The "Conscious of their Spiritual Need" Class
designs - There is no 'official' unified teaching of the Christian religions. Most do have an eternal life of a heavenly hope.
My wife and daughter are Lutherans and my wife said you are misinformed.
dissed, the Laity are generally under the impression that they will be with Jesus in heaven for eternity. That is not the official position of their Denomination or what is taught at their Seminaries.
I attended several funerals at Presbyterian churches over that past several years, friends who had passed away. The Pastors giving the service all had the deceased in heaven, cooking, camping, fishing, playing with the family dog, you name it. Not once did they mention the official theological position of their Church that everyone was returning to this earth with Jesus, so it is no surprise that your wife and other Protestants are in the dark about this teaching. But check it out through the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, or the Westminster Seminary, Catholic Encylopedia etc..
Designs - Its not really a point worth debating over. Those Pastors taught that because they believed that. All the Parishioners believe they are going to Heaven eternally, because they were taught that.
Are you saying all these thousands of preachers are lying? And for what purpose?
Besides, no where does the CG Scriptures teach this new doctrine you are implying.
But thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.
Dissed, these pastors are just trying to be comforting, maybe in the Adult Bible Study classes at their churches they get into the technicals of doctrine. Go to the horses mouth and ask your wife's minister or consult with professors at their seminary. Earth as the eternal home for Believers is the official Protestant/Catholic position. You can consult the Catholic Encyclopedia online.
Depending on how you interpet scripture you have Jesus and his faithful returning to earth in the scenes of Revelation ie Jerusalem descending.
dssynergy, the "conscious" class or the "conscience" class?
startingover, I think they are one in the same. People become conscious, then follow their conscience. :-)
I have been working in a university that teaches theology from a catholic perspective. From sitting in on numerous theology classes, I observe that basically, they are very freeform and encourage the students to form their own theology.These catholic scholars tend to be very liberal, and encourage interfaith ~ which not all of them do. At any rate, catholics do tend to be more flexible in the tolerance of differences in theology. So, it might be the "official" doctrine of a particular seminary that heaven is just a rest stop, but if the priest or theologian sees it differently, there is nothing stopping them from preaching that instead.
I'm very intrigued as to why the WTBS changed their idea of two heavenly classes to just one heavenly and one earthly. Even if that is true, I don't feel a heavenly calling. Where does that leave me? I really still don't get why humans need to go to heaven in the first place. Does not make any sense to me whatsoever. Does anyone have any suggested reading??
Nice atmosphere to work in.
Russel, as you may know, taught two heavenly classes, one on a more god level plane than the other group, and nearly universal salvation for the rest of humanity. Paul Johnson, a Bible Student who split and formed the Laymen's Group, taught multiple classes, there are more types and anti-types in his theology than you can keep track of. J.Rutherford and F.Franz developed the current two classes idea, heavenly and earthly, during the 1930's. Each group demands pretty close adherence to their particular founders vision.
Take a little cue from Jewish custom, serve a little water to a stranger each day, meaning practice kindness everyday, everything will be alright.
Oh wait maybe that's Bob Marley
Conversations like these, where everything is so open to interpretation are what lead me to feel so agnostic. The truth is ~ we don't know. We can identify the spiritual principles that Jesus taught to deal with others in our every day life, etc. But as far as who goes to heaven, when the "end times" are starting or stopping ~ we don't know. Why can't the WTBS or any other religion simply say that?
Like we found out when we were active as Witnesses, if you tie your spirituality to a particluar set of doctrines or dogmas you become very vulnerable to being toppled or unsettled when faults are exposed in those teachings.
All of the singing, praying, doctrines in the world didn't stop a natural earthquake from killing atheists, agnostics, and the wide variety of believers alike in Haiti or in any other natural disaster. Stuff happens as the existentialists say.
Take the best that you can discern from Jesus and the Sages throughout history and apply it to life now, your family, community and this world. Resolve to make this world a little better each day.
I really still don't get why humans need to go to heaven in the first place. Does not make any sense to me whatsoever. Does anyone have any suggested reading??
I suggest doing some research on the spirit/soul of man. Man is a tripartite being, like God. Your Spirit is You, your soul is You, and your body is You.
When a person is dead, it simply means that the spirit, soul and body have separated. A body without a soul is a dead body. Likewise, a soul without a body is a dead soul. "The soul that is sinning, it itself will die" - meaning that it will be separated from its body. That is why you have dead souls in Revelation 6 speaking.
The reason that believers go to heaven is because it is not time for the resurrection of the faithful yet, when they will be reunited with their bodies. (simutaneous with the rapture) This way they can at least fellowship with God and be "comforted" while they "wait".
Mt. 25 has Jesus coming back to earth and sitting on the throne in Jerusalem. Believers from the previous 2000 yrs. will be with him in glorified (resurrected) bodies. The 144,000 Jews will be there too.
Then the nations left over from the battle of Armageddon will be gathered before him and Jesus begins his one thousand year rule of peace. No more democracy, no more socialism, no more communism. Just God with his children.
This is the most commonly accepted Christian view from what I have seen over the past 10 years from fundamental, evangelical, charismatic, methodist etc. I also believe this.