A Very
Short Story
. . . with Long Lasting Implications

ERIC AND LINDA WAITED LONG ENOUGH.   She looked at him and shrugged,
    prompting Eric to reach into his shirt pocket.   "I'll leave a non-tract on the
door," he said, interrupted when the door finally opened.
   "Oh, hi, we thought no one was home."
   "Can I help you?"   The short gray-haired man eyed the couple.
   "I'm Eric Strock, this is my fiancee, Linda.   We're from the Freedom from
Religion Foundation
   "The what?"
   Eric continued.   "Sir, are you a Christian?"
   "Look, young man, I'm busy--"
   "You are Fred Zelinski.   Is that right?"
   "How'd you--"
   "You're a member of Palm Methodist Church?"
   "Hey, who are you?"
   "I've already answered that Mr. Zelinski.   Do you realize how ridiculous it is to
believe in an all-powerful, all-good "God" who set up a universe so "perfect" it
was necessary to kill a third of itself in order to exhort tainted beings, who the
deity itself created to feel guiltily dependent upon--"
   The old man shook his head and slammed the door.
   "You see, Linda.   The logic behind my question overwhelmed him."
   The two jumped in the car and headed for the next address.   Halfway there,
Eric noticed Linda deep in thought.   "I guess you're wondering how people could
be so ignorant."
   "No."   She slowly faced Eric.   "I was wondering why your club does these
   "Honey bunny, I've told you--It's not a Club.   It's an educational group
working for the separation of church and state--"
   "But why are we--?"
   "It's my duty, as a Freethinker, a person who forms opinions about religion
on the basis of reason and--"
   "YES, YES, YES!   But I want to know WHY?   Where's the threat?"
   "The what?"   Eric spotted the house number.   "This is the place.   Let's go . . ."

   The door slowly opened, revealing a stocky middle-aged man holding a
newspaper.   "Yes?"
   "I'm Eric Strock from the Freedom from Religion Foundation.   Are you Mr.
Donald Welker of Saviour Baptist Church?"
   The man smiled.   "How do you know which church I'm from?"

   "Church directory.   Sir, do you know how ridiculous it is to believe in an all powerful--"
   "I'm familiar with your organization," the man said.   "I know what you believe--"
   "No Sir, we don't believe as you define it!"   Eric's tone, made Linda blink.   "We deal in truth,
the degree to which a statement corresponds with reality.   We don't go around believing in
unfalsifiable statements."
   The man gave Linda a courteous smile and looked back at Eric.   "Before I got saved I used
to think like you.   I was a science teacher, as a matter of fact; always asking myself, if God
is out there, why doesn't He just show His face and get it over with?   Then I got converted;
saw the light if you will.   It turned out He was proving His existence all along."

   The man held his hands out wide, waving his paper in the air.   "All this creation you see
around you is proof.   The Bible even says: "For the invisible things of him from the creation
of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his
eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"
Rom. 1:20."

   Eric grinned and glanced at Linda.   Linda just stared at the man, examining his words: "You
see, it wasn't the lack of proof.   It was me refusing to accept the evidence.   I was closed

   "What do you mean WAS?" Eric said.
   "I'll pray that God helps you see the truth."   The man smiled, motioning good-bye as he
slowly closed the door . . .

   "What a coward," Eric said, as they hopped back in the car.   "I was about to tear some
reason into him."   He looked up the next address, smiled at Linda, and drove away.
   "Eric?   What did you mean by your last remark?"
   Eric shook his head.   "The guy claims he was closed-minded.   HE STILL IS!   He's dogmatic; he
has a one-track mind--"
   She raised an eyebrow.
   "--and considering the way he brushed us off, he's obviously intolerant of other people's
views."   There was a moment of silence before Linda asked, "And you consider yourself
   "Are you serious?   Of course I am!"
She sat up and began fidgeting with her seat belt.   "Why?"
   "What do you mean why?   What does 'why' mean?"
   "What makes you open-minded?"
   "Well . . . For one thing, I'm not set in my ways; I can grow; I can tolerate someone else's
   She looked out the side window, still fidgeting with her seat belt.   "Even his opinion?"
   "Who?   Whose opinion?"   He tried focusing on her, fighting to keep his eyes on the
road.   "You don't mean that kook we just visited?"
   "You wouldn't tolerate his opinion?"
   "NO!   Don't be ridiculous!"
   "But you said you're open-minded."
   "Not when it comes to his irrational, superstitious, closed- minded views."   He stopped the
car.   "We're here, let's go . . ."

