Sin and Eternity


Father Peter Stravinkas at One Peter Five has some invaluable insights into the Synod:

There was apparently significant concern raised that we should not employ “offensive” or harsh-sounding language to describe certain life-styles. While there is no need to go out of one’s way to be hurtful in discussing morally problematic matters – and it can even be counter-productive to do so – one cannot resort to sugar-coating behaviors which have eternal consequences (presuming we believe that). There is no easy, palatable way for an oncologist to inform a patient that he has a malignant tumor and what the remediation process involves. Similarly, people who engage in sexual intercourse outside the bounds of marriage – and especially those who do so habitually (whether heterosexual or homosexual) – face the prospect of eternal punishment, so say Jesus and Saint Paul and the entire Christian Tradition. The fact that there is no “nice” way to issue the wake-up call is proof positive of the seriousness of it all. The stark language is, as a matter of fact, an act of charity, saying, “I love you so much that I don’t want you to spend eternity in Hell.” The physician who would refrain from offering an honest and forthright diagnosis would be deemed a bad physician, derelict in his duty. No faithful believer – and surely no loving one – can stand by and watch those he loves head toward damnation.

Go here to read the rest.  The best confession I ever had was from a crusty priest who told me that unless I amended my life I was on the road to Hell.  Mercy to sinners always entails both love of them and a blunt assessment of their sins.  It usually isn’t pleasant to hear, and I doubt it is pleasant for most priests when they are doing it in the confessional.  However, such momentary unpleasantness is as nothing compared to Hell.  I suspect that at the bottom of the phony religion of nice, the most popular heresy today, that assumes that “good” people could never go to Hell, is a lack of belief in the fact that sin leads to punishment, often in this world, and always, unless repented, in the next.  Of course there is a downward spiral here.  First we soft pedal the concept of punishment for sins and we end by pretending that sin is not sin.  That is the dangerous path the Relatio would set the Church upon, and why every orthodox Catholic should be up in arms.

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One Comment

  1. Good post. I was told early on that I had choices from my life of hedonism and addiction: repentance, or imprisonment, or insanity from chemical abuse, or death by a needle in one of my arms. Only one of those options was good. This isn’t taught any longer. People think there are no consequences, or that if there are, then Government will make them go away. Sex addiction, drug addiction, or whatever – it all leads to the same place as Saint Paul pointed out: death.

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