God's love is an absurdity

Honestly, the more I think about it, the angrier I get. I somehow feel called to deepen my understanding of my faith. But some things annoy the blits out of me.

Constantly, God is proclaimed as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent – and ALL LOVING. God is continually pronounced as all loving and merciful. It’s one of the fundamental core beliefs in Catholicism. I WANT to believe this. But realistically, somebody who damns people to hell is not ALL loving if you ask me…

If a mother has a child. She will love that child forever despite what that child does. Even if her child rapes, murders, steals, bombs cities and whatnot; the mother will continue to LOVE that child forever. Yes, she may be distraught, forever saddened, and angry with her child’s actions – but her love will never cease, and she will always welcome her child into her love. Furthermore, she would not want ANYTHING BAD to happen to her child regardless of the things he has done. WHY? BECAUSE SHE LOVES HIM FOREVER AND HER LOVE WILL NEVER CEASE. This is what love is!

And when I hear such things as, “Thou shalt be condemned in hell and burn forever”, or “Thou shall be engulfed in eternal flames for eternity” – I seriously get angry.

WHO IS MORE LOVING HERE?

The mother who loves her child forever and forgives her child forever and will always welcome her child?

Or

A God who loves ALL; but if they trespass against him he will condemn thee to hell for ETERNITY?

There is no mercy in condemning someone to hell. Even though God forgives sins through the Ministry of the Church, I cannot see how our God can condemn people to hell. No matter who it is, no body deserves to go there. Even if a murderer killed my entire family I would never want him to be in a pit of fire for eternity. It just isn’t right. Plus, looking at the world now, the utmost majority of the world does not follow the word of God, they do not go to Church, they do not confess their sins, and they continually sin throughout their lives. - These people, according to the Bible will go to hell. Moreover, it basically even says if you’re a good and loving person you will still go to hell if you don’t follow the word of Christ. Right…

Might I add that people will be argueing that, “God does not send people to hell; they send themselves.” Well there doesen’t have to be a hell in the first place. If God is God, he is the ALL POWERFUL God and therefore hell does not need to exist. Moreover, he should bring his children back to him as intended - God being the alpha and omega; or beginning and end.

Anyone who loves another person WOULD never even consider damming someone into hell for eternity. It’s just not right. And this is what seriously pisses me of about my faith and I’m trying to find a deeper meaning in all this, but I can’t.

Hi “PePPaR”,

I understand your feelings, I too was thinking of that before, but after researching and reading the bible more and more, I came to these two conclusions:

  1. Eternity in hell might apply for Satan & his demons only and not necessary human beings, and for the human beings I think that punishment might be till their earthy body be consumed, then their soul will be taken to heaven.

  2. Remember what God told Abraham in (Genesis 22:2):
    "Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
    Then look what God told Abraham in (Genesis 22:11-12):
    But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.

Now look at that wisdom & mercy of God, why we can’t take a lesson out of that and apply it to the eternity in hell, look how Lord Jesus was so merciful and gracious to everyone, do you think he wouldn’t be that merciful and gracious with us on the judgement day.

I personally think if I didn’t harm anyone in any sort throughout my life, then I expect to have mercy from God for the venial or mortal sins that I might have done, but I if harmed another human being and that human being didn’t forgive me in our life time, or if I blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then I think hell might be the answer to purify the soul from that sin.

Greetings to you,

You are looking at it all wrong. We should be wondering why a holy, sacred, perfect God should let us into heaven. He are but filthy rags, unclean lips, liars, lawbreakers. We are self-centered, immoral, uncaring and lawbreakers. We should be wondering why should the Creator of the universe, infinate, immortal and absolutely beyond compare or description should love us enough to send Jesus to die a miserable death on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins. Jesus’ blood was poured out as a sin offering. And this loving merciful God accepts it for all those that believe and follow Him.

So to answer your question, hell is what we deserve. God loves us enough to give us a way out. We are owed nothing. We owe everything to Jesus. :slight_smile:

Hi,

I’m a mother of three children and I would do anything for them. I know that it is my job to teach them how to live moral lives. However, I also know that they have free will and that what they ultimately do as adults is out of my control. Would I still love them if they did bad things–yes of course. It’s hard to see sometimes, but God does the same for us. He loves us unconditionally, teaches us how to live, but also knows that it is *our *call as to how we choose to be.

Hell is a choice that we make–and hell is the permanent separation from God, forever and ever. He gives us plenty of chances to reconcile with him, and his forgiveness is endless, but it comes down to being our choice whether we choose eternal life with Him or eternal separation from Him in hell. To be in eternity with Him, first we must want to be there and second we must show it.

