Sunday, October 09, 2022

Jesus Was A Pest

 Wife kitteh and I have begun helping out with Confirmation classes at our church. Confirmation is the Catholic initiation into an adult relationship with the faith where you, typically a high schooler, confirm that you will live as a Catholic. Or something like that.

I'd heard of universalism in the Catholic Church, but I'd never seen it in practice and certainly never seen it almost, err, universally accepted. During the Confirmation class, the kids and the adult leaders were asked if only those who followed Jesus would go to heaven. All but myself and one kid agreed with that. This is the universalist view - everyone gets rewarded with heaven.

My brief theological rebuttal comes from John 14:1-7:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

Where I am going you know the way.”

Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Emphasis mine.

I'll leave that argument alone and go straight to the implications of universalism.

Like, what's the point of the Church, man? As a Catholic, I get all these lectures and demands that I come every Sunday, come on holy days of obligation, tithe, donate to our pinko bishop's annual demand for money, acknowledge my sins and on and on while the rest of the population is down at the High Dive, drinking Bloody Marys and watching football. I must be some kind of a chump.

If you want to know why kids are leaving the Church, this has to be a major reason. It's a rational cost-benefit decision. If everyone ends up in the same place, only a complete idiot would do all that work for nothing. The Church's entire value proposition vanishes.

Our culture is so thoroughly shot through with moral relativism that our Confirmation class leaders have adopted it.

Any attempt to define mortal sin would have to end here.

Bonus Take

If everyone is saved no matter what they do, then Jesus' entire life was a waste of time. Think about it.

Extra Special Bonus Take

So God sends His only Son to Earth where he preaches and ministers and finally dies on the cross, a complete innocent, only for God to say, "Whatever. Everyone gets into heaven. I didn't really have anything to say after all."


Ilíon said...

Does "No one comes to the Father except through me" *necessarily* mean that only those who "follow" Jesus "go to Heaven"?

Certainly, universalism is false. But, it seems to me that the "only Christians 'go to Heaven'" idea is also false.

K T Cat said...

I'm not here to guess at what the Big Guy is doing, but I do know I was given the Great Commission for a reason.

Ilíon said...

That's a different issue.