The road to hell … really?



I like simple – I think we all do given the choice.  But see “wrong or right” – and then see the consequence for both in this cartoon … ?  Both fall off a cliff – it is simply a matter of timing.

But what if “falling” is to fall into something incredibly wonderful?  Would that still be wrong – is the right choice still “complicated”?  And we expect theology to provide the answer we cannot.  And qualified theology says yes: complicated.

It’s what I was taught and always thought.  Until recently.

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favour of him. And he said to her, ‘What do you want?’  She said to him, ‘Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.’  But Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?’  They said to him, ‘We are able.’ He said to them, ‘You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.’  When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers.  But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.  It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.’   Matthew 20:20-28

Now … ?

a) What do you want?  Eternal life.
b) You don’t know what you are asking.  Yes we do.
c) Will you do all this shit?  Yes we will.
d) Yes you will – but that doesn’t earn you any merit points.
e) Why are you angry?  Because we were first – not them!
f) It’s simple: Love is first and first is Love because Love is Love.

My (unqualified) theological thinking says Simple is the way.

I wonder about my earlier “qualified God teaching”: the wide open road is the road to hell – the narrow road is the road to God.  A road needing “qualified God teaching” for me to both find AND stay on it.

But what about Jesus – are you complicated?

It’s simple:

Love is first and first is Love because Love is Love.


The Be Attitudes are not about a narrow complicated road … The parables aren’t either:  New cloth, New wine. Lamp on a stand. Wise & foolish builders … Moneylender forgives unequal debts. Lamp on a stand (2nd time) … Rich man builds bigger barns. Servants must remain watchful … Wise and foolish servants. Unfruitful fig tree … Sower of seeds into four types of soil … Weeds among good plants. “Kingdom of Heaven” … Growing seed. Mustard seed. Yeast. “Kingdom of Heaven” … Hidden treasure. Pearl. Fishing net. Owner of a house. “Kingdom of Heaven” … and all forty-six recorded and catalogued parables.

Love is “now” … “this moment” … already here for the taking (if I allow).  What could be simpler than that?  So why make “it” so complicated that I was taught I would never ever achieve “it” in my lifetime?  And that cartoon … ?

It was on the “clergycoachingnetwork” facebook page.

And there were different opinions – but “complicated ” won hands down.  “Complicated” is necessary because God is a mystery!  None of us “know” – but being “qualified” is good because “qualified” then knows enough to teach.

Perhaps my “academically qualified investment” … my money, time, stress, and my “whole life” investment before I am certified as qualified to teach God to you and me is relevant.  After all that “investment” – love can never be simple again (I have learned a new language to teach you why).

My question is why work so hard to make Jesus so complicated?  To be taught we will never understand God – that we must all suffer and sacrifice – on a daily basis – or else it is not fair on those who do?  That being saved is an investment – has no guarantee of anything good in my lifetime – but is so worth it after I die!

Because Jesus … ?


It’s simple.


Love is first and first is Love because Love is Love.