(15-01-2013 11:28 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote: This is one of the first things I was taught as a child. It was during these theatrical plays that my church would put on known as Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames, which were designed to scare the shit out of everyone. A family would be driving along or something (sitting in chairs on stage pretending to drive), talking about how they're going to stop for ice cream at McDonalds or something. The kids would say something like, "I'm glad I decided to get saved at church today! How come you didn't go to the front and get saved, Dad?" To which the dad would respond something like, "Oh that sort of thing isn't really for me. Maybe I'll do it next time." Then the imaginary car would spiral out of control and the stage would go dark and they would play this deafening sound of a car crash. Then the family would wake up in "heaven" which was at the base of the choir stairs surrounded by white sheets. At the top of the stairs there would be a pedestal and a book.
An angel would be standing at the book and the dad would go, "Oh no, that's the book of life. That's where the names of everyone going to heaven is written. Angel, is my name in that book?" And it would get dark and the kids would scream for their dad and "Satan" and his demons would come out from this red area offstage laughing deafeningly. They would drag the dad off stage in a terrifying manner. Then the lights would come back on and the music would get heavenly again and the kids would ask if they were in the book and Jesus would appear and walk down the steps to greet them and they would ascend the steps together to joyous music.
This would go on and on for several scenarios. So I've had the Book of Life seared into my childhood brain and no one ever really talks about it. It's mentioned in the Bible a few times, with the most straightforward being Revelation 20:15 - "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
I have a questions about this Book of Life. What if you get baptized and saved, but then legally change your name later on? Does God have to scribble out your name and write in a new one? What if there are several people with the same name as you? Does God have your social security number written next to it? What if, due to terrible parents, your name is Satan's Asshole? Does God have to scan the list and go, "Ah yes, Satan's Asshole, I have you right here." What if everyone who was named John Smith was having their annual "I can't believe we're all named John Smith" reunion and their tour bus drove off a cliff? How would get figure out with 733 John Smiths were going to heaven and which 621 were going to hell?
Seriously, a book with names in it is a silly tale - similar to Santa's Naughty or Nice list - meant to frighten. Christianity.about.com tells us that "Jewish tradition tells how God opens the Book of Life and studies the words, actions, and thoughts of every person whose name he has written there. If a person's good deeds outweigh or outnumber their sinful acts, his or her name will remain inscribed in the book for another year."
Yeah. And if the groundhog sees his shadow, we'll have six more weeks of winter. Fucking Christians.
That's why I'm changing my name to Mortimer Bartesque. There can only be one of him.