I'll lead in with a disclaimer, just so we're all on the same page.
As the title of this entry implies, this is entirely theoretical. I got to thinking and kept thinking and finally my thinking gave way to one of those moments typically referred to as an epiphany, but I make no claims as to having discovered some sort of absolute truth. This is just an idea. One I think we ought to consider.
The exact "rules" and "details" concerning what Christians like to call Salvation are sketchy at best. Yes, we believe Jesus died for us, yes, it's only through him that we experience eternal life, blah blah blah heard it all before. But as far as what one has to do to qualify, we just can't seem to agree.
There is that verse which states that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. This is a paraphrase, and I don't know what the reference is. Look it up if you feel so inclined.
But we can't even seem to agree on what, exactly, that means. Some denominations believe that unless you're a part of their church and you follow their rules and are baptized their way, you're screwed. SOL. No heaven for you. Sorry.
Other denominations(and this seems to be the most widely accepted theory) believe that by default, upon birth, you're guilty, and unless you "get saved"(personally I can't stand this term. It's too condescending) before you die, that you're screwed. SOL. No heaven for you. Sorry.
And still other denominations believe the exact opposite. That upon birth, you're SAVED by default, and unless/until you CHOOSE not to believe in God, everything is fine and dandy. That you could live your life in blissful ignorance and end up in heaven, with or without ever joining a church or hearing the name "Jesus".
Personally, I don't know what to think. As far as who is going to heaven and who isn't, that's not my worry. I know where I'm going and I figure that's about all I have the right or responsibility to really be concerned with. That's not to say I don't care, but I can't even begin to be sure what the "rules" are. So why bother?
Once again, the nature of this article is purely hypothetical. Especially the following.
Let's roll with the latter theory for a minute. Assume that everybody is going to heaven automatically, and until they figuratively give God the finger, they have nothing to worry about.
What possible reason might anyone have for purposely choosing not to believe?
At first this is an easy question - science, evolution, logic, quantum physics, blah blah whatever else you want. Alright, fine. I'll take that.
But let's look at the last two thousand years of human history. Given consideration to the church and it's way of conducting itself, both past and present, do you think it might have been possible for the Church and, let's say science for instance, to have a better relationship? Couldn't we have gotten along a little better? Been a little less petty, a little less paranoid? Oh, and the Inquisition. That was a big one.
And if so, and if we had behaved better, then might - MIGHT - there be a lot less people in the world choosing NOT to believe?
Again, I'm not saying this is the way it works or that this is even what I believe. If I were to sit down and really try to figure out the 'mechanics' of salvation, I'd probably land somewhere in the middle. I don't know how that's even possible, which hopefully gives you an idea of where I currently stand - somewhere between No Idea and Got Other Things To Worry About.
Just an idea I thought I should share.
Anyway. This is not your 'official' update. That comes this weekend, courtesy of Ryan Olsen. That's right! An update written by somebody other than me. I think you'll enjoy it.
And as a side note, if you(yes, you) ever feel like contributing anything to We're Sorry, PLEASE let me know. You don't have to be an expert writer(I'm certainly not one). You don't even have to be a Christian. If you have something to say that you feel is conducive(is that the right word? I'm pretty sure it is) to what's being said here, then by all means, share it.