Mystic Mondays: On Humility

Pride lies at the heart of nearly all of the devisions we find in the Church.  We Christians are often too quick to judge those who differ from us and place far to much stock in our own vain opinions.  We blatantly ignore the One who binds us together as one body, the creator and savior of the universe, our Lord, who commands us to be humble, and opt, instead, to cast a critical and unrelenting eye on anyone we meet whose theology deviates from our own in only the slightest degree.  Quite frankly, we Christians tend to think far more of ourselves, and of our own private interpretations and opinions, than we should.  We suffer from a deplorable, and often vehement, lack of humility–I invite you to mediate on the profound words of Thomas A Kempis in the eighth chapter of his master work The Imitation of Christ:

“Do not consider yourself better than others, for you may be worse in God’s sight.  Do not be proud of your good works, for often what pleases us displeases God, Whose judgments differ from the judgment of humans.  Whatever goodness or virtue is in you, believe that your neighbor has better qualities; in this way you will preserve humility.

It will not hurt you to consider yourself worse than others, even if this is not really so; bu it will hurt greatly if you prefer yourself above another, although that person might be a great sinner.  A humble person is a peaceful person; but the hearts of the proud are full of envy and resentment.”

So You’ve Been Left Behind™: A Survival Guide

Just as a banana is an atheist's greatest fear, Kirk Cameron is the Tribulation's greatest fear. Here we see Cameron stare the Tribulation into submission.

(A note: This is all meant in good fun, with a bit of serious reflection at the end. Also, this isn’t directed at those who were duped, but at Harold Camping who did the duping and made a fortune off of it.)

As we all know, the rapture occurred yesterday, May 21, 2011. After all, what else could explain the absolute silence of Harold Camping in the absence of earthquakes at 6pm in every timezone? Perhaps they were spiritual earthquakes. Who knows.

But since you, like me, are left behind™, perhaps we should consider what to do now. If you see Kirk Cameron or Brad Johnson, keep in mind that it’s all in the script. What should we expect now? After all, now that the rapture has occurred, there’s going to be massive amounts of judgment hurled our way until it all goes *BOOM* on October 21, 2011, or thereabouts.

Thankfully, before Camping slipped the surly bonds of earth to go up to the Spirit in the sky, he imparted some of his knowledge to moi. Having studied Revelation and coming to an absolutely perfect knowledge of what the writer intended – since I’m now in tight with God and all – here’s what we can expect, or at least here’s a rough timeline:

  • June 1 – The One World Government will be established. To show how evil such a government is, Quebec will break away from Canada prior to the establishment of this government and then become the lead nation of the One World Government; there’s nothing more evil than French-Canadians.
  • June 1 – July 1 – There will be relative peace during this time. Wars will cease, armies will give up their weapons, and Philadelphia will lose all their sports teams in order to secure a greater peace.
  • July 4 – There will be a famine of epic proportions when the Johnson family runs out of hot dogs for their 4th of July cookout. The Johnson’s will attempt to buy more from their neighbor Mr. Blackwell, but he will respond, “$15 for a bun and $20 for one hotdog!” (Revelation 6:5-6)
  • July 9 – Lady Gaga releases a new album featuring Katy Perry. The vapid nature of such music is enough that multiple people’s brains simply stop functioning after hearing the song. (Revelation 6:7-8)
  • July 10 – The two witnesses – Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron – will begin to preach that we are in the Tribulation. The message will begin, “A lot of you doubt we’re in the Tribulation. But let me show you the ultimate defeater to your argument, your worst enemy. Here we have the banana…” (Revelation 11:3-6)
  • August 10 – A third of the earth will be destroyed, the oceans will dry up, and a giant mountain will be thrown to earth when it’s revealed that the OWN Network is moving up Rosie O’Donell’s show to the late summer. This is why the angel cries out, “Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 8:7-13)
  • August 23 – the Antichrist (note: Camping wasn’t clear on who the Antichrist is, merely that he is possibly a New York Yankee, and of course this makes perfect sense) will be put down and appear to be dead, but to the chagrin of all who love the good and holy will raise back again (further proof that the Antichrist is possibly a New York Yankee). (Revelation 13:3)
  • September 3 – the Abomination of Desolation occurs when the Ohio St administration accidentally allows Jim Tressell to coach his team to victory against mighty Akron. Tressell will later say that he was unaware that he was, in fact, suspended from coaching, but later emails will show that he knew he was suspended all along. (Daniel 9:27)
  • September 17 – The False Prophet arrives in order to speak of how great the Antichrist (New York Yankee(s)) is/are. Again, Camping isn’t clear, but he suspects that it will be an ESPN analyst as they tend to show love to the Yankees through thick and thin. (Revelation 13:11-15)
  • September 30 – Shortly before the start of the NBA 2011-2012 season, the Heat will increase their roster to include Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant. Lebron James will be quoted as saying, “We’re not going to win 2, 3, 4, or 7 championships. We’re going to win, like, infinity.” (Revelation 16:8)
  • October 8 – The final Battle of Armageddon is waged when God leads the forces of good (University of Oklahoma Sooners) against the forces of evil (University of Texas Longhorns). This will fulfill a double prophecy based on a minority Septuagint manuscript of Psalm 75:10, which reads, “And I shall saw off the horns of the wicked, but the schooner of the righteous shall be lifted up.” It will also fulfill the prophecy of Armageddon.
  • October 21 – The Cleveland Indians will jump to 2-0 over the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. However, after Cleveland enjoys their second straight shut out, God will consume the earth in fire and end the world as we know it, thus preventing Cleveland from bringing home a championship that they were almost a shoe-in to win. This event will go down in Cleveland as, “The Burn.”

