Friday 16 November 2007

Heaven Is Not Enough

Sorry James.

I know you won't agree.
But I think we need to really look at the whole promise of salvation.

WHO are you living for?


Oh, virtue. Virtue.
A text book situation to tell enlightened animals how to behave.

Oh, with a bribe.
An afterlife.

Can't you see the paradox?
Can't you see the dark side of Christ's message?
Can't you see the bit where he TELLS those who REALLY listen what the logical truth is?

He sold his message to a nasty culture. Watch The Passion of Christ.

Man, capable of building cities.
Man, capable of enslaving millions.
Man capable of making gold ornaments.

But Man, capable of taking a man, who only ever preached Love, and nailing him to two bits of wood and watching him die.

Not a society which would get what he saw.
So he told us his message.

And bribed us with a lie. Because all we understood, was bargains.

Accept my message, and spend eternity with God.
Or don't, and spend eternity in torment.

Because without that bribe, no one then would have bothered.
That eternity afterlife bit was the selling point.

So, yes THANK GOD, he used it.
Because it allows us now, who heard his real message from birth to take it in, in a way they couldn't.
Not the Heaven, Hell, afterlife stuff.
The real point.

And here it is.

You have a choice.

You are saved, but every person close to you, every person you spent your life with, those who you embrace and hold tight, because they are your friends, the people whom this journey thrust you into, in a way you FELT them as people, that complete comfort in their company, that circle of those you would die for.
Every one of them, is damned.


You can save every one of them.
At the price of your own damnation.


THINK about that.
Think about your faith.

Because accepting the only answer to that, that YOU KNOW in your conscience, is the only one you can accept, means now you really know, whether you are good or evil.

Of THAT, I am surely convinced.

THAT is his message of Love.
THAT'S how far it must go.

The last piece of his puzzle. Do it, WITHOUT the bribe.
And in SPITE of the bribe.

Would YOU take on the sins of your fellow man?

The man SET US AN EXAMPLE. THAT'S his message.


Then no, you didn't actually LISTEN to what he said.


Anonymous said...

Could you finally decide you really aren't a Christian as James claimed?

You know I like you, but this isn't a Christian post.

Anonymous said...

Lord N- The point is, Christ sacrficed himself for all mankind, and went to Hell (that's the theology. He fought Stan, won, and liberated the patriarchs.

So what is a Christian? One who has faith IN Christ, or the faith OF Christ.
No, I'm not a conventional christian.

Because I really think he meant us, one day to see the paradox. see the dilemmas he must have gone through.

Descend to hell for all mankind. because, if you believe scripture, that was EXACTLY what he was going through in Gethsemane. That was what he knew he faced.

And if you believe scripture, he won.

So. Are you going to go to Heaven on his coat tails?

Or will you stand up, side by side with what he did and say 'Me too. I love Man that much.'

That's the way I see it. Orthodox? No. Do I believe Christ was right? Yes.

Do I believe in traditional interpretations of his message? No.

Christ sold the message he had to sell for his time.

But the KEY points will always be true.

God Is Love.
Love thy neighbour as thyself.

And the parables. Every one of those, is an insight in itself.
That's his message.

Anonymous said...

You sound a little perturbed. Life is quid pro quo. We get something out of it for what we put into it. It's simple really.

We have a choice to either take the high road or suffer in the lower world. The bargain is what we make with ourselves - - to either live with love or without it.

Simple. Really.

Anonymous said...

Triply excellent post, CBI.

> The last piece of his puzzle. Do it, WITHOUT the bribe. And in SPITE of the bribe. Would YOU take on the sins of your fellow man?

I never saw it til now. This will be my devotional material for today. I agree, this is what he said, "Take up your cross and follow me." Choose the path of giving all for a love of an unworthy people, and by your love, give them worth.

You know the truth... guess you now have to ask yourself that question. Are you prepared to be a Christian, to follow his example...? You've inspired me. I want to say, "Yes, Lord, I will follow. I've been lost, but you can take my weaknesses and use them for your glory." And I do believe that when we give our lives to him, he makes them better, and finds the best use for them, so we don't live a wasted, unfulfilled life...

Once again, great post... very well presented (and more powerful than the way many preachers present it. But yes, this IS the gospel, and you've reminded me of it...:-) To count the cost, and put your hand to the plow and never look back..)

Anonymous said...

