Last night Fellow Seeker and I had another one of our Heresy at Starbucks episodes. We sat there, he with his hot chocolate and me with my frappuccino, discussing our current spiritual state. I brought up the fact that he and I seem to have accepted the possibility of going to hell, and he immediately agreed. You see, in the religious tradition that we have come from, you will most likely go to hell for leading the lives we lead. We don't go to church, pray, or read the Bible regularly, we have so many doubts about Christianity, we drink occasionally, he's gay... I mean, we're just asking for it. He reminded me of how his grandmother feels about us in order to support this argument.
It seems like we have come to terms with this. F.S. said, "At least we tried." A pretty simple conclusion, I know, but I completely understand what he meant. We have tried and tried and tried to figure it out, but we keep coming up empty. Can it really be our fault, then? I told him that now that I have finally detached and am looking at Christianity objectively, so much of it seems to me to be people scrambling for explanations.
I never thought that I would be "okay" with going to hell. Part of me doesn't believe that it exists because I don't really believe that God (who supposedly loves us) would send people there. Part of me still believes it exists and, in the back of my mind, considers the possibility that I will go there if I don't clean up my act, so to speak. A while ago, F.S. said something really profound to me. He asked, "How does God have the audacity to send people to hell when He knows how hard it is to be human?"
I also spoke to F.S. about my recent feelings on God's love. I don't believe God loves us the way that people say He does. I really don't. This technically goes hand in hand with what I wrote about in my last post, about how He allows suffering. It doesn't make sense to me. F.S. is constantly on the same page with me. The second those words left my mouth, his facial expressions concurred. He nodded and nodded, and when I said "I don't think God really loves us that much..." he shook his head as if to say, "He doesn't," indicating that I just caught on to what he already knew.
Now, before Future Priest flips out on me, I am not saying that God doesn't love me, or you, or humanity in general. I am only saying that it appears that way. Certainly feels that way too. Charles Templeton talked about this when Lee Strobel interviewed him for The Case for Faith. I will quote from it later when I have the book in front of me.