Church

What Happens After Death

A unique video explores what happens after death:

This YouTube video presents many of the common theories in different religions as to what exactly happens to us after we die. They note that death is something that we can’t avoid but there are ways to prepare yourself.

 

19 thoughts on “What Happens After Death

  1. We die, then we get personally judged by God. Then we go to either Heaven or Hell. At the End of Time, we will all be resurrected to be generally judged by God.

    That is the fullness of the Truth. Outside is error and human vanity. Hate me for it, call me politically incorrect, but I will die for this belief.

  2. What I found really strange was that weighing good and bad to decide whether a man was good. Was it to represent some ancient Egyptian beliefs or what? Or was it a protestant distorted view of how it works for Catholics? I definitely do not believe that can be saved by measuring whether I did more good than bad, but by grace alone.

  3. Btw, there is both a Roman Catholic “distortion” (works-righteousness), and a Protestant one, (antinomianism), not to mention the liberals in both! The latter also has their form of Judaization. The doctrine of Law/Gospel (Grace) is always central!

    1. We’ll never go wrong with a faith in the excellence of biblical theology, and the best of the historical Church Catholic, which always includes the utmost of both Protestant and Catholic theology. The real redemptive Body of Christ is One and Ecumenical, i.e. God In Christ!

      Btw, I include the EO under “Catholic”. They define that portion of the creed of Christendom, which concerns theology proper – the doctrines of the essential nature of the Godhead and the doctrine of the Godhead in relation with manhood/humanity in the Incarnation. Here is simply everything, and it flows from here!

  4. http://www.victorzammit.com/ – I am not saying that this guy is right (I am not a Victor Zammit fan), but he does present an alternative view based on different scientific and philosophical disciplines. According to other sources, the Christian view of heaven and hell (and purgatory) is but a tiny slither of the accumulated knowledge of many different religious and spiritual traditions, mediums, people who have had near-death experiences and experts in quantum physics. It is just possible that someone with a fixed black-and-white mindset might encounter problems…

    As Clint Eastwood said to someone looking at the wrong end of his gun “Do you feel lucky?“.

    I am afraid that the “conservative” religion of some is like a goldfish bowl to a fish that has spent all its life in the sea!

    1. You’ll have to forgive me here Fr, it’s just personally, I see no other hope – in this life or the next – without that which was brought us by an itinerant rabbi who walked the dusty paths of Palestine some 2000 years ago.

      1. Amen! And Christianity can really only be expressed by dogmatic theology! To quote the great Russian Orthodox, Serguis Bulgakov: ‘Orthodoxy [Truth] does not persuade or try to compel; it charms and it attracts.’ Or perhaps we can say it “persuades” from within, in that place that only GOD can dwell and fill, our “spirit”! 🙂

      2. Father, I am also a Christian and Jesus is our hope. Fr Robert’s quote is one of the more profound things I have read here. Truth attracts through beauty and love, and God works within us.

      3. And too, my brethren, I have been reading both Bulgakov, and Barth today. Now there’s a contrast, but both are “dogmatic” in theology! I have said this many times before, but again reading Barth, is like reading a modern Church Father to me! No, he’s certainly not infallible, but he does cover your mind’s eye! 😉

      4. The lot of you protest Rome (or at least just two old men). Hence you are protestant. The Orthodox will also call themselves “Catholic” but I think you are not included in their definition of catholicity, and neither are we. Like peace, we all want catholicity, but on OUR individual terms. You don’t want Rome to push you around, neither do the Russians; we Romans don’t want to exclude Rome as the rightful center of Christendom- Rome IS special, as is the Pope, and no debate can force me to consider otherwise. It either is, or isn’t. I believe that it is, so I must necessarily say that all else is erroneous when rejecting the authority of the Pope. You can say this is spiritual pride, but that’s the same rhetoric used by China’s Patriotic Catholic Association. an entity I find so similar to the Church of England, by the way. Their priests are more or less civil servants and their theology is “flexible”. I find their notion of authority worthy of contempt.

        Your anti-Roman sentiments are so palpable when talking about Rome and her “distortions” and I’m half-anticipating that you will all preach against the Whore of Babylon 666 Antichrist Pope.

        One one hand, it’s infuriating. On the other hand, it’s really sad. Like a lone protest-sign-wielding malcontent in front of a giant edifice he’s protesting. Or like Father Ted and his fellow priest with signs saying: “Down with this sort of thing!” or “Careful Now”.

      5. @Ioannes: It is sad really that you are not reading and thus listening, and thinking! Neither Fr. Anthony nor I are denying Roman Catholicism in toto, we just both know and believe that the doctrine of the Papal Infallibility (so-called) can only be held in faith, but it is hardly a real “Catholic” and Apostolic doctrine, but only in the progressive sense. And btw, the EO or Orthodoxy do see the Roman Church as part of the “Catholic” Faith, but they themselves certainly not as infallible, i.e. Rome. Yes, the EO see their “history” as the Infallible Church. But as I maintain, there is simply no infallibility in any historic Church, as the true Church is itself always a “Pilgrim” Body on earth!