We don't have these problems in Golders Green

Anonymous said...

alexys just summoned by thoughts:

"The bargain is what we make with ourselves - - to either live with love or without it."

lifes all about choices and being prepared to take the concequences of all the actions you take in life... whether it be in religion, politics, personal life - life is what u make of it.

Anonymous said...

Alexys- So its a bargain. Its conditional. You love so you will be loved.
But surely that's not the message?

He loved, even though he was hated for it.

If you love mankind unconditionally, surely you have to suffer in the lower world for them?

Eve- It's actually only something that finally clicked for me over the last couple of months. I guess the implications were always there.

But that surely, over and over, is the heart of the Christian message?

Surrender self, live to die for Man, if need be.

I think I always believed that, but it has taken an ongoing ordeal to convince me that sometimes, you must just endure whatever you have to.

Jeremy- I think we have them everwhere. Its the nature of human life. Thinking of self.

Crashie- Indeed it is.
But it's also WHO we make those choices for.

Let's stand back. Let's look at the questuion I posed in the post. Be impartial.
1 saved. 20 damned.
20 saved. 1 damned.

Can you make the impartial choice and opt for the second option, KNOWING that for you -and you alone- it is the painful option.

Anonymous said...

*Nods* Yes, you've got it. I just needed a reminder... :-) Guess that ordeal was yours (and so good comes of everything). Hang on in there...! :-)

Anonymous said...

That's it, too. We are supposed to be shepherds--those who pick up the lowest member of the flock do the Lord's work. We are supposed to follow Christ's example not in words but in everything we do. We are supposed to love our neighbor like we would our own brother.

Everyone forgets these things. They think absolution, confessions and penitence, or just plain old remorse in a prayer here or there are all you need to do and you'll be saved.

People think that you don't have to listen to God, that you only have to love him. And then they don't even do that. The bribe isn't enough.

I like the Old Testament teaching in regards to that--that there is no heaven or hell, there is life, the grave, and judgment day, and then maybe there will be a hereafter beyond that. That's good enough to me. But some people need that extra reward, or punishment.

Of course, I could stand to have more faith myself. To be a better shepherd, take better care of my brothers and sisters and encourage them to do the same.

This, the confessions, the frustration of having to play the game and live in a corrupt world. I like the arc of these last few posts. You are heading somewhere with this, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting post although I certainly can't agree with your last paragraph.

I try not to think about heaven and hell but just live my life according to basic Christian rules. Love your fellow man and do unto others, etc.

If I believe in hell I have to consider the fact that my husband who is a non believer may end in hell for not believing even though he lives by good principles.

Whether you are good or evil I think depends on your acts rather than on your beliefs.

Still, interesting as I said.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no, here we go again!

Anonymous said...

Eve- As with all ordeals, they give you experience and perspective money can't buy.
The important thing is still being able to look yourself in the eye in the mirror. The day you can't do that, is the day you've lost.

Eric- I think people forgot what God is. God is in all creation, so the only real way to ,ove God is THROUGH his creations. Help preserve each one of his creations, enjoy them, hold them, love them.

Heaven and Hell are here, I think. We make them. They exist inside us, they exist in the world we create.

Heaven is lieing there in your last breath thinking 'That was it. I gave it my all.'
Hell is thinking 'Oh F*ck, I WASTED that.'

I guess I am heading somewhere. I know where I'm going, but how many post it takes to get there, remains to be seen.

jmb- Have you read The Last Battle by CS Lewis.

'He who swears an oath in anger, though he swear by Aslan, really swears by Tash. He who makes a vow in love by Tash, really makes it in my name.'

Or some such. aslan says it to a Tash worshipping Calormene (Tash being the devil of the Narnia stories).

I think anyone who lives their life by Christian Rules, no matter if they believe Christ was the Son of God, is saved.
Whilst those who thump the bible, yet march up and down roads banging drums and preaching hate, will not.

Welshcakes- This issue is actually raised by a priest in the final chapter of Brighton Rock, a very Catholic novel by a Catholic author.
It's one of those theological points that has haunted me ever since.
IS a man who accepts damnation to save others, damned himself?

Anonymous said...

CBI: you really think that anything YOU do will get someone else to Heaven?

The only person that can save you is you.

Anonymous said...

I'll echo Lord N's last point: do you think anything you do will get someone else to heaven? Wow!