? What kind of mindset is spawned by a belief in the ECT God described in the book Erasing Hell?
I think this twisted belief can affect us in several different (equally disturbing) ways. One of the ways is demonstrated in the attitude of those gleeful folks I mentioned in the last post. They embrace hell with a vengeance. Hell makes perfect sense to them. They are the "yes, God is love BUT God is also JUST" fan club.
If hell doesn't exist, then neither does justice. The Living Church, vol. 130
And not only does it turn the God they serve into a monster, it makes them pretty creepy too.
“Consider that all these torments of body and soul are without intermission. Be their suffering ever so extreme, be their pain ever so intense, there is no possibility of their fainting away, no, not for one moment … They are all eye, all ear, all sense. Every instant of their duration it may be said of their whole frame that they are ‘Trembling alive all o'er, and smart and agonize at every pore.' And of this duration there is no end … Neither the pain of the body nor of soul is any nearer an end than it was millions of ages ago.” Sermon 73 John Wesley
And Jonathan Edwards was probably the creepiest of them all....
For ever harassed by a dreadful tempest, they shall feel themselves torn asunder by an angry God, and broken by the weight of His hand, and transfixed and penetrated by mortal stings, terrified by the thunderbolt of God. So that to sink into any gulf would be more tolerable than to stand for a moment in these terrors.”
"The world will probably be converted into a great lake or liquid globe of fire, in which the wicked shall be overwhelmed, which will always be in tempest, in which they shall be tossed to and fro, having no rest day and night, vast waves and billows of fire continually rolling over their heads, of which they shall forever be full of a quick sense within and without; their heads, their eyes, their tongues, their hands, their feet,their loins and their vitals, shall forever be full of a flowing, melting fire, fierce enough to melt the very rocks and elements; and also, they shall eternally be full of the most quick and lively sense to feel the torments; not for one minute, not for one day, not for one age, not for two ages, not for a hundred ages, nor for ten thousand millions of ages, one after another, but forever and ever, without any end at all, and never to be delivered."
This belief so perverts the image of our Heavenly Father that there is rejoicing when they consider the fate of their friends, their relatives...even their children!
Martin Luther, when questioned whether the Blessed will not be saddened by seeing their nearest and dearest tortured answers, “Not in the least.”
“…the Blessed will see their friends and relations among the damned as often as they like but without the least of compassion.” Gerhard The sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever. . .Can the believing father in Heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in Hell. . . I tell you, yea! Such will be his sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish his bliss. Catholic Truth Society
What will it be like for a mother in heaven who sees her son burning in hell? She will glorify the justice of God. - Pamphlet from the late 1960s, part of a catechismal teaching [cited in an essay by the English poet, Stevie Smith, "Some Impediments to Christian Commitment"
And we can't just chalk these comments up to a yesteryear mindset. On a popular reformed blog, on a post about hell, I found the following comment...
The fact that my father might be in hell does not cause me grief because God is sovereign. He decides - His justice is absolute. By grace has He rescued me. Whether He chooses some and not others is to His glory. What makes my father special to other who face the same fate? Billions will be condemned, is that sad? In a sense there will be grief but will it last? I cannot see me being grief struck in a new heaven and new earth. This is the position that holding to a Reformed worldview must reach…..DavidM
And I don't disagree. This is the position that holding to a Reformed worldview(that includes ECT) must reach. Take note that he is pretty sure he is among the few God has chosen. "By grace He rescued me" and so...quite literally...to hell with the rest of you, including dear old dad.
This is sicko selfish on so many levels....
So these guys seem to get into this eternal hell stuff. At the very least, they don't make a fuss about the billions who will be suffering for all eternity. Next post will be about the folks who struggle to see the justice in an eternal hell.