Mukilteo layman more certain than Everett pastor | Letter

Jul 23, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

With regards to the column by Pastor David Parks on July 9, “Some things I used to believe in with certainty,” [The Beacon, Weekly Worship, page 9], clearly he is free to believe anything he wants and to change his beliefs any time he wants.

But what should be made clear (and wasn’t) was that his stated beliefs about Heaven and Hell are substantially different from what the vast majority of true Christians have believed for the last 2,000 years.

If Heaven and Hell exist #only# in this physical existence as the author seems to suggest, (Hell as violence, greed etc. and Heaven as a beautiful sunrise or forgiveness etc.), then there is no hereafter, and this life is all there is.

If this life is all there is, then whatever “God” exists in such a system has no means of exacting justice on the monsters of history, such as Hitler and Mao.

And if this life is all there is, then doesn’t it behoove everyone to maximize their pile of “toys,” even at the expense of others.

Even though I’ve seen my share of “heavenly” sunrises (including from the top of Mts. Rainier and Kilimanjaro) and also a goodly smattering of “hellish” living conditions in “third-world” countries (such as in rural areas of Honduras, Liberia, Burundi and Swaziland), those are only a shadow of the real thing, not the real thing itself.

While Christians down through history have often been at the vanguard of alleviating society’s ills and evils (such as promoting hospitals and abolishing slavery), most have not been confused about that being all the “heaven” there is and is ever going to be.

Alleviating suffering was seen as a practical demonstration of the Love of God, but not the only Good News.  The rest of the Good News has always been that although none of us is remotely worthy to stand before a Holy God, we can do so if we place our Faith and Trust in the sacrificial death of Christ Jesus.

Fenton Rees,

Mukilteo

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