God has been showing me how I need to be less judgmental of people who have suffered with prison sentences, addictions, homosexuality, broken marriages, etc. It’s not so much that I was being judgmental, more that in my fervent desire to help others not go to hell I wasn’t taking enough time to understand their burdens and the troubles they have been through.
The justice systems on Earth are based on religious texts which discuss the severity of heaven and hell. Unfortunately, this can lead to a huge amount of fear, and make us think God is a monster who would torture human beings endlessly even for relatively minor misdemeanours. While it’s possibly the case that God would do this, I’m less convinced of it than I used to be.
I think the religions that God has manifested on Earth have been an important part of His grand game, but we cannot neglect the fact that religion has caused a huge amount of suffering through fear and guilt (not to mention bloodshed). Even those who believe Jesus has washed away their sins still live a life of struggle against fear and guilt. Catholics go to confession, and then they still struggle with ‘sin’ again within a short period of time. It’s like religion is a constant battle.
I understand why some people turn to science. But I need to be more understanding concerning what makes different people tick when they profess to not believe in God. Everyone’s life has been unfolded by God in every moment, so would God really punish people in hell for things that He has caused them to do?
Some say all bad deeds are the responsibility of Satan, but I struggle to believe this because I have a very high view of the sovereignty of God. To say Satan is responsible for all ‘evil’ and that God has nothing to do with it feels too simplistic and dishonest to me.
I don’t think God is a monster. If God doesn’t suffer Himself — if He is a perfect being who is complete within Himself — it makes much more sense to me that He would never cause any of His creatures to suffer too much than that He would make them burn in hell for eternity.
There is one God, who is in control of everything that happens, and He does whatever He will.
This is the crux of what I believe.