“Dear Sean, are you a Christian? Sometimes I can’t tell. There is only one way to heaven, and your ‘tolerance for all,’ and ‘just be a good person’ philosophy sounds fine, but it leads to hell.
“…Hell is real, Sean. I read about your affinity for alcohol, and how you condone flagrant sinners. …As a Christian, I find your feel-good writing to be misleading and disgusting to Believers. There is only one way to heaven… and I believe you know this. I am not saying any of this in judgment, I am only saying this as your brother. Repent, friend. The time is at hand.”
Dear Friend. Gosh. First of all, your concern for my soul humbles me. I am honored. You sound like someone I could be friends with.
Thank you for taking time to write such a stirring and unsolicited email.
It’s funny, I used to know an elderly retired preacher who said that someone’s eternal soul was like their groin region. To just walk up and start talking about someone’s groinal region is rude and downright uncalled for. But congratulations to you. You just jumped right in there.
The writer in me needs to tell you that your letter was extremely well written. Not one grammatical error. I am verry empressed. I actually counted your total words. There were 912. It takes me hours to write 900 error-free words.
Ergo, you spent at least an hour out of your day writing to me. How unselfish.
I’ll bet you spend the same amount of time worrying about children who are born to crack-addicted parents. I’ll bet, each day, you visit those drug-addicted babies in their lowly states.
I’ll bet you are also a frequent volunteer in the NICU, holding motherless and fatherless babies, so they don’t die of neglect. Kudos to you, sir. I wish I could be like you.
You probably also visit the homeless shelters and hand out quilts to those suffering from frostbite. Those same homeless persons with mental illness, who cuss too much, drink too much and snort illegal substances. Those “flagrant sinners” you mentioned.
And yet, you took time out of your schedule to write little old me. Amazing.
You could have been making a visit to the pediatric oncology ward and providing joy and gladness to children who won’t see tomorrow’s sunrise.
You could have been visiting a local animal shelter and taking abused dogs on walks. Dogs like Pirate, the pitbull who was dragged behind a car for a mile, suffering road rash and a fractured skull. Or Macy, who was beaten so hard by her previous owner she went blind.
Instead of writing to me, you could have been visiting foster homes in your area. You could have been hanging out with Sánja, the young man who found his mother after she shot herself in the kitchen.
Sánja has PTSD pretty bad, and a host of other mental issues. And do you know what his doctor recommended? Laughter. So sometimes people visit him just to make him laugh. Because his doctor says laughter is more healing than meds.
Just think, friend, you could have been visiting Sánja, but you emailed me instead. I am flattered you think so highly of me.
Or you could have been going to the nursing home. Did you know that 60 percent of nursing home seniors within the U.S. never receive visitors? Zero visitors. They are America’s forgotten population. Thank you for valuing me more than them.
Moreover, you are right about me, sir. I am not the kind of man I should be. I am not a good person. I am selfish, I am competitive, I have an ego I can’t seem to subdue. I hang out in beer joints, I watch baseball in sports bars, I listen to George Jones on purpose, I rub elbows with people you would despise. I cuss a little.
If I end up in hell, all I can say is: God is justified in sending me there. Because I deserve it. I am irreverent and flawed. A guy with lots of problems. When it comes to faith, I doubt. I falter. I am proud. I am lazy. Truth be told, I don’t have a lot of faith.
Then again. Thankfully, I was once told by a Friend that it doesn’t take much.
Ragon Bill - February 4, 2023 1:00 pm
Great thoughts. Thank you for your insights
Debbie Haggerty - February 4, 2023 1:03 pm
Good for you, Sean!❤️
John Bass - February 4, 2023 1:04 pm
Well stated, Sean. None are perfect or righteous. None have all of the answers. Do the best you can to help whenever you can. God bless.
TH - February 4, 2023 1:04 pm
Oliver Rhett Talbert - February 4, 2023 1:05 pm
Methinks you’ve received more than this one letter on the topic -it shows in your response, and I don’t blame you. This world has a plethora of judges and performers; we don’t need any more.
stephenpe - February 4, 2023 1:06 pm
The last soul I would worry about is Sean Dietrich. I feel like I have known him all my life. Much like the God he knows……….
Adam - February 4, 2023 1:06 pm
Well said/written Sean.
Sandy Davis - February 4, 2023 1:06 pm
Denise Walker - February 4, 2023 1:08 pm
Thank you, Sean, for turning that unnecessary and rude missive around. You certainly have a way with words. We all fall short of the glory of God. Ain’t it great that He loves us anyway?
Alan Hays - February 4, 2023 1:14 pm
I thoroughly enjoy your writing each day. Of course some writings hit me closer to home than others.I am a man saved only by the grace of God. Jesus tells us in John 14:6 that no one gets into Heaven except by trusting Jesus as their savior.
That’s all there is to it, ask Jesus into your heart.
It is my prayer that you do ask Him to save you like I asked many years ago. Yes it is nice that we do some things to help others but we can’t work our way into Heaven.
If you would like to know more, just email me and I’ll be happy to share with you what He’s done for me.
Susie - February 4, 2023 11:15 pm
I’m thinking Sean’s answer is directed to you, too, Alan Hays. Be sure to read it again!
Beth - February 4, 2023 1:14 pm
LOVE THIS SOOOOO MUCH!!!
Deborah Bundy - February 4, 2023 1:19 pm
All I can say is AMEN! 💕
Joyce Basse - February 4, 2023 1:20 pm
But yet he keeps on reading! Keep doing what you’re doing Sean! God bless you!
SGL - February 4, 2023 1:22 pm
Buried him with words. Loved every minute of it… well done, sir!
lisaweldon - February 4, 2023 1:23 pm
SO SO SO glad his letter riled you up. You go, Sean!
Nancy - February 4, 2023 1:24 pm
Oh, so much I want to say to this gentleman as one “Believer” to another. But, I’ll just tell you instead, Sean. Your feel-good posts do make me feel good as they are a witness to how the human race should be treating others. You, sir, walk the walk. You are an example of how the rest of us should be pouring ourselves on our fellow man as God’s vessels. Your posts have become part of my morning devotional time as I recognize God’s hand in your work. Thank you. Looking forward to seeing you in Columbus in support of Mercy Med. Another example of your quiet Christian endeavors.
Sandy Fox - February 4, 2023 1:25 pm
“It doesn’t take much.” Amen.
Jean Sherrill - February 4, 2023 1:25 pm
we are all sinners….your friend included. I think your answer was perfect. We love you
Fran Willard - February 4, 2023 1:38 pm
👏👏👏 We are all going to heaven, there is no hell, even Pope Francis said so. You are a
good person with a wonderful heart, Disregard that letter. Great response.
Jo - February 4, 2023 3:40 pm
God says there is so the Pope is misguided at best. I’ll take God and His Word over anything man says.
Mickey McCann - February 4, 2023 8:49 pm
Sounding like an Northern Irish free Presbyterian.
Susie - February 4, 2023 11:33 pm
For me to be concerned whether I’m going to heaven or hell, I have to first believe in both or either one. And I don’t. Each to his own, Alan. You need to just quit trying to press your religious beliefs on others. Judge only yourself, not others, Alan. At least, Sean is honest and HUMBLE and smart enough to admit he sometimes had doubts. Which tells me he, at least, has a brain and questions things, which I can only admire. You go , Sean. You’re just allright with me!
