Dread Pirate writes of a friend: …he basically told me that he could not believe in anything that he himself could not understand. He does not believe that anyone should go to hell, or (for that matter) that hell even exist. However, he believes that everyone should go to heaven. It simply not fair that some should go to hell, especially if one is really seeking truth, but rejects God; or any other kind of diety.
That’s an interesting approach to life. Does he understand how x-rays work? Does he believe in them? Whatever the example, modern life is so complex that there is not a single person, however intelligent and educated, who understands everything. And yet, we have no problem believing whatever a sufficiently large number of people around us happen to believe.
If your friend doesn’t believe in Hell, why does he believe in Heaven? And what does fairness have to do with anything, much less reality? Attempting to ascertain reality through fairness is bizarre – had the situation not been so sad, I would have laughed out loud in the days after a schoolmate died in a car accident and everyone was lamenting the unfairness of it all and wondering why, oh why, did this happen? Well, the girl didn’t wear a seatbelt, drove like a maniac, took a corner too fast and rolled the car. Try it 100 times and you’ll get pretty much the same result almost every time, cause and effect. No great mystery there. Was it fair that she died? Yes, the laws of physics and biology demanded it.
Now, the Bible and the story of Christianity are either true or they are not. Your friend wants to hang onto the parts he likes, and ignore the parts he doesn’t. That’s absurd. If he wants to reject the whole thing, that’s fine, he should reject it all and indulge himself in wine, women and song for he only has a few short decades before his consciousness is obliterated into nothing. Encourage him to be honest with himself and follow his bliss, so to speak.
Not once does the Christian God claim to be fair. He claims to be just – everyone has sinned and is therefore damned. But He is also merciful – He offers a Way out to all. You don’t have to take it, but if you don’t, then be prepared to suffer the consequences. The unbeliever accepts this cheerfully because he rejects the totality. It is only the wishy-washy half-believer who suffers mental turmoil, because he cannot commit either way. But what he wants or what he thinks should be is as utterly irrelevant to the question of the existence of Hell as it is to the existence of Toledo.
It always amazes me that people don’t understand the parable of the wheat and the chaff. If you can’t believe or refuse to bow down before God’s Son, then you are essentially worthless in God’s eyes, you have failed in the purpose for which you were created and you will be tossed aside as useless trash. Don’t think that’s fair? So what. Fairness never entered into the equation.