Ojo, a while back you asked why believers would try to get you to return to the faith. I think this quote from Charles Spurgeon encapsulates the feelings of many of us. It does come from a good place znd [sic] not from a place of judgement or condemnation or even a feeling of spiritual superiority. God bless you my good friend!
First, I have already been warned for the last time, so this is unnecessary.
If it’s true that sinners are damned, then Spurgeon is right. I’d have to refuse the invitation on moral grounds. Someone would have to forcefully drag me into the heaven ruled by this god against my will, kicking and screaming, helpless. I’ve laid out the reasons why in this post. If there are countless souls in hell for simply not believing the right things in defiance and violation of conscience and the only faculties we were born with, and Spurgeon’s God is eternally ok with that, even resigned to it, then this is tyranny, not love, not justice, not mercy, not good in any way. It is entirely possible that this God is evil though, and then again I’d have to refuse the invitation. If you truly want to see me come back though, there is a way, although it will not be by prayer and warning. The way to get me back is here!
The graphic that came with this note (above) is also interesting. Note the link – depravedwretch.com. I went to the site and poked around and found this on what she had to say about the name of her website (apparently I’m not the only one taken aback that someone would refer to herself this way).
Here at Depraved Wretch we recognize the lack of understanding most have of the true nature of mankind and our hope is this name will help spread awareness.
We believe that all of humanity is totally depraved, lost, blind and dead in sin. Every one of us deserves the wrath of God for every sin we’ve committed, but Jesus Christ took all of our sin upon Himself and suffered in our place.
Turn from sin and put your faith and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
This essay, That Fateful Apple does an excellent and comprehensive job of untangling this awful theology. It’s worth a read in full but I provide just a small excerpt here:
Witness the many Christians who live in perpetual fear of sinning, who are constantly begging God to forgive them for real or imagined transgressions, who find only confusion, misery and depression where they were promised a sense of inner peace and contentment. […]
Believing that you are a wretch and that the best you can do is as filthy rags in your god’s sight turns life into joyless servitude, requiring a person to police their every action and thought, try to repress many entirely natural and healthy urges, and torment themselves for every slip-up, no matter how slight. How could anyone bear to live under such a gloomy, life-sapping cloud?
Christianity tries to win converts by piling guilt onto them for non-existent crimes. In effect, it tries to make us believe we are sick so it can sell us a cure. But as the saying goes, an entire pound of cure is not as good as a single ounce of prevention, and the prevention in this case is to realize that we are not sick, that we are not worthless sinners, and that while there may be badness in us, there is much good as well. It is past time for us to throw out the degrading idea of innate depravity that has shackled us and stifled our growth for so long and give ourselves the credit we deserve.
Make no mistake, to discard this doctrine is not to deny all moral responsibility. We are still accountable, to ourselves and to others, for our behavior, but this is a standard that is in our power to meet. And if with the adoption of this standard comes the further realization that there is no good evidence for any supernatural beings to whom we owe anything at all, so much the better.
I feel very sorry for the depraved wretch and anyone who has such a low sense of self worth and world view. What I consider truly sad is that the lives and relationships of those who hold these beliefs are so driven by fear. It is sad that these people cannot see, that this awful theology has so blinded them into thinking that bad is good, that down is up, that right is wrong. In what sense is considering someone damned to eternal torment coming from a good place? And in what sense is this not “judgment or condemnation?” How could such a person be capable of love at all, and how seriously can anyone take claims of love from someone who sees people this way?
I am grateful for the good intentions you claim to have, and I take you at your word, but in the end, I have to agree with Christopher Hitchens (at 7:13 below).
To me what matters most is the pursuit of happiness, in the words of our greatest Founding Father, and the pursuit of liberty, freedom. And that these things are incompatible, completely incompatible with the worship of an unalterable celestial dictator – someone who can watch you while you sleep, and convict you of thought crime, and whose rule cannot be challenged, and who’s the Big Brother, whose eternal reign may not be disputed. That makes the concept of the pursuit of freedom and happiness completely negative, negates it. So one of the things I live for is to return a stout and joyful “Non serviam!” to this dictator who I’m pleased to find doesn’t really exist, but is instead a creation of those who want to install a theocracy in the real life that I can participate in. I’m not going to give them an inch.