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Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven

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posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:19 AM
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wrabbit2000
The whole basis for the RCC, historically, has been exclusionary, NOT inclusive. Those who submit, get included. Those who do not? Well.... Suntan lotion and ice cubes. Bring lots of both to the next life. lol...

So again, while I might agree with the sentiment (and I cannot express how SICK I am of being told I'm going to Hell as a Wiccan because I don't take Christianity as my life Faith), I don't necessarily want to see one of the single largest Faiths in the world today fall apart, either. Especially when, outside the developed world? The RCC values and lifestyle guide people at 80% rates or higher among general populations. If that falters or fails...what replaces it for values to those people?


I have NO idea what kind of wiccan you are if you are so "concerned" about the fate of the RCC. To be honest, i could care less if the the RCC, the institution of the RCC that is, "falls apart". There is so much wrong with this organization that it would actually be a good thing.

Your problem with the Pope...is a mysterium as well since I don't remember ever a pope having said anything more true - as opposed to echoing stupid dogmas instated by the RCC ORGANIZATION.

You still believe that an almighty god "forbids" anyone to heaven because he doesn't adhere to the teachings of the RCC...maybe even if he/she, for what reason ever, would not even believe in a god? My own idea of a god is an entirely different one as opposed to a judging, angry guy having nothing to do than punishing and judging all day long as told by fundamentalists or some christians.

I think you are wrong postulating a "falling apart" when 2000 year old dogmas (most of them nonsensical or simply wrong or just made-up) are SLOWLY, but gradually be changed...when the RCC, in part, adopts more modern views, including more spiritual ones. It's a GOOD thing.

What question is that "what replaces it for values"? Maybe REAL values, for a change, outside the dusty dogmas of the RCC...maybe REAL values where the religion and the idea of a god is a MORE POSITIVE ONE as opposed to the "scary tales" about judgement, tribulations etc. and other nonsense preached which is entirely non-constructive and ONLY negative, in a literally sense.

Maybe this pope is the first one in ages which actually has the guts to get back to the roots, telling what this faith is really about (or at least once was about before the RCC made an abomination of it). Whether some fundamentalists "don't like it"...I could care less.




posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:31 AM
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reply to post by wrabbit2000
 


Okay, so this pope, who according to some lines of thought might be the last pope, comes out and acknowledges a new age idea. God is all forgiving. Seeking god is a inner desire and not one to be judged by mans cute symbolism and customs, in which one must repent to that god and feel guilty for living life as a sinner. If this story is true, it is the beginning of the destruction of man's establishment of church. Church is inside your heart. It is your relationship with god. This popes comments are right on the money. No matter if you know the name of god, as churches will tell you, if you have a personal relationship with god that is all that matters.

For many religions they believe God is so vain that he would have you call his name in a certain fashion, and to be guilt riddled by everything you do. If one is of the Christian faith, Jesus died to save the world from sin, that we shall know no sin, and that we shall not weep or feel guilty for we have a renewed life in Jesus. But therein lays a fallacy. Should we feel guilty of our sinful nature, if we have already been saved by the death of Jesus. To overcome this world, we must come to the realization that we have all sinned, and there is sin in our hearts. But through a true relationship with God and forgiveness of others we will not be bound to allow that sinful nature to influence our thoughts or actions.

Bravo to the Pope for this comment and I shall watch for more revelations to transpire.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:32 AM
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reply to post by NoRulesAllowed
 


Yikes.... Relax a bit there, and I say that kindly, not harshly, in seeing your Mini-date and realizing you are kinda new on here. The hard core combative approach isn't necessary...and heck, I thought I'd contribute the story to the community for general discussion. It seems a valid and very interesting topic, given context within all other events in the world today. Little, if anything is happening in isolation on the international level right now, I firmly believe. So, everything like this can or does have tie ins to other places within the big picture. The challenge, is figuring out how, where and if it really matters to make a mental note of.