What you need to be aware of is that there are actually more events that will occur; these are simply the biggest signs to look for. Chumbawamba will release a single, Glenn Beck and Keith Olberman will co-host their own show titled, “I’m Sorry, We Were Wrong,” Congress will pass a law (nothing specific, just that a law will actually pass), and George Lucas will opt not to ruin the “Star Wars” movie series anymore than he already has. Gary Busey will actually begin to make a lot of sense. We ought to be prepared for these things to happen, as it is all on the horizon.


On a more serious note, just as many predicted yesterday there was no rapture, no judgment, nothing; the world simply kept rotating. This isn’t because God is a liar or because God doesn’t exist, but because sometimes humans have a tendency to get ahead of themselves. This is especially true when it comes to the “End Times.”

While there is nothing wrong in studying our ultimate end or in hoping for the resurrection – in fact, we are called to do this as the resurrection gives purpose to all that we do – we must never forget that we still live in the here-and-now. For every debate we have over whether or not Jesus will come before the Tribulation or after the Tribulation (or if there is a Tribulation), how many children go hungry, how many men cheat on their wives, and how many souls are lost forever? While some debates are worth having, how or when the end will happen just isn’t one of them.

We shouldn’t obsess over the end, but simply accept that it will one day occur and we should prepare for that day. We should prepare by helping those around us now and working to bring them a taste of God’s coming kingdom while we still live in the now. Perhaps we should reflect on these words:

“The time of the kingdom is secret…Thus, we should live everyday as if we will be judged” – Bede

“He indeed said that he will come, but he did not define when, so all generations and ages thirst for him” – Ephrem of Syrian

The story of two fathers

In a small town there were two fathers, Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith. Both of them had sons who wanted to sow their wild oats.

When Mr. Jones’ son got in trouble at school for not turning in an assignment, Mr. Jones quickly grounded his son and made his son do his homework. Later on when the son was caught smoking marijuana in the school bathroom and was expelled, Mr. Jones made sure to enroll his son in an alternative school that taught proper discipline. When the son was arrested for theft, Mr. Jones did not bail out his son, but rather let his son sit in jail to learn from his deeds. Eventually the son grew to learn there are consequences for his actions. During this entire time the father did not yell at the son, beat the son, or refuse to accept the son during the son’s times of repentance. Rather, he simply let his son endure the natural consequences for his actions.

Mr. Smith, however, took a different approach to parenting. When his son didn’t turn in a grade assignment, Mr. Smith simply affirmed his son’s choice. He figured his son was experimenting with alternative ways to learn. When his son was caught getting high on school grounds, the father went to the defense of his son asking why the school had such strict regulations to begin with. When he was caught for stealing, Mr. Smith posted bail and hired an excellent defense attorney for his son, because he couldn’t bear to see his son go to jail and suffer.

Which father displayed the greater love? The one who disciplined the son or the one who affirmed the son?