Spell check

Working with little children, one tool we use for writing is called a “word book”.  If they need a word spelled, they at times can raise their hand, and I’ll come by and write the word (they have to find the correct first letter and turn to that page in their word book).

One little girl raised her hand to ask how to spell “Oklahoma”.  I noticed she was on the A page, and turned to the O.  She immediately corrected me.  The following dialogue is an approximation of our very unfruitful conversation.  🙂

“I thought Oklahoma was spelled with an A,” she said.

“No, honey,” I said.  “It’s spelled with an O.”

“I saw Oklahoma on a sign when we were visiting,” she said.  “It’s spelled with an A.”

“No, honey,” I said.  “It’s spelled with an O.”

“I saw a sign where it was spelled with an A,” she insisted, because she was sure she was right, not trying to be stubborn.

“Even if you did see it on a sign,” I said, “the sign was wrong.  It’s spelled with an O.”

I’ve never had that kind of persistent argument writing a word in a word book before!  Most children just trust me, although there is a little surprise for words like awesome, hour, one, and knock.  I’m used to a chuckle as children discover the oddness of spelling some very common English words.

I’ve never been accused of intolerance for teaching children how to spell words correctly.  I’ve never even heard of a lawsuit that the spell check programs on computers are bias towards certain spellings over others!

Why?  Because we instinctively know, there is a correct way to spell a word.  I can’t spell Oklahoma any way I feel like it.  Somebody might understand what I’m saying if I spell the word incorrectly (elementary teachers become masters at reading poorly spelled words), but that doesn’t make the spelling right.  It means someone has kindly overlooked communication mistakes to try to understand the message.

God is very much this way with us.  He is very kind to invite us to come into a relationship with Him however we are.  A drunkard doesn’t have to wait to have graduated AA, and a junkie doesn’t have to have kicked his cocaine habit.  We don’t have to fix our issues with rage, lust, idolatry, gossiping, selfishness or any other sin that controls us.  We can come before God in the very moment we’re in, however He finds us, and He will receive us because He does so through the merit of His Son, not by our right standing with Him.

That part seems more easy for our culture to understand.  The next part is what has often been lost in our society.

Even though God allows us to communicate to Him despite our sin, and He receives us into relationship with Him by the surrogate of His Son, He doesn’t let us stay in our sins without movement.

I don’t want my second grade students to enter third grade spelling was as wus and went as wint and get as git and should as shud.  I don’t desire this for them, because I want them to be successful in school and in their careers.  If fifteen or so years from now they fill out a job application with common words misspelled, I know that a lot of places will be disinclined to hire them.  I also know they’ll be more likely to be hired at lower paying jobs where language skills aren’t needed.  I don’t want them to be limited by their inability to use the correct English language.

In something like the same way, God doesn’t desire for us to be wounded by sin for the rest of our lives.  He wants us to live correct (holy) lives.  His requirements and expectations might sound uncomfortable for us.  But we need to trust Him that He means them for our flourishing, not for destroying us.  We have all the evidence we need to believe in His good heart, not just through the beauty in the created world before we unleashed sin into it, but most of all through His Son, who He gave to us as the most unfathomable gift of extravagant love of all.

Some times I have children correct misspelled words that they need to start getting right.  If I don’t have them ever go back and fix their mistakes, many of them will naturally resist spelling correctly.  It’s much easier to go with their comfortable spellings.  I at times have children react with tears, frustration, unkind comments, or angrily-erased-and-torn paper when I expect them to go back and fix the basic words.

Because I am merciful, and I have an idea of where they are in their spelling, I don’t have them fix every word.  If we’re writing about porcupines and I’m working with a struggling student, I don’t have him go back and fix porcupines and quills and predators.  But I might have him fix words like because and should.

God doesn’t work with us on everything at once–and we need to remember this when we see something that personally annoys us about a brother or sister in Christ!

God does, however, consistently and persistently work on us.  He is not content to let us be anything less than perfect, because He is a good Father.  He continues to work on us in this life to get us ready for our lives in Heaven.  We call this sanctification sometimes.  It’s making us more holy (correct) like He is.

God is intolerant of sin.  As His children, He does expect us to learn the correct (holy) way to live.  He doesn’t leave us ignorant or in comfortable pockets of sin.  Resisting God’s work may bring very unpleasant results, as He is more willing to let us experience misery than to let us indulge in sin.

