While watching the livestream of the Phoenix conference after getting home from talking with the Toronto street preachers I mentioned in my last post, I heard Martin Zender say something that reminded me of what Henry, another of the so-called “evangelists” there, said. Basically, he tried to “Pascal’s Wager” me by saying something along the lines of, “If you’re right, then I’ll miss out on some stuff, but I’ll be okay in the end. However, if I’m right, you’re going to burn in hell for eternity.”
It’s interesting how they believe it’s more important to accept a doctrine because it might have a worse possible outcome than accepting its alternative might have, regardless of whether that doctrine is correct or not, but I’m far more interested in truth than I am in worrying about threats (although this, along with what I wrote in that last post, demonstrates just how much Christian doctrine is based on fear). As I pointed out to him in response, though, if I’m wrong, I’ve still believed the Gospel, so that isn’t actually the case at all (although he seems convinced that I haven’t, because he thinks I’m teaching false doctrine and hence it’s impossible that I have). But Martin said something even better, which is something along the lines of the fact that, if I’m wrong, I’ve been teaching that God is better than He really is, since I’m claiming He’s actually succeeded in accomplishing His will that everyone be saved, whereas if the street preachers are wrong, they’ve spoken terrible blasphemy, basically accusing God of doing horrible things to the creation He supposedly loves by torturing them in fire with no chance of escape. And if we’re going to worry about a “Pascal’s Wager” sort of scenario, I’d much rather be on the side of accusing God of being too good and too loving and too successful than the exact opposite.