A few days ago a letter arrived in the mail. Not email. The regular mail! Amazing. A miracle of sorts, since this happens so rarely in these Internet times.
It contained some good news and bad news for my churchless soul. Figured I might as well share it, since others are in the same non-believing boat I am.
My comments are interspersed in italics.
I recently noticed your article in a community paper, sharing your life emphasizing that "life doesn't make sense." Appreciate your honest evaluation. You've searched in many places.
For freaking sure. You can't believe where I've searched. Ugh... those dust balls under the rarely-moved couch. Nasty! And all I found was a long forgotten cat toy. No God. Bummer.
You surely did have a rough start, without a father to guide you and a dysfunctional mother. But its all brought you to where you are, inquiring about the meaning of life.
Yes. Its all good, as they say. Early on I saw that the meaning of life isn't to be found in a vodka bottle, one of the benefits of growing up with an alcoholic parent. So I went off to college and sought meaning in LSD and mescaline. Far superior!
Just want you to know that God created you for a special purpose to receive His LIFE. Without that knowledge one becomes a wandering star, drifting thru life, but there are answers. I do urge you to seek the true and only LIVING God. Not "in yourself" will you find truth or God.
Hmmmmm... those capital letters. I've been given a clue that I'm clueless about. LIFE. LIVING. I have a life and I'm living. Haven't seen any sign of a God who is LIVING, though. I can't look in myself for this God. So He is outside somewhere. Guess I should take another look under the couch.
Because we've all sinned through Adam, there is a gap between us and God. But God has willed to redeem men who seek it. In love and mercy, God sent Jesus to pardon us, taking his sins upon himself, that we may receive His righteousness and one day stand before the Father pardoned. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The Bible (the Word of God) shows our need and salvation thru Jesus --gives us purpose and direction.
A lot to unpack here. Among the world's vast arrary of theological dogmas, I find this whole "sinned through Adam" thing one of the most ridiculous. Even if Adam and Eve existed, how the hell could I be responsible for their passed-down sins? Hey, I've got plenty of my own sins to be forgiven for! Give me some credit!
Regarding redemption, why is it only given to men who seek it? (Note: I assume my correspondent includes women among "men.") If God is so loving and so powerful, why can't God redeem everybody, gratis, no seeking required? Actually, some heretical Christians do believe in this -- universalism, which I blogged about -- but there aren't many of them. Hard to keep the donation plate filled when there's no fear and trembling about salvation in the pews.
Time is quickly drawing to a close, when Jesus will return to claim his own and judge the wicked. Wickedness and uncertainty is accelerating so fast, its frightening! But the door is still open to receive Jesus as your savior and find rest for your soul. I urge you to consider your final destiny.
May God enlighten and bless you.
Nice ending. I'll give Christians this: they've got the proselytizing approach down. Soften me up with the God's love and mercy talk, then bring out the fire and brimstone to close the deal. "If you don't buy this car today, I can't save you any money. Or, your soul."
I don't believe I have a soul. But if I did, I'd want it to be at rest. I guess. Seems like there could be a good argument for an active soul, sort of like the wandering star that I was accused of being earlier -- which actually sounds pretty cool.
I really don't see wickedness and uncertainty accelerating rapidly. But I don't read The Apocalyptic Times, or wherever it is Christian fundamentalists get their news.
Using my powerful secular logic capabilities, I assume that because I got this letter, I am part of "the wicked" who will be judged by Jesus. This is another bit of confusing theology for me. How is it that Jesus so loved the world he died for our sins, yet soon he is going to return to the world to "claim his own and judge the wicked"?
Are the wicked people who aren't Christians? Or can you be a wicked Christian? If so, why isn't it possible to be a good non-Christian? So many questions...