I like to look at it this way, God loves us enough to allow us to make the choice whether or not to accept Him. He made his message loud and clear by sending his Son to save us. He gave us the Gospels to live by. He showers us with graces, and he gives us the Sacraments of mercy (Eucharist and Reconcilitation) to help us along the way. He knows it’s not easy and he wants us to succeed. If we decide to live in a state of unrepentent, mortal sin, then it is *our *doing, not His.

I think what God gives us is amazing. I know that I, for one, certainly don’t deserve it.

Ted, I agree. PePPaR, try to understand that God is not only perfectly loving. He is perfectly just as well. He must apply perfect justice as well as perfect love. Any sin, no matter how small, is enough to keep you out of heaven. What could this perfectly just God do to save His beloved children from the punishment they deserve according to perfect justice? He determined to pay the price. He sent His only begotten son, to die the most humiliating and terrible death imaginable so that any of His children who would believe in the Name of Jesus would be saved. Jesus established His Church to instruct and guide His children, and to lead us to Him on the narrow path to salvation. God, indeed, is all loving, even while being perfectly just.

God bless you in your journey as you try to find the answers you seek.

Dori

Well putting it they way you’re putting it is basically stating that everyone is predestined to hell. And that is the most ridiculous thing one can fathom.

It’s irrelevant whether someone is a ‘lawbreaker, liar or immoral’ – none of these things, and any sin for that matter, deserves eternal punishment. Eternal punishment and hell completely contradicts LOVE.

YES, God gave his only son to suffer and die for our sins so we may not sin again. This is an act of God’s love. But it is not an argument to state that, ‘since God did this we must love him even MORE or we will burn in hell.’

And stating that ‘one must choose to go to hell’ also contradicts itself. We all sin, and it’s fair to say we all commit mortal sins as well. A mortal sin is one that can destroy and severely hurt ones relationship with God – it does not mean that one WANTS to break up his relationship with God; it is merely a rule as such in regards to what a mortal sin is. I have committed masturbation plenty of times; it doesn’t mean I want to destroy my relationship with God. I mean, why would I be seeking answers on this forum now? It’s because I want to improve and develop my faith and change my old habits and actions.

The biggest thing one must commit to is to believe in ‘Christ’. This is a fundamental belief that is crucial to ones faith. However, not everyone is given the opportunity to follow the way of Christ and abide by his teachings; and also, many have never even HEARD of Christ. So are these people now predestined to hell? And if they aren’t, that ultimately puts one who doesn’t know God in a better position then one who DOES know God. For they are not able to commit mortal sins and therefore will not die in a state of mortal sin.

Also, yes it is OUR choice how we live. But this is still not a valid argument to God condemning people to hell. If a mother loves her child, and the child chooses to separate himself from her due to his hateful ways, and begins doing immoral and terrible things such as drugs, murder and rape – the mother will have to let go because it does come up to a point where she can’t do anything anymore. HOWEVER, if her child chooses to return back to MORAL ways and RETURN to his LOVING family – THAN THE MOTHER WILL ACCEPT HER CHILD WITH OPEN ARMS! There is no better love then this. This is the true essence of love. And HEY! We see this on Earth! If we sin, no matter how we sin, God will forgive us! THEN THERE IS NO REASON ONE CANNOT BE FORGIVEN AFTER DEATH – OTHERWISE THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF FAITH CONTRADICTS ITSELF AND THERE IS NO LOVE PRESENT.

God should be able to do EXACTLY THE SAME THING. FINE, if people choose to separate themselves from God then it may be their ultimate choice – but if there is love, God will always accept one back even if they have lived a life of TOTAL sin. No matter what one does; if God is love, then a soul can reunite with their creator if they BELIEVE AND WANT TO COMMIT TO GOD.

God does love us unconditionally and does accept us back no matter what our sins - but we must also turn back to Him and repent for it to even be possible. Our relationship with Him is a two-way street as all relationships between adults are. You can’t accept a cheating spouse or errant child back if they never choose to come back and ASK for your forgiveness, now, can you?

And the time to make that choice is before death. Death is final and irrevocable, and we’re not allowed second chances at our relationships or anything else after death, and that’s all there is to it. Just as your spouse cannot turn back and ask for forgiveness from you after their death, no matter how much they may wish to in the afterlife, neither do we have the opportunity to change our relationship with God after death.

