Monday, August 22, 2011

If There Were No Heaven......Sam's Answer

If there were no Heaven or Hell would you still be a Christian?

If you are just joining me, this is the 2nd of 10 answers I will be sharing in response to the above question.  Today, my husband Sam will be answering the question.

Here were the parameters giving to those whom I asked to respond:

Answer the question:

If there were no Heaven or Hell would you still be a Christian in 350 words or less.  Your answer should begin with one of the four choices below.
  1. I absolutely would still be a Christian....
  2. I think I would still be a Christian....
  3. I'm not so sure....
  4. I definitely would not still be a Christian.... 
You can read my answer HERE.

Here are the remaining 10 you can expect to hear from:

As I first considered the question posed to me (link to question), it caused my mind to come up with many more questions:

“If there’s no heaven and hell, is there sin?”

“Did Jesus still come to Earth?”

“If He did come, what did He say?”

“Are we still eternal?”

“If we’re eternal, what happens when we die?”

“Do we die?”

“What do I do with all of the stories/doctrine/questions/answers in the Bible regarding eternity?”

“How could I choose to be a ‘Christian’ if there really is no such thing (allegedly)?”

The framework of presuppositions I set up to enable an answer to the question goes as follows (Note: these presuppositions do not fully reflect my view of God, simply the best I can do with the constraints of the discussion):
  1. There is no heaven and hell.
  2. Without heaven and hell, humans are only temporal beings: meaning when we die, that’s it. (An ominous thought to say the least)
  3. With God’s creation being sinful and temporal, Jesus does not come to Earth. As such, the scriptures are very different, if they exist at all. If we are only temporal, did God have a chosen nation? It’s difficult to redeem the world through people if there is no redemption to be had.
  4. While the world would be a much different place, God is still the creator and of the same disposition as I believe He Is now and was in the past, and will be in the future.
That said, I believe I would still be a Christian. I say this because I believe that God’s way of life is the best way of living, with or without eternity. I also believe that we are most fully living when we live according to our purpose. Our source of peace and joy is not ourselves, but outside of ourselves. I have found more contentment in living with that hope and aim than I have in hopes for myself. That’s one thing that I don’t think would change with the exclusion of the afterlife.

How about you?

How would you answer the question?

If you would like to join, write your  answer in a post and link up below any time during the next two weeks (possibly three weeks.  I have yet to decide).  The linky will be provided at the end of each SPECIAL EDITION post. 


Ashley Sisk said...

Great thoughts Sam - yeah there is so much to consider when you think through this question but you answered so well.

Unknown said...

very intriguing question! and I think your answer is right on. one thought I immediately had is that so much of what Jesus taught is applicable right now in the day-to-day even if there is no eternity and would make life better for all of us if we followed his example. that being said, Praise God the story goes so much deeper!

Sandy said...

Sam, your conclusion paragraph is a great recap of my bottom-line thoughts while pondering this question...but said MUCH better and with fewer words than I :-)....but I found interesting your presuppostions that without heaven or hell humans must be temporal beings and Jesus doesn't come to earth....hmm

Craig said...

it's nice to read the words of the man behind the woman. Good thoughts Sam. So is a new blog in the offing – Samber's articles? I definitely have my thoughts on this – and you made some great points Sam. I don't think I want to throw my thoughts out there – until I get a chance to read everybody. I'm glad you went first. God bless you and all of your. Sam.

mommy to many said...

wow! this one was hard i thought about the fact that if thes two places didin't exist would the word "Christian" even be used...i finaly got my thoughts down an blogged what i think....can't wait to see wat everyone has to say. thanks to Dr Marino from Valley Forge Christian College it was REALLY hard to asnwer this =0)