Here’s an excellent Facebook post by Jeff Turner, author of ‘Saints in the Arms of a Happy God‘. It highlights just how ridiculous is the current standard Evangelical concept that everyone who does not ‘believe’ in Jesus in the here-and-now is condemned to an eternity of suffering in Hell when they die.
You know I don’t believe in that idea; articles here and here, and my Statement of Belief, reflect my views, for what they’re worth. An especial fabrication is the idea of the ‘age of accountability’ and the other idea that those who have not heard are ‘judged according to the revelation they have’, but once someone hears the ‘gospel’ and rejects it, well then that’s them stuffed good and proper in the Great Hereafter.
It never fails to amaze me how people can make up this stuff and still consider their ideas to be Scriptural, i.e. supported by the Bible*.
Ok, over to Jeff:
“I want you to consider the immorality of the concept of salvation with which most Christians today are comfortable.
“Andrea Yates, some years ago now, admittedly drowned her five young children in her bathtub under the delusion that she was keeping them from hell. Their innocence had not yet been stolen by the world, nor had they crossed that mythical line we call the age of accountability, and so killing them seemed the most surefire way to keep them from hellfire.
“I know a situation like this is difficult to even think about, but it’s reality. What is also reality, and even more difficult to think about, is the fact that, from within that worldview, Andrea Yates should actually be considered something of a hero. If one actually believes that an eternity or flames, torment and misery awaits all who die as non-evangelical Christians, and also believe that only a very small percentage of the world’s population will be saved, then there is a very, very good chance that at least one of your children will, according to that worldview, burn in hell forever. Killing them before they have a chance to reject Jesus, then, from within that view, is actually a kind, compassionate, merciful and moral action, while bringing children into a world that has a 99% success rate when it comes to robbing us of our innocence and thereby condemning us to an eternity of torture, would be the most selfish, criminal and immoral of actions.
“Truth be told, from within that paradigm, abortion doctors should also be hailed as heroes, as they have saved more souls from hell, and sent more to heaven than the most pious missionary among us.
“While we are on the topic of the missionary, consider that from within this worldview, the missionary is actually one who makes people accountable for a truth that perhaps they wouldn’t have been accountable for prior to hearing it. If that’s the case, going to unreached people groups and telling them about Jesus would actually be a mean and hateful action, as now you’ve almost certainly guaranteed that at least one of their number will burn forever, whereas before maybe they would have slipped through heaven’s gates on account of their ignorance.
“When one holds to the popular concept of salvation that almost all evangelical Christians hold to, the immoral becomes moral, and the moral becomes immoral. It taints everything it touches, and twists everything its serpentine form slithers over into hideous knots. Life becomes a confusing mess, and one must come to grips with things like the fact that the angry, red faced street corner preacher of and for whom we feel so embarrassed, is the most sane and moral of creatures. The angry, sign holding mobs are actually the ones with theirs heads screwed on straight, while the upstanding, suburban family who keeps a clean house, a neatly manicured lawn, and have a reputation as kind, decent, upstanding citizens, but who also believe in eternal conscious torment, are actually behaving like psychopaths. If you believe in an eternal hell, normal and sane should, for you, look like street preaching, or perhaps even the early ending of lives in the name of securing them a place in heaven.
“I know these are extreme examples, but one of the reasons the inherent insanity and immorality of certain beliefs are not apparent to us is because we never work them out to their logical ends. When it comes to a belief in hell and eternal conscious torment, what is normally considered sane and moral is insane and immoral, and what is considered immoral and insane becomes moral and sane.
“This doctrine of salvation perverts everything it touches, and for that reason I say we need to be saved from it.”
*I really must elaborate on these points in some future post…..