Zoo Station

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Sometimes it is hard to believe in some things

Posted by Chance on April 10, 2011

So, I finally have time to do a little bit of blogging, so I’m reacting, in a way, to something that happened a month ago.  This is in response to all the new conversations about heaven and hell.  But I’m not going to talk so much about that, but the nature of believe in general.

I don’t think many people, even conservative Christians, want to believe in hell, at least, most people.  I don’t want to.  I think there are more vindictive Christians who are happy at the thought of sinners suffering at the hands of an angry God; I don’t personally see myself as one of them.  I don’t want anyone to suffer.  I wish universalism was true in the sense that I don’t want people to suffer; I don’t want it to be true in the sense that I have to trust God and believe that He knows what is best.

Sometimes this not wanting to believe in hell affects theology.  The idea of hell is so horrible that we change what we believe about God and eternity, or we reject Him all together.

But I think we all, to some extent, minimize or reinterpret what God said to reflect our cultural values, or we simply see things through our cultural lenses.

Sometimes that means not believing in a hell, or the devil, or certain commands Jesus said. For me, probably the hardest thing to interpret is Jesus’ command to turn the other cheek.   I’ve always interpreted this to mean to not seek revenge, but not an indictment on self-defense.  And it is to be used in the individual sense, not the national sense (war, etc…).  But am I softening what this verse is really asking?  These are the types of questions I have to ask myself.

I’ve always been hard on liberal theologians because I feel that they reshape the Bible to fit their cultural perspective (ironically blaming the “wrong” things on the Bible on the cultural perspectives of those writing it).  But do I do the same?

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