However, God is always gracious in how He deals with us and He never treats His children as we deserve.  I think it’s helpful to know and remember that, unlike earthly fathers, the only reason God will ever punish us as our Father is for the purpose of holiness (correctness).  He doesn’t punish us for personal satisfaction.

I am often reminded of what God desires for us when I look at the little children I teach.  Most often, their hearts are eager to learn.  Even when something doesn’t make sense to them–like why we spell ‘enuf’ as enough–they usually trust me.  And you know what?  At seven years of age, that makes things a whole lot simpler.  I can’t always explain to a seven year old how different languages impacted English, but I can help them learn to spell correctly, if they will simply remember what I write in their book.

Which of you is a wise and well-instructed man? Let him prove it by a right life with conduct guided by a wisely teachable spirit. (James 3:13, Weymouth NT)

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Clip on koala bears: not a substitute for garage door openers

Disclaimer: You might, perhaps, quite possibly, in actuals, find a few of a lot of made-up details regarding a certain koala bear and events surrounding his unfortunate evening last night.

Last night, after dropping Ben off at the place where he’s staying in Elizabethtown, I drove back to Mechanicsburg as usual, where I’m staying.  It’s about a 45 minute drive.  Sharing a car certainly seemed more romantic before we actually had to do it.  😉

I tiredly pulled in about 11:00-ish after another of what is becoming a quasi-routine experience with an angry driver on the highway.  (Note: Pennsylvanians need to have driver etiquette classes as part of their driver’s exam.  Those who do not pass should have their horn sound replaced with flute music and be required to wear a smiley face mask and wear mittens while driving.)

For the past month, I did not realize (no, I did not) that Ben has a garage door opener on his car to his parent’s garage.  Although I am staying at his parents’ house, and although I saw him use it many times, apparently in never registered.  After a couple times of trying to open or close the garage door with the keypad while he was opening or closing it from his car (with a fond-and-witty expression on his face), I at last realized and remembered that there is a garage door opener in his car that works for his parents’ house.

Last night, ready to go inside, I decided not to go the old get-out-of-the-car-and-type-the-code-in-the-keypad route.  Instead, I decided to use the garage door opener.

Now here is where there’s a bit of a sidebar story, but I think it might be worth the bit of the squirrel! moment it takes.

–I have a habit of fidgeting with things.  One such thing is the koala bear clip-on that used to be on the visor of the passenger side of the car.  It used to be there until I warned Ben that his memorabilia from Australia was going to be destroyed if I kept playing with the clip-on feature.  Rather than understandingly let me ruin his souvenir, he rudely removed it and clipped it onto the driver’s visor.–

And this brings us back to the feature story.  Ergo, instead of pressing the garage door opener, as I thought, I found myself pressing a koala bear and expecting the door to open.  I quickly (both because the door was failing to open and because the garage door opener felt awfully plush) glanced up to see Mr. I-Love-Australia-so-much-I-wear-it-backwards-on-my-t-shirt Bear not thinking kindly thoughts down on me.

Realizing my mistake, I found the garage door opener, pressed the button, and, viola!, the door opened.

(There is the slight matter of the lawsuit, but we reached agreement that if I planted a Eucalyptus tree in the backseat of Ben’s car the matter would be resolved.  Note to Ben: I hope you like the new skylight in your car. . I love you, honey.)

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As silly as the story is, do you know what it reminded me of?

Like a koala bear clip-on can’t open a garage door, trusting in just anything won’t get you to Heaven.

It’s a ridiculous thought that a koala bear clip-on could replace a garage door opener.  And it’s an even more ridiculous thought that your eternal destiny can be decided by any belief system you want.  I’d way rather risk my opportunity to get in a house on whether a souvenir works as a garage door opener . . than risk my opportunity to get into Heaven on whether my faith in ‘whatever I want’ works to save me.

It is your soul and my soul on the line.  The stakes are eternal.  I encourage you and me both to think about the belief we’re trusting in.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” (Jesus, quoted in Matthew 7:13-14, NLT)

Jesus emphasized, “I can guarantee this truth: I am the gate for the sheep. (John 10:7, GW)

If you want to make the call . .

Jesus is the only one who knows the Father’s number.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. (Jesus, quoted in Matthew 11:27, ESV)

Wrong #

I was about ten or eleven and still crazy about Happy Meal toys every time MacDonald’s did a series of plushies.

The Yellow M did a series of plushies on something like “endangered animals around the world”.  They had a turtle (with a faux leather shell!), polar bear (probably the cutest one), a monkey . . 8 of them in all.

