If You Want To Go To Heaven You Won’t
If you’re a Christian because you want to go to heaven, you’re not.
By that I mean:
- You’re not going to heaven
- You’re not a Christian
You’re not going to heaven because you’re a selfish bastard.
You’re a selfish bastard because you do not hunger and thirst after righteousness.
Oh, I know you think you do, but you don’t.
You hunger and thirst over saving your fat ass, keeping your feet out of the fire, dodging the bullet with your name on it.
You hunger and thirst for comfort, specifically your comfort, the kind of comfort that comes from not giving a rat’s ass about anyone or anything else.
The kind of comfort that comes not from thinking or subjecting your life to relentless self-inspection but from just mindlessly following orders.
Stop lying and claiming you care about others!
You follow a bunch of tribal taboos / jump through a bunch of cultural hoops not because you love justice and mercy and compassion, but because you want to be rewarded.
If some preacher-man could convince you that God wants you to rape babies or you won’t go to heaven, most of you would.
Especially if the babies are from their group (whoever “they” might be at any given moment).
You follow the letter of the law -- rather, you say you follow the letter -- but the spirit of the law does not possess you.
Enough of words. Actions speak louder than.
And your actions speak -- shout -- SCREAM!!! selfishness and self-centeredness.
Astute readers will note the overlap between white supremacy and fundamentalist / literalist Christianity*: Both groups define themselves by whom they exclude, not whom they include.
The “Christianists” (to use Andrew Sullivan’s phrase) want the rewards of living a Christ-like life, but they don’t want to actually live that life.
That’s why they’re so big on forgiveness…for themselves.
They’ll fnck you over six ways from sundown, but then have their weepy come-to-Jesus-moment and loudly / proudly proclaim God has forgiven them and that you should, too (and that means forget their highly visible and well documented patterns of behavior).
But forgive someone else?
Especially one of them?!?!?
Oh, hell, no…
That’s the kneeslapper, isn’t it?
Demand they obey the rules…
…but break those rules yourself…
…and say God is okay with that…
…and expect to be rewarded
with heaven for doing so!
Jesus never taught
“follow the rules”
Quite the contrary.
On more than one occasion he violated Levitical law by healing on the Sabbath, blessing lepers, visiting unclean Samaritans and gentiles, etc., etc., and of course, etc.
And he red-assed the priesthood that piled those laws on the common Jewish believer, making their lives virtually unlivable -- without the expensive soul-cleansing available only through the temple, of course (follow the money, folks).
He didn’t spend a lot of time talking about going to heaven, either.
Rather, he seemed focused more on the here-and-now.
He taught “the kingdom of God is at hand”.
The people he taught were those seeking how to live better.
Specifically, how to live more righteously.
And that doesn’t mean “Who can follow the most taboos / jump through the most hoops.”
It means the people pulled towards being the salt of the earth.
To living justly with others.
To making this world a better place for others simply by being in it.
Look at Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats.
The sheep are astonished to be rewarded. “When did we ever do anything for you, Jesus?”
You did it to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me. Thank you, and welcome in…
The goats are even more astonished to be excluded. “When did we ever deny you anything, Jesus?”
Every time you refused to help / feed / comfort / love my brothers and sisters.
Catch the difference?
Those who follow Christ aren’t following him consciously.
They live righteously because that’s how they are oriented.
They are following him because he teaches righteousness.
They don’t live righteously because they follow him.
The Christianists want a quid pro quo:
“If I do A, I want you to do B.”
Quid pro quo?
Quid pro no go
is more like it.
© Buzz Dixon
* I use the term “literalist” instead of “fundamentalist” or “inerrantist” because despite overlaps in those groups, “literalism” is not the same thing as “fundamentalism” or “inerrancy”. Fundamentalism means a return to the basic teachings of any given faith, stripping away interpretations and cultural overlays it has acquired. Inerrancy is a specifically Christian term meaning the core teachings of the Bible are without error regardless of any textual discrepancies that might creep in (i.e., it is always right to love others, though the exact manner of how that love is shown may be debated). Literalism means every single word in the Bible as understood by whoever is making the claim is literally true even if it contradicts the core teachings and / or other parts of the Bible.