Again, no arguments, but a few questions.
I'd like to thank everyone for helping reinforce my original point.
Suppose I was bigoted towards a certain cultural group. Somewhere, there is a festival held over a weekend celebrating this group. Certainly, I have no intention of attending this event. Why would I? I can't stand the group. However, if a certain newspaper published an article covering it, would I be justified in commenting on it? How about mentioning how horrible it was? What if I began taunting the group involved?
This leads me to my first question.
XGSBoss, you mentioned that atheists were saving lives. How so? This implies that religion is inherently evil, but I don't see how any belief system that focuses on making moral choices can do anything but benefit society. What do you or anybody else stand to gain from trying to steer a Christian, Taoist, Muslim, Pastafarian, or whatever from their beliefs?
LibDem, "most" is the keyword. The minister is not looking forward to the same Monday Night replay for all eternity. I'd enjoy it regardless of any precognition. Can't think of anybody who wouldn't. Can you?
PacoBongers, I agree. Have you read David Platt's Radical? He covers the topic pretty thoroughly in an easily read book. Shouldn't be more than a weekend read if you decide to look into it.
Hope everyone had a fun night of Trick or Treating!
I'm so sorry to read that Rickaroo. I see that you opened this article with an opinion already formed, and I can do little to change that.
I on the other hand, came here to see if anybody else who attended had commented, and I was disappointed when those who did not witness it themselves were condemning it.
It is easy to call me weak-willed or afraid of death. It is easy to call my beliefs primitave and absurd. But why? What purpose does that serve other than trying to try to justify your own beliefs? And why would you need to do that if you're so certain?
I will leave it at that, as I have more important things to take care of than online arguments. If anybody would like to discuss the matter further, however, I would be more than happy to make myself available.
As somebody who went through more than once (it was that powerful), I wonder if any of those condemning it attended over the past week, including Ms. Garrett.
The message was not of fear, but of love. We are reminded between scenes that Jesus commanded us to love our enemies as well as our friends (Luke 6:32-33). Unfortunately the youth with which Russ associated did not show him this love, instead shunning him and taunting him about his family's sordid past. After the tragic loss of his grandmother, the only person left in this world who loved him, he took his own life. At no time is his sexuality questioned, the conclusion which XGSBoss seems all too happy to assume.
Unfortunately, Russ had rejected Christ's love, and we were shown the consequences of his decision. Yes, that involved Hell, and, yes, this scene was intense. However, everyone was given the option of skipping this scene in advance. Nobody was forced through this. Scare tactics were not the intention; we were only shown both sides of a story. Russ's side, unfortunately, was the sadder of the endings.
However, immediately after this scene we stood in front of the gates of Heaven, where we were reminded that God did not intend Hell for any of us, rather it was a necessity for Satan and his followers. We all have one major choice in life: accept God's love, or reject it, and in doing so, embrace Satan. We saw the consequences of the first decision, but Russ's grandmother was waiting in Heaven, having accepted Christ even before her teenage years. She was reunited with her husband after decades, and we are told that she now knows no pain, no tears,and no loneliness. This, the final scene, was the ultimate message: God's love. Jesus spoke to us individually, and I do not know what others were told, but it still brings tears to my eyes.
How can we know peace without sadness? How can we know life without death? How can we know love without the absence of love? Juxtaposition is the key here, and without it the message could not have been as powerful as it was.
"We just want to be used...Regardless of whether the lines be perfect or smooth, it's whether the message gets out." This is one of the few lines I agree with in this article. The message indeed got out, a powerful and wonderful message.