Elevator Evangelism

Today I had the wonderful fortune of finding a religious tract in an elevator.  The title page “God Loves You” seems harmless right, even well-meaning.  (In fact, messages of love, without all the “strings attached” of damnation or conversion are fine in my book.  But don’t be surprised when I don’t join your church.)

Inside:

Please do not resent us for giving you this tract. We love your soul, and we want to tell you that if you have never been born again, you are on your journey to a place where you will burn forever and ever.

[Emphasis is mine.]

But I do resent your attempts to make me believe in your hell, your “lake of fire.”  These systems mean nothing to me, and I ask that you consider that other religions would gladly preach their words to you to save you from their own versions of some seedy, hellish afterlife.

The rest of the tract talks about how we pay for the sins of Adam, despite the fact that we weren’t around to be complicit in them.  And salvation is as easy as reciting a simple prayer (earnestly) on the back of the tract.  The prayer?  Basically, you say “I believe in Jesus.”  No future acts of kindness are mentioned, just the statement of belief.

Is a statement of belief really all that should make a difference? A saved murderer gets a free pass, while an “unsaved” charity worker, philanthropist, mother, father, child, whatever is going to the lake of fire?  The argument of course is that Jesus paid all the price of this by laying down his life, but you know what?  That’s your belief to have, hold, and enjoy.  Not to threaten me into.

There have been thousands of religions. There will likely be more.  They all have an awful lot in common.

While some virtues appear in many religions, like kindness and charity, honesty too… they are not limited to religion.  No one religion has a monopoly on love or even “salvation” yet each seems to make promises that it is the only way.  (On another note, religion has no monopoly on marriage either, and should stop trying to claim one.)

So take your threats and promises somewhere else.  I’d rather work on improving the world around me and helping people I can.  It seems more worthwhile than spouting off spooky tales about Lake Fire where anyone who doesn’t conform gets roasted.

Some other gems from the Fellowship Tract League:

AIDS

My Best Friend.

 

*I dont mean to imply that people with faith can’t “do good.” I’ve met many wonderful people who consider themselves religious and who actually make strides in living by their values of compassion and generosity. Kudos to anyone religious or not who promotes kindness and spreads love.

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