Category Archives: Christian Cheese

A Stolen Heart – Literally

A cathedral in Dublin asked on Tuesday that anyone with information on the missing preserved heart of the city’s patron saint step forward.  The 884-year-old heart of St. Laurence O’Toole was stolen over the weekend from the iron cage where it is kept in Christ Church Cathedral.  Nothing was taken from the chapel other than the heart, although gold candlesticks and other valuables were there.

St. Laurence O’Toole, an archbishop of Dublin in the 12th century, was born in 1128, lived until 1180 and was made a saint in 1225, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia.  Catholics often preserve body parts from saints, believing they should be revered. When Pope John Paul II was declared “blessed” – a step below sainthood – last year, a vial of his blood was displayed as a relic.

By the way, I’m preparing a collection of my clipped fingernails for display in my church foyer as we speak.

The Rapture That Didn’t Happen

The “rapture” didn’t happen.  I didn’t think it would.  The Scriptures teach that Jesus will return one day, but I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t be yesterday, and I’m losing confidence that it will happen like I was taught growing up (i.e. a LaHaye/Jenkins-esque “rapture”).  And so…I am free to blog once more!  I have many thoughts and emotions regarding the events (or lack thereof) of this weekend, and I turn to my trusty blog to express them.

I am mad.
I’m mad that, once again, someone claiming to be a Bible scholar neglected to include Matthew 24:36 in his theology.  But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. After so many failed attempts by so many other “scholars” over the years, including Harold Camping himself (1994), how can this kind of nonsense continue to happen?  In a New York Magazine interview just 10 days ago, Camping said of his May 21 prediction, “It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen. God is not playing games. It is going to happen.”  As of this post, it’s being reported that Camping has gone missing, unwilling to face the music of all the damage he has done.  I’m mad at him and the many others in my lifetime who have falsely predicted the same thing.  The damage these false prophets do to their naive followers and to the watching, jeering world is unnecessary and far-reaching.

I feel bad.
I feel bad for all of Camping’s followers who took the bait – at great personal expense.  One follower took $140,000 from his retirement and bought 1,000 subway car placards and ads on bus kiosks and subway cars in New York City.  Another man from Maryland packed up his family, skipped a week of work (unpaid), and drove 3,000 miles to California to be close to Camping’s headquarters when the rapture occurred.  A married couple quit their jobs and spent the last penny in their bank account on a rented house in Orlando. She said, “We budgeted everything so that, on May 21, we won’t have anything left.”

I was comforted to read that now that Camping’s prediction has proven to be a complete failure, attention has been shifted to his devastated followers. Church groups are actively providing counseling and advice for the damaged souls. On May 21, around 4 p.m. (local time), a group of “rescuers” came in front of Camping’s Family Radio headquarter in Oakland, CA, with signs and banners, and offered to provide counseling and spiritual support to the dejected followers. One pastor said, “We are here to reach out to those people who might have bought the lie.  What we are hoping is that we would be able to invite people who might have been affected to our church and hold a special service that would embrace them and reach out to them.”

I am sad.
I’m sad that non-Christians have been exposed once again to the ridiculous and radical antics of extreme wackos like Harold Camping.  When will Christians learn to let their love for others do the talking rather than their mouths?  When will we heed the words of Paul in 1 Timothy 2:2 and “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way?”  It would be great if Camping would publicly apologize for misleading so many and for making all Christians look like goons in the world’s eyes.  I’m sad that this will be yet another reason that skeptics and critics of Christianity will use to steer clear of the One who loves them and sacrificed His Son for them.

I am glad.
I’m glad that May 21 came and went like every other day.  I’m glad that the Lord continues to shower mankind with mercy and grace by choosing to wait to return.  Don’t get me wrong…I long for the day when Christ returns and establishes His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  But, each day that He doesn’t return is another day for more and more people to be ushered into His Kingdom.  This is what I work and live for, and I’m glad for another day to share the love of Jesus with others.  On Friday, I was able to share the love and mercy of Jesus with three people who were seriously unsettled by the possibility of Saturday’s doom.  My prayer is that the Lord will take this ridiculous and false prediction and use it for His glory and for the expansion of His Kingdom.

had some skepticism but I was trying to push the skepticism away because I believe in God,” said Keith Bauer – who hopped in his minivan in Maryland and drove his family 3,000 miles to California for the Rapture.

He started his day in the bright morning sun outside the gated Oakland headquarters of Family Radio International, whose founder, Harold Camping, has been broadcasting the apocalyptic prediction for years.

“I was hoping for it because I think heaven would be a lot better than this earth,” said Bauer, a tractor-trailer driver who began the voyage west last week, figuring that if he “worked last week, I wouldn’t have gotten paid anyway, if the Rapture did happen.”

My Final Blog Post

This will be my final blog post.

According to Family Radio based out of Oakland, California, this Saturday, May 21, will mark the Day of Rapture and the start of Judgment Day (which, they say, will last five months). On that day, those who are saved will be taken up to heaven, and those who aren’t will endure unspeakable suffering. Dead bodies will be strewn about as earthquakes ravage the Earth, they say. And come October 21, the entire world will be destroyed.

On Saturday, a massive doomsday earthquake will start at the International Date Line before moving west. New Zealand will get hit first – at 6 p.m. local time. And then that wave of destruction will roll around the world, wreaking havoc at 6 p.m. in each time zone.  Here’s how they came up with this concept and this date…

Genesis 7:4, 10-11 says, “For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.  And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the Flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.”

