Category Archives: Concepts to Think About

Did Judas go to Hell?

This quote was posted on Facebook by Stuart Richardson, a person I shared a class with. It is truly thought-provoking and fits with Good Friday, so here it is:

Many Christians believe in the existence of Hell, but most do not share a single concept of it. Some Christians believe that Hell is only for non-Christians; others have decided that it is only for “truly evil” people.

This leads me to my question: Is Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, in Hell?

First, we can affirm that Judas was a man and, therefore, was no greater than any other human.

Virtually all Christians accept that God is All-Knowing. Similarly, all Christians accept that God sent Jesus to die for the sins of humanity. In order for Jesus to die, someone had to betray him and someone had to execute him. If we acknowledge that God is All-Knowing, then he would have know who would betray and who would execute Jesus prior to that person being born. Thus, by allowing that person to be born, God understood that one day that person would become a betrayer or murderer, and as an unrepentant sinner, this person would one day die without the forgiveness of God. This leads us to a fundamental dilemma.

If we accept that Judas was deserving of Hell, then God essentially made a human who sole purpose was to be a sinner. The argument can be raised that Judas chose to betray Jesus on his own accord; however, it still remains that some had to betray Jesus at some point–someone had to sin. This means that God specifically created a human to be a sinner. This means that the distinction between sinner and saint is completely arbitrary and subject to God’s whim, which presents a theological impasse. There is absolutely nothing that a human can do to change his standing with God.

On the other hand, we can accept that Judas did not go to Hell. In most Christian circles, Judas is the prototypical “sinner.” So, if he didn’t go to Hell, then no one can go to Hell.

Since I believe that all life has meaning–which is given by God–then I cannot accept the former because it depicts a life that is void of meaning. The latter, however, depicts a life that overflowing with meaning. Therefore, it stands to reason that Hell cannot exist.

I have come to believe that people create their own living hells.

What do you think?

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Psychology of the Oreo Cookie

Two Oreos

Apparently, there is some psychology behind the way you eat an Oreo cookie. To learn what the method you use to eat an Oreo, choose one from this list:

  1. The whole thing at once.
  2. One bite at a time.
  3. Slow and methodical nibbles examining the results of each bite afterwards.
  4. In little feverous nibbles.
  5. Dunked in some liquid (milk, coffee, etc.).
  6. Twisted apart, the inside, then the cookie.
  7. Twisted apart, the inside, and toss the cookie.
  8. Just the cookie, not the inside.
  9. I just like to lick them, not eat them.
  10. I don’t have a favorite way because I don’t like Oreos.

Your personality:

1. The whole thing at once.

This means you consume life with abandon. You are fun to be with, exciting, and carefree with some hint of recklessness. You are totally irresponsible. No one should trust you with their children.

2. One bite at a time.

You are lucky to be one of the 5.4 billion other people who eat their Oreos this very same way. Just like them, you lack imagination, but that`s okay, not to worry, you`re normal.

3. Slow and methodical.

You follow the rules. You`re very tidy and orderly. You’re very meticulous in every detail with every thing you do to the point of being anal retentive and irritating to others. Stay out of the fast lane if you’re only going to go the speed limit.

4. Feverous nibbles.

Your boss likes you because you get your work done quickly. You always have a million things to do and never enough time to do them. Mental breakdowns run in your family. Valium and Ritalin would do you good.

5. Dunked.

Every one likes you because you are always up beat. You like to sugar coat unpleasant experiences and rationalize bad situations into good ones. You are in total denial about the shambles your life is in. You have a propensity towards narcotic addiction.

Dunk the Oreo

6. Twisted apart, the inside, and then the cookie.

You have a highly curious nature. You take pleasure in breaking things apart to find out how they work, though not always able to put them back together, so you destroy all the evidence of your activities. You deny your involvement when things go wrong. You are a compulsive liar and exhibit deviant, if not criminal, behavior.

7. Twisted apart, the inside, and then toss the cookie.

You are good at business and take risk that pay off. You take what you want and throw the rest away. You are greedy, selfish, mean, and lack feelings for others. You should be ashamed of yourself. But that`s ok, you don`t care, you got yours.

8. Just the cookie, not the inside.

You enjoy pain.

9. I just like to lick them, not eat them.

Stay away from small furry animals and seek professional medical help – immediately.

