Monday, October 6, 2008

Repentance: Your First Steps To Peace With God

My category for unintentional hilarity has never been more appropriate than for this offering from Evangelical Tract Distributors and writer Raymond Leeson. If anything, it's a case of the author seeing only what he wants to see.

Raymond describes talking to a man in his office, a man who was "expressing utter dejection." Raymond responds by telling him that God could make his life better, "to no avail."

"My friend was so down," Ray says, "that even as I shared the possibility that there was hope for his future, his depression noticeably deepened."

Wait, it gets better.

"Each time God was mentioned," Ray goes on, "he would become uncomfortable and change the subject."

And what does Raymond think is the reason for his friend's behaviour?

"Could it be," he postulates, "that my friend understood something about God's message that is so often missed, i.e. the need to repent?"

Yeeeeeah. Sure, Ray, that must be it. "He felt very uncomfortable about his sin, and what God thought about him." This is Raymond's opinion, of course, based on some... how shall we say, questionable logic. But who needs logic or facts when writing a tract? Besides, Ray wants to discuss Repentance(it is the title, after all) and that story was his best way in. That's a stretch, Ray, a real stretch.

The rest of the tract tells us worthless sinners the usual stuff about how we'll all go to Hell unless we get right with God. The process of repentance is broken into three steps: "genuine sorrow" for your sins, "inward repugnance to sin," and "a humble self-surrender to God's will and service." Then Ray gives us a splendid contradiction when he tells us "repentance is not a condition of salvation" because "salvation is free in Christ, but repentance is the condition through which we are able to receive salvation as a free gift." Sounds pretty conditional to me, Raymond.

For sheer juvenile laughs, I can't resist this next bit. Ray asks us, once we have invited Christ into our lives, "will you let Him have His way with you?"

Yes, this tract is really funny, clearly not what author Raymond intended. It might even cheer up someone who is "expressing utter dejection." I know it made my day.

Likely to Convert - 0
Artwork - 1
Ability to Hold Interest - 5
Unintentional Hilarity - 9
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 0

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