The Key to Heaven
It has come to my attention that there are people who believe faith in Jesus and God’s sacrifice of His Son on the cross is enough for salvation and entry into the kingdom of Heaven.
Excuse me for being ignorant but, what? Perhaps there’s truth to it: Jesus did tell the two criminals on the cross beside him that they be beside Him in the afterlife.
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
These criminals, condemned justly, as one of them said, meaning they are aware and understanding of why they have been put to death (in case some will argue that they are being crucified unjustly), have been promised entry to paradise simply by asking Jesus to give them entry. Perhaps this is just another mistake in the Bible, as so many can be found (contradictions abound!), but it’s referenced as proof that salvation is found through faith.
Let’s say this is the case, that faith in Jesus is the key to paradise. We have a despicable wretch like Fred Phelps who calls himself a Christian and has faith in Jesus—a fiery faith that can barely be compared to the faith of any other since he and his family seems to have sold their life in servitude to Him. The man is filled with hatred! How can a person of faith in Jesus truly be that twisted? Faith in Jesus does not lead anyone to do good things.
As a matter of fact, Mother Teresa of Calcutta failed to find the fire of Jesus in her heart. She may have had Jesus in her heart at one time but she did the good deeds worthy of sainthood despite seeking God and finding nothing.
Although she publicly proclaimed that her heart belonged “entirely to the Heart of Jesus”, she wrote to the Rev Michael Van Der Peet, a spiritual confidant, in September 1979 that “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. The tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak.”
“Lord, my God, you have thrown [me] away as unwanted – unloved,” she wrote in one missive. “I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer, no, no one. Alone. Where is my faith? even deep down right in there is nothing. I have no faith. I dare not utter the words and thoughts that crowd in my heart.”
The idea that Fred Phelps would find entry into paradise whereas Mother Teresa would find only Hell strikes me as not simply unjustified, unreasonable and stupid but pure spiritual cognitive dissonance.
If this is supposed to be the real face of Christianity, find me in the next aisle. Thankfully, I have the Bible to back me up. James 2: 14-17:
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.