If children go to Heaven when they die, why do we mourn?
This is another question that I’ve asked countless times in religion class as a child, but have yet to have answered in any meaningful way.
If my understanding of Heaven is correct, a child who has been baptized and brought up to believe that Jesus is our Lord should begin experiencing an eternity of bliss immediately upon death.
…shouldn’t funerals be treated more like celebrations?
If we sincerely believe that admittance into Heaven is based off of the choices we make during our life on Earth, where we’ll constantly be tempted to question our faith (i.e. by scientific evidence or by the persuasions of other religions) or to commit ‘sins’ for which we might not repent (i.e. being born homosexual), then shouldn’t we be relieved that our children escaped this test of life before they were old enough to fall victim to one of these traps?
If this version of our faith is to be believed, then shouldn’t funerals be treated more like celebrations?
In fact, the only reason that any of us should mourn if our child, still basking in innocence, was taken from us would be purely selfish; because we would miss them while we’re still living on Earth.
I would’ve been better off dying as a child, while I was too young to question what my parents told me about God.
But wouldn’t that be beyond selfish? We wouldn’t just be saying that we want them here with us. We’d be asking them to forego their guaranteed admittance into an everlasting paradise with God so they can spend a few more years with us – and risk having their souls eternally tortured because they remained alive long enough to move away from Jesus or discover that they were gay?
For instance, if these teachings are true, then I would’ve been better off dying as a child, while I was too young to question what my parents told me about God.
Because I’ve learned about the scientific evidence behind evolution (as well as other things), I’m apparently doomed to an afterlife of suffering. And so are my children, because I’m not raising them with any specific theology. I would’ve been better off not experiencing these past 40 amazing years, marrying the woman of my dreams and starting a beautiful family.
It has to be pointed out that this type of belief would seem to be a pretty morbid view of life. But it would have to a person’s view if they hold these beliefs, which have been taught by the church for thousands of years.
Now, obviously I don’t believe any of this. I don’t believe that any of us know anything about whether or not an afterlife exists, forget about if we’d actually know anything about it (who gets in, or how). I feel that it’s perfectly natural and understandable for anybody to grieve deeply if they were to lose a child.
It just confuses me how anyone who truly, honestly believes that their child will be in Heaven, and that spending more time on Earth would’ve given them a greater chance of earning eternal suffering, could mourn without feeling overwhelmingly selfish and guilty. It seems like a contradictory reaction.
Those are just my thoughts. If anybody has a different take that they’d like to share, I would appreciate hearing them.