John Piper (a Calvinist) was mentioned in an article where he answered a parent who was concerned about what to tell his child about the topic of Hell. This child had an “extreme anxiety” about death.
Piper took the time to list “5 Great Realities” on why the fear of hell “is a golden opportunity for treating God as big and glorious and utterly real” whether you’re a “6-year-old or a 60-year-old.”
Piper went on to say, “The horror of hell is a signpost concerning the infinite worth and preciousness and beauty and goodness and justness of God. If He were small, if God were small, hell would be lukewarm. Because He’s great, scorning God is a horrible thing. What a gift for a child to grow up deeply convinced that the whole world will face judgment someday. This will give seriousness to the child’s life.”
Not only is this a serious form of emotional child abuse…
Not only will it give the child all kinds of issues that therapy perhaps can alleviate in time, but…
Since Calvinism says God chooses (elects) some in advance for “heaven” and most for “hell”, there is no benefit at all.
According to that theology, if a child is not elect, this “seriousness” is absurd because the kid will burn forever anyway according to his theology. And for the lucky kids who are chosen for “heaven”, why be so serious since they don’t have to worry about a psychotic God torturing them forever?
Full disclosure: I was a Calvinist for about 15 years. I had an epiphany one day on the way to lunch 10+ years ago where I realize that according to that theology, NOTHING ACTUALLY MATTERS.
- If I’m elect, it doesn’t matter what I do, my election won’t be taken away.
- If I’m not elect, it also doesn’t matter what I do, I’m totally screwed.
It’s a completely absurd theological position that turns God into a psychopathic monster who is anything but “Good”. And if any of us were to act so arbitrary here on earth, we would be rightly condemned.
If you try to act like God and people perceive it as horrible… your understanding of God is really what’s horrible.
God is good.
God is love.
God desires ALL to know the beauty of living in harmony with one another.
There are no barriers to God… the only barriers are in our minds. We are free to forgive and forget the past and move forward for the joy set before us as we do his will “on earth… just like it’s done in heaven.”
Love one another – THAT is the mark of a true believer.