30 December 2013

Hellish Thoughts for the Christmas Season

I would like to briefly discuss a common attitude about Hell. It is a sort of compromise between the “love wins” idea that no one will be damned, and the “God hates you” idea that everyone except the purely pure members of the purely pure church will be damned. This idea is more along the lines of “Well, yes, Hell exists, but it's not really for you and me. It's for particularly nasty people. You know, like Hitler.”

Ah, but why do people think Hitler belongs in Hell? Usually, it is because he did many very bad things. These things were so bad, and of such a significant quantity, that eternal punishment is a just and right consequence. Very well, one might respond. However, those actions, however horrible, were finite in nature, and the punishment is infinite. So, you acknowledge that, at some point, a finite amount of sins merit an infinite amount of punishment.

Let us consider mathematics. If sin is represented by x, and Hitler committed 20,000,000x, to pick a number, and 20,000,000x equals ∞, then what does 100x equal? How about 10x? I am no mathematician, but is there not something about x, or sin, that leads to ∞? Therefore, it is the x that merits damnation, regardless of the number in front of it. After all, when compared with infinity, what is the difference between 20,000,000 and 10? When compared with infinity, all the crimes of Hitler are no different than a single sinful thought.

Therefore, would it not be best to say, “All of us, myself included, are in the same boat. If one of us merits Hell, we all do. Therefore, let us all work out our salvation with fear and trembling, trusting in God's mercy and not in our own righteousness. Many thought to be quite wicked will likely be in Heaven, and many thought to be quite righteous will likely be in Hell. Let us pray for the salvation of all, but assume it for none, especially not ourselves.”

Some of you do not believe in Hell, finding it to be an unjust and monstrous idea. I can respect that. It's certainly an idea I have had from time to time. However, for those of you who hold to Christian doctrine, remember that when it comes to sin, you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. All of us are the same.

1 comment:

B said...

Excellent read, very thought provoking and a good reminder to not judge anyone, not even yourself.

I will ponder this longer over my evening pint of Guinness.