Yesterday my longtime good and every vigilant friend Lar informed me via Facebook that the Pope Francis quote I posted yesterday was an Internet hoax. Oh well, I fell for a hoax again. Surely not the first time nor the last time I will be suckered in an Internet hoax posting for something that I believe in. My first response to my friend Lar was "So what?" It's the way I feel. And friends, that is the way I feel.
I don't believe that one has to go to church every Sunday to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Actually, I don't even believe in the Afterlife but I can't help but hedge my bets. Just in case there is something after we pass on, I don't believe that those who don't accept Jesus Christ as their savior will not enter Heaven. Just doesn't make sense to me. You mean all those in this world, which is the majority of people, will not enter Heaven?
Of course I am well aware of the impregnable self certainty of many Bible reading, church going Christians that they and only they will go to Heaven. I do not condemn then for their beliefs, unlike what many of them do for those who do not believe their way. If they find comfort in their faith, then I am happy for them. But please do not condemn me because I don't subscribe to YOUR beliefs. My response has always been to those who try to proselytize me because they want to "save" my soul is "Worry about yourself, I'll take care of my own life. Don't make your life's work trying to change me to your beliefs."
I remember a conversation I had with another longtime friend of mine when we was trying to "save my soul." He actually told me that Ted Bundy, the serial killer, would enter Heaven before me because, Mr. Bundy, a few minutes before he was executed for his horrendous crimes, had accepted Jesus Christ as his savior. I pointed out to him, "Don't you think that the manipulative Mr. Bundy only did his conversion at the last minute to save his life?" My friend, who I have always considered very intelligent and had common sense, said "No, as long as he (Ted Bundy) accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior he will go to Heaven before you." I asked him "Do you mean that the little old lady who lives at the end of the block, and has been good her whole life but did not Believe, would not go to Heaven?" He said "Yes."
Well, if he was trying to convert me, or "save" me, this line of reasoning was unsuccessful.
These days I try to avoid religious and political discussions because I find that if someone disagrees with you, I can never change their mind. NEVER. And of course they will never change my mind. So it is a waste of my time and their time to even engage in such a conversation.
|I saw this live on TV this morning. Pope Francis was leaving the Philadelphia airport but stopped and got out of his car to give his blessing to this young man.|
But getting back to the original point I want to make, I believe that if one lives a good life or as good a life as possible because all of us have faults, that their will be no punishment at the end of our life just because we didn't accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. There are too many good people in the world who aren't Christians. All of those are damned?
I am a spiritualist. I believe that, if there is a God, then He (She?) is in each of us. This life we live now is IT. We only get one time around and we should make the best of it. Of course we have many failings as human beings do, but we can always strive to do better.
All this week I've been following the coverage of Pope Francis' visit the U.S. While all the pageantry of the Catholic Church still make me uncomfortable, I understand the goodness of this man in reaching out to the children, poor, homeless, physically disabled and disaffected. That can't be wrong. And his visit makes me feel good.
Now I await someone (Lar?) to tell me these photos were Photoshopped.