Deathbed Conversions and Gumball Machines

If you haven’t read my previous Happy Monday post, please do, this one will make a whole lot more sense.

I know exactly how that stupid vending machine made it into the front of my store.

During the conquest of the Americas many missionaries were sent out to “civilize” the savages and bring them religion.  Some of the native people really went for the Jesus thing, some gave it lip service to save their butts, and some didn’t buy into any of it.

But as some folks who were less than impressed by Christianity approached death, they would ask to see the priests and convert moments before expiring. While this pumped up the stats of the church, I’m guessing that most of the deathbed converts were merely hedging their bets on the afterlife.

It does make sense to cover all of your bases.  The Pagan Gods tended to be forgiving of their peers, and only asked that they be paid tribute in the areas they were responsible for.  Even when the Christian God laid down the law, he asked only that no other Gods go before him.  So waving the spiritual giant foam finger at the Christian God in final overtime probably made a whole lot of sense.

While the Pagan Gods still have their followers, most folks are more into the things that have replaced them these days.  You know, money, success, standing in the community, doing your own thing.  Even though most folks don’t have a God for these things anymore, they tend to ignore the Christian God in order to pursue them.  I don’t think they think much about it, until they fear that their soul might be in some peril.  All in all, the number of deathbed conversions hasn’t suffered much over the years.

I’ve always found deathbed conversions to be ass kissy and tacky.  I’m perfectly willing to go into the great beyond with all of my doubts worn honestly.  I’m not going to beg to be invited to a party that I’m not dressed for.

I’m guessing that it’s mainly fear that motivates last minute conversions.  I’m sure they see it as fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of eternal damnation.  Legitimate fears I suppose, if you believe in that kind of thing. I have a hard time thinking a last minute apology is ever going to make up for all the stuff that leads to those fears, but some still try.

Even waiting until the last minute, presumably after all your deeds are behind you, can still lead to trouble.  These things aren’t exempt from the no good deed goes unpunished clause.  Attempts at getting the Lord on your side can complicate things with the very folks you fear you’ve hurt, that lead to all this ass kissing in the first place.

Take orphans for example.  Helping them out would seem to be a good way to get back in good with the man upstairs.  And as long as you really don’t have to do anything, well more is the better.  No need to check anything out, just do your good deed and get spiritual brownie points. Easy.

Well, maybe not.

While spiritual matters are mainly the concern the individual and whatever God they are working with, I think that how ones actions effect others probably come into play.  I’m certain not even thinking about how your actions will effect others come into play.  That might even earn you demerits.

I have no doubt that this is a difficult thing to understand for those who see everything in black and white, or good and evil, but it’s something to think about.  Thinking about things is hard, some just won’t go to the trouble.  That makes me sad and explains the gumball machine.

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