We’ll persuade them that they’ll only become free when they renounce their freedom to us and submit to us. Shall we be right or shall we be lying? They’ll be convinced that we’re right, for they’ll remember the horrors of slavery and confusion to which Your freedom brought them. Freedom, free thought, and science will lead them into such straits and will bring them face to face with such marvels and insoluble mysteries that some of them, the fierce and rebellious, will destroy themselves; others, rebellious but weak, will destroy one another; while the rest, weak and unhappy, will crawl fawning to our feet and whine to us, “Yes, you were right, you alone possess His mystery, and we come back to you… save us from ourselves!’’
This is from The Tale of the Grand Inquisitor. I think of this whenever I see Mormons, Evangelicals, or Pentecostalists. They don’t want God’s real freedom and true presence… instead of the Living Lord Christ, they prance around their idol of Jayzuss. Pitiful, isn’t it?
Once upon a time, there was a peasant woman, and a very wicked woman she was. She died, and didn’t leave a single good deed behind. The devils caught her and plunged her into the lake of fire. So, her guardian angel stood and wondered what good deed of hers he could remember to tell to God. He said, “She once pulled up an onion in her garden, and gave it to a beggar woman”. God answered, “You take that onion, then, hold it out to her in the lake, and let her take hold and be pulled out. If you can pull her out of the lake, let her come to Paradise, but if the onion breaks, then the woman must stay where she is”. The angel ran to the woman and held out the onion to her, saying, “Come, take hold, and I’ll pull you out”, and he began cautiously pulling her out. He had almost pulled her right out, when the other sinners in the lake, seeing how she was being drawn out, began catching hold of her to be pulled out with her. However, she was a very wicked woman and she began kicking them. “I’m to be pulled out, not you. It’s my onion, not yours”. As soon as she said that, the onion broke. The woman fell into the lake, and she is burning there to this day. The angel wept and went away.
Yes, our good deeds CAN save us… but only if we’re willing to “share” them. What does that tell you about “rugged individualism” and “looking out for Number One?” As a friend of mine said:
There are constricted and damaged souls who’d actually rather pay more for their healthcare, as long as they wouldn’t have to pay for anybody else’s. Then, there are others, whose souls are like are a pair of open arms, who’d pay more for healthcare if it meant that everyone would have coverage.
The first sort is like the woman who refused to “share” her good deed… they are cursed of God. The second sort is like the angel, “how can I save her?” There’s no comparison, is there? DO grasp the onion… and if someone grasps at you, help them up…