November 24, 2008

What Do Christians Have To Live For?

Afterlife (comics)
Afterlife (comics) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A recent post at Separate Spectrum (Update: blog is no longer active) started me thinking about the question posed in the title. What do Christians have to live for? Some will answer that they live for their god. Fair enough, but I'm not sure how they do this? Many will claim to believe in some sort of afterlife, but most still fear and avoid death. Do they live primarily for this imagined afterlife? If so, that seems like it would be an awfully empty sort of existence. Nothing in the here-and-now would matter except insofar as it affected a poorly characterized afterlife.

Many Christians are clearly uninterested in making the world a better place. They obsess about something called "the rapture" and imagine that their time here will be too brief to make any sort of impact. I suppose these Christians are in fact living for some sort of afterlife.

But others at least claim to care about improving their present worlds. Why is this important to them? Is it because they think they will be rewarded for it, or are there other reasons?

And how about morality? Some Christians believe that one of their deities (Jesus I think) already somehow guaranteed their place in "heaven." When he died, their sins were forgiven. For these Christians, I wonder how they could refrain from raping and murdering at will. After all, if they are already destined for eternal rewards, why would they remain moral during their brief time on Earth?

If you recognized that I am writing this post in something other than a completely serious tone for the purpose of highlighting the absurdity of many of the things atheists hear from Christians on the subject of morality, kudos to you.