Monday, February 2, 2015

Salon Article "10 Reasons Why Christian Heaven Would Actually Be Hell" Examined


Salon recently posted an article entitled 10 Reasons Why Christian Heaven Would Actually Be Hell. Below are the 10 reasons cited in bold followed by TETH's response.  


1. Perfection means sameness.  Completely false. People are individuals and there can be many expressions of perfection without sameness.

2. Your best qualities are irrelevant.  A continuation of the first error which also presupposes a comprehensive knowledge of possible “qualities” and then erroneously asserts a knowledge that they are the “best” qualities one could possess. Among humanity, the domain of holiness remains a vast and virtually unexplored landscape which holds forth the promise of even better qualities (I John 3:2).

3. Gone is the thrill of risk. Perhaps, but is it not possible that the “thrill of risk” could be supplanted and vastly superseded by the thrill of being in the presence of the eternal creator-God of the universe? Indeed, did God not create the very senses whereby you find risk so thrilling? Could he not likewise create the sensation whereby you would be even more thrilled by the removal of all risk?

4. Forget physical pleasures like food, drink, sleep, and sex. Again, this presupposes the impossibility that God, who spoke the universe into existence out of nothing and created the capacity for every physical sensation you have ever enjoyed, might actually have something better in store for us than food, drink, sleep, and yes, even sex. 

5. Free will ceases to exist. Categorically false. "Free will" NEVER means that someone is utterly free to do ANYTHING they want to do. Rather, the freedom of one’s will is ever and always defined and confined by one’s nature. Whatever could be said of one's “free will” it most certainly is not free to allow you to take a running leap and land on the moon. That is because it is confined by your nature. This is likewise true of God. His holy nature prevents him from having free will in an ABSOLUTE sense, because the bible clearly states that there are things that God cannot do - namely "lie" or "deny himself." (Titus 1:2, II Timothy 2:13) That said, it is a completely unsubstantiated projection to assert that free-will ceases to exist in heaven. Rather, the domain of freedom will be radically changed for all of heaven's occupants. It is the height of folly to believe that the domain of holiness to which our natures will be conformed as citizens of heaven will be smaller than the domain of potential human activity which currently constrains us. 

6. Ninety-eight percent of Heaven’s occupants are embryos and toddlers. Quite possibly true, and when they see Christ, they too shall be like him (I John 3:2). I look forward to meeting them as they will without controversy be among the finest trophies of God's relentless power to save apart from anything that even remotely resembles some "assistance" on the part of man. 

7. Gems and streets of gold define heavenly wealth and beauty. Heaven is described as a place of unsurpassed worth and beauty (Revelation 21:21). It will vastly transcend the considerable beauty of fallen creation, irrespective of one’s opinion of “streets of Gold” in this day and age. 

8. Take your pick of sadism or ignorance. God is at liberty to do as he pleases in the world he created (Psalm 115:3). He is also at liberty to define the appropriate descriptions of his actions. God describes his punishment as an expression of “a just recompense of reward” (Hebrews 2:2) not “sadism” and heaven as a place where we “know even as we are known” (I Corinthians 13:12) not “ignorance.”

9. Your celestial day (and night) job is to sing God’s praises.  Is it not possible that the desirability and awesomeness of being in God’s presence leads to this as a willing and pleasurable response from those around his throne? If some grubby rock band can inspire a crowd to enjoy singing and praising them for an hour in this world, is it impossible to think that the creator God of the universe might illicit an even more fantastic and eternal response of willing exaltation from an audience perfectly conformed to his will?
  
10. This Heaven goes on foreverUnaffected by the corruption of sin and the weariness that attends our lives on this earth, forever sounds pretty good to me, and seems far removed from the drudgery that this unimaginitive and unscriptural portrayal sets forth.




SUMMARY

Simply stated, if God is who he claims to be (Isaiah 40), then it is the height of arrogance to assert that he is incapable of providing something for his people that is vastly better than the best that this fallen world has to offer. If this possibility is beyond your consideration, then your view of God is too small.


2 comments:

  1. Fantastic read! Well thought out and unoffensive. I will be following your blog more.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words.

      God bless,
      teth

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