        Btw, (“just two old men”?), I bet “this” old man could out run you physically! I run at least a mile daily, often more. It also keeps the mind sharp! Ya might try it? 😉

  5. I would first like to say that I follow your blog and always find the views expressed interesting.

    As an atheist I don’t believe in the concept of heaven and hell. As far as my beliefs go, when we die we die. And I’m fine with that. As someone who was raised a Catholic in Ireland with one Protestant parent and a shared pupil of two parishes with very inspirational people leading them I have had plenty of time to think about this and am happy with my conclusions. I have great admiration for people with any and all religious beliefs (as long as they do not try to force any of their beliefs upon other people).

    And if, when I die, it does happen that there is a heaven and hell, and I am being judged by St Peter and he says to me “Yes, you’ve been a good person all of your life. Yes, sure, you’ve sinned a bit (who hasn’t) but by and large you’ve been a good person. But you didn’t believe in God, you didn’t go to church and therefore you have to go to hell,” then fine, I’m very happy to accept that as my fate.

    So what I was interested in what everyone else thought is the follows:

    In your opinion if I live my life as a good person, if I do good deeds, if I do unto others as I would want done unto myself but I do not believe that there is a God; should I get a place in heaven?

    You are all (most likely) very religious people. But in the (completely hypothetical) situation where you are faced with not getting into heaven because the rules are different to those which you grew up believing (if, for example, the rules were that you could not get in for eating pork) would you happily accept that (again, hypothetical) fate.

    1. God is good. I’m concentrating on my own salvation; the fate of other souls, I leave to God’s infinite mercy.

    2. Without the existence of God, there is no objective basis for which anyone or anything can be judged as “good” or “bad” God, being the embodiment of goodness exists as the ultimate source of goodness. Evil is, like shadow and darkness, the absence of God. Christians don’t believe in God because they’re afraid of Hell; belief and worship in God is not like, to paraphrase the philosopher William Lane Craig, a “fire insurance” that we get for cynical reasons. Christians believe in God, because God is good, not “good” as an adjective, but “good” as an identity. God is the supreme good, which cannot be found in its purest state inside the universe (Maybe once, when Jesus walked the Earth), but perhaps inside moral creatures endowed with a conscience. After all, anything that you do, if all things end in death, is pointless, and there would be no ultimate meaning at all in the universe, and this is simply not true, since many of us, even if we are overly conscious at rejecting the existence of an independent, objective good, we still behave as if moral obligations exist. As if something has meaning at all, when we have conceded that the lack of God would denote a lack of any ultimate meaning, since nothing can be higher or greater than God.

      Saint Peter does not judge you, God does. Saint Peter, I guess, is a sort of doorman or Maître d’hôtel. I don’t know how that works, only that St. Peter has a special place, but not equal to that of God’s. No man can ever equal to God, save for Jesus who was both fully divine and fully human and led a sinless life up to His death in 33 A.D. Only God knows what is inside your heart, if where you are, morally speaking is the result of abuse, the result of someone else’s moral failings, if you were deceived, if you deceive yourself, and if you genuinely believe to the point of destroying churches and killing clergy and believers, that God does not exist. Ultimately, it is God who will save you, not us imperfect and insufficient sinners who -need- God because we recognize that we are not self-sufficient, nor will we be able to save ourselves without repeating some horrible mistakes and atrocities in history when attempting to do so without the appeal to something transcendent. Even if for some reason, I was granted the ability to see into your heart, I cannot do anything about it, for only God knows where your final destination is.

      If you do good deeds, good. God knows where to put you, most likely in Heaven, or Purgatory to be more specific. But goodness is not just action. Goodness is equal to holiness, perfection, beauty, and truth. Your own goodness is the totality of what you are, not just what you believe but failed to do, not what you have done but do not believe in, nor any one isolated part of you as a human being as if only your eyes would go to heaven if they’ve only seen good things, or your mouth if they’ve only said good things.

      The problem that people have, including myself, is the tendency to believe that the Word of the Law, rather than the Spirit of the Law is more important, so that is why goodness is reduced to “Do unto others as you would want done unto you.” This is the priest, who had moral theology instruction and 2,000 years of commentaries from saints, holy men, teachers, bishops, theologians, and so forth, trying to condense this Tradition and make his listeners understand in terms they would be familiar with. “Love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind, and to Love your neighbor as yourself.” Here, Jesus interprets the 10 commandments into two parts; how to deal with God, and how to deal with your fellow human beings. If there is no God that will judge you on the basis of whether or not you have done unto others what you would want done unto you, what is the standard that prevents you from believing and acting on this statement: “If I want to die, then I must kill someone because I would want to die”?

