Lots of religions believe that a person’s soul exists before that person is born (“the pre-existence of souls”). This Heavenly Soul Bank idea is held by many Jews, Muslims, Hindus and even Christians.
In the Soul Belief course I’m taking, the professor interviews the students and asks what they were taught as children about the soul. Many of the young students had naive, confused stories. Their confusion reminded me of what I have written many times: most lay folks have sloppy theology. Mind you, I don’t blame them — leave it to the religious professionals to argue theology.
But much of Christianity is founded on “right belief”. So it seems odd to me that it is OK for a believer to have sloppy soul beliefs, but the believer has got to believe the right Jesus story or they burn in hell.
Even the Jesus story comes in many variants with lay believers often holding very weird mixes that their religious professionals would just shake their heads at. But who cares if they get their soul theology wrong, their communion theology wrong, their end-times theology wrong, their trinity theology wrong, or even their resurrection theology wrong? Do you really think their god cares? If so, everyone in that class may very well burn in hell for eternity.
Questions to readers: Do you agree that my example of various soul beliefs, helps illustrate the bizarre nature of Christianity’s “right-belief-is-essential-for-salvation” concept.