Why I am not going to Heaven?

Am I ever appalled that even up till today there are some Christians arguing for their passage way to heaven and who is eligible. Although, this strikes me a controversial thought: can Christians only be admitted to heaven? Surely, I would want my Buddhist and even non-religious friends to come up there with me when my time has passed. Yet, I can argue on my case that I haven’t been the proper Christian I should have been by attending regular Sunday masses. In fact, the bible did indeed expressively say that I had to keep the Holy Sabbath day, and to be frank I do not. Thus in my argument, do I permit to entering heaven as well? To my curiosity, the article ‘Can only Christians go to heaven?’ written by Vasko Kholmayer, questions if non-Christian followers are to “suffer the torments of hell.” This follows under the pre-tribulation view from one of the Christian teachings that states Jesus Christ would come down from heaven to “rapture” his people that were diligent and obedient Christians. Kholmayer argues that many of the prophets in the bible themselves were Jewish and spoke about God. However, according to Kholmayer, he states that Christian argues only those who follow under the footsteps of Jesus were permitted. Kholmayer also defends his argument by presenting the book of Jobs that does not mention about Moses or the Torah from the Hebrew Scripture.  Job, a “righteous gentile” who was neither Jewish nor Christian is believed to be in heaven with God. Thus, does this answer if someone must be Christian to go to heaven?  Hence, regardless of religion, Kholmayer and I share the similar belief that heaven is not limited to Christians. In light of growing up in a family with mixed religious ideas, my mother followed the religious teachings of Chinese Buddhism, and my father is Catholic; I have been brought up to learn that all religions had their own type of heaven. Overall, I am not one to predict if either of my parents, friends or even myself will be going to heaven, the void, nirvana or the blank slits of the universe.

To read more about Kholmayer’s article, visit: http://bit.ly/Wotjsb 
-LN
#205

11 thoughts on “Why I am not going to Heaven?

  1. Sheep go to Heaven, Goats go to Hell, Thank you Cake (The title of a song by alternative rockers Cake). This is an interesting idea that I see from two perspectives. First the idea that ‘Good’ can only be good in the face of ‘Evil’. To further this notion, increasing ‘Good’ is to increase the disparity between the extreme ends of ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’. This means that as ‘Good’ increases, ‘Evil’ simultaneously increases. Second we must also recognize that from the ‘Evil’ perspective ‘Good’ is actually ‘Evil’ (Anyone watch the Carebears?). The point I wish to make is that Utopia (In this case Heaven) is always exclusive because to be ‘Good’ there must be ‘Evil’. This means that for the idea of Heaven to even exist, there must be people who are restricted from entering. Analogous to this idea is the fascist regime of the Nazi’s. To those within the party, Nazi Germany was Utopia, but to those outside the party (One example is the Jews), Nazi Germany was literally Hell. Utopia can only exist when it’s accompanied by scapegoats.

  2. First and foremost, I want to indicate that I’m a Christian, so I can’t pretend that I’m totally objective on this matter. Furthermore, I should say that my understanding of God, heaven, etc. comes from the Bible, which I believe to be infallible (which I think chalks me up as conservative Protestant?) With that being said:

    I want to agree with your last sentence, as I believe it’s dangerous to think that we totally understand the mind of God and the qualifications for heaven, and now have the ability to inform people where they’ll be once they die. The Bible gives Christians some seemingly good indicators, but I wouldn’t bet millions of dollars that my interpretation of it is 100% correct (not that money would do me much good once I was dead anyways).

    Yet, I want to respectfully disagree with the notion heaven can be open to many regardless of their religion. A common sentiment in our pluralist society states that everybody’s religious beliefs can be correct, but I have difficulty with such a concept. Jesus, for example, says in John 14:6 that “no one can come to the Father” except through Him. It seems to me that Christianity then disqualifies those who don’t believe Jesus was God (or that He even existed) from heaven. While the article you quoted brings up excellent points about some of the characters from the Old Testament who are now in heaven, reading the Bible seems to imply (to me at least) that once Jesus came down to earth, He then made clear the qualifications to go up to heaven, and there haven’t been any exceptions to the rule since.

    The logic in your argument appears to be “I should go to heaven because I want to go to heaven” which doesn’t seem like a fair thing to say. I believe that if heaven is a real place, then it has real qualities and real attributes, which includes real conditions and qualifications to enter. For example, Christians say that a relationship with Jesus is the way to heaven, while Muslims believe it’s adhering to the 5 pillars and then relying on the mercy of Allah. I have a difficult time believing both religions could be correct, as the qualifications they make for entering heaven are quite different. Therefore, if there were certain qualifications required to enter heaven, it would make sense that we would have to adhere to those regardless of what we wanted.

    In my opinion, manipulating the qualifications of what it takes to get into heaven isn’t possible. To me, there are two options: either heaven is not a real place, but rather an imaginary place where I can arbitrarily adjust the conditions needed to enter it, what it looks like, etc. independently of the 7 billion people in the world who may believe differently, or it is a real place with set qualifications, and it’s irrelevant what my opinion on those qualifications are.

    Ultimately, I would subscribe to the latter. I believe that heaven is a real place, and I’m crossing my fingers (or more specifically, praying) that I’m correct about what it takes to enter using the Bible as my guide. But to agree with you again, I’m not going to pretend that I authoritatively decide who does or doesn’t enter heaven. I suppose time will tell, and if we both end up there I’ll save you an Iced Tea (I think there’s a verse about that in the Bible somewhere).

