The Bible, Corporal Punishment and Human Guilt - Part 2

Column by Bishop John Shelby Spong on 23 June 2004 0 Comments
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What is your understanding of the Judgment? Are those who are not Christians to be damned?


I try not to have strong opinions on those topics about which there is no concrete data. The Last Judgment is one of them. Have you ever talked with a person who has been through it or has witnessed it? According to the tradition, it is something that will occur at the end of history or the end of time, That is part of the human legendary attempt to make sense out of life here and now. Those who have strong convictions about the Judgment base their claims of knowledge on some images in the Bible that they have literalized. I see little value in doing that.

Are those who are not Christians to be damned? Somehow, who is to be damned is not your business or mine. The fate of every child of God is in God's hands. Why do individual people and various Churches try to hold on to these ideas with such passion? What need does this attitude serve?

It is a power play, a scare tactic and an "I am superior to you" stance. I do not think that attitude is worthy of any of my time. I have quite enough to do trying to make my life reflect a faithful journey into the mystery of God. I commend a similar pathway to you.

-- John Shelby Spong




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