Ralph Edwards created a game show called “Truth or Consequences” broadcast on NBC radio from 1940 to 1957. Edwards introduced the show to television from 1950 to 1954. Bob Barker took over the show in 1956 and had a long run until 1975. The show was unique in that it mixed in wacky stunts as the consequences for failure of contestants to discover the truth.
As a Christian existentialist, I believe that there are consequences in both our lives and the afterlives. We make choices every day. Some days, we make thousands of decisions, some insignificant and others that could impact many people. Do we think about the consequences to other people and do we think about the consequences to us?
If you are focused entirely on your needs and do not care what happens to other people, then you are probably in either a large minority or the majority today, depending on how heinous and unconscionable the acts are. There do seem to be lines that even selfish people will not cross, varying, of course, from one individual to the next.
But if you are in this self-serving group, your internal compass or conscience probably will be ignored most of the time. The only concern about personal consequences may be the chances of getting caught and arrested by the police. And typically, people are very optimistic that they will not be caught and even if they are caught, they will not be convicted and even if they are convicted, they will receive a light sentence.
But a Christian existentialist thinks about consequences for all their actions. We think about consequences to other people. We think about consequences during our lives and during our afterlives. The inner voices within us or our conscience is also called the Holy Spirit. We have a modicum of conscience before the Holy Spirit enters us, but once we are one with the spirit, it is like a conscience on steroids. Everything you do has consequences and you must weigh and evaluate each and every decision.
It is interesting to note that Christians who are not existentialists tend to believe that once they believe in God, they are not accountable for their actions anymore. They are going to Heaven because of their faith and there are no consequences for their decisions. They believe that they are allowed to sin because God will forgive them for all their sins, both before and after the moment they started believing in God.
Christian existentialists believe that there is an accounting for all our actions. Nobody gets a “free pass” from accountability for their actions. Even other Christians believe in a Judgment Day, but many believe that the only test is whether you believe in God and Jesus, who died for our sins. Some Christians say that you are not judged by your acts, but only by your faith.
Unfortunately, this is only half true. True, your faith in God and Jesus must be powerful as you enter into the afterlife. If you believe in God and Jesus, you will become one with them in the afterlife, just as you became one with the Holy Spirit during your life.
Even though, nobody knows what will happen in the afterlife, Christian existentialists believe that there will be consequences, otherwise, our “free will” in life is absurd. Just like in the game show “Truth or Consequences,” if you do not know the truth, then there will be consequences. Otherwise, the show is meaningless. The truth can be found in the teachings of Jesus. By following the path of Jesus, we can avoid consequences in both our life and the afterlife.