April 10, 2012

Christian Email: Believe or You Will Be Tortured Forever

The following e-mail arrived a few days ago with "My heart breaks for you" in the subject field. I have not edited it in any way, as I figured you'd enjoy the typos and lack of paragraph breaks too:
I was looking at this site and my heart was hurt at some of the stuff that was said. I dont condemn or judge you for what you believe. Nor do I think harshly toward the way that you believe, that is your choice. Christianity and serving the One true, living God, is a choice I chose to take, and you choose not to. Thats your perogative. I dont know who you are but I will be praying for you that you will see the truth before, you have no choice. I know you might not like what I have said, but I dont even know you and I wanted to tell you the truth in love. Jesus loves you and died for you...One day every knee will bow and tounge confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but the choice we make now to serve him or reject Him will determine if we willingly confess that in love and joy, or in shame and des! pair. The choice that we make now really is a matter of life and death. Its appointed unto man to die once then judgement. We all will die one day, but thats not the death that matters. If we dont go into eternity knowing Jesus, then we will die the second death, spending an eternity in hell where there is no hope. Is that a risk thats worth taking. Im 25 and God has delivered me from a bunch of junk. Hes given me a family and a beautiful daughter. I know my Jesus is not dead but alive. He loved me even whenI was a sinner and still died for me...and you. I love you mam or sir and I hope that you to will be able to experiance that peace and joy He gives. Im sorry and I apologive if the church has ever offended you or hurt you. Jesus is about love, and life. Not hippy love, real love, that type of love you would have for someone enough to lay your life down for them. That kind of love.
I hope the author has a good cardiologist, as I would hate to think that my words brought on some sort of cardiac event. But seriously, what I like most about this e-mail (aside from the reference to "hippy love") is how effortlessly the author moves from acknowledging that we are each entitled to believe as we wish to the threat of hell. That's some real Christian love, right there.

Here's the thing, the Christian bible is filled with story after story about the Christian god setting up tests for people, "hardening their hearts," and then punishing them with death or worse. A being that would do this simply is not moral in any meaningful sense of the word. With this sort of history, a reasonable Christian must wonder if I do not believe in their god because this god has hardened my heart. If so, I am hardly to be blamed for not believing.

I know, I know! The Jesus figure was supposed to have changed all of that so that this god stopped treating people like this. But since almost nobody claims that Jesus also did away with hell, the situation isn't that much better. We still have a god essentially saying, "Believe what I tell you to believe or I will torture you forever." I say again, this is not a moral being with which I would want to associate.

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