A funny thing about the Christian conception of heaven is how strikingly similar it is to modern American-driven Western reality and its ideas of the ideal. Despite all of the shrieking about “secularism” from some fundamentalist types, America is forging the entire world into a thoroughly Christian model. And it looks rather secular.
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9),
to thought crimes,
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”,
it’s all there (here).
“In my Father's house are many mansions”, Jesus says in John 14:2, while the Book of
Revelation also describes a “paradise” that sounds like the modern materialistic and therapeutic nanny-state,
“And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass”(Rev. 21:21).
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying” (Rev. 21:4).
It’s also very progressive, in a ‘1984’ish/Winston Smith kind of way, “See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 65:17).
In fact the bible’s articulation of heaven sounds a lot like the “world is a business” speech from the 1976 film ‘Network’.
The speech, in part, goes as follows,
“There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West! There is only one holistic system of systems….the world is a business, Mr. Beale! It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war and famine, oppression or brutality -- one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.”
Streets paved with gold, equality…no wars or hunger…every tear wiped away.
As Jesus taught in Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
And so it has been (nearly) done.
Christianity is, of course, an imposed social system, rather than a faith. It is an amalgamation of Oriental cosmology, Greek philosophy and Roman political pragmatism (in which those previously deemed barbarians could potentially attain “citizenship” in the kingdom).
It’s more than likely that the vast majority of people who have lived in “Christendom” for the past two thousand years had no actual faith in the ideology’s supernatural aspects. They simply paid lip service to the prevailing ruling system to be able to work and function. To put it another way, no one could buy or sell lest they had the “mark of Jesus” on their foreheads on their hands.
We see the same thing today in Christianity’s more recent nomenclature, ‘political correctness’.
Many pay it lip service, but few believe in its tenants.
Of course there are some who claim to really, REALLY believe in the supernatural faith of Christianity. They like to say they have “personal relationship with Jesus”. But ask with them what that means in plain English and they’ll mumble and stutter in confusion at their own “confession of faith”.
On top of that, “true believers” tend to have a Jesus that is both universal and made in their own image, at the same time. He is both above them and beneath them
Is that a paradox? Just ask the divinely inspired word of God,
“So God created man in his own image”
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels
In fact if you look at genuine religious faith down through the ages you’ll notice that real practiced supernatural faith is neither “personal” nor universal.
No, it is, instead, tribal, being held by a particular group of people (i.e., an ethnic group) for the express purpose of the protecting and sustaining of that particular ethnic group.
As stated earlier, Christianity evolved out of the cross roads of the Roman Empire. It functioned to attempt to create a sustainable sameness out of the empire’s unsustainable mix of peoples from “every nation, tribe, people and language”. It looked to both atomize the empire’s citizens while also erasing all distinctions among them. It elevated its own sense of pragmatic rationality while mocking genuine faith as ignorant and superstitious (Acts: 17).
So Christianity was born out of the worst aspects of ancient cultures and morphed them into a new beast which allowed certain ambitious and hubristic men to achieve their ultimate goal of becoming god by demonstrating their ability to “hold dominion over the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
More than a few researchers have noted that the big secret behind Freemasonry is the revelation that the “great architect of the universe” is man. The same researchers who have also pointed out that the secret society is an extension of Judeo-Christianity.
When you get right down to it, Christianity is, in fact, the world’s first fully functioning secular ideology.