Hell no we wont go…

A reflection on the inconsistency of hell with the ethical call of discipleship

The talk of hell and eternal damnation finds common place in all expressions of the Christian faith. It has been said that one goes to hell because God’s requirement of holiness is something that would never be realized by sinful humanity, hence the need for someone to come in our place to save us from the wrath of God’s consuming holiness.

I have no disagreement with such explanation.

Experience, scripture and the study of human history testifies to that. In fact, it is my study of history that I find significance in the redeeming work of Christ that I believe humanity finds salvation from its present predicament, ultimately reconciling us from our present alienation from God.

However, I find the fire and brimstone rhetoric of preachers that tries to paint a vivid picture of Jonathan Edwards’ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, every Sunday or every available occasion to guilt us enough to have the fearful motivation to step forward for the alter call, to raise our hands amidst the closed eyes and bowed heads of the congregation or to repeat after the pastor’s rendition of the Sinner’s Prayer.

Re-thinking marriage

News of Brian McLaren's officiating the same-sex commitment ceremony of his son hit the discussion boards of a number of 'Christian' online communities and with the issue of same-sex union and the perceived attack on what Conservative Evangelical Christians see as the biblical definition of ‘marriage’ and ‘family' I think it is worth exploring also the legal niceties of marriage.

The reason I say this is because if we'd all pay close attention to wedding ceremonies we’d often hear a familiar yet seldom understood line from the officiating minister:
"By power vested in me by..." (which ever state it is that he’s holding the license to pronounce the couple as “man and wife.)

With this line in mind maybe its worth thinking about marriage from the vantage point of a society that isn't governed by Evangelical Christianity alone'?