Thursday, February 12, 2015
I Don't Want Them To Go To Hell For Me!
Our NASCAR boy, Darrell Waltrip, gave the keynote address at the recent National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C. with guests from all over the world, including the Dalai Lama. From what I've read, he did a pretty good job. He was funny at times but also sincere. He shared his own testimony about how he became a Christian. All that is pretty standard fare for this event. He also said that if you don't accept Jesus Christ as your savior, you are going to hell. Well, okay, if that's what he believes, that's fine. I don't suppose the Dalai Lama was offended. He surely knows most Christians feel this way.
What I found odd was that on several right-leaning websites, the introduction to their stories went something like - "standing only a few feet from Obama, Waltrip declared that "you are going to hell if you haven't accepted Christ," - the implication being that this was a personal message directed at the president.
I doubt if Darrell meant it that way and I doubt if Obama took it that way since he has always firmly avowed his own Christian faith although I know many conservatives refuse to believe him. Anyway, the president thanked both Darrell and his wife, Stevie, gave a few humorous remarks of his own and that was that.
Here is what does bother me about all this though - NASCAR bills itself as the most pro-military sport. There are always a large number of soldiers in the crowd at races, many having been provided free tickets by sponsors and teams and drivers and tracks. Sometimes, the very races themselves are named after individual soldiers. Groups like Paralyzed Veterans of America and Fisher House and the Wounded Warriors foundation have funded cars.
Pre-race ceremonies open with an honor guard, the national anthem, a prayer and a flyover. That prayer almost always includes a special mention of the people who are serving their country in the nation's military. The camera pans the crowd to all the uniforms in attendance.
So far, so good but, the fact is, not all soldiers are Christian. They may be Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or atheists. We send all of them into harm's way, knowing they may not return. So, sadly, if we are Christians who believe as Darrell Waltrip believes, we are willing to put them in a position where they could die, even though that would mean condemning them, often at a young age, younger than Darrell Waltrip was when he made his decision to be saved. to suffer eternal damnation.
Hey, I don't know about you but I don't want to be responsible for that outcome. If that is truly how we think, then we should send no young person who isn't a Christian off to war. I don't want any one's child to suffer unending hellfire to protect me.