Wednesday, July 09, 2008

George Carlin on God and Hell

I have been listening to a lot of George Carlin since his death; great social and political commentary. However, if you get queasy at the F bomb, you won't last 2 minutes.

George stated in a very succinct way one of the most glaring inconsistencies you hear coming from modern evangelicals.

George Carlin:
And [God Says] if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place...

...full of fire and smoke...

...and burning and torture and anguish..

...where he will send you...

...to live and suffer...

...and burn and choke...

...and scream and cry...

...forever and ever...

...'til the end of time!...


But He loves you. :)

There it is, clear as crystal. On the one hand you will hear Christians state that God loves you with an EVERLASTING LOVE. That God's love is different because, unlike everyone else, His love is UNCONDITIONAL. But if you do not subscribe to certain particular beliefs (which vary from Christian group to Christian group) God will subject you to suffering beyond imagination for eternity.

So which is it? Unconditional love? Or love with the biggest condition the universe has ever seen?

10 comments:

societyvs said...

I have seen this comic piece he does also - and found it totally funny. I think Carlin is very good at making these religious points and getting the message across both clearly and humorously.

He makes a good point - one that should strike fear into certain people's reasoning for the theology...the whole thing is such a 'wash' it's hard to stomach the inconsistency...the idea God loves us so much but...

If there is a hell then it is reserved for those people who committed actions abominable to the human sensibilities...and there are a lot of things that can encompass - but serial murders, rapists, and pedophiles come to mind quite quick. They hurt people in such a horrendous way - it's hard to imagine even their forgiveness (crossing a line several times that has jaded the crap out of themselves). But that's my simple take on it - and again - I only say that because those crimes (done so mindlessly) seem worthy of our worst punishments.

That may not sit right with some - but I think we need to have some standard where we can say - once you cross that line - that's a long road back. I am not sure if it is hellworthy - but what the hell - if something has to be - degraded human character almost beyond repair and in full reproach mine as well be.

Adam Gonnerman said...

Though I'm not a universalist, I had to cast off my traditional understanding of heaven/hell first because it didn't make any bloody sense, and second because I discovered a lot of my prior views were based on badly misinterpreted texts.

OneSmallStep said...

Another contradiction I sometimes find is the idea that God accepts you just as you are, and God can only accept you if you're perfect. Which is why Jesus had to die in your place, so that you could be covered in his blood, and thus be seen as clean/pure/acceptable before God.

Yet ... where's the "you," then? If God can't even be near you without Christ inhabiting the person, then how much of the "you" is loved? If you're an imperfect sinner, and God can only love perfection, then isn't that really saying that God's loving Christ only, and Christ is blocking the "you" from God's sight?

John T. said...

Christianities take on God and Hell remind me of a Good take on fear.

F-false
E-evidence
A-appearing
R-real

That pretty much sums it up.

Andy said...

George might be able to give you a better description of Hell now.

EasyE said...

God is a loving God, but he is also a perfectly just God. No sin, no matter how "big" or "small" can co-exist in God's Holy presence. God loved the world so much that he gave his ONLY son, or essentially HIMSELF to die for your sins in your place. And His ONLY requirement for the justification of your sins is to accept Christ as your personal Savior! I don't think you can argue the extent of God's Love for us, but it doesn't relinquish us of our responsibility to put our faith in Him. He gave us free will to accept his gift, or reject it. But in rejecting it, though His Love for us is great, our sin cannot exist in His presence.

Andrew said...

I know that is the standard explanation that I heard as I grew up, almost to the point of a mantra. However, I see scripture giving lots of views of eternity and we seem to need to shed a lot of scriptural voices to whittle it down to that simple formula. Personally, my hope (the foundation of my faith according to Hebrews) is that Romans 5 pegs it pretty well. That reconciliation was established once for all... that salvation is a continued growth process. That 1 Corinthians is a description of God (not part of a wedding ceremony) and that God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and NEVER fails. To interpret otherwise is to ignore the message of these scriptures.

I know there are contrary views that can be gathered from scripture, but that is why I have felt for a while that what we take from scripture tends to tell us a lot more about the individual than it does about God.

EasyE said...

I agree with your comment that it reflects more on the individual what they "pick-and-choose" out of scripture to believe, but it doesn't change the fact that God's word is constant from Genesis to Revelation, and the foundations of Christianity are consistent throughout the Bible. Yes, Romans 5 tells of Justification for all, but that is for ALL who have received God's gift of Salvation through Christ, not all men period. Paul spends the first four chapters of Romans sharing the need for Christ, and telling of our separation from God, before he ever gets to talking about our Justification as a result of salvation. I am not sure on your reference to I Corinthians, because this is a letter to a church that is REALLY screwed up in their beliefs and teachings. Yes, God is all that you mention, but it does not mean it encompasses all men, you have to accept Christ, and accept the gift from God. Why is there a Hell, and why would there be a need for a Savior if as you believe that ALL men are justified based on these scriptures.

EasyE said...

I agree with your comment that it reflects more on the individual what they "pick-and-choose" out of scripture to believe, but it doesn't change the fact that God's word is constant from Genesis to Revelation, and the foundations of Christianity are consistent throughout the Bible. Yes, Romans 5 tells of Justification for all, but that is for ALL who have received God's gift of Salvation through Christ, not all men period. Paul spends the first four chapters of Romans sharing the need for Christ, and telling of our separation from God, before he ever gets to talking about our Justification as a result of salvation. I am not sure on your reference to I Corinthians, because this is a letter to a church that is REALLY screwed up in their beliefs and teachings. Yes, God is all that you mention, but it does not mean it encompasses all men, you have to accept Christ, and accept the gift from God. Why is there a Hell, and why would there be a need for a Savior if as you believe that ALL men are justified based on these scriptures.

Andrew said...

"Why is there a Hell, and why would there be a need for a Savior if as you believe that ALL men are justified based on these scriptures."

That statement presupposes that getting out of Hell was Christ's point. I would argue that, scripturally, it isn't. Jesus said that he came that we might have life... and have it to the full. Applying Romans 5 would seem to indicate that since the problem of reconciliation has been taken care of, now we are going to work on redemption/salvation....that thing that Peter says needed working out. I think our "salvation" is in becoming more like him, not getting out of Hell. (Not to mention, I have a hard time accepting that Adam's sin has the upper hand on God's Grace, and again Romans 5 would seem to indicate that the blood of Christ nullifies the fall of Adam).

Your approach seems to be highly evangelical, you seem to read scripture through those lenses. That is not a slight. I am aware that I read scripture through post-modern lenses. I don't think any of us really can come to scripture completely innocent. I think the best we can do is try to grab someone else's lenses occasionally to try to see what they are seeing; and in this way better understand them and maybe add to our own repertoire.

FYI, my 1 Corinthians reference was 13 (I meant to type that) I guess I was being obtuse, but my point was that I believe the "love" chapter to be a description of God.

Also, thank you for making your disagreements civil and respectful. I think it is the case that most people on the opposite sides of an issue have trouble maintaining a level discourse. I commend your approach.

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