10. I don’t have a favorite way because I don’t like Oreo cookies.

You probably come from a rich family, and like to wear nice things, and go to up-scale restaurants. You are particular and fussy about the things you buy, own, and wear. Things have to be just right. You like to be pampered. You are a prima donna. There`s just no pleasing you.

I was asked by some of you which category I fit into. I eat my oreo cookies in a slow and methodical fashion. Yes, the description for No. 3 does match my personality.

Sacraments: Matrimony

In Catholicism, there are seven sacraments. One of these sacraments is matrimony. We also know about their celibate clergy. The clergy are supposed to be closest to God and are expected to go to heaven for being holy men and women. If this is true, then the clergy should be following all of the sacraments. This makes me wonder: How can we say that the clergy are essentially guaranteed to go to heaven, when (in the Catholic faith) they are celibate and one of the sacraments is matrimony? They can’t ever participate. Please feel free to comment.

Where are the female apostles?

“Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was not married and the Catholic Church, by far the largest in Christendom, says women cannot become priests because Christ chose only men as his apostles.” ~ Naomi O’Leary. ‘Gospel of Jesus’ Wife’ papyrus is a fake fragment, Vatican says. (28 Sept. 2012) MSN.

I find the Catholic Church’s reasoning behind having only male priests is ridiculous. I’m fully aware that doctrine and interpretations of the New Testament only name male apostles, but I still see room for doubt when it comes to only male apostles. How do we really know if Jesus only had male apostles? Isn’t it possible that there were female apostles?

I have to say that the women mentioned frequently in the biblical stories (Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, etc.) were around often and long enough that they could be considered apostles. If there was ever a written record of female apostles, it didn’t fit the social rules of women. It’s very probable that if there were any female apostles, they were stricken from written record because the men couldn’t be nearly as domineering.

Even if only male apostles was a 100% fact, that doesn’t mean women can’t teach or lead churches. Women teach their children. There is no reason to believe that women can’t teach the doctrine of a religion or their own spiritual beliefs.

I have never found citing only men being named apostles as a reason for why a woman couldn’t be a priest(ess), minister, pastor, or some other church leader. Find a new reason that is valid. We don’t live in a world where one sex is better than the other. Men and women are equal, especially in God’s eyes.

Morning Sunlight

There’s something about the morning sunlight. It isn’t harsh and oppressive. It isn’t even hot outside yet. It’s out at the perfect time of the day. Being in it makes me believe what the scientists say, that we need to be awake in the mornings. Even if some of us are night owls, early birds are getting the benefits of the sun. While I enjoy this beautiful morning sunlight, I’ll leave you with two poems I found about the sun.

Rising Sun

By: Aftab Alam Khursheed

See the Sun
‘Tis bakers’ bun
A crimson red
With the silky thread
To climb the fate
For the crispy bread
‘Tis natures pun
For everyone
Just see the sun
A rising sun

Clear dirty gun
It reduces ton
Birds sing and peep
A new life to keep
A melodious song
To get out of sleep
Come on, one by one
Say, it is done
Just see the sun
A rising sun

Early rise and run
Do pray and turn
See the greeting dew
Torn fate it sew
To make a fresh
A branded new
Never shun for fun
There’s loser none
Just see the sun
A rising sun

I Need The Sun

By: Monciana Edmondson

I need the sun
I need fun
No sun no fun
Did you use a gun
To kidnap the sun
My mood is in the slum
I move through the day like a bum
Slowly the grey skies boldly
Hold hostage the very source of my energy
Grey skies sapping me like kryptonite
Getting out of a bed is a fight
Cloudy days, my blight
The sun is needed to ignite
The process that fosters the explosion of spring life
Each day with no sun cuts me like a knife
But no death comes, each day with no sun just pain and strife.

You Belong to the Land

When the colonists and eventually Americans started settling on more and more American soil, they got into fights and battles with Native Americans. There was tribal land, but the point was that you can’t really own the land. Land does not belong to us, we belong to it.

Our blood returns to the sea, when we die. Man was made from dust and clay. When we die, our bodies turn back into dust, dirt, and clay. This wouldn’t happen if we owned land. Mother Earth claims our bodies, we don’t claim her.

Are you a Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime?

