Even if it's at the expense of Scripture, Tradition and reason!
People tell me how such a stance appears to be very much in vogue now and I'd have to answer that it was ever so (for indeed there truly is !nothing new under the sun).
having been listening to some of the popular personalities in the post-evangelical and emerging church world I have to say that as much as I enjoy reading many of them, the message they bring is peddling a brand of universalist faith which doesn't quite match up to, or perhaps even warrant the name of, Christianity!
I have always struggled with the word of Hebrews 9: 27 -28 for many years because it appears that we get one go on the ride that is life and then have to face the judgement, but lets look at what is written (ESV):
'And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgement, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.'
I don't see anything about secondary probation (which [oversimply] is where you die, get 'woken up' and asked if you'd like to change your mind, and then go back in the freezer until the judgement - a sort of postmortem evangelical opportunity).
I don't see anything that reconstitutes aeons such that the end of the world comes with the fall of the Temple; neither do I see Jesus coming and changing God's mind (for previously being a Jew and circumcised [as a man] was what brought you into some sort of relationship with God but Jesus changes God's mind) so ALL are acceptable!
I don't see credibility in the argument that a twenty-year old who rejects the Gospel and chooses to act contrary to it and dies because of it must be accepted into heaven because this is what a god of love would do! I say this because the God I have come to understand is also a God who keeps the rules; He doesn't bend or corrupt the rules because He likes someone - for He loves us all but . . . have a think on this . . .
If you were driving down a road which had a thirty miles per hour speed limit and were caught by a member of the local constabulary doing sixty, would you expect to be prosecuted?
I would have to suggest that you would.
Now, if the police officer who stopped you was a member of your family, would you expect to be let off even though this would mean that both of you were now breaking the law? Perhaps you'd justify it by saying that no one got hurt?
Take it up a notch: You're speeding and this causes a death, would you still expect to get off because of the family connection?
Now imagine you live down the road where the people are doing the speeding, would your views about being caught and let off be different? You hear of the driver who has killed and vanished - what do you want? I'll warrant that you want them found and dealt with by the law!
Remembering that you don't know that in either of the situations there has been part of a cover up by a family member who is also an officer - But when you find out will you want them both arrested? (silly question - of course you do!!)
This is the dilemma before a loving God, for to not apply the rules would be to make Him act against that which was in place (called 'God's laws) and would render Him and the focus of the act wrong and if this was to be, then God wouldn't be (logically or theologically). To 'let them off' or 'turn a blind eye' is to be as guilty as the person who broke the law and in the latter case would make them an accessory to a murder (or manslaughter at the very least)!
God can do one thing and that is be inside the law (even though you'd think He might be above it being God!).
I am becoming rather tired with those who seek to create a popular faith where what is required is a consistent faith.
I struggle with those who want us to have a faith which congratulates and applauds us for our choices, regardless of whether they are right or wrong (using the 'old Christianity'), ignoring the outcome and attitudes relating to them.
I am afraid that Christianity does ask us to make choices and to act differently from that which our own hearts and desires might lead us towards. It does ask us to make a commitment and to live, think and act differently from the world (which is generally full of nice people who want to do their own stuff and please themselves).
We need to realise that our efforts to create communities which accept anything and everything regardless of whether or not God might consider it to be wrong is to encourage people to act wrongly; to tell them heaven is theirs, regardless of what they think, do or believe is to take people and, like the false prophets of old, make them 'twice as fit for hell as they are themselves!'
Yep - tough words, but without them there are no moral absolutes, not correctives and no rules to live by and that is my idea of hell (on earth and later).