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Will I be going to hell?

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dinorider

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Time for a question of a theological nature. First of, I'm a convinced atheist. That being said, I find theology to be a very interesting subject nonetheless.

So, recently I've been thinking a bit about the concept of the Christian hell. More specifically about who (assuming that hell is a real place and that Christianity is right) would end up there, and most specifically of all if I would.

If I had at some point been brought into Christianity and had then denied God's existence it's probably not that hard to answer. I'd be taking the elevator downstairs when my time comes. However, I've never been a part of any church and haven't even been baptized.

I've heard it said many times that the unbaptized children go to Limbo rather than heaven or hell. And that from there on they need to find God to go on into heaven. I can't remember in what context I've heard that though, so anybody able to back that up would be welcome to do so.

If that is indeed correct, would it apply to me? I mean, I'm not a child. I'm (supposedly) an adult by now and one could argue that since I've had the chance to find and accept God in the time I've had on earth, I would go to hell, baptized or not.

What is Christianity's (I realize there might be several answers since there isn't not one universal form of Christianity) view on unbaptized heathens in general? What becomes of them?
 
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Butterfly Mage

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I can give you my two-cent's worth.

As a Wiccan, I don't actually believe in Hell. Even if there is such a place, it would be a place of your own making and it would not be forever, only for learning whatever spiritual lesson you are destined to learn. But, no, i think there is no Hell in the Christian sense of the word.

The Goddess and God love you whether you worship them or not. The measure of one's spiritual journey isn't how hard you can pray, but whether you used your life's experiences to learn what you are destined to learn, and whether you lived a life of kindness, gratitude, and love. The Rede states simply, "An it harm none, do as thou wilt."

In this life you may be an athiest. Maybe it's your destiny in this life to learn what it is like to not have deep spiritual connections with the universe. Maybe in your next life you'll be a monk or a shaman or a parish priest.

If you screw up this life, the karmic debt carries into your next life, but that's not the same as spending an eternity in hell. (considering that I'm an aabuse survivor and my dad was a monster, I'm guessing that I was not kind in a prior life.)

Anyway, that's my theological opinion.
 

Skeeter

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I myself am an atheist as well, but I think the most common answer you'd get is: You can only go to hell once you've reached the "age of reason", which is different depending on the religion. So, if you're a baby and don't get baptized it's not your fault because you didn't know the consequences. But, one you've reached that magical age, it's bow down or burn! So in your case, I say I'll see you in hell for one awesome party. Why is it that all the coolest people end up in hell?

That is, of course, if you believe that you must be baptized to go to heaven. There are some versions of Christianity that don't hold to baptism.

It's all so convoluted isn't it?
 
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DominatingMommy

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I promised myself that I would not discuss politics or religion...and now I'm gonna break that promise.

Please do not think that I am trying to push my beliefs on you because I'm very much and live and let die kind of person. That being said, I am a Christian. I worship at a Southern Baptist church. If you'd like to know more about that, check it out at sbc.net Do I believe every single detail that they claim? No.

So, in my opinion, baptism doesn't get you anywhere. That's just an act of worship and "obedience". Do I believe there is a Hell? Absolutely. Do I believe that "good" people go there? Absolutely. I believe the only way to not go to Hell is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Am I going to tell you that you're going to Hell? No way. Only God has the ability to judge people.

Probably not the answer that you are looking for, but that's the only way I know how to describe it.
 

Fire2box

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Getting baptized or going to church on a regular basis does not make you a good christian just as walking into a garage doesn't make you a car. Those are some really stupid misconceptions about religion I think that nearly everyone belives since they are most likely misinformed about what they hear/know.

I have not been baptized and I don't go to church. I do believe in god and everything however I don't think you have to follow everyone else like your in a flock of sheep. Not to mention most people only go to church to feel good about themselves and do a "I am holier then thou!!" stance.

However if you don't belive in god, etc I do think you can or will go to hell. I don't mean that in a condemning way since that's surely not my area to judge. That's between you and god if he's real at all (not that I really doubt it at all).

