Tuesday, May 23, 2006

stuck

I'm still dwelling on this idea of universal reconciliation. I keep remembering my mom telling me about how she had invited my aunt and uncle over so she could set them straight on their weird ideas..... upon questioning she revealed that they believed that everybody is saved. Now I wonder what is so offensive about this idea that it requires an intervention.

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Grace takes on meaning. Extravagant love, undeserved forgiveness. Not so extravagant when preceded by conditions, not so undeserved if you spend your lifetime trying to measure up. Not unconditional if it depends on your response.

I mean, would Jesus really go through all that He did only to say, "whoops, you didn't believe the diseased-blanket-bearing-buffalo-exterminating white man, I guess you're off to hell!" Would He? Is that consistent with His character? Does He build a bridge in the wilderness and then restrict passage to the few who can say how it came to be built?

Yet I keep coming up against Paul. I'm developing quite a distaste for Paul, as a matter of fact. He wrote so much of the stuff on which we base our theology, and yet I see him as an opinionated guy writing letters.... not necessarily the be all and end all of Godly wisdom, and maybe even missing the point on certain topics.

So.... what must I do to be saved?? Jesus had a number of different answers to that question, and Paul just kept repeating something totally different. Part of me wants to disregard Paul altogether, but that doesn't seem balanced either.

Recently I remembered this one very well known bit of scripture, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord" and it made me laugh to myself. Why? Because according to my upbringing, the wages of sin is eternal torment in the pit of hell. How did I never see that? To the very short list of things I can say that I believe, I have added the non-existence of hell.

It feels good to have a belief, even if it is a belief that would put me in a precarious position with just about everyone in my life.

3 Comments:

Anonymous kylark said...

Paul is a dick.

I usually stick with the four Gospels. The main appeal of Christianity for me has always been the parts that deal directly with Jesus and his life.

May 29, 2006 9:41 PM  
Anonymous ursa smaller said...

HA!!

Paul Dyck. Those of you from the mennonite mothership, laugh with me.

I'm leaning in the direction of focusing on Jesus and taking all else with a grain of salt, and I'm finding great interest in some of the other gospels out there.

May 30, 2006 11:21 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

Don't be too hard on Paul. He might have had some issues, but one thing he never did was mention either hell or everlasting torture in any of his epistles. It's our preconceptions based on our traditional upbringing which causes us to assume that when he speaks of destruction or death that he's speaking of eternal torture in hell. Paul is actually a friend to the Universalist. As he put it: even as in Adam all died, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

May 31, 2006 3:30 PM  

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