Monday, November 9, 2009

God's Choice

Charles may well have been gravely ill but he was always cheerful, helpful, and energetic. He spent a great deal of his time reading and writing in his journal. He talked to the other residents and occasionally spoke to me but he seems to be more concerned with his writing.

One day, he came to me and said, "I think that I figured it out. People say that they are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu but what does God think about it? Does anyone ever wonder whether God accepts what people say they are. I have been wondering about that. If you ask someone what religion they are, they will tell you but I wonder if God accepts them."

This was really deep and I wasn't sure how to stay in this conversation without offending Charles or saying anything stupid. His idea was interesting and I did want to know more.

"Every religion was its own set of rules and laws. If someone says they are Christian but steals from his neighbors, cheats on his wife, and doesn't live by the rules, does God accept him as a Christian? A person can call themselves anything they want but it only matters if God believes in him. If a person says they are Muslim but tortures people, kills them, and only accepts one type of Muslimisn, does God accept him as a Muslim? Maybe God rejects them even if they don't know it. You can't be some thing if the head doesn't accept you. If you say you are Jewish and don't keep the laws, are you really Jewish? You can't be in a religion if you don't obey the laws."

"God has a set of rules and laws for every religion and if you don't obey them, then maybe God doesn't accept you either. I think that it makes God angry when we do bad stuff and say that we are doing it in his name. That is when he casts us out. I believe that God loves us but he doesn't accept us when we don't obey his word.. He rejects us no matter what we call ourself.

I think God will forgive someone if he thinks about his ways and then tries to live up to the way it is supposed it be. I think that God will forgive us and take us back. People take God for granted. They think that He lives by our rules and we can do anything and still be in His church. I don't think that is true. I think you have to live by God's message. If you don't he won't keep you.

I don't know if this is true but it is what I believe." Charles went back to his journal and we never talked about this again but I have never forgotten our conversation.

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