Saturday, May 14, 2011

Judgment Day: The Perils of Proselytizing

by Dee Newman

Last weekend I drove over to Greenville, SC. The daughter of my good friend, Bob Pazelinec, was graduating from Furman University.

On Saturday before the graduation Paz and I were walking down Main Street together in Greenville when we ran into a couple of young men from Bob Jones University.

One of the young men had a poster attached to a backpack extending above his head that read: Judgment Day May 21 – The Bible Guarantees It – Cry Mightily Unto God –

The two of them were passing out pamphlets and warning anyone who would stop and listen that God’s Judgment Day was at hand.

Paz (a psychologist and ex-seminarian) just walked away. I tried to explain to the young man who approached me that over the last 66 years I had lived through at least a half of dozen Raptures and was still here to tell about. He was not at all interested and continued to try and convince me that if I did not immediately accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I was not only going to Hell, I was going to suffer unbearable torment.

I told him that I was not a believer and that (for me) God only existed in his mind and those who believe as he did. But, he just ignored me and continued his assault.

So, as Paz looked on, I decided to give that young man a piece of my mind . . . I told him that even if there was a God I would certainly not chose to worship an omnipotent deity who could have easily created fearless, intelligent, and decent human beings, yet who obviously preferred to make fearful, ignorant, and corrupt ones; who could have easily created a heaven here on earth, but chose to created a world of suffering for millions of innocent men, women, and children; who espouses justice, mercy, forgiveness, and the Golden Rule, while utilizing the fear of damnation and hell as a contrivance to intimidate and coerce his imperfect creations to do good works; who mouths morals to all his flawed offspring, and yet, lacks the understanding that morality can neither be arbitrary nor be promoted with promises of reward and/or threats of punishment; who states in Leviticus 25:44 that I may actually possess slaves provided I purchase them from a neighboring nation; And, who condemns immorally offensive acts, yet has committed them all Himself as his God has so proudly proclaimed within that there “Holy Book” he believes his God wrote word for word.

As he stood there with his mouth open, trying (I suppose) to conjure up a response, I thanked them for his concerns for my well-being and wish him a safe journey to the Promised Land on May the 21st.

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