I'm going to get a lot of hate for this, but I just need to ask about it. 

The teachings of Jesus are supposedly written in the Bible and known all over the world to this very day. One of the most famous ones is the following: if you do good in life on earth than you shall be rewarded with the Kingdom of Heaven. 

If a Christian (or any other person, I suppose) were to live their life as a good person for the purpose of making it to Heaven, eternal happiness, and such, is that just being good for an ulterior motive? Does that mean, then, that it is wrong? The Catholic Church states that doing a good deed for the sake of looking good or getting benefits doesn't really count and is not good at all. 

Then why, I ask, does it seem that Jesus is sort of tempting us to do this with a prize (Heaven)? 

I, myself, have been born and raised Catholic, but I am now more Agnostic, if anything. Thanks to those who reply. 

Tags: Bible, God, Heaven, Jesus, Kingdom, Religion, morality

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I'll try to give my best answer, but I don't know if it will be the best one.  Part of the answer lies in what faction of Christianity you are going off of.  I was raised evangelical, so in that church no amount of good works will get you into heaven.  You should definitely do them, it is just that it is believed that the one and only thing that serves as a ticket into heaven is the pledging of one's life to Jesus.  I know this is not exactly true in all factions or it is regarded slightly different, but since I have never really investigated other factions of Christianity I don't like to make statements that i have no evidence for.  I'm sure someone with a Catholic background would be able to give a more informed answer in the matter of what that church believes.

As to the matter of Jesus tempting us, I am not so sure that can be regarded as a bad thing.  Temptation itself is not evil, just the intent/outcome.  Christianity is usually viewed in a prize/punishment scope for its believers.  Obeying laws that are set out as black and white with no grey usually means that the deity/church is going to have to set up a carrot or stick approach to their teachings.  If the Devil can tempt you to bad, why not Jesus to good?

Personally, I have been out of the christian faith for about three years and have come to adopt a different view towards my morals.  I don't think, really, that there are many actions taken that are not viewed in some way as selfish or at least motivated in some small form by a personal desire to feel better, feel less guilty, feel something.  I think the good deeds we do should make you feel better since it is a way that we are connecting with our world.  I don't think prizes are wrong.  I like prizes.  I don't think the world gives us enough of them.  Sometimes all you get is the good feeling.  Maybe if people were more apt to give out cupcakes as rewards here on earth, then maybe the church wouldn't feel the need to promise rewards up in heaven.

You're right; I should have specified if what portion of Christianity I was talking about. I do not have too much knowledge about other parts of Christianity besides Catholicism, which was the main thing I was confused about. I apologize. 

My reasoning when it comes to this is it doesn't matter if Jesus is tempting you to do good. This action in and of itself is hypocritical. 

Temptation itself is not evil, just the intent/outcome.

This isn't entirely true. If a boy at a party were to tempt a girl to sleep with him, is that action not sinful? What if there was an uptight, stressful teenager with too much going on in her life hanging out with friends who suggests doing drugs? Not to mention, temptation can be considered closely knit to peer pressure. The Catholic Church encourages us to ignore peer pressure. I'm not exactly sure about what the evangelical church says, but it is probably along the same lines. 

Do you see where I'm coming from? This kind of topic is pretty controversial and has a lot of different facets to it. 

I, myself, have strayed away from the Catholic faith and am now leaning more towards Agnosticism. I don't look towards any religion or "holy book" and choose instead to rationalize and consider all sides of an action before deciding it is morally acceptable or not. 

All things considered, I respect your opinion. It gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing. 

I honestly think temptation and peer pressure are not in themselves bad, they are amoral concepts.  The intent of the tempter/person influencing  and the outcome are what makes it either good or bad.  Peer pressure to do good, is a good thing.  I don't think it should be a deciding factor in a person's judgements, but just because it is there does not negate the good.

First I'd like to suggest you keep Jesus and The Catholic (or any organized religion)church in separate boxes in your head.  Just look at things he is actually purported to have said to make your opinions of him.  I love Christ, it's the Christians I can't stand.  LOL!  I am also an ex-Catholic.  12 years of parochial school and all will make an ex-Catholic out of anyone that looks at it's history.  That being said, the philosophy and teachings of Jesus are something that I respect and admire.  :)

That being said, the philosophy and teachings of Jesus are something that I respect and admire.  :)

How do you feel about John 14: 6?

Sounds like we're dealing with a serious narcissist here.

Well, that is one quote from one Apostle.  Constantine and his minions did some heavy editing to stop all the arguments between different sects of early Christians.  Sadly we'll never know exactly what he said.  There were no Blackberry's and flipcams available back then.  :)  I don't want to do any church bashing.  I just want to answer Haley's request for opinions.  To quote the song "Jesus is alright with me".

Right, so where Jesus says things you don't like, you put it down to Constantine (Which I should point out is a mistake on your part, since we have 1600+ copies of the gospels from time far before Constantine) but the parts you do like are perfectly fine to attribute to him

You're missing the point of the original post.  It wasn't to verify accuracy of Biblical quotation, it was about faith in Jesus' message, particularly rationale for doing good.

But that was not the entirety of Jesus's message. That was my point, and acting like it was is to be misleading.

Vertigo, can you please not nit-pick at people's answers to my question? I know you probably have no life and waste your days trolling on all the forums here (don't lie- I've seen your name on other posts, too), but I don't appreciate you doing that with my question and those giving their own educated responses. 

Maybe you should answer my question, instead. Give it a try, I'm sure your brain could use some exercise. 

I am not nit-picking. Nit-picking implies taking insignificent aspects to someone's answer and focusing on them. Someone claimed they liked Jesus's message. I asked about it, and we had a discussion. Please provide proof that this is somehow "nitpicking"

Oh, and here's a hint. Calling someone a troll when they do no trolling, and insulting them etc = not a very good way to get them to participate. I'd like an apology, and if you want an answer to a specific question, I'll be happy to give it.


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