I don’t like monkeys.  I really don’t.  But I like having 7 of the 8 items in a series even less.

I was determined to get each and every critter.

So I called up MacDonalds’ in our city.  I found out which ones had one of the animals I was missing in my collection.

I don’t know if MacDonald’s was used to getting calls from kids asking what Happy Meal toys they had, but employees at every store took my call.  Some of them knew right away which toys they had.  Others would go check.

One particular night of MacDonald’s calling, I needed the monkey plushie.  So I called different MacDonald’s and said something like, “Do you have the monkey in your Happy Meal right now?”

After some no’s (I don’t remember how many), I was getting discouraged.  And tired of asking the same question.  I decided to shorten it.  I called the next MacDonald’s and asked,

“You don’t have any monkeys, do you?”

“What??” the voice on the other end of the phone asked.

“You don’t have any monkeys, do you?” I asked again.

“Who is this?” the voice asked, sounding very confused.

I hadn’t gotten this kind of service from MacDonald’s before.  I was a bit unsettled.

I explained that I wanted to know if they had the monkey as their Happy Meal toy right now.

Turns out, I had dialed the wrong number.

I had called a woman at her house.

Very fortunately for me, she was very understanding about a kid calling her at 7-something at night or so and asking for monkeys.

The difference between calling MacDonald’s and calling a total stranger who doesn’t have monkeys is only 1 digit.  That’s it.  Dial even 1 digit wrong from the phone book, and there is no Happy Meal.

If I can’t even get one number off in the phone book and call the place I’m meaning to call . . how could I think I can dial up any god I want and wind up in Heaven?

“No one else can save us. Indeed, we can be saved only by the power of the one named Jesus and not by any other person.” (Acts 4:12, GW)

Allegiance

As an American, when I pledge allegiance to our flag, I don’t say, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and Mexico and China and France and Kenya and Canada and Germany and Australia and India and Japan and Brazil and Ghana . . .”

How could I do this?  The government and rules in each country are different.

Christians are accused sometimes of being intolerant when they pledge their allegiance only to the God of the Bible, but that’s like saying it’s intolerant to only pledge allegiance to the American flag.  Pledging to the American flag isn’t even really about intolerance, it’s about (or is meant to be about) true devotion.  With national devotion naturally comes “intolerance” to devotion to other countries.  Pledging allegiance to God–it’s the same way.

Yes, it’s “intolerant” to pledge allegiance to one God, if you believe that all religions are on equal playing ground–but who really believes that?  That in itself is it’s own religion.  That’s similar to believing I should pledge allegiance to the world, but not to any particular country.  In a way, this belief is actually “intolerant” too–because I would be refusing allegiance to any one country.

(Not to mention, I don’t think too many countries would be very accepting of that kind of devotion.  It wouldn’t be very popular in America, for example, to stand up at a baseball game and sing loudly, “O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o’er America and Iran, and Iraq and Egypt?”)

I really am devoted to God.  And with that really does come “undevotion” (a.k.a. “intolerance) towards other religions.  But that’s so natural!  Other religions have done nothing for me–why should I try to serve them equally?  And how could I, when all other religions are in complete disharmony with Christianity?

I want to serve the God who died for me.  That’s the God I’ve given my allegiance to.  Anybody else’s god . . . isn’t my god.  I can’t agree to serve that god, too–I don’t even believe there are other gods, because my Bible tells me there aren’t.  I would be a ridiculous fraud, and incredibly disloyal, to give any other religion my allegiance . . . or even my respect . . . when I have met the God who took away my sins because He wanted to remove the infinite punishment from my soul.

I’m okay with being intolerant, if that’s what serving one God devotedly means nowadays.  I’m committed to Jesus, and on Him I want to pour every offering of allegiance I have.  But there’s more than just that–I want people to be led away from false religions to the true God.  That makes me doubly intolerant, I guess, in some people’s books–but I’m not out to be good in some people’s books.  I’m out to serve the God who was willing to become human so He could die to save me.  I’m out to serve the God who can bring me into Heaven by His grace.

I don’t believe in alternate Heavens or that all paths lead to Heaven’s gates.  It’s an impossibility.  Jesus says,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (from John 14:6, NIV)

Now there are only two options: either He was right, or He was wrong.  If He was right, there is no other way to God except Jesus.  And if He was wrong, it is impossible that all ways could be right because He would be wrong.  Believing all paths lead to Heaven is a self-refuting idea.

