I’m not a particularly devout person. I do believe there is a purity everyone seeks in whatever religious vehicle they may travel. All beliefs seem to have a “Golden Rule” which basically states the same thing in their language, and it always seems to come down to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” translated for convenience.
For the sake of this post, let’s assume everyone reading has a belief in a supreme being of your choosing, and that deity determines how you will spend the afterlife. The fantasy of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates will be used as the scenario for entry into the everlasting existence.
So, you have died, and are waiting outside the gates wanting to meet with God, and the Doorman, St. Peter, encounters you to show your identity to check against the guest list and his/her question is, “Tell me why you deserve an audience with God?” How would you answer? What qualifies us to be considered pure? Wars are fought in the name of promoting religion, which seems to be hypocritical. I would think that someone leading a good pious life is honest, peaceful, caring, sharing, etc. Not destroying people so they can convince them to go in the right direction. Once “sinners” have been eliminated, how can they learn? They’re dead.
I’m not trying to pick on any one religion for using violence to push their views. Throughout history, every organized belief has been guilty. The social mores of the era dictated what was acceptable punishment. How many people were killed because they did not believe a particular teaching? It’s not just war (The Crusades and 9-11), but torture (The Inquisition or Salem Witch Trials) and the Spanish Conquest of the New World (aka the American Holocaust), which probably qualifies as both war and torture in the cruelest demonstration of soul-saving. I’m not sure anyone can give the right answer at the Pearly Gates. It depends on the interpretation of what is good.
Your answer to St. Peter the Bouncer could be, “I’ve been good.” That might allow you to cross the rope. Then you meet God, and he/she looks you in the eye and asks, “What is good?” You stumble for an answer and mutter something like, “I’ve done unto others as I would have them do unto me.”
What does that mean? Did you give a dollar to a beggar? Did you help an old lady across the street? Did you give honest answers on your tax return with regard to charitable giving? Did you wave with a kind, rather than obscene, gesture at a person in a vehicle who cut you off? Did you give back the $5.00 the bank teller accidentally gave you over what you requested? Did you alert the clerk at the grocery store you had a twelve-pack of sodas in the bottom of the cart he/she overlooked? What is good? I’m asking you because I don’t know.
Is the answer in the “Good Book?” Which book is the “Good Book?” Every religion has one, and they all consider theirs to be the right one. I have never met a Gideon, but they have been to every hotel in the USA. You would think I would have met a Gideon at some point. Maybe they’re like the Tooth Fairy, sneaking into hotel rooms just before or after the cleaning people to stick the “Good Book” in a drawer.
Is being “good” going to your House of Worship on a regular basis? Is it confessing your sins? Michael Corleone in Godfather 3 confessed to having his brother killed, but it seems to me confessing did not make the act a “good” thing. I just don’t think professional Hit Men get through the gates just because they “got it out of their system” by telling the Priest. Maybe it is OK if it’s just one or two killings, as long as there is a long period of time between the deaths and the killer’s demise, but I can’t be sure because I’m not up on the rules. My guess is God would be somewhat less forgiving for such a blatant violation of one of the Commandments.
It’s puzzling because so many people have been killed in the name of religion that perhaps it is alright if done properly. If the killing is organized and sanctioned, then it must be “good.” The “eye for an eye” thing seems reasonable to me. I support the death penalty. Am I wrong for doing so?
Of course, there is no right or wrong answer to the question of “What is good?” I’m sure God has a chart of correct responses that allow us to pass into eternity. My concern is under pressure I may not give the right one.
Bake My Fish
3 thoughts on “If You Met God, What Would You Say?”
To answer your question about what is good or what’s God’s measure to allow you to be with eternal love? HE looks inside your heart and there is no foolin’ the Lord. and no foolin’ the heart. He can see the love or lack of it. HE knows where you are coming from. HE gets you. He knows in what spirit you have created. You can do the same evaluation, unless you are mentally ill. And for you hard core or dabbler gangsters out there…..Repentance is not found in “word” alone. The word is only the beginning.
I don’t know if I’ve gone down the right path or not…I’m sure I’d be allowed in those Pearly Gates. All I can is is that my life has NOT been boring. My younger years were filled with young excitement. I was a topless dancer in DC….that was 40 years ago!!!!Now I live alone and do ok. I got so burnt out by taking care of my husband for 32 months. But now I rest when I wanna…LOL!! And I have a cat…her name is
Sophie Page Harper. I think MY GOD would invite me in…and I’d go….
Regarding who is good, since God is pure and holy, any sin (badness, rebellion) makes you not good, just like killing one person makes you a murderer. To God, sin is sin, and thus any sin makes you a sinner. So no one is good, because we’ve all done things we shouldn’t do, as well as not doing things we should’ve done.
Since we can’t get into Heaven based on our own goodness, and the penalty for sin is death, Jesus paid the price for us when He died on the cross. That’s the only way someone can get into Heaven. There are no right words to say — we have to accept His sacrifice to get in, and that means accepting His terms and conditions.