Sandi Krym - February 4, 2023 1:39 pm
Well said Sean! It amazes me at how many imperfect people feel compelled to point out imperfections in others. Hopefully, the next time the person who wrote the email feels compelled to reach out to criticize someone else, he will remember your reply and put his energy into doing something positive.
Not - February 4, 2023 1:39 pm
Sean I’m shocked at that rude offensive “friend” who never had the courage to give his full name. All I can add if, “ Judge not, lest ye be judged”. Sean keep on keeping on. Your care and love have moved many hearts.
Norma Den 🇿🇦🇿🇦 - February 4, 2023 1:41 pm
Sorry to quick fingered.
Joe - February 4, 2023 1:40 pm
Sean I had to comment on this one just to see how fired up this line of comments will get some folks. I once read an author or pastor or someone who wrote “Christian” material who stated if the body of Christ spent less time beating up on its own members and more time reaching out to the lost that the world would see more to love about Christianity and here is a perfect example. Keep doing you your way and I’m betting even that little bit of faith will be enough. And you won’t get left behind based on what drink you have at the ballgame. Come to think of it. Or the bar, for that matter.
Linda Halfpop - February 4, 2023 1:40 pm
Sean, I hope my house is next to yours in heaven ❤️
Sharon on Southside - February 4, 2023 10:27 pm
And mine on the other side!!
EP Gregg - February 4, 2023 1:42 pm
Enough said. AMEN
Rollin Mallernee - February 4, 2023 1:43 pm
Thank you for such a wonderful piece 🙏
Mary - February 4, 2023 1:44 pm
Perfect response, Sean. I wonder why he even subscribes, since just reading your writing must also be sinful. I will remain a follower of your “philosophy.” I have no need of the god that “Believer” follows.
Nina Horn - February 4, 2023 1:44 pm
I really liked this letter to whoever that so called Christian was that sent you that ____letter!
Vanessa - February 4, 2023 1:45 pm
Sean — I find your feel-good writing to be the perfect start to my day! Please know that your letter writing “friend” is an insignificant minority. I, as another insignificant minority, love the way you use your platform for good. You are a fairy-godfather of-sorts to so many people like Shelbylane, and dogs too! May God bless your poor misguided soul!
Sharon of Southside - February 4, 2023 1:45 pm
Sean- thank you for all your examples of the things Jesus and followers of Jesus would do. I wonder if your writer knows Jesus wasn’t a Christian.
ocasey - February 4, 2023 1:47 pm
What a Friend we have in Jesus.
RK Mills - February 4, 2023 1:47 pm
Where is that mustard seed when you really need it
Lauri - February 4, 2023 1:49 pm
oldandblessed - February 4, 2023 1:55 pm
Do as I preach, not as I do. That seems to be the call of many….
Cindy - February 4, 2023 1:56 pm
Sean Dietrich I think you will have stars in your crown for this. Your soul will be just fine.
Mark Wyrick - February 4, 2023 1:56 pm
I’m saving this one, reminds me how I need to laugh more and chase a few more rainbows. I’m 71 next month and the best part of me is a young lady who I’ve spent 50 years with. Every day I try to get her to laugh, some days I succeed. Those are my golden days. We’ve chased a few rainbows together, sure hope we have a few more to chase.
And to your good, concerned “Christian”, go find some “rainbows”.
Jeff - February 4, 2023 1:56 pm
Nice rebuttal. Folks should worry about themselves and be less judgemental. After all, there is actually one true judge.
I recommend that everyone watch the movie “The Shack”. They will see that it’s ok to not be perfect. They will also see a lesson on being judgemental.
Keep doing you. I believe even God reads your daily columns and he knows the what you do, how many Ovaltines you drink, and where. But he also knows the good your columns have done. And most of them are about things you’ve gained knowledge of by doing things he should have done.
sandee clark - February 4, 2023 1:57 pm
Oh my goodness!! Haha As a flawed and many times selfish Christian, I love your response! Really perfect I see we share the same Friend, as small as a mustard seed right? 😉😉
John Crawford - February 4, 2023 1:57 pm
Sean if u ever become Sean of the Midwest and come to Indiana, I will be there in the front row. I will even bribe my wife to come with me (she doesn’t like u as much as I do 🙂
I am a pastor and a business owner. I think there is a hilarious conflict between the holy and the human—-this is what u r talking about. Some people don’t realize that the conflict is hilarious but I think God does. That is why he made grace. In the original Greek, grace means “the divine influence on the heart, and the reflection in the life”. We are all flawed and need grace, and God loves us right where we are right now. He promised to lead us into all truth. God wants to be friends with us and gives us grace, life, healing, salvation and truth. I love your writing because you give us grace and truth also. If Christians gave more grace and truth and love I think people would mistake us for Jesus a lot more.
I love u Buddy.
U r in my prayers
Julie Hall - February 5, 2023 12:33 pm
George Durham - February 4, 2023 1:57 pm
Connie Faivre - February 4, 2023 1:58 pm
Your response is absolutely brilliant. And its intent will fly high over and beyond the head of whoever wrote that email. But bless you for your answer.
Regina Vanderneut - February 4, 2023 1:59 pm
What a FRIEND we you and most of ur readers have in JESUS!!! Forgot our SAVIOR was only judge-mental to “religious people!! I don’t agree with tolerance to a point but my JESUS is (who I am supposed to be attaining to be like) AND with patience and love and grace of our ABBA!! Lesson to learn for me!!
Susan Mitchell - February 4, 2023 2:00 pm
Sean, once again your response is perfect! I do believe God is shaking his head over that guy’s letter. Keep on being you Sean, your writing is a gift to us all. ❤️
Harry - February 4, 2023 2:01 pm
Thank you Sean. As an ole friend toldt me at one time a bit ago…”when you point yo’ finger at someone, three of them fingers is point’n back at YA!!!!”
PS Sean, I lift you up in prayer and thankful for your thoughtful, uplifting stories.
Judy Riley, Marianna, FL - February 4, 2023 5:37 pm
I have never heard that analogy….I love it!!!!
Renee Welton - February 4, 2023 2:01 pm
Ann Beebe - February 4, 2023 2:03 pm
I bet the Angels will sing a glorious symphony when you show up there! Thank you, Friend!
Karen - February 4, 2023 2:05 pm
Way to go Sean!
Karen Maxwell - February 4, 2023 2:07 pm
Well done you flagrant sinner!
Cm - February 4, 2023 2:09 pm
Poor sanctimonious soul.
Karen - February 4, 2023 2:09 pm
BRAVO, Sean! BRAVO!
Katrina Butler - February 4, 2023 2:10 pm
MTP - February 4, 2023 2:10 pm
You have always had an exceptional way with words. Guess that’s why my late hubby turned me on to your writings.
Keep up the awesome work
A forever fan,
Marilyn - February 4, 2023 2:10 pm
Your response was right on to this “friend” who has no right to be judging you, or anyone else. They’ve been put in their place, and I hope they realize it. Keep up the good work you do, Sean. We love you and your way with words.
cindy bryan - February 4, 2023 2:12 pm
Henry Puckett - February 4, 2023 2:12 pm
The person who wrote to you came on a little strong, but without first hand knowledge of you and your beliefs sometimes it’s hard to tell. There’s no point in getting into a discussion that deep without that knowledge. But your response to him seemed harsh. I don’t know if you’re saved just by reading a column so there’s no point in me asking. I don’t drink so I can’t meet you at a bar to discuss your life or my life, but there is a Waffle House within walking distance of my house if you ever feel the need.
