Friday, March 14, 2014

His Soul's Tongue

So he called to him, "Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in the fire. Luke 16:24

When my wife died, I talked to the funeral director about anyone mentioning the immortal soul. I told him of our belief that there is no such thing. He replied, "What about the rich man and Lazarus?" The director is a Baptist minister, and though he was a very nice man, I was disappointed to hear his Standard Answer.

Now who am I to "defy" anyone? What a joke. But here goes anyway.

I defy anyone to show how this story by Jesus can be interpreted literally. Imagine a man tormented by fire, asking for relief by a finger tip's amount of water being put on his tongue!

Did I say a man? I mean a man's soul. If his grave was dug up I am certain his body would still be there, so it must be a soul seeking relief.

The story also says that between Abraham,Lazarus and the rich man, there was a great gulf fixed. Now the immortal soul of Lazarus reaching across a great gulf with water on its finger to cool the rich man's soul's tongue is not a literal possibility.

Modern translations call this story a parable. Imagine Paul telling such a story to the Gentiles! Those (few) who look into such things say that this is a parabolic story, custom made for Jews. It is not to be used as a map to hell, but has another moral lesson which Jesus wants to tell. So the moral is ignored and his story is used to establish the existence of hell.

Thus, we have a nice man in Missouri (who I want to be the one who will bury me) parroting what his church believes is one of the foundations of their faith. It beats thinking. Maybe that is why it is so popular.

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