Monday, 18 February 2008

Forgiveness: a second question.

Does anyone else find something nastily inconsistent in the notion that the same God who calls us to love and forgive our enemies will torture their own enemies for eternity?

5 comments:

Doorman-Priest said...

Yes, I do, but I'm not sure that I have an answer that will satisfy anyone.

Alcibiades said...

As always DP - all suggestions always welcome;* satisfaction never guaranteed and entirely the reader's own responsibility.

*Offer does not apply to anonymous trolls, sanctimonious prats, or anyone selling discount pharmaceuticals. Matthians also excluded if unable to show a few basic courtesies: 16-17th century table manners not acceptable here guys...

BooCat said...

I believe Christ died for all and in the end will save us all--everyone, and no one will be tortured for eternity. Between the stern, Old Testament God with his law giving, rules and regulations and eternity came his son who taught us the importance of putting love and forgiveness above all else.

I believe that the God who allowed himself to be nailed to a cross for the sake of all humanity will not be willing to let even one single bit of that humanity be left in hell for eternity with no way out.

This God is far removed from the vengeful God of my childhood and I like it that way. This is a God that I worship in thanksgiving rather than fear.

Still, what do I know? I am just a simple pew-dweller who follows her heart when it comes to God.

Brian R said...

The God I have experienced and believe in is a God of Love. Perhaps hell is knowing that you have rejected this Love. I will leave all that to His Wisdom.

Mother Laura said...

BooCat--God is immensely loving and forgiving, and Jesus is certainly an abundantly clear sign and mediation of that.

The dichotomy between "harsh OT God"=Jewish God and "loving NT God"=Christian God is inaccurate and dangerous, given the history of Christian anti-Semitism and its horrific results in the Shoah. Jesus learned about God's love from his Jewish family and community and scriptures, which contain numerous testimonies to God's love, grace, and forgiveness. And the NT records Jesus as saying plenty of harsh things (perhaps hyperbolic, but they are there) about the fate of those who do not repent and respond to grace.

Please reconsider this kind of rhetoric; there are better ways to communicate your passionate appreciation of the loving God you (and I) know in Jesus.