Susie - February 5, 2023 3:08 am
Henry, Sean is JUST FINE without YOUR judgement, too!
mccutchen52 - February 4, 2023 2:12 pm
“Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” You had a perfect response Sean.
David - February 4, 2023 2:16 pm
Well done … I’ll drink to that!
Peggy - February 4, 2023 2:17 pm
Love sean…so..much love his writing, he is a good man ,,just ask his beautiful wife. There is only one judge…keep doing what u do sean.you lift us all up…💖💖💖💖
John Marsh - February 4, 2023 2:20 pm
Thank you, Sean for sharing with us one unique and in my opinion genius way to respond to incoming comments. You are a gift, a blessing, and keep on keeping on. Hope is like AIR, everybody needs it. If there is hope in your future.. there is power in your present!
sflouden - February 4, 2023 2:20 pm
I so enjoyed your comment to this gentleman. As I said in a previous comment a few weeks ago…You are a minister. You minister to peoples hurts….and you mister to mine. A laugh a day will help keep the doctors away. Hats off to you on this post. Have a great day and in the Eyes of the Lord! Because you are a Minister of great quality!
Carol Giese - February 4, 2023 2:20 pm
Good morning from the Villages, Florida. I have only recently been made aware of your excellent daily posts (I don’t want to add the word blog to my vocabulary at this age). I just wanted to let you know that even though you are from Florida, our local library does not have your books. I find this very disturbing. You are a native son and should be celebrated as such. I know you are from the very farthest edge of the panhandle, but still. My book club picked Will the Circle Will Be Unbroken to read this month. Alas, we are left to search elsewhere. I’ve requested an interlibrary loan but who knows how far and wide they will have to search.
Paul Redhead - February 4, 2023 2:21 pm
Sean, your response to this “Christian” writer is spot on. You mirror what Jesus did and would do. He hung out with sinners and nailed the judgmental, legalistic Pharisees who in turn nailed Him, your Friend, to the cross for us all who are sinners.
A friend of mine shared this on Facebook: I LOVE IT!!! I stand with this message and preach this message!!! PTL!!!
“How does the thief on the cross fit into your theology? No baptism, no communion, no confirmation, no speaking in tongues, no mission trip, no volunteerism, and no church clothes. He couldn’t even bend his knees to pray. He didn’t say the sinner’s prayer and among other things, he was a thief. Jesus didn’t take away his pain, heal his body, or smite the scoffers. Yet it was a thief who walked into heaven the same hour as Jesus simply by believing. He had nothing more to offer other than his belief that Jesus was who he said he was. No spin from brilliant theologians. No ego or arrogance. No Shiny lights, skinny jeans, or crafty words. No haze machine, donuts, or coffee in the entrance. Just a naked dying man on a cross unable to even fold his hands to pray.”
For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son so that whosoever believed in him would not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
I read this today and was reminded of the simplicity of the Gospel.
Michael Craig - February 4, 2023 2:23 pm
Sean, I am an 81 year old lawyer, still practicing, son of a preacher, married to a Methodist pastor for 45 years, and I taught Bible for decades. You were absolutely brilliant in skewering this self-righteous prig, and I wanted to stand up at my breakfast table this morning and applaud you. I’ve got a brother, a retired educator, who doesn’t have much but used to plow his country gardens to gather food to take to the women’s shelter, volunteered to hold and rock new born babies at the hospital, is a bachelor and takes in college students at his house, houses immigrants (helped locate housing for Afghanistan refugees recently), and has done some of the things you listed in your article. And yet, he has never darkened a church door. We are all wounded souls and we have emotional scars that we carry, either from the stupid things we did when we were young, or the stupid things done to us at an early age, like the suicide of a parent. People who preach legalisms to the lost have missed the point. Christianity is about grace—that that we receive and that that we do for others. Several winters ago there was a long line of folks standing in the freezing cold outside the Department of Public Safety here in Houston, waiting their turn to get indoors and renew their Texas Driver’s License. An itinerary preacher who sounded a lot like your writer about whom you wrote today paced up and down the line waving his Bible and shouting condemnations until he was run off. Next day, a group of us from my church went there and we volunteered to stand in line for these people, gave them to coffee, while they waited in their warm cars, and we texted them when we were in the building where it was warm to come on in. Never mentioned the church we were from or anything about religion, refused compensation—-just trying to do a kind act. It’s been said that one would rather see a sermon than hear one. Your writer wouldn’t understand that and may have well have grown up in a fundamentalist church like I did where there were lots of legalisms and little grace—-I’m now in a church that is just the opposite. I don’t blame you a bit for not “taking a strong stand and preach to those unwashed sinners,” or identifying with a denomination. Your faith, your empathy and your grace in your writing about the least, the lost and those without much quite frankly, as Augustine said, “makes my faith look like straw.” Additionally, the Christian Nationalists have so politicized the word “Christian,” that I never use it any more. If anyone ASKS me, I simply tell them I am a follower of Christ. Sean, thanks for all you do and all that you are. You have a great sense of humor and bring messages of humility and inspiration that this country badly needs.
Debbie g - February 4, 2023 3:02 pm
Well said for Sean. Mr Michael
I hope we all end up in same room with Sean It would be an honor for me for God to think that much of me to put me standing beside such an awesome man as Sean Dietrich.
Love to all. Please let’s pass it on
Paul Sams - February 5, 2023 12:25 am
Mr Craig, I love your reply. I’m speaking for myself and not trying to put words in your mouth. I often think some people get so holy in their mind, that they can’t see God. God expects us to be good stewards of this world he created. You and the others who were standing in line to give others relief from the cold was in my mind showing God’s love. In my life I have had many questions and many doubts. But having questions and doubt can have one seeking answers and learning more. Helping those who are hungry, or helping a child, or a man or woman who needs help is doing what I believe to be what God expects from us. It isn’t hard to show kindness, or to show respect for someone. It can make a difference, a good difference. We may not be able to solve all the problems of the world. but, their are so many opportunities to show kindness, and to help people. Simple acts of kindness or helping someone who has a need is doing God’s work. I have had times in my life when a kind word or gesture made more of a difference to me than the person who extended that help to me will never realize. Kindness, compassion and forgiveness is following the teachings of Christ. Let God be the judge, and treat others as God would want you to treat them.. You Have a good day Mr. Craig.
Nancy - February 5, 2023 1:31 am
Michael, thank you- just beautiful. I totally agree.
Lander - February 6, 2023 5:42 pm
Well said. There is such a difference between someone being self-righteous (thinking they’re more important than another or thinking there are certain words that must be said to be in God’s good graces) and someone acting out righteousness (doing acts of kindness, bringing about justice, showing the love of God). One is formulaic and insistent, the other is free and encouraging. In the end, it really is up to God and the choice of God’s graciousness. I hope I’m much more on the side of grace.
Kathleen - February 4, 2023 2:28 pm
Such a good answer, so very, very good.
Maggie Priestaf - February 4, 2023 2:30 pm
Sean…mmm, mmm, mmm! You and I may end up in the same room.
Lisa - February 4, 2023 2:30 pm
Utterly and absolutely brilliant, and the best response to someone who has completely missed the point of our loving God. Kudos, Sean!
Hayden Powers - February 4, 2023 2:31 pm
God Bless you Sean. Keep on doing what you do. My wife and I love reading your daily blogs. Thank you for filling our hearts with your wonderful stories and inspiration.