Because one day is as 1,000 years to God (2 Peter 3:8), the seven days referred to in Genesis 7:4 can be understood as 7,000 years.  And here’s the leap: They say that when God told Noah to prepare for the flood that God was also telling the world there would be exactly 7,000 years (one day is as 1,000 years) to escape the wrath of God that would come when He destroys the world on Judgment Day.  So…

Seven thousand years after 4990 B.C. (the year of the Flood) is the year 2011 A.D. (our calendar).  4990 + 2011 – 1 = 7,000  (One year must be subtracted in going from an Old Testament B.C. calendar date to a New Testament A.D. calendar date because the calendar does not have a year zero.)

Because the year 2011 A.D. is exactly 7,000 years after 4990 B.C. when the flood began, they say the Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world during the Day of Judgment, which will come on the last day of the Day of Judgment.  And, they say that May 21, 2011 is the 17th day of the 2nd month of the Biblical calendar of our day.

I’m emptying my bank account today and will be taking all my money ($68.35) and spending it on myself.  Maybe a meal at my favorite restaurant on Friday.  Maybe a one-day pass to the local amusement park tomorrow or Friday.  Maybe a full-body massage to limber me up for my celestial transport on Saturday.  I’m also supposed to preach on Sunday, but I’ve decided to stop preparing for that too.  As a matter of fact, I’m packing up now and heading home.  No need to work anymore.

I’m sure glad the scholars at Family Radio did their homework.

This will be my final blog post.  Unless they’re wrong…

God and A Few Nuts in Detroit

I’ve always wondered…and now I know.  According to 20 billboards to appear today across metro Detroit, Jesus is returning on May 21, 2011.

An organization called www.wecanknow.com put the billboards up with the goal of reminding folks to prepare themselves for the end. They claim that the “rapture” where Christians will vanish from earth to be with Jesus will take place on May 21.  Five months later — on Oct. 21, 2011, to be exact — they claim that the world will end with God destroying the universe and everything in it.

How did the group arrive at May 21, 2011, as the date Jesus will return? The Web site says it has to do with what the Bible says, citing May 21, 1988, as being the start of 23 years of tribulation.  I graduated from high school on May 21, 1988 but had no clue the tribulation began that day.  I thought it had just ended.

The organization says that it hopes to convince onlookers that the Bible is the infallible word of God through these billboards.  Not quite the method I would suggest for communicating that message.  How stupid will they look on May 22 when they’re still around?  And how stupid will they look on October 22 when the sun comes up for the start of another day?

In Matthew 24:36, Jesus says, “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”  However, if you read the fine print at the end of this verse, you’ll see that it says, “…and a few crackpots who pay for billboards in Detroit.”

My “Christian of the Year” Awards

I didn’t know this even existed.  Tim Tebow, former star quarterback of the University of Florida Gators and now rookie quarterback of the Denver Broncos, has been voted “Single Christian of the Year” by Christian Partner for Life, an online guide to Christian dating websites.  In a press release, they said, “Tim Tebow is our most eligible Christian of the year—he represents a model for the type of person of faith that we think is perfect for single, committed Christians.”  How weird is that?  I guess I didn’t know these types of awards existed. It made me think, though. What Christian awards might I be eligible for?  Here’s what I came up with:

Redheaded Christian of the Year
I’ve been plagued by comments like “carrot top” all of my life, but what if I could be awarded the best Christian redhead?  My years of persecution and suffering would be redeemed by the honor.  I could walk away from therapy with my redhead held high.

The Most Abraham-like Christian of the Year
Michelle and I have moved 11 times in 17 years of marriage.  Surely there must be an award for this.  Abraham was told by God to move, and he did – 1200 miles away from his home.  Michelle and I were told by God to move, and we did – 1400 miles away from our home.  Looks like we beat him by 200 miles.

Animal Caretaker Christian of the Year
There has to be an award for what I have to put up with.  Max, our 2 year-old boxer is both deaf and dumb.  He really is hapless and seems to have no clue what he’s doing on this earth.  Although he is extremely loving, the frustration of trying to get him to understand the most basic of human-to-dog commands just about does me in.

Smartest Christian Dad of the Year
With three teenage girls in the house, I once was considered the dumbest Christian dad in the whole world.  But to the two daughters who have moved out and are now living independent lives, miraculously, I have changed from the dumbest to the smartest.  Although one of the three (the one still at home) still considers me pretty dumb, I am reveling in the sudden change of heart of the other two.

Most Random Varsity Letter Carrying Christian of the Year
I am a high school varsity letter winner.  I worked hard for it, sweat a lot, and was often mentally and physically drained in my quest to secure it.  I ran cross country in high school, but it was not in cross country that I earned my letter.  It was not until the spring of my senior year that I was offered the hallowed high school award.  Earlier that fall, I was selected – among a field of highly talented and qualified dancers and gymnasts – to represent my school as the school mascot, Clawd the Cougar.  I put a ton of effort into this and made every game an event: halftime dance shows, taking on the other mascots in a game of one-on-one (which I always won), bribing the refs with large bills.  My efforts did not go unnoticed as I was unexpectedly awarded a varsity letter at the end-of-the-year basketball banquet! How nerdy is that?!