Dear Guilt Queen
This chick's dragging around her own cross
Dear Guilt Queen,
Thanks for writing. Seriously. Not everyone bothers to write. That
you did tells me you care about truth. Either that or you’re so mad at
me that you couldn’t sleep unless you vented. I understand the venting
thing, but I hope you’re not so upset that you won’t read this. I’m
taking a chance that you won’t see an e-mail from Martin Zender and
delete it on the spot. I’m taking the chance that you’re at least going
to look at it. I’m going to spend a little bit of time answering your
points, questions and concerns. I’m going to try to be easier on you
than you were on me. I may not succeed.
It was not my intention to answer every single objection on Frank
Whalen’s radio show. I’m only on for two hours. What you consider
"loopholes" were really only topics untouched upon due to time
constraints. You should not assume that, because I didn’t answer every
objection you may have had, that there are not answers to your
objections. There are.
You missed my point when I said, "people tell me all the time that
scripture is ‘crawling all over’ with passages about eternal torment."
You wrote, "Well, I wonder how that could be? Could it be that the word
is inspired by God and He has breathed life into every passage?" The
point I made was that scripture IS NOT
crawling all over with passages about eternal torment. That was my
point. My point was that the people who say this are mistaken.
There is not one word about unending punishment in the entire Old
Testament. And in the New Testament, where the doctrine appears to be
taught, a more careful analysis of the passages show that it’s not
taught at all (I’ll be getting to this in relation to Matthew, chapter
25.) But you have to look carefully, Guilt Queen, which something you’re
not doing. There are so many details you’re missing. You’re so sure
you’re right that you’re not even pausing long enough to consider that
you might be wrong. I’ve already believed the way you do, years ago. It
was only when I got brave enough to look at scriptural facts that I
realized my mistakes. My mistakes became obvious to me then. You’re
still in the mode of thinking you can’t be wrong. As long as you stay
here, you’ll never see truth.
I believe, with you, that Scripture is God-breathed. You accuse me of
calling God a liar because you claim I don’t believe certain passages of
scripture that you think teach eternal torment. I could say the same
thing of you concerning passages that teach the reconciliation of all.
Have you ever read 1 Timothy 4:10? This verse says that God is the
savior of all mankind. Since you don’t believe He will save all mankind,
then you are making God a liar. See? We’re both in the same boat in each
John 1:29 says that the lamb of God is taking away the sins of the
world, yet you believe that people’s sins (especially the sin of
unbelief) are still somehow going to damn them to hell for eternity. Are
you making God out a liar? Don’t you believe John 1:29?
Colossians 1:20 says that, through the blood of the cross, God is
going to reconcile all creation to Himself, both that in the heavens and
that on the earth. This is a God-breathed passage. Since you don’t
believe it will happen, you’re rejecting a God-breathed passage. You’re
making God out a liar.
In Romans 11:32, God says that He locks up all together in
stubbornness, that He may have mercy on all. This is another
God-breathed passage that you don’t believe because, apparently, you
think lots of people are going to hell because they’ve misused their
free wills and chosen stubbornness for themselves. And you certainly
don’t think that God will have mercy on everyone. Why are you calling
God a liar? Don’t you believe He has breathed life into Romans 11:32?
1 Corinthians 15:22 says that all those dying in Adam (which is
everyone) will be vivified in Christ. But again, you don’t believe it.
You are calling God a liar! (I only used the exclamation point here
because you used it on me. I’m being petty, only so that you can feel
how it feels to be accused of this by someone who loves God just as much
as you do.)
You claim that everyone in their right biblical mind is aware of the
basic knowledge between good and evil and the rewards for each. Are you
aware that God is responsible for evil entering the universe? He created
it, a truth plainly stated in Isaiah 45:7. Do you believe this, or do
you only believe some of God’s Word? There is a big lump under
your rug, and you’re holding a big broom.
There are many more passages I could accuse you of disbelieving, but
I’ve made my point.
Speaking of points, you have completely missed the point of Christ’s
death and resurrection. "Seems to me that living a sinful life without
guilt or with disregard to the suffering Christ went through would be
plenty to show God that we don’t deserve anything better than eternal
punishment!!" Well, it is you who are disregarding the suffering of
Christ, not the rotten sinners you’re so disdainful of. Sinners living
without guilt are actually farther along the path of truth than you.
This is why I’ve nicknamed you "Guilt Queen."
