Can non-Christians go to Heaven?

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Blake Bowden, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. QPZIL

    QPZIL Premium Member

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    I love this.
     
  2. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Brothers,

    As I understand Faith, it is a choice to believe, not based on any concrete evidence for or against.

    "Belief" is an interesting word. It comes from the same root the begets the word "beloved." Both "belief" and "beloved" have a common theme. They both are rooted in something that is "held dear."

    "Doubt" is also an interesting word. It actually comes from the root "duo" and implies by its root the very act that doubt exhibits - a understanding of two distinct realities -- but adds to this mix of options an aspect of non-commitment toward either.

    All this being said, I can choose to believe something not based upon any concrete evidence for or against. This qualifies as Faith. This choice doesn't require "knowing." It only requires that, in the face of any doubt, I maintain my commitment toward what I have chosen to "hold dear" -- regardless -- and act in the direction of my chosen belief, not the doubt!

    In other words, I can have Faith and still not KNOW.

    I choose to believe it could be reasonably argued and successfully too that any Faith based upon a claim of "knowing" contradicts the very definition of Faith and contradicts Faith in general since once you know, it no longer qualifies as Faith -- no doubt about it! :2:

    Of course, I don't KNOW if I would be successful. I merely have Faith that I will be.

    IMO

    Bro. Coach N
     
  3. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Nailed it! Bravo, sir.
     
  4. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Thanks Brother Johnny
     
  5. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Brother Peter,

    As I understand it, expectations have to do with "Hope", not Faith.

    "Hope" is a directed choice to believe that a possibility will occur while fully understanding that the probabilities of that possibility not occurring are beyond one's control. This understanding doesn't dismiss one's Hope. It merely frames it realistically.

    When Hope is backed by Faith, when faced with doubt, one still directs one's actions to support what was chosen.

    Although I do have some doubt that we may agree on this, I have Faith that such a possibility can occur and I Hope that it does.

    Hence, my post was put forth Faithfully, in the hope of that possibility, despite my doubt.

    F&S,

    Bro. Coach N
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  6. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    There have been so many times that I have heard that "Non-Christian's" will not get to heaven, because they do not worship Jesus, and yet Jesus (born and raised Jewish) did not worship himself and is supposed to be the pathway to heaven. What if the religuous scholars are wrong and the phrase I have been bashed over the head with so many times; "I am the way and the light" does not mean to worship Jesus but to live your life like him and you will find the path to God?
    Just throwing it out there for dicussion.
     
  7. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Like you can just throw that out there! ;)

    I have always thought the term "I am" refers to God himself. So to say I am the way the truth and the light is the same as God is the way the truth and the light. My take of course but it does kinda say that in the Bible when God and Moses have their chat.

    14God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" 15God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob-has sent me to you!' This is my name forever!"
     
  8. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    bravo!
     
  9. PeterLT

    PeterLT Premium Member

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    What you are referring to is point of dogma, not necessarily a fact. Christians, arguably mainly the fundamentalists, state that only Jesus can save us and ensure a place in heaven. This is not so for most of the world's religions. In fact, if one chooses to expand on a fundamentalist dogma, it is that reason for which many Christian churches forbid membership in Masonry making that dogma one of intolerance and discrimination. As we are aware, the Catholic Papal Bulls prescribe excommunication and refusal of sacraments as a punishment for membership in the Craft. Some religions prescribe death as a remedy for membership in Freemasonry. And so strict adherence to religious dogma can be a very bad thing (IMHO).

    Another thing that is for the most part forbidden in most religious dogmas is free thought, something alive and well in this forum and a fundamental part of our Gentle Art. While I do very much believe and have faith (yes, faith) in God, I find it tough to swallow religious dogma from any source as it is, at best, an interpretation of God's word by man. And man, as we see so very often in history, is prone to mistakes on many levels.

    I love this thread...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  10. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    I have said before and probably will again that; "I am not a religious man...but I am a man of faith"
     
  11. Tcragsdale

    Tcragsdale Registered User

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    Hey bros, I'm new to posting on the site and I'm probably the least educated on the subject matter being discussed, so have mercy. I heard someone make this point and it made sence to my simple unlearned mind: If Jesus said "every kingdom divided against it's self will be brought to desolation and any house divided against its self will not stand" how much room does that leave for anything other than heaven and god? If you really believed that people were going to hell for eternity wouldn't that be the saddest thing you ever heard? that make you want to spend every waking moment to try and save others from that? But it seems to me more people just want to say " sorry you don't see it the way I was taught to see it, have fun in hell and we won't miss you in heaven. If there is a hell, wouldn't it mean that Gods kingdom is divided against itself? If you believe that there is an fallen angel named Satan that has power over man and power enough to battle with god and is beyond the controll of god, wouldn't that mean that gods kingdom is divided against itself. How many gods do your beliefs really have room for?
     
