Saturday, October 20, 2007

This is why I'm a universalist and a unitarian


Blogger Aviano said...

I laughed out loud when listening to this (at work, with headphones on - to the bemusement of my colleagues). However, it's not really funny at all. It truly represents what many many evangelical Christinans seem to be saying, and chimes with what my mum said to me after church one day when I was about 12 : 'You do want to go to heaven when you die, dear, don't you?'. ( My mum was a nice lady and quite kindly at heart, but that little bit of our family's theology has stuck in my mind).

Today at the university where I work the Christian Union were giving out invitations to a series of lunchtime talks.

Here are the topics:
(1) Was Muhammad wrong about Jesus?
(2) The Bible: accurate history or absurd hopes?
(3) Atheists: free thinking or foolish?
(4) How can a loving God send people to Hell?
(5) Where was God in the Holocaust?

Only 4 and 5 are open-ended questions. No 4 is about the same thing as your clip. I will go to their talks ( there is a free lunch) and will be interested to know whether God is loving and doesn't send to Hell, is loving and does send to Hell, isn't loving and sends to hell, isn't loving and doesn't send to Hell - or none of the above.

4:38 pm  
Blogger Aviano said...

I listened to today's talk "How can a loving God send people to Hell?" and it was none of the above. The speaker came up with a new level of theological horror that I hadn't thought of before - God loves us and hates us at the same time ( he said). He will send us to Hell (absolute poverty, agonising pain, angry presence of God, eternal continuation of suffering)unless we believe in Jesus in a certain way. Asked by a member of the audience why Jesus being dead for approximately 3 days (Good Friday to Easter) balanced against the idea of the rest of us languishing in Hell we were told that Jesus's blood is more precious to God than ours. I don't think I've ever heard such a load of unpleasant stuff before.

For me, I see God more as a loving friend or a parent. If I make a mistake, he forgives me because he loves me. Makes me more than ever glad I am a Unitarian and Universalist. End of story.

3:54 pm  
Blogger Stephen said...

I have been known to argue from scripture with hellites on this, but I find it a bit intellectually dishonest as I don't recognise scripture as an infallible authorative rulebook. But perhaps it is worth making space for other possible biblical ideas.

10:41 am  
Blogger Aviano said...

Well, I think that was one of this guy's problems. He had a very very very fixed idea of what the Bible was for ( and only his interpretation was right - "I'm sure you'll agree" was frequent mantra. I am glad to say that both the CofE and Muslim chaplains were very worried about this series of talks.

Unfortunately guys like this can't see that there are other ways of understanding the Bible's meaning and value (nor the value of other holy writings).

10:37 pm  

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