Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hope For All

In addition to its love affair with wealth and power, the other problem with fundamentalist religion, including fundamentalist Christianity, is its insistence that some people will spend eternity in hell. Committed to the “letter” of scripture rather than the “spirit” of scripture, fundamentalists use ancient fears and medieval hermeneutics to promote religious ideas that confuse and divide. The real needs of humanity are ignored and even exploited.

Our basic problem (our sin) is our various addictions. Some are addicted to drugs or sex, but most Americans are addicted to money and what it represents and buys. The Bible insists “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Jesus said far more about the danger of money than he did about the danger of hell.

But instead of focusing on the freedom from our addictions (salvation) that Jesus brought to everyone, fundamentalist religion promotes an “us versus them” mentality in which a wrathful god punishes those who challenge their particular belief system. We believe right, they believe wrong… we’re going to heaven, they’re going to hell.

The Christian good news (gospel) is this. God loves the entire human race unconditionally. He will finally heal our addictions. His grace will finally set us free from our primary addiction - which is self. We will all finally learn to love and be loved. Heaven, and all it represents, will someday be a reality for everyone.