Since my last entry I have been thinking about the image of God that has emerged for me in the past twenty odd years.
It occurred to me that the image of God I had in my youth carried with it a sinister side to it as well. That image of God would rather send me to hell than reconcile when I messed up. So what of this newer image? This image has God appear gentle, compassionate and loving, ready to do whatever it takes to reconcile humanity to Himself so that none should parish.
Let's, just for the sake of argument, look at a human being and consider what it would take for said human person to dis-own a child for whatever reason.
I've put some thought into this and the outcome always seems to be the same. I'll use myself as an example. What would it take for me to permanently cast out one or more of my children to never ever have contact with them again? I couldn't come up with any scenario that would have me resort to that drastic an action. In every case I would eventually come to the point that I would have to try to reconcile with said child just so I could be in that child's life. I know that there are some people out there that have dis-owned family members and I'm not trying to justify, or make sense of their actions. I'm looking at what I might feel and do if presented with this scenario.
Now if I cannot consider a situation that would drive me to the total abandonment of my children, then why would I believe that the gentle, compassionate and totally loving God I've come to know consider total abandonment of any of His created human beings?
This thought comes from the New Testament writings; the Gospels, the epistles and the letters of the apostles. If God was willing to make Himself as one with humanity, suffering and dying the most degrading of death in order to reconcile humanity's sin, then I have to rethink the lessons of my youth!
With that thought in mind I'm not trying to say that there isn't a hell, all I'm saying is that God isn't the one who will put me there
That I believe will be something that will be of my own doing if I were to reject God and his affection for me. The earlier example I gave would follow in a similar fashion, that my child would have to reject me and my attempts at reconciliation. So therefore for me to be "in hell" would have to be of my own volition, I would have to reject all of God's attempts at reconciling with me so that I would spend all of eternity without the pleasure of eternal bliss in the presence of my Creator.
Now that I've read this post I see that it paints a very dark picture. I pray that no one resorts to owning it for them-self.
So there! That should get the thought processes moving.