As for what hell is like I am willing to bet it's different with each person. My version is just being in a bright medical white room with square foot tiles with enough lite you can see pretty damn far but you won't go blind. There are no doors and there's nothing but you.
 

Skeeter

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Am I going to tell you that you're going to Hell? No way. Only God has the ability to judge people.
This is something I do not understand. Why not warn them constantly?

If I believed that hell is an eternal place where you are tortured unmercifully for the rest of existence, I'dd be damned sure that I'd be telling anybody that I cared about, about it. We're talking eternity here!

You see, if someone I knew was suffering immeasurably in hell, I couldn't enjoy myself in heaven. Just thinking of a good person suffering like that for not bowing down to a so-called "superior" being, I can't fathom. Sorry.
 

Fire2box

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We're talking eternity here!
That's the part I really hate about religion... eternity/forever. No matter how good heaven is I just do see myself staying in one place forever. I also don't think god would let people be "Tortured" or whatever for ever either.

the thing I am most unsure of is how long it all last's after your dead and if it ever gets boring.
 
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DominatingMommy

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This is something I do not understand. Why not warn them constantly?

If I believed that hell is an eternal place where you are tortured unmercifully for the rest of existence, I'dd be damned sure that I'd be telling anybody that I cared about, about it. We're talking eternity here!

You see, if someone I knew was suffering immeasurably in hell, I couldn't enjoy myself in heaven. Just thinking of a good person suffering like that for not bowing down to a so-called "superior" being, I can't fathom. Sorry.
I never said that I believe that Hell is a place where torture happens. In my opinion, Hell is being separated from God.

I just refuse to take that "you going to Hell and I'm not" stance with people. I'm certainly not "holier than thou".
 

Skeeter

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On other quetion pops to my head too. What happens to people who never hear about Christianity? Are they doomed to hell? Because if they are, God's a mean tyrant. If they aren't, why the hell (pun intended) would you want to teach someone about christ? If that person rejects christianity due to your ineptitude at teaching, they're fried forever.

I never said that I believe that Hell is a place where torture happens. In my opinion, Hell is being separated from God.
If that's so, and it not unpleasant in any way, it sounds like an awesome place, sign me up!

If it is unpleasant, it sounds like torture to me.
 

Chillhouse

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I don't believe in a heaven or a hell, but if I did, I'd go with what the wiccan up there said. ^^ It's a hell of your own making and all that jazz.

Growing up as a catholic here in this liberal country, I was told that everyone gets to go to heaven, and we all fight on the same side of the Good Versus Evil War. But the Catholics were the ones running into the battle with the biggest guns, so to speak.

You could believe that, or you could believe the Baptist version: Everyone goes to hell except for the people who belong to the same religious sect of whomever is preaching at that particular moment.
 
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Butterfly Mage

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The obvious flaw in the Christian theology (and every religion has flaws) is that an all-powerful, all-loving, all-just deity wouldn't allow a place like Hell to exist in the first place.
 

Kovy

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Time for a question of a theological nature. First of, I'm a convinced atheist. That being said, I find theology to be a very interesting subject nonetheless.

So, recently I've been thinking a bit about the concept of the Christian hell. More specifically about who (assuming that hell is a real place and that Christianity is right) would end up there, and most specifically of all if I would.

If I had at some point been brought into Christianity and had then denied God's existence it's probably not that hard to answer. I'd be taking the elevator downstairs when my time comes. However, I've never been a part of any church and haven't even been baptized.

I've heard it said many times that the unbaptized children go to Limbo rather than heaven or hell. And that from there on they need to find God to go on into heaven. I can't remember in what context I've heard that though, so anybody able to back that up would be welcome to do so.

If that is indeed correct, would it apply to me? I mean, I'm not a child. I'm (supposedly) an adult by now and one could argue that since I've had the chance to find and accept God in the time I've had on earth, I would go to hell, baptized or not.

