Sunday, August 28, 2011


What if you found out that everything you were ever told about Heaven was wrong? 

What if instead of streets of gold, and big, white thrones and pearly crowns, you got up there and the place was covered in nothin’ but Christmas lights and pink flamingos and huge, orange, leather bean bag chairs, because (as it turned out) God happened to PREFER bean bag chairs to thrones?   

Would you still want to go?

And what if there were people up there, who you knew SHOULDN'T be there, but who WERE there somehow anyway; all scrubbed up and nice and clean and forgiven just like you?  Who instead of singin church songs all day, spent all eternity playing’ board games, and listenin’ to Polka music, and tellin’ knock-knock jokes, while passin' around a big 'ole bucket of Carmel Corn?

Would you feel cheated?  Would you want to complain?

And what if you met Jesus and instead of being that nice, tall, sexy, blond haired, blue eyed guy in the white robe and red sash, he looked more like the guy working at the 7-11 store; and was short, and fat, and had a receding hair line, and a hairy back, and dirty clothes, and smelled like a goat, and had bad teeth, and a slight lisp and stuttered?

Would you still tell people you loved him, and put his picture up in your church, and see his face in slices of burnt toast?

And what if you found out that the religious book you love so much wasn’t at all what they told you it was, and wasn’t written by who they said it was, and was NEVER ONCE intended to be used the way they said to use it, because it wasn't trying to say what you they told you it was trying to say?   

Would your life suddenly spin out of control, send you runnin’ naked through the streets, yellin’ like a maniac, burning down buildings and killing puppies? 

And what if you found out the world really WAS 4 billion years old, and Adam and Eve really DID evolve from a sea pig, and instead of being arbitrary punishments for arbitrary sin, hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes really WERE just naturally occurring weather patterns that happened every day on this planet, regardless of what evil anybody did or how hard anybody prayed? 

Would you freak out and suddenly become a different person?  Would you start treating people like stray dogs; breakin' into houses and stealin' their TVs; and callin' old ladies nasty names?

What if EVERYTHING you ever THOUGHT you knew about God and Heaven and the Bible and the Church and the Universe, and FRIED CHICKEN turned out to be wrong? 

Would you try to ignore the facts and keep on believin' the way you always had, livin' in your own safe, little, fantasy world, because (as it turned out) you happened to PREFER fantasy to truth?

Or would you for once - just once - try to leave your preconceived, life-long, never-challenged notions  about God and the Bible and the Church and the Universe behind, and take a fresh, hard, honest look at those things?

Whatever the cost, wherever the road led, would you try to look at those things as clearly as you could, as honestly as you could, as bravely as you could, and just open yourself up to whatever truth was really there, knowing that the truth really WILL set you free? 

Or do you not believe him when he says...

“If you look for me wholeheartedly,
you WILL find me.”
- Jeremiah 29:13

As together we stand and sing.