Evidently the link I posted to my friend’s article did not work. Here is the article copied and pasted:
Not too long ago I came across a morbid news story: a man lit an elderly woman on fire in an elevator where she burned to death. Here’s a link to the story. Read it and see if it makes you cringe. If you have half a heart, you’ll be disgusted, shocked, and horrified.
Did you read this story? Did it sicken you?
It should because the man who did this was being an evil sociopath.
It’s really bizarre to me, then, that people apply this attribute to God and, what’s more, want to worship him.
They adore him, cry out to him, seek him.
Maybe they’re afraid of him.
If someone told me, “Well, yeah I know that Jerome Isaac lit that lady of fire and tortured her, but I know him, and he’s a really good guy” my response would be, “Uh… But… He lit a woman on fire.” “Yeah, I know, but I’m sure he had his reasons. Trust me, he’s a very loving man.” “But the thing is, he’s psychotic and he killed that woman in a gruesome, painful way.” “Well, you don’t know his heart.” “I think I do…” “Listen, Tommy, he has children. He’s a loving father.” “Those children need to be put into protective custody immediately.”
I think humans take their brokenness, shame, failures, and fears then project them onto God. They create a mythical being who exists out of their own fears, like the monster in the closet that haunted us as children. A false deity. The same one Adam cowared behind the bushes from when God said, “Why are you hiding? Who said you were naked?” Why was Adam afraid? He had no frame of reference to be. This fear was created from his own shame, and from this fear, a false god was invented. One who wasn’t a loving father. God had not changed, though. Adam did. In his mind, God had become a monster from which one must run and hide.
The fallen mind is the state where we don’t recognise God as Loving Father.
Repentance, or metanoia, literally means to change one’s mind. It doesn’t mean to beg the monster not to burn and torture you forever and ever.
Is there hell? Yes. It may very well be the state where one absolutely refuses to see The Father for who he is. And God is omni-present and omnipotent. Listen, people have told me for years that hell is eternal seperation from God. But if God is everywhere, this is impossible. I think hell is the opposite: God is everywhere and when your fallen mind refuses to acknowledge him for who he really is, when you think he’s a terrifying monster, and when you are absolutely unable to escape his presence for all of eternity, you’ll exist in a state of stubborn, self-inflicted terror.
But let’s loosen our grip of Dante’s comedy already.