That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

God: The Ultimate Indulgent Parent

Good parents try to give their kids (Yes! l said ”kids”) everything they need and most of what they want. It is common knowledge, however, that over-indulgent parents give their children all of what they want and little of what they actually need, like discipline and home-training (Yes! l said ”training”). Some young-uns get cars(!) as gifts while still in school, others get to talk back to their parents (WAY worse), and yet others can commit crimes and have their mothers defend their abhorrent behavior on the news.

What does that have to do with God? Is He over-indulgent? Of course not. God is the perfect Parent. He gives us what we need even when it is the LAST thing we want. But in the ultimate sense He indulges our want ( our will, if you will) even when He knows it is not what we need.

A lot of us have a serious problem with the concept of Hell. To the extent that we mis-characterize what it actually is, calling it torture (rather than torMENT– big difference), and accusing God of roasting us on a never-ending rotisserie (a lie). l believe l understand why people do this.

l remember an incident when l was a boy and was playing the brat. My mother had told me “no” to some request or other (Oh, my goodness! Call the ‘thorities! Thass aBUSE!), and l said something –not disrespectful — but stupid. I knew it then as now. She said, “Don’t make stupid remarks.” l immediately jumped on the victim wagon:

“You called me STUPID!”, trying to make her feel sorry and apologize. She didn’t take the bait.
“Boy, you KNOW l didn’t call you ‘stupid’!” (Yes, she called me “Boy”)

That was that. I never forgot it. And l never had the chance to, because l witnessed hundreds of incidences of the same tactic being used on teachers, boyfriends, wives, Bill O’Reilly, basketball players, and friends from that moment to this. We love to play the injured party, the awfully wronged individual, and those of us who accuse God of running a Cosmic abattoir are simply attempting to label Him as unfair. They are setting the table for that moment when, after having lived a life in willful ignorance of His precepts, offended by His commands, they enter into His presence with their homework left undone. (“Your hell hounds ATE my homework!”)

He has made it clear; Hell is a ”place” intended for those who foolishly tried to overthrow Him, not for we humans. Hell is a ”place” of torment, of symbolic fire, not literal (note: it is also called ”outer darkness” What fire is dark?) flames, kind of like eternal heartburn at the loss of so much. When seeing what is missed, there will be no shortage of SELF-torment! God doesn’t ENJOY this. What kind of God would? That is just more chaff.

He is, however, firm and just enough to stick to His guns and not be swayed from Perfectness by poor approval ratings. God won’t be sweet talked or suckered by childish tactics employed by folks who never showed a true desire for a relationship with Him. He stands at the door and knocks, all the while strong enough to kick it in. But since when is coerced love true? We are not SENT to Hell, God merely steps aside and lets us go our way. We have two things; free will, and the facts. God will neither violate our will nor hide the truth. He is the perfect Parent, and ultimately indulgent in this sense; Whether we want Heaven with Him, or Hell without Him, we will get OUR way.


July 3, 2007 - Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, God, Hell, Parenting, Religion

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