Christian women, like other women, chat about past gatherings with relatives, as on holidays. Obviously they mention mothers and fathers and grandparents and others who have passed on, liking the stories they tell about them, getting a laugh because of them. But some, or many, of these relatives were not Christians; they never converted. They died in their sins. Thus the church would have to regard them as being damned in Hell. Yet I inexorably sense that these women (men too) secretly believe that their relatives died in grace, that somehow God went ahead and saved them. Perhaps they wouldn’t converse about them if they didn’t. It’s like this: They had a grandpa who never lived a Christian life—never—but it’s okay. God didn’t allow him to go to Hell. He will be judged, yes, but not damned. Why should they believe such a thing?
They do, however, or they behave as though they do. Are they secretly noticing an outrageousness in the damnation doctrine? Do they suspect (I more than suspect) that the traditional church is wrong?