Thursday, January 19, 2012

Which would you choose: Jesus or heaven?

Which would you choose? (Parable by Peter Rollins):

You sit in silence contemplating what has just taken place. Only moments ago you were alive and well, relaxing at home with friends. Then there was a deep, crushing pain in your chest that brought you crashing to the floor. The pain has now gone, but you are no longer in your home. Instead, you find yourself standing on the other side of death waiting to stand before the judgment seat and discover where you will spend eternity. As you reflect upon your life your name is called, and you are led down a long corridor into a majestic sanctuary with a throne located in its center. Sitting on this throne is a huge, breathtaking being who looks up at you and begins to speak.
“My name is Lucifer, and I am the angel of light.”
You are immediately filled with fear and trembling as you realize that you are face to face with the enemy of all that is true and good. Then the angel continues: “I have cast God down from his throne and banished Christ to the realm of eternal death. It is I who hold the keys to the kingdom. It is I who am the gatekeeper of paradise, and it is for me alone to decide who shall enter eternal joy and who shall be forsaken.”
After saying these words, he sits up and stretches out his vast arms. “In my right hand I hold eternal life and in my left hand eternal death. Those who would bow down and acknowledge me as their god shall pass through the gates of paradise and experience an eternity of bliss, but all those who refuse will be vanquished to the second death with their Christ.”
After a long pause he bends toward you and speaks, “Which will you choose?”-Peter Rollins, The Orthodox Heretic: And Other Impossible Tales


  1. Sorry, this is not compelling. I do not know who Peter Rollins is, but he has framed a silly dilemma.

    An Eternity of Bliss is the hedonic choice. It is a vision of the Good as pleasure. This is, of course, the American Dream. Americans have already made this choice. The Evangelical Right have already made this choice. -- that is a choice for bliss, and not for Jesus. For example, Bill Bright's four spiritual law present the Gospel in exactly this way. All talk of hell, damnation, etc. presents an hedonic theology of salvation. Anytime a preacher presents Hell as an alternative to faith has fallen into this trap.

    We all know that, according to Peter Rollins, we are supposed to choose Jesus. But what does that mean? "To be vanquished to the second death with their Christ?" What does this mean?

    The fact that Rollins has framed the question in terms of a trip to heaven, suggests to me that he has already chosen Satan's option and is struggling mightily to break himself free from it.

  2. Thanks Kev

    Actually i think you and Rollins would get along well. You actually agree on spiritual laws approach, etc. But he is a provocateur and telling this as a parable...just trying to get us to think..

    one of your gifts, too


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!