The door knock almost knocked me out of the Sunday afternoon siesta. Cursing the interruption I saw face to face the interruptors – an elderly chinese gentleman and a young filipino lady.
It was a hot afternoon, I offered them a glass of water. They politely declined and started the conversation.
Here is the conversation, more or less verbatim.
Chinese Gentleman ( CG ): So, sir, how are you today and how is it going ?
Me: Managing to survive in this world. But managing to be happy as much as possible.
CG : So how are you planning to meet God ?
Me : God, why now ? There is time for that…
Filipino Lady (FL) : Time is running out Sir. You better hurry up. What The Book says….
Me : What ? I am still young, or probably so. But what is the matter now ?
CG : This is interesting Sir. So, have you not thought about your after life ?
I began to feel as though I was going to enter my death bed, on a hot sunday afternoon.
FL : Ok, nothing to worry. You still have time left. Better to change now for the better.
Beginning to feel worried, I sensed some pain emanating from the chest while noticing that my legs was beginning to disappear. Sort of ‘world spinning around me’ was the sense I was beginning to have. Somehow migraine started, or so I began to feel. All known and unknown illnesses began to descend upon me, or so I was beginning to feel. Medi-pedia ( medical wikipedia ) began to run in front of me with all kinds of diseases appearing in a random fashion like the ‘Breaking News’ stream running across the TV screen when a cricket match was on.
The two seemed to enjoy my medicament err.. predicament.
Me : But, what is wrong with me ? err.. why am I going to die soon ?
CG : No, you are not dying soon. But when you die what will happen ? I am concerned about you .
I was enjoying this new attention from the Chinese gentleman while I noticed that the gentle lady was pouring over a fat book apparently looking for some topic.
Me : What will happen ? I too don’t know.
CG : You will go to hell, my son , for you are a sinner. We are all sinners.
I began to look towards my family. The children seemed confused. Why is their father called a sinner ? So, Bharat, the younger one, asked , “So, appa, you didn’t write your home work ? Is that your sin?”
I started thinking about the different sins. Certainly this Chinese gentlemen could not be wrong. He was so elderly with white hair and a black rimmed spectacle. And the lady kept looking to the book as if preparing for an exam.
Me : But Sir, what wrong have I done ?
CG : Wrongs, Oh Come on. We all are sinners. We come into this world as sinners. So we are sinners. And God has sent his son to deliver us out of our sins.
The lady began to move. She showed me a page and it was highlighted in yellow.
FL : You see the sins ? Lasciviousness, lust, hatred, anger, home-sexuality.. everything is a sin. So you are a sinner.
I pondered over the sins listed. Did I do one or more of the above ? I kept asking myself.
FL : You see, Sir, even the baby in the mother’s womb is a sinner. It is there because of the sin of the parents.
CG : Yes, the baby sinned already lah. No escape !
Me : But, let me understand. How has the baby sinned ? Well, still not born yet, right ?
FL : Sir, you know Adam and Eve, the original sinners ? The sin stared there ..
Me : Okay, how about the baby ?
I was enlightened thus :
Adam and Eve sinned. The sin was they ate an apple that was forbidden by God. After eating the apple, they began to know their shame ( they were naked till then and didn’t know ) and hence sinned upon eating the fruit. Hence his progeny was doomed to be sinned. And hence the baby in the womb was a sinner.
Me : But Adam and Eve are not the creators of the baby in 2013. So ….?
FL : But they were the original sinners. Hence we are all sinners.
Me : So, the wrong deeds of the parents carry over to the child ?
FL : Precisely, that is how the sin of Adam and Eve are here today, you, me etc.
I began to curse Adam and Eve for this hot sunday afternoon with the two.
CG : So you are a sinner, agreed ?
Me : But, how the child? It is still not born.
I sounded really confused. I actually was. My medical predicaments were pushed to the back due to this philosophical questions about the un-born baby being the sinner.
FL : Yes, that is how it is in The Book.
I demanded to be shown the verse and was shown the same. I protested. This is not logical, I tried to reason.
Me : Ma’am, suppose my great grand father had committed a burglary, would you punish me because the g-g-father is long dead and gone ? I sounded triumphant.
Pat came the answer as if I had asked her ” what is one plus one ?”
FL : Please don’t equate Gods’ perspective from our perspective. They are different.
Gods’ perspective ? I was genuinely intrigued.
Me : So, let me understand. God created earth and said ‘let there be light’ and there was light. Then he created Adam and Eve and the Apple tree. So, Adam, Eve, the tree, the apple are all God’s creation. Hence how does his creation commit a mistake, a sin ?
