If you know some Christians, have them explain heaven to you. If you are a Christian, find a non-Christian and explain heaven to them. Trust me; either way, it’s interesting.
What’s more interesting are all the sites (Christian sites) trying to explain Heaven to Christians themselves. Things like whether heaven is a physical place (yes) and if yes, will we . . . er . . . I guess not “we” because I ain’t going but for the sake of argument, go with me here . . . will we have bodies (yes) and will we recognize our family and friends (yes) and will we have emotions (yes) and will we be bored (no)?
Not all Christians believe that’s the exact version of the divine revelation from god, but then they have to explain why the Bible tells us such things if they ain’t true.
I’ve always wondered what exactly people think goes to heaven. I mean, something physical or spiritual makes a journey there, so what is it? Say I’m a good Christian (or a very bad monster who repents and accepts Jesus seconds before dying) and I get into heaven.
Apparently, I’ll have clothes (can’t be naked in heaven, I guess) but what kind of clothes? Personally, I’d like something from the late sixties or early seventies. Imagine, for a moment, everyone walking around in bellbottoms. But . . . what about devout Christians who died 137 years ago? I guess it would make more sense we each wear clothes from our time period . . . except, again, given a span of seventy years or so, fashion changes. Do the clothes get updated every year? Every few years? Will we have to do laundry or are these magical clothes? Do we get to choose which clothes we wear or are we all going to be dressed the same? Does god favor going commando? If not, what kind of underwear are standard issue in heaven? What about women? Bloomers or does god prefer lacier offerings?
And that’s just the clothes. The more important question is which version of us will be up there? Will it be the version from our twenties or more mature versions like from our sixties or any of the thousands of versions in between? Will bald men have hair again? What kind of hairstyles will be allowed (occasionally, even more important to women than men)? What about jewlery? Tattoos? Sandals or more sensible shoes? These things are important both for self-image issues and comfort.
I read that we’ll have emotions (because emotions are a gift god gave humans) but doesn’t that include a couple of deadly sins? If we’re supposed to be in eternal bliss, how many more emotions could we possibly have? For that matter, there’s the whole question of free will (another gift/curse from god). Will there be free will in heaven? Free will is where sin originates but heaven allows no sins which means it’s likely we’d be no more than mindless puppets forced to bask in the glory of god (whatever that means as that’s also not explained).
Some Christians get around this by saying we will freely choose to always be good and bask in the wonderfulness that is god. It would just seem amazing to me that no one would veer away from it. I mean, the angels did. Isn’t that how we got the devil? Perhaps god instituted some failsafe device after The Fall; you have free will, but not to sin.
Then there’s this recognizing family and friends bit and reuniting with them . . . what if you lived in the 1800s and hopped on a ship to the New World and never saw your five-year-old brother grow up? Will you recognize him? What about brothers and sisters who might have been born after you died (many children died young back then . . . many still do)? There are some who believe children who die are then raised in heaven by angelic mothers . . . so, we grow old in heaven as well? Do we stop aging after a certain point and if so, at what age?
What if you don’t like some of your family? What if you were adopted and never knew your biological family? What if you killed your family (but asked forgiveness and accepted Jesus before dying yourself)? Awkward.
There are other weird aspects of heaven. Some people believe the Earth will be cleansed of all evil (which, oddly enough, is usually a direct cause of god’s flawed design) and then people (the saved ones) will come back down to live in a recreation of the Garden of Eden (or something like it). It’s not clear if they would all be naked.
Of course, some Christians think it’s only the soul that goes to heaven . . . whatever that means. I mean, is the soul you? Does the soul retain your identity and memories and stuff? I don’t see how it can be you because you are both physical and mortal. What we are, what we feel, what our memories consist of, all of it is tied to our physical bodies. Literally, we would not be ourselves if separated from our bodies; we’d have no identity, no self-image, no . . . nothing.
Some argue that we ascend into another form of being . . . but then, it’s not us going to heaven, is it? It’s something else. We, the persons we are, our dreams, hopes, and everything that gives us a reason for being, all of that ceases to be and we are no more. What’s the point of it, then? What’s the point of all this if it has no relevance to the “next phase” of our existence? Heck, what if I don’t want to go onto the next phase?
Side note: reincarnation (a belief from other religions) is no better. We still die. The “new us” will have no memory of the old us. Plus, the whole karma idea is pretty stupid. The “next you” will be punished or rewarded for what you do in this life. Well, screw that! I’ll live large, steal, cheat, and do whatever I want that pleases me in this life and let the next guy pick up the bill!
As you can see, there are lots of questions . . . the biggest being if there’s even a heaven . . . or hell, for that matter. You’d be surprised to learn the concept of heaven is not really well defined even among Christians but perhaps more surprised that heaven as we “know” it today is not the same as it was interpreted by early Christians.
Like with all religions, the concept evolved and different splinter groups formulated their own understanding of heaven. But, that’s something pretty much all religions agree on . . . we don’t actually die. It’s the central and sole attraction of religion (in my opinion). Without it, we’d tell our ministers, priests, rabbis, imams, and shamans to get stuffed . . . and that just won’t do; they’d then have to get real jobs. That’s why they’re so adamant there’s a heaven; that, and it’s been revealed to them, you see. Of course, you lacking an intercom to the divine, you have to take their word for it . . . and give them money.
Anyway, the subject of heaven does make for entertaining reading regardless of which religion you pick. Here’s an exercise for you . . . pick any religion other than your own and find all the obvious faults with their idea of an afterlife . . . and then ponder why none of those faults can be applied to your idea of an afterlife. I mean, I’m sure you’ll find plenty of reasons to believe you’ll live forever.
And now, the photo:
Today, I felt like a bold painting and even bolder frame.
It always surprises me how little people think about stuff. For instance, I spent a lot of time thinking about religion. I can’t even begin to tally up the number of minutes starting with my initial indoctrination (catechism school) and progressing to now . . .
Boy, I’d sure like to have that money!
Perhaps I should have been paying attention to raindrops . . .
. . . Creative Multicolor Raindrops.
And . . . that’s it
Some of these posts will likely be longer as the mood hits me, but most will be thus; short, uninteresting, bland, and relentless.
You can read about Project 313 HERE.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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