    -TPM

  3. When discussing the issue of deference from the law such as not keeping the Holy Sabbath, it is important to keep in mind the law of Christianity brought forth in the Old Testament, is not necessarily imperative for Christians to follow, as no man can keep these laws perfectly. Rather they are set as a guide line for ethical human behaviour and realization of the inability for man to be perfect, without sin such as Jesus was. When discussing “Christians” in the Old Testament, who did not have the benefit of Jesus’ sacrificial death and whether or not they are in Heaven, one can consider the characteristics of the Christian God, just and fair with a love for His children. When keeping this in mind, a ‘holy’ person, who lived their life in service to God, despite sin, along with the making of sacrifices is expected to be seen in Heaven. LV

  4. By asking whether or not an atheist or buddhist would be allowed into heaven is like saying my religion is the only religion and it is right. Why would an atheist want to go to heaven if they themselves don’t believe in heaven, or even god for that matter? Why would a buddhist want to be allowed entrance into heaven when they spend their entire lives searching for Nirvana, that perfect state of enlightenment? I think that this is very biased. There are many different faiths that need to be considered and we need to realize that maybe not everyone wants to go to heaven. There are many different ideas of the ideal afterlife which vary greatly depending on your religion. CM

  5. I think everyone who has been a good person should go to heaven, regardless of religion or dedication to their religion. The bible may state that only this person can go to heaven and this person can’t, but we have to keep in mind how old the bible is and the difference in the morals and thoughts people have today compared to the people who wrote the bible. When interpreting the bible, we have to consider the modern views of people and the increase in tolerance to other religions and especially those people who are agnostic or atheist. If someone believes they are worthy of going to heaven, they should keep that belief until the day they die and should be let in because of their beliefs regardless of their belief in God, how often they went to church or prayed, and how good of a Christian they were.
    JLK

  6. As one that does not believe in an afterlife, this article was very interesting to read. I would say that the criteria for being a good, pious person seems to be similar across all religions. Be kind, be generous, honour those around you, do not harm others. There are obvious exceptions to these rules, but in my opinion, a good person is a good person regardless of their religious beliefs. In the same way, a bad person is a bad person. People use religion to exercise both love (Gandhi) and hate (The Westboro Baptist Church). The religion itself is irrelevant, it is a tool for people to express their own ideals – hence the various sectarian movements we see in many religions today.
    I was originally going to speculate on how one could hypothetically be admitted entrance into heaven, but upon further contemplation, I believe we make our own heavens and hells here on earth, and we choose to either live happy, fulfilled lives, or to take paths that lead to our own destruction. To speculate on an afterlife I don’t believe in would be disingenuous.

  7. This article brings up a good point, who gets into heaven? It talks about the barring of everyone not Christian from heaven. This is regardless of their beliefs or actions on earth. It also opens up a number of other questions. First how many Christians are going to heaven, the poster reveals that they do not follow the Sabbath which, according to the Bible, results in them not being admitted to heaven. If we take everything in the bible as fact, which is a stretch, we find that there are very few people eligible to go to heaven. Only the most devout Christians who live directly as the bible says they should are going. This bars the way to almost everyone living in our society. And what of those who have not yet made a decision, or are still incapable of making a decision, regarding their choice of religion? A child can hardly profess his love for Jesus, does this prevent those infants who die from going to heaven? What sin have they committed? On the other hand if only Christians are able to go to heaven does that mean a mean-spirited Christian, a person who enjoys flaunting his good fortune over others, gets into heaven while a charitable atheist does not? Are we saying God is petty enough that those who don’t worship him the right way, despite their good qualities, do not gain salvation?

  8. How can this God, who in theory would send you down to hell; to an inferno of fire and torment, for eternity, simply for not following him, have love for everyone and everything?

    The idea of the Christian Heaven seems fueled by the fear of the other extreme, hell. For a God to send the people of earth to burn for eternity simply for not obeying his commandments instills fear into Christian believers. Perhaps the extremity of Heaven and Hell was embellished through time. Maybe fear has played a large role in the beliefs of Christians.

    In my opinion heaven is not a Christian-exclusive paradise. The afterlife is a subject that many have discussed, and it remains a mystery that will always have an interesting story.

  9. The statement “Only Christians go to heaven” is a very misunderstood concept. The statement itself is clear, although the confusion lies in the person that proposed it. The most accepted requirement to enter heaven is to be a “good” person. Kind, caring, loving, harmless are under the “good” requirement. Everything that is opposite to that would be “Bad”, resulting in hell or some other form of punishment. Those are the general ideas be hide heaven and hell, a reward or a punishment. The division between most religions occurs when talking about the “good” and the “bad” factors; how not praying five times a day is considered “bad” in Islam, yet is unnecessary in other religions. Therefore the ideas of “good” and “bad” are all relative to the religion itself, meaning these ideas change between religions. So from a Christians point of view, the only people accepted into heaven are those that meet the Christian perspectives of “good”, not any other religion. Although the interesting part of most religions is that they are very close; meaning their requirements of heaven only change slightly across the religions. If someone follows a religion that is similar to Christianity and meet the requirements for their religion, shouldn’t they also meet most of Christianities requirements? Meaning they cannot be completely “bad”, in fact they would lead more towards the “good”. That should be more than enough reasons for that person to enter heaven. The christian statement is simply a more specific general statement made by most religions.

  10. . The writer discusses by whether only Christians after death to heaven. He believes all believers can go to their own type of heaven after death.

  11. It’s definitely an interesting thing to think about and also can be kind of stressful to an extent, depending on how much it means to a person. There’s so much controversy on the writings in the Bible. Perhaps some things are used metaphorically or some things are taken literally. Many people even say that there is no heaven or hell, but an infinite world where everyone goes after they die and there are so called “stages” or “levels” based on how good/bad of a life the person lead and the reason the term “heaven” is used in the Bible is to give people a reason to be good in this world. It’s interesting because there are so many different reasoning people have given for the things written in the Bible, but who’s right? I don’t know if there is any knowing on who really is right and who can say what happens after life.

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