Monday, 15 October 2012

The Westminster Cathecism Cataclysm

The first Question and Answer of the Westminster Shorter Catechism is:

Question. 1. What is the chief end of man?
Answer. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.

But that’s not what my Bible says.  Oh yes, the ends of all men will glorify God ultimately, but are all men going to enjoy Him forever?  No.  Some men will continue in their lost state, cast into outer darkness where there will be no knowledge of God other than His wrath in eternal torment, the smoke of which will rise forever; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth according to my King, not enjoyment.  I find this answer to refer only to the chief end of the elect - Christ’s sheep.  I do not find a Biblical answer for the unbelieving man here.  If I had this question and answer alone, of all the Westminster Catechism, and I were a Muslim (for example), I would heartily agree and be on my way, knowing nothing of my state and the potential chief end of my existence – to continue in unbelief, having no sacrifice for my sins and to be judged rightly and fairly so that God’s perfect justice might be manifest for eternity.

The chief end of the reprobate is to glorify God, indeed it is, but there will be no joy for them.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I far prefer the first Question of the Heidelberg Cathecism:

Question 1. What is thy only comfort in life and death?
Answer: That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, has fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him.

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