I am much saddened that people are still sending chain e-mails which are often
sensational and sadly, basically untrue. I really appreciate internet places like Truth
and Fiction or Snopes where I invariably am able to discredit them. One I recently
received was called "Mocking God." I read it with interest but yet with a great deal of
sadness if any of it was true.
While some of the people mentioned in the e-mail may probably have said some
very un-Christian or unwise remarks - casting God in an unfavorable light, I think
saying that they were mocking God is perhaps a bit harsh. I also do not see God as
punishing them for this with untimely deaths. And, of course, my first clue about the
validity of this e-mail should have been - beware- it's a chain letter. It said that if we
were to send to 8 people that day, we could expect a miracle the next day. Maybe one
time many years ago when chain letters first started, I may have been so gullible as
to believe in something like this, but thank God no more. (If interested in reading
"Mocking God," it is on the Internet.)
Truly, I laugh at the simplicity and stupidity of anyone believing a chain letter. I replied
to the person who sent this to me telling them that my God does not dispense miracles or
punishments in this way. As for the promised miracle if we would forward this e-mail,
God expects us to rather pray for our needs instead of forwarding e-mails. Personally,
as for miracles, I don't always expect a positive answer from God and I understand why.
Certainly God know what's best for us. Yes, I can already hear unbelievers yelling -
why doesn't He stop wars? Why doesn't He stop hunger? We forget I think that to do
so, He would be taking a precious gift from us - our free will. All the answers are
within our scope and power to address if we but have the will.
Recently, I prayed that the church where I was baptized be not closed because of
dwindling membership and expenses. God answered my prayers. He said No. St.
Gregory's Byzantine Church was closed on Dec. 11, 2011. I still love God despite this
because I know that He certainly loves me and all the rest of us. It is impossible for
Him to answer all our prayers in a positive way without jeopardizing that precious gift
of free will.
This week 60 Minutes featured Harold Buffett - the rich man's son. Surprisingly, this
man loves farming and is not adverse to turning over the soil. He uses some of the
profits of his huge farm to feed the poor. His father is another wonderful "rich" man
who never coddled his children. He also donated a vast sum to the Gate's Foundation
to help the impoverished people they are helping. Here is a rich man who is using his
riches for good. Here is a rich man who is using his gift of free will to do good and to
teach his children to do good. Here is a rich man who believes indeed that he should
be paying more in personal income taxes. Here is a rich man who, in my opinion, will
not have the problems of other rich people who Jesus once said will have more difficulty
in getting to heaven than does the camel going through the eye of a needle. ( This
"eye of a needle" reference refers to a low gate in Palestine which is almost impossible
for a camel to pass under.)
John Lennon was supposedly one of the mockers of God. Yes, he did say something
which most of us consider incredibly stupid and uncalled for by saying that the Beatles
were greater than Jesus Christ. However, I doubt that any of us connected this
faux paux with his having been shot later on by Hinckley. I don't believe that God
exacts punishment from us in this life.
Marilyn Monroe was another one accused of mocking God. Supposedly, on one
occasion, Billy Graham approached her after a performance and asked to speak with
her about God. According to this account, after listening to him, she is supposed to
have responded to Rev. Graham - I don't need your God.
I'm so glad that an investigator on Truth and Fiction contacted the Billy Graham
Foundation in this regard and they replied it never happened.
Even though Marilyn Monroe was never a favorite of mine, I was still glad that her
name was not connected to this sad e-mail mocking God. I hope all the other references
will be discredited as well, though I also hope that if they said anything disparaging
re God, that they had time to be contrite and been forgiven. Other than that, we don't
know the extent of God's great mercy and hope that each one received it.