Speculation about God things. Title has been censored. Belief systems..
|Important note to the reader: If you can't have an open mind, please don't read this. The following title is the original one. It was censored because of the word Smoking, and I ended up changing it.
"How will you spend eternity -- Smoking or Nonsmoking?"
Sign at a church in Florida
Above is an interesting quote, apparently used by a church in Florida. Of course, it makes you wonder just what it means. Given its location, the quote brings up the question about eternal damnation versus going to Hell, or the decision to reject the idea of Hell altogether.
Some people could care less, while for others the idea of Hell invokes images of souls trapped for eternity in a fiery place, tormented by a Devil with his signature horns and pitchfork, leaving any outside his circle of groupies to suffer forever.
Considering an individual's lifespan, any earthly suffering could just as easily feel like an eternity. Compared to the idea of Hell, or being damned forever as a result of a life of unchanged behavior, the idea of suffering in life and suffering in Hell may not seem fair. If God created everything, He didn't make mistakes. Suffering eternally sounds like endless torture with no more opportunities for change either.
If we are given free choice, and God knows the heart, the Essence of the soul, and the truest part of ourselves, then it doesn't make sense that anyone would choose what will hurl them into the abyss most people consider Hell.
Then again, we can't be certain of an individual's final thoughts before death. How would we know if they had sought redemption in those last few seconds, or whether God truly forgives the sinners of any transgressions, in fact or perceived?
Some ask the question: Would a God of love do that to his creations? Do we live in fear or do we live in faith? Do we have faith that if there is a God, Supreme Being, Creator, Maker, or whatever name you choose to say, and that His plan is so perfect that we perhaps haven't figured it out yet or simply don't know?
If a person gets frustrated enough would they plan their own death, sometimes doing something awful, such as killing several other innocent people on the way.
There are societies that consider suicide honorable, even if that suicide entails killing innocent people as a result of their creed or cause. These acts of violence, such as suicide bombings, are seen as ways to join their God sooner. Many would claim this idea to be insanity. Is killing other people for any reason honorable? It happens everyday, but maybe not in our own neighborhood, and not just in cases of suicide bombers. What if that just makes things worse? Like maybe you have to start the life process all over again, until you get it right? Whatever right is.
Being human is on a journey of enjoyment, finding pleasure in being alive. Along this journey, we feel love just as strongly as any other emotion - joy, anger, fear, hate, hopelessness. At some point, the ones not feeling happy to be alive, might recognize that there is hope and have faith that things aren't quite the way they seem, while others fall into the deepest despair, wondering when the chaos will end.
According to Evolution, we have grown into our current state from the smallest of beings, maturing into the experience of life, either to somehow be killed or to grow old and die. Some consider humanity no different than the evolution of plant life, living until death and then returning to the Earth. And the cycle starts over, coming back in plant life or something else. There are also others that want answers, or at least something they can believe in.. This is typically where science and faith clash.
Certain Christians maintain that favoring Evolution over Creation would deny your afterlife in Heaven. To even consider any alternative to popular forms of worship, would be, to some, a breach of Faith, labeling you a lost and misguided soul in peril of going to that bad place called Hell.
After all, didn't it say that in the bible? Never mind that its been translated so many times, and into so many versions, might have been changed, added to, revised, or intentionally or unintentionally misinterpreted. It makes no difference. Never mind that even the God of the bible clearly said not to damn anyone and to forgive and love one another. If the divine makes no mistakes, doesn't it make sense that something isn't quite right in how we see things?
On the other hand, what if it is correct in its entirety, and literally? What if there are even more possibilities? As many religions or belief systems as there are, each have some kind of label and their own ideas of what "Is".
I recently read an item saying that God does not lie, but what if God is the best storymaker there ever was and ever will be. Lying and storytelling is not quite the same thing.
What if he has created one especially for us and his own pleasure and one in which we are acting out, and playing all the parts in? Sound cruel? Mmm. Maybe not, depending on who you ask and where they are at in their life. Then again, in order for that to be true, a person would have to believe there is a God.
There are others that believe that Evolution is correct, but then say all was created at some point in time, therefore there is a Supreme Being, a God, an Essence.
Maybe they believe that Hell is a place that most people wouldn't want to be, and should be avoided at all costs, especially if you don't do certain things or believe certain things. Some have said that Hell is simply the grave, where everything is forgotten, the body dies, and that's it. Hell could also just be a state of mind, unless, of course, it's not.
Regardless, it's likely that everyone has their own idea of whatever Hell is, depending on what they've either been taught, read, or decided on their own.
Have you ever thought about the idea of Earth being Hell? You might be thinking, "But what did I do that was so awful that I deserved this? Didn't I come into this world perfect and innocent?"
Some might say that Satan and his demons control the Earth, and God rules the Heavens. Therefore, maybe Earth is Hell, and Heaven is somewhere up there, possibly on another plane of existence or just somewhere that we're not sure of. This provides for a contrast, a good against bad, and evil against pure goodness. Love against Hate. This list could go on and on.
Does this mean that if Earth is Hell, we're wasting our time being here? Maybe not. What if there were some greater purpose to our being here on Earth, a purpose we either can't remember to decipher...or is our purpose in life to suffer as one might suffer through Hell? Must we die in order to find peace and happiness?
Is Hell simply a label or is it a real place? You decide for yourself. Nobody can decide what is "real" and what you believe to be true. Sooner or later, I guess we'll find out.