I’m going to Hell

I’ve been cooresponding with Russ Young. He recently demanded that I correct a ten month old entry in my website. That entry was a reply I’d sent to a local newspaper regarding a column that Russ had written condemning pro choice people like me.

I was about to correct my website when I began pondering his warning to me that I was sitting under the “wrath of God.” So I asked him what he meant.

He was not optimistic for my future unless I adopted his or, I should say, God’s ways. When I fix my website I will post all of our coorespondence.

Until then here’s my reply:

Rev Young,
  We began our email exchange with questions regarding life, babies and abortion. I will return to these subjects in a few days but only after commenting on the biblical foundation which supports your arguments.
  According to your interpretation of the Bible and the verses you have chosen I face a grim afterlife. Not everyone has the courage to tell others that they are doomed so I thank you for your warning and your forthrightness. Christ told his disciples to spread “the word” throughout the world and you are following his example. I will try to be just as candid.

  Assuming for the sake of argument that your interpretation of the Bible is correct I find little to love in the God you worship. I will not worship a God who torments kind and generous people through eternity. If it is true that I am complicit in the murder of innocents my fate may be deserved but according to your faith God will also mete out eternal suffering to pro-lifers who have chosen not to worship him.
  In addition to Muslims, Jews and Buddhists, pro-life or otherwise, Hell must be full of other luminaries of indeterminate religiosity like Gandhi, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The later, who seems to have outgrown his youthful atheism often talked about God while he confronted the Civil War but he still skipped church services.

  It doesn’t seem right that people such as these would have to share the same fate as Stalin, Hitler and Mao. It is particularly irksome that this fate has been dealt us by a creator who gave us intellects (in his own image I presume) powerful enough to second guess his Bible. Worse yet, God has sown the universe with so much evidence that undermines the stories in Genesis that it positively invites the curious to fill in the blanks. I suppose Copernicus, Galileo and Darwin are also writhing in Hell for challenging the Bible’s literal truths. Its too bad God didnt personally intervene with them as he did with the Patriarchs. God wrestled with Jacob and he spoke to Moses as a burning bush but for me God only sent Russ Young who merely burns with conviction.

  Had I been a disciple of Christ I would have been Thomas for I too would have required proof of his resurrection. And yet, even though I have never touched Christ’s wounds, I am sufficiently impressed with his teachings that I have tried to make them mine. When Jesus tells us to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” Mat 10:16, RSV; I rejoice in his wisdom.

  Russ Young’s God will almost certainly sentence my sister the Buddhist, my Mother the doubter, and my son the religiously indifferent, to eternal agony. This cruelty seems at odds with Jesus’s instruction to love one’s neighbor. And yet Russ, if I am to believe you, it will be Jesus himself sitting on the right hand of God who casts down this judgment as though he were no better than a guard at Auschwitz directing Jews to the crematoria.
  It is possible that I am missing some exculpatory information which might put your wrathful God in a better light. Until I can learn what this evidence might be I will resign myself to spending a hellish eternity with the people I love and respect. While I am there I’m sure to bump into Pastor Bond. My heretical old minister once told me that his God was so merciful that if he saw people suffering in Hell he would go there to rescue them. I could worship his God.

Harry Welty
An agnostic in the Church Choir

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  1. It’s hard to put my finger on what bothers me about Rev Young but maybe this is it- he hasn’t earned the right to condemn you. He thinks he’s warning you but you’re not hearing a warning- you’re hearing a condemnation that seems a bit irrational.

    Remember Paul the apostle? What did he say when he climbed up on Mars Hill to talk to the polytheists? He said he had come to talk to them about “the unknown God”. He started where they were at and accepted them for who they were. It didn’t mean he approved of everything about them- merely that he respected them as individuals and set out to reason with them as people of good faith.

    I don’t get that sense with Rev. Young. He seems quick to assume you don’t have good faith. I don’t like that. It’s not right.

    Don’t let him bother you. You guys are speaking past each other anyhow.

    Your friend,

    Roger 🙂

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