What is Christianity's (I realize there might be several answers since there isn't not one universal form of Christianity) view on unbaptized heathens in general? What becomes of them?
Generally speaking, I (I am a baptized Catholic) think, like many other Christians do, that atheists can get into Heaven, as long as they live overall moral lives. As for getting into heaven, as long as people love their god, God treats it as loving Him (I think). Of course, being part of a religion might help, but as long as you live a good life you shouldn't go to Hell.

About Limbo: The belief in Limbo has been abandoned for years, at least in the Roman Catholic church, ever since Vatican II. We believe all dead babies and young children who are not baptized go to Heaven.

Skeeter: Generally speaking, the less you know about God or gods in general, the less is expected. So, people who have not heard of God go to heaven. Again, I believe that if you believe in any god at all, and you love him, God sees it as loving Him.

 
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I never said that I believe that Hell is a place where torture happens. In my opinion, Hell is being separated from God.
A niggle: this view of Hell is not only your opinion, this is religious canon.

On other quetion pops to my head too. What happens to people who never hear about Christianity? Are they doomed to hell? Because if they are, God's a mean tyrant.
Fundie friends of mine would say that God would seek you out and get the word to you. They (my fundamentalist friends) believe that the only path to salvation is through Christ, and that Hell is eternal separation from God.

A child-raping serial murderer apparently has a ticket to Heaven if they repent and agree that Jesus died for their sins and gave them grace.



Generally speaking, I (I am a baptized Catholic) think, like many other Christians do, that atheists can get into Heaven, as long as they live overall moral lives. As for getting into heaven, as long as people love their god, God treats it as loving Him (I think). Of course, being part of a religion might help, but as long as you live a good life you shouldn't go to Hell.

This view is, as far as I know, in diametric opposition to established teachings. The Nicean Creed (from, I think, Episcopal variants of Christianity) is there for a reason, and it pretty much says it all and lays it out.

If I am wrong here with respect to teachings, then (but for birth control and food restrictions ... and transubstantiation) I am as "close" to Catholicism as Pastafarianism.

This ("knowing" the Good and mis-labeling it as Allah, God, Muhammad, Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.) is something that I advocated quite vigorously with my Fundie friends, and it make them rather upset.

About Limbo: The belief in Limbo has been abandoned for years, at least in the Roman Catholic church, ever since Vatican II. We believe all dead babies and young children who are not baptized go to Heaven.
Excellent. I am so glad someone went here, because it's something that I'd wondered about for ... well, for as long as I've been thinking about it.

If our highest human goal is to give glory to God and know God ... and if acts of goodness include introducing others to His glory ... then why are all Catholics not abortion doctors? For instance, if I can send people to Heaven to eternally bask in God's presence, then haven't I done them a turn of the highest magnitude? A human who otherwise may now have known God now gets to be up-close-and-person for all eternity.
 

dinorider

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In this life you may be an athiest. Maybe it's your destiny in this life to learn what it is like to not have deep spiritual connections with the universe. Maybe in your next life you'll be a monk or a shaman or a parish priest.
While I've gotten the impression that you're a very wise person since I joined ADISC, I think that is a (in your case rarely) close minded thing of you to say.

It seems to be a common misconception that being an atheist, you can't have deep spiritual connections. I'd classify myself as a pretty spiritual person. I feel it through my love to family and friends. I feel it through the many arts that humans devote themselves to. I feel it when observing the beauty of the most common things in nature, despite thinking random chance is the reason for it being there. I don't feel a need to address the love and beauty of life to gods and goddesses. That doesn't mean they're not there for me.

I myself am an atheist as well, but I think the most common answer you'd get is: You can only go to hell once you've reached the "age of reason", which is different depending on the religion. So, if you're a baby and don't get baptized it's not your fault because you didn't know the consequences. But, one you've reached that magical age, it's bow down or burn! So in your case, I say I'll see you in hell for one awesome party. Why is it that all the coolest people end up in hell?

That is, of course, if you believe that you must be baptized to go to heaven. There are some versions of Christianity that don't hold to baptism.

