None of Our Business

Fallen angels in Hell
Image via Wikipedia

What if it turned out that the final destination of other people is none of our business?

If that turned out to be a correct, it would not necessarily imply that we’re not meant to work at spreading the truth.  It seems to me that if we take Jesus seriously, we are meant to talk about him.  But having this responsibility doesn’t imply that we are part of the decision-making process.

In fact, this whole thing is actually analogous to behavior we expect all the time.  We might want our sons and daughters, or students, or whatever to encourage each other, to teach each other etc.  But even if we did, hopefully we wouldn’t consult the kids (or students or whatever) in assigning punishment, consequences, etc.

For obvious reasons, Christians have sought to figure out what the entrance requirements are to get to heaven.  Similarly, we have wanted a cut-and-dried formula for escaping Hell.

Though understandable, it seems to me that this is the wrong question to ask.   In some ways, it’s a bit like asking the question, “How much X can I get away with and still be following Christ?”  How drunk can I get?  How high can I get?  How greedy can I be?  How judgemental can I be?

There is an element of legalism in all this.

But more to the point I want to make today, it is certainly more sensible that I try to determine the issue of eternal salvation for myself than for somebody else.

I can’t speak to the content of someone else’s heart.  I can’t directly experience what God is doing within them.  So many sins, and fruits of the spirit are really about our heart-condition, not the actual external things we can be seen doing or not doing.

It is of course easy and fun to shift the focus to others.  Analyzing the nature of their problems and going on to solve their problems gives us the appearance of someone pious with out calling on us to do the hard work of change.


Published by


The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

One thought on “None of Our Business”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s