BTW simple Q for ya - just curious, do you believe in Jesus Christ? Not to follow Him or anything, but do you believe He is God's Son?
That's a loaded question along the lines of "have you stopped beating your wife" -- any answer admits to something
. What I believe is that some guy existed at that time back in history, and became the focal point of a religious movement in the same fashion as Mohammed did among the (then) Persians. Records of history at that time are so very sketchy. All religions have to employ some form of mysticism because if it is all plain and factual and proveable then it's just science, not religion. Heck, we can't even find true verifiable records of Joseph Smith and he existed in America
less than 200 years ago.
One of my main questions to non-believers is what do you want out of your "god".
Actually, I don't "want" anything out of my gods, and I don't worship them as gods. I believe their spirits provide guidance, wisdom, consolation, advice and so forth, but that any decisions that I make are mine and my responsibility only. What I "want" from them is nothing. I acknowledge thier existence in the things they do, but I realize that only I and fate are in control of my life based on the decisions that I make and external factors beyond my control. I need nothing from them. I am responsible for my happiness.
I would, however, have to disagree that this earth is not actually heaven.
Now that actually implies that you think there is something "better", and if there is then the subsequent implication is that your life here isn't truly fulfilled. I can attest to the fact that after life on Earth here with my family, my wife, my life, my friends, my pets then anything else afterwards is going to be a major let down. It just don't get any better than this. What can anyone or any god offer that is better than the simple joy of looking into my wife's eyes at night and holding her hand?
I enjoy your quotes, but let me caution you that it's just a book. And it's interpretation and actual language has changed so many times throughout history. It's a good book and a good story, don't get me wrong. I hope it helps more folks lead a good life. But it's still just a book.