THIS I BELIEVE
I recently had an argument with a friend I should have avoided. I started by saying, “I can’t believe the Republican Party says it’s the Christian party. Christianity is about loving your neighbor and helping your fellow man. Welfare, Medicaid, and Social Security, programs Democrats support and Republicans abhor, are consistent with this charge. However, the Republican mantra of cutting taxes and social programs making it easier for the wealthy to keep their money and harder for the poor to survive is contrary to Christianity.”
“Murdering innocent babies, which Democrats support and Republicans abhor, is also contrary to Christianity,” my friend sardonically replied.
He then told me he had accepted Christ as his personal savior and how shortly after that seminal moment he had gotten a great new job. “God’s plan for me included that job,” he proudly stated.
“I have no problem with God,” I replied, “My problem is with the way religions portray God. Take for example, Jesus saying No one comes to the Father except through me. If that is true, God has barred millions of people who don’t have access to Christianity from ever having a shot at the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s not fair now, is it?”
My friend addressed each of my points and as he did, I became increasingly frustrated with his condescending attitude. His theme seemed to be, I’m going to heaven and you aren’t, so there isn’t really anything you can say here that matters.
Finally, at wit’s end, I exclaimed, “I don’t know about your God and his plan. All I know is that I believe in my wife and my son!”
I believe in my wife and son. That wasn’t a conclusion I’d previously formulated before I said it, yet it broke from somewhere deep within at a decisive moment. It was a strange thing to say . . . or was it? It’s certainly true. After 15 years of marriage, my wife still makes me smile and the anticipation of spending time with my 5-year old son renews me every day. Heaven may or may not be in my future, but every day something close to it is attainable through them.
Blessed are those with the great privilege of living with someone they believe in. I have been fortunate in this regard. When I was growing up, my father and mother were splendid people I deeply respected. However, some are not so lucky. There are two things in life you can’t control, who your parents are and who you fall in love with. If those key people are more bad than good, or even worse, pure evil, then surviving life can be difficult. But if the people closest to you are sources of happiness, inspiration, and amazement, they can help overcome most any adversity life may throw your way. This constant wonder at the beauty of the good people I’m so very close to, it is in this that I believe.
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