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Some time ago, I was a member of a website called Theologyonline.com. It was intended as a place to discuss politics and religion, and was interesting and enjoyable. I have since left because of the vulgar ways in which certain members of the site behave. Nevertheless, they have one section to which I have returned: the formal debates known as Battle Royales.

Battle Royale XII was entitled “Will Unbelievers Spend Eternity in The Lake Of Fire?”. It was a debate between the Arminian(I think) Pastorkevin and the (Christian)Universalist Logos_x. And Pastorkevin made an analogy which really bothered me, and which I feel deserves a more in-depth rebuttal than the one given it by Logos.

The analogy was the following:

The Psycho Chef (By Kevin Richeson)

Suppose you have some friends over for dinner, and you surprise them by telling them you have baked some delicious blueberry muffins. Suppose your friend’s husband says he doesn’t want a muffin. You try to offer it to him and he refuses to eat it. You try to tell him how good it is, even eating some in front of him and saying, “Mmmmm it’s good.” But he still refuses it. The muffins are still a free gift, and at any time he could pick up a muffin and eat it, but he refuses it. You still made the muffins for all of your guests too, but that doesn’t mean they all accept them!
Now suppose as he is walking out the door you grab him, throw him on the ground and CRAM the muffin down his throat! “I TOLD YOU THAT YOU ARE GOING TO EAT THE MUFFINS I MADE FOR YOU! THEY ARE FREE AND THEY ARE GIFTS! EAT THEM!” But he refuses to swallow. So you hold him down, choking him, until he agrees to eat the muffin.
Now is he really eating the muffin because he wants to? NO! He is eating it simply out of necessity which is not the same thing as accepting a free gift! This is what Universalism
makes God to be like! A psychopathic God! In reality, God offers a free gift, men refuse it.

But wait, lets go one further: let’s suppose the muffin had in it a cure for a disease that the man has. Let’s say the man knows that the muffin holds the cure for his disease and still refuses to eat of it because he would have to swallow his pride, or just because he doesn’t like muffins? Would it still be right to hold him down and force him to eat the muffin? Would it still be right to hold him down until he decides to eat the muffin? NO! But
that is how Universalism tries to paint God, and God’s free gift of salvation.

Oh and also, another thing. The chef made ENOUGH muffins for all of the guests. (Even the ones who refused could have had muffins if they chose to). Did all of the guests want the muffins? NO!
Christ’s sacrifice being made for all means that it is available to ALL! But they must receive the free gift of salvation in order to get it! I just don’t know how much more clear it can be made than that!

So the free gift is not like the offense Paul says. Paul goes on in verses 15-16 to explain
further how the gift is not like the offense. The judgment leads to condemnation, the gift to justification.

This article will be divided into two parts: Part I will be devoted to demonstrating and correcting the flaws in this analogy, Part II to constructing a parallel analogy for the Eternal Torment theology.

Part I

Flaws in The Psycho Chef Analogy

The first flaw in the Psycho Chef analogy is that it presents the chef and the muffin-refusing guest as essentially equals. But this is not the situation we have with God. Perhaps if the guest were replaced with a small child of four years or so we could do a little better.

The second flaw is that the realities of the situation are set plainly and undeniably before the guest. Perhaps if instead of the person knowing he has a disease and that the muffins will cure him(as implied in the analogy), we made it so the chef must tell him he has this disease and that the muffins will cure him. And suppose the chef, rather than telling him this and offering the muffins in person, left a written note explaining the situation to the child.

If the chef came home and found that the child had not eaten the muffins, would it not be right for the chef to give the child another chance to eat them? And if he still would not, to punish the child, correctively, in order to save the child from his disease? And yes, if need be, to force the child to eat the muffins? For when the child understands what the chef has done, he will be grateful.

Thus two key flaws appear in the analogy which change the dynamic completely. In Part II I will examine how Pastorkevin’s God does in a parallel analogy.

Part II

False Free Will: The Eternal Tormentor and Muffin Cramming

In this part I will present the logical corollary for the Eternal Torment teaching: another analogy, which parallels the first.

The Real Psycho Chef(By Sam Starrett)

Suppose you have a child, whom you love(or say you do) more than anything in the world. And suppose that child does something bad. Now you, being a just parent, must torture this child forever.(For this is eternal torment’s twisted idea of “justice”, by which every feeling man is repulsed.)

But your older child, who has never disobeyed you, offers to die if you will, in exchange, not torture your younger child. You decide this will satisfy you, and turn him over to a group of sadists to be horribly murdered.

You then bake a batch of blueberry muffins, and hide them. That’s right, you hide them. You also set a timer for a random amount of time, and leave the house. You do, however, leave a note and a map for your child.

The note says to follow the map, and the map leads to the hiding place of the muffins. The note also says that the child must eat a muffin before the timer runs out(and he has no idea when that will be) and before you come home(he has no idea when that will be either).(For eternal torment turns us over to arbitrary randomness, as capricious, unpredictable Death is made the sealer of our eternal destinies.)

Now let us suppose that the child does not see the note, or does not understand it, or even simply ignores it, or tries to follow its instructions but cannot get to the muffin in time. Now, despite the sacrifice your older child made, you come home, or the timer runs out, and you throw the child in the basement to be tortured, not for a lifetime, not for two, not for three, not for three hundred, but for eternity, and never give him another opportunity to eat the muffins.

So I ask you, dear reader, who is the psycho chef and who the loving parent?

–Sam Starrett