CG : Adam and Even did it on their own. So they erred and hence sinned.
Me : But God created Adam and Eve. How could they act without God’s direction ?
FL : That is what The Book says. It says they acted on their own volition. See here.
She quoted a verse in all right earnestness.
Bharat and Hari, the kids, were enthused. Appa being questioned and corrected amused them.
Me : So, God, the purest form of righteousness created two people and they sinned without Gods’ desire. They sinned on their own. That is what the book says, right ?
CG : See, now you got it. Okay. When are you going to redeem yourself to God ?
I floundered. Redeem ? What was that ?
FL : Surrender, Sir. Surrender to God. Repent your sins and you shall be blessed in Heaven. Otherwise, you will die in Hell.
Then I was really terrified. A picture of Hell with a hot boiling oil, and serpents crawling allover the place began to run in my mind. I was jolted into consciousness when Bharat asked, “Appa, When are you going to Hell?”, in all earnestness and followed up with , “Do you need to take a train?”. Apparently he had come to believe that I had not written my home work and hence had indeed sinned and therefore shall be going to hell.
I stared at him and he ran away to his Mom asking how many stops were there between our house and Hell.
CG : See, the child is really intelligent. He has decided you are a sinner.
Me : Sir, let me be the sinner and go to hell. Please tell me how does a baby become a sinner.
FL : Sir, that is what we explained from The Book. Adam and Eve …
Me : Oh, okay okay. That one. But why a baby, still unborn ? I am a sinner and am okay with that. But the baby ?
CG : Because the baby is born out of sin. Simple, don’t you see ?
He was puzzled at my ignorance of The Book.
Me : But is not a child a gift from God ? Does not God gift a couple with a baby ? That is why we say , we are blessed with a baby boy etc, right ?
FL : Yes, but the baby is a sinner already. You see here..Psalm…
Me : Ma’am, If the baby is a sinner, the presenter of the baby, God, is He not a sinner too ?
CG : How can God be a sinner? Only Adam and Eve sinned. Not God, you see..
I accepted myself and every baby in their mothers’ wombs were sinners and asked what I had to do. Couldn’t bear this ‘ see this is in The Book’ torture anymore.
FL : So, coming back to the basic question, when are you redeeming yourself to God ? We are here to help you in that..
Me : So, you are Gods’ agents, right? I need to get some things straight.
The conversation continued on these lines and followed a pattern. I would ask a question, the lady would go into The Book and the gentleman would look puzzled first and start from Adam and Eve and the apple.
1. When God created Earth and Adam and Eve and the apple, whey did He make Adam and Eve sin ? If the apple was not to be eaten, why was it created and kept in the vicinity of Adam and Eve in the first place.
2. Was it not a sin to discard the apple as apple was the creation of God Himself? And so if God would have not willed, would Adam and Eve had sinned at all ?
3. Would it not have been an insult to God if his creation- the apple, was not eaten?
4. Why should one abide by The Book in to to ? Are not the Laws of the Land bound to change like the different statutes of the different countries ?
5. If the baby in the mother’s womb was indeed a sinner then why not abort that ? And why does the Catholic Church oppose abortion ?
6. Why should I believe that Jesus was the one who needed to be worshiped ? Why should that be Jesus ? Why not, say Allah or Buddha?
7. Why should God pardon me for the sins that I had committed and thus give me Heaven when He Himself was responsible for all my actions, as per The Book ?
8. Why did the Christian countries have death penalty in their legal system when it took just a repentance of the sin for a murderer to be redeemed ?
There were many more transactions. And each time I was enlightened with “Adam and Eve, sin, apple, hell, heaven, child, womb, adultery, promiscuity, satan, angels and redemption in various permutations and combinations with the lady going to The Book and locating some connected verse regarding the question that I had asked.
Me : Sir, I am not erudite as you are. But do you think that man is powerful and intelligent enough to act on his own ?
CG : No. But God has given him the ability to think and act. So he commits mistakes and sins and has to repent like Adam and Eve ..
Me : So man is not that powerful and cannot act on his own, right ?
FL : Yes, God is all powerful and His Will Be Done. You are right.
Me : Then why does man sin ? Does God want him to sin ? So is God the sinner?
FL : Your question seems logical but that is God’s perspective to direct man.
Me : So God’s perspective is to make man sin ? I just want to clarify..
FL : Let me check.. You seen in psalm …
And the pattern continued for two hours.
FL : So you are doubting the very verses of God ? Do you know the Hell you will be going through later ?
Me : I didn’t know earlier. But I know now as I am going through one already.
As a present, I got this “The Gospel according to Matthew”. Readers are advised to book their copies in advance.