To clarify though.. I have no personal problem with the Pope or the RCC. This isn't a 'personal' kind of issue, for me anyway.

I obviously didn't choose the Church as my personal faith and as to 'what kind' of Wiccan I am? I'm the kind that isn't going to engage in a long adversarial discussion about my own personal Faith. On the individual level, it is a personal thing beyond what each chooses to share about themselves. Questioning that on the individual and personal level seems...needlessly provocative?

If the RCC takes on the positions it is, and it leads to a good outcome? All the better. After all, when talking about nations that follow the RCC closely? Mexico, our direct land neighbor, is VAST majority Roman Catholic. So it certainly is more than a passing interest or point of trivial interest....tho not a personal one.

Ultimately, this is but another piece to a very large puzzle which folks around here have been tinkering with putting together for a long long time now. One of these days, we'll all separately bring enough pieces to the table to form something usable......or so I think most of us are hoping, as we keep digging and sharing.
edit on 12-9-2013 by wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:41 AM
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As others have stated, this statement of Pope Francis is in line with the teaching of the church, because what it teaches is that God saves you, and who he saves is up to him, it's not up to the church, it's not up to some human being, it's up to God.

What the church teaches is that God is merciful, he can save whomever he wants to save, and only those who know that Christ is their salvation and intentionally reject him will be condemned, because that's what they want.

The interesting thing about Pope Francis is that almost everything that he's done and said, like this, or the bit about gay priests last month, or washing the feet of the Muslim girl during Lent, are things that any Pope in the past could have said or done, because they are all in line with church teaching, but didn't. He's a great communicator and a great example for all of us Catholics, but he's not doing anything that any of us shouldn't have been doing all along.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 08:45 AM
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wrabbit2000
reply to post by seagull
 
The RCC values and lifestyle guide people at 80% rates or higher among general populations. If that falters or fails...what replaces it for values to those people?


Out of all the things you have said about this issue, this is what surprised me. I am not shocked by your concern for the fate of Catholicism even though you are Wiccan because I understand you and know that you (like me), genuinely like to see spirituality flourish, in general.

But it surprises me that you feel the RCC values are the only thing keeping those people under the guidance of a moral compass. If it fell away, there would be any number of religions or humanist philosophies to fill the void and supply the population with basic guidelines, if they are even needed.

I am not one of those bitter witches who feel that Christians are currently related to the past atrocities and I don't blame anybody for anything done in the past. I fully endorse every person's religion as long as it guides them to spiritual enlightenment. I know you feel the same. However to me, this sounds like a way to get Catholics to be more accepting of others and become more enlightened in their spirit bones but you see it as a destructive force.

The mechanism behind the institution of the RCC is not longer necessary. There are no more peasant villages to scare into believing their god and it's not legal to burn people anymore so the Pope is looking for ways to still allow his flock to flourish and I think it's this sort of plan that will actually save the major religions. Exclusivity is what will kill a religion in this century.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Hmmm... Let me explain myself a bit then. I don't imagine I need maps or links or the like for our discussion here. You probably know them as well as I do, by the sound of it. In thinking about developed nations or even major cities in the third world? I think you're right. If the Catholic Church fell, then indeed, there are plenty of other Faiths who will not only take the newcomers with a smile but actively recruit for them at the first hint of opportunity. Some good..some not.

Where I worry about how The Church comes to be a guiding light for people is outside the cities of the developing world. That is where the RCC has it's strongest following and most ardently loyal/devout Believers. It's also where, outside those areas of Faith (for whatever brought it), we find some of the most brutal and unthinkable animal-like behavior.

One specific example for where my head is at on this...and it just HAPPENS to be Africa, so no one else get touchy on Race. It could be elsewhere, but I'm more familiar with the tragedy there on this example. (I lied.. a link after all... lol)



"In society, there are people such as witch doctors who look for body parts; people will kill albinos to make magic," says Isaac Timothy, an albino activist in the gold-mining town of Geita, where belief in witchcraft is widespread.

