A Prayer for the Banished

Dear God,
I pray for the sinners of the world;
I pray that they will see your light and come to you;
I pray that you will welcome them with open arms;
I pray for the sinners on earth;
I pray for the sinners in hell;
And I pray for the greatest sinner of all, that he may see your light: the fallen angel lucifer.
Amen

What do you make of that? A prayer of my own creation – and probably not one many churches would welcome with open arms, of course I could be mistaken. The point I am trying to make with this prayer is fairly simple, why in (most) of the Christian religious groups do sinners reach a point from which they cannot be forgiven (ie. hell)?

Looking at it from base principles it is an interesting concept. Older religions tend to focus on the concept of a judgement based on deeds, as described by a measuring scale. Others look at the soul as something which comes back to the world in a form dependent on your actions in your previous life. But Christianity works quite simply, you must believe in Jesus and you will go to Heaven. However don’t forget, there is a cut off point, once you are dead its too late to repent. Those in Hell don’t get the chance to choose to believe in God.

Now why is this? Well it depends on how you look at it. Religion doesn’t NEED to be nice, it just claims to be the truth – and sometimes the truth hurts. From a the view of a skeptic point of view, making the deadline in “this life” is a good choice for gathering followers (through fear), especially as people don’t know when they will die. 

But lets argue base theology here. Why would God choose to set a time limit for redemption? If God truly loved humans, then why would he forsake them to be tortured/suffer in hell just because they didn’t make the time limit. Furthermore, what of fallen angles? Why is Satan unable to be reconciled with God? Is not Satan also a creation of God? This leads me to the inspiration for this post, a quote you can find on my ‘Echoes in the Deep’ page:

“But who prays for Satan? Who in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most, our one fellow and brother who most needed a friend yet had not a single one, the one sinner among us all who had the highest and clearest right to every Christian’s daily and nightly prayers, for the plain and unassailable reason that his was the first and greatest need, he being among sinners the supremest?” – Mark Twain

To me this seems incongruous. Why would God banish those he has created? Why would he forsake them for all of eternity? This does not seem to be the forgiving God I am told of. What do you make on this?

To clarify a few things firstly though. This argument is neither for nor against the existence of God, it makes the assumption he is real and even if he is unforgiving as I’m implying, that doesn’t make him any more or less possible. Furthermore, this of course does not apply to those Christian’s who believe Hell is nothing but a “second death” – in which case you may not be forgiven only due to an impossibility (ie. being dead).

 

Site Changes

On a lighter note, I’m happy to announce some site changes. The Sensory Stimuli page has been redone, I hope you check it out and tell me what you think about the new design. You’ll also notice a new “legal” section on the right along with a more complete “support this blog” section. I’ve also added new Addthis buttons to the bottom of each post, so if you like on in particular – share it!

I really do ask for your support, this site is still very small and every vote or digg can really make a difference in building a readership. And please, do comment.


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~ by Myles O'Neill on February 8, 2009.

5 Responses to “A Prayer for the Banished”

  1. Your making the mistake of thinking religion is about theology when it is really only a medium of control. Why else would a hell need to exist other then to scare people into obedience. Furthermore if Hell really existed and you were banished there would you really want to repent and live out your days in heaven under a brutal dictatorial God?

  2. If I was in Hell? Probably yes. Depends how painful it was. I don’t like pain.

    I do not mistake the misuse of religion as a means of control, however theology is still a viable topic to discuss. Its also very interesting.

  3. A very interesting site my friend. I wish you all the best. See you around the net.

  4. Here Here /\/\1KH41L, though I believe that’s what myles is hinting at in the third paragraph and that he was more aiming at a theological reason…no, I don’t have one. My view of religion is that it started as a simple a device used to explain the unexplainable i.e. fire, the seasons, day and night. Thus most of the early religions tended toward the elemental. At some point various people got the idea that it could be used as a control devise to get the masses to live horrible lives of endless toil so that they could sustain not only themselves but the ruling class/religion. It gave these people something to look forward to after their terrible existence and at the same time stopped them from making their lives better for fear of losing this reward. Thus hell, once your there you can’t change your mind cause then the leeches..oops, sorry, ruling classes/religion couldn’t get anything from you.

    That’s not very theological is it…sorry, I can get a bit carried away sometimes. Didn’t mean to offend anyone and I’d love to hear why I’m wrong.

  5. I agree with ShadowBlob’s explanation of the evolution of religion. However to be fair, there is the issue of people finding comfort for their loneliness, fear of death, sorrows and the sense of belonging to something greater than themselves that many people find through religion. It doesn’t do it for me though!

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