Justice demands that our sins are punished, and God’s mercy allows us to escape that punishment if we choose to accept it.
- Why does Divine Justice demand that all sins are punished? And who decided that all sins are equally punishable with eternal torment? If God created the universe and is truly omnipotent, then He made the rules in the first place and can change them as He sees fit, right? If cheating on a test warrants the same punishment as committing genocide and the punishment for both is eternal freaking torment, where’s the justice in that (“Divine” or otherwise)? Instead of providing a “loophole”, why wouldn’t a merciful God just not set up a system of ridiculously draconian and over-the-top “justice” in the first place? I’m not even talking about getting rid of punishment altogether, mind you [Christian folk really do seem to love the idea of the guilty getting their just deserts, don’t they?], but simply making the punishment fit the crime and acknowledging that no crime is worthy of eternal freaking torment!
- Even if you want to argue that the draconian justice system is OK since God has provided an easy way to avoid that justice, this ignores the fact that the vast, vast majority of humanity will never actually be able to take part of that mercy. Even if you could figure out which of all the many different Christian denominations is the “right” one to follow, for most of human history Christianity either didn’t exist or was a small minority belief. Even today, there are billions of people who are born, live their entire lives, and die without ever having the chance to hear about God’s merciful offer*. And even if they do hear the offer, no evidence whatsoever is ever provided to convince people to abandon their beliefs and switch over to the correct religion (whatever one that happens to be).
* I should note, by the way, that the Mormon church has come up with a way to deal with this problem. Or at least to attempt to deal with it. True, not everybody will have a chance to hear the Gospel during their lifetime, but anybody who didn’t will have another chance in the next life. And, since baptism is an absolute requirement for salvation, Mormons therefore perform many thousands of “proxy” baptisms on behalf of all those who might decide to accept the gospel in the next life. Unfortunately for this proposed solution, though, (a) I don’t think they’ll ever get all the billions of people who lived and died without hearing the Gospel and (b) that still leaves all those who heard the gospel in this life and didn’t choose to accept it for whatever reason. Mormons further get around the idea of “eternal torment” by claiming that those who reject the gospel even after hearing it won’t actually be sent to hell but will instead get to live in the “Terrestrial Kingdom” of heaven, which is basically just like earth but without all the disease and natural disasters. So, no eternal glory with God, but not a bad place to be. For all time and freaking eternity!