An anonymous reader brought up a good point regarding my earlier post on Terri Schiavo and the blasphemy of doubting Christians. That reader asked:
A family member is in your house trying to kill you. If we assume you're a Christian and are going to heaven, should we try to stop him from killing you, just because you are going to a better place, or should we stand idly by and watch you die at the hand of someone who claims to "love you."
Upon writing this, the writer obviously thinks that they has us stumped and trembling. Why? Because he/she was responding based on gut feelings rather than logically to an obvious question of faith. Why am I so callous in my description of this person, because their point falls completely within the realm of what I was saying. In short, my answer is a resounding YES, if I believed that I was going to Heaven upon death, I should be perfectly happy with someone murdering me. Naturally, the issue of suicide comes up which is a definite no-no. So this could not be a case of me allowing myself to be murdered, but rather one in which I am unable to prevent it. Perhaps if I was unconscious or sleeping or something. But as long as I am blameless in my own death and am a good Christian who believes that I'm going to Heaven, then I'd be a fool to want my family member to stop the murder.
To argue this better I will use a different analogy. How's this:
What if you believed that if you allowed yourself to be punched one time in the stomach by a professional boxer, you would win a week-long all-expense paid trip for you and your family to Disney World, along with $500 a day spending money. No serious damage would be caused, just a quick pain which would dissipate within a few minutes. This isn't a very good analogy, mind you, because Heaven is supposedly infinitely better than Disney World, so no real comparison can be made. And if Disney isn't your cup of tea, I will gladly change this to a brothel or any other earthly delight of your choosing. But if this was the offer and you believed it to be valid and secure, would you agree to do it?
Of course you would. It would be foolish to turn down such an offer. People do far worse things on shows like Fear Factor with no definite reward lined-up. The only way that you'd turn down this offer is if you did not believe that you would get the reward. But a true believer in this scenario would gladly accept the punch in exchange for Disney World and the cash.
And that is as it is with Heaven. Anyone who believes in Heaven should be perfectly happy to die. Far happier than a game-show winner. After all, the only thing scary about dying is that it's unknown and you don't know what's going to happen. But true Christians supposedly DO know what will happen. So what's the problem? Why do any of them avoid it at all, or fear it, or regret that loved ones faced it? I understand the selfishness of not wanting to see a loved one go, but we're talking Heaven, so what's the problem. You should be happy for them. Hell, I don't fear death and I DON'T believe in an afterlife. It's just something that's going to happen and I'd rather keep enjoying things as long as possible, but death itself is no fear. I'd much rather die than live in agony. And Christians should have the added bonus of knowing that they're going to a far better place than Earth could ever be. So why avoid death?
They're not allowed to kill themselves or allow themselves to be needlessly killed, but being murdered should be perfectly acceptable. Even martyrdom is considered to be acceptable, as long as it's for keeping with the faith. Frankly, I can't imagine what the difficulty in understanding this is. Then again, I'm really not a big believer in things that seem unreal or supernatural, and even in the case of the Disney World punch, I would require a legally binding contract of some sort. Perhaps if God had something like that for me to sign...
Anyway, long post short, believers in Heaven should have nothing to fear from death. And because it's possible that Terri Schiavo is in a worse than death scenario of being conscience but entirely unable to communicate or control her physical body, Heaven would be a welcome alternative. And even if she was somehow curable, Heaven would have to be preferable over Earth...for any true believers that is. But it is my belief that there are very few Christians who believe in Heaven at that level, which is why they insist so fervently for justice on Earth and goodwill towards good people. They like to act smug when they suggest that you're going to Hell for living the way that you want to, but when push comes to shove, they'd rather be at Disney World.