In the end...aren't we Christians just selfish?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Why are we good and kind? Is it because we want the better or just for the selfish reason of getting to heaven? Why do we need to worship God to do good?
-- John (helpme@Idontknow.com), May 24, 2004
Striving to get to heaven is not a selfish act. It is simply fulfilling the purpose for which human beings were created. It is being fully human and fully alive. To live any other way is to reject one's full potential as a human being, in effect to reduce onesself to the status of a mere intelligent animal.
It is not necessary to worship God in order to do good. Pagans and atheists do many good things. But doing good things doesn't earn your salvation. Worshipping God and living in submission to His will and purpose results in salvation. If living in order to receive eternal life is "selfish", then I assume it would follow that living in a way that will result in eternal damnation is "generous"?? Sorry, I don't see the logic of that.
Besides, the world teaches us "take care of number one". The Church teaches us "love your brother as yourself" and "do good to those who persecute you". Which of those sounds more selfish to you?
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), May 24, 2004.
If the only reason people are good and kind is because it will supposedly get them to heaven, I think they are entirely missing the point. For those who follow Christ, He fills us with such a desire to follow Him that we LONG to serve God. We forsake the sinful nature (although we are still tempted) because we know that that type of living leads to destruction.
God created us to serve Him and part of serving Him is showing love to others. When you know Christ, you will desire the good of others and love them as much as you love yourself. This type of living will bring you the most joy in life (no matter what the world tries to tell you to the contrary). Heaven is eternity of more of this same thing - serving God and loving others. Because there is no sin in heaven, it is entirely self-less.
-- Emily ("email@example.com), May 24, 2004.
We live not for the promise of rewards, John, but to love and serve God. He has loved us even when we were sinners; and will never abandon us if we love Him.
Sin is the denial of God, a break with God. We cannot sin and yet pretend to love Him. He is never false with us who love Him, We must not be false to our love.
Only God has power to offer you & me eternal life and the glory of heaven. Absolutely no one else. We receive those not because we ''act right'-- but because we love God.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 24, 2004.
the aim of christianity is not to do good deeds in order to attain salvation... we are by nature damned and can do no deeds sufficient to save ourselves. that is where faith comes in. I will tell a story i have told here before...
One day a man came to the wise master and said, "Master, how is it that one can attain salvation?"
The master replied, "There are two things that you must do." He paused, "First, you must understand that nothing you do can earn you salvation."
dejected the man asked what the second thing was. The master chuckled, "well, second, you must act as though you didnt know the first."
-- paul h (email@example.com), May 24, 2004.
To worship God comes from the same root as the word to kiss. The Christian life isn't some cold rigid system of do's and don'ts, rather it is a loving intimate relationship with our creator and saviour God, Jesus Christ. True worship is to enjoy Him and express love toward Him.
This love is the very God Himself, who is wrought into our being as love. It is not something we try to generate within ourselves, rather it comes by our continual turning to Him, and enjoying His sweet presence.
From the love which issues from the divine life, we spontaneously desire to do the works according to His heart. It is not the old man trying to self-improve, rather the new man, regenerated by Christ as life to become the new creation for His full expression in the church with all the crazy lovers of Christ, joined and built together in the divine organic union.
-- Oliver Fischer (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 24, 2004.