What If Grandpa And Grandma Are In Hell

The concept of an afterlife is the single biggest marketing gimmick of Christianity. Most other religions do not play on people’s emotions in this way.

The link explores the question of loved ones, children and parents, who might not have made the cut. Of course, the later generation may be in hell. Either way, will the dead person in hell reunite with loved ones?

We could ask an expert, a person who has spent a career studying the Bible. The link author provides detailed answers. To summarize, it is unclear in the Bible whether or not souls go to a hell and it is not known if or how souls have a relationship with other souls. Like in most important questions, the Bible is not clear. Ancient writers were not addressing questions of 2018 but those of their time.

If seems to me dishonest of the faith to offer up this benefit of an afterlife if it doesn’t provide some solid information about this promise. The cleverness of the promise is apparent, make up you own definition of the afterlife and use it. Believers are not to doubt it is there.

There is another alternative, critical thinking. If you think about the origin of the theory of afterlife, you can quickly see there is no evidence of it. You can also see a broad sweep of people benefit from keeping the myth alive.

Grandma and Grandpa did not have an afterlife, but they had a life. That’s more than enough.

33 Responses

  1. Chris

    Faith does not require proof; just a belief. “Freethinkers” can’t see proof, so they choose not to believe. So why does Mayor Lindgren spend his time and energy on the issue? His columns, at best, are becoming redundant.

    1. Chris 6:44 Thanks for taking time to comment. Your comments are welcome here.

      His columns, at best, are becoming redundant.
      There is truth in that. All columns have themes they return to. I would add there is nothing more redundant than going to church–the same message over and over for centuries.

      Today’s topic is one I have wondered about for quite a while and when I stumbled on the link it motivated me to write something about it. What I’ve wondered about is the theory that two people who detested one another all their lives end up in heaven next to one another for eternity. I’ve never seen that addressed in religious literature. I suppose if it has been it is resolved with a trick like the rest of it.

      1. Catcher

        Jon; @ 7;31; re. “I’ve wondered about is the theory that two people who detested one another all their lives end up in heaven next to one another eternity”—Jon, you assume all the weaknesses of human nature / experience continue past this life on earth. There is nothing in “religious literature” that says that is so.

      2. Catcher

        @ 7;31; When I say religious literature, I mean Biblical. I know Aquinas said something about looking down from heaven and enjoying the suffering of the damned, but that is Aquinas, and it is not biblical literature, nor is it Biblical.

        1. Catcher 9:13 but that is Aquinas, and it is not biblical literature, nor is it Biblical.

          Good point. I agree with your earlier post that my speculation of being in heaven with an arch enemy is not Biblical. The link in my article points out the lack of Biblical references for many things people talk about. Nevertheless, all around us and on this discussion page people pretend they know all about heaven so, I my mind, that part of the faith. You and I have discussed many times whether the faith is what is in the Bible or what people think is in the Bible. It’s always fun to compare them.

          1. Catcher

            @ 10;37; Then you admit you “theory” of two people who detest the other” is you “pretending” to know something about heaven. You are then just as guilty as Aquinas. Nothing more than provocatively useless.

          2. Catcher 10:40 Nothing more than provocatively useless.

            I would agree it’s not “useful”, but entertaining. To claim there is a heaven and a hell when we have no evidence they exist is also “provocatively useless.” It does, however, entertain millions who attend church ever Sunday. Claiming there is a heaven and a hell is in the same category of “usefulness” as me claiming I know something about them.

          3. Catcher

            @ 9;00 re. “entertaining”; I, and most others don’t consider it entertaining nor is it foremost .on our mind..
            If you do, that’s on you

          4. Oh, but there is evidence of Heaven and Hell. From those that have died and returned to live, having experienced Heaven to those that God has allowed to see Hell. The inquisitive mind could search on the Internet for both and find this information.

            Remember, it is sinful to test God. Therefore, don’t expect to be able to repeat these occurrences by putting Him to the test. But there are plenty of examples of atheists who have converted to Christianity due to unrepeatable occurrences.

        2. mark anthony

          Tell me specifically where Aquinas said that. I always thought of it as a Calvinistic thing, Interestingly, it is a very common earthly practice. How many times have you, I, Jon or anyone rejoiced in the “fall” of someone we don’t like. He got his, hope he suffers a lot: hope he rots in hell. You know the story.

