There have been some pretty intense comments on my last post, here and at AP's. I'd like to respond not to each charge one by one, but with a story that I hope explains the root of the ethical problem. If you read the following and still have questions, feel free to ask.
"AM, you kneel before your Creator. How do you plead?"
It is impossible to not kneel before the Almighty, even when you stand guilty of the life you chose to live. There is no defiance to the infinite.
How could I plead? My life never lived up to the standard, my best efforts at moral and Godly living were utter failures. The list of the law scrolled past my eyes. Murder, envy, lust, adultery, idolatry, blaspheme. Each instance of failure shown in full living color before my eyes, my failed life on complete display between me and the Almighty.
I couldn't look up from where I knelt. There is no defense to the crime of being yourself. I looked at each instance where I knew I'd fallen short, where my best wasn't good enough, where even when I did what was right I did it for the wrong reasons.
Before the words, "Guilty, utterly guilty." could escape my lips a scarlet covering began erasing my sins from the charge sheet.
"Redeemed." Came the words not from my lips, but from beside His throne.
At the same time billion upon billions of similar scenes took place in the infinite splendor of His court. Those who heard "Condemned" fell into two categories, those who lived their life without the thought of the cost of redemption, simply expecting redemption based on ceremonial faith, and those who slavishly followed the letter of the law, trying to force others to live according to the precepts of the Bible trying to earn salvation. At the end of it all it was the lazy and those who put themselves in the position of God, trying to enforce His will, that lost out on eternity with Him.
To my left I heard a man cry out, "But I killed them for YOU!" and the Almighty replied with sadness, "I told you to love them."
To my right I heard, "But I let them die because it was written to turn the other cheek!" and the Almighty replied, "I told you to feed the sheep, and protect the lambs."
Behind me I heard, "But I obeyed your laws, the very best I could!" and the Almighty replied, "and it was written, 'judge righteous judgement'"
As the day of judgement wore on I began to notice that those who understood their shortcomings and counted the cost of their transgressions were redeemed, and those that didn't count the cost, or those who let legalities replace love were cast out. Those who were redeemed were covered, rejoicing with Him. Those who were condemned had condemned themselves, and their protests faded quickly from memory.