Because I don’t believe all paths lead to God, but only the way of Jesus Christ, it’s only natural that I would want people to follow Jesus.  I don’t want to see my friends or family go to Hell.  I don’t want to see anybody go to Hell.

Here’s where the allegiance to the flag analogy kinda breaks down.  There are other countries that I wouldn’t mind people committing themselves to–like Australia, for example.  But if there was only one country that was run justly, and all other countries were tyrannical and abusive and tortured their citizens, I would long for everyone to be a citizen of the country I knew to be safe.

It’s that way with God: I long for everyone to know the true God, the living God, so that they can live eternally in His Kingdom.

I want to live my life, not in such a way that others are proud of my tolerance, but in such a way that others are curious of my devotion.  All tolerance is, really, is accepting things as okay when they aren’t. I can be tolerant of the abuse happening to women in countries run by tyrannical governments, for example, but I don’t find anything admirable in that tolerance.  In the same way, I don’t find any beauty in pretending to stand in harmony with any religion that drops people off in Hell.

I pledge allegiance to the God who sent His Son to suffer and die for my sins, and to be raised up to defeat the power of sin once and for all.  That’s my God, and He holds all my allegiance.

There can’t be any allegiance left over to give to any other “god”.  Not if I really understand the cross.

Who would have believed what we now report?
Who could have seen the Lord’s hand in this?
It was the will of the Lord that his servant
grow like a plant taking root in dry ground.
He had no dignity or beauty
to make us take notice of him.
There was nothing attractive about him,
 nothing that would draw us to him.
We despised him and rejected him;
 he endured suffering and pain.
 No one would even look at him—
 we ignored him as if he were nothing.

But he endured the suffering that should have been ours,
the pain that we should have borne.
All the while we thought that his suffering
was punishment sent by God.
But because of our sins he was wounded,
beaten because of the evil we did.
We are healed by the punishment he suffered,
made whole by the blows he received.
All of us were like sheep that were lost,
each of us going his own way.
But the Lord made the punishment fall on him,
the punishment all of us deserved.

He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly;
he never said a word.
Like a lamb about to be slaughtered,
like a sheep about to be sheared,
he never said a word.
He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die,
and no one cared about his fate.
He was put to death for the sins of our people.
He was placed in a grave with those who are evil,
he was buried with the rich,
even though he had never committed a crime
or ever told a lie.

The Lord says,
It was my will that he should suffer;
his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness.
And so he will see his descendants;
he will live a long life,
and through him my purpose will succeed.
After a life of suffering, he will again have joy;
he will know that he did not suffer in vain.
My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased,
will bear the punishment of many
and for his sake I will forgive them.
And so I will give him a place of honor,
a place among the great and powerful.
He willingly gave his life
and shared the fate of evil men.
He took the place of many sinners
and prayed that they might be forgiven. (Isaiah 53:1b-12, GNT)

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Good News Translation: Scripture taken from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

The Key

A local car dealership ran a deal where if you came down to their dealership, they would give you a key.  You would then try your key inside a brand new car, and if your key unlocked the car, you won the car.

I’ve seen kind of game since then on game shows and contests, and I bet you have, too.

I could have bought up all the keys in the country and brought them down to that dealership, but I wouldn’t have won, would I have?

I would have been disqualified, of course, for breaking the rules.  I was supposed to use only one key, the key given to me by them.  But even if they had let me use all those keys, it wouldn’t have done me a bit of good.  There was only one correct key for opening that door.

Some people, when they think about God, think He must have multiple ways of letting people get into Heaven.   They think it would be mean for there to be only one right key.   But, for just a moment, suppose we applied those expectations to ourselves.  Would I want to give everyone everywhere a key to my house?  I don’t think so.  What would be the point of having a lock in the first place?  And would I want to have no lock on my door?  Absolutely not.

Earlier I gave an example of a car dealership offering a contest to get the one right key.  Some people think God is like that dealership, handing each person a key, either intentionally giving many people one that doesn’t work, or just not caring.  The good news is, God doesn’t treat us like this!  Instead, He reveals to us the one way to enter Heaven, through Jesus Christ His Son.

God does the kindest thing possible by making it very clear that, if we choose any key that Satan would offer us rather than the key of the righteous sacrifice of Jesus, we are not going to be able to get in.

Jesus makes it clear that there is only one key: Himself.  He doesn’t hide that from us, or we would never know if we had the right key until we die.  Jesus plainly tells us so that, rather than trying a key when we reach eternity and hoping we have the right one, we can have confidence that the blood of Jesus will open Heaven’s gates.

