a penny’s worth

by Andrea Elizabeth

I didn’t realize I haven’t written since the beginning of the Apostle’s Fast. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to. Meanwhile, I’ve had three blogable subjects in my mind the last week or so. I hope I can remember them.

  1. Why are there naturally occurring hallucinogenic drugs?
  2. Twin Peaks, after 1.5 seasons of TOS, is disturbing mostly because everyone is in a relationship they don’t want as well as in at least one they do want. Except Cooper. What they get right is the devastation of losing someone. Now that they’ve solved the murder, what is the last half of season 2 going to be about?
  3. Can Universalism entail free will?

3. If Universalism does entail free will, then hell is because of misunderstandings. This is the premise of the rich guy with Lazarus. That if only his loved ones understood, then they would choose God. But Abraham says, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’
So I guess the only reason the rich guy cares is because he’s in hell and suffering. Learning about suffering from hearsay is not the same as actually suffering. Sin is when you choose something besides God to ease your sufferings. This gets into #1.

Let’s say everything happens and exists (I’ll gratuitously insert that Lynch has people unrealistically acting out what many people would actually want to but don’t). Perhaps some things would not have happened without the fall, but it opened up all the possibilities. Since the if happened, so do all the thens. Would there have been hallucinogenic drugs if there hadn’t been a fall? If Adam had continued in blessedness, then maybe he would have experienced the alternate states that LSD, for instance provides. He would have been free from inhibitions and been opened up to strange new worlds and colors. But since he fell from grace, then alternate, but destructive and fatal, pathways opened up. I’ll not completely say God invented them, but will be content to say they, or at least their appeal, or illicit use, is a consequence of the fall. If God is somehow responsible for their presence, then perhaps it is because of his love for us that he provides the ends for all of our heart’s desires, whether they lead to him or away from him.

I have heard some people say that hell is to crave all the things we are illicitly addicted to but not having the means to partake of them. Sort of like the guy who is perpetually thirsty up to his unbending neck in the river.

Is this to say that everyone who partakes of an addictive substance instead of engaging in deifying prayer is condemned to hell? I don’t think so. Perhaps these addictions are stubble that can be burned away and then we are left with salvific elements such as belief, baptism, and whatever other small things done by faith. And do some people refuse (at least intending to) giving their life to God because of misunderstandings, deception, and ignorance? I tend to think they may be given another chance. But do some people hate God even when he is properly revealed and their experience of hell regrets nothing but the torment? It’s hard to imagine, but I’d hold out for this refutation of universalism. Perhaps The Great Divorce is too light on those who don’t get on the bus.