A Brief Diatribe!

A Brief Diatribe

Yesterday I passed a church sign that read, “Any day above ground is better than the alternative.” It sounds so sweet. And I am sure a sweet person put the quote on the sign. But let’s be honest, it is theologically dubious.

It seems to deny the reality of trials and tribulations. It seems to deny the emotional and physical suffering all around us. It seems to deny poverty and hunger. It seems to deny famine, wars and genocide. If all these realities are not denied by the quote surely they are diminished by something so glib. These weighty realities cause me to quip on occasion with the Beloved Apostle John, “come on back Lord Jesus” or as the KJV says in response to Jesus’ promise, “even so, come quickly.”

But surely it denies what Paul says when he says “to die is gain.” To depart and be with Christ is very much the better aspiration he says. We have become so attached to the material world we lose sight of what lies beyond. Surely we should wrestle with the implications of Paul’s words. Surely we should think twice about a “church” sign that denies them.

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