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On ‎4‎/‎16‎/‎2011 at 6:38 AM, johniam said:

It must have been in about 1976,77,78...not sure... a group of Way Corps stayed with FellowLaborers one weekend on their way to some work assignment. They were all fired up about some new teaching that was being done for the Corps about eternal rewards and crowns or trophies at the Bema or some such thing.

If so, it probably stemmed from something LCM was into or working on.  Who's thoughts on the matter, by the way, were subsequently challenged by mrs. vpw during one of the research fellowship meetings some number of years later.  She was right.  He was wrong.  It was plainly evidently.  But it was never acknowledged, nothing ever came of it, the whole thing was quietly swept under the rug... and things continued on as if nothing happened.  But, don't mistakenly think that "everyone" in TWI (especially some of those in the research dept) were all in perfect alignment and harmony when it came to what was being taught in the ministry about crowns and rewards. 

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If so, it probably stemmed from something LCM was into or working on.  Who's thoughts on the matter, by the way, were subsequently challenged by mrs. vpw during one of the research fellowship meetings

Pascal's Wager Wiki article Recommend book on cult life Quick overview:

I go with Paul's sentiments ... if the dead be not raised, let's eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Thankfully, there is eternal life.

1 hour ago, TLC said:

Seriously?  No offense, but IF there's nothing beyond the grave (which is akin to no resurrection, and no Christ) then I actually think I'd prefer to have never lived.  Because apart from God and Christ, I honestly just don't see the point of it.

Then I have no doubt that the world would be as it was in the days of Noah

 

I was commenting on what Waysider initially posited in the first post “So.... what if the batteries weren't included? What if everything about Christianity remained the same EXCEPT for the afterlife part? (ie: No promise of an afterlife, just things that apply to life in the here and now.) Is/was that a "deal breaker" as they say? “ I guess there’s a lot of leeway on how to pare down Christianity since Waysider did not detail out a bunch of parameters.

Quite simply for this hypothetical musing I only ignored what I know of the afterlife from a biblical perspective – that did NOT eliminate God or Christ – but that’s just the way I understood his question. And maybe that’s why I did not have such a dismal response.

And again it’s just hypothetical...perhaps there might be some tendency in a certain flavor of a Christian mindset to view this life as a dress rehearsal for the next life - that the next life is the real deal.

jumping out of this hypothetical idea for a moment - i do sometimes wonder about the bigger picture - I do believe this life is just as important. There's enough passages that seem to indicate to me one's eternal destiny is determined here and now - the quality of one's eternal state is determined here and now.

And in trying to be consistent with the way I thought this through on a practical level I would have to disagree with your other statement “Then I have no doubt that the world would be as it was in the days of Noah “ ; no – because Jesus Christ came into the world and died for our sins, the day of Pentecost, birth of the church, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, yada yada yada – so it’s not the same conditions as in Noah’s time.

I would think even from an anthropological / sociological point of view and considering the trend toward globalization there are quite a few factors to differentiate us from such a barbaric era. ...well…again this is merely a discussion of a hypothetical situation as far as traditional Christianity goes.

It is odd to have to ignore passages like II Corinthians 5 – we live by faith and not by sight and to skip over things like store up for yourselves treasures in heaven in Matthew 6 – but I sort of looked at the idea that Waysider posed as a challenge to see the immediacy of Christianity – for in the same chapter of Matthew the Lord instructs us to pray give us today our daily bread and further in the passage he says do not worry about tomorrow.

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Semi-digression:

Sometimes, I think about "language barriers." Those are where people don't share a language in common. In some cases, the confusion is in the lack of a corresponding word, a word that conveys the EXACT same thing.  So, it's really an IDEA barrier.    When it comes to idea barriers, I often think that when people "get" each other, very few words of an explanation need be given-if any explanation need be given at all. (Consider the married couple who automatically act to work on the same thing before one asks the other to do so...)    When trying to explain how people seem UNABLE to understand each other, I sometimes rely on the AD&D Alignment Graph. This works for me, sometimes, when simply referring to 2 people's possible "alignments"-with that left as the end of the sentence and explaining why they don't understand each other.

You can draw the graphic yourself, with a box of 9 squares, with space to write in each square, as well as above and below the set of 9 boxes.  Ok, once you draw the 9 equal boxes, write "GOOD" above the top, "EVIL" below the bottom, "LAWFUL" along the left, and "CHAOTIC" along the right.  Next, to the 9 boxes.  The upper left box is LAWFUL GOOD, the upper right box is "CHAOTIC GOOD." The lower left box is "LAWFUL EVIL," and the lower right box is "CHAOTIC EVIL." The upper middle box is "NEUTRAL GOOD." The lower middle box is "NEUTRAL EVIL." The leftmost middle box is "LAWFUL NEUTRAL." The rightmost middle box is "CHAOTIC NEUTRAL." (The center square is "True Neutral", which I think works in fiction but not so much in reality.) 

