This is not an attempt to draw you into my religion but an explanation of what I believe in the hope that it will reassure you that things are maybe not as terrible as they seem.
Now for a delve into a night at the punha household:
Punha: “Mama, do you think Anne Frank is in Hell?”
Phantomdiver: “Why would she be in Hell?”
P: “Because of the believe that people who don’t believe in Jesus are in Hell.”
PD: “You have more that your life on Earth to figure that out.”
Okay, so this wasn’t earth-shattering. My honest opinion, which, truth be told, does differ from Christianity:
How you behave here, and why you do that, has more to deal with what happens after you die (and before, really) than if you believe in a guy who (I think) lived a bunch of years ago and tried to set a good example.
"It’s that I have trouble accepting that anyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is going to Hell. I want to believe in Jesus, because I like the messages of love, and peace, and sharing. But I cannot, will not, will never accept that someone who isn’t Christian is going to Hell. It’s wrong."
What I would concern myself with, if I were you (and this is meant only as food for thought and not “Adopt this way of thinking and you will be saved”), is to consider the kinds of lives people live and not if they believe squirrels, for example, are the gods of the world. Look at the lives they lead instead of the beliefs they espouse. For example, there’s a man in the priesthood who goes around spreading messages of hate and intolerance and damnation and suchlike. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. Then you have people like, for example, weirddave, who for all I know considers himself his own god. A wonderful man, one of the more altruistic people I’ve ever met. Honestly, I could not care much less what his religious beliefs are because beyond knowing for the hell of it, I don’t much care. What makes him wonderful is the life he leads and the examples he tries to set. IMO he’s a better person than the one who spreads hate and damnation and hellfire.
"I cannot accept that there is only one life to live, that once you die, you go to Heaven or Hell, no questions. Surely God is not that black and white!"
While I believe that every soul lives in a body only once on Earth (angels not being souls but intelligences), I think the idea of Heaven/Hell no questions asked is a bit odd. I’m having trouble even understanding what you mean by it, so instead of going off on any number of things it isn’t, can you explain to me what it means to you?
"The Bible was written by MEN. They claim it is the word of God. And how do we know? I’m scared because this is very painful-oh god, I’m crying even as I type this."
Okay, here I have to delve into what I believe and what is not necessarily espoused by the RCC. But it may help you to understand, even so.
I am of the opinion that the Bible was physically written by men but inspired by God . . . IOW, “Hey, Ezekiel, what in the name of Hosannah are you doing?” “Jude, I got this story in my head and it won’t go away”.
Okay, maybe not EXACTLY like that. I’m sure Fenris will be along shortly, or perhaps Persephone, to do a whole little script thingy for us:D
How we know . . . because way back when, a bunch of people who knew their Bible stuff decided what did and didn’t go in. It confuses the heck out of me, too. There were all sorts of requirements: you had to be in a certain place at a certain time writing in a certain language . . . if you like I can look for the requirements but I promise nothing.
It’s strange stuff, I tell you. But, IMO, that’s part of the cool thing . . . there’s stuff we’ll none of us ever understand until after we die. And there God is, waiting to tell you all sorts of cool shit you could never imagine or even conceive on earth. It’s like the most elite clique you’ve ever seen, only He wants everyone in on it.
Hope this helps.