I think everyone’s noticed Modern Christian Spinster’s frequent comments disagreeing with me on many things, especially politics, economics and feminism. I am conservative across the board (social, fiscal and foreign policy). I also believe in chastity and traditional marriage.
In another thread, we were discussing traditional morality (e.g. – chastity, sobriety, individual charity), as compared with the new morality (e.g. – recycling, yoga, vegetarianism, same-sex marriage, socialism). She seemed to be very hesitant about making moral judgments, which I take to be central to Christianity because of the whole concept of sin. Suddenly, I began worry that Modern Christian Spinster was not a Christian at all. So I asked her some questions to get her views.
So I wrote this:
Do you think that people who do not believe in Jesus are resurrected to eternal life?
Do you believe in a place called Hell, which is a place of eternal separation from God where people who do not know God in Christ go on the day of Judgment?
Do you think that a conscious, sincere profession of faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice for sin is a necessary and sufficient condition to be resurrected to eternal life?
And she wrote this in reply:
I believe that life is eternal, the way I believe in mathematics. If you add 2+2 and for you it equals 5 then the principles of mathematics are still in effect, even if you get the wrong answer. So I believe that life is eternal on principle. If you were a miserable SOB in life, dying won’t resolve that for you. You will continue to work out in the afterlife what you didn’t work out on earth. As for people who don’t believe in Jesus, I am constantly surprised by the number of people who DO believe in him. They might be Buddhists, they might be Muslims, but Jesus is actually very well respected among people I talk to, even those of other faiths. So I wouldn’t venture to say whether or not they’re resurrected. I mean, the fact is, after someone is gone, we just don’t know what their journey is. I will say, however, that most people I talk to very much identify with what Jesus stood for, even if they don’t necessarily identify it that way.
I do not believe in a place called hell: I do believe it is a state of consciousness, just as “the kingdom of heaven is within you.” But it’s not a physical place apart from where we already are. I see heaven in places where many other people see purgatory. God to me is everpresent; therefore, I try not to let what my eyes tell me blind me to the fact that he is with me, even in desolate places. I also believe that we cannot ever be separated from God. We may think we are separate, but what we need to handle isn’t real separation but the erroneous belief that we are separate. LIke the story of the Prodigal Son.
I do not share your belief in Christ’s atoning for sin. I don’t see Christ dying for my “sin,” I see his death and resurrection as proof that sin and death can be overcome through complete obedience to God. I’m not sure if that is the same thing as you are saying. But I do not believe man is inherently sinful. However, humanly speaking, there does appear to be a lot of sin in the world. However, it is something not natural to us. Part of the human condition, sure, but I believe that our spiritual identity is our true identity. Not sure if that answers your question. It’s certainly a different point of view.
I thought this was very interesting. She disagrees with me on these three questions. I am not saying this to judge her, she knows where to find me if she wants to talk about it. My advice to her is to take a second look at the Bible and pick a good book on theology, like this one by Wayne Grudem.