Where is the problem?

SATURDAY, 8 NOVEMBER 2014

I noticed a meme in my Twitter feed today of a young girl clutching a Bible. The overlaid text said:

GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH … THAT HE CREATED HELL … JUST IN CASE YOU DON’T LOVE HIM BACK

It made me think: I know what my opinion is on the matter, but how do people who self-identify as Christian respond when they see something like this?

Suppose a person who doesn’t know much more of the Christian religion other than that it is one of the Big Three says to a person who identifies as Christian: “Tell me about your faith. Explain the basics to me – the story, if you want.”

I believe if this scene is repeated with ten, or 20, or 100 people, it’s simply a matter of time before someone would say: “Hold on! What you’re saying is that God loves me, but He created hell to punish me just in case I don’t love Him back?” And this person would be most sincere in asking this. He or she won’t be trying to be funny or difficult! For this person it will be a logical conclusion to the story they were told and to the principles that were explained to them.

What would be the reaction of the person who lives and thinks and talks as a “Christian”, and who sees him- or herself as a member of that particular religious community? Would they say that something was explained incorrectly? Would they say the other person misunderstood the whole story, or that they were not listening properly? Would they apologise and give the person a name and phone number of a different Christian who is known for being good with explaining things that others easily misunderstand?

______________________