I love fun.
Fun is good.
I’m having to relearn this.
When I was a kid?
Fun was good.
Somewhere along the road?
Fun became bad.
At least in my mind, it did.
How could we have any fun if we are Christians?
No time fun.
There is a whole world to save.
We need to save everyone.
Everyone is on their way to Hell.
A few of us are not.
We prayed the prayer.
Oh man, I hope I prayed it right.
We need to be ready.
Jesus is coming.
To rapture up the ones who prayed the prayer.
The rest will be left here.
For seven years of hell on earth.
And if they don’t repent during those years?
Well then, here comes eternity.
A place of fire.
Where you burn and burn.
You cry out and cry out.
And it is too late.
A billion years.
And then another.
And so on and so on.
For not praying the prayer.
We need to tell everyone to pray it.
To believe in Jesus.
To believe in this God who will send you to Hell if you don’t.
No, for real.
Think about it.
Why aren’t we all thinking about it.
How can we watch a football game?
Have a picnic?
Go on vacation.
Have any kind of fun at all?
When the whole wide world is heading toward eternity.
There is no time for fun.
No time for leisure.
I’m not even sure we should be sleeping.
I have burnt my hand on the stove before.
The pain was real.
Now imagine your whole body.
Forever and ever.
No time for games.
Oh wait, you aren’t really thinking about it.
We shouldn’t really think about it.
We have our fire insurance.
Now it is up to us to live a life pleasing to God.
Abstain from sex.
Until we are married.
Then freely give it.
And listen to the pastor.
And have a gentle and quiet spirit.
This is what makes God happy.
The god that will send you to Hell if he isn’t happy with you.
There’s a whole list of do’s.
Another list of don’ts.
Work on those.
Don’t worry about the others.
Oh, because of Calvinism.
You know, Reformed Theology.
You can actually rest now.
If you believe this way.
God is sovereign.
He is in control.
He chooses who is going to go to Heaven.
And who is going to Hell.
We don’t actually have to worry about it.
It’s out of our control.
He may or may not use us in his plan to save his people.
The plan to tell his chosen ones to pray the prayer.
If He uses me?
Well, He is in control.
If my family goes to Hell?
No skin off my back.
Only off of theirs.
Forever and ever.
Trust God with this.
He chose you.
Sing to Him and praise Him for choosing you.
Tell Him you trust Him.
And you can probably even sprinkle in some fun.
Go to a football game.
Watch a movie.
He’s got this.
He is in control.
Who is this God?
What in the actual hell is going on?
How can any of this be real?
A Billion years?
And then another?
Betty White went to Hell?
Well, we can’t know that.
She may have prayed the prayer right before she died.
Lord have mercy.
So, some of become “that christian”.
The dangerous one.
The one who asks the hard questions.
And the people who love us (and are chosen) begin to call us heretics.
Tell us to shut up.
Insist we stop asking the questions.
Tell us this might put even put us right in the place that has terrified us our whole lives.
Don’t study it.
Don’t read any books that might tell you different.
Don’t follow anyone that might tell you this view of hell is one that didn’t exist before Augustine.
Or that there are “other Christian” ways of looking at it.
It’s dangerous, after all.
Don’t google it.
You might learn something.
Something different than what you’ve been taught.
We need Hell.
We actually need to be able to “scare the Hell” out of children.
So they pray the prayer.
And walk the straight and narrow.
We can keep them in line with fear.
Perfect love casts out fear.
Fear has driven my beliefs for most of my life.
Fear of not doing enough.
And then, worse yet, fear that God chooses.
So, several years ago, I stepped out.
I dared to look outside of what I had been taught.
To actually challenge my own beliefs.
And realize God is big enough for my questions.
The God of the Universe is different than what I have thought.
What I have feared.
This has freed me up.
There has been freedom in me believing that God is Love.
Fear has slowly fallen away.
The fear of death.
The fear of the government.
The fear of everyone who isn’t just like me.
Love has come.
Love has given me life.
Life to the full.
I’m free to have some fun.
Enjoy the people around me.
Tell them how much God loves them.
The Good News.
Jesus/God has saved us from ourselves.
It’s not dangerous to love.
It’s not dangerous to speak life.
The danger comes when we live in fear.
When we drip with fear.
When we walk around judging others who don’t fear.
So, for today…
I will love others.
I will believe God loves me.
And God loves others.
All the others.
I will rejoice in this.
And have some fun.