This is a question from something that came up during an R&S forum at my University, where I was one of the 3 people who gave a speech.

The speaker from one of the many Christian groups at our school said that any non-Christian would not even want to find themselves in the Christian Heaven.

(He was saying this in defense when someone said “Why are Christians so concerned with getting non-Christians into Heaven?”)

The speaker said that Heaven is a place where you completely acknowledge Christ as your Lord and Savior and you devote the rest of eternity giving all of your soul to Christ in Heaven. Therefore, any non-Christian wouldn’t want to be there anyway because they would not want to give their soul to Christ for eternity. He said that Hellwould probably be a more likable place for non-Christians because they are not told what to do for eternity…but they can never be one with God in Heaven, so ultimately they are missing out.

What are your thoughts on his statement?

I am agnostic and I have attended Christian schools all my life (because there are no others in the area). Here in South Africa (or at least in my area) there are more churches than restaurants, and many different denominations. Religion is very delicate, and all schools here have at least one morning assembly per week in which there is invariably a prayer. Sometimes there are more, for instance during morning announcements (important information for the day).

In primary school, not really understanding what a prayer was, I bowed my head and said “amen” along with the others. In middle school, I still bowed my head by respect but kept my eyes open and didn’t say “amen”. Now, in high school, I see lots of people who are clearly not Christian keep their heads high during the prayer.

What is the respectful thing to do? I don’t want to be a hypocrite and pray with them, but I don’t want to stick out as a black sheep. Should I keep bowing my head but not praying?

Since the court has been clear their Constitution allows the majority to decide the rights of the minorities. How about only white marriages? Or only native English speakers allowed to marry?

Is it Non-Christian to see a counselor?

My childhood was good for the most part. However, there were sparse events throughout my childhood that make me feel traumatized a little.

For instance, we were raised as Christians. Whenever we did something that Mom didn’t like, we were told that we were going to Hell. At the time, I thought that this was normal. However, I have recently realized that we were going to Hell for the things that the Lord doesn’t like, not Mom. I feel that there was a misuse of authority.

Mom often jumped to conclusions and spanked me for no reason or for silly reasons. For instance, I was threatened with her fist for trying to help another student with her schoolwork simply because Mom said not to do it. There was no reason for it, just simply to control.

After spankings, I would have panic attacks and asthma attacks, but I would be told to be quiet. When I could not stop gasping for air (“making noise”), Mom would then say that I was going to get another spanking. She would says things like “you hypocrite, crying and carrying on, you will go to Hell”. Once, I was about to pass out during a panic attack and the last thing that she said before I lost consciousness was “Well, it looks like you’re going on to Hell”. After a few minutes, I awakened with her just sitting down glaring at me as if it was my fault that I passed out. She didn’t even call for help or anything!

She has screamed at me very loudly, called me the “Devil”, “possessed”, etc. for minor mistakes. If I ever disagree with her on anything, she says “well, you were smart when you were younger but I guess you’re not now…” These kinds of incidents have happened several times. However, I cannot talk about them with her to find out her reasons for behaving this way because she denies them all. If I try to talk to her, she will turn her back on me and scream to the Lord to take me (“the Devil”) away because I am “lying and accusing” her. She acts as if I am losing my mind and she pretends to have no recollection of these events. She sometimes says things like “there are people who really beat their kids, so compared to that, you were treated well.”

I can’t talk to her about anything because as soon as we don’t agree, she turns her back to talk to the Lord about me instead of finishing the conversation with me.

Now, I second-guess myself with every decision. I try to think about if it is something that she would like. I am trying to pick colleges and every time that I find one that I like, I find myself wondering what Mom would say. At night, her screaming and accusations replay in my mind over and over again. I even find myself wondering about how to pray because I was often scolded if I made a mistake during a family prayer.

Should I see a counselor? What should I do?
(I am still living with mother and she says that Christians shouldn’t see counselors… moving out would only make her more upset).