Monday, February 8, 2010

Heaven?


The Bible makes precious little mention of Hell, so I decided to see what, exactly, the Bible says about Heaven.


In the Old Testament, Heaven is referenced often: as a place above Earth where rain comes from and Yhwh lives. There is not, however, any real description of Heaven, nor any intimation of people other than Yhwh living there. Well, stars and clouds clearly live there, but not people.


By the New Testament, we have a "kingdom of Heaven" and dead people going there, but nothing to tell me what it might be like there, which is a rather important thing to leave out, considering what I am expected to do to get to Heaven.


There's a bit of this:



Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed
good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and
sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed
heads, then the weeds also appeared.


So, Heaven's got bad stuff in it?



31He told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,
which a man took and planted in his field. 32Though it is the smallest of all
your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a
tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches."


It started small, but got bigger?



33He told them still another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that
a woman took and mixed into a large amount[b]
of flour until it worked all through the dough."


What?



45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.


Oh, c'mon!



47"Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the
lake and caught all kinds of fish.


So, back to there's stuff in Heaven you may not like?



18"I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be[a]bound
in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[b]
loosed in heaven.


So, fantastic, there's war and suffering in Heaven? I hope you're not expecting a great deal of effort on my part to get there. I can experience all that has been loosed on Earth with no effort at all.



1"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the
morning to hire men to work in his vineyard.

I'm starting to get the impression that whoever wrote this had no idea how to describe Heaven and went for the Emperor's New Clothes style of description: You must be stupid if you don't know what landowners and yeast have to do with Heaven.


I will leave you with this:



35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.


So, not so much on the "eternal" part of eternal life? Fuck it, I ain't hating gays for this.



14 comments:

  1. The promise of heaven ain’t looking very good. Bad things still happen, and it ain’t even eternal? Makes me (vaguely) wonder why Christians even wanna go there. Good find, PF.

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  2. Ahh but new heaven and new earth will take their place and they will be eternal. Which means humans will remain on earth it will just be a new earth.

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  3. Most of those "Kingdom of Heaven" references sound like they're talking about something that's meant to happen here on Earth. Which would be in keeping with the emphasis on, y'know, helping out the poor and comforting the afflicted...

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  4. "Fuck it, I ain't hating gays for this."

    ROFLMAO

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  5. My one grandmother, and several other people have all told me about how "happy" I would be in "heaven".

    These joys included walking on streets of gold, seeing many mansions (apparently not entering to take your ease, though), watching some rather singular animals doing some singular things for rather cryptic reasons, observing certain saints throwing a seemingly inexhaustable supply of golden crowns into a body of water near The Throne for reasons best known to...well...who? The bible SAYS they're gonna do it, so they hafta do it! That's all there is to it!

    I was informed that the main activity would be shouting praises to the christian deity for ever and ever, and that I would LIKE it (?).

    Well, there was one recreation: a periodic trip to the edge of heaven to look down into hell and jibe at the people suffering there, sort of an I TOLJA so time.
    Apparently, even "lost" loved ones will be so mocked, compassion seems to be absent.

    Their view of hell seemed to tally pretty much with a Breugel or Bosche painting, and at best, heaven was better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

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  6. I wouldn't ask a chemist to explain text on Greek literature. I wouldn't expect a musician to comprehend a physics text. But it is always interesting reading the attempts of Atheists and skeptics to explain the metaphysical from a text they obviously haven't the capablity to comprehend. Valiant effort.

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  7. @womenintheword:
    Fine, explain how PF is wrong. Go ahead.

    Either that, or admit you don’t know any better.

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  8. "Fuck it, I ain't hating gays for this."

    I'll second Iktomi's ROFLMAO. But PersFail- you can still hate gays as an atheist. Not many atheists are gay-haters, so you would belong to a very exclusive group. Not many people can say with pride: "I hate gays and I'm going to Hell".

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  9. Actually, if womenintherword is going to explain how we're wrong (in our literal reading of the bible) about heaven... well, I'd like to see photos and/or video. That may just be me, though.

    Also, where is that scripture in which Jesus says, "And if any should disagree with thee, thou shalt respond with condescension and manifold contempts, for verily they are too stupid to understand the obvious truth of my words." ...? It's obviously one of the core teachings, but I've never found a source for it.

    "...obviously haven't the capability to comprehend" indeed. ::snerk::

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  10. womenintheword, I play guitar so which parts of physics do you want me to explain to you?

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  11. But it is always interesting reading the attempts of Atheists and skeptics to explain the metaphysical from a text they obviously haven't the capablity to comprehend. Valiant effort.

    It's also always interesting seeing a Christian come in and claim that non-Christians aren't getting it right without then explaining where the non-Christians are wrong. Or ever showing up again.

    I guess I missed the sermon on how the drive-by trolls will inherit the Earth back when I used to go to church.

    Also, if the meek/gentle (depending on translation) are the ones who will inherit the Earth, isn't that kind of a kick in the pants? I mean, the Bible's all "teh Earf's gonna get destructicated." It'd be like inheriting my rich uncle's Bentley only to see it smooshed by a wayward jumbo jet.

    And as a fan of Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers I guess that means I'm a son of god. So I've got that goin' for me...

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  12. PF, You should take a Bible study class or something. Your understanding of the text is unfortunate, but given the context of your understanding, should I expect anything different?
    Most of what you quoted was either symbolic or circumstances surrounding who or what is in heaven and how they get there, rather than heaven itself i.e. fish and nets. I would suggest looking at original Hebrew translations and Middle Eastern history as you try to comprehend biblical text. Learning more about it might give you some real authority instead of just acting like one on the internet with your silly commentary.

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  13. @Anonymous - But so many of today's churches claim that everything they do is based on a simple, literal reading of the bible. (I don't know if your particular beliefs work this way or not, obviously.) And a simple, literal reading of the bible really doesn't describe Heaven very well - or much at all, for that matter.

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  14. Great post, PF! I needed some good guffaws. :D

    @Anonymous- I grew up being force-fed (usually 3x/week) the notion that everything in Teh Bybull is to be taken literally (and if you believe otherwise, ur just not doin it right...). Jonah? The Ark? Lazarus? Those stories *totally* happened (according to the succession of preachers whose sermons I had to endure for so long, anyway). So, if PF were to take "a Bible study class" per your suggestion - and she went where I used to go - then... yep, she's right on the money with her interpretation. The fact that *you*, Anonymous, are trying to mock *her* just shows that you're completely unaware of what many of your religious brethren teach/believe.

    Meanwhile, I'm thinking that Red Lobster et al should start advertising that they are JUST LIKE Heaven in their ads. All those "common" folk (working men who know about Bad Stuff), eating a multitude of fishies and other bounty from the sea (where pearls are occasionally found, BTW) that have been deep-fried following a dip in yeast-batter... Make sandwiches out of that fish with some bread and a few squirts of mustard, and it's you've got the whole shebang: HEAVEN.

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Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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