“What a stupid question,” some might dismiss, “It’s not even a conversation worth having!” I guess my only response would be, “Given that 72% of Americans believe they’ll go to heaven, how is it ‘stupid’ to ask people to think critically about their beliefs?”
A mentor during my “ministry years” once taught me a very valuable lesson; the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives begins by making yourself available to others. Spending a large part of my life in airports, hotels, and taxicabs on the road for business, this usually means trying not to drop my phone as I attempt to reply to messages while “surfing the tram” from concourse to concourse.
I never really know where a conversation may lead, but it’s always amazing to me that in this day and age, ideas that are too taboo to discuss around most dinner tables can spontaneously erupt between strangers with a couple swipes of the finger. I wish I had more time to answer all of my email, but this morning I received a followup from Dale, a college student with whom I’d chatted with a few times over the years ( and developed a bit of a mutual snarky/friendly report) and thought I’d share this random chat which ended better than most. ;-)
Of course, what I didn’t get into with Dale is that the very idea of an eternity without free will is, in fact, the very model of evil. The sort of eternal life that only the most beaten and broken slave would look forward to, willingly. But, don’t worry, folks – of course there is evil in heaven. Heck, according to the Bible, there are entire wars in heaven. Remember, folks – God created both good and evil, and it’s not up to you how He chooses to use it. (Thus, the “free will” becomes pretty irrelevant if you’re not free to use it.)
Folks often ask me, if I no longer believe in God, why I still ask rhetorical questions as if I do? The short answer is, folks like Dale are likely never going to be challenged to think about the other side of the fence if they only surround themselves with like-minded members of the same team, so to speak. So, if I came out swinging, “THERE IS NO GOD!,” the conversation is over before it’s begun. ;-)
Be available, friends – cheers!