Tag Archives: righteousness

Is Endless Punishment Really the Best Option?

It’s common to hear people say that they will never submit to God because of His threats of eternal torture.  That is interesting because I have yet to hear someone refer to hell as eternal torment.  Torture undoubtedly refers to some type of unmerited experience, where torment could be entirely deserved.  The Doctrine of Endless Punishment has nothing to do with eternal torture.  If one finds himself in hell, it is a punishment he earned because he rejected his Savior in favor of a logical error.  Adhering to a fallacious argument like the argumentum ad baculum, or the Threat of Force fallacy, is unwise because it cannot diminish the reality of hell.

Universalism is the preferred religion of post-moderns as it ignores man’s sinful nature and the threat of hell along with it.  Joel Osteen’s brand of Christianity encapsulates this perfectly as sins are regarded as no more than mistakes, and if we have positive vibes, God will shower us with gifts because we deserve it.  This “God owes me” mentality is impossibly stupid.  How can we have the audacity to demand anything from God?  He owes us nothing but wrath, but we feel entitled to His grace.  This reasoning reduces God to an instrument that we wield to satisfy our carnal desires.

If we believe that eternal punishment is too mean, what other alternatives does God have?  In his commentary on Revelation, Chuck Missler suggests that there are three other options at God’s disposal, all of which would result in something worse than hell.

  1. God could let the world just continue to exist forever.

On the surface, this seems to be perfectly reasonable.  But what about the cruelty and injustice?  What about pain and disease?  This would go unchecked, and this Garden of Eden would go on and on.

  1. God could force man into automata.

Can anyone honestly say they would prefer life without free will?  We would be nothing more than mere robots carrying out orders.  Maybe this would be easier, but would we have meaningful lives?  Of course not, but without free will we would never realize it.  As a result, God would be forcing us to love Him which runs contrary to His nature.

  1. He can withdraw Himself.

We might assume that this would look something like number one, but in this case He would not be simply be ignoring His creation.  He would be turning His back on it.  The world was spoken into existence, and if the Word (revealed as Jesus in John 1:1-5) chooses to withdraw from His creation, we could expect that we would not exist.  It is impossible to imagine what it would be like without Him, but I suspect it would be much like it was before Genesis 1.

These are all bad scenarios for man and they all go against God’s nature.  From man’s perspective, the best option is an eternal hell.  What makes hell so appealing is the fact that God provides a way for us to avoid hell through Jesus Christ.  For many, this is preposterous as this would require submission to God.  Some find it much easier to impugn God’s character.  After all, if we must repent of our sins, we have to acknowledge our depravity.

Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley

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Identity Crisis

Consider a world where your identity is based on how you project yourself instead of DNA and common sense. Before we embark on this journey of self-actualization, let’s dust off our Bible to read Psalm 139:13-16. The Psalmist writes, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” It sounds as if God, had already planned and designed each of us before He ever created the universe.

I’m aware that there are those who do not believe in the God of the Bible. Some don’t believe in God at all. That’s fine. If that is the case, the concept of rejecting our DNA to redefine ourselves might seem reasonable. After all, we just evolved over billions of years. We are just evolving ourselves rather than waiting for random chance to catch up.

If we believe in God (or any god for that matter), we are only cleaning up His mess. He created the moon and the stars. He created the green grass and the blue sky. He created giraffes and gnus. His perfect will created you and I. But He made a cosmic mistake. With every fiber of my being, with my limited knowledge and fickle emotions, I look in the mirror and see a man staring back, but in the deepest recesses of my soul, I know that I should have been born a cat.

I have pictures of me playing with balls of yarn as a kitten child. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I have a nasty catnip habit. I think the strongest marker that assures me that I should have been born a cat is that I catch mice and small birds and proudly lay my trophies at my wife’s feet.

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This image of a cat is courtesy of Wikipedia.

What do you see in the above picture? If you see a man, you are narrow-minded and intolerant. Any reasonable person sees a picture of a cat. God must be a rascal to trap a cat in a human body. I can’t imagine the torture he must have endured to self-evolve into his real self–a cat.

Sadly, this is not just an isolated incident.  There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of transhumans.  Some may believe this is a mental delusion that should be included in the DSM V.  It’s not.  We need to exercise compassion and love for these poor creatures.  They should not be derided as deviants or some kind of abomination.  They should be accepted and affirmed.

This image of a sloth is courtesy of Xuilla on Flickr.
This image of a sloth is courtesy of Xuilla on Flickr.

Imagine the horror of living in a body that is not your own.  Look at Slothman.  Look at the pain in his eyes.  He has to wear a ridiculous getup because he cannot afford his transformation.  Is it unreasonable to have the government pay for him to become a proper sloth?  What’s the deal with his claws?  Are those chopsticks?  It’s ridiculous to even entertain the notion that a sloth can hang in a tree with chopsticks.

These poor transhumans need to be integrated into society as the creature that they are on the inside.  You can’t possibly imagine the pain these manimals carry.  I do, though.  I’m a cat trapped in a man’s body.  People laugh at me when I wear my cat outfit made out of a patchwork quilt and a snow tire.  Admittedly, it doesn’t look very catlike, but I cannot afford anything else.

This is the world we live in.  A world with no common sense and no ultimate sense of morality.  We are in a world of deviancy and corruption because we think we know what is best.  Proverbs 3:5 tells us not to lean on our own understanding, yet we mutilate our bodies and souls for cheap thrills.  Or worse, we desecrate our bodies as we take a “moral” stand against righteousness.