Monday, October 16, 2006

Universalists and Universalism thoughts - non-history

I talked to someone today who's daughter died this week - and the parent had to make a decision about continual lifesurport....
lots of problems in their relationship, and she died as a result of her troubles. Her lifestyle was extemely unhealtful and as everyone told her, it would kill her, which of course it did. I could go on describing how wretched she had made herself in the name of what she thought was happiness. I listen to a griving parent who sacrificed time, money, energy, peace of mind, for a child that never said "I love you".....
"Why did" i was asked "she have to die?"

That's the question ministers are asked, but Im no minister - when it's a parent of a young woman, aasking about the death of the mother of a 6 year old child, it's more heart rendering too....
... I was able to bring some relief....

To bring the title of this thought to the topic, I thought of Universalism and Universalists, and why I am an Universalist.
One of the basic tennets (as I understand it) is that God is Love, and that to do wrong (ie: sin) is to suffer from not being with God. This woman (who I knew for years before I knew her parent) was definately doing wrong, and I certainly feel she was suffering for years. I can not speak with authority, I can only speak my heart -- that parent loved their child with all their heart, and stuck with her as best they could, and would God do less that that? and after trying for 26 years, would God then shrug and punish her for 26,000 plus years? That's the classic Universalist question, to which the Us would say a stong "No!". There is just punishement for doing wrong (sin), but just punishement is just that: just.
Would God punish the parent for the sins of the child? Some folks actually believe God would, and certainly that parent is suffering now as well...but to suffer for their child through all eternity?

I didnt mention Universalism to this parent, but I did attempt to give them "Not Hell, but Hope and Courage".

I dont usually offer much non-history here, Im not a minister, nor claim to be...nor a theologian,
I do see human suffering on a daily basis, so I certainly see the need for the Hope, Charity, Kindness, Love... and the need for Universalists of any denomination....

1 comment:

Jeff Wilson said...

This is a strong reason why I appreciate being raised in the Universalist tradition. Leaving aside quotations from the Bible and inherited doctrines, when I think about God, I think of someone with far greater patience, love, compassion, mercy, etc, that myself. No matter what happened, I would never condemn my children to eternal suffering. And as a parent, I would be incomplete without my children. Even if it took a thousand years, a million years, 100 trillion years, I would never cease working to reconcile with my wayward children. And that's just me, a normal, imperfect human being. So it is beyond my the capacity of my religious imagination to believe that a God who embodies these good qualities to a degree that makes my own love and compassion look paltry, could ever choose to abandon any of God's children for any reason or especially to cause them to suffer terribly forever.

There is no argument, no matter how Biblically sound, that could ever cause me to believe that God condemns people. Such a being would have imperfect love and compassion, and ergo simply would not be God.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. While I really appreciate the historical work you do here, going off message every now and then to speak from the heart certainly isn't a bad thing either;)