Many Christians like to defend their choice of faith while challenging others’ faithlessness using what is known as Pascal’s Wager. Back in the 17th century, French philosopher Blaise Pascal concluded that because God is not self-evident, everyone has to make a wager – to believe or not. Everyone. If you believe in God and you’re right – the riches of heaven are all yours for eternity. Ahh, but if you don’t believe in God and are wrong – you are doomed to the torment of the eternal fires of hell!
Many of faith consider this philosophical question as being foolproof and unbeatable – often challenging non-believers, “What if you’re wrong? What have you got to lose by just believing?”
First of all, I’d hope that any all-knowing God could not be so easily tricked into handing out eternal life to those who believe “just in case.” Second, as far as “losing” anything, I’d ask – how many families have been completely dismantled and destroyed when faith has becomes more important than family, ostracizing those who simply don’t share a belief in a god that is admittedly not self-evident? (I can think of five friends who are completely estranged from their parents – simply because they no longer go to church.)
There are few things more heartbreaking than an unattended funeral. Yet – I have seen a few as the direct result of abandoning, even actively rebuking family and friends in this life by betting it all on an eternal life with a complete stranger full of fabled mysterious promises.
QUESTIONS: When the last breath is taken, who will be left in this life to say goodbye? What are you willing to lose in this life in hope of an eternal life? This life, that you can see, smell, touch, and taste. For an eternal life – of which there is no evidence?
Yes, there is a wager. Bet wisely...
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Remember: Don’t blame us, it’s in the Bible!
This illustration and commentary can be found in
Awkward Moments (Not Found In Your Average) Children’s Bible – Vol #2.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, the text chosen is from three different sections of scripture to illustrate a point. This is not to be “disingenuous” or “misleading” – it is an intentional mash-up to make a point, like churches do all day every day. This is not our “usual” methodology, but we felt it was worthy of conversation. As always, the verse references are right there for anyone to research…