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May 26, 2022 11:02 AM
Jesusland Bruce on the honesty planet
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This one at least is back on ground where he can recite first grade exam answers. "So, um, everyone deserves to be on fire forever because everyone has sinned, but if you love God and accept His gift of forgiveness He'll save you anyway. That's part of God's goodness: you don't have to deserve salvation to be saved."

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"Oh..." says Tallulah from New York, in an even smaller voice than before.

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"It's good news," he says earnestly. "You don't have to worry about not being perfect. No matter what you've done, God is always ready to forgive you."

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The next question is from "Wendy, calling from Detroit?  I don't understand why God made humans that would disobey him and punished them for disobeying.  If he's omnipotent, couldn't he have just made humans that would obey him?"

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"God gave us free will because He wanted us to freely choose to obey. If we don't have the option to be evil being good is meaningless."

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"...but like," Wendy says, "it he didn't just make humans with free will, he made humans that used their free will to do things that he didn't want them to do?  Like, I'm not going to burn down an orphanage tomorrow, but that's not because I don't have free will, it's because... that's just not how I'm going to use my free will?  If God had an orphanage in the Garden of Eden, it seems like he could've chosen to create me, a person who's not going to burn down that orphanage, instead of creating a different person who would burn down the orphanage, without denying me the option to burn down the orphanage."

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"I think that might still be meaningless but when you get into hypotheticals like that you really want a theologian and not an idiot whose only qualification is being from another planet."

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"All right.  I am too socially anxious to continue this conversation much longer anyway.  Thank you for trying to explain!"

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There are a lot more callers! They have questions about why, if God is good, He does bad things, and what exactly it means that everyone deserves to be on fire, and what prayers to say, and what exactly the fire comes from, like, is it a coal fire or a petroleum fire or an oxygen fire or what, and where God is, and what God is made of, and whether God sent Bruce here, and how the first humans had children without fucking their siblings, because ewwwwww, and whether even tiny babies who died being born are in Hell, and what God thinks about environmentalism and quantum physics and cats and documentaries and the death penalty and plastic surgery and space exploration and Prince Andrew and pendulums and abortion and poverty tourism and drunk driving and heroin and the Tetris World Championships and the World Wars.

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God never does bad things; all the things He does that the people here think are bad are actually good. Everyone deserves to be on fire because sin is a betrayal of the God who created them, and God is perfect so by default sinners can't be in the presence of God and the only place in the spiritual world that's totally removed from God's presence is Hell. Bruce knows lots of prayers of petition and contrition and gratitude and praise and can recite them in a weirdly rhythmic monotone. The fire in Hell is mostly fueled by sulfur.

(Bruce is very thirsty but answering these people's questions is a lot more important than getting water so he shoves that thought aside.)

God is omnipresence but His presence on Earth is attenuated and His presence in Heaven is complete, which is why sinners who haven't been washed clean with Christ's blood can't be there. Bruce has no idea how he got here but God is kind of the obvious explanation but Bruce doesn't know why himself in particular. The first humans, and also Noah's descendants, did a lot of having children with their siblings and cousins but it was okay back then because there hadn't been time for genetic mutations to accumulate (that's also why they lived hundreds of years) and also God said it was fine.

(Bruce's voice is getting hoarser and harder to understand.)

Babies too young to talk are like Adam and Eve before the Fall, they don't know right from wrong so they can't sin and they go to Heaven if they die. But abortion and contraception and regular babymurder are all wrong and so are drunk driving and heroin and wars. Environmentalism and quantum physics and cats and the death penalty are all good, pendulums and documentaries and Tetris are probably neutral, Bruce's Earth doesn't have large international wealth disparities or Prince Andrew so Bruce has no idea. He remembers the justifications for most of these rulings; some of them were relayed through prophets but some are just "the churches reached this consensus and didn't get a sign one way or the other so they're at least not very wrong".

(Bruce is getting kind of incomprehensible; he doesn't seem to have noticed.)

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