Sunday, December 19, 2010

A parable...

This morning I was reading a book I wrote several years ago, for lack of anything else to do while waiting for the sun to rise. An incident caught my attention, which I had alluded to but downplayed in the book. Digging out a Bible, I looked up the passage and yep, it was just a ridiculous as I remembered.

1 Kings 20
35And a certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him.

36Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him.

I pictured this scene: Two guys are in Hell, boiling in their daily bath of acid heated to the point of live steam. One guy says to the other, “What you in for?”

“Are you kidding?” says the second guy, “I was Attila the Hun, man! I raped and pillaged my way through all Asia and half of Europe. I sacked entire cities, put whole populations to the sword! I raped cattle and stampeded women!” He leaned back against a blistering rock, smiling reminiscently. “God, I had fun!”

He looks back at the first man. “How about you? What did you do?”

“Oh, I refused to hit a holy man on the head with a rock.”

Attila is shocked. “Just that? How does that buy you Hell?”

“Flay me alive if I'm lying. No, wait – that's Thursdays.”

“Seriously? You didn't do anything else? Littering, maybe?”

“Nope. Guy was a friend of mine, too. Just outa the blue, he walks up and demands I give him a wound. Never did say why. Well, I figured he'd been out in the sun too long, and told him no. Next thing I know a lion's tearing my throat out, and here I am.”

Attila shakes his head, impressed. “Wow. Sucks to be you.”

“Tell me about it.”


Ken Hagler said...

That sounds about right for Christianity.

I've found that, for some reason, Christians I've talked to always assume that if they could convince me their god existed I would just automatically worship it the way they do. They pretty much freak out when I explain that, as a civilized person born in the 20th century, I consider their god to be irredeemably evil, and if I actually believed in it I'd be trying to kill it, not worship it...

Jac said...

This would be Judaism, actually. Old-school Judaism...

Joel said...

A little of both, really. The story's from old-school Judaism, but the concept of fiery hell is pure Catholicism - not that the Protestants can't work it. The old Hebrew stories don't always make a lot of sense, but give them credit where due - they didn't invent hell.