Friday, August 19, 2011

Journey of Faith Friday (SPECIAL EDITION): If there were no Heaven or Hell would you.....

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

Sam was driving.  B was watching a video.  I was blog hopping on my iPhone during the last few hours of our 6 hour drive home.  I came across Shaun Grove's post If There Were No Heaven and have been unable to stop pondering the question ever since.  I asked my husband.  I asked my mother-in-law. I struggled to answer it myself.  Then, I asked several other bloggers if they would be willing to join me in answering the question (that is why this is a SPECIAL EDITION).  

So over the next few weeks I will share the 10 responses (including myself) to the question:

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

The responses will begin with one of four choices and will be 350 words or less.
  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.... 
Here is who you can expect to hear from:

Today I will be sharing my answer:

I'm not so sure....I think I would....I'm not so sure....I think I would.  I had 75% of my answer written, then changed my mind.  Then something happened Tuesday that solidified what I was unsure of. Tuesday someone broke my mother-in-law's window while her car was parked in our front yard.  I was so frustrated, but that experience helped cease the teetering.  

I think I WOULD be a Christian if there were no Heaven or Hell, 
because I want good to prevail over evil.

If you are a theologian (or just someone who loves to think), then this question leaves a lot to assume.....However, I am not going to go into the what if's and but's and know how's.

I have made assumptions in my head which initially led me to the answer I'm not so sure, but then I was reminded that there will always be people who do evil just for the pure sake of evil.  There will always be sin and I for one am the chief sinner when it comes to living selfishly.  Therefore, I think I would still be a Christian, because somewhere deep within me and my selfish agenda is still a desire to be Holy, as Christ is Holy (and only God can place that desire within me). Without the example of Jesus Christ I would have no idea what that Holiness looked like in human form.  Believing in God and the goodness of man would not be enough for me, because if we muster up all the "goodness" man has to offer we still have SIN.

So even if Jesus was not sent to save mankind from eternal separation from God, I do believe He could have been sent to save us from eternal separation from Him in the here and now.  Hell on earth exists and I for one know that God wants a full life for us now, not just in the after life.  And I would want to experience His fullness NOW even if it would end when I returned to dust.

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.

I hope you will continue to join me during the coming days as I share the answers from people ranging from stay-at-home moms, to pastors, to a grandmother.

You can read other Journey of Faith Friday posts HERE.


Katie said...

Awesome! Unfortunately, many people sin just for the pure "joy" of it. Heaven or not, those people would still be around. And we all know Christ is the ultimate model for Goodness!

PS. I LOVE your photo...seriously excellent stuff there!

Ashley Sisk said...

You really challenged me to think and I can't wait to read everyone else's responses. It's one of those things where you do have to make assumptions. I'm so thankful that God sent us a model to live by!

And I also love that photo.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a question. Really makes you think. Thanks for sharing your answer.

Casey Martinez said...

I can see why this is hard to answer. When I answer too quickly I realize that my answer changes minutes later so I guess I just have to say that I don't know what the point would be. The entire gospel message would change. Jesus wouldn't need to rise from the dead because he wouldn't have gone up to Heaven if it didn't exist. If there was no Heaven then where would God abide? The entire bible would have to change so I wouldn't even know what we were to believe anymore. So I guess the bottom line is....Heaven is such a tremendously large part of the gospel that without it our Christianity would not be Christianity would be a different which I wouldn't know if I would still follow without knowing what the new gospel would be:0 Whew...that was a mouthful!! This is interesting!!

Catherine said...

I think I struggle to wrap my mind around a world in which sin wouldn't separate us from God in the same way as it does now. If there was no such thing as separation from God, I'm not sure what "being a Christian" would mean... since there would be no salvation to speak of if there would be nothing to be saved from. Jesus would not have had to take human form or be crucified, so the actual WORD Christian wouldn't exist. I suppose if you are asking whether I would still want to know God and know his will and do it, I think I would. I think I would still need/want that relationship and sense of purpose. I don't think the fear of hell is the thing that motivates me most now, so removing it wouldn't be the thing that would change my perspective the most. I think the absence of the Gospel itself would be the thing that would be difficult, because the whole picture of grace would be missing. I guess it's like trying to imagine a world without gravity to me.

Rosie Nixon Fluerty said...

This is a question I've never ever considered before - I hesitate to even write more of a comment here until I do alot more thinking Amber.


Unknown said...

Definitely an interesting question. I will be following this series for sure. :)

Craig said...

and so I've read the series – and of course you know who's answer I heart the most – no big theology – just an obvious heart for our Lord. Sam's answer was nice too – as was your last poster – but yours is the one I heart the best. God bless and keep you and your hubs and your future linebacker for the New York Jets ツ who will, I'm sure, by his mama a big big house with his first professional contract.

Warren Baldwin said...

I've read most of the series and have really enjoyed it.

I like your answer - for good to triumph over evil. After the 9-11 ten-year mark, that is a good prayer, for good to triumph.

I'm glad you did this series, and thanks for inviting me to be part of it.