Don’t … Leave it out!

Train notice

The excellent BBC documentary The Tube showed the delays that can be caused by just one passenger obstructing the doors of  a London Underground train. While travelling on the London Underground this week, or the Tube as it’s more commonly known, I was reminded that the usual safety warning on the carriage doors has changed in recent years. It used to read, “Obstructing the doors causes delay and can be dangerous,” although often some wit had scratched out certain letters, leaving, instead of a safety warning, the self-defeating instruction: “Obstruct the doors, cause delay and anger us!”

Choosing certain letters and rejecting others reminds me of those who pick and choose which parts of God’s message, the Bible, they want to believe, as if they alone had authority to alter ancient scripture; with the eternal destination of millions hanging on what they feel like believing. Of course, it’s not wrong to question, but to have a serious opinion you need to check out the evidence for and against your point of view.

Today I came across a small pamphlet on a controversial subject. It was entitled: Hell. Suppose It’s True After All? The text described a conversation between two friends, who decided that hell is a myth, because a God of love wouldn’t condemn His creatures to everlasting punishment. Then after sitting silently for a moment, “one of them looked up and said … “Suppose it is true after all?”” Suppose that same God of love spoke about hell to warn His beloved creation that there is a hell to avoid? Suppose the very reason that that same God of love came to earth, taking on human form, was to provide a way of escape for all who aspire to a more positive, a more exciting, a more satisfying eternity? Many years before Jesus was born, God spoke through Moses: “Choose life, so that you and your children may live …” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Why does London Underground put warning notices on the doors of tube trains? Perhaps it’s because obstructing the doors causes delay and can be dangerous. Why did Jesus warn us about hell? Perhaps it’s because He loves us so much.

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