My post is inspired by this Christian mother’s blog post where she answers my question in one of her her previous posts if she could really imagine my daughter burning in hell while hers is safe. Her answer, in so many words, “Yes!” To my dear Christian friends who don’t believe like her, you can see why we must keep fighting these sort of ideas.
Nothing can shake up a Christian parent’s world more, than when their child gives up the Christianity that the parent diligently and prayerfully inculcated in their dear child over many years. This is especially true if the parent has a flavor of Christianity which says non-believers burn for eternity (or are annihilated or any such thing). Prior to their child saying “I no longer believe”, the Christian parent may try to bullshit themselves and others that they care about the damnation of non-believers. But they lie. And nothing reveals their lie more than if their precious child stops pretending that they are talking to a god and that an all-loving, all-powerful god intervenes in our lives. For stopping such beliefs would certainly entail that child leaving most forms of Christianity.
In this case, a damnation-believing Christian parent must admit that their own, dear child is bound for the flames of torment. Then, and only then, with the believer see what it is to care about the damnation of others. They will weep with a pain that they could never feel for billions their dogma envisions tortured for eternity.
I have seen this horrible painful situation rip apart families and torment Christian parents until the day they die. The sad Christian parent then usually does one of the following:
- Shakes their head in heartless condemnation claiming that they can not ignore the hard facts of the Bible doctrines but must instead swallowed the truth. [From what I have seen, this option results in either deep pain, destroyed relationships, depression and/or a hardness of heart.]
- Have faith that the Lord will bring their child back. [This works best if the parent and child don’t see each other often. Or heck, they may be right. Calvinist fall here sometimes.]
- Change their Christianity into a flavor with universalistic or pluralistic salvation ideas [often a successful option]
- Leave Christianity with their children [occasionally another successful option]
It is extremely easy to see the parallels of the above scenario with that of a gay-bigoted parent learning that their child is gay. The media has shown us many of these stories. Sometimes it takes our children to wake us up from our stupidity.
The idea that wrong belief earns eternal damnation is a horrible, evil idea. No two ways about it. My suggestion to believers, wake up now before pain forces you to see your stupidity. And be sure, I understand that you think the same applies to me. So it goes.