Kam - February 4, 2023 2:32 pm
I love your writing! I believe Prayers are needed for this person; pinched comes to mind!
Brian Lee - February 4, 2023 2:32 pm
As was said ” well done…….”
Rick Putnam - February 4, 2023 2:33 pm
Tell it all, brother!
Naomi - February 4, 2023 2:33 pm
Good going, Sean. One thing this person left out is, “Judge not lest you be judged.” My husband and I do not support and churches or televangelists anymore; we only support humanitarian organizations that help people who are starving and sick.
Cate B - February 4, 2023 2:35 pm
Great post, Sean. Well done. 👏🏻😘
Deacon Nick - February 4, 2023 2:35 pm
Sean, Peace be to you and Jamie! Feel free to join us sinners in the Catholic Church! We begin each Mass with: I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do — through my fault (striking my breast), through my fault (striking my breast), through my most grievous fault (striking my breast a third time), therefore I ask our Blessed Mother Mary, ever virgin, all the angels and saints, and you my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord, Our God. Amen!
Richard Owen - February 4, 2023 2:36 pm
As someone who will meet our Maker before you, Sean, (am 75 yo), I am right there with ya. I am not (and have never been if truth be told) what I consider being worthy of Heaven. But I do keep trying. I read your daily writings and sometimes I laugh and other times I shed a tear or two. This person sounds like the people in the parable about casting stones. ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’
John Swingle - February 4, 2023 2:39 pm
“With our words we make the world “ is attributed to the Buddha, but I believe with our deeds we make the world.
Fritha - February 4, 2023 2:41 pm
Dolores - February 4, 2023 2:43 pm
Most folks mean well (intention and motives) but their approach (methods and techniques) need more salt and light. It’s best to give grace to such folks, and pray God humbles them in due time lest they remain a Pharisee.
Anyone who reads your column is touched by your contrite heart, uplifting stories and unfailing sense humor. We’re inspired by the common folk you write about, that we too can be impactful in small ways. Your words run counter to the world the media is trying to sell. Now, who more aptly represents salt and light!
Kris smith - February 4, 2023 2:46 pm
Well done Sean. This article was handled like a TRUE Christian. Fear not! You are more Christian than he will ever be. I’ve taken care of him in my mind for you. You don’t need to spend one more word or thought on this guy.
Stephanie - February 4, 2023 2:56 pm
Sean, After reading many of these wonderful blogs as well as a couple of your books, I must say that you are everything Jesus would have wanted in a friend. Thank you for reminding all of us that we could spend more time volunteering in our communities and loving on strangers that need positive vibes or a kind touch.
Jennifer M. - February 4, 2023 2:53 pm
Greyn - February 4, 2023 2:55 pm
I like the part where “ perfect fellow” (must be) writes that “none of this is said in judgment “. Maybe he is just practicing irony or some such.
Don Bedell - February 4, 2023 2:58 pm
So well said. I suspect that those ‘The Bible/preacher/authority said it. I believe it. That settles it.’ people will be surprised when they get to heaven…. If they get to heaven.
Greyn - February 4, 2023 3:01 pm
Abou Ben Adhem. Greatly relevant here.
Dennis Stastka - February 4, 2023 3:02 pm
Sean, all the things you mentioned in this writing are good and noble and we all should be doing more for the down trodded people in our world, but you didn’t answer the question. Are you a Christian? One day we will all bow at the feet of Jesus and profess that he is the King! Why not profess it now if you are a child of the King and let the whole world know you are a Christian!
Only concerned for your eternity!
Paula - February 4, 2023 5:01 pm
Dennis: surely you know that lovely hymn that says “and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” I think Sean has shown his Christian faith many, many times.
Susie - February 5, 2023 3:21 am
Dennis, you need to get over yourself and leave others to their own beliefs.. REALLY. It’s the sharp people like Sean and others who see the gray areas in between FAITH and CERTAINTY.
Susie - February 5, 2023 3:22 am
Dennis, you worry about your own eternity.
Dottie Rogers - February 4, 2023 3:05 pm
Whew! I was wondering when this one would be coming.
susanmac123 - February 4, 2023 3:05 pm
I couldn’t agree more! This was one of my favorites OF ALL TIME! Kudos to you Sean.
Toni R. Young-Huber - February 4, 2023 3:07 pm
You said all in these few words.
Beverly Bartlett - February 4, 2023 3:10 pm
Brilliant response. Thank you.
shelaine2015Elaine Price - February 4, 2023 3:10 pm
Your salvation is between you and God and no one else. It isn’t ANYONE’S job to change or judge you except His. Christians are to be known by their fruits…by how well they follow Christ’s example. Maybe the gentlemen should add the New Testament to his Bible reading…the concepts of mercy, grace, and forgiveness are right there. But staying under the Law gives him a great excuse to be judgmental and feel self-righteous. One day he will realize who the only Judge is, and how far that Judge went to give him a chance to enter the Kingdom.
You minister so well to so many…I know my Jesus smiles at you.
Ed (Bear) - February 4, 2023 3:11 pm
I’m sorry to say this Sean, but your Christian emailing friend is acting like a holier than thou manipulative sinner. That “I’m a Christian and you’re not”, attitude is what is wrong with certain Christians. Oops. Now I’m being judgmental just like your emailing friend. I should follow your example, Sean, and help this judgmental human. He needs to unload some of that “I am God’s buddy and you’re not” attitude. God commanded us humans to love one another. That’s not always easy. Life can be hard. Your friend needs to allow God to do His Own work. God has one basic rule for us and that’s to love. God kinda frowns on us humans judging each other. I apologize to your friend and hope he is blessed with humility and kindness. I’ve heard that those two attributes go a long way toward Heaven.
Travis blackburn - February 4, 2023 3:12 pm
Incredible response to your critic. I like your, what I call my “daily briefs”, more and more daily. You have a good heart sir and your time spent with people in need is not overlooked I promise.
Continue the good fight sir,
Your friend Travis
Buddy Dalrymple p - February 4, 2023 3:14 pm
Don’t worry Sean, that would have pissed me off too. Hard to believe that you have that many devil worshipers that think you’re swell. I thought it was “Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.” You’re OK in my book.my man!
Celia - February 4, 2023 3:14 pm
Oh, that I could deliver such smooth, and needed, sarcasm to “ holier than thou” Christians. Each of us has the opportunity to offer comfort and kindness to others in need daily while individuals like this person give true Christians a bad name. Thank you Sean for a needed lift in spirit today. Bless you!
gwenthinks - February 4, 2023 3:15 pm
Oh my, Sean. Perfect response.
Nancy Laird - February 4, 2023 3:16 pm
I absolutely adore this column, Sean, and it fits right in with my own philosophy of “don’t do as I say, do as I do” As my mother told me repeatedly for about 70 years, actions speak louder than words, and one can always tell a ‘religious’ person by the actions that another can see, not by the words that tumble out of the mouth.
THANK YOU!!! I have shared this with more than one friend—and on Facebook as well. Congratulations on the best column I’ve read.
Susan Johnston - February 4, 2023 3:17 pm
Brilliant response. Jesus said you have to love God & love your neighbor. That’s it. Nothing more. He said nothing about sexuality, drunkenness, abortion…… well you get my drift.
Thanks for your essays- they brighten my day.
Susan in Tennessee
Jerry - February 4, 2023 3:18 pm
Well said, fellow sinner/saint
Judy - February 4, 2023 3:19 pm
Thank you for making me laugh and often cry. Thank you for being the vooice and sometimes the face of Christ.
