They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

I’m all for justice. I want everybody who’s ever screwed me over to get what’s coming to them—times ten. What ticks me off is when jerks get away with stuff. I hate it, for example, when some idiot cuts me off on the road and drives on his merry way totally oblivious to the fact that he has caused me spiritual harm. I complain to God about the injustice and imagine that the idiot in question gets axed by a runaway semi and I come upon the scene where I laugh and laugh and praise the Lord for justice. The fact the I have to imagine it shows that God misses a lot of opportunities to earn praise from me.

Still, I have a sneaking suspicion that God is keeping score. He may not have as good a sense of timing as I do, but I bet he’s taking crazy meticulous notes on everything (which is probably why he’s a little slow on the take much of the time). It seems that his plan is to finish up the notes, call it a game, line everybody up, and check over his notes, which, by this time, have mushroomed from a few jotted spiral notebooks into an insanely huge, professionally bound library of moral criticism. Then, if the book of Revelation gets it right—an iffy proposition if you take into account that the writer tended to see lots of strange things, including animals with multiple heads (I had a few “visions” like that too but assumed it was the mescaline talking rather than some angelic dude playing the trumpet.)—if Revelation gets it right, then God is going to open up those note books and, as the guy says, “the dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.” Which means that the idiot who cut in front of me on the road and went on his merry way is going to get his big fat nose rubbed in it after all. Justice may arrive late, but it’ll arrive in style.

The tiny little downside in all this is that there may be a few small infractions in my own otherwise stellarly righteous life. They’re barely worth mentioning, mind you, but considering the obsessive note-taking going on upstairs, I’m not exactly sure that God’s going to overlook them as a reasonable deity should—and let’s face it, God isn’t all that reasonable about certain things. I mean, he flies off the handle when Moses gets mad at a rock, for crying out loud. And then there’s the whole Garden of Eden incident about something as simple as a fruit salad. God doesn’t have that great of a track record when it comes to rational behavior. I guess it’s what we should expect of a deity with a split personality.

Anyway, it’s remotely possible that the justice thing could bite me in the butt. Which is why I’m banking on a loophole in the system. If the Gospel is correct—and, since it’s in the Bible, there’s some question about that, but it’s still the best bet that I can see—then, even though God is apparently going to throw the Book at everybody, you can get excused from the long trip to the cosmic woodshed if you believe in Jesus. You can be saved from getting yourself whipped by an infinitely fed up God who has been saving his wrath for, like, 5000 years or so. Now, everybody knows what happens when you let your anger build up over a period of time. Something triggers you and you go thermonuclear. Well, that’s what’s going to happen once God looks over those notebooks of his: he’s going to be reminded of all the crap he’s been putting up with and totally lose it. Which means that even the very minor mistakes I’ve mistakenly made will look like regular sin to him. I’m telling you, once it gets to that point there’ll be no reasoning with him.

So I’m opting for the Jesus loophole just in case. I’m going to believe in Jesus because, as far as I can tell, that’s the only chance of getting away with stuff. In spite of the opinions of some constipated religious nuts, believing in Jesus is actually pretty easy. All you have to do is believe that Jesus has connections and wants to keep you out of the woodshed just as much as you do. Jesus knows more than anybody else about how flipping ticked off his dad can get. So Jesus figured out a way to get his dad to look the other way. He did the cross thing, which totally blew his dad away for a few minutes. Jesus takes advantage of that divine distraction to get as many people through the gate as possible. Like I said, all you have to do is believe that Jesus can sneak you in and, if Jesus can be trusted—and, seriously, what choice do we really have anyway?—well, everybody who believes he can pull this off gets themselves saved. It’s a loophole-in-one!

Well, that’s my plan anyway. Sure hope it works.


One Response

  1. Thank goodness for a solid plan!

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