Consigned to Hell
Why is it that so many Christians are so quick to consign others to damnation in Hell?
Whether it is done consciously or not, many Western Christians are prone to judge people they become aware of as ‘destined’ for Hell and destruction. Most often, this determination is made without any real or definite research into that person’s life and is based almost solely on a small list of criteria one fails to measure up to.
This phenomena is not limited to the Christian religion, but seems to affect humans in general regardless their religious affiliation. The Jewish religionists of Jesus’ day were very quick to accuse His disciples of ‘Hell worthy’ disregard for the Law and teachings of the Elders. They often tried to prove Jesus of the same, using the competing loyalties of Moses and Rome to trip Him up.
Today, the favorite topic seems to be individual sexual attraction.
Many people who identify as sincere and ardent Christians are very quick to condemn and ‘become righteously indignant’ concerning any individual who expresses same gender attraction. It is true that in all the written record of Jesus’ teachings, He spoke more about Hell than Heaven, but these instances were almost always to the small self-righteous religious crowd badgering Him, rather than the masses who followed from afar.
I think there must be a connection between one’s own self image and the readiness to condemn others. When we as believer’s in Jesus Christ seek to follow His teachings and learn of Him, we soon see our own failings and weaknesses in living up to His standard. This ultimately should bring about a level of humility within that echoes the heartfelt forgiving spirit of Christ manifested when He spoke, ‘Neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more.’ When one gains a higher respect of one’s self religiously, it can lead to an air of superiority and give rise to a high minded attitude towards others.
Another aspect of dangerous thinking which leads to such effortless consignment of people to ‘their deserved place’ according to our judgment, is our rationality concerning God’s justice. If we are the kind of Christian who has bought into the established churches propaganda for the last several hundred years concerning God being angry and judgmental, then it is easy for us to assume that because the Almighty is surely of this character, any obvious disobedience or departure from His clear commands must directly result in His judgment against that individual. So, in this frame of mind, one easily reckons oneself as good and one’s ways as acceptable and therefore anything done differently by someone else, is most certainly suspect.
‘Oh to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer…’ the old Gospel hymn rings out….
If we as believing Christians today could actively pursue peace with all men as the scriptures enjoin us to do, and if we could truly see ourselves first for what we are, then I am sure there would be a lot less people ‘consigned to Hell’ by our judgmental opinions and a lot more love to share around. God is a Just God, and a Loving God and a Merciful God. Let us not be too hasty within ourselves to assume what is His justice, love, or mercy towards another soul, but rather share with them as equal creations, his boundless Grace.