9Feb '15
The Doorway to Hell

“If there is a hell”

If there is a hell
let every sermon burn there
that has ever robbed a child
of the joy of Father’s love
that has ever broken bruised reeds
or snuffed a smouldering wick
let each word of condemnation
be eternally consumed
every better-than-you attitude
in burning graves entombed
let the Premier League of Pharisees –

into Heaven –

but their words
must be thrust into the darkness
that their prejudice has caused
Let the jokes they made at my expense
teach them to cry my tears
Let the ones “not worth investing in”
welcome them with cheers

And the pretty charts and diagrams
that showed how crap I am –
let the fire swallow all of that
while we flock around the Lamb

Let their Tom Cruise smiles and hipster styles
Gnash their teeth at us within
Let the books – but not the authors –
burn in the hell they’ve put me in.

I am questioning the evangelical doctrine of eternal conscious torment, but that’s not at all what this poem is about. It’s a reaction to a couple of sermons I heard recently: one which laid out a chart of how long we should pray for each day depending on our “level” as Christians, and another one about “Premier League Christianity”. Both of these were a very long way from how I relate to God. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe one day I’ll think like those people (again?) but for now, this poem was about me working out my feelings towards both the people involved and the things they said.

Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Door_to_Hell.jpg

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