Exit 73. Read your Bible.

I’ve been having some strange dreams lately.  I’ve been having trouble sleeping in general, and at least twice in the last week, I’ve had already short nights of sleep cut even shorter by waking up from some really bad dreams.  Last night’s was particularly creepy.

I was at some sort of church gathering, but I wasn’t at any church that looks familiar to me in real life.  And it wasn’t a regular service, because we were outside.  I don’t remember if there was a band playing, or a guest speaker, or just a church picnic type event, but we were definitely outside.  During this event, there were these two children walking around, probably around 10 years old.  I couldn’t tell if they were boys or girls; I thought they looked more like girls, but if so, they hadn’t been through puberty yet and they weren’t wearing shirts.  They definitely looked out of place, like they had been raised in a cabin deep in the mountains and hadn’t had much contact with contemporary urban or suburban life. They kept walking around telling people why the Bible is wrong and all this stuff about contradictions within the Bible and inconsistencies between the Bible and other historical records.  They spoke in an expressionless, monotone manner, as if they were reciting words that they had memorized and recited many times before.  It seemed like whoever they were, they weren’t really sharing opinions they had; instead, someone had probably trained them to go around to church events and do this just for the purpose of trolling, to upset Christians just for the fun of it.  Maybe they had parents who were militant atheists who enjoyed doing this, for example.  I even wondered if they were demons sent by Satan to sow doubt and discord among the Christians in the crowd.  Every time they spoke, they would finish by regaining expression in their mannerisms and saying “Read your Bible!” in the sense that if you read the Bible, these contradictions would be obvious.

The behavior of these girls in the dream (I’ll call them girls, even though as I said I’m really not sure) reminded me of two other things.  Back when I used to do chat rooms, sometimes there would be these trolls who would come to Christian chat rooms and copy and paste statements about apparent contradictions in the Bible specifically for the purpose of trolling, much like the behavior of the children in my dream.  Also, I saw a video once of people who were driving around groups of people lined up to buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and shouting spoilers to the crowd solely for the purpose, again, of being jerks.  In at least one instance, the trolls mispronounced a name that appears prominently in all seven books, proving that these people knew absolutely nothing of the Harry Potter universe.  I got the same sense from the little girls in the dream, that they didn’t really know what they were saying.

At one point, the girls were running around on the roof of the building, doing their usual thing.  All of a sudden, I felt myself levitate above the crowd, and the next thing I knew, I was on the roof too.  It was as if God had placed me up there specifically to preach.  I spoke to the girls.  I told them, “Jesus is the Son of God!  Jesus is my Lord and Savior!  And Jesus loves you!”  That last one finally broke the expressionless face on one of them.  She seemed to be struggling to comprehend this concept that Jesus loved her.  I told her that Jesus wanted her to come to him, that he brings life in a way that no one else can.  She looked like she was about to cry joyfully at this news, but then suddenly the lack of expression came back to her face and she continued her thing of reciting who Jesus really was in history and how this contradicts the Bible.  I took a step toward her, and at that point she fell off the roof.  I didn’t know if she survived the fall, but I kept feeling that I had a chance to save her eternal soul, and if she didn’t survive that fall, she was going to live all of eternity without Jesus.  I woke up with chills at that point, without knowing if she survived the fall.

It was 3:30am.  I had only been asleep for two hours, and I didn’t know if I was going to get back to sleep after that.  I had to pee, but I was too afraid to venture out of bed for a few minutes, in case there were half-naked demon children in the hallway waiting to tell me everything supposedly untrue about Christianity.  I did eventually summon up the courage to go to the bathroom, after praying for a few minutes.  The first thing I did once I got back to bed was download the YouVersion Bible app on the new phone I wrote about last week, and I read about a chapter and a half from where I left off the last time I had read the Bible (which I’m sad to admit was about a week ago) before I started falling asleep and decided to give sleep another try.  I got about three more hours of sleep.

This whole experience got me thinking a lot, though, about how I haven’t been reading the Bible as much as I should be, and I’m not always good at explaining what I believe, and why.  So I’m going to go read the Bible now before I do anything else today.  And as for explaining what I believe: Human beings are inherently sinful, and this separates us from eternal life with God, our Creator.  Jesus came to Earth to live with us and die for our sins so that all who proclaim him as Lord and Savior can live eternally with Him.  It is the work of Jesus on the cross that saves us, not our own good works, but our works can reveal whether or not we are true believers, whether Jesus is truly our Lord.  And it is not our place to act judgmental or hateful to those who don’t share our beliefs, but it is our place to make sure that as many people as possible know this truth so that they know how to find eternal life.

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