Friday, December 11, 2009


What We Have Wrought

At BHT Mertonhead links and quotes without comment the transcript of an overheard conversation on love and salvation. Mertonhead's choice of money quote is:
“God can either love me, or send me to hell, but not both”
This quote is also the title of the post. A fascinating quote, one worthy of enormous discussion - a discussion that it saw at both sites. I have a different money quote:
That I made that mistake doesn’t alter the fact that God has chosen to punish me for that mistake by forcing me to spend eternity being physically tortured. And anyone who would choose that for me—who would choose to punish me eternally just for having used the mind and soul he gave me to arrive at a conclusion that displeases him—cannot possible love me. That’s not love. It’s something. It sounds to me like the worst kind of shallow vindictiveness. But it’s certainly not love.
I am going to go way out on a limb here. I am not at all sure we can call it love either if God condemns us purely for a wrong conclusion. And yet, that seems to be what so many of us have reduced Christianity to - a conclusion.

We Christians have made this guy's argument for him by reducing faith to a decision, not a life.

When you made your "decision for Christ," - be honest now - was it really just a decision? Well, of course I cannot speak for you, but I can tell you that for me it was far more. It was desire to be a part of the community that was offering me the decision. It was a desire for a life better than the one I had at the time. It was desire to be loved. It was far more than a decision - it was an expression an effort for something more and better.

We come to faith by so many different paths. Many people live Christianity for decades, only to discover towards the end the theological reality that underlies how they live. Some live their lives searching and never find the answers, but their lives reflect; somehow the glory of the search.

How could we call the apostles Christians? They could not possible ascent to the right set of ideas because the ideas were yet to be formulated.

I am with the doubter here. If all Christianity is is a conclusion, we do not worship a just God if he condemns us for reaching a wrong one. In so doing we throw out a huge body of evidence that does not lead to a conclusion, just a transformation.

Don't just think about it - do it.

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