   The door opened revealing a fragile, elderly woman well into her seventies.
   Piece of cake, Eric thought, as he went into his opening line.   The woman just nodded,
displaying a near mindless smile.   After five minutes, the woman invited them in for cookies.
   Eric noted the time, figuring it was the last call, and they both stepped inside.
   They seated themselves on a worn-out couch facing a large Star of David hanging high

on the opposite wall.
   "So when is the wedding?" the woman said, bringing a loaded tray from the kitchen.
   "In about three weeks," Linda said.
   "Mrs. Lebus," Eric asked, grabbing the largest cookie from the tray, "how long have you
been enslaved in religion?"
   Linda frowned, jabbing her elbow into Eric's side.
   "That's okay, Dear.   I'm not offended.   Young man, my entire life . . . How long have you
been trying to escape?"
   "You said you're seeking freedom from religion--"
   "No, no, I'm not religious; never have been--"
   "Then why are you seeking freedom?   Would you like some milk?"
   "Let's go, Eric," Linda said.
   "No wait!   Mrs. Lebus, you don't understand.   Freedom from Religion is the name of our
organization.   One of our goals is to educate people; make them aware of religion's
detrimental effects--"
   Linda rolled her eyes.
   "--Religion hinders a person's life by dangling the false prospects of an after-life--"
   "You don't shave your heads, do you?" the woman asked.
   "WHAT?   You mean skinheads?!   We're not Nazis!"
   "I grew up around Nazism.   We Jews were persecuted, in part for our religious beliefs, you
   "Let's go," Linda said.   "Thank you for the cookies."
   "No wait, Honey.   Mrs. Lebus, I assure you, we are not Nazis--"
   "But you said you don't tolerate religious beliefs--"
   "Because religion is unreasonable . . . Our cause is purely intellectual."
   "That's what the Nazis claimed," the woman said.   "They, too, were intellectual; some were
even rocket scientists, you know."
   "The Nazis claimed to be tolerant, but were just the opposite.   They were intolerant of
any belief that did not line up with their own."   The woman looked at Linda.   "It's sad that
there has to be people like that in the world, isn't it?"
   Linda looked at Eric, then stormed out of the house.   Eric grabbed another cookie, racing
after her without bothering to say goodbye.   He chased her to the car.
   "I WANT TO GO HOME!" she said, wiping her eyes.
   "WHY?!   What happened?"   Eric traced her stare back toward the house.   "Come-on Linda,
don't let the old bag shake you up!"
   "But, honey buns."
   "STOP CALLING ME HONEY!"   Her eyes flared-up.   "We're not married, YET!"
   "WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?   Look, it's people like her that make this world such
a miserable place.   Why don't you get mad at her?"
   "Excuse me for not seeing the evil underneath that sweet face!" Linda said, crossing her
arms.   "In fact, maybe her cookies were poisoned.   If we're lucky they'll only affect THE REAL
closed-minded people in this world!   TAKE ME HOME!"
   Eric started the car and slammed it into first gear.   The drive was silent the whole five
miles.   The longest five miles of his life.

IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven?
  The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).

BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God,"
Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;"
Romans 3:23.

SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast."
  Eph. 2:8-9   Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because: "Not by works of
which we have done, but
according to his mercy he
[Christ] saved
Titus 3:5.

THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ.   He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me."
  (John 14:6)   THAT'S
: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us
  (Rom. 5:8-9)

THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself.   And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you.   "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus
[REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart
[TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
  Romans 10:9

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