I do not usually form a reflection, devotion or piece of inspirational literature from something that is on my mind. In fact, I was triggered to write this on hearing a news item on television. So, it was something that was put on my mind…the news item and myself sort of converged and I was left with my thoughts.
My issue was to do with beliefs and how they are held. I understand why there is a move to moderate beliefs and teaching. It is because of violent extremism. I do not condone violence at all and it should be challenged.
What about any sort of wild belief of peaceful rational people that is not moderate or moderated? I am thinking of a belief in heaven and hell but held in a rational way that is non-violent and non-extreme. In fact, no one likes to think about going to hell. I don’t, but I have.
Such beliefs are roundly ridiculed but religions still teach it in rational, peaceful ways. Jesus even warned about hell and he was the most peaceful man who lived even sacrificing his own life for others.
So, what should happen to beliefs like heaven and hell and how heaven should be obtained if held in a rational, peaceful way? I guess this is the point of moving away from extremism to moderatism. Rational, peaceful individuals may still hold a strong belief rationally and peacefully without needing to change others, but just be able to present their beliefs out there and not hurt others. But where would one draw the line?
In terms of heaven and hell, there is the belief in such and telling others or warning others about hell and encourage on how to get to heaven. But there is the messenger’s own life in the spotlight as well. What is the messenger doing to keep on the road to heaven? This, indeed, is the question. For many can speak about it but also miss out.
In my experience, I have feared going to hell. But I also experienced the grace of Christ. Between these two extremes I have endeavored to follow and serve Christ in my life as it is. I am human, I am fragile, I am weak, but I am God’s, and stronger with Christ even though I am one of the chiefs of sinners…But I am getting better.
In terms of talking about heaven and hell — I would not like to give someone the impression they are going to hell, such a horrible, horrible place. I would not like to condemn someone with such a thought. Such a terrible thought. I would like to make sure I am living the life that gets me to heaven, with God as my helper. For such, there isn’t an opinion. Only one’s faith in Christ, which God accepts, and my life, which should not reflect violence.