A Facebook post from a pastor I follow illustrates a disturbing trend among some Christians who look forward to fellow Christians suffering in judgment.
I guess I was raised differently than some Christians. I’ve certainly come to view faith and differently over the years. But when it comes to people who believe things differently than I do, I don’t look forward to the prospect that of those Christians suffering while I’m in a place where I can say, “I told you so.”
And I’m not sure I understand why there are other Christians who seem to want to be able to do so.
I guess, to a degree, I’ve always leaned toward being what is now labeled a “progressive Christian.” I’m not 100% progressive when it comes to Christianity, but as I read more from that side of things, I do find myself agreeing more with some of their points and their interpretations on a lot of issues.
A Tennessee-based pastor I follow on Facebook recently posted something to his page that raised the point about others hoping to see suffering in people who disagree with them:
On one of my recent posts, one commenter responding directly to me said, “Woe to you.” Another on the same post said, “I can’t wait to see you bow before my savior” and that I was “hellbound.”
It’s one thing to hope for some sort of celestial justice that would guarantee that people like Adolf Hitler might be in a constant state of purgatory. But it might be argued that even the worst people one could think of were still offered the same opportunity of grace that all of the “good Christians” who dutifully show up without fail every Sunday were due. Whether they chose to accept that grace and act accordingly was their decision, but if they had suddenly seen some error in their ways and asked God for grace and forgiveness, I think many believers would say that God would have granted it.
But we’re talking about a pastor who’s preaching a more accepting version of Christianity that’s still based in the Bible, although a less conservative perspective therein.
And there are Christians who seem to want to gloat over their belief that he’s “hellbound.”
Is it any wonder that younger generations are getting fed up with what we call Christianity these days? Is it any wonder that some churches seem to be pushing people away from Christianity instead of drawing them in?
He ends the post being thankful that he doesn’t want to see others suffer.
I don’t either.
As a believer, I’m supposed to look forward to the day that Christ rises and returns to earth. What I hope will happen on that day is reconciliation, not division.
It’s a shame that there seems to be so many within the church who apparently long for the day that there’s suffering and judgment for people with whom they may share pews every Sunday.
I’m not sure how that’s an example of loving their fellow man. But I hope that they don’t suffer. I hope God opens everyone’s eyes to the fact interpreting something differently than others doesn’t automatically make someone wrong.
Patrick is a Christian with more than 26 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.