It's all so convoluted isn't it?
That it is, but you're saying what I was pretty much thinking all along. That once you're old enough and have been informed of God, there's no reason for you not to accept him as your lord. It's another thing if you're a baby. It all makes sense, looking at it from a religious angle.

Still, I couldn't help but wonder what Christians think.

I promised myself that I would not discuss politics or religion...and now I'm gonna break that promise.

Please do not think that I am trying to push my beliefs on you because I'm very much and live and let die kind of person. That being said, I am a Christian. I worship at a Southern Baptist church. If you'd like to know more about that, check it out at sbc.net Do I believe every single detail that they claim? No.

So, in my opinion, baptism doesn't get you anywhere. That's just an act of worship and "obedience". Do I believe there is a Hell? Absolutely. Do I believe that "good" people go there? Absolutely. I believe the only way to not go to Hell is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Am I going to tell you that you're going to Hell? No way. Only God has the ability to judge people.

Probably not the answer that you are looking for, but that's the only way I know how to describe it.
Don't worry about pushing your beliefs. Since I asked the question I'm expecting answers. It's only natural that you tell me what you believe, even if it's me burning in hell for all eternity.

However, if there's an idea I can really appreciate when it comes to religion, it's the idea that mankind can't pass God's judgment. I mean, how could a human being tell somebody what an omnipotent God is going to decide?

Getting baptized or going to church on a regular basis does not make you a good christian just as walking into a garage doesn't make you a car. Those are some really stupid misconceptions about religion I think that nearly everyone belives since they are most likely misinformed about what they hear/know.

I have not been baptized and I don't go to church. I do believe in god and everything however I don't think you have to follow everyone else like your in a flock of sheep. Not to mention most people only go to church to feel good about themselves and do a "I am holier then thou!!" stance.

However if you don't belive in god, etc I do think you can or will go to hell. I don't mean that in a condemning way since that's surely not my area to judge. That's between you and god if he's real at all (not that I really doubt it at all).

As for what hell is like I am willing to bet it's different with each person. My version is just being in a bright medical white room with square foot tiles with enough lite you can see pretty damn far but you won't go blind. There are no doors and there's nothing but you.
If we agree that God knows everything about us, then I think your idea about a personal hell makes sense. To me the popular version of hell is really kind of (excuse me for saying it) stupid.

By that I mean that the idea of what hell is supposed to be like is so clearly man-made. Hell was though up in countries where heat is something bothersome. An inferno á la Dante was a as such made an extremely hot place. If we go back to old Norse mythology the cold was the issue. Thus, hell was an extremely cold and dark place. Heaven (Valhalla) on the other hand was a big hall filled with roaring fires.

If you are indeed meant to fear the concept of hell, there are plenty of places and scenarios that are more threatening to me than regular hell.

I never said that I believe that Hell is a place where torture happens. In my opinion, Hell is being separated from God.

I just refuse to take that "you going to Hell and I'm not" stance with people. I'm certainly not "holier than thou".
So, hell would just be a continuation of my life on earth?

On other quetion pops to my head too. What happens to people who never hear about Christianity? Are they doomed to hell? Because if they are, God's a mean tyrant. If they aren't, why the hell (pun intended) would you want to teach someone about christ? If that person rejects christianity due to your ineptitude at teaching, they're fried forever.
I would like to assume that somebody who has never heard of Christianity wouldn't go to hell. In the case that they are entirely oblivious about God, wouldn't he in all his love appear to them (or at least send an angel) to spread his word?

If God is loving, people who haven't heard of him can't go to hell. The opposite would be proven by those people having mass visits by someone/something showing them the truth.
 

Kovy

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This ("knowing" the Good and mis-labeling it as Allah, God, Muhammad, Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc.) is something that I advocated quite vigorously with my Fundie friends, and it make them rather upset.
That's my personal opinion. There are those who differ from this, in fact, many do. Some of my post was fact, that part was opinion, hence the disclaimer. But the part about limbo was fact.
 

dinorider

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Oh... I didn't mean to offend :)
No offense taken. I'm sure you didn't mean anything bad at all. That's just one of my few buttons on this subject. The idea that somebody can't be spiritual without a higher deity in their lives.

