My letter from God

It’s not every day that one gets a message directly from God. Of course, “God” didn’t seem to know my name, as this was how the letter was addressed:

OK, so I didn’t take it too hard that “God” forgot my name. When I opened the letter, this was God’s message (reproduced here exactly, including line breaks):

A Message From The Lord God Almighty,
Creator of all who believe in Him and do not believe,
Whose breath alone is the source of life
For all humans and animals,
Dispersing wealth and greatness to the good and wicked alike;
Whose arms forever wait to embrace those who surrender to Him;
Whose eyes scan the world every moment,
Watching every display of good and evil;
Whose power transcends the bounds of understanding,
Rushing to bless and defend His loyal ones,
And curse the wicked ones with His punishment
So that they can never run or hide from Him,
But decrees forgiveness for those who regret the past,
And change.

To all church leaders in America who remain silent on the news of this my Day of Judgment.
Why did I allow you to become a church leader?
Was it not to spread my word, and my word alone?
Now therefore, I the Lord give you this command:
Begin to warn my people now about my Day of Judgment –
That this land is about to swallow a bitter pill,
Launching a torrent of unprecedented disasters
That will crush the pride of Americans,
And shame the land that is champion of the world.
Begin to show my people how they can survive it,
So that they will stand while all around them fall,
And the pains of hunger will not touch them.
Teach them to pray,
To increase their obedience to my laws,
To pass on this warning to their loved ones,
And fearlessly wait.

If you refuse to warm them about the urgency of my word,
I will bring you down in shame, and toss you out of the church.
They will watch as you are swept away in the flood of disasters,
And I will send you to hell to join the devil and his angels;
And you will know that I am the Lord God your Master,
The Governor of all the earth.

In a way, this is a fitting message for this Advent season. While I think it’s possible that the scribe (“Hilton Fyle”) is a bit misguided, it does seem to me that our pride could use some crushing and we probably ought to swallow a few bitter pills. Mr. Fyle has signed the letter as the person who received the message and transmitted it to me, and possibly to many others.

Another blogger also received this letter, and he did some checking into Hilton Fyle. I’m curious what motivates Mr. Fyle to send these letters and what he expects in return. I’m very, very curious if there’s any fruit of the letters other than some extra recycling. What do you think, dear reader? Might God speak through Mr. Fyle? Does God still threaten the Total Smack-down for disobedience? Did you also receive a letter from God?

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2 Responses

  1. Bob Chapman says:

    If the Caiaphas can correctly advise that it was expedient for one man (Jesus) to die on behalf of the people–even if he did not understand what he really said–why can’t this person be speaking for God?

    It is not the wise and powerful, but the meek and powerless. “My soul magnifies the Lord” and all that stuff.

    There is no time line on the calamities described in the mail you received. It really isn’t that much different from “Pray that your flight be not in winter,” which had an immediate fulfillment in the fall of Jerusalem but still describes our wait for the End of Time.

    I’m not sure it is a smack down for disobedience in the way people think of it, though. If you mixed two types of cloth, you had a rip in your clothing. If you ate pork then, you could easily end up sick. If you mixed your cattle herds, your cattle may get sick.

    The punishment for disobeying God is not necessarily something God does to you as it is the result of nature. It is like the road signs that say “Slippery when wet.” If you slide off the road when it is raining, it isn’t the Department of Transportation that pushed you off. Instead, like Margarettaville, it is your own damn fault (last refrain).

    God desires not the death of a sinner, but rather that he turns from his wickedness and live. (I’ve heard that somewhere before.) I’d rather think God influences us to salvation; perdition is our own damn fault. Literally.

    There are a few of us that have prayed “O Lord, our governor” at least once. Scott, let the people know the Governor has pardoned all of us, and the Governor’s name isn’t Huckabee. (Sorry, I live in Washington State.) But, we need to acknowledge that pardon and live as someone who has had full citizenship rights restored (something convicted felons lose to some degree, until and unless restored by the state). Otherwise, what happens to us is our own damn fault.

  2. Ethan Gafford says:

    I’d agree with Mr. (Fr.? Not sure.) Chapman that God mostly metes out punishment through nature: He’s constructed the universe to teach us* to act in a Godly way, by learning through our failures and successes (punishments and rewards).

    However, this empirical idea of divine judgment can lead to error** (error which {Fr., Mr.} Chapman did not make, I should note.) If we assume that God only punishes us through nature in ways that we understand, then we can begin to assume that commandments we don’t understand don’t apply to us. After all, if God’s commandments are made to teach us, and we can’t understand the lesson, why command in the first place?

    This is pretty sensible and totally backward. It assumes that God wants us to obey Him in order to teach us to act by certain rules; in fact, God wants us to act by certain rules in order to teach us to obey Him. The natural punishments of sin and natural rewards of virtue are all only building toward a supernatural leap of faith, a full and unconditional acceptance of God’s Word even in those matters which we cannot understand.

    Obedience is not popular as a virtue in the ECUSA. Neither is the story of the Garden: it’s all about stark, more or less incomprehensible Obedience. And still, there it is, day 8, 8:00. This kind of raw “just do what I say” flies in the face of our desire to understand God’s Word (very emphasized in our church, and one of the big reasons why I’m here; it is by all means meet and right. Three-legged stool of authority FTW!)

    Still, the end goal is and must be unconditional surrender. It feels off to us, as unconditional surrender to another person here on Earth is usually a horrible thing. Unconditional surrender to another person who is the source of all life and goodness, on the other hand, is not just a good thing, it’s a necessarily good thing, a tautologically good thing, a thing that is by definition the best thing ever times infinity plus one, no takebacks.

    Still, the rewards of such a supernatural leap of faith are not fully and immediately obvious: the Body and Blood are not discernible by taste or touch or vision; the Kingdom is in a sense consubstantial with the earth, and the earth is what we see. Just so, the punishment for standing at the brink of the widening gyre, unmoved and unmoving, may be supernatural, invisible, and nonetheless just. If we are unwilling to submit to God, fully, in matters comprehensible and otherwise, based solely on our knowledge of His goodness, we are not ready to learn from Him, and would become tyrants in Heaven. Heaven cannot abide a single tyrant.

    After much rambling, it follows that Natural Law is a good teacher, but it’s only a substitute, in for a few days before the real Teacher comes back to school. When He does, He’s perfectly within His rights to send any disobedient students to detention, where there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth, and fire prepared for the fallen angels, and three-headed dragons frozen in ice eternal by the flapping of their own wings in vain attempt to escape a prison forged of their own pride***. It’s all terribly uncomfortable, and a vital part of our faith, without which the tapestry of Christian revelation has a giant spreading tear at the bottom. So while I don’t know how effective a prophet Mr. Fyle is, I don’t think he’s fundamentally wrong at all, and it’s certainly not a bad thing to think about during Advent.

    * It should be noted that He also constructed the universe just to Be Awesome. It’s not all about us. This is good.

    ** In addition to the error described in this post (which comes of not learning enough from Natural Law,) the Prosperity Gospel is another error that can come out of this kind of thinking. Natural Law is not only an insufficient teacher, it’s actually a misleading one, and can point us at the wrong goal if we’re not paying attention to the big picture. God does “[Disperse] wealth and greatness to the good and wicked alike,” but moth and rust will make short work of it.

    *** Okay, not scriptural, but such a good image.