growing division between religious tradition and Biblical Truth. I have found this a great source of disconnect for people who are tired of hearing “this is what my church teaches” vs. reading the Bible for yourself.

Tolerance is one of those hot buzz words today. The world wants everyone to be tolerant of most things. The Bible, however, teaches us two things. First, we are to love God and love each other. The Bible does not say love only other Christians or non-sinners (as if there is such a thing).

Second, Jesus Christ makes an exclusive claim for those who want salvation. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. Some see that a belief in Christ’s exclusive claim as a form of intolerance. In addition, God has made a covenant with the Jewish people, with the clear promises in Scripture “return to Me and I will return to you”.

The bottom line is that only the elect will be in heaven. Only God knows who the elect are. The problem is that, in our sinful nature, we have a tendency to want to “help” God decide who should be the elect or at least identify the non-elect out. This is a form of hatred and is completely against Scripture.

“Religion” can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Instead, try reading the Bible for yourself. The Book of John is usually a good starting point.

Hope this helps in some way.
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Old 02-07-2003, 01:51 PM   #5
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Oh, and the bible says "Love your enemies".
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Old 02-07-2003, 03:59 PM   #6
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It depends on the Catholic really. The official Vatican II stance does not condemn anyone automatically to hell, but, as of the past two decades, people as bigoted as your grandmother are running the Vatican. Cardinal Ratzinger, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the CDC--the modern successor to the Inquisition), is probably more powerful than our ailing Pope, especially as the Pope gets worse health-wise.

He does not make secret his disdain for the reforms of Vatican II, and, slowly, he tries to reverse it, yearning for "tradition" and bringing the Church back to the glory days of being an insular, worldly hate bloc. He feeds on the fact that there are few Catholics who know who he is. FYI, Cardinal Ratzinger thinks that only Catholicism will bring you to salvation, and the rest will go to hell.

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Old 02-07-2003, 06:14 PM   #7
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"The idea that God might love us and be interested in us is kind of huge and gigantic, but we turn it, because we're small-minded, into this tiny, petty, often greedy version of God, that is religion." - Bono, on Larry King Live

sorry, but I agree with this.
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Old 02-09-2003, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
"The idea that God might love us and be interested in us is kind of huge and gigantic, but we turn it, because we're small-minded, into this tiny, petty, often greedy version of God, that is religion." - Bono, on Larry King Live

sorry, but I agree with this.


I also agree with this. And I, personally, don't believe in the Bible's infallability. It was another book, inspired by God, but written by man. I could write a book with divine inspiration, but that doesn't mean that my opinions would be totally left out. And they would still be *my* words.

I've had some of the same problems as you have, daisy. Religion has left a bad taste in my mouth. But I'm sort of glad I was driven away and forced to look at God on my own. It's given me a better perspective, and now I can say I'm a Christian and I know the reasons.

My experience with religion has been that they say they are "tolerant" while still being intolerant.
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Old 02-11-2003, 09:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
The bottom line is that only the elect will be in heaven. Only God knows who the elect are
Elect? As in, predestination? To me, that means before you were even born, God had it already in mind if you were to enter Heaven or not. That's something, if true, I find to be very depressing.

I'm a Catholic, but an independent thinker. Meaning, although I attend Catholic church on Sundays, I do not rely on church teachings in order to grow in my relationship with Jesus. If I did, I wouldn't be able to understand Him, because I'll relying on someone else's understanding of Him. It's a personal thing that no institution should get involved in.

Anyway, back to the topic. I've been taught that only Christians go to Heaven, or at least non-Christians who do believe that Jesus existed and respected His teachings and so on. I do not believe that. I don't want to believe that. I've struggled with what the Bible says about those who believe in Christ would have eternal life. That makes me sad for all the billions of people in the world that do not see Christ as the Son of God. I don't want to think they cannot go to Heaven just because of that. What if they are quintessential Buddhists, Hindus or whichever?

To your answer your question, Daisy, I think those who are intolerant of other religions and think they are superior because they're going to heaven and other people aren't, say that either because they are ignorant or are using religion to make themselves feel better because they are so insecure about themselves.
As for what religion might say, forget about what official doctrine says. Ask an individual and you'll probably get a different response. A more tolerant response
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Old 03-15-2003, 06:43 PM   #10
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I'm a practicing Catholic, mainly meaning that I attend mass and (occasionally) do confession. But I do not for a minute believe that Catholicism, or Christianity, has a monopoly on spirituality and relationships with God. This notion that you're going to hell if you're not a Catholic is what I call an "inquisitorial mentality", meaning that it reeks of the Inquisition. If there was ever a scandal in the name of God and religion it was the Inquisition. Sometimes I have the feeling that some of the crabby reactionaries want to bring it back in some form. Ugh.
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Old 03-15-2003, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
I'm a practicing Catholic, mainly meaning that I attend mass and (occasionally) do confession. But I do not for a minute believe that Catholicism, or Christianity, has a monopoly on spirituality and relationships with God. This notion that you're going to hell if you're not a Catholic is what I call an "inquisitorial mentality", meaning that it reeks of the Inquisition. If there was ever a scandal in the name of God and religion it was the Inquisition. Sometimes I have the feeling that some of the crabby reactionaries want to bring it back in some form. Ugh.
Well, according to Jesus, He is the only way to God. This kind of creates a monopoly for Christianity.
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Old 03-15-2003, 07:53 PM   #12
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Well, according to Jesus, He is the only way to God. This kind of creates a monopoly for Christianity.
Perhaps. But this perplexes and disturbs me. It's just my mindset, I suppose. Perhaps something is terribly the matter with me.
Uh, perhaps?
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Old 03-15-2003, 09:46 PM   #13
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I suppose I'm living proof that you can be a member of a church or other organized religion and still be plagued with doubts and questions.
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Old 03-15-2003, 10:11 PM   #14
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Doubts and questions are good - they drive you in a search for answers
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Old 03-24-2003, 03:59 AM   #15
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I always hear people on the net saying people always tell them that they're bad and will go to hell. I've been brought up in christianity and never have I heard a paster, parent, or friend ever say that to me and I think it's a terrible thing to say to someone. "Hey, YOU'RE GONNA BURN IN HELL YOU!"

Anyway. The whole point isn't I'm going to heaven, or I'm going to hell. It's I love God and I've accepted him in my heart and in my life. I thank God that he forgives my sins. NO-ONE can tell you that you're going to hell or heaven. Only God. Only God can see in your heart that you really love him and you've accepted him. I know a lot of kids whose parents are christians and they're like, "Man, I'm a christian because my parents are. That sucks" No no, that's not being a christian. Accepting God into you heart is a PERSONAL decision, not one your parents or friends or whatever make.

SO (yeah way off topic) to answer your question, it's nothing to do with hell or heaven. To introduce someone to God you don't go, "You're going to hell. Now be a christian." That's just not the way it works.
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