Lawful Goods think that the greatest benefit to the greatest number lies in following the rules and laws, which are made for their benefit and should be amended if that is not the case.  Think Superman and Captain America.    Neutral Goods think that the greatest benefit to the greatest number can sometimes lie with the rules-but if not, look the other way and get the job done outside the rules. Think classic Star Trek's James T Kirk (not the Abrams version.)  Chaotic Goods think freedom means someone is freer to do good, and laws only shackle the ability to help.  Think Robin Hood.     Lawful Neutrals live according to an order and organization, and think that's more important than anything else in conduct. Think Jean-Luc Picard or Frank Martin the Transporter.  Chaotic Neutrals think only about themselves and their personal freedom, and avoid all rules if they can. Think Jack Sparrow.   Lawful Evils think of power, and rely on "the system" to work to their benefit. Think Saruman of Lord of the Rings, or Darth Vader or Emperor Palpatine (once he was Emperor.)  Neutral Evils don't care about rules or ignoring them-so long as they benefit.  Think Jafar from Disney's Aladdin.  Chaotic Evils think of nothing but their personal freedom and using that to seize advantages over others, or doing them harm.  Think Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Gollum.    

In those cases, ideas can be opaque when viewed from other parts of the graph. A Lawful Evil and a Neutral Good, for example, may not even be able to PICTURE how each other think, let alone empathize or agree.  I tend to use that when explaining fiction-but people often think so differently that the same can be said of them.  I've seen posters here (no current ones come to mind)  that posted in discussions only to try to "trap"(their term) others in trick questions and score points in discussion- not to exchange ideas or put forth the most convincing position.  I totally don't get that- and they obviously posted from a perspective elsewhere on the graph from me.   Other people, I can understand even when I disagree-and that's possibly because I can understand their positions better-are we less far away on the graph? (Depends.) ''

 

 

I got to thinking about it because I had an "obvious" (it was obvious to my thinking, which meant it was almost automatic)  that there's an "obvious" answer to "why bother if there's no afterlife and there's only this life."  Any "Lawful" might see a benefit to all from helping to keep society as a whole, and any "Good" might say that doing good for others and making their lives  better is a goal in itself and a worthy accomplishment whether or not there's treasures in Heaven for it.  It's just as "obvious" to some other people, I'd expect, that my points were useless nonsense. Well, it all depends on your place in the "idea spectrum." 

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1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

if a person joined Gamblers Anonymous - they'd have no fun now and have nothing to look forward to in the future.

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On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 6:40 PM, T-Bone said:

Quite simply for this hypothetical musing I only ignored what I know of the afterlife from a biblical perspective – that did NOT eliminate God or Christ – but that’s just the way I understood his question. And maybe that’s why I did not have such a dismal response.

Well, without the afterlife (aka, resurrection), Christ has no meaning and just doesn't make any sense to me.  However, if the intent is to consider life from a perspective that doesn't eliminate Jesus (his life in the flesh), that's different.

On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 6:40 PM, T-Bone said:

jumping out of this hypothetical idea for a moment - i do sometimes wonder about the bigger picture - I do believe this life is just as important. There's enough passages that seem to indicate to me one's eternal destiny is determined here and now - the quality of one's eternal state is determined here and now.

Nixing the "just as," I do think this life is important, and agree with your last statement.

On ‎2‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 6:40 PM, T-Bone said:

I would think even from an anthropological / sociological point of view and considering the trend toward globalization there are quite a few factors to differentiate us from such a barbaric era

There's no question that technologically there have been significant gains that unquestionably allow more leisure time to the average person.  But morally and ethically?  Seems I'm not so sure.  Might depend on what era of history things are compared to, what things or issues are compared, and what we actually do (and don't) know about them.  Is our IQ higher now than it was 2 thousand years ago?  Is our world less "at war" and is there less global terrorism now then there was then?  What weapons of mass destruction did they have or use? Did they have or use biological weapons?  

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28 minutes ago, TLC said:

What weapons of mass destruction did they have or use?

The greatest WMD of all time is...famine. Famines don't coincidentally happen because there is a shortage of food. They are executed in calculated fashion. They're not destined to go out of style in any of the foreseeable future. That is why the way we live and cooperate in the immediate present is vital to the survival of mankind. The afterlife takes a back seat when your belly is empty.

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56 minutes ago, waysider said:

The greatest WMD of all time is...famine. Famines don't coincidentally happen because there is a shortage of food. They are executed in calculated fashion. They're not destined to go out of style in any of the foreseeable future. That is why the way we live and cooperate in the immediate present is vital to the survival of mankind. The afterlife takes a back seat when your belly is empty.

