re: questions about suicide, Christianity, & the after-life.
I recently wrote a review (as simple and short as it was) of Kristen Jane Anderson’s book “Life, In Spite of Me.” After I posted my review, I scouted around in search of other reviews of the book. I came across this one.
In the book, Kristen tells about the time when a lady told her that she would have gone to Hell had she been succesful in committing suicide. It was this event in her life that drove her to ask questions about Salvation, and later receive Jesus Christ as her personal Savior.
At the end of the above-mentioned book review, the blogger posted some questions about sucide and Hell. With her permission I’m reposting a part of that paragraph, and also parts of a few comments that were left in response to her blog post.
Last paragraph of the blog post:
“…would you think it fair for a 17 year-old to be thrown into hell just because she failed to be a member of the exclusive Club Christian? Does calling Christianity a club make me a bad Christian? Discuss!”
“I don’t understand why people who suddenly find “God” ditch the none believers. I find that the most disappointing part about religion, they become mightier than thou and judgmental.”
“She went to church, she prayed, she believed but holy minister was all ‘hell cause you weren’t saved and a true Christian.’ It seems everone believes that that they have the patent on Jesus. Drives me insane. When I was little I worried all the time I wasn’t saved just so, so it makes me mad.
And if God was that selective would it be like, “Sorry Anne Frank, you’re Jewish, so you’re off to hell.”
“Sorry Muslim, you devoted your whole life to me, but I’m still sending you straight to hell.”
“Sorry atheist, hope you like barbeque.”
I honestly can’t think of anyone deserving eternal suffering.”
“The point you make about Hell is a good one. I’ve often said something similar myself. Personally, I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell except as possible states of mind we can occupy while alive. I don’t believe in a personal after-life, but that it is the ideas and actions of our life which live on after we are dead and give our existence its meaning. But, assuming the concept of Hell to be real, I ask myself this question, “If I would not condemn anyone to burn for eternity, even if they were a serial killer, a child molester or Hitler, and I’m only an ordinary guy with an ordinary guy’s capacity to love or forgive, then how could a God who is supposed to be completely loving and forgiving condemn anyone to such a punishment, especially for something as harmless as not being a Christian. Is God so vain that he will inflict that punishment on someone simply because they ignore or deny him?
I think there is a great deal of inspiration to be taken from the Christian philosophy and the life of Jesus, but when it comes to the supernatural “magical” ideas that have accumulated around them I think Mao Tse-Tung was right (and most of the time I think he was wrong) when he compared religion to opium. For those who suffer greatly and are weakened by the blows that life has inflicted upon them, such magical beliefs can make life bearable, but one can tell how truly strong someone is by who they associate with. If someone only associates with those who believe as they do, it is because their spirit is weak and they need reinforcement and a lack of challenges to their ideas. A truly strong individual relishes mixing with people who think differently and is not afraid that to do so will weaken their own principles. Jesus was a very strong individual and so he mixed with people of all kinds, from the innocent to the “sinners” and engaged with many people whose thinking was radically different to his own, not even fleeing from them when they tortured and killed him.
So my only problem with evangelicals is when they claim to have the answer for everyone rather than just the answer for themselves.”
“I still consider myself a Christian, but I don’t believe the whole Bible. Read Genesis. It makes no sense, so I believe it was a parable. I do believe God watches out for me, so I take my “opiate for the masses” when in need and I still pray compulsively for perfection (but everybody does that, heh!) I also believe God has a plan for everyone and when I’m not thinking I’m dying, I like to think there’s more to life.”
So now, readers, it’s open to you.
What answers can you provide?
What hope can your offer?
Do you agree with anything that was stated in the above comments?
If yes, what?
What do you disagree with?
Related Article: Question of the day: suicide.