It's been an extremely hot and dry summer here in Georgia, as it has elsewhere around the country.
I've noticed several of the local Protestant churches around here have taken advantage of the heat wave to try to scare up, literally, old and new members who have probably been spending their Sundays at the lake or pool.
One local church's marquee has read for several weeks: "Hot enough for you? Try Son Block." Truly a stupid attempt at a pun.
Another church's sign shouts out: "You just THINK it's hot here!" Obviously, a reference to that pesky, humid, dry-roasted feeling you'll get when you go to Hell.
Last night, driving home along the Interstate, a truck pulling a trailer carrying a race car passed me. Emblazoned across the back of the race car was this loving Christian message: "JESUS: BELIEVE OR BURN!"
What the hell (pardon my language) is wrong with these fundamentalist types, that the only way they can find to express their Christian love is by trying to scare you with a mythological place of eternal torture? Where's the love their Savior exhibited? Where's the compassion for the weak and the downtrodden, the sense of community, the grace of God?
Religion should make you feel warm and fuzzy, or at least noble and spiritual, not fearful. It should help bring out the best in a person. Don't you have a better reason to believe in your Jesus than that it supposedly gives you a Get Out of Hell Free card?
Update, Wed. Sept. 12: Most of the references to "hell" by Jesus used the Greek word "gehennah," which actually referred to the burning trash pit outside the city. One poor fellow recently experienced the "fiery pit" in Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian city on the Red Sea. While walking in an area formerly used as an animal market, he sank into "soil" that left him with second and third degree burns. Toxic waste was ruled out; what he sank into was animal waste, which as it decays produces scalding temperatures and diphosphane gas that can spontaneously combust.
Image: Though this graphic was made using ChurchSignGenerator.com, it is representative of the type of messages seen on local church marquees around the country this summer
Christians | Christianity | Church Signs | Hell | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com