A friend commented the other day, “I was doubting the reality of hell. I wondered how it could be that an all loving God would be able to allow for hell. Then, at Mass, I gazed at the crucifix and it all clicked. I had an ‘aha’ moment. If there were no hell there would be no need of the cross. Why the cross if we did not need salvation, and what were we to be saved from if not hell?”
The Logic of Hell
Indeed. The next day, having dinner with some friends a fellow priest commented, “The most deadly heresy of our day, a heresy that is destroying our church and our culture is the heresy of universalism. This sentimental belief that God will not condemn anyone to hell and that everyone is going to heaven undermines everything. It is a lie direct from the Father of lies.”
I’ve often thought that the people who think that God will not send anyone to hell really believe that God will not send someone like them to hell. It’s all couched in suitably sentimental concern for other people. They’re really just worried about their own skin.
Finally, it has always seemed incongruous to me that atheists blame believers for being on Fantasy Island and that we are duped into wishful thinking–that God is our big Sugar Daddy in the sky who will take us to glory one day. That may be the God of the eternal security born again crowd, but the Catholic God is the Almighty Judge before whom all will tremble one day. Before him none shall stand and every knee shall bow, and he might send us to hell.
This doesn’t sound very much like wishful thinking to me. Instead, the person who imagines that there is no life after death, no heaven to win and no hell to pay and that they can just quietly ride off into the sunset without paying their debts.
Now that really sounds like wishful thinking. to me.