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Showing posts with the label #Pagans

When pagans die.

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Have they no hope? Well, let’s not rule that out.Yeah, this is gonna be a bummer of an article. Sorry. It needs saying.When Christians die, it’s sad. ’Cause we’re never gonna see those people again in this lifetime. We often say, “We’ll see ’em in heaven,” and that’s true—though not quite as pop-culture Christianity imagines it. We’ll see them in the kingdom of heaven. Once Jesus returns to establish that kingdom, we Christians are all getting resurrected, and they’ll be back, better than before. As will we. That’s our hope.But it’s not pagans’ hope.The Latin word paganus meant someone from the country, and therefore not from the city. Christians adopted it to refer to people who don’t live in the city of God, or civilians who aren’t in the Lord’s army. By definition a pagan isn’t in the kingdom. Not going to heaven. They’re outside—and outside isn’t good.So when pagans die, it’s a profound loss. Not only are we not seeing them again, we’re likely not seeing them in the age to come. B…

Theists and deists: The ways people believe in God.

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Most pagans do believe in God, y’know.THEIST'θi.ɪstadjective. Believes in the existence of God or gods.2. Believes in one God, a personal being, the universe’s creator, who interacts with its creation.[Theistic θi'ɪst.ɪkadjective, theism 'θi.ɪz.əmnoun]DEIST'di.ɪstadjective, noun. Believes God exists, specifically as a creator who doesn’t supernaturally intervene in his universe.[Deistic 'di.ɪs.tɪkadj., deism 'di.ɪz.əmn.]If you believe in gods, you’re a theist. People tend to bunch theists into different classifications, depending on how many gods they believe in, and how. Both religious and irreligious people (and the Christian term for the non-religious is “pagan”) alike fall into these slots:MONOTHEIST: Just the One God, thanks.POLYTHEIST: Multiple gods. Sometimes two, a good and bad god, in a dualistic system. Sometimes three, among heretic Christians who really misunderstand the trinity. Sometimes a whole pantheon.HENOTHEIST: Multiple gods, but they only de…

Isn’t God gonna save everybody?

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God definitely wants to. Therefore some Christians insist in the end, he will.UNIVERSALIST /ju.nə'vər.səl.əst/ adj. Believing all humanity will (eventually) be saved.I’ve mentioned before how pagans believe good people go to heaven, and bad people to hell. I should mention there’s a minority among them who believe there is no hell. Nope, not even for genocidal maniacs. Everybody goes to the same afterlife, and if you’re a westerner that’d be heaven. There might be some karmic consequences; you might find yourself in the suckier part of heaven. But considering it’s heaven, it’s not bad.Y’see, these folks figure God is love. Don’t we Christians teach that? Why yes we do. 1Jn 4.8 And God loves everyone—“for God so loved the world” Jn 3.16 and all that. So why would a loving God throw people in hell? Especially for something as minor as not believing in him?—which most of the time is really an honest mistake. Doesn’t sound very loving of God to toss someone into hell just because they…

Betting on God.

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PASCAL’S WAGERpə'skælz 'weɪ.dʒərnoun. Argument that it’s best to presume God exists: The possibility of hell outweighs any advantage of believing otherwise.My first exposure to Pascal was actually PASCAL. (I lived in San Jose in the late 1970s, so as you can guess, my middle school had the best computers.) I knew PASCAL was named after Blaise Pascal (1623–62), a French mathematician and statistician. I didn’t know he was also a Catholic philosopher who came up with a popular apologetic argument. Goes like yea:Let us then examine this point, and say, “God is, or he is not.” But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.Do not, then, reprove for error those who…