Originally Posted by terjw
I know some deeply religious people and none of them claim moral superiority. We get on reallly well. Also it cuts both ways the atrocities committed in the name of religion. There have been appalling atrocities committed in the name of atheism in Russia/China. I would never single out crimes by religious people as being worse or better than other crimes.
On a day to day level - I think the only thing that I have a problem with is the hell doctrine and good people going to hell just because they don't believe. I sort of think - do you really believe that? We never discuss that. Never go there. I wouldn't want to.
On the subject of evil - how can someone just go into a school and kill schoolchildren and teachers there. I cannot imagine being able to cope with something like that if I lost people I loved like that. I don't care how mentally disturbed he was or what troubles he was going through - how could he do that? That was just pure evil.
I don't single out crimes by religious people as worse as those from others either. I only mentionned it to say that the're no better or worse than the rest of us.
When it comes to the hell doctrine, well, at least when it comes to the Christian faith it all depends on what the bible says about it, don't it? If you claim to be "a true Christian" you can't go, "Ok, I like this part, so I'll believe it, but I don't believe this part because I don't like it." As far as I'm concerned you either believe all of it or none of it.
Problem is that most Christians really haven't got a clue about what's in the bible. At the most they are familiar with certain parts of it. Time has erased most of what I've read from my mind, but in my younger days I've read quite a bit of it, including the prophecies - Daniel and Revelations especially, the last of which is incomprehensible to most because they can't make heads or tails of the symbolism in the book. But with the help of some books I've managed to plow my way through it and I've learned that all the syumbols that are in the bible are actually explained in the bible itself. In other words, "the bible always explains itself."
Anyway, to cut a long (and no doubt boring
) story short, Revelation is about the evils of world religions, the false prophet, the anti-Christ, how you'll be able to recognoze him when he arrives on the scene (the famous 666 number of the beast), how this figure who is actually a representation of Satan will deceive the world into thinking that he's God, the return of Christ after a 3 1/2 year rule of this anti-Christ figure, predictions of plagues, wars, earthquakes and much, much more. Fascinating stuff, and things that most of those that call themselves Christians are totally unaware off.