Jackie - February 4, 2023 3:19 pm
Your response was simply beautiful. Thank you for putting into words what I have thought many times.
You are wonderful.
Carolyn Shomaker - February 4, 2023 3:20 pm
I’m pretty sure I can see which guy is on speaking terms with God – and it ain’t the preacher.
chrisswain3 - February 4, 2023 3:23 pm
This guy claims he does not judge?Well, then he is lying because that was a very , very judgmental letter, and I think somewhere in his bible there is a statement that says, judge not lest ye be judged. I avoid church on Sundays to avoid people like the above.
David in California - February 4, 2023 3:25 pm
Hmm. Same thing Jesus said to a lot of “religious” people. God shed His grace on me.
Peggy - February 4, 2023 3:26 pm
Dear Sean, I sense so much love and concern for others in your writing. I do hope you are my brother in Christ. I don’t want you to reply to this. Just want you to know that if you aren’t a Christian, I’ll be praying for you, but from your writings I hope you are! I know that being a good person is not enough to allow you into heaven, only a belief in Christ, turning from our sins and living in obedience to Gods commands will get us there. Also, I feel such a love for people in your writings that makes me hope it truly comes from the Lord. Please do accept Him. And live for Him. It’s such a joyful way to live and I want to be SURE that what I feel for and about you is really true! God bless you and please keep writing! You are a joy to all who know you! (Whether they know you in person or by your writing!) Lovingly in Christ, Peggy
Please don’t post this. It’s just for you.
Susie - February 5, 2023 3:33 am
Peggy, worry about your own path. Sean’s doin just fine.
Forest - February 4, 2023 3:29 pm
Matthew 7:1 and 2 are two good verses. But , so are John 3:16 and 17.
Just got back from walking our dogs. It’s chilly in Bham this morning, but that gentleman’s message was a bit colder.
Harvet Roberts - February 4, 2023 3:31 pm
God bless him. Aren’t we fortunate to have such as him to keep us on the straight and narrow.
Catherine Winters - February 4, 2023 3:32 pm
Good answer! I feel sorry for that poor, rigid, joyless fellow!
Susie - February 5, 2023 3:54 am
I agree, Catherine. That poor fellow seems to be a unhappy bloke, for sure.
Joy - February 4, 2023 3:32 pm
Dear Sean, I love your response! I am a believer and I know that my Person says not to judge lest ye be judged….and, truthfully, only He knows someone’s heart for sure. Honestly, your response speaks more to your heart than it does your critic’s. How would you know these things unless you had seen them firsthand? I’m 72 years old, and I’ve only known one or two people in my life that I could possibly say were saints. Hey, that’s why He came!
Christine - February 4, 2023 3:33 pm
Dear Sean, thank you for your thoughts on this matter. Your answer to this person was right on. They need to check themselves and make sure that love is the motivator for writing to you.
God is love ❤️
Sally McClelland - February 4, 2023 3:34 pm
Well, Sean, if you’re going to Hell, I’ll be following you there with a water pistol.
Sharman Corey - February 4, 2023 3:36 pm
Well said, Sean! Well said!
J - February 4, 2023 3:37 pm
Well, as they say n the south, bless his heart!
rdo333 - February 4, 2023 3:37 pm
Good answer .
Shelia Reynolds - February 4, 2023 3:43 pm
Preach, brother, preach.
T. K. Thorne - February 4, 2023 3:46 pm
I read you daily but have never commented. Today, I want to. Just . . . thank you, Sean.
Jim Broome - February 4, 2023 3:48 pm
Dear Sean, thanks for such a great reply .
As the “son of a preacher man” I heard those same comments a thousand times. I know you have heard “that the preacher’s kids were the meanest”. Well, I tried to live up to that because I didn’t want to make liars of Dad’s parishioners.
I was gonna tell you to not pay no mind to that self righteous person, but I decided agin it cause I see you didn’t.
I enjoy your column and look forward to reading it ever morning.
Keep up the good work.
Sherry Tollefsrud - February 4, 2023 3:52 pm
To the person who wrote you the eloquent critique: I found your nose. It was in my business.
I hope you continue to spread your love and joy and grace to the masses because God is love, and you my friend, are one of his/her greatest disciples. And don’t even get me started on that precious Jaimie.
Chasity Davis Ritter - February 4, 2023 4:18 pm
Yes ma’am!! You got that right. You made me smile so big!!
Kathy Sherrer - February 4, 2023 3:53 pm
This is spot on! Love it!
Dianne Deavours Shafer - February 4, 2023 3:55 pm
Bravo! There are so many things that you could have said in response (and I would have said, so fortunately it wasn’t addressed to me): “And why do you call attention to the mote in an another’s eye, but don’t see the beam that is in your own eye?” (Matt 7:3) is my favorite. But then there’ s “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt 7:1). Or, “don’t be the pot calling the kettle black” ( Granny Allie Johnson)
Susan Marler - February 4, 2023 3:57 pm
Wow, where is the God I know of, the one with love for each of us, and if asked will forgive us sinners? I’ll be in hell along side you Sean.
Terry - February 4, 2023 3:58 pm
Dana Everhart - February 4, 2023 4:00 pm
Thank you for your integrity and honesty and understanding of the love of God!!!
Melissa Armstrong - February 4, 2023 4:01 pm
Sometimes legalistic Christians think too highly of themselves or forget All about love and grace. ♥️
Jeff Gale - February 4, 2023 4:04 pm
I’m with Bill and Debbie. Great thoughts. Thanks for your insights. Good for you Sean.
Helen De Prima - February 4, 2023 4:05 pm
One of your best, Sean! People who are so sure about their own righteousness give me a rash in the . . . I love the parable about the two men in the temple, one who brags about his virtues and the other who acknowledges his failings. Guess which one will be fast-tracked to heaven.
Ginga Smithfield - February 4, 2023 4:06 pm
Well said, Sean!
Bob - February 4, 2023 4:07 pm
Spot on brother!!!
Anne Arthur - February 4, 2023 4:08 pm
GREAT reply to a haughty Pharisee. I hope he’ll repent one day.
Paula - February 4, 2023 4:10 pm
Well done Sean
Doug - February 4, 2023 4:14 pm
“I am not saying any of this in judgment, I am only saying this as your brother. Repent, friend. The time is at hand.”
Sounds like judgement to me! Also, sounds like he would rather hangout with Pharisees over Jesus.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:10-13)
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.” (Matthew 11:19)
How dare you Sean! How dare you be a Christian and act like your Lord by loving sinners. How dare you spend time with sinners!
Ernie in River City - February 4, 2023 4:16 pm
Great response. We have a friend who had shirts made in response to the initial furor over Christmas vs Xmas. The shirts say, “Keep Christ in Christmas: feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, welcome immigrants, forgive others, embrace outsiders…” and several other things Christ commanded.
Melanie - February 4, 2023 4:17 pm
Terror and threats have no place in faith. This horrifying attitude has sickened and killed millions of people.
