Gee, I wish this weren’t true.
At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there’s a legend that, if you remove anything from the park and take it with you–say, a nice chunk of lava, as a souvenir–the volcano goddess Pele will be terribly angry and take painful vengeance on you ( http://www.thehawaiiplan.com/is-the-lava-rock-curse-real/ ). This prompts a lot of tourists to mail their souvenirs back to Hawaii, along with letters of apology to the goddess.
This has been going on for many years. The park visitors’ center used to have a display of agonized letters from repentant tourists, but that has been discontinued.
The letters are from real people who had really suffered–and thought the reason for it was the anger of a pagan goddess. “Dear Goddess Pele, I am SO SORRY that I took that rock! Ever since then I’ve had nothing but bad luck! My husband divorced me/ our car blew up for no reason/ my kid’s dog ran away/ our son voted for Obama/ my father-in-law fell off the roof…”
I’m not making it up. People believe that this volcano goddess is real, and has the will and the power to reach across the Pacific into Ohio or Illinois and mangle the lives of those who have offended her.
What does that say for the job done by our churches? You go to Sunday school as a child and then you go to church, and yet you sin against the real God without thinking twice about it. You would never write a letter of apology to God.
But people go to the trouble and the expense of mailing heavy rocks all the way back to Hawaii, along with abject letters to a pagan goddess begging her to forgive them and to lift her curse.
What does that say about our churches?