What can you say about people who present their religions and their views as a source of pride? I don’t mean ‘with pride’ like in the way some people are proud to be Catholics or Muslims or Baptists; I mean they use their religions or views to present themselves as superior to other people such that the latter are idiots and will, they are 100% sure, go to hell.
It’s all very well to try to persuade other people of the falsity of their beliefs for the sake of their eternal salvation, but it’s a different story when the persuading comes in the form of nose-snubbing. ‘I’ve given you all my arguments,’ they say, ‘but if you still don’t believe then you are an idiot and are going to hell.’
I cannot imagine God doing the same thing. After all, Israel always strayed away from God, but God never strayed away from them. Can you imagine God saying to Israel, ‘All right, I’ve had enough! I’ve given you everything you need to not stray away from me, but since you are clearly incapable of following my commands, I will abandon you to the Devil.’
That’s rather horrible, isn’t it? The God who is love, who is merciful and slow to anger cannot do such a thing.
If a father truly loves his child, and this child goes astray, would the father give him a self-righteous lecture and say ‘If you still don’t believe, then you are an idiot and I’m washing my hands of you!’
Indeed, if a father truly loves his child, then the attitude will be of concern. He will likely say, ‘Why have you gone astray? And what can I do to make you return to me?’ Even if it takes years for the child to return, such a father will not give up and will keep seeking and helping his child.
Is this not what God does? Even to the last breath, God will not abandon a sinner. There is always the hope that a sinner repents just before he gives out his last breath.
Thus, I cannot help but be scared for people who exhibit too much self-importance and self-righteousness. If God cannot be like them, who then are they emulating?