Friday, 20 November 2015

After you've got your converts you make them ... (2)

Twice as fit for hell! 
As you are yourselves!  

Yesterday we had a simple look at salvation and the question of universalism (meaning, where everyone gets in to heaven - i.e. eternity in the presence of God - and the way some are teaching this as if it were part of what the C of E believes (and believe me, it doesn't) portraying it as if it was any way anything but wrong.

But the problem is that these folk with their erroneous teaching don't stop with yesterday's teaching but they continue by adding in a 'second chance' whereby people can effectively, after death, rethink their decision not to have acknowledged or accepted reconciliation with God through the salvific act (great word that, isn't it?) of Jesus, the Christ, on the Cross.

Even though they have denied Jesus, the Christ, and lived their lives for themselves rather than in pursuit of doing what is right and pleasing to God (as described in the Bible, in case you wondered where to find these requisite things) and serve those around them - those who teach this bring into being a God who is so desperate to populate heaven (meaning  that place where eternity with God is a reality) that He (some would rather another word was used here too, sorry about that) will resort to something extra-Jesus to make it happen.

I do quite honestly struggle here because Hebrews 9.27 tells me that it is all set up such that we live (Once) and then die (once) and then are judged (once). To deliver what these folk deliver is to teach something that is not orthodox theology (well not as I understand it) and, should it be right, surely removes any need for us to engage in evangelism, after all - everyone was already getting in with their teaching and now the cheery that there's even a second chance for those who weren't. A real struggle here because if everyone was getting in, why does the salvation/heaven thing need a belt added to those braces already described?

Let's turn to the Old Testament and Daniel 12, which is a real rocker, telling us:

"But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.'

Now, even those Old Testament folk knew that there was going to be a resurrection and that some would go through the turnstile on the left and the others to the right. BUT, these 'teachers', when challenged, tell me that this is not the sort of God they want to portray and how hard and harsh people find such teaching and so they merely preach and teach what they think is a more acceptable and gentle and generous God.

'Goodness gracious me,' I cry, 'Jesus comes to earth, puts off being God, and dies for me - can there be anything more generous than that?'

But, when challenged, these folk tell me of parents who have died without perhaps having made the decision to accept the reconciliation with God that comes through the cross of Christ (yeah, I've got them too) and how preaching what they do is attractive to those outside the Church (so why aren't their churches full and overflowing?) and how the 'second chance' demonstrates a loving and forgiving God who ignores how people have lived and looks the other way at the choices they have made and sees Jesus having one last go at fulfilling His mission by turning up and offering eternity as a post-mortem gift (so Jesus and the cross are not all-sufficient after all then?)

By adopting this stance I am being told that I need more than Jesus and that He was never enough - isn't this heretical?

But these people are resolute and sure in their heresies (but aren;t they always?) - they brings them comfort to have created a God who will not only fill their own desires but they make matters worse by teaching those around them that life can be lived as you wish to live and that you can relax in the comfort of the hope that everyone gets in at the very end (one who holds these views struggled a little when I asked about the Paris bombers - but of course Romans 8 does tell us that nothing separates us from God's love, definitely something to be discussing soon I think). 

So here we are, a couple of facets from the gem that is the theology and teaching of some who give us Anglicans a bad name. The problem is that there are some things you cannot polish and their teaching is surely in the same mould as that.

No comments: