Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Road to Hell

Earlier in the week while attending a very official meeting of educators I found myself questioning the merits of an age old metaphor. The education discussion of the day led one administrator to comment on how hard work and effort sometimes does not get the desired results. Being the elder member of our firm he drew upon an age old metaphor, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Now I knew what the colleague meant, but I found myself relating to it not from an education point of view, but from a theological one. Now that I have quit listening to what is “right” and started listening to the historical Jesus I believe in universal grace. God comes to everyone and everyone is in God. Some prefer to think of it as God saves everyone.

So I turned to one of my colleagues and said, “I wonder who sent back that information.” I mean, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” seems to indicate an admission that someone has done enough wrong to actually go to hell.

I do not believe in hell, especially as some geographical location or even as a torturing of those of us who are allegedly “wrong headed”. So my question is, “Where in the hell was this guy when he thought he was on the road to hell?”

Assuming that this information about what lies beyond the here and now is even partially correct I concluded I will not see this road to hell, nor will anyone else. The grace of god will bring us all home to where we came from and we will be in peace. No one will ever be able to verify the wisdom in the old saying that it is paved with good intentions.

Yes I know this is all a lot of blither about a metaphor. Kind of like that ark thing and the animals two by two or that dude that was swallowed by the whale and thrown up on some beach somewhere. People fight religious wars over these metaphors. I just thought I would fire a warning shot over the bow.

If Noah built an ark and he filled it full of critters
Sail a handmade boat full of dung
I’m a big blue monster with lizard tails for hair

I may not the brightest of the marbles in the bag…..

--Taken out of context with some omissions from Noah’s Ark by Cary Swinney on the album Big Shots.


P.S. I am the "guest blogger" on "Speaking Metaphorically" this week.


Blogger daddy d said...

I think you have the grace concept just right. It has to be that way. God is love. The rest is a bunch of do it my stuff made up by power people.

I am looking forward to your filled in spot for the Pastor.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

I have to agree with you too. I think you have an excellent insight into this subject. You make me think. Which is a good thing.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

You have presented a clear view of grace that does not include a pathway to hell. Unfortunately, sometimes we create a "hell" on earth for ourselves and for others. Sadly, that pathway has been paved with some evangelistic good intentions.

10:27 PM  
Blogger gawilli said...

I don't buy the hell thing either, although it's interesting that people want to cling to that idea. I guess for some, if you have a heaven, you also must have a hell to send the bad people to. Not a lot of grace in that. It probably has something to do with the exclusivity of being God's chosen people. Back to what Daddy D always all the good that you can, for all the people that you can...and the rest will take care of itself.

10:40 PM  

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