Without apparent cause I fainted and collapsed in the bathroom, causing a serious injury to my hand. Moments like this one cause me to ask the question: Am I ready to meet my maker?
Many of us can tell stories about 'those' moments—near misses, well-times coincidences and scrapes mortality—situations where we stare death in the face.
Three years ago I was overcome by heart problems and difficulty breathing. I realised I could die anytime and I lamented time wasted while the lack of oxygen to my brain gave me a sublime light-headedness: was I ready?
But many people experience this feeling, sure that they're going to die, and yet they are not prompted to seriously consider their own mortality. My dad is like this. I'm sure with the motorcycle and car accidents he's had that he's scraped past death at least a couple of times but he refuses to think seriously about questions like: 'where am I gonna go when I die?' or consider NDE (near death experience) testimonies.
Instead he prefers to utter the rhetoric 'when I die, I die' and be blissfully ignorant in whether humankind has a soul that survives death or not.
Ignorance is unanimous bliss
He's not alone. As a (secularized) society it seems to me that we've become fascinated by the mechanics of death instead of focusing on the reality of it. Crime shows and action movies provide gore-filled reenactments of how the body dies but no solid reasoning of why it dies and what that means.
The existence of the soul comes with certain implications and as it stands it is only the Judeo-Christian worldview that has any real explanation to why there is death as opposed to non-death. All the other views simply assume death's existence without explanation.
Death is a reality and personally I'd rather be behind the world view that tells us why it is a reality not one that gives us little personifications with the sickle (which they took from the Bible mind you) and avoids the real issue. The real issue is what philosophers call the threat of non-being and it's something that terrifies us all whether we cop to it or not. So that pleasant idea from the atheist camp that this life is all there is, is not really that wonderful if we get right down to it even if they claim it gives them 'freedom'.
Double talk and nonsense
That is why the average funeral for the non-believer is filled with well-wishing and Christian-borrowing cow dung. At the most extreme trumping out a couple of verses (Psalm 23 anyone?) or a hymn (Amazing Grace taken completely out of context anyone?) or rosy tripe concerning the deceased 'looking down on us' or having had a valued existence.
What does it matter what humanistic feats one has accomplished when they're dead? It's all for naught. Ecclesiastes put it best: For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
Then there are those firmly stuck in Camp Ignorance. New Agers, believing in the possibility of the soul but not caring for the why there should be a soul and the same goes for the Hindu and Buddhist camps. Nonsense regarding karma and enlightenment and fluff where everyone is happy and rewarded after death with what they love best has entirely NO warrant for it (if you want to see what real warrant for belief is read Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief).
God does not hand out party favors after death to those who have spent their life trying to get around His existence.
So what does this matter? Shouldn't we let them have their fun in escaping the reality about death? The reality that if we no longer exist posthumous then our lives are completely meaningless. The reality that funerals for people with meaningless lives are nothing short of a joke.
The reality that they are going to die and if the God of the Bible they scoff at is real, their current ignorance won't save them from beholding Him. Escapists deserve no such thing; they should face reality and give their last breath a bit of consideration.
I am ready to meet my Maker, by the way. And when it comes to my funeral I want it to be understood by the opening words to the song All My Tears:
When I go don't cry for me, in my Father's arms I'll be.
Watch this space with my next drama-filled medical emergency.
Bridget Brenton has been researching apologetics, philosophy and the paranormal for years. You can check her apologetic effort out at 101arguments.com
Bridget Brenton's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/bridget-brenton.html