Some interesting thoughts today from Richard Rohr about the difference between being punished by your sins and being punished for your sins.
"Jesus sought to create a deep sense of personal choice, responsibility, and freedom right now, and not just disconnected payoffs in the afterlife. But we have understood much of the Gospel in terms of divine threats and artificial rewards--a delayed schedule of merits and demerits. This deeply distorted the transformative message of the Gospel and appealed to our self-interest instead of love. In other words, it fed us at the ego level instead of the soul level."
Just parking this Richard Rohr thought on my blog to digest at another date! "Rather than making dogmatic statements about how to get to heaven, Jesus modeled and taught how to live on earth in a loving way, and he said that this was indeed heaven! But Christians have all too often pushed heaven into the future. We've made Jesus' death and resurrection into a reward/punishment system for the next world, which creates tremendously self-absorbed and self-preoccupied people. It doesn't transform anyone into compassionate, loving individuals. Instead it leads to a kind of morbid self-analysis in which people feel guilty, inferior, and inadequate or superior and self-righteous."