Saturday, January 28, 2006

Hell

Someone's put a cracking link on CF today about hell
Wonderful stuff, full of bits and pieces that I looked up on snopes and that were totally elaborated and made up.
This has to be my favourite bit though:
The great 'pit' [hell] would only need to be about 100 miles or less in diameter to contain, with much room to spare, all the forty billion or so people who have ever lived, assuming their 'spiritual' bodies are the same size as their physical bodies."(Henry M. Morris, The Bible Has the Answer, p. 220)

What kind of mentality sits and works that out?
What kind of mentality can continue to believe in a god who sends 40 billion people to burn for all eternity?
Who tortures people who did their best, mostly, maybe didn't always live up to the highest standards sometimes, but meant no harm and tried to love and cherish those around them?
Just who couldn't believe?

I did a google search and discovered this particular website has numerous clones, with it's inaccurate information repeated as fact solemnly all over the place. Spreading the good news...

A god of love and hell?
Not good news at all.
Contradictory.
So clearly the work of a human mind intent on revenge and punishment, intent on anything except salvation.
Real salvation, that will make people aware of their goodness and their uniqueness and their ability to love and be loved, to enjoy, to experience pleasure, to be happy and rejoice at small things.
Not the salvation that leads to guilt ridden days of agonising over sex, believing one to be cut off from all grace because of a few minutes of a natural human act; doomed to this place of fire for doing something that we are built and programmed to do.
So sad that people can continue to think this way...

2 comments:

faerieeva said...

*hugs*

I've always loved the expression: we must believe in the existence of hell, but we can believe it will be empty. God is infinitely just... but infinitely mercifull too. I'm so small, I have so many faults. His being just would send me to the deep dark pit immediately and forever... His being merciful would keep me from even spending one second in there.

What is hell? *shrugs* I'm not a theologist or an apologist. I'm a Catholic teacher, but I believe that I need the faith of a child, an innocence and trust of faith that my Father wants what is good for me.

I keep thinking 'Jesus was a teacher'... I'm a teacher... I've said some quite overblown things to get the point across: "If you're late again, I'll have to write it up, you'll be put on a contract and if you're then late once more this schoolyear, you're out of here! Out of the school." It's an exageration, but it gets the point across.

Hell... one of the concepts I struggled with for so long, for me... I decided to believe it's there. Just like there are contracts to remove children from the school and some teachers use them if a child goes to far. As for me... I'll never use them. My children have been 'thrown away' enough by ohters. If I can see that, even when they get the blood from under my nails... why wouldn't He?
Theologists, are theologists, and apologetics are apologetics. But sometimes there is a truth that I can not find within them.

They say God is mercifull, but also just. I say he is just, but also mercifull. Same thing, a world of difference.

But why does this merciful and just God dole out suffering the way he does? Why did my father what he did when I was a child and made me a nervous wreck before I was 25? Why did the stepfather of one of the sweetest children we've ever seen in school terrorise her, made her take the blame and burned her with cigarettes? Why are there earthquakes that devestate families?

I believe some suffering can be given for the good of a person, but that's not an explenation for all suffering. What good is there in a child slowly starving to death?
In my classroom there is a cartoon with two men idling away some time. One of them says "Sometimes, I would want to ask God why he allows there to be hunger, war, and suffering when he could stop it." the other man replies "Well, why don't you ask?" to which the first on replies: "I am afraid he would ask me the same question."
I believe God wants us to end all suffering. Could he do it for us? Probably... but wouldn't we then be walking aroudnd like happy drugged people without a choice on doing good and evil?

But then there is the third suffering... illness... sometimes we can not help someone with an illness. If all the world became 'good' and sinfree... would it help cancer go away? I have a friend now, a kind man, good father, who has cancer. I do not know wether he will make it. What did he deserve to get this? What have his sons done? Why would God do this to him?

I do not know. Is it God that rules everything? I do not know, wouldn't that make us like balls in a pinball machine with God pulling the lever and shouting us away, bumping into obstacles before finally resting in the hole he decided on for us. I can't see God that way.
I often have more questions than answers. I often rather know what not than what is.

What I do know is that you're on this journey, and that whatever your choices are, your questions or your doubts, you're not alone. I'm here, and I'll remain here. Maybe, just maybe, that's a bit of Him that is in me.

Cat said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Eva.
*hugs*