Chasity Davis Ritter. You’re friend and fellow believer always from Oklahoma - February 4, 2023 4:17 pm
Dear Sean, Your response has many valid points but if can add a few of my own? I AM a Christian. You’re writing never disgusts me. It often encourages and uplifts me. You often times remind me of another bearded fellow who wore sandals and liked a good drink so much himself he once turned water into wine at a wedding he was attending. He saw people. He saw me. You do the same everyday. He definitely told us to love one another, to treat an enemy as a friend, and to love your neighbor as yourself. I see those traits in you everyday. And let me also say the visions you write of heaven are so spot on and what I pray are really like with all my heart with but only one correction… I truly hope your mansion or double wide or whatever we end up with is at least pretty close to mine. It would be very easy to love a neighbor like that. I wouldn’t even have to try and I promise I’d keep doggy snacks at my place anytime your four leggers wanted to visit. THANK YOU for taking what time out of your day you do to share with me. The few minutes I spend reading or responding to your posts are PRECIOUS minutes away from negativity and grief or sorrow…. Just wanted to add my reply today 🙏
Jenn Latini - February 4, 2023 4:22 pm
You tell him, Sean! I am a new subscriber and I love your thoughtful writing. I am a Christian and I am not qualified for my salvation either. We go by the grace of God.
Cece Parsons Mills (Jabbo's sister) - February 4, 2023 4:28 pm
I’ll just bet that this guy is a pain to all who know him. Since he’s so perfect I wonder is he even needs to go be a part of Church Fellowship. Be true to your own heart Sean. You and Jamie and Marigold are awesome. You sprinkle happiness everywhere you go. And if Christians can’t be happy then why are we here?
Randy Jones - February 4, 2023 4:29 pm
Great answer ! Atta boy
Carol I Poe - February 4, 2023 4:44 pm
Righteous ain’t right!
Yes I said ain’t, for isn’t sometimes doesn’t express the pure back woods dumbness of a remark or comment.
My mother in-law was in her final stages of life and hadn’t spoken in days. The nurse came in to administer a shot to help her over to the other side. The nurse left and then came back into the room and announced “it ain’t working”. My Ex English school teacher mother in-law properly enunciated isn’t and was then able to complete her journey knowing she was able to help one more person in the proper form of “is not”.
Lander - February 6, 2023 5:25 pm
Love this. A perfect last word for the teacher of language.
Robert Harrington - February 4, 2023 4:51 pm
The wicked believes in his heart that he is good.
The righteous knows in his heart that he is wicked.
Stacey Wallace - February 4, 2023 4:54 pm
Sean, I am a sinner saved by Jesus Christ. I don’t deserve God’s grace, but I thank Him for it. I think the writer’s concern for you is real, but his blunt manner obviously ticked you off; I am really sorry. Christians are supposed to share the Gospel so that people will be saved and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Sometimes, however, we mess up the most important message we can share. No amount of good works will save us although Jesus expects us to do them, and they are a very important part of faith. I love your writing, Sean. I also love you and hope that if you haven’t already, that you will one day say that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior. He never gives up on me, which is really something because I mess up all the time and sometimes have doubts, too. Everyone does. Love to you, Jamie, Marigold, Otis Campbell, and Thelma Lou.
Kelly - February 4, 2023 4:58 pm
Sean, you never cease to amaze me! I look forward to reading your work every day. Your journey alone is inspiring but what you have taken and done for others with it is a testament of what your Friend has brought you through. The passion that you meet each day with and visit those who need the visitation and listen and play and give hope and understanding and comfort – it is incredible. I grew up in a strict denomination with staunch beliefs and I looked around one day and realized that very few of the folks were actually smiling. I thought if this is what “sinners” see when they look at us, why would they want what we have?! I knew right then that was religion and what you have my dear Sean is faith. Religion gets your name on a pew, but faith gets you a seat at the King’s table. The person so concerned with your soul needs to examine his and take a knee next to his pew before it’s too late. All I see in every post, in every picture, in every song is love – LOVE. That’s all. That’s what it’s all about. That’s why your Friend and mine came to this earth that His Dad created, because He loved us. And now you are loving on all of us. Thank you Sean!! Thank you for loving us – the broken, the hurting, the lonely, the lost, the sinner, the saint, the poor, the rich, the young, the old, the dying, the healed, the sad, the happy…. I could go on and on. But thank you for loving on us all, Sean because we ALL LOVE YOU right back!!! ❤️❤️❤️
Peggy M. Windham - February 4, 2023 4:59 pm
Let him without sin throw the first stone! You are a good person, Sean! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!
chrisroelker1016 - February 4, 2023 5:02 pm
Pubert Earle Bozemann - February 4, 2023 5:04 pm
I think this guy was trying to stir up your audience to see how many replies he could get. Dang if he ain’t succeeded. I feel purty sure you’re a Christian, but it really isn’t anybody business. Esp. His! That’d be between you and God.
Linda Leff - February 4, 2023 5:05 pm
Spot on, Sean.
Ann - February 4, 2023 5:15 pm
Preach, Sean. Preach! He seems to have missed the “Judge not” verse.
nancy - February 4, 2023 5:16 pm
It’s not easy being human being.
Judy Riley - February 4, 2023 5:23 pm
I know you probably didnt delete that letter…but you should have! I have a problem with know-it-alls….but they will always be out there. I trulu believe if you follow the “Golden Rule” you will end up at the pearly gates….just an opinion deom an 82 year old Great Grandmother….
Annie Walsh - February 4, 2023 5:23 pm
I love you plain and simple. Beautiful response!
Steve - February 4, 2023 5:27 pm
Fabulous response 🙏❤️
Donna Fishel - February 4, 2023 5:33 pm
Shirley Jones - February 4, 2023 5:44 pm
sjhl7 - February 4, 2023 6:03 pm
Amen and Amen!! “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” Funny, I have not met many who are qualified to cast that first stone … myself certainly included!
Ellouise - February 4, 2023 6:13 pm
It amazes me how many people think of themselves as. Christian and think their purpose in life is to tell people where they are going wrong. Sean, the one AND ONLY thing Jesus said we are to do is. Guess what! Not punish people for (just name it) anything. Not declare people wrong because they are different. One thing only: Jesus said we are to love one another.LOVE. That is absolutely all. LOVE. You’re doing exactly what we are all to do
Gayle Wilson - February 4, 2023 6:14 pm
Dear Sean, from one believer to another. Thank you for articulating so graciously the words that I need to memorize whenever I run into one of those people who have it all figured out and know that they will probably be the only person to make it through the pearly gates. You articulated it with such grace (oh wait, your are a sinner and so am I and here I am talking about grace!) that gave the sinless human a few things to think about. That’s all I have to say. So now I will drop the mic.
Jan Douglas - February 4, 2023 6:16 pm
Nailed it, buddy!
Linda Freeman - February 4, 2023 6:21 pm
Sean, as I read one of daily devotions based on Matthew 5:13-20 I thought of this post. I believe that you are a”salt of the earth” kind of guy!
Martha Young - February 4, 2023 6:22 pm
So, Sean, you are just a regular human ! All I can say is you are a mighty fine writer and you touch and reach many other humans with your stories each day. I for one look forward to reading them and am never disappointed with the message I get. Carry on !!!!
Laurel Johnson - February 4, 2023 6:26 pm
Sean I too will be praying for you. Jesus paid a price we cannot pay. He was the only sinless one. No matter how we faulter, the price is paid if we only accept it and ask Him into our life! God Bless You, Sean.
Kristi Fowler - February 4, 2023 6:30 pm
You go, Sean! How adroitly and graciously you put this holier-than-thou individual in his/her place!
Carol Pilmer - February 4, 2023 6:37 pm
Catherine C Smith - February 4, 2023 6:38 pm
Wow! What a sermon! We all needed that.
