Welcome to Heaven
I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more:
Look at the domes in Florence cathedral. On the roof of the dome of the Baptistery, there is a Last Judgment scene as clearly demarked as in John Martin’s Last Judgment.
But in the Duomo it is less clear. There is Jesus, clearly in Judgment, and people who have, perhaps, come out of graves: and they are wandering, perhaps a little up hill, perhaps a little down hill, and Jesus allows it.
Kris K is probably not still here, listening, and that is OK because I am not reading his blog regularly either, but he challenged me, “I know where I’m going when I die, Clare, do you?” My answer is no. Separate from my doubts about the existence of a soul and an afterlife for this individual outside the memories of those whom I touch in this life, I also do not know what my continual spiritual growth may bring me to- it will be beautiful, but I cannot yet comprehend that beauty or I would be there now- and I also do not know whether I may face further trauma, too great for me to heal. And I have hope in the beauty and wonder of Life and the love of God and would like the delight of having life never to end for me: but, what will happen after I die is a less important question than, “What should I do, now?” simply because I am not dead yet.
I Corinthians 5: 1-5:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
So, yes. The church can expel people, in the circumstances of the Church in Corinth, surrounded by pagan sects, as decided by the most exceptional church-builder, the Apostle Paul.
But in less exceptional circumstances, less exceptional people should take more to heart the words of Jesus: “first take the beam out of your own eye”.
I love Kris K’s care for the Church, that I not delude potential followers of Christ, and indeed care for me, that I not be deluded and so damned. And I love his clarity of expression of his clear belief. And I disagree with him, and think Heaven bigger than he imagines. So I think my Quaker meeting is a better Church, welcoming all, allowing us to rub up against each other and disagree and be in conflict, and still seek God’s loving purposes in this moment, together.
I suppose it is possible that Kris K is right, that it is indeed as simple as he says and I am so caught up in the wiles of Satan that I am one perpetually, wilfully blind- as in John 12:40,
The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts–so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.
But that is not what it feels like. It feels like growth in spirituality, maturity, and understanding. And if God really would give a devilish enemy that much power over me, perhaps I am better off in the lake of fire than with such a horrid God.
This is my hundredth post published.