Monday, September 14, 2009

Mailing It In

We were all at home when they came by. I'd seen 'em wandering the neighborhood, a pair of moderately well-dressed Asian ladies with a handful of literature. I was, unlike most of humanity, actually kinda looking forward to them coming by the house. Being a Jesus-mutant already, I actually enjoy those chats with door-to-door prosthelytizers. Pleasantly subversive conversations about faith with bright-eyed young Mormons and pointed exegetical repartee with Jehovah's Witnessbots make for a lovely afternoon.

But though we were all around, they never knocked. They never registered their presence. They just slid a tract into the door, and disappeared. Snif.

The tract, entitled "Where are the Dead," was left abandoned at my doorstep. It's an old one, written perhaps 50 years ago by a Baptist evangelist. The theme is, of course, the Day of Judgment. It's a random buffet of scripture, a smattered mishmosh of verses telling the reader of 1) their sin and the bad, bad stuff that will happen and 2) Christ's redeeming sacrifice. On the back, there was a little form to fill out and mail in professing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

The tract is about the Day of Judgment, and so it focuses, natch-rally, on quotations from the Book of Revelation for all the scrumdiddlyumptious details on the unpleasantness that will befall those who haven't filled in the form on the back of the tract.

What I found particularly interesting, though, was what was missing. Though the tract was almost entirely scripture quotes about eternal damnation and eternal life, it somehow neglected to use Matthew 25. You know. That part of Matthew's Gospel where Jesus talks specifically and at length about the standard by which all humanity will be judged? Where he lays out what the Son of Man will ask each of us? The "did you get off your sorry behind and feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner" part?

Funny how they always seem to forget about that one. Perhaps it seems like too much work.