"When you bring [a witch doctor] a body part, such as an arm, a leg or a finger, the witch doctor will make a potion with it," Timothy says. "A miner will pour it in the ground where he wants to find minerals or a fisherman will pour it in his canoe."


Tanzania's Albinos Face Constant Threat Of Attack

It's not just a passing article I noticed, but something a course at college spent some real time on one day with in-depth material and discussion. Many of those children are captured, held down and dismembered ALIVE. They're given all the concern and compassion of a feed animal being slaughtered...altho even our feed animals in the West are generally killed outright. These kids often die from the damage done to them during the removal of limbs and such....NOT a deliberate action MEANT to kill them and make it easy for what follows. It's barbaric and literally evil. True..black..evil. It's also done 100% in the name of Religion, as defined by the local Witch Doctors. (NOT to be confused...for anyone out there...with Wicca. Nothing remotely comparable) . To the credit of the Tanzanian Government and people? This is treated like we treat Capital Murder when they are caught. Cases generally show NO mercy to the men who do this thing.....still? It goes on.

So, when I'm concerned about a major world Faith which isn't, by definition, a destructive force? It's largely thinking about this example and many more like it across Asia and South America. When the locals who the Church so effectively converted over the Centuries go hunting for new sources of spiritual health? It can be the worst outcomes. No need to hope to see more seekers in bad places, right?



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:03 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 



However to me, this sounds like a way to get Catholics to be more accepting of others and become more enlightened in their spirit bones but you see it as a destructive force.


I know you're not addressing me, but I feel the need to voice my opinion on it.

I feel like the Pope's words are sending mixed messages (to people like the author) and I feel like the title of the article doesn't even fit in with what the author actually published.

I applaud the Pope for encouraging other people to leave judgment up to God, but there was nothing that the Pope said in this article that had to do with what it takes to get to heaven, so I'm not sure why the author titled it that way.

The Pope made it clear in the article that you had to seek God with a sincere heart to have sins forgiven, so why does the title revolve around atheists? The problem I see with the Pope's words is that more people are going to take them out of context. Although he says that non-believers should follow their conscious, he doesn't state the full belief by the church on where it fits in with understanding God. It's kind of like he's either talking half-truths or people are misunderstanding the stance of the church on the issue.

Here's what the Vatican has to say about it....in full. If the Pope leaves out part of this, is he indirectly misleading people? This is where there could become a problem. It's like listening to Joel Osteen. You get part of the truth about God, but you're never going to hear the whole truth.

Here's what the Catholic Chatechism has to say about man's reasoning...


37 In the historical conditions in which he finds himself, however, man experiences many difficulties in coming to know God by the light of reason alone:

Though human reason is, strictly speaking, truly capable by its own natural power and light of attaining to a true and certain knowledge of the one personal God, who watches over and controls the world by his providence, and of the natural law written in our hearts by the Creator; yet there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty. For the truths that concern the relations between God and man wholly transcend the visible order of things, and, if they are translated into human action and influence it, they call for self-surrender and abnegation. the human mind, in its turn, is hampered in the attaining of such truths, not only by the impact of the senses and the imagination, but also by disordered appetites which are the consequences of original sin. So it happens that men in such matters easily persuade themselves that what they would not like to be true is false or at least doubtful.



www.vatican.va...


edit on 12-9-2013 by Deetermined because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by wrabbit2000
 


He says, to those that seek him, meaning god, if you don't believe in god you wont be seeking him.
Although i too believe god looks
At the heart
edit on 093030p://bThursday2013 by stormdancer777 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:06 AM
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But...but...but...telling non-believers they're going to hell is 90% of being a Christian! What are all the Bible-thumpers going to do now? What about Westboro Baptist? This will shake the very foundation of organized religion!

I do think it makes sense though. If the Biblical God does exist, he can hardly blame us if we're skeptical of the teachings as polluted and manipulated as they have surely become in 2000 years. Free passes for all!



