I'm no Devil.....
Let me begin by stating categorically that, while I am not a Believer, I most certainly am neither a Bible-basher nor anti-Christian. I was born into a Christian family and had a well rounded religious education and at some point on that journey, I came to a decision about my lack of belief in both God and the Bible. If I'm wrong, so be it. I shall have to face the consequences, a circumstance that I strongly doubt but nevertheless accept as part and parcel of being a non-believer. I would never have the arrogance or audacity to state as a fact that there is no God, as I recognise that none of us, no matter how enlightened, know for certain where we came from or where we are going in the hereafter. These are the mysteries of existence that will never be solved beyond doubt in the lifetime of an individual human being. I accept them as mysteries, and see little purpose in wasting my precious time looking for answers that will not be found. Christianity is a Faith, and by it's very nature, requires Belief, not evidence. I simply do not have that belief.
Having stated my own position, I should make it clear that I have the highest respect for people who have made a similar voyage of discovery but have come to a different conclusion to mine. We live in a world where diversity of belief is as wide ranging as nature itself, and who is to say that any one theory is more grounded than any other? Many atheists tear holes in Biblical teaching, and do the same with Judaism, Hinduism, Islam et al, but you can tear holes in atheism too, so what's the point in denying others a different point of view. I'm a strong believer in religious tolerance.
Where my patience wears thin, however, is in relation to those who believe they have a right to force their opinions unto others, dogmatically insisting that their belief is the only one that matters. Which brings me to the core subject of this Hub. Baptists! In particular, one Alabama baptist who has earned himself a reputation of being one of the most obnoxious posters on several religious message sites. His name is irrelevant, but his opinions are not. He is a man who forces his views down the throats of everyone he encounters. He damns and condemns not only atheists, agnostics, pagans and believers of other faiths, but also every other branch of Christianity that doesn't match up perfectly with his individual belief. I stress that he is entitled to that belief, but not to the extent that his words and actions should have a damaging effect on others. His is a voice of hatred and angry aggression towards others, flavoured with bile and prejudice. If you think of the Baptists who have openly and disgracefully disrespected the funerals of war victims and AIDS victims, you will have a pretty clear idea of the kind of character I am describing.
Anyway, the said Baptist has been on a rant for some time now about the coming Rapture, with a belief that it will occur within the next decade, and it occurred to me, during one of his frenzied preachings, that he must have a serious problem in dealing with his grand-children. What does he, what can he, say to them about their futures, strong as he is in the belief that they won't even reach their late teens? What can it mean to a child to be told that you will have eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, but you're going to die in a few years? Well, obviously he wouldn't put it in such simplistic terms, but what comprehension can a child have of eternity when he/she hasn't even begun to understand the world into which they have already been born? Such a dilemma, and one that prompted me to consider what kind of bedtime stories the same Baptist might tell his avid little listeners. The following is a warped and somewhat humorous, I think, idea of what might be narrated at the Baptist bedside of the mystified grandchildren.
The Tale of Little Red Riding Hood
Once upon a time there was a young girl called Little Red Riding Hood, who used to take baskets of all kinds of goodies to her poor old grandmother who lived in the woods.
Now, let's just examine those facts, children. She was a little girl, and she wore red, which as we all know, is the colour of temptation, and lust, and sin.... and she used to walk through the forest all on her own, which many might actually see as a deliberate, provocative act of temptation....
Little wonder, then, that a local wolf was more than a little interested in her, and followed her every footstep, in hope of getting an opportunity to kill her and eat her. We can probably assume that the wolf is really a euphemism for Satan.
Even though God had given the little girl free will, she continually tempted fate by taking the walk through the woods, and making herself available to the wolf (Satan). This was an act of gross irresponsibility. You might argue that she was doing it out of kindness to help her aged grandmother, but why then did she have to wear the very obvious and vivid colour of sin? Why? Because she WANTED to be noticed, probably through vanity. And if truth be told, her granny was going to die soon anyway, if not by natural causes, then in the Rapture......she would of course go to hell, because she knowingly chose to live in a secluded forest, alone, where she would obviously be temptation for all kinds of perverted passers by.
Anyway, despite stalking the little girl, who really should have worn a longer skirt, and tied her hair up so that it didn't look so wild and provocative, the wolf never seemed to find the right moment to strike, and kill her and eat her. So one day, he decided to kill and eat the granny instead, and take her place in the bed and await the arrival of the extremely provocative, rather scantily clad young temptress.
Eating the granny was no big deal, because she was old and had shrunk quite a bit, and there wasn't really much of her to swallow.
Take note that when the wolf (Satan) had eaten her, he then dressed in her woolly pyjamas and got into her bed. This tells us first of all that before eating her, he obviously removed her clothes, which personally I find quite perverse. So now he had become a wolf is sheep’s clothing....the pyjamas being made of wool.... you see how the Bible warns of this?
So, eventually The little tart, Red Riding Hood, dressed in the colour of sin, arrives at the cottage, and doesn't even notice that her granny has big ears and shiny teeth and is extremely hairy, probably because she is busy looking at herself in the mirror and admiring her own beauty, and gloating at her act of charity in a pretentiously righteous kind of way. So the wolf (Satan) bites her head off and eats her.... which is how it should be, children, as the little temptress was obviously a child of Satan, and would have gone to hell pretty soon anyway.....
And the wolf lived happily ever after….. until the Rapture.
The end........ or maybe, the beginning!