So I have finally finished my revisit of christianity and it was concluded with an interview of a rather popular local preacher. I have only my paper notes since I have not converted the tape to digital yet, but I will highlight some of the fun points.
Through out this next section; J=Me T= Let's just call him Tom the Preacher
J: So it has come to my attention that each generation seems to have a list of events which are leading to the immediate rapture/armageddon. My question is, God said that no one would know the time of the rapture except for him. Then you have the book of Revelations which seems to guide us to a direct, almost Nostradamian, list of events which will occur. Isn't it a bit presumptuous to say that the end times are coming. Does that really produce the love and concern that Jesus taught or is it simply a tactic of fear used to convert non-believers?
T: Ofcourse it is out of love and concern! We are doing our best to save peoples souls. I think it is only appropriate that we warn them of the torment that awaits them in hell if they don't accept Jesus Christ as their lord and savior. If they understand then they cannot claim ignorance on judgement day.
J: Wouldnt it be more effective, especially in times of trouble such as the ones we are going through, to explain the other side of Christianity?
T: What side do you mean?
J: The side which teaches about love, patience, forgiveness, turning the other cheek, modesty, living for others, and the likes.
T: Well we show that too. Each year, our church gives $50,000 to charity.
J: But I have to wonder, this church is built on a grand scale. The Hardwood flooring, event quality sound and lighting, hand carved wooden ceilings made of solid oak, satin covered pews, and you are wearing a Marchatti suit. It seems to me that $50,000 is a rather low number considering how much this church makes for an annual income. God asks for 10% from the average person, or so the catholic religion has suggested, shouldn't a church give more?
T: Well it costs a great deal to maintain the property and keep us in a lease. It is also very important that our chuch looks nice and that I look nice in order to bring people in to an environment that they feel comfortable.
J: But sir, God can see into your soul and knows everything that you do, is it truly important that you wear a suit? It seems to me like vanity.
T: There is nothing wrong with wearing nice clothes to show respect to God.
J: You seem to be frustrated, let's move on.
J: So if I were to tell you that not only did I disbelieve god as a concept but had proof that he did not exist, what would you say in return?
T: That you are an obvious fool and that I hope your eternity in hell will remind you everyday of this. Look, I'm done with this interview. This has been a complete waste of my time. You can find the door.
Now, mind you, there was a great deal more before this which I am quite sure frustrated and infuriated him. I don't have time to post it all though. But this should be a decent glimpse into the current state of Christianity. It has nothing to do with the teachings of the bible any longer. It is all based around fear. Atleast where I am located. God is used as a control, not a loving diety.