Random Firings of Neurons

The rest of your life is going to be spent getting back up after life has knocked you down again. You might as well just get used to it.

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Location: Round Rock, Texas, United States

Saturday, July 31, 2004

On Salvation

About two weeks ago, over at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller, I participated in a discussion on a rather horrific decision by a woman to abort two of her three children. As is usual, and as regular as clockwork, someone trotted out the "All of you who are opposed to abortion are just Bible-thumping Jesus Freak men" arguement. I will definitely admit guilt to the accusation of being a "Bible-thumper" and a "Jesus Freak" and a "men". But, "All of you"? Like I am the ONLY person who abhors abortions (ALL abortions, just in case you were wondering), or that no women are opposed! But anyway, some statements were made that I had to respond to. So I did. The first of my responses was :

Sin does not keep one out of Heaven. Well, it does, but EVERYONE would go to Hell, if God hadn't allowed Jesus to accept the sins of the world. So, whoever tells you that you are going to Hell because you are a sinner is also going to Hell, because they are a sinner, also. BUT, those who accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior (meaning they accept His sacrifice to wash away their sins) will NOT go to Hell, but rather to Heaven. That's it. Simple as that. No perfect life required. No radical pennance required. (although God may move someone to perform pennance for their sins, He doesn't require it in most cases) So, you have my blessings to apply a ClueBatâ„¢ to the skull of ANYONE who claims you are going to Hell for being a homosexual. You are going to Hell for not believing in Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Now, I would love to claim credit for the thoughts that went into this little rant, but I can't. All I did was push some buttons while the Holy Spirit (God's ClueBatâ„¢, for those who don't know) told me what to write. Because this is almost the single most important part of the teachings of Jesus. We are ALL going to Hell, without God's Grace. None of us is pure, no, not one. We are all sinners, and to deny otherwise is to lie to ourselves, and to all within hearing. How hard of a concept is that for people to grasp?

Actually, I think it was revealed to me WHY many people don't like that concept. The Holy Spirit was kind enough to have me type this a little while later:

you have arbitrarily decided that anyone who has the gall to point out your sins is evil, even though you admit that you are a sinner. If you don't admit you are a sinner (and I mean in a more metaphorical, rather than Christian theology sense), then you are a liar. Which is usually a sin, by most moral codes. If you admit you are a sinner, why are you so upset about someone merely stating something you already know?

It seems that people don't like it when their guilt is exposed for all to see. No one likes to be accused of anything, EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW THEY ARE GUILTY OF IT! Admission of guilt is the most difficult part of accepting Jesus Christ as one's personal savior, because no-one wants to admit they are guilty. That little quirk has led to much of the hostility towards Christianity, even within Christian circles! You see it in the abortion arguement, you see it in the many schisms within Christian denominations, and you see it in courtrooms every day. No one wants to admit they are wrong, even when they know they are. They just don't want to be accused of anything.

In my (not-so-humble, don't let the name fool you!) opinion, the hardest thing about being a Christian is admission of guilt. Because many, if not most, people, would rather BE wrong than be told they were wrong! As a (not-so-perfect) Christian, I find myself asking for God's forgiveness for my sins on a rather frequent schedule. I should do it daily, but I don't. But I do it when I work up the nerve. Because God already knows I am guilty, so I am not telling Him anything He doesn't already know. I just don't want to say the words! And I am a person who has come to grips with what I am! How difficult can it be for someone who doesn't want to change what they are doing! Very difficult, it seems.

The reason it is so difficult for people to admit their guilt is that Humans are guilty by nature. It is only through outside intervention that Humans can approach something resembling innocence. Don't believe me? Watch television some night. Watch a reality show. You will see people at the start of that show mouth all the same lies as everyone else: "I am going to do this by being a good person, and I will show everyone how good of a person I really am!". But watch the show for a few weeks and, with VERY few exceptions, the people who were all Gung-Ho! about being good people are lying, cheating and backstabbing along with everyone else! What happened to their desire to be good people?

One example of that is Kelly Wigglesworth, from the first "Survivor!". When she reached the final two, she gave an impassioned speech about how she had just been herself the whole time, and the jury should respect her for being herself, which she thought was a decent person, the whole time. Well, after she took second place, several news stories revealed why she was playing that silly game, and who she really was. It seems that she and her boyfriend plead guilty to credit card fraud shortly after she didn't win enough money to pay off her credit card shenanigans. This was a woman who was trying to show America how "good" of a person she was. A theif. Think about that. During the show, she lied, she backstabbed, and manipulated everyone she could, to show America how good of a person a theif could be. Kelly, if you hadn't asked the jury to judge you as a person, you might have had a chance. Richard Hatch, the winner, pointed out to the jury that he had been honest, from the beginning, about what kind of rat-bastard he was going to be. And he won. The liar/theif didn't. Richard told the truth about his lying, his cheating, and his backstabbing, and he was forgiven for it, by his victims. Kelly lied, cheated, and backstabbed, (and stole) and then lied about lying, cheating, and backstabbing to the jury. THE JURY THAT SHE HAD LIED TO, CHEATED, AND BACKSTABBED! See any similarities in your life?

In my past, when I was a not-so-very-nice person, (actually, more of a stainless steel rat-bastard) I used to make my living off of people who were very proficient at lying to themselves. All I had to do was convince them that the part of them that was screaming "HE'S A LIAR! DON'T TRUST HIM!" was wrong, and I had it made. So, you could say that I have some experience with lying. The day that I decided I would stop letting people lie to me, because I knew the truth, was rather difficult for me. Because if I wasn't going to let anyone lie to me, did I count as an "anyone"? I finally figured out that I did, and was not happy with seeing the truth about myself. Now, this was before I became a Christian, but the hardest part of being a Christian was now accomplished by me. (well, not by me, but that's a different conversation) It was only a matter of time before I actually admitted my guilt to myself, rather than just no longer lie to myself. The day I admitted my guilt, to myself, was the day I found out what being a Christian meant. It was about three years later before I worked up the nerve to admit my guilt to God, but I did it. And now I do it at least three times a week. Rarely in church, though. I usually do it in my car.

I have learned to not trust people who will lie in any of three circumstances. Those circumstances are:

  • Lying to themselves. If a person can lie to the ONE person in the world who knows the truth, how much trouble are they going to have lying to me?
  • Lying to their spouse. If a person is going to lie to the one person they care about MORE than themselves, how much trouble are they going to have lying to me?
  • Lying to God. If a person can lie to God, who knows the truth, and can actually do something about it, how much can I trust them?

Which ones of those three have you done? And are you still doing them? If you are doing any of them, how do you expect forgiveness, when you won't even admit to the crime?

(exerpts taken with permission from The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiller)

Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful, to God, Corps and Country