Originally posted by ahnggk
Nearly all Christians will go to Hell!!
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his
angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you
did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
Well, from the Protestant perspective, saying that people will go to hell for not doing good works is an invalid statement, and, even for Catholics
and Orthodox, using this as a reference is a bit problematic, because how much is enough? If you feed one hungry guy, once, does that satisfy
Christ's challenge? The bit about the "rich young man" seems to be more a matter of Christ demonstrating that, for him, wealth was his god, in
that he preferred it to following Christ.
Personally, I think that it is all about mindset. Yes, if a Christian is constantly seeking wealth, and hoarding it, this would be indicative of the
person who probably exemplifies "the love of money is the root of all evil". But if a person lives their life, keeps God at the fore, and is
charitable to the best of their abilities, I think that's more what God expects, as opposed to living ascetically and giving every dime you earn
away. That would be admirable, but I'm not sure that it's necessary (and, again, if one is a Protestant, it is absolutely not necessary.)
Perhaps this can best be expressed through a personal anecdote. I do pretty well, money wise, and over the years, I developed a bit of a detached view
of it -- I could spend a couple hundred dollars on a meal without thinking too much of it. Then my wife passed away, I had a lot less things to spend
money on, and I just started giving it away. You should see my mailbox -- every day there's at least one fund raising letter from someone that I've
given money to in the past, asking for more. Everyone from Habitat for Humanity to the Humane Society to a variety of religious and military support
But my favourite charity is called Compassion International
, which is a Christian group that operates centers in
Third World countries and allows you to sponsor children that go to them. The kids write you letters, you write back, and the money that you pay every
month goes to support the centers, providing the kids with food and education. (For the inevitable complaint that I'm "promoting Christianity" --
save it, I know full well what I'm doing.)
Every time that you write the kids a letter, you have the opportunity to send them some extra money, which goes directly to them, rather than the
center, and this spring, I sent $100 to each of the two boys in Bolivia that I sponsor for Easter. I received a letter and picture back from one of
them a couple of weeks ago, and the picture was of him and his Mom, and massive amounts of food and goods that they'd bought with the hundred bucks,
along with a nice set of clothes for him.
That picture meant more to me than anything I'd whizzed away $100 on in the past, because, while to me, that amount of money was almost irrelevant,
for them, it was significant. That, I think, is where God's grace comes in and transforms us. He blessed me with the skills that have allowed me to
earn a good income, and the grace of charity that makes giving it away such a good experience. In that way, this boy and his family in, effectively,
another world, find their lives improved by someone who loves them just as people, not for any reason beyond that.
We, all of us, can better the world one life at a time, but we should start with changing our hearts to welcoming the grace of charity, rather than
doing it out of fear that we'll be "going to hell" for not giving away enough.