  12. Ordsman

    Ordsman Registered User

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    I think the ultimate answer to this question is: If their religion teaches about heaven, they most likely believe they will go there. I do not believe they will, I am therefore duty bound as a good Christian to share the gospel with them, but I am neither obligated nor inclined to brow beat them, into submission to my beliefs. God gives freewill exactly for this purpose, so each individual may choose, and not all will choose the way I wish them too. If they did, it wouldn't be freewill.
     
  13. Ordsman

    Ordsman Registered User

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    To add another thought, is heaven a closeness to god and hell a separation from god? If so could we not experience it while alive? And if we can, what implications might this have for the afterlife? Does got want one religion over another? Or does he want to devout worshipper whatever the faith?
     
  14. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    How boring it must be to spend eternity with a bunch of yes men, all weeping and crying every time you say or do anything. On the other hand how terrible it must be to spend eternity with a bunch that does not know joy.

    **clairification: I would wonder why God in his infinite wisdom would put the tree of knowledge intot he garden of eden if he did not expect that Adam and Eve would someday partake, thus giving them knowledge and becoming what we have become now. As knowledgeable subjects would that not be what God intends in heaven? The intelligence to choose the right thing and impliment it, as well as being able to spend eternity with your intelligent creations. Imagine the conversations you could have.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  15. AhimanBeard

    AhimanBeard Registered User

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    can I just quote this forever?
    this, this is my feeling deeply and truly.
     
  16. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    1) For some it is experienced this way.
    2) Some of us actually do.
    3) Please define "afterlife." (Some of us don't die, so this is a foreign concept for us.)
    4) No, "got" does not want one religion over another.
    5) This is a presumptuous question focused upon the concept of "worship" and God's wants.
    Equally puzzling is the Tree of Life. What possible use is it if mankind was indeed created perfect in the first place?
     
  17. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    I'm far to simple minded to glimpse the Almighty. Far to simple minded! But I can spot a guy who sells used cars, insurance, or any number of franchising operations. I think maybe the Almighty doesn't place as many obstacles in our way as we are led to believe.

    Those I've chosen to listen to: Confuses, Mencius, Moses, Mohammad, the Buddha, and the Nazarene spoke in pure and simple terms.

    And, I really don't remember any of them talking division. And most of all, I do believe the Almighty made sure there would be a path home. A path home for all of us. So I find no fault with good and moral men who believe in the Almighty, whatever they call him.
     
  18. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    Well said, jwhoff.

    And if I am reading correctly, many here (including me) are displaying the idea that heaven and hell do exist and we are the ones that create it. We currently live in our creation. We currently walk with the SAOTU. We can change the created by our actions.

    Profound
     
  19. AAJ

    AAJ Registered User

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    Just to stir the pot a little, let me summarize the LDS (Mormon) position on this issue:

    1) Jesus has told us that in order to see heaven, we need to be baptized in some way.(John 3:3-5)

    2) Mormons understand this process to mean that we must all accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and that we must demonstrate that acceptance through a spiritual cleansing and a symbolic rebirth. We believe this is done through baptism by immersion and by receiving the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.

    3) The only way that this can truly be just to all men, is if all have the opportunity to accept Jesus and be baptized; it is patently clear that, when speaking of this life in isolation, this is not the case.

    4) This life, fortunately, is not isolated. Those who did not hear the gospel in this life will be able to hear it the next. Mormons are assured that when we die, we will not simply praise God for all eternity - we will have the opportunity of working to build the Kingdom of God there, as we do here.

    5) Even though the preaching and conversion happen there, the ceremonial observances have to happen here. Hence, we have received a commission to perform baptisms for the dead (I prefer the term 'baptisms on behalf of the dead'). This commission is just as important to us as the one to preach the gospel, but these ceremonies only take effect if the person for whom the baptism was performed accepts it.

    6) This allows us to strictly believe that all must accept Jesus to gain the highest degree of glory from our Heavenly Father - no non-Christian will. This also allows us to strictly believe that each man will be dealt with fairly, and that God will not deny him something that others have the opportunity of accepting. This means that the commission to preach is vitally important.

    And for those of you who would accuse me of arrogance for thinking that there is only one church or organization that can grant salvation, let me offer this as a slight cop-out. Being a good person and living God's commandments is just as important a way of demonstrating your conversion as baptism, and any organization that helps with that (living God's law) has worth, in my eyes.
     
  20. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    Over Thanksgiving, I asked my sister (we were raised southern Baptist) if she believes God is all powerful. She of course said yes. I asked her if He was bigger than the Bible. She said sure (but starting not to like where this was going.) I asked her the way to salvation. She quoted the Bible. I asked her if it was the only way. She said yes. I then explained how she just elevated the Bible over God and limited God by it.

    She found that eye opening.
     

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