2007-08-26

God's Choices

Today I read something rather remarkable in the church bulletin from my parents' parish about the gospel reading regarding who will and will not be saved from the fires of hell:

If it were up to God, everyone would be saved.
If?!? The Christian God is supposedly omnipotent. He created the universe. He created humanity. He issued the commandments. He founded the church. He instituted the sacraments. He created heaven and hell. He forgives us. He will judge us upon our death. Everything is part of his perfect plan. How can one possibly say that our salvation is not up to him? I suppose one could argue that he grants us free will, concentrating on free will and ignoring he grants us, but even then there is absolutely no reason to imagine that we must forever suffer untold agony if we reject him. People who reject God don't suffer hellish pain while living. Why must they suffer after their death unless God specifically ordains it? It most certainly is up to him.

This attitude of resignation to whatever God has arbitrarily chosen to do as logically necessary can be seen in other areas of Christian theology. Christians say that Jesus' death on the cross was necessary for God to forgive humanity. Why? An omnipotent deity can forgive anyone of anything for any reason without any blood being spilled. If God chooses to do so, then it's because he wants to, not because he has to. Everything truly is up to God. You simply cannot justify the supremely hideous doctrine of hell by saying that God has no choice but to send some of his beloved creatures there to fry for eternity.

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1 comment:

Rasputin said...

The aspect of this that has always bugged the crap out of me is the notion that when someone dies, it was part of God's plan as if this means they didn't die in vain when all it really means is that God wanted them to die.