And in the end, if your spouse leaves the marriage and breaks the marital vows or your child leaves the home and refuses to reconcile, then they’ve separated from you forever, and it only partly matters whether or not that was their intent to start with.

You can’t force them to come back home with you no matter how much better it would be for them, and no good would come of it if you DID force 'em. They’d still hate you, still not want to be in the marriage or family, and would look for any opportunity to escape again.

God is lots of things, but he’s not a jailer who forces people to be with Him who don’t love Him, or forces obedience out of people who don’t want to obey Him.

True, but I use the child and mother as an analogy for the essence of love. A child and a mother are human beings. God is God, he is the all powerful God. And therefore his love should be everlasting enough to bring sinners and unbelievers back into his life relationship even after death on earth.

Mortal sin involves full consent of the will; therefor it is a fully conscious act that separates (not “may” separate) one from God. If one is not aware that any particular act is a mortal sin, there is not the culpability that one would incur if one were fully aware that any particular act IS a mortal sin.

There is the possibility of those who do not know Christ, through no fault of their own, to achieve salvation; this is the teaching of the RCC. In brief, if one rejects the Gospel message, one rejects salvation. Are they better off not knowing of our Savior throughout their life and do they have a “better” chance of salvation than we believers do? I think not. Jesus never said following him would be easy.

Look at the thief on the cross…he lives a life of crime, and repents at the last minute…and gets “saved”. Fair?

The story of the Prodigal son illustrates God’s love for us believers.

Ah, but God doesn’t eventually reach a point where he “can’t do anything anymore” like the mom in your example.

God will not forgive us if we don’t ask for it…and after we die, we can’t very well ask for forgiveness, can we? What we do in this life counts, as far as matters of faith. Once dead, what’s done is done, what’s forgiven is forgiven and what’s believed or not is believed or not.

God will accept us back if we ask him, therein is the caveat…we have to ask him. Otherwise, if he forgives us without our cooperation in asking, there is not element of free will in choosing salvation.COLOR]

I’ll have to agree with you, though…God’s love is an absurdity by our human standards. :wink:

Stay-at-Home Catholic Dad of 3… is me! (and proud to be)

I can see your point to a point. You kinda make it seem a little Calvinistic though, with it sounding a little like predestination.
That we should all go to hell until we prove ourselves worthy of heaven.

The real point is we really Don’t Know what will happen when our time expires here on earth.

Sin is a deliberate action against God and it rejects His Grace.

In the case of the mother loving her child who commits crime…
God loves us even though we sin and reject Him in the sin.

Because a mother loves her child…, does that mean that the child should not be punished?
When we sin… should we be excused from the punishment even though God still loves us.
We sin from our own choice. The decision to do wrong is totally up to us and when we do we have to accept the potential punishment that goes along with the sin or the crime.

Are we given a choice when we die to accept the love of God and come into His Kingdom… I sure hope.

If we answer yes, we know that we will be there but we have to face the punishment for the “choices” we made as a human.
The stains of sin need to be purified from the soul.
Would you want to go to the biggest party or dinner event or your own wedding with a filthy dress or suit? No, of course not.

If we answer No and reject God the last time… then we all know that the final rejection of God is an eternity of damnation for our eternal soul.

I know this all sounds like a ramble but…

Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill your heart and mind with the wisdom needed to anchor your faith and to make the loving choices in life that we should to obey God’s laws.

Paul

noone has yet adressed what hell actualy is .

if you look at the scriptures pre medievil hell was a "phase " mutch like a washing mashein you went through hell and came out to be judged if you didnot repent then you went back in again and again untill you repented then you were allowed into heaven . the only two sins that have ALWAYS led to eternal damnation is suicide and murder.

during the early medievil period the barrons (who had a conciderable influence on their local churches) proporgated the idea that hell was for eternity no matter what the sin . and as the majority of the population could not read they did not question their member of clergy. (the barrons also introduced several other rules sutch as the thyth or rule of 10th, these introduced rules made up the majority of the 99 catolic lies that kick started lutherism).

when the pilgrim fathers whent to america they took with them the idea of etearnal hell.

Yahwah loves us untill the end , as soon as we repent he takes us in his arms , even in hell he loves us and whaches us so that the moment we ask for forgiveness he can be their . hell isnt damnation its a punisment , the mother will allways love the child but she will also punish it when it dose something wrong in the hope that it will learn. this is what yahwah dose and he never gives up hope that one day we all will join him.

Per the OP:

You’re treating God as if he were just a really powerful human being, and not transcendant being itself. It is precisely because God is love that obstinately existing in a manner contrary to love is so horrible, and what we call Hell.

