Saturday, May 21, 2011

Jesus says: "Get off my porch"

According to some experts over 144,000 people were taken to heaven today. Unfortunately about the same number went yesterday, and the same number will probably go tomorrow. This is a real and testable fact. The “going to heaven” part may be suspect information, but the average daily death toll of about 150,000 is fairly measurable.

The reason 144,000 is at all interesting today is that it is mentioned a couple of times in the book of revelations. This book is concerned with the end of the world, and today the world was supposed to end.

No man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.” Rev 14:3-4 KJB

I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Rev 7:4 KJB

You could get pedantic on me and insist that today was to be rapture, not the end of the world, but does it really matter what flavor the kool-aid comes in? No...it's the cyanide aftertaste that matters.

SO I'm sitting around watching my taste in rapture jokes ripen from poor to vulgar when there is a knock at the front door. At my door are two sincere modestly-dressed Hispanic women, and a fidgety pre-teen kid.

I open the door.

The younger of the two women hands me a tiny pamphlet. She holds up her bible and begins to talk:

“Have . .”

“Weren't you folks going someplace today?” I cut in

“What?”

“Rapture” I reply “Today is rapture. Shouldn't you be going off into heaven”

“Ohhh” She smiles “The bible says that no man will know the time of the return of Jesus. The bible..”

“Look. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?” I ask.

“Yes, but the bible..”

“Well, there are these folks who say they have a personal relationship with him, and they read the same bible, and they bought a billboard off I-80 that says the rapture is today”

“Well the bible..”

“Look. What good is a personal relationship with Jesus if he isn't going to tell you the truth. Does Jesus lie to you often?”

“No. The bible says”

“How do you know”

“The bible says”

“The bible says a bunch of stuff. You open that book to Leviticus and read a few paragraphs. You won't get far before you run across something that you think is wrong. Do you get a lot of wrong answers from Jesus when you pray to him?”

“The bible says”

“Why don't you want to talk about your relationship with Jesus? Are you embarrassed to have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

About this time a late-model green suburban with a white crucifix decal on the back window pulled up. Out came a couple of middle aged men. One was smiling. The other had a bit of a gut, and the greasyest hair I have seen in quite a while.

“Everyone is here.. Should I make some lemonade?” I greeted them with outstretched hand.

“Hello. Have you gotten one of our pamphlets?” Mr Greasy shook my hand.

“Yes. Aren't you folks supposed to be raptured today?” I asked

“No. The bible says”

“Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? I asked

“The bible says that no man will know the time that the lord will return”

“Yeah...I've heard that. I've heard other things also. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

“Do you think you are going to heaven?” He asked back.

“Don't know” I replied “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus”

“don't you worry about if you will go to heaven?” he asked back.

“You aren't going to answer my question are you?” I replied

“The bible says”

“Why aren’t you going to answer my question?” I pressed

“The bible clearly says”

“But you aren't clear” I cut in “you aren't clear at all. You just go on with some script. Do you just see this whole Christianity thing as some sort of clever argument?”

“I think you do” He replied.

“Why won't you answer my question?” I reiterated “Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

“The bible says”

“Will the bible tell me if you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

“Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus” he shot back somewhat irritated.

“No” I replied “Why won't you answer my question? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?”

“The bible”

“Look. I answered several of your questions, but you won't answer mine. Perhaps you should leave.”

“I did answer. It just wasn't the answer you wanted” He replied.

“You mean the answer where you hear my question and answer it, as oposed to where you ignore my question and just say something so that your lips move?" I replied.

“Do you have a family?” he asked.

“Blue Jello!” I firmly replied.

“What?” he asked

“There is a place in France.” I replied “Where the sun can shine on ruddy faced children when it is Wednesday!”

“You are not making any sense!” He exclaimed.

“Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?” I asked again.

“I was raised a Mormon...in the LDS church...for most of my life” he said.

“Did you believe what you were told in the LDS church?” I asked.

“No. The bible...”

More importantly. Did you ever tell anyone you believed?” I asked.

“The bible” He replied, more shakily now.

“You can leave now. It's OK really. I won't be offended.”

Mr. Greasy turned to leave. I shook the hand of one of the young women as he walked down my front steps.

“Happy Rapture!” I offered as they loaded up the SUV. “Drive gently!”


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