Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Giving Christianity a Bad Name

As if God doesn’t already have enough on his plate, his so-called friends are busy burning up bandwidth with such twaddle as that reproduced below, which entered my inbox this morning. To make matters worse, it comes from a minister of my acquaintance…who, you would think, should know better. You would think so wrongly, as it happens.

I hereby spare you the torture of reading it in the original form, which necessitated endless scrolling and squinting against ill-advised color schemes. (Hint: Red type on a black background is to be avoided.) I haven’t corrected the punctuation and other oddities (“the ex-vocalist of the AC/DC”), either. Nor have I made the slightest attempt to verify whether “these facts” are indeed facts.



    Death is certain but the Bible speaks about untimely death!

    Make a personal reflection about this.....

    Very interesting, read until the end.....

    It is written in the Bible (Galatians 6:7):

    'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sow, that shall he also reap.

    Here are some men and women who mocked God:

    John Lennon (Singer):

    Some years before, during his interview with an American Magazine, he said:
    'Christianity will end, it will disappear. I do not have to argue about that. I am certain. Jesus was ok, but his subjects were too simple, today we are more famous than Him' (1966).

    Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.

    Tancredo Neves (President of Brazil ):

    During the Presidential campaign, he said if he got 500,000 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency.

    Sure he got the votes, but he got sick a day before being made President, then he died.

    Cazuza (Bi-sexual Brazilian composer, singer and poet):

    During A show in Canecio ( Rio de Janeiro ), while smoking his cigarette, he puffed out some smoke into the air and said: 'God, that's for you.'

    He died at the age of 32 of LUNG CANCER in a horrible manner.

    The man who built the Titanic

    After the construction of Titanic, a reporter asked him how safe the Titanic would be.

    With an ironic tone he said:

    'Not even God can sink it'

    The result: I think you all know what happened to the Titanic

    Marilyn Monroe (Actress)

    She was visited by Billy Graham during a presentation of a show.

    He said the Spirit of God had sent him to preach to her.

    After hearing what the Preacher had to say, she said:

    'I don't need your Jesus'.

    A week later, she was found dead in her apartment

    Bon Scott (Singer)

    The ex-vocalist of the AC/DC. On one of his 1979 songs he sang:

    'Don't stop me; I'm going down all the way, down the highway to hell'.

    On the 19th of February 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, he had been choked by his own vomit.

    Campinas (IN 2005)
    In Campinas , Brazil a group of friends, drunk, went to pick up a friend.....

    The mother accompanied her to the car and was so worried about the drunkenness of her friends and she said to the daughter holding her hand, who was already seated in the car:

    'My Daughter, Go With God And May He Protect You.'

    She responded: 'Only If He (God) Travels In The Trunk, Cause Inside Here.....It's Already Full '

    Hours later, news came by that they had been involved in a fatal accident, everyone had died, the car could not be recognized what type of car it had been, but surprisingly, the trunk was intact.

    The police said there was no way the trunk could have remained intact. To their surprise, inside the trunk was a crate of eggs, none was broken

    Christine Hewitt (Jamaican Journalist and entertainer)
    said the Bible (Word of God) was the worst book ever written.

    In June 2006 she was found burnt beyond recognition in her motor vehicle.

    Many more important people have forgotten that there is no other name that was given so much authority as the name of Jesus.

    Many have died, but only Jesus died and rose again, and he is still alive.

    I have done my part, Jesus said

    'If you are embarrassed about me,

    I will also be embarrassed about you before my father.'

    Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen.'

Oh my.

As usual, one wonders where to begin. First off, the whole thing is pretty damn insulting to God, for it all boils down to “If God gets mad at you he’s gonna kill you.” Worse, in the case of “the man who built the Titanic,” God kills dozens of people and terrifies hundreds because he’s mad at one guy.

I don’t know what you think of God, but as is so often the case it appears that I have a higher opinion of him than some of those who make a big deal about how Godly they are.

(It’s really quite astonishing to think that this was being promulgated by an ordained minister of a “real” denomination, and not prefaced with anything along the lines of “Can you believe the hokum some people send around?” One wonders what sort of things are being taught in their seminaries.)

It’s also difficult to see why God would be so upset with John Lennon. I don’t think Lennon was mocking God. I think Lennon decried what he perceived as the Beatles’ insane popularity, and the public’s insistence on hanging on everything the Beatles said or did.

Also, it’s playing a little fast-and-loose with the facts to say, “Lennon, after saying that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, was shot six times.” Lennon's murder came nearly 15 years later. As my old debate coach was wont to say, “Your causal link is a little casual.” But
in my experience, “Christians” don’t mind jettisoning the truth in order to make their point. Assuming that God is really that thin-skinned, why would he wait so long to smite someone who “mocked” him?

I have no idea whether the Billy Graham-Marilyn Monroe anecdote is true, but let's say it is. How, exactly, is her statement "mocking" anything or anyone? She is made to say she doesn't need Jesus. Okay. You may believe she was wrong, but to be mistaken is not to be mocking. And, again, it seems to be a little insulting toward the Creator, for it pretty much casts him in the role of saying, "Well, okay, I sent this guy to preach to her one time and she wouldn't listen, so ba-zip! off with her head." Wow. I had the impression that Jesus instructed his disciples to have more perseverance than that, but apparently not.

And all of this begs one big, fat, bug-eyed question: What about people who don’t “mock” God (no matter how fast-and-loosely you define “mock”)? I mean, everybody dies, no? And some very good, very devout people die ghastly deaths. So what’s up with that? The anonymous author of this pretty un-Christian piece of drivel would have us believe that those who “mock” God will die a horrible death. I happen to think that God’s got a stronger ego than that, but for the sake of argument let’s go with it. You mock God, you get smote or smitten or whatever the past tense of smite is. But that would imply that those who don’t mock God don’t get smote—don’t get murdered, don’t get cancer, don’t die of drug overdoses—and, well, sorry, but that just ain’t true. And I’d be willing to bet that plenty of people who do “mock” God—again, whatever that may mean—live long healthy lives and die peacefully in their sleep at the ripe old age of 89.

In short, it doesn’t work that way. God—any god worthy of the proper-noun status—is bigger than that. He must be, or he wouldn’t be worth discussing. And I submit that any religion that holds--as this bit of balderdash certainly implies—that you have to be real careful not to tick God off lest he send a lightning bolt your way isn’t religion at all but mere superstition.

It’s what I call Great Pumpkin Theology. You remember that bit from “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” where Linus, in the pumpkin patch awaiting the Great Pumpkin’s arrival, promises Charlie Brown or Sally or somebody to put in a good word for them if the Great Pumpkin arrives. And then he panics, for he said if. “I mean when! …I'm doomed! One little mistake like that can cause the Great Pumpkin to pass you by.”

Well, I am of the opinion that a good many “godly” people are in fact thinking of the Great Pumpkin.

And isn’t that a form of mockery?

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