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by Urantia1111
 

Not all Christians believe in hell.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by wrabbit2000
 


What's funny (tragically so) about that is that I was also going to bring up Africa but for making the opposite point. I chose not to because I felt is wasn't a fair representation of the Christian faiths but since we are on the subject anyway...

People are still being burned alive as witches in Africa by "Christians". Much like the old witch burnings, these often target women and little girls who have either shamed them or simply have made enemies with a Christian male. I agree that links are bad in this case because the stories are heart-breaking but I'm talking about a regular practice of genital mutilation, "tire necklace" burning (look it up if you have the stomach for it), and good ole' fashioned public burnings. These victims are rarely (if ever) actually people who practice any sort of the things you are talking about and I have a hard time believing a six year old can dismember people for a potion.

You know the history of the Abrahamic faith's role in developing cultures. Africa is simply the current exploitation. Exclusivity is what fuels the fire that burn these women alive. Having a pope emphasize this sort of message does not destroy the church but it definitely hinders the usage of religion as a weapon in Africa. I know that these Christians in Africa who do this are not necessarily Catholic but, whether or not they admit it, the Pope does seem to influence the other Christian religions.

The modern church has the ability to stop this. They can stop the violence and death both ways. I think the Pope's message is a great step in that direction. When he hears about people dying for their faith or killing because of another, I think this guy actually cares. He's the best thing to happen to Christianity in centuries.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by stormdancer777
 


That's part of what has always, strongly, turned me off of Christianity on any level. Right there.

"Not all Christians believe...." Well, it's an odd thing, but the Cafeteria style 'I'll take some of that, but none of this other thing' approach to Scripture and the teachings from it seem so arbitrary and convenient to whatever each person deems comfy to accept? It's thrown me for taking what many call Christianity seriously at all.

I don't mean offense, and I hope you know that...It's just that I have never looked at the Bible as a "choose your own adventure" type book to develop one's own sub-Faith with?



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:26 AM
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ExPostFacto

Okay, so this pope, who according to some lines of thought might be the last pope, comes out and acknowledges a new age idea. God is all forgiving. Seeking god is a inner desire and not one to be judged by mans cute symbolism and customs, in which one must repent to that god and feel guilty for living life as a sinner. If this story is true, it is the beginning of the destruction of man's establishment of church. Church is inside your heart. It is your relationship with god. This popes comments are right on the money. No matter if you know the name of god, as churches will tell you, if you have a personal relationship with god that is all that matters.

Bravo to the Pope for this comment and I shall watch for more revelations to transpire.


Not quite.
The so-called new-age-idea is a modern repackaging of many of Jesus' teachings.
What the Pope said has always been true.




I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Revelation 3: 15-16



The people who go about creating their own theologies
neither being atheist nor being faithful fit squarely into
Revelation 3:17

Mike



edit on 12-9-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:31 AM
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reply to post by Cuervo
 


Those are some good points, and oddly, I'd say they support the role of the RCC where it's already established and doing good work. Christianity has, in some places, been the inspiration for as much evil as any other single religion to point to..and I mean modern day, like you're talking about as well.

On the other hand, as Christians in some areas of Africa turn downright feral with how they treat other people? It's no less sickening to see a crucifix literally used to impale someone, groin to sternum ...and obviously..while they were alive to feel it being done. Religion certainly serves as a nice stand in to justify and make right the evil men do unto each other.

Wouldn't that go to support seeing the Faiths (RCC or others...doesn't matter in this context) which are a calming or positive influence, continue to be strong? It's that alternative without structure and sense of dire consequence to evil...or even the reward for committing it (Martyrdom anyone?) which I think poses the far greater threat?

edit on 12-9-2013 by wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:33 AM
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wrabbit2000

I obviously didn't choose the Church as my personal faith and as to 'what kind' of Wiccan I am? I'm the kind that isn't going to engage in a long adversarial discussion about my own personal Faith.


Every Wiccan I have ever met
was a person of conscience,
and great people to know.

Welcome at the party!

