Saturday, January 31, 2009

Who wants to live forever?

We see in the New Testament a few areas where Jesus is shown to be offering eternal life -- those who believe in Jesus have it. Or Paul saying that the wages of sin are death, but the free gift of eternal life comes from Jesus (or is something God offers to us through Jesus).

Yet we also have the concept of heaven and hell. Both hold the concept of an eternal existence. You either are eternally in Paradise, or eternally in a place that is rather unpleasant. Technically speaking, doesn't one have this eternal life regardless of where one ends up?

After all, that is what life is: existence. So wouldn't we logically say that when if God is offering someone eternal life, He is offering them the opportunity to exist forever? And if someone refuses this chance, that person will not in fact live forever? They'll cease to exist?

Except based on the heaven/hell theology, the person ends up in hell, which means the person is still existing. Does this mean we end up with a situation where while it does say that Jesus offers eternal life, "eternal life" means something other than the standard definition? Because if someone came up to me and said that s/he is offering me the chance to live forever, the implication is that I don't already possess the capability to live forever.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

An Uber-Literal moment.

I was reading a book that had some paragraphs discussing marriage in this life, and how it carries over into the resurrected life. The argument was that there would be no married people when the Christians are resurrected, and pulled from the example of Jesus saying that the woman who had the seven husbands would not be the wife of any of them in the life to come, for people are neither married nor given in marriage.

Then it made the mention that above all else, a Christian husband and a Christian wife are a brother and sister in Christ. Which, if I take to the literal extreme ... means that a brother and a sister have married.

It was a rather odd moment for me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Love Bomb.

Whenever I see someone essentially say that they aren't going to evangelize to a person (preach about Jesus), but rather just express the love of Christ to the person, I end up interpreting that sentence in the following way:

"I, the Christian, am loving you in order to get something out of you."

Essentially, the love has an ulterior motive. The Christian is hoping that the way s/he lives their life, or interacts with unbelievers, will be done in such a way as to make the unbeliever want what the believer has.

I can't help but find that to be a manipulative motive for loving a person. The intention is to produce a very specific result: get the unbeliever interested enough to make the unbeliever convert.

I don't get the same reaction if someone says that they love humanity because God created people, or they love others because of how much God loved them, and so how can they not express that love to everyone else?

I'd even prefer in your face evangelizing to the "convert them through love" approach. At least the former is being forthwright about his/her intentions. And while I doubt that every single Christian who has done the latter approach sees it as a backdoor approach (or maybe they do), it's also incredibly ... it's almost deceptive, in a way. The Christian is still trying to convince the unbeliever to convert, on some level.