Heaven is for sinners

Another month, another Briefing! While you are enjoying the fruits of the May issue (on infertility and the ethics of IVF), this next lot of Saturday posts will focus on the topic of the June Briefing: hell, judgement and the Sabbath.

This week, an anonymous Briefing author argues for why good people go to hell and bad people go to heaven:

I was talking to a group of students. “Good people go to hell”, I said. “The only people who go to Heaven are bad people.”

They stared at me, the eyes glazed, the minds in neutral, the handbrakes firmly on.

I could stand it no longer. “What did I just say?”

“You said good people go to Heaven, and the only people who go to Hell are bad people”, came the tired reply.

“No”, I protested, “that is not what I said”.

“Well, you didn’t really say that”, volunteered one. “You actually made a slip of the tongue and got your Heaven and Hell mixed up.”

“That’s right”, chipped in another helper. “You meant to say good people go to Heaven, but you accidentally said good people go to Hell.”

“And you made the same slip on the other part.” They really had my problems sorted out by this time. “So you said bad people went to Heaven instead of Hell.”

The group had previously been too polite to notice my mistake. Now they noticed it, unanimously agreed about it, and even found pleasure in it.

They were content. They knew what I meant. They had corrected my faulty notions about Christianity. They had fitted my message into their preconceived and preconditioned patterns of thoughtlessness.

What does someone have to say or do to get past such screening on religious issues? Everybody is an expert on what Christians believe. But nobody seems to listen to what we say.

Read the full article online (977 words).

2 thoughts on “Heaven is for sinners

  1. David: There’s no big mystery; Briefings back then didn’t always have authors attributed to them, and we can’t always remember who wrote them.

Comments are closed.