Malachi, Natalie, Joyce discussed on The Thinking Atheist


Room before the doctor did what doctors do and knocked you out and dropped a scope down your esophagus and then prescribed 12 weeks of medications and diet changes. It was Jesus bumped somebody with a name tag and a white coat. Or scrubs over to your chair just a little bit early. I mean, what is the standard for divine intervention? I was tempted to say, in a strong field, that's the stupidest thing I've heard so far in 2023. But I didn't do it. Because I've been working on myself. I've been working on me. Well, I hope you're okay. Let me know if you need anything and I hung up. So the next night, I'm sitting up in bed with Natalie. It's about 9 o'clock, and I feel my phone vibrate. Oh, look. Oh, joy of Joyce. It's a text from my mother. And I immediately regretted unblocking her number. Why do I do this to myself? But honestly, I found it, there was utility in seeing how she had said what she had said. And I'll tell you, because I think it's a window into much of what we face when dealing with religious families, and it's an object lesson, I think, might be relevant to you, she said something weird and cryptic about how the book of malachi, malachi, says something about how the atheist is going to face destruction. That was weird. I couldn't really make too much sense of it, but the final four words of the text from my mother are what struck me. She said, I am your mother. Just stuck it out there. It was just like it was its own paragraph kind of thing. So I sat down and started that process. I typing out a paragraphs, and then I thought, no, no, so I wiped it out and I started again, started again. I must have mashed it for an hour. And finally, I just called her. Hey, mom, I got your text. What exactly are you trying to say? Well, I know you say you're an atheist. Just like that. I know you sang. Urinate this? Well, the Bible says here that the atheist is going to face destruction. My first inclination, of course, is to go thermonuclear Natalie's waiting for it, she's 5 feet from me, but I tried out a little street epistemology, mostly for my own amusement, and to see how it would play out, right? And so I said, well, can you help me understand what that looks like? If I'm going to be destroyed, what does that mean? Will I be annihilated in physical form or will I be cast off into the cosmos to live forever in darkness or is it temporary? I mean, what do you think destruction means for me? And I really felt like it was the first time she'd ever been asked to qualify it or consider it. It's one of those punch words. The center will be destroyed. But what does that really mean? And I could feel her working it out. Well, you won't be in heaven with Jesus. Okay, well, I get that. So I'm going to be destroyed. But what does that look like? She hemmed and hawed, and then I quoted that verse out of the New Testament. Depart from me. You who are cursed into a Lake of everlasting fire. Mom, the New Testament says I'm going to spend eternity burning and screaming and writhing in great pain. Do you hold to that verse out of the Bible? No, I think that that is wrong. I think that was a mistranslation. Okay, all right. You realize this is the translation used by the vast majority of the world's major religions, from the Southern Baptist to the assembly of gods. I mean, they're preaching literal hell. Well, I think that they have missed understood what the authors originally intended and that's just not theologically correct. It's the translation is wrong. All right, well, what's the right translation? What translation got this right, mom? Well, a lot of people like the new schofield reference Bible. My face gives it away. Natalie's looking at me and I'm just like, a lot of people say, okay, well, a lot of people say, mom, how do you know that it's the schofield reference Bible that is more accurate? And where do you? Well, you know, when you're a believer, the Holy Spirit guides you. But the Holy Spirit is guiding the Southern Baptist in the assembly. I mean, they're all saved, so the Holy Spirit, and if I'm not a believer, I don't have the Holy Spirit, but I'm supposed to accept the claim of the Bible, but I need the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible. Well, how do I understand it to accept it? She's over there like, totally tilt. I am not losing my mind. I have not raised my voice. I'm just sort of amused and asking questions. Hey, mom, why do you think of billions of people are reading in the wrong message that Jesus hasn't come down here to correct the record? You know, we got preachers behind the podiums all around the world. They've all got it wrong. Why do you think Jesus would allow everybody to get it wrong? The other side of the line. Just a lot of hemming and hawing. I don't even remember what the non answer was. And then the final, the big guns. How many times over the last how many ten years have I asked you not to do what you're doing, not to interject in this way? No more naming and blaming and shaming, no more sermons. We've been down this road and I drew a line and you have crossed the line. How many times have you crossed it? And so I framed it like this. I said, either you don't understand what I'm saying or you are purposefully

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