Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Just for the Hell of it...

I like to check out some of the blogs that bill themselves as Christian. Even though this blog is primarily political, as I am a person of faith, it is inevitable that my perspective will frankly show this. And I like to keep track of what's out there in the blogosphere from others who claim to be people of faith.

A major topic in the Christian segment of the blogosphere is Hell. And the general consensus is either (from the conservatives) that nobody believes in Hell anymore or takes the concept sufficiently seriously or (from the liberals) that Hell is an outmoded concept in which only mean or ignorant people still believe.

To those who refuse to take the trouble of thinking, my views can be pretty mind-blowing. I am a lesbian who is also a Lutheran -- and, like most Lutherans, my theology is pretty traditional. I had to look long and hard to find a church that doesn't preach revisionist and politically-correct gobbledygook from the pulpit. Most churches that welcome gays seem afraid to take a traditional stand on anything.

There is absolutely NO necessary correlation between believing that the Bible does not condemn gay relationships and a wholesale rejection of traditional Christian theology. A great many of the gay churches that exist -- and there are several in almost every city of any size -- are very conservative and evangelical in their theology. When you think about it, this actually makes a great deal of sense. It's no longer very hard to find a liberal church that will welcome us, but a heartening number of those of us whose theology remains traditionalist refuse to compromise on the faith that we hold dear.

Do I believe there is a Hell? Of course I do. I believe it's just as horrible as the fundamentalists do, and I believe that it is eternal. I also think that a great many of those who persecute gays -- for all of their prattling on and on about the subject of Hell -- are actually the ones who will end up there.

As much as this would piss them off (methinks they are a good deal better at dishing this stuff out than they are at taking it), this is exactly what anti-gay Christians so desperately need to hear. But from most gay and gay-supportive Christians, all they hear is either mealy-mouthed, namby-pamby, sanitized baby-talk or -- from those who believe in Hell -- a cowed silence.

I'll tell you you're going to Hell right to your face -- and I'll kick your ass if you don't like it. Better to get your ass kicked now than for your un-kicked ass to spend eternity in Hell.

I don't tend to get insulted when people warn me they think I'm going to Hell, because they're only doing what they feel it is their Christian duty to do. I think a lot more kindly of folks who want to keep me from going to Hell than I do those who simply don't give a damn one way or the other. I will no more end up in Hell just because they say I will than they will because I say they will.

There's all sorts of debate these days about who is -- and who is not -- a "real" Christian. I prefer to let Jesus settle the issue. He said that those who belong to Him are the ones who do what He has told them to do. Those who end up in Hell will be those who do NOT do what He tells them to do -- which obviously includes a great number of those who evidently think they are immune from any danger of it.

My work involves bringing more people into the Kingdom of God, whereas the work of a great many so-called Christians involves chasing people as far away from it as possible. Anytime they want to debate me on the issue of whether a gay person can be a Christian, I'll be happy to thrash the living daylights out of 'em. I'll take 'em on anytime, and I'll win.

Of course the usual spinmeisters and obfuscators will claim that I'm saying people must "work their way to salvation," or that they must be "perfect." So let me set the record (in a manner of speaking) straight. Though perfection is God's standard, no one is ever going to meet it. We all -- both gay and straight -- must depend upon God's grace in Jesus Christ.

HOWEVER -- and it is a BIG however -- Jesus ALSO told us that we would be known by our fruits. Which means that if you go around trying to drive people out of the Church instead of bringing them into it, your fruits are pretty darned rotten.

If you're rotten to the fruits, then your fruits are rotten. I'm sorry...I couldn't resist that.

The wheat and the tares must be allowed to grow together until the Day of Judgment. This is not a controversy that is ever going to be completely resolved, to everybody's satisfaction, before the Lord returns. A true Christian will wish to err -- if he or she must -- on the side of love.

Try actually LISTENING to a gay person for a change. If your faith was all that strong, you wouldn't be so peeing-in-your-pants-and-crying-home-to-Mama afraid to do that. And if you believe that the Bible cannot be squared with actual, matter-of-fact reality, then let me tell you something right here and now. Far from being strong, your faith is pitifully, punily, starving-baby-bird weak. The only difference between you and an atheist is that the atheist at least has the guts to stand up and tell the truth about what he is.

If you truly believe that Hell exists, then you will be AFRAID to go there yourself. You won't carry on like a bastardly, cussed excuse for a human being, making other people's lives as miserable as possible, all the while resting upon the blithe assurance that Heaven awaits you.

Yes, if you really are saved, then Heaven does, indeed, await you. But you know what? If that's true, you're gonna ACT LIKE IT.

That's the a GOOD fruit. I, for one, intend to be the very best fruit that I can be.


At 4:26 PM, Blogger rrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghh said...

Wow, that is one angry clown.
-- Jerry Seinfeld

At 4:44 PM, Blogger Lori Heine said...

Though I always welcome comments (I wish I'd get more of 'em from all these people who tell me what a great blog I've got but never leave any), I'm not sure quite what to make of that one.

Yes, we clowns DO tend to get angry when people contemplate destroying the Constitution just to keep us out of it. As I am an American clown, as well as a gay one, I tend to take that somewhat personally.

At 4:45 PM, Blogger Lori Heine said...

P.S.: Remember Ronald McDonald -- and avenge!!!

At 7:57 PM, Blogger paul asjes said...

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."
-1 John 4:18

p.s. you are very interesting.


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