Monday, March 18, 2013

Thinking With Your Heart (Classic)

This meditation on pizza & universalism was originally a supplement to a sermon series I taught on Heaven & Hell back in 2011...

They're just sitting there in the fridge, calling your name.. the last couple of pieces of pan pizza. It tasted so good a couple of hours ago.
If you're really honest with yourself, you're not that hungry. Actually, you're stuffed. But with all that tasty goodness waiting for you just a few feet away, it's easy to ignore the "No Vacancy" sign in your stomach.

And if you allow yourself a rare moment of gut-level honesty, you realize that someone else in the house (roommate, spouse, kids, rodents of unusual size, whatever) will eat it later if you don't eat it now - and you won't get any. You'll be cheated of the greasy cheesy pepperoni-covered yumminess.

So you make a decision to eat that ends up with your best friend being a couple of extra-strength Tums.

We've all done it at one time or another - made a decision based solely on our emotions rather than any kind of rational thought. Whether it was a couple of slices or choosing the wrong girl to date or blowing off studying for a test, we all can look back at moments in our lives and acknowledge that IF we were thinking, we were simply thinking with our hearts.
We live in a culture that enshrines our desires as the ultimate judge of morality & ethics - where our wants act as the rudder for our decisions. And it doesn't take much effort for us to fall in line, regardless of what we believe that the Bible teaches.

Now, you're probably expecting me to make some kind of personal application about turning to Christ or using our God-given wisdom rather than allowing our feelings to drag us around by our hair. That would be a really great article, by the way - but it's not where I'm headed today.

When this was originally written, I had just taught about a biblical response to universalism - the belief that every person will be saved, regardless of their relationship to Jesus Christ here on this earth. I have to admit that universalism is an attractive idea - it feels right. While it's almost impossible to argue convincingly from Scripture, it's not difficult to build a case based on the nature of God.

But those arguments break down in the light of the Bible & a full-bodied picture of Jesus - and yet it still feels like universalism is a good idea. I mean, who wants to see people separated from God? Who wants to try & talk about an eternity in hell?

Yet if those two pieces of pizza (or the ex-girlfriend) has taught us anything, it's that just because something feels right doesn't make it good or true. The winsomeness of a belief system - in other words, how much I like the sound of it - has nothing to do with the objective truth of that system.

So, as you think about & struggle with what happens after we die, I'm asking you to prayerfully engage the Bible and these ideas based not on your feelings but on a deep desire to know truth... even if it makes you shudder & cringe.

1 comment:

Ronnie said...

I can relate to almost all of this. I've definitely eaten things simply because I thought my roommates would eat it if I didn't.

Was I hungry? probably not. But I might be hungry later, and by then the food would be gone hahaha.