Recommended Book on Hunger Link

Is it being assumed that the afterlife, including via Christ, is the only path to eternal life?

 

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1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

Recommended Book on Hunger Link

Is it being assumed that the afterlife, including via Christ, is the only path to eternal life?

 

Within the context and relevance of this thread, that would be the assumption. I might add, though, that I've been using "afterlife" in a rather generic sense, meaning a life of some sort that follows the life we currently experience as humans. In that sense, the broader concept is certainly worthy of discussion, though perhaps not in this thread.

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The context I think was why Christianity, and pointed to an afterlife as a motive to be Christian.  This is an old thread and context might be lost.  Christianity as I understood it had me begging that there was no afterlife.  If Christianity had nothing to offer in this life, what cold possibly be imagined in an afterlife that is worthwhile?

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Briefly: Eternal life/afterlife/hereafter (phrase it as you wish.) is considered a key element of Christianity. Other religions have similar concepts, too, but we are limiting this discussion to Christianity because The Way is associated with Christianity, in particular.

 

If this component of Christianity were somehow removed, how would that affect you in a day-to-day sense? Would you still feel compelled to follow The Golden Rule, for example, simply because you deem it the right thing to do?

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I know I make day-to-day decisions based on where I want to be 10, 30, 50 years from now.  If I thought I would cease to exist in 6 months, would I make different day-to-day decisions?  Yes.  Would those decisions involve starting riots and getting even and taking advantage of others and such?  No.

When I was Christian (of the Wayfer flavor), my decisions were subject to someone else.  They would have made me aware of what to feel, think, and respond in such a scenario.  After all, God is in charge.  If there's no afterlife, that is what's right.

 

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6 minutes ago, Rocky said:

By whom?

If you are referring the first line. . . by the poster.  I liked it, it changed my perceptions.  Maybe others won't like it.

If you are referring to the second . . . the general impression of the thread . . . In The Way's Christianity, all things will one day die.  Everything.  Next comes resurrections.  Hence "after-life".  Leaves out life without ever dying.  I was just trying to clarify.  

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4 minutes ago, Bolshevik said:

If you are referring the first line. . . by the poster.  I liked it, it changed my perceptions.  Maybe others won't like it.

If you are referring to the second . . . the general impression of the thread . . . In The Way's Christianity, all things will one day die.  Everything.  Next comes resurrections.  Hence "after-life".  Leaves out life without ever dying.  I was just trying to clarify.  

"It is being assumed..." by whom? Just asked for clarification.

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Waysider and all, sorry about the philosophical digression – and  WordWolf thanks for the “idea barriers” info; straying from the first post as much as I did got me into thinking on a broader scale (hence the Lennon song Imagine).

I’ve thought about this a few times today (and especially in light of my current reading project on WWI) – and mind you, again this is just silly hypothetical stuff - - - seeing how I’m such a weenie about death (I’m against it and would really like to live as long as I can :rolleyes: ) even though I do have the Christian hope of an afterlife - - - I got to thinking that (super-duper-silly-hypothetically- speaking, of course :rolleyes: ) if everyone really believed that all we had was the here and now – life might be viewed as a very precious thing – wonder if we’d have less wars…or no wars at all…I dunno…just wondering.

Another thing - honestly I am struck by the difficulty in imagining Christianity without an afterlife - since it's such an integral part of my beliefs - to remove it is like yanking out one of my lungs! But again - this has been an exercise in a hypothetical "deal". Not sure if anyone thought it would be enacted by God as an addendum - or supplemental clause added later - God taking back or nixing the afterlife "program" and then saying "do you still what to be a Christian?" .....In the scenario of the first post - I assumed the afterlife was never there to begin with - God never mentioned it...That's where I was coming from in my response....sorry for any confusion I've generated.

 

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37 minutes ago, johniam said:

I go with Paul, also. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christians are the biggest suckers on the planet. (1 cor 15 paraphrased).

Here's what it says in verse 19:   "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

It says nothing about being "the biggest suckers on the planet". Yeah, I know, you're paraphrasing. The thing is, when you paraphrase something, you are obligated to retain the intended essence. Otherwise, you're not paraphrasing, you're simply giving an opinion.

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3 minutes ago, johniam said:

All that is irrelevant. I answered your question.

You answered my question by intentionally misrepresenting a section of scripture . That in itself is extremely relevant and telling.

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On 4/14/2011 at 10:53 AM, OldSkool said:

Considering VPW's history of women, brandy, and abuses I guess he did have "the best time."

Yes, that is true. If VPW was alive today, I think his azz would be in prison. I don't know what the worse prison in the country is, but Victor Bernard would be his cell mate.  Creeps!!

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