For this Sunday, I give you fire and brimstone. I don’t know what brimstone is, but I probably deserve a lot of it. I have made it clear here on RJsCorner that I am no longer religious, but I am an avid follower of the teachings of Jesus. I know I have fallen short of his words, but at least I think I do better at it than many who call themselves Christian, but don’t show it through their actions.
I know that “fire and brimstone” is a popular phrase with many church-goes. To me, that is just another scare tactic to keep them in the pews. They seem to forget that Jesus told us to love each other as God loves all of us. I know there is a term called “Tough Love”, but I doubt that is what God had in mind.
4 thoughts on “Fire And Brimstone…”
I’m very much religious, but I’m a non-theist. I very much doubt there’s an afterlife, but It’s not something I consider worthwhile speculating on. To me, religion is how I live in the now, not about winning the favour of a deity in order to not to spend an eternity in torment.
Barry, thanks for your thoughts. Sorry for not responding earlier, it just fell in a crack. I am pretty much in the idea that everyone can believe what they want, but don’t try to force those beliefs on others. In other words, COEXIST. But, I am like you in that I don’t really count on there being a heaven that I will go to. Religion should be about the here and now and how we treat our fellow man. I will admit that the majority of religions have utterly failed in that regard. That is why I don’t call myself religious. To most, it is all about what you believe not what you do. One is as bad as the other it seems.
We’re very much a secular nation, and only 35% of Kiwis identify as Christian and only around 45% claim any religious affiliation. The majority of Christians are at the liberal/progressive/post modern/post Christian end of the Christion spectrum. Those at the conservative/fundamentalist/evangelical/pentecostal end of the Christian spectrum are in the minority.
In a recent opinion poll of religious tolerance, all major religions, and atheism had a 90% approval rating across the NZ population, and here the indigenous Māori spirituality and world view is having a significant impact on us whether or not we consider ourselves religious.
Here, eccumenical doesn’t mean the various denominations of Christianity, but the various forms of religion – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Wiccan, Animism, etc and does not exclude atheism. It’s fascinating when one attends a discussion on the environmental crisis in a church building where the presenters are a Buddhist, a Muslim, a humanist, a Wiccan and two Christians (one progressive and one fundamentalist), and chaired by an environmentalist of unknown religious persuasion. All were very much in agreement apart from the fundamentalist Christian who was quite adamant that it was all caused by such “evils” as homosexuality, same sex marriages, gender diversity, decriminalisation of prostitution, and the “breakdown” of the nuclear family.
I appreciate our situation is quite different from many parts of the world, so my experience of religion might be very different from yours.
Thanks, Barry, for your New Zealand view of this topic.
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