We all heard about the man in Pennsylvania this past week. He was teased by women his whole life, and apparently had a chip on his shoulder for many reasons that he blogged about. But there is some new insight offered in this article about the church he used to attend.
A quote from the killers' own blog said about the pastor of that church: "This guy teaches (and convinced me) you can commit mass murder, then still go to heaven."
Here's a quote from the article:
"We believe in permanent security — once saved, always saved," Rickard said. "He will be judged, but he will be in heaven. ... He'll be in heaven, but he won't have any rewards because he did evil."
Wow. Remember, that's a public statement from someone who is a LEADER in a church RIGHT NOW. Not some crazy, off the wall, long ago statement. He's a Deacon at the "Telestai Church" (from Greek, meaning "it is finished") in Pennsylvania. This church is a great testimony to why I believe strongly in being a member of (even imperfect) a denomination. It's scary to think of how many well-meaning groups of Christians have become cults like this...very far from the Truth communicated in Scripture.
The problem is, even among the main evangelical churches, probably even among the congregations at your church and my own - there are plenty of us seeking Christ with some sort of "Kingdom-economy-based" reward beyond whatever God has in store for all humanity. (not Christianity, as Jesus was about) The line of thinking that brings up thoughts like "another jewel in my crown", or "a larger mansion", or even "special powers or blessing (that I can somehow earn)".
May we recognize that there's just as much wrong with both mindsets:
"I can do whatever I want, and still get into Heaven."
"Sure, he's probably in Heaven, but not getting as (many rewards/good experience/etc.) because of how he lived. That's why I'm living better than he did."
The Kingdom of God is not simply a "new economy" that operates on God's terms.