Pam Smith - February 4, 2023 6:42 pm
Spot on! With the compassion you write with and the subjects you write about, you Sean, are going to heaven! Even believers have doubts every now and then.
Sonja Hiserman - February 4, 2023 6:48 pm
EVERY time I read one of your columns that has involved a reader writing to you NEGATIVELY, I not only pray for that person, I also wish for a way we could wrangle up these lovely heathens (myself included) and take them for a “drive-in your pickup truck”. We could call it Field Trip Day. Along the way, we would stop and gather up all the hounds, foster kids, homeless, curmudgeons, hard working waitresses, librarians, teachers, counselors, single parents, Methodist & Baptist preachers, grannies & grandpas, Veterans, a few uiniformed officers of the law, maybe a judge or two, the bartenders, the fiddle & guitar players, a couple of cooks and a few mighty fine storytellers (you know the ones😉) and go to the mountains to set up a huge potluck (ask the Mrs. she’s the expert) and we all gather round for the bestest day ever! I think by the end of that, those people that wrote negatively to you might have a change of heart. God, I pray so!!
Dee Thompson - February 4, 2023 7:14 pm
Your response was perfect. To all the commenters who still question your Christianity I say this: the phrase “accept Jesus into your heart” means acting in a way Jesus would act, in my opinion. As any reader of your column can see, you obviously do that. Your love for others shines through in every column and your words inspire others to act in loving and charitable ways. Regardless of what church you may attend — or whether you ever set foot in any church — you LIVE the gospel. You aren’t perfect, but then nobody is perfect. Keep on keeping on, and ignore the judgmental assholes.
Susie - February 5, 2023 3:40 am
Well said, Dee!! Especially that last sentence!
Becky Souders - February 4, 2023 7:28 pm
Good work and good words, Sean Dietrich. I hope you have time to read the supportive words from your readers. Stay as you are please.
tbell1914 - February 4, 2023 7:29 pm
Sean, you are THE BOMB! So proud of your response today to the self-serving narcissist.
CaliPatsy - February 4, 2023 7:38 pm
B I N G O ! ! !
That word in itself should light a fire in your non-judgmental, “well meaning” correspondent preacher friend.
Keep being Sean!
John - February 4, 2023 7:48 pm
Well done, Sean!
Deborah Johansen - February 4, 2023 7:49 pm
I’m with Dee Thompson, above!
Glenda Joiner - February 4, 2023 8:02 pm
I loved your response to this letter. I’m Christian, Methodist, and active in my church. Your column was introduced to me by another Christian friend. I’m thankful, because I enjoy your words that come from a compassionate heart and a strong conviction to make the world better. God uses your words to awaken minds, bless others, and bring a smile. He knows you well after all He gave you the gift, GJ
CECELIA LEBLANC - February 4, 2023 8:30 pm
There is a wideness in God’s mercy!
Melissa Brown - February 4, 2023 8:41 pm
Great response Sean !! God Bless You – l have no doubt you will go to Heaven !!!!
Lynda Ridley - February 4, 2023 9:05 pm
MAM - February 4, 2023 9:14 pm
That was the best shutdown I ever read to one of those “holier than thou” folks. What you do every day and write about every day is known to God, and I believe He has already made a place for you in Heaven when your time comes, which we all hope is YEARS, many years away.. Congrats, Sean, for reminding him/her (?) of what he/she should be doing in a kind and respectful way.
Judy - February 4, 2023 9:19 pm
Worked with a woman who told me each day that I was going to Hell. I finally told her that as long as she wasn’t there I would take my chances.
Bonnie - February 4, 2023 9:40 pm
This may be one of my favorites!
– Faith the size of a mustard seed
– The nursing home statistic hit me hard, going to strive to do more
– thank you for always being real
Ann Syfert - February 4, 2023 9:52 pm
Dee Thompson and Sonja Hiserman, Your responses were just perfect. Dee, I want to be invited on that Field Trip!!! Wouldn’t that be a “hoot” and a joy, though!!! And Sonja, I say “Amen” to your response. It needed to be said. I have almost 2000 of Sean’s posts saved in my e-mail and not once, No!!, not once, have I ever questioned Sean’s faith. His writings bring joy to my life and I am so grateful to God for him. I love you, too, Sean!!!!!!!
Linda Moon - February 4, 2023 9:58 pm
So, I’m wondering if the old retired preacher could’ve been my uncle from Pensacola. He would’ve said something like the one you met did. Grace….it’s the most amazing thing. When you’ve got it you know it. And you have it, Sean Dietrich.
Matt Ovaska - February 4, 2023 9:59 pm
But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?
Most religious folks just don’t get it .
Faith without works is dead,
catladymac - February 4, 2023 10:23 pm
Well, if this guy and I end up i n the same place, we will BOTH be in hell !
Jim Heacock - February 4, 2023 10:32 pm
Thank you and I love your response!
Teri Kruljac - February 4, 2023 10:36 pm
Tssssss!! Thanks for your humanity, Sean. It is a great example for us ALL.
SheriK - February 4, 2023 10:38 pm
The comments from Paul Readhead, Michael Craig and Kelly are spot on! There are a lot of others noteworthy, but those three voiced my feelings about your “friend” and your response to a “T”! My prayers go up for him as he needs forgiveness and God’s abundant grace. And plenty of smiles and lovin’ wouldn’t hurt either!
ROBERT STORCK - February 4, 2023 10:54 pm
The best sermon is the one lived not the one preached. I believe that the writer was sincere but that type of sermon is what has driven many away from churches. I like you am flawed, I drink a bit, cuss too often, I doubt and some days my faith is less than a mustard seed. Like you based on what I do I would already have a place reserved in Hell. Thankfully where I end up has little to do with what I do but everything to do with what He did for me, you, and a whole bunch of other less than perfect folk. Thank you for your well written and charitable response. Hope the writer gets the message.
Susan Kennedy - February 4, 2023 11:25 pm
Perfect response. Love you Sean.
Nancy Ragland - February 4, 2023 11:43 pm
I always read your work and always feel better after I read what you produced. I tell you, this latest one made me say YES! Thank you for all the writing you do!
Joretta S Parker - February 4, 2023 11:47 pm
Well said Sean! You put him in his place by pointing out what Jesus would do. If he doesn’t like how you write, don’t read it, right? Like I said, well done!
Janie Davis - February 5, 2023 12:00 am
Well said, Sean. I also believe that it is just t his place, anymore than it has a mine to judge another. I find that those who are busy trying to clean your doorstep usually needs to look at their own doorstep.
And…he must have forgotten that we are ALL God’s kids; AND I believe God has one heck of a sense of humor. Proof you ask? He mad you, He made me, and he made your Friend the author of the original post!!
Mendel - February 5, 2023 12:01 am
Loved your response. It was sensitive and suggestive and made an important point, without pointing fingers. I would have gone further. I would say to anyone who claims there is only one way to Heaven, and I know or should know what it is, and that Hell is real, this response:
The Universe may be exactly as you say it is, but it doesn’t have to be. Every measurement by every astronomer who ever lived says that the Universe operates on mechanical principles with no personal, supernatural God in charge anywhere. If there is such a God, why does He hide from the rest of us and only talk to you? Why is your Belief the only evidence that He exists? Why does He allow the Bad Guys to get away with so much evil and force the Good Guys to largely look out for themselves?
And if there is no such God, then there is no Heaven and no Hell. Right here, right now, may be all we get.That is enough. Let’s make the most of it.
