I am the Boogie Man. It's a fact. This used to bother me, I'd say and think stuff like, "I don't want kids to fear me, why couldn't their parents have chosen something else, you know, like a nice mythical beast. Something with wings and horns would have been classy, maybe a vengeful ancestral spirit?" But no, it's the white guy, he's the one who comes and gets you when you are disobedient and disrespectful to your parents. It's not that he wants to cannibalize the flesh of young children out in the villages, its just his job, kinda his community service. I've come to accept it, little kids running from me screaming because their parents told them stories about the pale-skinned people. Parents, politicians, and priests are the same all over the world; if logic, reason, and education are too much effort, use fear.
Of all the evangelistic techniques used, the trusted standby "You're going to Hell" has always struck me as a copout and made me wonder, "Really, that's your angle?" I don't fully disbelieve the truth of the statement, for all I know it could be true, I just don't understand the surety or the justification for the statement. Are Gandhi, Muhammad, and Judas in Hell? How should I know, I never saw the guest list. The question I'm more interested in is how, in light of all the restoration, rebirth, adoption, validation, new life, healing, deliverance, good news, etc. throughout scripture, does "not going to Hell" become the big sales pitch? It's like using pictures of Detroit to convince people Fiji is a worthwhile destination. I've never been to Detroit but I believe it exists; I've even herd people live there... of their own free will no less?! I don't understand this, but having spent time in Bakersfield, Ca. and Montgomery, Al. I believe it's possible. I don't mind Montgomery, I've just never been in a place with more people eager to leave, free to do so, and resigned to the fact they never will. Bakersfield, Detroit, and Hell represent their own enigmas.
I might get around to reading one of Rob Bell's books, but until then I'll stick with the belief Hell is a real place people will end up in. That said, I've never considered it relevant to any of my beliefs or actions. I might be in denial, but I'd rather live a life geared towards the positives, you know, like that whole God kinda likes us thing and has put a bit of effort into helping us become a bit more alive, a bit more free, and a whole lot more like him. I don't need a Boogie Man to make me like Jesus, I fail to see the point of getting freaked about noises in a closet when there is a party raging outside.