Among many other things, Dave Barry wrote regarding the televangelists available in South Florida on a 24 hour televangelism cable channel:
But as entertaining as these shows are, their message tends to be somewhat repetitive ("God loves you! So send us money!"), whereas on your local TV news shows, they're always surprising you with dramatic new issues that you should be nervous about.
Sadly, Mr. Barry, you do hear that message a lot. I know you are a humor columnist, and that you may not (no, certainly do not) even take your own column seriously. Nevertheless, your comic oversimplification demonstrates what people hear.
It's not the message of the Bible.
The message you should be hearing, Mr. Barry, is this:
- All men, yourself included, were created by God.
- As Creator, God demands that you follow the moral law.
- He has given you a general sense of this moral law in your conscience. That's why, when you lie to someone, you have that icky feeling afterwards. Deep down, you know that it is wrong.
- Whether or not you still hear your conscience, God wrote down those moral laws in summary form in stone and gave them to Moses. I'm sure you're well aware of this fact, Mr. Barry, since you live in the U.S. where people have virtually all heard of the ten commandments.
- Because you have broken at least one of those laws in some form or another, God's position is that you deserve to die not just now on Earth, but for all eternity in Hell. I recognize that this is not what the "big-haired" (your words) folks tend to emphasize.
- That's very bad news.
- Nevertheless, things are not hopeless. If you trust in God, if you repent of your sins (your violations of His moral laws), if you confess them to Him, and beg Him to forgive you, He will. God is a merciful God. He shows mercy unto those who come to Him for mercy.
- But go to Him quickly, and seek salvation from Him. Pray to Him that he will forgive your sins.
- If you trust in Him, He will save you.
And, Mr. Barry, if you do not already trust in Him, I urge you to do so, sir. For when you pass on, it will be too late, and life is fleeting.