What If Everything We Believe Is Wrong?

*** Let me say at the outset that I am NOT some Nazi sympathizer or Hitler devotee. What happened prior to and during the second world war was nothing short of horrific. ***

We can talk about Love Wins and Rob Bell and Heaven and Hell and Salvation but, deep down, there seems to be a caveat. People who do things that are really bad will certainly roast forever in a lake of fire, right? Sort of a who’s who of the baddies. Hitler, Stalin, Vlad III, Pol PotRobespierre, ad infinitum throughout history.

In a previous post, Spiritual Dashboard, I talked about sin being more of an indicator light showing us that we have lost our way, than it is a gauge of how bad we are compared to others. This story could be told of any number of people besides Adolf Hitler. Those who lead the crusades or the Popes who directed them. Those who played commanding roles in the Inquisition or witch hunts or genocide. Any event that has had widespread condemnation has, at its root, someone who thought they were doing the right thing, but who was ultimately on the wrong side of history.

Rob Bell talks in the pre-release video for his new book Love Wins as well as in the first chapter about whether Gandhi is in Heaven or Hell. I think that we might be able to extend this thought further. How much does God love us, his creation?

Jesus told a story that is recorded in Luke 18. Two men go to temple to meet God. As one begs God for mercy in his spiritual destitute, the other is confident in his arrogance. To whom did God show forgiveness? When Adolf Hitler faced God, in all of his holiness, I imagine that Hitler would be overwhelmed by his actions. Falling prostrate at the face of God’s glory, weeping in the horror of the atrocities carried out at his command. Overcome with grief.

But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

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