Just Imagine: Their Heaven Becomes Your Hell

Just Imagine: Their Heaven Becomes Your Hell June 12, 2024

Just imagine, if you can, that they, the ones not like you, turn to you and say, You are wrong. That One whom the sacred words reveal is like me, not like you. You are only partial. I am whole. Since you cannot be like me, you cannot be like That One.


Just Imagine
Just Imagine, AI Image generated by Adobe Firefly

Imagine, if you will, with me for just a moment.

Imagine a world where sacred knowledge was written in a sacred book, but in languages not your own.

Imagine a world where you had access to the sacred knowledge when others, not like you, had already done all the translation, all the interpretation. You were given only the results of that interpretation.

Imagine, if you will, that such translation, such interpretation gave the others, the ones not like you, precedence and priority over all learning, all power and all leadership with the sacred rituals.

Imagine, if you will, that you were repeatedly told by the others, the ones not like you, that they were doing you a favor by holding all that sacred power. They told you that they gave great privilege when they let you come into the outer rings of that power when they permitted you to wash their sacred garments, polish their sacred instruments, and care for their sacred bodies. They said that would give you such a feeling of privilege that you should be fully satisfied.

And then imagine, if you will, that you discovered you were not fully satisfied. You, too, wanted access to the sacred knowledge. And so you, after all your work was done washing the sacred garments and polishing the sacred instruments and caring for the sacred bodies of the ones not like you, began quietly to learn the languages in which the words of sacred knowledge were written.


Just imagine the horror

Imagine then, if you possibly can, how horrifying it was to discover that the understanding given to you by the others, the ones not like you, didn’t fit with the words you now read in the sacred books.

Imagine, perhaps, that you rush to tell the others, the ones not like you, of your fear of a terrible mistake. Imagine that you told them of your discovery: all the sacred power and leadership and learning were supposed to be shared, to be given not only to the ones not like you, but also to the ones like you.

How glorious, you say. Look, you say, we can share the sacred work; we can share the sacred power; we can multiply the influence of these sacred words. You tell them: You don’t have to be alone any longer, you can have a partner.

Just imagine, if you can, that they, the ones not like you, turn to you and say, You are wrong. The power of the sacred knowledge is mine, for That One whom the sacred words reveal is like me, not like you. You are only partial. I am whole. Since you cannot be like me, you cannot be like That One. And since you cannot be like That One, you must come no closer to these sacred things.


Just imagine the tears of sorrow

Imagine that you respond with tears of sorrow, with pleadings to look again at the sacred words, with entreaties to examine the new understanding. But the others, the ones not like you, say: See, I told you that you are not like That One. Mop up those silly tears. If you were like That One, you would put those emotional outbursts away, and leave them behind as I have.

And imagine that you say, But That One, That One also had tears, That One also spoke of sorrow and grief. Why are mine different?

And imagine that the others, the ones not like you, say: Because you are not like me, you do not have the capabilities to understand. Because I am not like you, I can see clearly. Because you are not like me, you can’t. Besides, why are you complaining? I let you wash the sacred garments, don’t I? I let you polish the sacred instruments, don’t I? I let you care for my sacred body, don’t I? What more can you possibly want?


Just imagine the hell of the afterlife

And now if you have imagined with me this far, imagine one more thing. Imagine whether you would want to worship That One, That One who is not like you, That One who says only others, the ones not like you, are fully worthy.

Would you?

Because if you do, and you land in that space in the afterlife, then, just imagine, you’ll be second class throughout eternity, doomed to worship One who finds you forever unworthy.

I believe that is also called hell. That’s what most Southern Baptists see as the appropriate place for women in their churches.

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