If you are easily offended please do not read the following. If you are not open minded and tolerant DO NOT READ THIS:
LORD PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL.
The Baptist preacher came to visit my father today. After much talking, he asked my dad if he was saved and my dad said no. NO? Dad told him he went to church and had been a member of Emmas Grove Baptist Church since he was a child. Daddy told him he liked gospel music. He told my dad that being a good man wasn't good enough. That living a "Christian" life was not GOOD ENOUGH TO GET HIM INTO HEAVEN. He told my 83 year old daddy that he would not be going to heaven when he died if he didn't take care of that. He told my sweet sickly father that basically the fires of all hell and damnation were waiting just outside the door.
Now perhaps I am going straight to HELL on a luge, but.....WHO DOES THIS GUY THINK HE IS? My father is a very sick man, he is scared enough and this mortal man is judging that my father will not be going to heaven? When did he get that power bestowed upon him?
I guess the good news is my father accepted Jesus Christ as his personal saviour in our livingroom with the preacher. He then told him that he should really be baptized, but that he would be okay without it. But that they could do it even with Dad in the chair, of course he would have to come to the church to the "dunking pool"...I kid you not.
He made my daddy cry and talk about what a sinful life he had led. Now, he was in the Navy for 36 years, and he was in WWII, and Korea. He had seen too much action to be eligible to fight in Vietnam. The list of battles he was involved in was pretty impressive for a Navy man. I am sure he saw some really horrible things and maybe even had to do some.
He grew up dirt poor in NC with his mother. He had a really hard life. Very hard life. He and my mother were married for over 50 years. They loved each other and raised 3 kids. When he retired from the Navy he managed the clubs on the base and gave seminars on stuff like cost control and such. He always lived his life in such a way that people respected him, his word was his bond. People loved him, they were loyal to him and he to them.
My daddy actually said to this preacher "That's probably why I haven't been able to get better. I have prayed to God, but he hasn't been listening because I'm not saved." AND THE PREACHER SAID YOU ARE PROBABLY RIGHT.
So, let me get this straight......God only listens to people who believe exactly the way that you believe? And living a good life, taking care of others, loving people and being a good human being....just doesn't matter at all.
I am so wound up right now I could spit nails and I am just incredulous that this happened. I didn't go in there at all because I knew I would either say too much and embarrass my dad and our family friend who brought the preacher over or if I sat there and was polite and smiled I would have probably had an anyeurism!
Let me apologize to any one who this offends, but I will not apologize for how it made me feel.