Mike

edit on 12-9-2013 by mikegrouchy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by wrabbit2000
 



"Not all Christians believe...." Well, it's an odd thing, but the Cafeteria style 'I'll take some of that, but none of this other thing' approach to Scripture and the teachings from it seem so arbitrary and convenient to whatever each person deems comfy to accept? It's thrown me for taking what many call Christianity seriously at all.


Just another example of what the Bible said would happen.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by mikegrouchy
 


I consider myself Gnostic, so I understand where you are coming from. I was pointing out that many traditional Christians do not believe this is the case. I have been chastised many of times by Christians that I am not Christian, because I do not partake in all the rituals they deem necessary to get closer to Christ. My faith, is a personal one between God and me, and while religious texts may guide me in that path, they are written by man, subject to interpretive errors.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:47 AM
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wrabbit2000
reply to post by Cuervo
 


Those are some good points, and oddly, I'd say they support the role of the RCC where it's already established and doing good work. Christianity has, in some places, been the inspiration for as much evil as any other single religion to point to..and I mean modern day, like you're talking about as well.

On the other hand, as Christians in some areas of Africa turn downright feral with how they treat other people? It's no less sickening to see a crucifix literally used to impale someone, groin to sternum ...and obviously..while they were alive to feel it being done. Religion certainly serves as a nice stand in to justify and make right the evil men do unto each other.

Wouldn't that go to support seeing the Faiths (RCC or others...doesn't matter in this context) which are a calming or positive influence, continue to be strong? It's that alternative without structure and sense of dire consequence to evil...or even the reward for committing it (Martyrdom anyone?) which I think poses the far greater threat?

edit on 12-9-2013 by wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)


Well, yeah. Which is why it's all the more important for that strong and structured institution to have a message of inclusiveness and love that condemns judging others. Structure doesn't help when the structure feeds into your hate and fears and simply gives you the go-ahead by God to kill that girl down the street who looked at you wrong.

It's too late to undo the damage done in Africa from centuries of colonialism that exploited the church but it's not too late to fix the social message it can still send.

I don't have faith in their god but I do have faith in their religion evolving to a place where it can allow society to advance and someday even help it along. Again, this pope fella is shifting the focus in all the right areas. 100 years down the road, if the Christian faiths are still around, they'll look at this pope as one of the people who knew what it would take for their survival as a religion.

Honestly though, you and I having this conversation as two unaffiliated people who actually care about the fate of Christianity also gives me hope. I love where this world is headed. Call me an optimist but I see our generation's grandchildren talking about these issues with awe and bewilderment in school when learning about our social history.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 09:51 AM
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This Pope is shaping up to be the "coolest" yet. No matter the topic he dosen't sugarcoat or deny anything. Seems like a real down to Earth type of guy. Since he came into position, many revalations have been forthcoming from the church. Hope he keeps up his great works.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 10:01 AM
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Hold on there..... whoa....

The Pope isn't saying it right. The Bible says that if a person lives his life as one would live it as obeying the laws of God (according to his conscience as God gave to him of right and wrong), and if that person would have no knowledge of Jesus Christ, salvation, God the Father. That person shall be judged by God according to his conscience, either condemning or excusing him. Do you really....... want to take that chance with the dice. That would mean that if you know you did even one thing wrong in life, you would lose your life forever.

Secondly, if you ever heard about Jesus Christ, or about salvation at any time, things are different for you now. If you have rejected salvation, Jesus says he will deny and reject you before God. So if you know, be warned that you can't get a free ticket.

What people don't understand is that there is only one thing that can keep you from eternal life and that is to reject the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. If you have done that and you reconsider your words, and if you know it was wrong, you can still change your heart and be saved. But only as long as you live because once you die it's permanent.

So don't anyone be getting your hopes up that it's a win win situation. It's not and the Pope knows this. He just wants more Catholics in the herd and this is a tricky way to do it. He knows salvation only comes through Jesus Christ.





edit on 12-9-2013 by Fromabove because: (no reason given)



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