Search This Blog

Saturday, May 31, 2014

God's Judgments - How Strict? How Lenient?

God's Judgments - How Strict? How Lenient?

By Jim J. McCrea

If we confine ourselves to Catholics faithful to the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church (the Magisterium), there is a debate as to how strict or how lenient God's judgments are. There are some who say that the vast majority will be saved and go to heaven, while others say that few are saved.

People like Fr. Barron and Pope Benedict VXI tend to the former; while people like Michael Voris (of and Ralph Martin tend to the latter. It is also the opinion of most of the classical saints and Church fathers that few are saved.

How do we resolve this?

What I say is that the proportion of saved to lost is a mystery of predestination that will not be fully known until the General Judgment.

Philosophers such as Peter Kreeft have suggested that Jesus saying that few finding the road to salvation and many following the road to damnation (Matthew 7:13-14) means that He is not talking like an accountant but like a loving Father. Even a few lost is many for God's love, and even most saved is few.

But I think the definite message here is to strive to enter the narrow gate and work assiduously for the salvation of others - we must evangelize as if people's salvation is a stake.

Jesus did not give us any answers as to proportions so that we will be induced to strive. For if we knew that only a small minority were saved we might give up in despair. And if we knew the vast majority were saved we might become lax. The right attitude is always to strive with our eyes on the finish line (1 Corinthians 9:19-27).

But this brings us to a theoretical theological question: what determines the rigour or leniency of God's judgments?

It would not be something He would arbitrarily decide upon. He does not decide where to set the bar so more or less people are saved depending upon where He decided to set it.

At the General Judgment, when we will know everything, we will see that it is in accord with an ultimate logic, that is rooted in the Ultimate Logic who is God Himself - we will then see that it must be that way and not otherwise.

In God, there are coincidences of infinite opposites.

God's judgment then will be the coincidence of infinite rigour and infinite understanding.

For more on infinite opposites in God: Quintessential Divine Attributes

A longer article describing how God judges is here saying that He is infinitely hard on real guilt, but totally understanding with human weakness.

Jim McCrea