God Will Accept Me
Even Without a Membership Card
I was born to a Jewish father and a Roman Catholic mother. I was frequently asked the question, "What are you?" I would respond, "half Jewish, half Irish." The child would look perplexed, and ask me if I believe in Jesus. My response: "Why is that important?" Then I would be told, in a matter-of-fact manner, that I needed to accept Christ as my savior, or burn in Hell. Kind of rude to tell someone they are going to burn in Hell. I would try to redirect the conversation to this question: "Why is salvation based solely on belief?" If God is a loving God, and He is in my heart, He knows I lead a righteous life, and He will accept me, regardless of whether I have signed a membership card. "Well, leading a good life is important to God, but if you don't accept Him, He will reject you." That doesn't make sense to me. If God loves me, He knows me, He knows I am good, and that's all that matters. Then the conversation would inevitably break down. I was going to burn in Hell. But up till then I was always welcome in their home. Absurd. Accept me or burn. That is not love; that is arrogance.
Where I come from, we don't care about your beliefs. We want to know how you live. Words don't matter. We want to see action. The irony of the New Testament is that religion was instantly made user-friendly. Forget about following God's law, just believe in Him, and you will be saved. Kill someone, no problem, confess and be forgiven. What hypocrisy. The notion of original sin is an insurance policy into Heaven. Try to be nice if you can, but remember, God forgives. No wonder Christmas Mass is found to be lacking in warmth. Pray, turn to your neighbor, shake his hand, and head home. Religion and faith should be practiced in the community with others. The notion of a personal relationship with God is another way of telling a person that it's not what you practice, it's what you believe. Other people are not important. It is just you and God. While some portions of the world came to the rescue of Jews, some Christians practiced their faith by praying for the souls of dead Jews. Faith and goodness, or hypocrisy? The last person who told me she was a Good Christian stole $7,000 from me. Jesus may forgive her. I will take longer. Until you have been betrayed, you don't know what hurt means. Don't tell me what you believe, show me. I will show you how I practice life, and perhaps we shall be friends. That's how I celebrate life.