I can glean one of two things from your astounding statement. Either
you’re no longer living a sinful life, or you’re living a sinful life
with guilt. If the former is the case, then congratulations on the
amazing accomplishment. Perhaps you should write a book, The Key to
My Sin-Free Life. If the latter is true, then you’ve effectively
erased the benefits of Calvary. Jesus died for your sins so that you
wouldn’t have to feel guilty. He suffered so that you could be free and
happy. You are certainly not free, and you don’t sound happy. After all
that Jesus suffered, you’re still guilt-ridden and worried about your
sins. What a slap in the face to Christ. God took our old humanity and
nailed it to the cross with Christ. But good old responsible Guilt Queen
has dug it back up and nailed it to her own back. Won’t God be pleased!
Won’t Christ be impressed!
No. Actually, He’s wishing you’d quit it.
No matter which of these cases is true (and one of them must be),
you’re seeing Calvary as a personal challenge for you, rather than a
gracious gift of God. Christ was perfect so that you could make
mistakes. Christ suffered so that you could know peace in spite of
yourself. Christ conquered sin so that you wouldn’t have to. But look
what you’re doing. You’re undoing everything Christ accomplished. Are
you a Catholic, or what? Why are you still so hung up on sin? Sin, sin,
sin, that’s what you’re all about. Why is this the case, when God is no
longer condemning you for your sin. Hello? Jesus went to the
cross and took care of sin. If only you’d believe it.
Guilt Queen: "Hmmm, seems to me He has every right to expect
total commitment and respect from us in regard to the brutal death of
Martin Zender: "Hmmm, seems to me He got total commitment from
His Son, and that’s what counts."
Galatians 2:16 says, "We are justified by the faith of Christ." Did
you hear that? We are justified by Christ’s faith, not ours. We are
saved because of His commitment, not ours. Yes, by all means, let us be
committed. Let us have faith. But let us not think that it is our
commitment or our faith that has either won our salvation or keeps it
Faith and commitment. If we have them, they are gifts. Gifts,
Guilt Queen. Why do you write as though these are matters of human
accomplishment that separate you from those less accomplished than you?
What has caused you to think that your commitment and faith are what
separate you eternally from those stupid, faithless wretches who have
neither? You remain dangerously unaware of the source of your blessings.
I say dangerously because your ignorance has filled you with pride. As a
remedy for it, take a dose of 1 Corinthians 4:7, "For who makes you
different from anybody else, and what have you got that was not given to
you? And if anything has been given to you, why boast of it as if you
had achieved it yourself?"
You think you are earning your own salvation by being committed,
faithful, and a good girl. Thus, you are boasting. I realize that you
don’t boast outwardly because you’re Pharisaic, but the boasting oozes
between every line of your letter.
Yes, Matthew 25:31-46 does ring a bell. It should, seeing as how I’ve
studied the passage for fifteen years. This is a judgment of nations,
not individuals, a fact plainly stated in verse 42. Thus, this is not
the general judgment of mankind, as you suppose. This judging takes
place at the inauguration of the thousand-year kingdom. The majority of
mankind are not even alive at this judging, for scripture says that,
"the rest of the dead" (the unbelieving dead of all time) "do not live
until the thousand years should be finished" (Rev. 20:5).
If this is the separation of all people into either heaven or hell,
tell me: What is the criteria for judging? Is it faith in Jesus? Is it
belief in the gospel? Reliance on the cross? No. The only criteria is:
How did the nation being judged treat the favored nation Israel? Did
they feed Israel when it was hungry? Give it a drink when it was
thirsty? This judgment, which takes place in the Kidron Valley (the
Valley of Jehoshaphat) upon Christ’s return, does nothing more than
separate nations that helped Israel (sheep nations) from those that
ignored her (goat nations), and determines their placement during the
The "everlasting punishment" of the King James Version is actually
"chastening eonian" in the Greek. ("Eternal" is a mistranslation of the
Greek aion, meaning "eon," which always has to do with time.) The
"life eternal" is correctly translated "life eonian." This passage has
nothing to do with where people will spend eternity. The eon in question
is the thousand-year kingdom, and the "people" are nations. Those
nations that helped Israel will enjoy abundant life during that eon,
probably near Jerusalem. Those nations that didn’t will be placed in the
outer reaches of the kingdom and will certainly suffer more than the
sheep nations. This is the "fire eonian" of verse 41. Since Christ is
said to rule these nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27), it is
evident that these nations are neither consumed nor writhing in literal
flame. Thus, the flame of this context is a figure of speech for
I hope all of this helps you. It will probably hurt you at first,
because I know I said some hard things. But you must be broken, for your
own good. Your self-righteousness has got to go. We must all come
eventually to realize the source of our salvation; better now than
later. I pray that God brings this revelation to you, and that Christ
turns your pain to joy.
Yours in Him,