Recently I was asked if I was sure I was going to Heaven. The questioner had enough of a smug, self-righteous air that I was tempted to say "I bet my chances will go WAY up if I pour this cup of coffee over your head."
Instead, I made the mistake of making a noncommittal answer that brought on a further question:"Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever lied?"
I could see where this was going, so I replied, "No, but I've always had this covetous hankering toward my neighbor's donkey". I was SO tempted to use one of the other terms for "donkey", but being polite, I merely pronounced the work the way Shrek does.
This dipwad would not quit. "Well, did you know that means you've broken ALL of the commandments, and God considers you a...a covetter, uh...and you're going to hell for all eternity?"
"Really." Drawn out drawl.
"But you love me anyway, right? As a Christian?"
"I sure do! I'm going to Heaven, and I want to help you get there too."
His heart was in the right place, bless him. But his brain wasn't.
"You hate the sin, not the sinner?"
"Umm-hmmm!" Violent head nod.
"Okay, listen up. Christ didn't say that."
"Yes, he did!"
This was getting painful. "No, He didn't What He said was love your neighbor...and hate your OWN sin, and get rid of it before you start bugging your neighbor about his."
Message received. "Uh...oh."
"Look, I appreciate what you're trying to do. I really do. But you're supposed to witness, get it? Not 'interrogate', not 'force-feed', not 'harangue'. Just be a witness for what faith in Christ has done for you, how it's made you happy. Because this other stuff? You could drive Billy Graham out of the church."
"I did come on pretty strong, didn't I?"
"Like a coffee-ground enema."