the first few minutes of heaven

"Heaven" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Heaven” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

Heaven is a powerful symbol of unity, a metaphor of inclusion and love, a picture of how the world is if we would.

Unity in diversity! This is what The Lasting Supper is all about. It’s a taste of heaven for me and many others.

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13 Replies to “the first few minutes of heaven”

  1. I have always liked this one. It speaks so well to the mindset of my former church life and the belief that only a few would find the truth and the masses were destined for a fiery eternal hell. That teaching so corrupted my thinking about others and the way I interacted with those who I was certain were “lost”. The great legacy of the fundamental church? Callous piety. .

  2. I can relate to that Gary. At the same time in the same circles I not infrequently heard “we need to think outside of the box “. Trouble is I come in with my abstract reasoning, someone feels out of their comfort zone with that, therefore distressed and it’s me that is being unloving by causing a brother distress.

    Go figure!

    It’s going to take a long time to change the mindset that the system must be defended AT ALL COSTS!

  3. I’ve thought for a long time that we’re going to be surprised by who’s here and even more by who’s not. Please be patient with me. I’m still wrestling with the whole universalist thing. But I am convinced God is more inclusive than evangelicals think

  4. Love the cartoon!

    I love the concept of the Bible’s inclusion of those found in heaven: “From every tribe, and language, and people, and nation….”

  5. “Heaven” implies reward, and reward implies some kind of discrimination or judgement between good lives and bad. It’s inherent in the concept. We *want* judgement, we want the bad people to go in to the fiery furnace. It is important in humanity’s concept of the afterlife that there be some kind of punishment of the wicked. Exactly what’s a punishable offense varies widely from culture to culture and time to time, but the concept of a “hell” is older than the concept of “heaven.” Even religions that don’t have a heaven, like Buddhism or Hinduism, have hells-a-plenty, place where the evil dead are tormented, and from whence they never reincarnate. Even the greeks and romans had tartarus. By definition, then, not everyone goes to heaven. Otherwise it isn’t heaven, it’s just here.

  6. “I think in many aspects it is just here.” I agree.

    I wonder if anyone has seen this – might be in keeping with the cartoon?

    An unsuitable applicant.

    A vacancy occurred in a parish and a new vicar/pastor was required. In due course the following letter was received. “Gentlemen, understanding that your parish is vacant, I should like to apply for the position. I have many qualifications that I think you would appreciate. I have been blessed to preach with power and have had some success as a writer. Some say that I am a good organizer. I have been a leader in most places to which I have gone. Some folks, however have some things against me. I am over 50 yrs of age, I have never preached in one place more than three years at a time. In some places I have left town after my work caused riots and disturbances. I have to admit that I have been in jail three or four times, but not because of any real wrongdoing. My health is not too good, although I still get a good deal done. I have had to work at my trade to help pay my way. The churches I have preached in have been small, though located in several large cities. I have not got on too well with the religious leaders in different towns where I have preached. In fact, some of them have threatened me, taken me to court and even attacked me physically. I am not too good at keeping records. I have been known to forget whom I baptised. However, if you can use me, I shall do my best for you, even if I have to work to help with my support”. The vicar/priests’s warden read this letter to the church council and asked them if they were interested in the applicant. Their reply was that he would never do for the church. They were not interested in any unhealthy, contentious, trouble-making, absent-minded jailbird. In fact they felt insulted that his application has been presented. He was also too old. They then asked the name of the applicant. ‘the Apostle Paul’ Source unknown

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