I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; and those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this? (John 11:25b-26, GNT)

Photo by Sewing Daisies (Heidi), profile page on http://www.flickr.com/people/sewingdaisies/, website http://www.sewingdaisies.com.au/

Scripture taken from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.

Keys

Keys, keys . . . but which one?

For as long as I remember, I’ve had a fascination with keys.  I still have my first set somewhere, a teething ring with large, colorful keys.   While I’m not knocking that set, I must report I never found a door they unlocked.

Around my teenage years, my grandparents started going to garage sales, predawn, on Friday and Saturday mornings.   Since they were among those who had first choice, I asked my grandfather to be on the look-out for old keys.  One time he brought home a cardboard box filled with them—keys of all kinds!  Keys that looked like they might open cabinets or doors or perhaps even a medieval treasure chest!  We speculated about what the keys were for.

Would you think, with this box of keys at my disposal, that when I locked myself out of my car I would have no problem getting back in?

It doesn’t work that way, does it?

I could have had six rooms full of house keys and cabinet keys and, hey, even castle keys, and it wouldn’t have helped a bit at getting in my car, unless I threw one of the heavy metal keys at a window to try to break it.

Of course, here on earth we can always make duplicates of keys, because our locks are made by human hands and human minds.  There’s such a thing as skeleton keys, too.  It’s always possible to outwit human inventions in one way or another.

But when we’re talking about Heaven, there is only one key to getting there, and that’s it.  Only one.  God alone has made that lock, and there is no cleverness that can create a duplicate key, because that lock is righteousness.  We can buy up all kinds of keys to try to fit that lock—all kinds of gods, all kinds of stuff, all kinds of philosophies, all kinds of education, all kinds of intelligence, all kinds of schemes for moral goodness—but we’re not going to get in.  There’s only one key for that door.  Only one.

“I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jesus, quoted from John 14:6, Weymouth NT)

Jesus doesn’t say He is one of many ways.  He says He is the Way.  We can collect all the keys we want of our own understanding and logic and cleverness and materialism and self-worship and attempts at good works and false religions, and we can try them all at Heaven’s door, but none of them will unlock the gates.

We’re not going to get in with any key other than Jesus Christ.

Don’t wait until you are standing on the brink of eternity, fumbling among your keys for a fit, to find that out.

Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us. (Ephesians 2:18, NLT)

Photo by Taki Steve (Takacsi75), profile on http://www.flickr.com/people/13519089@N03/, website http://www.szineszkonyvtar.hu/index.php

See Copyright Page for Bible translation information.

Do all roads lead to God? Is the Bible just one of many holy books?

I’m going to call this the All-Roads Idea because ‘All-Roaders’ hope to, in theory, create a utopia of love, respect, and unity-in-diversity.  The thought being, “all roads lead to God”[1].  All-roaders believe everyone receives salvation.  The hope is that, through this inclusive vision, we will be able  to get rid of war, strife, and, really, all unpleasantness, even in this life.

But here’s something that’s not pleasant.  At all.

Is it Heaven for a Jew who was tortured to death to wake up in Heaven and be told Hitler’s coming soon?

Some people find the Christian concept of repentance-and-salvation repulsive because people who have committed horrible crimes can turn from them and receive forgiveness (there is a just reason for this, How can God let really bad people go to Heaven just because they ask for help? but the best answer of all is found in the Bible, especially in Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48 and Romans, which you can read for free here).  The idea of forgiveness for all repenters is offensive to some people.

But it is not offensive to people to believe in a god who allows everyone in, regardless of whether they even regret what they have done?

According to the all-roads philosophy, when Hitler woke up in Heaven, was he  just going to be forced to change?  Does this god we’re talking about control people like robots, so that (s)he can just zap them and make them do the right thing?  And if that’s the way it’s going to work in Heaven, why doesn’t it work that way on earth now?  Why didn’t this god just zap people on this earth so that they never would hurt anybody?

Or is it that Hilter will want to immediately change?  If this is so–that everyone will want to change and be good when they get into Heaven–then what on earth is the incentive for sharing Christ’s love and goodness now?  Why worry about any and all evil, since it needs no atonement to merit salvation?  And in that case, since there is no need for redemption from evil, evil must be acceptable, meaning that we can have no confident it will be less acceptable in Heaven than good!

