Brian Zahnd and Herb Montgomery

The ends never justify the means; this quote is from a recent sermon by Brian Zahnd

The means are the end in the process of becoming
— Brian Zahnd
I am reckoned among those who go down to the pit; I have become like a man without strength, forsaken among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom You remember no more...
— Psalm 88: 4-7

Toward the end of his wonderful book, Finding the Father, Herb Montgomery discusses how the verses above from Psalm 88 gives insight into the depths of the agony Jesus suffered on the cross, as Satan taunted Him with the notion that He would be separated from the Father forever. "Although...the Father did not forsake His Son on the cross," Montgomery writes, "that doesn't mean that Jesus did not feel as if He had been forsaken." A page or two later, he writes the following passage:

"Do you know why I am a Christian today, dear reader? It's not because I want to get to heaven or escape hell. The reason lies here at the cross. My God took into account all the glories of heaven, all the adoration of the angels, that reuniting embrace with His Father, and then looked at me. And seeing me in my lost condition, my God, from His heart, said, 'heaven is not a place that I desire to be if he can't be there.' I am what makes it Heaven for Him!

"I have friends who ask, "What if there is no heaven, no hell, no reward, no punishment? What if all you are doing is for nothing?" And in the shadows of His great love for me, I very respectfully say, "I don't care! My God lived for me when there was no heaven in it for Him. And so, even if there is no heaven or hell, no reward or punishment, even if I get nothing out of it, my God is so beautiful, so self-less, so self-abandoning, so giving and kind that I don't care if I don't live forever; it's not about me, it's all about Him! I have been loved by many, but never like this. I want Him to feel overloved and overjoyed. He is the most beautiful person I have ever encountered, and based on that alone He is worthy of my love every waking moment of my life. And whether it's realistic, whether it's possible or not, I will spend eternity trying to outlove my God, because more than anyone else, He is the one who deserves someone trying, someone loving Him back the way He has loved me!'"
--Herb Montgomery, from Finding the Father