In turn, I didn't mean to offend you if that wasn't what you meant by your post.
 

Target

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Well, I can answer with a referral to Dante Alighieri's Divine Commedy.
In his book, Hell is located under the city of Jerusalem.
In the first book, Hell, he explain how hell is organized.
Above the hell's door there is written something like "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" (is a translation of the words "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate").

Hell starts in the 3rd "canto" when Dante himself with the latin poet Virgilio enters the hell's door.
Then the hell is organized in 9th circle, and every man that behaved bad during his life is positioned in a certain circle depending on his sins, and in every circle they suffer a different punishment that is releated to their sin (is called "law of counterpass" or something similar; "legge del contrappasso")
so the division is:
1st circle: Limbo --> unbaptized and pagans, they are forced to chase, naked, a flag without nothing on it followed by waspes that repeately stings them (in the iconography, the flag represent a "lack of faith"
2nd circle --> Lust, people are hit by a strong storm and there is no rest for them
3rd circle -->Gluttons, guarded by cerberus and forced to lie in a vile slush made by freezing rain, black snow, and hail.
4th circle --> Avaricious, guarded by plutus and forced to move heavy stones
5th circle --> Wrathful people fight each other on the surface, and the sullen or slothful lie gurgling beneath the water
6th circle --> Heretics, trapped in flaming tombs
7th circle --> housing the violent against people and property, suicidals (they becomes leafeless trees) and blasphemers
8th circle --> sins that involve conscious fraud or treachery.
9th circle --> Traitors (Cain, Antenor of Troy, Ptolemy the captain of Jericho and Judas)

a curios think, when the judgement day will come, everybody will get a new body to live with but suicidals: their body will hung from their trees.

so, following this scheme, looks like you'll end in the first circle ;P
 

dinorider

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Well, I can answer with a referral to Dante Alighieri's Divine Commedy.
In his book, Hell is located under the city of Jerusalem.
In the first book, Hell, he explain how hell is organized.
Above the hell's door there is written something like "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" (is a translation of the words "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate").

Hell starts in the 3rd "canto" when Dante himself with the latin poet Virgilio enters the hell's door.
Then the hell is organized in 9th circle, and every man that behaved bad during his life is positioned in a certain circle depending on his sins, and in every circle they suffer a different punishment that is releated to their sin (is called "law of counterpass" or something similar; "legge del contrappasso")
so the division is:
1st circle: Limbo --> unbaptized and pagans, they are forced to chase, naked, a flag without nothing on it followed by waspes that repeately stings them (in the iconography, the flag represent a "lack of faith"
2nd circle --> Lust, people are hit by a strong storm and there is no rest for them
3rd circle -->Gluttons, guarded by cerberus and forced to lie in a vile slush made by freezing rain, black snow, and hail.
4th circle --> Avaricious, guarded by plutus and forced to move heavy stones
5th circle --> Wrathful people fight each other on the surface, and the sullen or slothful lie gurgling beneath the water
6th circle --> Heretics, trapped in flaming tombs
7th circle --> housing the violent against people and property, suicidals (they becomes leafeless trees) and blasphemers
8th circle --> sins that involve conscious fraud or treachery.
9th circle --> Traitors (Cain, Antenor of Troy, Ptolemy the captain of Jericho and Judas)

a curios think, when the judgement day will come, everybody will get a new body to live with but suicidals: their body will hung from their trees.

so, following this scheme, looks like you'll end in the first circle ;P
The question is, would Limbo be the place where all the unbaptized people go? Or just the ones not guilty of being a heretic or blasphemer? I know I'm guilty of blasphemy without having begged God's forgiveness. Would I then, according to Dante, be saved from the 6th and/or 7th circles because of my lack of baptism? Taking into consideration that I know about Christianity and it's teachings, and has had a chance to seek God in my life because of it.

Also, what place does Dante's writings hold in the modern church(es)? Is it considered canon at all?
 
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