      Without an “anchor” so to speak, we reduce the “Love your neighbor as yourself” into a sort of presumption that what you love, which in this case is yourself, is something your neighbor would necessarily love. This sort of love is subjective and self-centered. It would ultimately be based not on the action of a self-sacrificing God, but a hedonistic notion, that would likely be rephrased as “If it feels good for you, do that to someone else.” Because the commandment of Jesus is not a negative, not a “Don’t do this” rule, but a “Do this” rule, it is likely to be interpreted even by people who don’t even want to believe in God due to their own perceived sense of moral and intellectual superiority that would give them “Reason” as an object of worship and the objective basis for moral judgement. Of course, historically speaking, worship of “Reason” has ended with thousands beheaded by the guillotine, social upheaval, Revolutions, and mass murder.

      The belief in God provides for a constrained view of the world. Thomas Hobbes states that life in the state of nature is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” and considering how no one can trust anyone nowadays, I AGREE with Thomas Hobbes. Death would be inevitable, no matter how long-lived and forever-young we wish to be. (We Christians believe that Life does not end in Christ, only the breathing and eating, copulating, urinating, defecation, masticating, consuming part ends.) So you would either be of the opinion or persuasion that there is nothing afterwards, and that when we are dead, and all the bodily functions have ceased, all that there is cease to exist, save in memory or what is left behind. Or one would believe that all actions done on earth, both known and unknown, will be taken into account by a higher authority, and that life does not end merely by the act of dying, so to place an individual into a final destination where that one immortal part of the individual will be destined based on the particular and final judgement rendered unto him by God.

      If it WERE the case that there is no judge but the opinions of people who interacted with you, people who misunderstand you, people who reject you, and when you die, there is nothing beyond the brain death and returning into proteins and organic particles digested by smaller creatures, then what would it matter whether you were the greatest mass murderer, or the great worker of mercy and harbinger of hope and peace? I certainly would not find any inhibition for me to shoot the next person who offends me, and neatly dispose of their bodies as if they never existed to begin with. And what would it matter, if no earthly eyes saw me, if my own mind and heart turned a blind eye against my conscience, declaring that I did what I willed, and I am stronger for it, and I am right for my strength, while the weak deserved their fate for being a waste of oxygen and resources? You may judge me poorly for such an action, but I doubt you have led a spotless life. You may deny it, but perhaps people who have rationalized their mistakes their entire lives would be at a point where the notion of sin and morality are only outmoded concepts worthy of contempt and ridicule.

      Are any of us the most omniscient, all-knowing, all-wise ultimate arbiter of everyone else’s fate? Even if you believe that you were the master of your own fate based on what little you know, what you have planned will most likely go wrong, and all your dreams, principles, and truths, would be a mish-mash of half-compromised truths, flimsy rationalization, and the relegation of happiness into feelings, rather than an objective truth. If indeed, all of us know better than God, or know enough to not need God, why do we still argue? Why is the world falling apart, if the Earth is inhabited by infallible supermen, most of whom couldn’t even get their personal lives together much less save the world- why is there room for these people in a godless world, if the world is only to be inherited by the evolutionarily adapted?

      If it were the case that there is a God, then there is a reason for you to worry about if you are doing the morally right thing, rather than justifying it with specious reasoning and rationalizations centered around on what you can possibly know, what you already know, and what part of what you know is truly reliable. But you see, God’s ways are not our ways; whereas we would rather destroy our enemies because of even perceived danger (and this is true even of the men who are members of the Church) whereas the way of God is to spare the enemy, and to even forgive and love him until it hurts. In fact God showed us personally what would happen to a man if the weight of the entire world’s sin rested upon him. The atheist world view does not provide for such considerations, to show mercy and to forgive when we do not want it. And if you would consider the atheist world view to not be the same as your own, and shudder at the thought, then there is an inconsistency between your supposed world view and what you actually believe.

      ————————-

      Going back to your question, the question of “If your belief is wrong” then I will accept what God has in store for me and praise his mercy and justice even if I am sent to Hell- for even Hell is a place of God’s mercy and justice, a place where God puts people who are willfully so offended by Him that they are sickened by His mere Presence and reject Him even in death, rather than destroy them forever into oblivion, which is what atheists believe happen to people when they die. The soul is immortal, it exists even if it is not seen (for it is folly to believe that only things that are seen exist) Death, Judgement, Heaven, Hell, and God exist even if I did not grow up in believing in such things. If I grew up in some tribe in the Amazon where there are no beliefs in God or the afterlife, and I’ve led a good life even without contact with Christianity, then I will be Catholic in heaven. Hell is for those with invincible and willful ignorance, those who would ignore and pretend something does not exist where it does, or put their faith completely on things which they know are false and subordinate to and created by the One God.

  6. There are many that have a mental belief in God, which is good as far as it goes, but the gift of faith is itself both a belief and gift, from God Himself! And this goes well beyond the idea of being good or bad, but it is always a moral glory itself! I am always amazed that God’s mercy, grace and love confronts us in life; these intangibles are a grand mystery! And thank God for “mystery”, whether we see it or not!

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