A child will be punished, but not FOREVER. And I agree, if we are to enter a heaven we sure do need purification, but I wouldn’t really call it punishment.

I really like the last couple of posts though. But once again, it’s really your beliefs. However, I still believe even if one CHOOSES not enter in the life of the Lord after death on earth - they still do not deserve eternal hell. Instead, one should be able to choose whether to live with God or to die once more, but this time forever, completely seperated from God YES, but you would be exterminated from existence and not in ‘hell’.

If the only thing we should remember:

It’s not our death we should fear… but what comes after death…we should fear.

Knowing that Hell is even a possibility, only one little brain cell believes it to be true,… shouldn’t we prepare for our end in a way that would lead us to God?

Paul

First, God doesn’t condemn us to hell. We do that ourselves. Hell is the state in which we will find ourselves if we flat-out reject God.

Using your mother/child analogy…

The mother loves the child unconditionally. If the child “sins” then asks forgivenenss, the mother forgives and welcomes the child with open arms. If the child completely rejects the mother and persists in that rejection, the mother will not “force” the child to return and show her love. That is hell. A soul in hell has rejected God.

Second, we can only teach that which has been revealed. While it may be possible that God has a way of allowing us to repent for mortal sin after death, that has not been revealed to us. What we know from what has been revealed is that we need to repent before we die. We need to turn to God. In sin we turn away. We need only to turn back around for Him to do the rest.

The thought that we should even ‘fear’ what comes after death bothers me. As humans, we wern’t created to live a life where we fear such sifnificant possibilites. God would never want that. We were created to live our life to the best of our abilities, love and serve God, be good people, and have fun and be happy.

Fear is not being happy. And fear is something I’ve been dealing with lately because I don’t know what to believe.

Perhaps it’s not fear and maybe your conscience telling you something that you are holding inside needs to come out.
We only need to fear death if we know we are not “Right” with God.

Not to sound pius but ,try going to confession. Let Christ take this weight from you. You will feel much better. Whatever it is God will listen and God will forgive.

Paul

If we live according to God’s will as best we can, do our best not to sin, confess when we do sin … then of course we need not fear and we can be happy.

If we fail to do any of these things then we should fear, and rightly so. Why should a criminal be happy in their crime? Why should someone who is deliberately neglectful of their salvation be happy in their neglect of their souls?

Hey PePPaR,

Talking about this kind of stuff is good. It lets you “blow off steam”. And believe me, it is good to question God in some things. But let’s always remember God is the Creator and we are just His Creations and we are subject to His Rules. Hell is a just punishment to those that choose to disobey God.

I have struggled with the Merciful God / Judgemental God issues in the past. As I have grown older, and I have had children and had different levels of authority in the work place, I think I have come to understand that having rules to abide by and having consequences for not obeying is a good thing. We have physical limits (we can’t lift 1000 pounds), we have financial limits (we can’t spend more than we make) and we have spiritual/moral limits (we need to try to do the right things). We need to look at it from the perspective that God gave us a way out and wants us to go to heaven with him. As a Catholic, I am further encouraged to know my God gives me the Sacraments to make it easier for me and even if I die in a state of veniel sin I can go to Purgatory and get cleaned up for my Savior.

As to the severity of Hell. We see this illustrated in life every day. A child is told a 100 times to look both ways before crossing the street and boom, they get hit by a car. Thousands of people die each year because of cigaretes and liquor, fully knowing that both can kill you. Auto accidents are almost always a result of speeding or improper lane changes or DUI. We see fatal results of bad decisions every day. Death is a sign to us of a final judgement, and bad moral decisions may not just kill us they might damn our souls forever. The most important thing I can emphasize is that Hell is a terrible place, apart from God and God gives us a way out. Thanks be to God who is merciful and kind.

And (responding to an earlier post) as having some Calvanist impression, that is quite possible as I have been associated with some Calvinists (TULIP), Southern Baptists but I converted to Catholic Easter 2006. I believe in a merciful God that loves us enough to die for us. God further loves us enough to provide a way for a repentant man to receive mercy. Whether a man can come to God without God calling him (some degree of depravity, some degree of being unable to avoid the call) is an interesting subject to discuss, the concept of limited atonement is not possible to my God. My God is too big to be limited by a Calvinist idea.

So my take is yes it is Absurd that God loves us so much to die for us. God is so perfect and merciful and kind and loyal. But thanks be to God that He does love us enough to save us from Hell so we can go to Heaven. :slight_smile:

Welcome Home!:clapping:

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