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New blog name and an explanation

2012/02/29

The original title of this blog, Ace of Sevens and the Heart of Clubs, was chosen because I had to pick something before I could start blogging and I wanted to get to it. It wasn’t that great. After a bit of thinking, I updated a name I came up with a while back, but never did anything with beyond naming a Diablo II character.

Most religions want you to follow some rules or do some stuff or master secret knowledge. Not so with Evangelical Christianity, which is big on salvation by grace. This means all you have to do is tell Jesus you accept him into your heart and you’re sorry for that bad stuff you did. While this is an excellent sales point, it presents a problem. It’s like selling insurance with no waiting period for claims. Why should anyone go to church, tithe and help out with all the evangelism and other church stuff if they can live a lifetime of gambling and hookers followed by a deathbed conversion if they are going to end up in heaven all the same? There are two solutions to this: One is to tell people that by doing good works on Earth, they are scoring brownie points with God, which can be redeemed for upgrades in heaven. A deathbed conversion gets you into heaven, but you live in a tin shack. It’s cool, because the weather is nice year round, but a lifetime of service to God gets you a crystal mansion with gold floors and a slate shower. This is theologically problematic because a class system doesn’t sound very heavenly and Biblical support is weak. Also, it makes your revival meetings sound even more like supplementary insurance sales conferences.

The other option is to tell people they may miss their chance for a deathbed conversion. This is usually presented as, “What if tomorrow you get hit by a bus?” If you get killed before you know what’s happening, there;s no last minute penance and you go to hell. This hypothetical bus is the main high-pressure sales tactic of Christianity. It’s the reason you must buy now instead of waiting until your husband gets home, talking it over and calling back next week. It also means divine justice is largely dependent on luck, but why would you pass up this amazing opportunity that may not be available tomorrow?

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