Thursday, December 17, 2009

How Good Is Good Enough? by Andy Stanley

How Good Is Good Enough? by Andy Stanley

A good friend of mine that is very devout gave me this hoping to change my opinions about religion. He didn’t succeed, but I appreciate having people in my life that obviously care. I also love that we continue to be friends despite our very different beliefs. Stanley attempts to make the case here that “Good people don’t go to heaven. Forgiven people go to heaven.” This is exactly the sort of holier-than-thou thinking that irritates me about religion. Fairness—to me, anyway—would say that a “good” person would go to heaven and an “evil” person would not, regardless of asking God for forgiveness.

If there truly is only one heaven, is it really fair to deny admittance to a good person that honestly believed in Buddhism where there is no eternal soul? I certainly don’t think so. This system also seems to imply that heaven won’t accept you until you are aware enough to ask for forgiveness. My brief stint in Catholic school taught me a lot of rituals that I didn’t come close to understanding—and introduced me to my first bully. “Christianity is the fairest possible system in a world that is irreversibly unfair.” We both said the same things and were assured forgiveness. Clearly neither the bully nor myself understood what we were asking, but we did ask. The Buddhist didn’t, but he is the one left out. How is that fair?

Another line that particularly upset me: “And don’t make the mistake of lumping the disciples of Christ in with all the fine individuals who have given their lives for causes through the ages.” I guess in the eyes of the Lord we are all equal, except for the original disciples who are better than the rest of us. A willingness to die for a belief is a powerfully admirable trait, but you aren’t going to convince me that a soldier that lays down his life to protect his friends and country, or the firemen and policemen that rushed to the Twin Towers on 9/11 are somehow less worthy than someone that simply happened to be one of the first of many to be persecuted due to a belief in Christ. I find that flat-out offensive, and proof of the arrogance that pervades organized religion.

First Sentence:
The story is told of a Sunday school teacher whose assignment was to explain to the six-year-olds in his class what someone had to do in order to go to heaven.

No comments:

Search This Blog