01 Nov 2009

Isn’t a Christian Better Off Dead?

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In the comments of a recent blog post–and I’m sorry but I can’t seem to find it–a reader said something like: “You can’t possibly believe this religious stuff, right? I mean, my five-year-old showed how silly it was the other day when he said, ‘If you believe in heaven, why not just kill yourself and get there right away?'”

Putting aside issues of sin–you could also ask, “Why not become a mass murderer of Christians and bring euphoria to as many of them as possible before the idiot police put a stop to your altruism?”–I think I have a more profound answer.

Once I was taking a walk and something really “deep” occurred to me. I can’t remember now what it was, but really, it was a really cool idea and I was very pleased with myself. In fact, I was so impressed with the awesome idea that I had just come up with, that I actually reflected on my narcissism and realized it was unseemly. I don’t remember the exact words, but I think I acknowledged this pridefulness to God along the lines of, “Yeah I know we’re just punks, but c’mon, that was a pretty good idea I just had.”

In that moment, “out of nowhere”–and this had absolutely nothing to do with whatever trivial thing I was thinking about–it suddenly occurred to me that when one accepts that God is real and you give Him your consent to spend eternity with Him in paradise, then BOOM you are saved and that’s that. You have just done all you need to do to get into heaven.

However, He asks you to spend some more time on this (comparative) hell-hole earth, with all its suffering and injustice, in order to rescue as many of your non-believing brothers and sisters as possible. He has done all He can. There are still plenty of people who literally don’t even think He exists. So to convince them, it will take fellow humans to try to explain it.

(For those who are continually astounded by how such an ostensibly rational guy like me can spout all this ridiculous Jesus talk, it’s because of experiences like the above. If a God did exist, isn’t that just the kind of thing He would do? Isn’t that hilarious? He didn’t have a bird poop on my head in order to punish me for thinking I was hot stuff. No, He injected perhaps the most beautiful explanation of the meaning of life I have ever processed into my puny mind, such that I can’t even remember now what it was I was so excited about five seconds earlier.)

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