Originally written in 2018
I’m lying in bed on my right side, with my left arm and hand extended straight up, hoping to relieve some of the pain in my arm. (I would later learn that herniated discs in my upper spine were causing the arm pain.)
Polly walks in and says, “I see that hand!”
(Polly’s mom is having surgery on Thursday and she’s driving to Newark to care for her mom for a day or two.)
I reply, sarcastically, “you should go to your mom’s on Wednesday so you can go to church with her.”
(Polly’s mom attends an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church where the pastor asks non-Christians to raise their hand if they would like prayer. To each raised hand he replies, “I see that hand.”)
With all the might of a scorned Baptist preacher’s daughter, Polly says, “HELL NO!”
I reply, “actually you should be saying HELL YES! If you don’t want to be saved you are saying YES to HELL!”
Polly laughs and says, “uh, huh, once saved, always saved!”
I reply, “that’s right….”
And we both have a hearty laugh, safe in knowing that no matter how much we mock God or deny his existence, we still get to go to Heaven when we die. Sweet, right?
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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