Without Judgment

Now, most of you who know me know that “atheist” isn’t really the right word to cover what I believe. “Agnostic” doesn’t work either. I know what I believe. It just may not be exactly what you believe (if you believe anything… and if not, rock on). Anyhoo, I received this message on Myspace:

I’m curious as to who really believes in God on myspace?? There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in God, then repost this and title the bulletin as "best friend". if you don’t believe in God, then just ignore this. In the Bible Jesus says…"If you deny me before man, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven." Honestly how long is this gonna take…30 seconds

 This seemed like an odd request to me. I suppose because if I sent out a message that started with "I’m curious as to who doesn’t actually believe in the Christian idea of "God" on myspace" I would get flamed out of existence. Which does sort of bother me. And although I do like that it says "There is no bribe"… I don’t appreciate the barely concealed threat of "If you deny me before man, I will deny you before my Father in Heaven." So – if I DON’T acknowledge God by sending along this message then I don’t get to go to Heaven?  Since when has God been checking out Myspace for believers anyway? And the question is "who really believes in God"… it doesn’t ask "who really believes in Jesus". But the scripture quoted is what Jesus says. What if I believe in Jesus and not God?  Is that okay then?

 According to good ole Merriam-Webster, "Deny implies a firm refusal to accept as true, to grant or concede, or to acknowledge the existence or claims of." If I don’t respond to this request, is that "a firm refusal to accept as true"? Seems like a harsh punishment for not answering a chain letter.

 If you are curious, "if you deny me before man" is from Matthew 10:33 and as per the King James the full wording is "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." And it is Jesus giving the twelve disciples a prep talk before sending them out "as sheep in the midst of wolves" (Matthew 10:16) to spread his word. And I’m telling ya, Matthew 10 makes Jesus sound like a coach giving his team the hard talk before the game. So maybe he was talking a little trash to get the disciples worked up before he sent them forth into the realms of the unbelievers.

 A lot of people assume that I don’t have any faith. I do. But just not in what other people believe in. Scratch that… I just don’t believe in the same way. And why? Because of shite like this. I refuse to believe that God and/or Jesus would be so fucking petty. Seriously – don’t they have better things to do? Because if they don’t, I have a list I would like them to get started on… and not just for me. For all of us.

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