Monday, October 28, 2013

Death and delayed faith

A reader with six months to like decides that asking Billy Graham about death is somehow a wise use of the time he has left...
Don't delay putting your faith in Christ

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve always had the attitude that it’s best to just ignore things you can’t do anything about, such as death. But now I can’t ignore it, because I finally got up enough courage to go to the doctor for some pain I’ve been having, and he’s given me six months to live. Won’t God just laugh at me if I try to turn to him now? — Z.S.
DEAR Z.S.: No, God won’t laugh at you, scorn you, or reject you if you turn to him, even at this late date. The Bible’s words are true: “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8).
How do we know this? We know it because Jesus Christ gave his life for all kinds of people. He didn’t die just for good people, or young people who have the whole of their lives ahead of them, or people who might make a major impact on society. He died for every person who needs him — and that includes you. In fact, if you had been the only person on earth who needed to be saved, he still would have died for you. God loves you that much!
Far too many people, I’m afraid, do exactly what you’ve done: they shut out life’s most important questions. But (as you’ve discovered) those questions can’t be kept away forever. Wouldn’t it have been better to face your need for God years ago, instead of leaving it until it’s almost too late?
My prayer is that you will turn to Christ for the forgiveness you need, and commit your life to him. Then be assured that someday soon you will go to be with him in heaven forever. Don’t delay, but put your faith and trust in Christ — for he alone gives us hope.

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 Billy Graham is right about one thing, God won't laugh at ZS. But that has more to do with him not existing, rather than him being compassionate. Graham is quick to quote Psalm 103:8, to call God compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love. Funny... when the god of the Bible commands the genocide of entire cities, that doesn't sound very compassionate or loving.

And it's no surprise when Graham tries to sell Christ's pointless and unsubstantiated sacrifice as something amazing and wonderful. Yes, requiring an unnecessary human sacrifice as an arbitrary requirement for salvation is so positive... 

It is true that ignoring things is no solution. And while some are freaked out by the thought of death, it is not something to ignore, and it certainly won't change that fact that you will one day die. But death isn't something that you should have to fear. As a non-believer, death is something that I've come to terms with years ago. I know that I will one day die, and I'm okay with that. For the time being, I am lucky enough to be alive. Lucky enough to have won the lottery of life over the multitude of other people that could have been born in our place. 

Because of the immense gratitude I have for getting this chance at life, I feel like it would be selfish for me to demand a second life when so many potential people don't even get one shot at life. So, while I'd like to extend my life as far as I can, I am actually complacent with the fact that I will one

day return to the same state I was in before I was born. I find it odd that so many Christians worry about death so much, fear it, and even demand that death not be death, but the passage into another life.

And why should ZS listen to Graham's calls for him to devote the rest of his life to Christ? There is no evidence that Christianity is true, so why not devote his life to the Buddha instead? After all, by worshiping the wrong god, ZS is risking to quality of his reincarnation. Worshiping the wrong god means that he would find himself reincarnated as a 'lesser being' in his next life. If only ZS would spend his final months seeking enlightenment through the Buddha, he would find himself rewarded with a truly spectacular next life. Well, that's what a Buddhist would say anyway. 

So, ZS shouldn't fear death. And neither should you. Instead, may the most of this life that we do have. For this one short life is the most special thing we ever will have.

-Brain Hulk

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