Cindy Gallop - February 5, 2023 12:39 am
Sean, Your daily posts show tender evidence of one who follows the golden rule…..loving others above self! With every person God puts in your path you minister to, with much compassion! I believe you are very obedient to His voice!!! God bless….you are VERY LOVED!!!!
Steve Baccus - February 5, 2023 1:20 am
I’m sorry you receive such self-righteous tirades against your character, Sean. Im sure this was not the first one. As a preacher of the gospel I am ashamed of this person’s judgmental speech. None of us are worthy of heaven, as you effectively pointed out. I am relying on the Big Guy’s unconditional love and favor every day. I’m pretty sure you are too. Wishing you much love and peace. Keep up the good work!
Jeanne - February 5, 2023 2:01 am
Right on! Well said!! Agape love!!you’ve got it, Sean!!
Margaret Byrd - February 5, 2023 2:47 am
You couldn’t have responded more effectively!!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!
Mo - February 5, 2023 3:47 am
There are LOTS more of us who think you are splendid, and who would like to be with you where ever you end up!
cynthia1 - February 5, 2023 4:40 am
Great rebuttal l.
conniekp - February 5, 2023 4:46 am
Quite an appropriate response sir. Thank you.
Te - February 5, 2023 5:19 am
Nicely put, Sean. My motto for such — people — is to “nice them to death” and you certainly did that! It’s an old Southern lady’s trick generally characterized by saying, “Isn’t that special!” which translated means something polite Southern ladies don’t say.
kingswaydaughter - February 5, 2023 5:37 am
Wow….as a Christian for 50 years, let me say you are just the kind of guy Jesus would hang out with – kinda like when He purposely went to the Samaritan woman at the well. And how Jesus’ people would be so appalled. We are saved by grace – not living a perfect sinless life, because no man is without sin. See you in Heaven, Sean.
Gloria - February 5, 2023 10:16 am
Well said Sean !!! Thank you!!
David Grant - February 5, 2023 12:41 pm
Sean, just keep on keeping my friend.
Kait - February 5, 2023 12:45 pm
Just thank you for writing this. My foster daughter who fits many of the scenarios you mention – born to a crack addicted mother, spent time in NICU, found her father dead last fall at age 10 – is in a mental health center and I just needed to read this and know that loving her is the most important thing I can be doing
lesliehanson411hotmailcom - February 5, 2023 12:48 pm
As always, beautifully written! I for one am so happy that you take the time to brighten my day and reminding me of how man needs to really work on his inhumanity to man, women, children and all God’s creatures!
Jackie - February 5, 2023 12:50 pm
Nice reply Sean. This Christian emailer needs to read & study his Bible instead of using it as a coffee table display book.
pdjpop - February 5, 2023 1:21 pm
The loudest message from some pulpits is,”You’re going to Hell!” It’s so loud, they never hear the message of forgiveness. The “believer” goes away from that message with a hammer of Hell and every sinner is a nail. If we could live perfect lives, there would be no Christ.
When someone says I don’t mean to sound judgmental, guess what….. we all know the verse that goes with that.
You sound quite grounded in your faith, Sean. I remember my roommate in college straightening me out when I said I didn’t feel good enough to call myself a Christian. I named the same “shortcomings “ you listed. He said, “None of us are “good” enough. We all fall short.”
He reminded me of that wonderful word: FORGIVENESS. JOHN 3:16 & 17…. Not to judge but to Save.
Thanks for your words. You help make my day.
Your friendly fallible friend who cusses a bit whilst having a 🍺
Priscilla Rodgers - February 5, 2023 1:36 pm
Wow! Would hate to get in a war of words with you. I’m no judge, but I’d say you just won. Way to preach your faith Brother Sean!
Anne Trawick - February 5, 2023 2:35 pm
Reread the poem, “Abu Ben Adam. “
Misha Benson - February 5, 2023 3:48 pm
My favorite column thus far…mostly because I feel this every.single.day. Thank you so much, SSEan!
Danny Villa - February 5, 2023 4:25 pm
You sir, are my hero for that eloquent response. So glad I came upon your writings.
Darlene Humphries - February 5, 2023 5:33 pm
Mike Bone - February 5, 2023 6:06 pm
Terri Thorn - February 5, 2023 7:28 pm
I’m so glad you stand up for yourself as well as for so many others who for one reason or another have no voice. Also, may I say, you do so quite effectively and eloquently!
Brenda Lamar - February 6, 2023 12:02 am
I believe I know your Friend’s name.
It’s Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of All.
I thought of that small mustard seed you referred to.
Ann Marie Sasser - February 6, 2023 12:40 am
I’ve never commented on the many columns I’ve read—though you’ve made me belly laugh, cry, and swell with pride because you are, by degrees, connected to Brewton. Today, you raised the bar, put yourself out there and spoke truth. Good for you!
Connie - February 6, 2023 2:17 am
Perfect response Sean. Perfect!!
Tommy - February 6, 2023 2:27 am
Sean this is the first snarky reply of yours i’ve ever read. This person may have written the most loving correspondence you’ve ever gotten. Obviously it struck a nerve by your going into “attack the messenger” mode. All the services you listed are good works, indeed. But those wouldn’t get you ‘over there’. I’m sure you don’t do all that stuff you listed, either. I hope you’ll think it over.
Pat Deas - February 6, 2023 1:35 pm
Eva Marie Everson - February 6, 2023 5:02 pm
Good ‘un. Especially about the tyypoos.
Kim O - February 6, 2023 6:22 pm
“ANYWAY” excerpts from “The Paradoxical Commandments,” by Kent M. Keith
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
LOVE THEM ANYWAY
If you do good, people will accuse you of
Selfish, ulterior motives,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
If you are successful,
You will win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
DO GOOD ANYWAY
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY
What you spent years building may be
People really need help
But may attack you if you help them,
HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY
Give the world the best you have
And you’ll get kicked in the teeth
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY
Tiffany - February 6, 2023 6:27 pm
I like you.
wndevore - February 6, 2023 6:43 pm
Rhoda Vanderhart - February 6, 2023 10:36 pm
Love this. Spot on.
Carlin Brooks - February 6, 2023 10:48 pm
Just like the thief on the cross, all it takes is a wee bit of trust in the Son of God. See you in paradise, Sean.
Cordell - February 6, 2023 11:50 pm
We are kindred souls. I sin with the best of them while claiming my faith. Well said, Sean.
Robert Chiles - February 7, 2023 12:06 am
For the past couple of decades, the fastest growing church denomination is “None” precisely because of the attitude of the person who wrote to you. The God I know is a God of Grace, Mercy, and Forgiveness. I’m sure you know that God as well- I can tell by everything you write.
Pubert Earle Bozemann - February 7, 2023 3:37 am
Thanks for Anyway Kim! Great message!
Karla Meier - February 7, 2023 5:32 pm
God loves you! Perhaps those passing judgement in the emails need to take up some of those lovely activities you mentioned! LOL
Edwin - February 7, 2023 10:37 pm
Well said Sean ! Excellent response!
Sharon B Aiken - February 8, 2023 11:18 pm
Well, Sean, not all of us can be as perfect as some of your readers. And thank the Good Lord for that.
Charlene Davis - February 11, 2023 3:19 pm
Bless his/her heart. And I don’t mean that in a good way. I have never heard anyone tell someone to go blankety-blank themselves in such an eloquent way!! Bravo!