A lunchtime conversation today with one of my closest friends went from war to why he is an agnostic: “If there is no God, then it’s not an issue. If there is a God, he pisses me off. Like, why does he give people a choice and then punish them for making the wrong choice? Or this whole original sin thing: Why am I in trouble for what someone else did?”
For someone who is not a Christ-follower (or as I prefer to say, a “normal person,”) he is quite well-versed in this stuff. But extending my Lectio Divina meditation on “sin” versus “brokenness”, I’m beginning to think that the word “sin” and the concepts commonly associated with it in this culture render it unhelpful. In the case of my friend, they create a warped view of God that causes him to resent God.
“So do you think I’m destined for eternal torment?”
So I said, “I don’t think my worldview is quite the same as the worldview you disagree with.” I told him that the sin thing, as he’s bought into it, isn’t helpful. He shot back, “Well, you believe in good and bad, right?” Remembering past conversations with Jor, I said, “Not really. But we can talk about good for something, or bad for something.“
After a while, he pressed me: “So do you think I’m destined for eternal torment?” I replied, “That’s not for me to say. But when you say ‘eternal torment,’ you have a mental picture of hell with all its connotations, which I don’t necessarily buy into.” He pressed me further, so I said, “This is what I think: If you walk away from the heat, you’ll get cold. If you walk away from the light, you’ll be in the dark.”
++ Jesus, draw my friend to you. ++
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