Friday, May 30, 2008

Universalism and Antinomianism: I Plead Nolo

I have universalist leanings, but I don't reckon one's opinion on this makes a heck of a lot of difference as to how a Christian would live as a disciple of Jesus. At least, I don't think that it should.

Although I have from time to time nominated candidates for the fires of hell, I would not be disappointed if it turned out that nobody went to hell. Some might argue that the pleasures of heaven will be much enhanced by the knowledge of the eternal suffering of the wicked, but I don't see how a perfectly loving person, which I hope we will all be in the afterlife, would feel that way. Indeed, the idea of all those folks roasting in hell would really harsh my heavenly mellow.

Besides, hell doesn't make much sense to me. What's the point? It's not as if the damned can learn anything and mend their ways. Maybe if hell was temporary, like purgatory, that would make some kind of sense, or if hell was just having to live with what a douche you were back when you were a human.

I like to think that God will just leave the really wicked in the grave rather than raising them up just to torment them.

But it's not my call, is it? God can do whatever God wants, and I will doubtless understand it and praise God for it when the time comes. By the same token, it is not for me to judge whether this person or that person will be damned. Nor should I hope that anyone will be damned.

Maybe your spiritual walk would be fairly different if it were really important to you that a lot of folks be hellbound. I won't be joining you, so good luck with that.

I'm also radically antinomian. Jesus freed us from legalism, and all we have to do is let the Holy Ghost work in us to help us love God and our neighbors. I should do or refrain from doing based on love, not on some list of arbitrary do's and don'ts. But won't that kind of belief lead to anarchy? I wish! I don't reckon Jesus and the Holy Ghost are concerned with being instruments of social control. Loving people guided by the Holy Ghost will live ordered lives, but they won't need violence to do so.

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