I'm confused and angry.
Hell is a dumb idea.
If the damnation of souls is the price of free will, can it be that perhaps God places too high a value on freedom?
How can this doctrine reconcile with the God I have met who loves overwhelmingly? If he would redeem me out of the disgusting darkness of my heart, why would he not redeem someone who might be seen as "more" wicked? Is it not his desire that none should perish? Why would he not redeem all of us who in our brokenness break others, who in our death kill others, who in our baseness reject him? Why are some irresistably drawn and redeemed and others not, if it is not a result of some power or goodness or decision of our own?
The bible is really mixed-up about it too. I've been going through the New Testament trying to write down every reference to this subject to try to grasp some cohesive whole, but I've only made it through Matthew and already the confusion is overwhelming. It doesn't make any sense, and there are a lot of things that Jesus apparently said that I don't know that I can accept. They are so harsh, so unlike the mercy and love that has shattered me. They don't make any sense.
How can I entrust people I love to God, believing he loves them even more than I do, when he says things like this?
I hate it.
If you want to explain it to me and tell me why I'm wrong, I don't want to hear it right now. If you want to sit with me in the frustration and sullenness and hurt of not knowing, not understanding, please come sit with me and we'll cry together.
"The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 13:41-42
"He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Matthew 5:45b
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you... But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful." Luke 6:27-28, 35-36
"'He [the master] replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them- bring them here and kill them in front of me.''" Luke 19:26-27
"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Luke 19:10
"'As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day." John 12:47-48a
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14
Can we be good without God?
3 years ago