          1. Catcher

            @11;42; Not sure who you are talking to, as you don’t indicate.

            See New Advent- Summa supplement,question 94, “relations of saints toward damned”, article 3 objection #1, reply #2

          2. Catcher

            @ 11;01 ; In addition; same page; “on the contrary”–“It is written” (Psalm 57) “The just will rejoice when he shall see the revenge”
            further, Therfore the blessed will rejoice in the punishment of the wicked” (re. the order of “divine justice” and their own deliverence.

  2. Ervin Miller

    More of the continuing buffoonery of a self anointed god, description of an atheist, who like all Grandmothers and Grandfathers will come to experience the Last Judgement. All are invited, including Grandmother and Grandfather, if they traveled an errant journey, they won’t make the cut. This goes for unrepentant atheists, who will join other errant fallen Christians for eternal anguish and utter chaotic desolation. We are given a brief journey to get our act together. The final call at the Last Judgement will either result in uunfathomable joy, not yet experienced by mortal creatures, or colossal pain not knowable to mortal creatures. Jesus I trust in you!

  3. The marketing gimmick of atheists? No work involved. Sleep in on Sundays. No accountability. No God or devil. Cast hate on the Christian. No common standards of decency. No common morals. Take what you can from life no matter how you get it.

    A Christian takes up the cross. He loves as he is commanded to love. Hell exists. Heaven exists. Final judgment exists. Christ is calling. Answer. Repent.

  4. MJB

    Not a counscidence you picked a topic that takes grandparents and hell and mashes them together. Clever as it draws reactions.

    I will comment to you point, “it seems to me dishonest of the faith to offer up this benifit of a after life if it doesn’t provide some solid information about this promise”

    Before I comment on above. I want to let you know and Thankyou for helping my faith journey as you bring up some good dialogue to the table. Your approach also affirms the importance to be disciplined in faith and if not are clear.
    I truly believe you are no better than me, nor me better than you. We maybe even more similiar than different and share many of the same principles and values that make us men, midwesterners etc etc. In the end we all have choices and I have chosen salvation and try my damndest to live like Christ even though I fail at it every single day. I am actually not any good at it but I strive at it, fail, strive fail fail fail. It’s humbling but again more affirming of a man that was abandoned by his people. Is it dispickable of me that I chose this life? Please don’t have pitty on me if you do…

    Now to respond on your comments above. Faith isn’t google, yahoo or encyclopedia Britanica. Faith is the vehicle to believe their is an afterlife. The information that supports the belief of afterlife is the Promise of Jesus. I get it, it sounds crazy, actually it is crazy that there is a God that gave his only son for our sins. It’s so crazy that people with faith believe it to be true. So we agree it’s crazy.

    Faith is a journey, for some like me it ebbs and flows, it is more times challenged then strengthened but always reconciled. I do not judge you for not having the same faith or experience as me, nor do I pitty you but my point is a perspective that you may or may not have heard.

    Lastly, humans muck things up not God. So when you refer to the Bible, religion and the authors remember they are human like you an I and very very imperfect.

    With respect


    1. MJB 9:13 Thank you for a beautiful post.

      You pointed out the role of faith in your first post and I didn’t respond. I have no quarrel with faith or those who have it….if.

      The “if” comes along in this way. There is no quarrel with faith if the faith is not based on events which are probably not historical and should not be considered historical until there is some evidence they are. We have for example people who believe there was a historical Moses who was actually given the Ten Commandments by God and they should be displayed on public property. Yet, there is not a shred of evidence there was a Moses or an Exodus. Having faith there is a God is one thing but basing it on an unsubstantiated story is the Bible is something else again. Same with the Resurrection. Having faith it happened is one thing. Believing the Bible provides historical evidence of it is another.

      There are people who believe there is a god of some kind, believe there is an afterlife of some kind but do not base it on what wealthy goat herders wrote 2 or 3 thousand years ago for their own purposes. If all folks had that kind of faith there would not be so much effort toward putting religious ideas into government. For example, anti abortion and anti gay marriage are positions based entirely on what is in the Bible.

      Thanks again for posting.

