Monday, August 30, 2010
A Sequel to A Vacuous Faith
Yet another aspect of the Christian faith that used to cause me to ponder is the aspect of saving the lost from the fiery grips of hell. If the Christian really believes in the concept of eternal torment in hell, why are the vast majority of them so nonchalant about taking every opportunity to warn and plead with the ‘heathen’ to turn from their wickedness?
For example, we all have close relatives that we would never want to see in any form of danger. The Christian should be losing sleep over the possibility that a loved one may experience hell for all eternity. If the Christian really believes in hell, they should be pleading with the nonbeliever—both day and night— to consider Jesus. Yet oddly enough, years can go by without a single word about Jesus.
Death, where is thy Sting?
A person could die at any given moment and the Christian, well aware of this, does nothing to convince them to repent from their evil ways. This would be analogous to a family member knowing that there was a serial killer lurking in your neighborhood but saying nothing to you about it. Most of us wouldn’t wish an eternal punishment on our worst enemies, yet most Christians seem so indifferent when it comes to their loved ones eternal consequences. They either don’t care enough to bother with pestering their unsaved family members or they, in what I think is more probable, don’t really believe it themselves.
They cannot fathom the notion that a god, whom they admire, could possibly send someone to eternal torment. It goes against their innate sense of decency and justice. When I was a Christian, I often wondered why I wasn’t more of a crusader when it came to sharing the gospel so nobody had to go to hell. I wondered why most of the people I knew, who were professing Christians, weren’t unrelentingly knocking on doors and pleading with everyone they came in contact with to repent. It seemed bizarre that most of us would bend over backwards to warn someone if they were about to go into a burning building, but we didn’t have any sense of urgency as it applies to keeping others out of hell. I think it’s because most Christians can’t believe that such a fate is possible for the good people in their lives. Many other Christians just disassociate from the whole prospect and believe that someone else will probably tell their family member instead. I doubt that anyone seriously believes that the Christian would act the same way if they knew that a loved one was about to walk into a ‘real world’ death trap, unaware of the stark circumstances about to unravel.
Holy Casper to the Rescue
I began to study on the Holy Spirit, that ultra-mystical thingy, to see if that was the motivational trigger I needed to become the ‘gun toting’ adventurous Christian that I thought I should be. This Holy Ghost part of the trinity was supposed to enter me at the time of salvation, or—if you believe in speaking in tongues—at the time of a ‘Pentecost type’ moment. I was never much for babbling nonsense so I thought that I must have already had the Holy Spirit but failed to utilize its powers. In the end, I noticed that even the best Christians around me were dissonant in their attitude about people going to hell. A Christian, who really believes in hell, should sacrifice every waking moment on proselytizing and have a voracious desire to keep others from doom. I don’t see such a stance anywhere.
What I see is a Christianity that is unconvinced of hell and/or is disassociated from it. People are too embarrassed of their faith to warn anybody of anything aside from preachers who have a financial interest in the matter. Most Christians don’t want to suggest that you’re going to hell simply for not believing. After all, people don’t believe in a lot of things when the evidence is lacking. No sane person believes in Big Foot, fairies or the Loch Ness Monster. There’s not a shred of archaeological evidence supporting slavery in Egypt, the Exodus, the empire of David, Solomon’s Temple, or the Walls of Jericho, so, if there is a god, shouldn’t he be a little bit merciful in light of the sheer lack of evidence for the Bible, which is his ‘divine’ revelation to us? Do we really deserve to burn in hell forever when the evidence is just not convincing? God supposedly gave us brains to reason with and to sort truth from fiction. How about the poor science observed in the Bible? It’s not a science book but it still is a book that is supposed to be true, isn’t it? For example, it says that unicorns and dragons exist so we should be able to find some. It says that the earth is flat so there’s no reason that god should have communicated otherwise. It wasn’t because the Israelites wouldn’t have understood the difference between flat and a sphere. It also plainly states that the earth was made before the rest of the universe when the opposite is true. I don’t know about you but I would prefer a book that is inspired by a god who has some good facts that hold up over the course of time and under sciences empirical validation. But I digress.
In the end, I have to challenge Christians on this matter. Why do you guys act so much like the rest of us; would you not warn your family if they were about to go into a building full of C-4? I think you would and I think you realize that your mom, dad or brother could die at any moment, yet you don’t act with the same fervor that you would in almost any other 'real world' situation. You’re either too embarrassed about your faith or don’t believe what the Bible says--or, you're simply passing the responsibility on to someone else who cares less about your loved ones.