Just a thought that popped into my head...

Supposing there's a Heaven and I've been a good enough person to go there, am I going to be rubbing elbows with the likes of Ghandi and MLK Jr when I shuffle loose this mortal coil? If that's the case it doesn't really seem fair. Shouldn't there be a VIP lounge in heaven - a section cordoned off with velvet rope and attended to by a large bouncer ironically named "Tiny"? A room where only the best of the best are allowed to enter and hob knob with each other while the rest of us "just okay" people dance to bad techno music in the main section.

I know God loves everyone equally but shouldn't there be varying degrees of reward in the after-life? If everyone gets treated equally in Heaven what's the point in trying to be a truly great person while we're alive? In school it always pissed me off when I busted my hump for a presentation or speech and then some slack-off who did their project the night before got the same grade as me. (I imagine that's much the same way Billy Grahm will feel if he sees me trundling around behind the Pearly Gates.)

Why should I put my life in danger handing out Bibles in Darfur when I can get the same reward by getting baptized, going to church every Sunday, and not murdering anyone? You can argue that this kind of attitude WON'T get you into Heaven and I would tend to agree. I don't think this is the mindset of most Christians though. Granted, I've never taken a poll on the subject, but it's hard for me to believe that a large number of people who identify as Christians are just trying to skim through life by the seat of their born-again pants.

Still, you can't deny that there are a large number of Christians who don't do much if anything to better the lives of others in a meaningful way. Really, it's not right that saints and humanitarians have to share the same space with people who simply made a nice cheese cake for the church bake sale. Of course, it's always possible that Suzy Homemaker is actually going to Hell.



Michelle said…
I guess perhaps that's what Catholics would say Purgatory is for. I'm not going to claim authority on what I say here, because it's only as I understand it.

When Christians die they don't automatically merit being in heaven just because their bodies are gone. The Bible talks about being tried with fire (as silver and gold and pottery are refined through fire) and so in purgatory, said believers will "suffer" to the degrees which they sinned (even Christians will stand before the judgement seat of Christ in the end). Some, the Saints, pass through without receiving judgement. The rest of us, though we be repentant on earth, still must be "utterly changed in the fire" - the consuming Fire of God (El Kanah) which nothing unholy can live against. Purgatory comes from the Latin root which means to purge or cleanse.

I don't know if that calms any confusion you might have...but it certainly makes some sense to me. People tend to speak of purgatory as a place where even non-believers can eventually "get to heaven", but that's not really the case.