Recently, I opened up a couple of articles of a one Matt Walsh. Don’t pity me, I knew what I was doing. I knew that I was going to find boycotting college and find misogynistic labeling as well as defamation of people claimed by depression every year (it’s a disease, and he literally says that joy is the only cure, not medicine and treatment, but fucking joy.)
As you’ve probably noticed, the rest of the world sees Christians very differently than they see themselves.
But it got me thinking about something that I’ve seen within Christian circles, and it’s about hell. As you’ve probably noticed, the rest of the world sees Christians very differently than they see themselves. And one of the words most used in association with Christians is…judgmental. And indeed in many cases, Christians seem to be at apparent ease with defining what is and is not right in the world.
Bruce Jenner is sick, but Robin Williams wasn’t sick, that was his choice; abortion is evil, and that’s why we should defund Planned Parenthood, homosexuality is an abomination, premarital sex and masturbation is wrong (and in my former faith, drinking, eating bacon, shopping on Saturday, and reading Harry Potter could also be considered wrong.)
It should be stated here that I’m not being obtuse or hyperbolic, and I’m not being original. These are not my own thoughts, but born out of the conscious minds of thousands of believers and affirmed daily.
And yet, in all of this, there is one line that most Christians will not cross. I have rarely, if ever, heard a Christian say that someone specific was going to hell.
Indeed in many cases, Christians seem to be at apparent ease with defining what is and is not right in the world.
They will preach all day about how the sinful proclivities of the nation are going to bring the wrath of God upon us, or how being gay is a disease and a byproduct of a fallen world, but when asked the question directly, “Is Robin Williams going to hell because he committed suicide?” or “Is my friend going to hell because they’re gay?”, they will blanch.
The God Complex
There’s a certain thrill to being right. It happens to everyone. When you finally know something the kid in the front of the class doesn’t know, or when a risky business venture pays off. There is a satisfaction in knowing that you were the one that believed the thing that was right all along, and all these paeans just had to catch up.
There is also a certain thrill to being morally right. Because of what we know about cognitive dissonance and how hard it can be for the brain to encompass contradictory modes of thought, it is almost always necessary for people to find justifications for why they live the way that they do, and it is almost always necessary for them to feel that justification reverberated back to them in a real, meaningful way. Positive reinforcement from a social group can do that.
They will preach all day about how…being gay is a disease and a byproduct of a fallen world, but when asked the question directly…”Is my friend going to hell because they’re gay?”, they will blanch.
So, coming from someone who doesn’t believe that God exists, this is my hypothesis (I was gonna say “theory”, but…)
Obviously, Christians are god. They play God, they say what he’d like, what he’d disapprove of, what the punishments are, what an abomination is, etc. In this manner, they are allowed to escape culpability for their actions and judgments, being simply deputies of the divine. But when the responsibility of God is handed to them, they still have that higher being to pass the buck to, and say that they can’t know for sure who’s going to hell and heaven because that’s ultimately God’s judgement.
Either you’re god or you’re not. But you cannot parade around in your mother’s heels to feel tall, and then get mad that someone asks that you pay the mortgage.
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