Infinte Punishment for Finite Mistakes?

Good question by Catholic Priest and Swiss theologian, Hans Kung, from Don Rogers:

“What would we think of a human being who satisfied his thirst for revenge, as the church depicts God does, with an eternal hell?”

Never thought about it like that…interesting. What do you think?

Don goes on to relay another question:

“How is eternal, infinite hell a just recompense for finite temporal sins?”

Another great question indeed. Hit Don’s site in the above link for more on the topic.

Hell: Did Jesus Really Believe In It?

Where did the doctrine of eternal punishment come from?

Did Jesus believe in or teach this?

Don Rogers has a WONDERFUL post about this doctrine at his place.

A sample of what you’ll find there is:

“We should bear a fact in mind. When the doctrine of endless punishment began to be taught in the Christian Church, it was not derived from the Scriptures, but from the heathen converts to Christianity, who accepted Christ, but who brought with them into their new church that doctrine which had for centuries been taught in heathen lands, but which neither Moses nor Christ accepted. And having received the idea from heathen tradition, it was natural that the early Christians should transfer it to the Bible, and seek to find it there.”

It’d be well worth your time to go read the rest at Don’s place.

Photo by indian nomad

When You Realize You Don’t Exist

Last night I was in a discussion with some friends, and we got to talking about reality.

We were talking about how no one and nothing is separate, but are all part of the whole…but not even separate parts, mind you. Why then are we confined in our separateness?

Why do I have a different physical makeup than you? My physical makeup isn’t really me is it? Can you dissect my body and find “me”? Of course not.

What happens to a person when they cease to rely on the sensory world as reality? Can someone reach this point on their journey? If we are spirit/source/energy/etc, why are we even confined in a body to begin with?

Just some questions I’m pondering today…and i’m sure i will be for a long time coming.

Destiny

Is there such a thing as destiny? Are we in bondage to a master plan where “all the right choices” must be made or the fruits of them are lost forever?

My good friend Hilary asked me to muse on this topic back in a post about the conflict between mind and heart, back in January.

My answer (or at least my thought at the moment) is, “No, there is no such thing”.

What if, instead of trying to figure out “why am I here, what’s my purpose, etc”, we were fully present at all times.? What if we didn’t waste time chasing a feeling of euphoria brought by “doing the right thing”?

What if life were about BEING who we are, the divine life and essence of God, all the time?

Doesn’t that sound much more freeing, fruitful, enjoyable, and purposeful than to spend our lives wondering how to be free, how to bear fruit, how to enjoy life, and what our purpose is?

I think it is often difficult for many of us to disconnect from the religious dogma of “do, do, do” that has been instilled in us from our youth. What’s more, is that “doing” may be a result of “being”, but I do not think it’s most beneficial for the “doing” to be the focus…lest the cycle begin to repeat.

So if there is no destiny, if there are no pivotal choices one must make for our lives to be “on track”, what does life look like?

Photo by Shavy

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