Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A change in my Christian thinking.

     While I claim to be a Christian overall in my faith journey, I've never been comfortable with how Christianity deals with people who are not Christian but who have led good and virtuous lives. 
      Basically, the Bible says that those who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior are going to hell. Period. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Doesn't matter whether they've lived good virtuous lives even better than most Christians, when they die, they take the down escalator and get to spend eternity with Old Scratch. I'm not really cool with that anymore.
       I tend to look at things from others' points of view, and I just find that whole line of thinking manifestly unfair.  So I've adjusted my thinking. It's not orthodox Christianity, far be from me to think that I, a single person can change over 2,000 years of teaching in a faith that numbers billions, but it's my way of thinking, and God will probably give me a ecclesiastical wedgie and an ass chewing worthy of a 25 year Navy master chief when I finally get to meet Him.
      But basically, I'm adopting the belief that when a virtuous non-Christian dies, they'll be subject to whatever their faith's teaching dictates in regard to an afterlife. If they are either atheist or agnostic, they'll be worm food.
      But if their faith dictates that they'll go to whatever their faith calls a Heaven, that's where I believe they'll end up. The truly evil people of the world, the Hitlers, the Bin Ladens, the unrepentant mass murderers, rapists, child molesters, that bunch are still going to hell. No dispute there. 
      Those in the middle, those who's lives are not totally virtuous nor totally evil, whether Christian or non-Christian, I believe, they'll be deal with according to their faith, if they have one.  I guess this is all part of my no longer being of an Evangelical bent. It sounds kind of semi-Universalist.
      Definitely not what the Bible teaches. But I can't stomach seeing people who have lived lives worthy of merit being consigned to damnation because they chose not to accept Jesus. Because they cling to and derive meaning and strength from a faith that is different from mine. I love Jesus, but some of his disciples deserve a smack upside the head. Probably includes me as well.
      I guess the best way to describe me these days is as a Unitarian-Universalist of Christian persuasion  with Episcopal leanings.  I guess that I no longer fear hell  or damnation. Which may come back to haunt me down the road. As the old spiritual goes, "We'll understand it better, by and by."

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