Even though there is a philosophy of thought and even ‘churches’ who believe everyone reaches Heaven, let’s not go that extreme for the rest of this discussion, because I don’t think many really want to believe the above scenario is true.

Let’s just say that you have to be somewhat good to get into Heaven, but it does not matter who/what you believe in.

Let’s not even deal with the issue of what somewhat means, who would judge it, or how it would be measured.  Let’s just assume there is some way to measure this somewhat and and that something happens to people who don’t meet the somewhat standard, although we don’t know what.

We’ve still got a big, big problem.

What happens when we get to Heaven?

Will we live on little islands or planets away from each other?  Or are we all going to live in one place?  If we live in one place, what’s going to happen when people who found a particular god very offensive on earth meet that god in Heaven?  Are they suddenly going to be happy about it?  Is there going to be that robot zap thing or war or are we all just going to have this sudden sense of peace brought on by an unconscious state of mind? (It can’t be a conscious state, because in a conscious state we would have choice, and why would people who chose not to get along on earth find any motivation for doing so in Heaven?)

What about the atheist who doesn’t believe in god at all?  How is (s)he going to feel about living in a Heaven with all those gods?  Or what about the people who want to believe in only one god?  Are they going to be happy to live with everybody else’s gods as well?

What about gods who fight with each other in their own holy texts, like the Greek gods[2]?  What about gods who are known in their holy texts for being sadistic, such as Hades?  Are they going to be there, too?  What about people who worship Satan?  Is Satan going to be there?  Is Satan going to be a god?

So . . who’s actually calling order to this chaos?  Is there one head god?  If not, what keeps all these gods from killing the people in “Heaven” (not looking so heavenly, is it?) and indeed, each other?  Immortality?

That’s so not encouraging.

Somehow, the thought of being in Heaven where people are being wounded over and over again by angry, warring gods– not to mention serial killers and other psychopaths wandering loose (who, remember, can’t be zapped into changing because they would lose the free will that makes us humans and not robots) doesn’t sound so much like Heaven to me.  Actually, it sounds a whole lot like Hell, which the All-Roads philosophy does not believe in.

Let’s go back to the difficulty of somebody judging somewhat good.

When is the world going to end?  Or is it?  Will everybody’s god come down to the world at the same time?  And for what reason?  To judge it based on the somewhat standard?

Will everybody’s god be lined up on some kind of jury, and a person will walk forward, and the gods will vote and decide if that person met the somewhat standard or not?  But what if, say, there are 12 gods (and I’m really simplifying here, right?) and all 12 of the gods stick to what they’ve said in their holy texts?  Won’t they only vote for the people who obeyed them?

Let’s say a Christian walks up to be judged.  Will the Islamic god vote for him/her to get into Heaven?  I don’t think so!

And what about all the gods from ancient religions which died out who haven’t had new followers in a long time?  Won’t they kinda be in a bad mood as they make their judgments?

If the All-Roaders are right, it must be very beneficial to adopt a religion that has many gods.  The ancient Greeks, for example, would be in great shape.  On the jury, they’ll have Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon , Hestia, Athena, etc., etc., voting that they met the somewhat standard.

There will be an argument, I’m sure, by All-Roaders that I’m not being fair.

But fair by whose god?

Maybe my God thinks I’m very fair in my argument.  🙂

And what would be the proposed solution for this problem in All-Roads philosophy?  If it’s not chaos and it’s not zapping people to become robots and it’s not altering a state of consciousness, then there’s only one thing I can think of that would possibly create peace: omnipotence.

That is, there would have to be an ultimate being who ran things, who made the final decisions, and who kicked gods and people out or jailed them or knocked them unconscious or something if they disagreed with his ultimate decision about order.

So now we have one god who matters.  But you have to wonder, how ‘godly’ would the other gods be if they had to submit to this one god . . .

But, wait.

We’re back to believing in only one God.

“I am the Way,” replied Jesus, “and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

(Jesus, quoted in John 14:6, Weymouth New Testament)

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[1] I don’t know the origin of this common statement, but I got 109,000 hits for this statement on Google.  Another way to say this expression is, “All paths lead to God.”

[2] There may be all-roaders who say only some holy texts will be accepted . . . not ones, for example, that condone violence.  Does that mean only some gods will get into heaven?  And which gods do the deciding about who makes it in?  When is a text offensive or evil enough that it’s disqualified and its god kicked out?  Who’s the boss of that arduous job and with what standard will the judgment be made?  And what happens to the people who believe in the god who is kicked out?

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