I forgot the second reason.
Anyway, here it is. My totally uninspired, probably really poorly written post. Because I care and I love you. You're welcome.
I remember as a christian often wondering about Heaven. I knew that it was supposed to be this wonderful place that was going to be the eternal reward for our belief/faith/obedience; but I always had a hard time imagining what it actually was supposed to be like. I mean, Hell was described in no unclear terms. It would burn you with fire (Matt. 5:22; Matt. 18:9); that fire burned forever and nothing can put it out (Mark 9:43, 45); and not only was it fire, but a lake of fire (Rev. 20:14). That's all I needed to know.
I don't remember many biblical descriptions of Heaven, though. I remember something about milk and honey, and that sounded nice*, and streets of gold, which sounded kind of gaudy and impractical, but what else was there to know about Heaven? Funny that they didn't talk about that more in church.
So, I decided to look for myself and see what the Bible had to say about Heaven.
The first reference I found in the New Testament describing Heaven (the old testament uses the term "heaven" pretty much synonymously with "sky") was Matt. 6:20:
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust dothThat's a good start. I hate it when my stuff rusts, and moths are annoying; and don't even get me started on thieves. I had my wallet stolen once and it was a total nightmare. If I could have found the asshole that stole my wallet, I would have punched him in the throat and set him on fire. Or her. I guess I don't have any real way of knowing.
corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."
The next few descriptions weren't so helpful.
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven isMatt. 13:31:
likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field."
"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likeMatt. 13:33:
to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field."
"Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven,It goes on like this for some time. I'm sure if I read the rest of the parables, it would all be clear. But who has time for that? I just want to know what we're supposed to do in heaven. So far, it looks like a lot of working in the garden and baking. Fuck, I have to do that shit here. I don't need it after I'm dead, too.
which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was
Then there's Matt. 19:14:
"But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me:I hate kids. Well, except for mine. I like her, because she's awesome. Other kids can suck it, though. I don't need them running around screaming with flailing arms while I'm trying to keep from falling on my ass on the streets of gold and enjoy my milk and honey (a reference I have yet to find, by the way).
for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
And oh my fucking Flying Spaghetti Monster, read Matt. 24:35:
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."Heaven is going to pass away? WTF?
So I kept looking. I found a lot more weird parable things that liken the kingdom of heaven to this and that, but I wanted to learn more about what it was going to be like there.
Then I noticed that the milk and honey reference was in the Old Testament, and not even talking about heaven at all. It was talking about the promised land.
"Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel,Well fuck.
and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land
that floweth with milk and honey."
Then I finally came across where the gold streets were mentioned. It mentions the pearl gates, too. I had forgotten all about that part.
"And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl:But that's in Revelation, which no one understands what the fuck it's about, and so everyone says it's all metaphor. So, yeah. Probably no gold streets, either.
and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass."
So, basically what I gathered from my research is that I'm not really going to be missing out on a lot by not going to heaven. That lake of fire is sure going to suck, though.
*Actually, thanks to some information I received from a fellow atheist in our group regarding acceptable quantities of blood and pus, milk doesn't sound all that great to me anymore. But the milk in heaven would be pure and clean milk. Probably.