Hell is for children.


First a song

Then commentary from a man of the cloth

Morrison: What do you make of the theology which is pretty quite prominent these days in America, which is there is one guaranteed way not to go to hell; and that is to accept Jesus as your personal saviour.
Spong: Yeah, I grew up in that tradition. Every church I know claims that ‘we are the true church’ – that they have some ultimate authority, ‘We have the infallible Pope,’ ‘We have the Bible.’… The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book, is almost beyond imagination for me.
I mean, God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew or a Muslim or a Hindi or Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honour my tradition. I walk through my tradition. But I don’t think my tradition defines God. It only points me to God

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

50 thoughts on “Hell is for children.

  1. Carmen says:

    Bishop Spong is a bit of a controversial figure within the Anglican Church, Mak. There are many who feel he’s not a believer . . I find him quite enlightening; he’s definitely an open-minded fellow in many ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    • judyt54 says:

      He’s fascinating, truly. Im amazed no one has excommunicated him, lol.

      Like

      • Carmen says:

        I’ve spoken to some Anglicans and they think he ought to be! I remember listening to him on the radio – probably twenty years ago now – and thinking that his ideas were quite radical.

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        • Barry says:

          Not that radical. Similar views have been seen here in Aotearoa New Zealand in all the mainstream denominations for decades before Spong appeared on the scene. Professor Lloyd Geering has been promoting a secular nontheist form of Christianity since the 1960s. He holds New Zealand’s highest honour, the Order of New Zealand, for his services to religion. Can you imagine the current US administration honouring Spong’s service to religion 😊

          Liked by 1 person

          • Carmen says:

            Ha, ha Barry! We’ve also got our own ‘radical’ here – an atheist minister by the name of Gretta Vosper. She’s still a minister in the United Church of Canada, albeit a controversial one. 🙂

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            • Barry says:

              Perhaps Geering has had more influence here as he was Dean of Knox theological college when his views came to national attention in 1967. In this country there are more Christians who are nontheists or non-realists than there are fundamentalists yet for some reason when non-Christian discuss Christianity the assumption is that all Christians hold fundamentalist beliefs. Seems pointless to me :}

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              • makagutu says:

                Barry, you always forget you live in some island away from the rest of us. If we were talking evolutionary terms, we would say, yours branched off and evolved differently. Many Christians in many places hold onto fundamentalist beliefs

                Liked by 1 person

                • Barry says:

                  Perhaps it’s an island thing as I believe the UK is not far behind us. The other island nation about the same size as NZ and the UK – Japan also has a very pluralist view of religion.

                  Or it could be because this country was settled just at the end of the Enlightenment, but before the rise of fundamentalist backlash, which started in the US and then was exported world wide. We had freethinkers as political and social leaders way back in the 1860s. Has America ever had free thinkers and/or atheists in top political roles?

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            • makagutu says:

              An atheist minister! You fellows push it

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          • makagutu says:

            The current US administration is god sent. Spong would be unwelcome

            Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          For a religious man, his ideas are quite radical. He takes the bite off religion. If he was a member of my church, I would be behind his excommunication.

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      • makagutu says:

        He is fascinating.

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    • makagutu says:

      I like him too. He makes religion as preached superfluous

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  2. Like all Christians, spong creates his own religion. And he wants his god to be everyone’s god.

    Liked by 1 person

    • basenjibrian says:

      I know. This is all well and good, and Spong is certainly far more copacetic than a Jerry Falwell or the typical right wing rabid foamer, but it all sounds like Deepak-Chopra level woo to me. He still does not answer the question: why does there need to be “A God”? Why does he assume the universe has a “Purpose” (even if his purpose is more aligned with what many of us want to believe in?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu says:

        That’s a leap that is difficult to make. He already makes his religion woo but can’t take the courageous step of denouncing it in toto

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      • Barry says:

        Perhaps he doesn’t spell it out as clearly as Lloyd Geering, but if you read his works, you’ll realise that there is no need for there to be a God.

        It’s essentially a useful label on which to place values and experiences. Neither Spong nor Geering make any claim that God is something outside of the human condition. If you like, God (or gods) are optional. They won’t think less of you for finding the concept less than useful, any more than you should think less of them for finding religious metaphors helpful for them and like thinkers.

        You’d also realise that any “purpose” the universe might have is one that we create individually and/or collectively. The universe has no intrinsic purpose. Geering certainly doesn’t believe it does, and from what I know of Spong, neither does he. Again if the concept isn’t useful or helpful to you, there’s no point in using it.

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      • spong is just one more human being who wants to pretend he’s special.

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    • makagutu says:

      At least his god is not damning anyone to hell nor does it want us to be children, that is, born again. That’s a religion I could support

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  3. My god is the Great Golden Boot. He points you to look down at the floor and bend over; then he kicks you in the ass with His Great Golden Boot until He gets you to do as He wants. I like my god, but He does make my ass sore.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. john zande says:

    He’d do well being a hedge fund manager.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. rautakyy says:

    God alledgedly created polio and tetanus that inflict little children and have caused terrible havoc among people who would have deserved something better. Or possibly allowed them to be created by some other means and did nothing. Since then this god has remained in hiding from the most of us and does nothing while powerhungry men have and do abuse power in all of his names for thousands of years. Yes, we do need to grow up and see, that hidden gods, that allow mindless evil and insurmountable harm are not worthy of our attention. We need to fix things.

    In the undying words of Pat Benatar: “Hit me with your best shot!”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Carmen says:

    Good one, rautakyy!! 🙂

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  7. […] just came across a post that included a quote from Bishop John Shelby Spong where he […]

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