I've been reading Inspector Morse detective stories (by Colin Dexter) off and on recently. Mostly off because I find that they depress me! But then I pick them up again because I borrowed some and they are to hand.
In the last book I read it tells of Morse's death and his last thoughts - he remembers his father reciting the Lord's prayer as he died and Morse wonders if he should do the same as a sort of insurance (Morse having lived an intentionally irreligious life). He decides that it would be unnecessary and is convinced that if there is an 'Almighty' he will understand.
I must admit that I kind of agree with Morse. God understands every difficulty that we go through, every intellectual and emotional struggle. He knows how difficult it is for some of us to believe and to change our behaviour. I hope that when I die he will look at my imperfections and failings and that he will understand. It is not beyond the reaches of my faith to believe that God could embrace a character like Morse when he dies.
So then - does it matter how we live? If we can believe that God will understand how hard it was? Is this a legitimate conception to use as a cornerstone of our theology?
To me the answer to that last question is no. Because I see this leading to a validation of lawlessness - it doesn't matter because God will understand. Of course it matters. Not only because we might be in fear of judgement (as the Bible clearly teaches) but also because if we are Christians we are called to love each other as well as to love God. We are called to be people who transform, not people who conform.
I'm opening up more questions here, but enough for now!