      1. Chuck Z

        You continually ask Christians for “proof”. I notice you continually throwing out the same line, in a child like attempt at insulting people, where is your “proof’ that The Bible was written by “wealthy goat herders”? Have you met them? Are there documents saying The Bible was written by “wealthy goat herders”? Or is it just part of YOUR faith?

  5. Juan Ruiz

    Of what is a soul made? If it’s prone to suffering how is it different in makeup from the body? The offering of virgins to Islamic bombers suggests the soul is capable of sex.

    1. Juan Of what is a soul made? If it’s prone to suffering how is it different in makeup from the body?

      When the question of “what is a soul?” comes up, I’m always reminded of my friend who is an American Baptist preacher and who writes a weekly column at the age of 90. He once wrote he has studied the Bible all of his life and more than once searched for an answer to that question. He still has no idea what a soul is.

      1. mark anthony

        What is a soul? Good question. The classical view, a view still held by many, is that the soul is the FORM of the person. It is our “nature”. Which is to say that it is that which makes us what we are, i.e. human, a rational being, a certain kind of thing is contradistinction to other kinds of things. Consider this: what is it that forms us, that directs our development and our continuity in time and space? I think, of course, that you view this explanation as just so much philosophical wool gathering. For you, it is nothing more than what we call the efficient and material causes only, the interaction of matter and material causality. There is no so-called formal cause, something more than material causation only. You might even go so far as to say that we don’t have an intrinsic nature: we are, in effect, little more than a bunch of whizzing chemicals. Nothing else, nothing more. That said, I could go on to bring in the Cartesian take on the matter: but not now, I will leave that for another time and only if you show any interest in the subject.

  6. John

    God sacrificed his son who is part of himself to save us from himself . Sounds like god is conflicted. To save us from himself. Let that sink in for a bit.

  7. mark anthony

    Why do you insist on telling us that pre-modern thinkers and writers can be dismissed simply because they were wresting with the issues and ideas of their own time. That, of course, is true: human beings, no matter how smart of stupid, live in a historical context, a particular culture in a particular time and place. And are shaped by it. Yet, what should be obvious, the story does not end there. Extant cultures, our own included, are very much shaped by the past, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill. And as to the future: we are prone to utopian speculations on that point. Unfortunately, however, futurism typically means little more than the projection of past and current ideas into the times to come. Anyway, to ignore past thinkers and shapers is to cut ourselves off from the wisdom and follies of past generations. Such an attitude, in a word, makes us one-dimensional, chronologically arrogant (an attitude that pervades this site), a people often preoccupied with an imaginary future (or, more likely, captives, of some presentist ideology. In sum, past thinkers and past cultures play a great role in making us what we are now: our forefathers have struggled with truths of our human nature: what they tell us goes far beyond mere pre-occupation with their own times. All of which is to suggest that they deserve respect and attention.

    1. mark 3:08 Why do you insist on telling us that pre-modern thinkers and writers can be dismissed because they are wrestling with the issue of their own time.
      I have never made such a sweeping generalization. Please do not misrepresent me or I will have to take down your posts.

      1. mark anthony

        apologies if I misrepresented your views. But you have made quite a number of comments that could well be interpreted in the way that I did. Perhaps you should explain your views in more detail.

    1. mark anthony

      how about entertaining? that said, I hope the Jon and I weren’t being squirrely. Believe it or not, in own respective stumbling ways, we were trying take on serious issues. For a change.

      1. Catcher

        @ 4;24; re. squirrely; You mis-read. By squirrely, I meant difficult to navigate, pauses, slow to respond to key pad, missing or parts of typed words. Missing posts.
        You can’t be taken ” serious” if you don’t understand context.
        Everything seems to be working better now. Down boy.

        1. Catcher

          @ 4;24; For you to more easily understand, my 3;54 said “area voices”, I said nothing about such brilliant people such as you or Jon, or you weak reading comprehension skills.

        2. mark anthony

          I think that you are being a bit unnecessarily snotty. I was having no trouble with AV so I naturally assumed that you were referencing the posts of the day. I suggest that you might want to learn to control the “rush to judgement”.

          1. Catcher

            @ 11;51; Re rush to snotty; See @4;24; The superiority of “We are trying to take on serious issues. For a change.”

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