This is very true. Friends are either there for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

Life Lessons

I just got back from attending a farewell party for a good friend of mine who will be working in Africa for at least one year. We met at work over fifteen years ago and have been friends ever since. We’ve been there for eachother through good times, and not so good times — divorce, marriage, raising kids, moves, illness, and job changes. Even though she will be living far away, I know we will keep in contact. I consider her a lifetime friend. Thinking of her leaving reminded me of all the moving around I did as a military brat. I was always leaving friends or getting left because they moved. It was never easy, and it didn’t get easier as time went by. There were always tears, followed by sadness, and sometimes just a deep feeling of lonliness. You keep in contact for awhile and then one day…

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If you were right with God, bad things wouldn’t happen to you . . . right?

If you talk to some people, they will tell you that bad things wouldn’t happen to you if you were right with God. This makes me want to know: does this mean that nothing bad ever happens to them? That doesn’t make any sense. Bad things are going to happen whether or not you are “right with God.”

People learn from negative things happening in their lives. The whole point of being on Earth is to learn. If you have nothing to learn, why are you still here?

Let’s look at some biblical sources to prove the point that bad things will happen anyway. The main reason I’m using the Bible in this argument is that I have really only heard this from some of the branches of Christianity.

Let’s look at the Book of Job. As the story begins, Job is one of the wealthiest and most prosperous men on the face of the earth. He fears God and lives an upright life during the ancient patriarchal period in the land of Uz (region of northern Arabia). God allows Satan to test Job’s righteousness with various trials. All of Job’s possessions and his children were destroyed. When this happens, Job does not curse God. Instead, he praises the Lord, Job 1:21 (KJV):

And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Job endures more calamities at the hand of Satan, ones that don’t end his life but are still difficult to deal with. His three friends come to console him. He does eventually curse the day that he was born, though. God finally interrupts, calling from a whirlwind and demanding Job to be brave and respond to his questions. God’s questions are rhetorical, intending to show how little Job knows about creation and how much power God alone has. God describes many detailed aspects of his creation, praising especially his creation of two large beasts, the Behemoth and Leviathan. Overwhelmed by the encounter, Job acknowledges God’s unlimited power and admits the limitations of his human knowledge. After all of this, God restores Job’s health, possessions, gives him new children and a very long life.

This is one of the biggest examples in the Old Testament/Tanakh about how even the righteous suffer. What lessons can we take from this story? Here are a few:

  1. It’s beyond the human ability to understand all of the reasons behind all of the suffering in the world, even though we really do want to know.
  2. The wicked will receive their just dues.
  3. Suffering may sometimes be allowed in our lives to purify, to test, to teach, or to strengthen the soul by showing us that when we have lost everything and only God remains, that God remaining is enough.

One more example that we can take is from the New Testament. Jesus did suffer and, as Christians, we tend to accept that this was necessary. There are countless accounts of his suffering, including his crucifixion. All of it had to happen for us and himself. It did everything in the third lesson, above.

We know that suffering exists. In fact, negative things will happen to us regardless of how righteous we are. There are examples throughout the Bible. The reason suffering exists is usually to teach us something or to get us to a new point in our lives. It helps us fulfill our life’s purpose on this earth. Bad things will happen, but so will good things. Have a blessed day everybody!

Thrown Under the Bus

Genesis is about the creation of the world and time. Chapter 1 and 2 include creating the world and creating the first two humans. Chapter 3 is what is going to be talked about. It’s also known as “The Fall of Man.”

Let’s start by reading the story. Most of you already know it, so you can bear with me or skip the story. I have bolded some parts of the story. Here it is, quoted from the King James Version (Genesis 3:1-24):

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Now let’s look at the bolded parts. These are Genesis 3:8-13 and Genesis 3:16-17.

Genesis 3:8-13 is when God questions Adam about why they were hiding. Right in Genesis 3:12, Adam throws Eve under the bus. He puts all of the blame on her in an attempt to get off scott-free. This is the first time someone gets thrown under the bus (or anything is sacrificed).

Genesis 3:16-17 describes Eve’s and some of Adam’s punishments. Eve gets the worst punishment (not counting the serpent).

This was the first time a sacrifice happened. Of course, it was started by Adam. Adam should have taken more responsibility for his actions. He didn’t have to eat the fruit. He could have said no. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t.

A message to everyone: Own up to what you have said and done. Just because it’s easy to put the blame somewhere else, doesn’t mean it’s right. You’ll be better off, in the long run, if you take responsibility.

Names Bible Code: Adam to Jesus

I found this on YouTube. It is very cool to see what message we can get from looking at the meanings of these names in the Bible. I did not make this video. The YouTube user who posted this is 777Shekel777. They posted this on February 27, 2010. It is 4 minutes long. Enjoy!