However, I think we can get diverted from the real issue by getting caught up in translations of various words. Christians as a group believe that you have to accept Christ as your Savior to be forgiven the sins of Adam (which is bizarre even if there had been an Adam) and of yourself, and to believe Christ died to take away those sins, which is also bizarre because someone cannot pay for something that some bad person might do several thousand years in the future.
Would we on a human level not try a murderer for a murder because some murderer died 2000 years ago to pay for all future murders? The author of those stories was spinning children's fairy tales, and a child's mind might see it as meaningful, and all those millions of adults who still believe that are never losing their 'child's mind' when it comes to religious beliefs.
While many mainstream churches no longer talk about a specific Hell, I think the idea is still that in order to attain the mythical Heaven you have to do what is believed is necessary to get there. Perhaps the alternative is that you just don't get the good stuff when you die.
However, all that to me is nonsense, because I strongly believe that when you die, the lights go out, and you are no more. Your only existence after that point is whatever evidence and memories you left behind for those who still have not died.
My father, who died in March 2002, is still with me, but not that I sense his presence as a spirit in the room with me, but I remember him often, and various things I see renew those memories of him. But his being here is 100% my own imagination.
On the other hand, my mother who is devoutly religious, lives alone in a 4 bedroom farmhouse, in a relatively isolated rural area, with one other home near where the people can see her house, originally my grandparent's home, and now my 1st cousin resides there but it belongs legally to my brother who lived in it until he left farming in the early 90s.
When Dad was alive she claims she would have been afraid to live alone, but now that he is dead, she feels safe alone because she feels that Dad is still there taking care of her. My parents were the son and the granddaughter of 1st cousins with the same family name, and they knew each other all of my mother's life, because Dad was 4 years older, were raised about 1 mile apart with part of my father's home farm backing onto my mother's home farm, all of which my father and then my brother and I owned in later years.
I don't believe that Dad's spirit is actually in the home with Mom, but rather she has a hyper sense of Him because her memory of Him is all she has left. However, what works for her, I am not about to blow away in her presence, because she is dealing with life very well.
Thank you for your response. You seem quite kind. A rarity on topix.