Posts tagged ‘hell’
I like to collect Christian clichés. Most clichés that I hear from Christians are harmless, but there is one cliché that I can do without ever hearing again. When considering their own sinfulness, Christians often say, “We deserve Hell.” Or worse yet, “I deserve Hell,” usually followed by, “but by the grace of Jesus…” – fill in the blank.
“I deserve Hell”. Do Christians really believe this? Most Fundamentalist Christians hate the science of biological evolution, because they think that evolution lessens the value of human life. Christians believe that if we are not uniquely designed by God, if we are a mere bag of molecules and chemical processes determined by the injudicious whim of natural selection, then our existence must have no value. And they readily accuse atheists of imposing this value system.
Yet these same Christians believe that they themselves are of so little value and self-worth when compared to God, that their lives are good for nothing more than to be objects of God’s wrath. A Christian believes that, by nothing more than the act of being born, by virtue of the doctrine of Total Depravity, every man, woman and child on the planet deserve nothing better than never ending torture…
LeoPardus recently published 3 articles which focused on reasons he left Christianity. I will be reprinting 3 slightly edited articles from my old website that highlight only one of the main reasons I left Christianity – the tortuous doctrine of eternal damnation. If you have already read these, forgive me for this second go-around.
I used to wear a button on my hat. I wore it everyday for years. It was one of those buttons that I used to identify myself as a Bible Believing Christian, without having to go through the trouble of actually having to say it to everyone I met. My button had a cliché printed on it.
It read “Know Jesus Know Peace, No Jesus No Peace.”
Why did I have peace in Jesus? I was to have peace because my faith in Jesus Christ gave me hope of an eternal reward in Heaven. No matter the trials of this mortal life, no matter how I was persecuted for my faith, no matter what physical ailments may become me, no matter if death knocked on my door, I could say “O death where is thy victory, O death where is your sting?” (1 Cor 15:55)…
I’ve been thinking a lot about sin lately. No, I don’t have a guilty conscience. Quite the opposite. My conscience has never been clearer, although I think my fundy friends would say that it’s been “seared with a hot iron.” I consider it liberated from guilt theology. The big question of the day: is it even possible to sin? My short answer: no.
At a recent Interfaith Dialogue I was struck by how Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are so dominated by sin consciousness. The primary thrust of each religion appeared to be an attempt to find atonement for sin and be reconciled to God. My favorite college professor delivered the guest sermon at church yesterday. His teaching, along with Brennan Manning’s books, helped me to overcome the narcissistic guilt I inherited in the church growing up. True to form he preached about God’s forgiveness and willful forgetfulness of our sins. That is a very necessary message to help people come out of the trap that is fundamentalism. It’s like opening the prison doors and setting people free. I don’t want to play off the Matrix too much, but at this stage of the journey I’ve come to realize that there is no prison to begin with. We are imprisoned only by the smallness of our minds…