Thursday, April 14, 2005

"Revelation," Uncensored, Uncut

“A Christian must be a sign of contradiction in the world…..A Christian is one who all his life chooses between good and evil, lies and truth, love and hatred, God and Satan…..Today more than ever there is a need for our light to shine, so that through us, through our deeds, through our choices, people can see the Father who is in Heaven.”

- Polish priest Father Jerzy Popieluszko (cited in Charles Colson and Ellen Santini Vaughn’s :The Body)

Call me a fool if you will, but I’m adamant. I’m not going to get myself in the big rush to watch NBC’s “Revelations.” For some that will mark me as an ignorant fundamentalist with a real nasty touch of isolationism mixed in.

I’d like to declare my innocence. I like “worldly pleasures” as much as any fundamentalist I know. I listen to Kitaro’s new age harmonies. I also like the music of Philip Glass and ZZ Top. I’ve been known to sway to the rhythms of James Brown and Dire Straits and The Bottle Rockets. I’ve even plunked down money for movie tickets recently (Fever Pitch). And, closer to home, I have a fairly good sized movie collection sitting under our downstairs TV.

But I’m still not going to watch this “epic” about the end of time. Does that make me guilty of not wanting to engage my culture? If that’s all it takes then I say, gladly, “I’m guilty as charged.”

Why am I so adamant? I just don’t believe that I need NBC, in one form or another, informing my theology. When it comes to really important things in life, the last thing I need would is a blind guide.

Maybe there are some readers who need the opportunity to see what “The Book” really says and compare it to what NBC will be saying in six parts. To that end, I will be posting a chapter from the Book of Revelation, New Living Translation, daily, until the “end comes.” For the next twenty two days, I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to determine who is telling the truth:

Revelation 1 (New Living Translation)

Revelation 1

Prologue
1"This is a revelation from[
a] Jesus Christ, which God gave him concerning the events that will happen soon. An angel was sent to God's servant John so that John could share the revelation with God's other servants. 2John faithfully reported the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ--everything he saw.
3God blesses the one who reads this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to it and obey what it says. For the time is near when these things will happen.

Johns Greeting to the Seven Churches
4This letter is from John to the seven churches in the province of Asia. Grace and peace from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit[
b] before his throne; 5and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the commander of all the rulers of the world.
All praise to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. 6He has made us his Kingdom and his priests who serve before God his Father. Give to him everlasting glory! He rules forever and ever! Amen!
7Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him--even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the earth will weep because of him. Yes! Amen!
8"I am the Alpha and the Omega--the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come, the Almighty One."

Vision of the Son of Man
9I am John, your brother. In Jesus we are partners in suffering and in the Kingdom and in patient endurance. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and speaking about Jesus. 10It was the Lord's Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit.[
c] Suddenly, I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast. 11It said, "Write down what you see, and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea."
12When I turned to see who was speaking to me, I saw seven gold lampstands. 13And standing in the middle of the lampstands was the Son of Man.[
d] He was wearing a long robe with a gold sash across his chest. 14His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And his eyes were bright like flames of fire. 15His feet were as bright as bronze refined in a furnace, and his voice thundered like mighty ocean waves. 16He held seven stars in his right hand, and a sharp two-edged sword came from his mouth. And his face was as bright as the sun in all its brilliance.
17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. But he laid his right hand on me and said, "Don't be afraid! I am the First and the Last. 18I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.[
e] 19Write down what you have seen--both the things that are now happening and the things that will happen later. 20This is the meaning of the seven stars you saw in my right hand and the seven gold lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of[f] the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches."

Footnotes:
Revelation 1:1 Or of.
Revelation 1:4 Greek the seven spirits.
Revelation 1:10 Or in spirit.
Revelation 1:13 Or one who looked like a man; Greek reads one like a son of man. See Dan 7:13.
Revelation 1:18 Greek and Hades. Revelation 1:20 Or the messengers for

2 comments:

James Fletcher Baxter said...

Good Choice! "Good boy, Dillon!"

It will be interesting to see the humanistic mind-set that comes up with an alternative "solution" to the prophesied End Times. Heroics. Compromise. Sell-out. Technology. A 'different' messiah. An intellectual Tooth Fairy. Patty-cake in a sand pile.

I'll join you and send them Chapter 22 at both ends of my mailings. They are 'without excuse.' God is not a man -- He is not a liar.

God will not be mocked. Our causal universe will return what is sown... with individual precision.

Amen

El Charolastra said...

Dude, I'm so sorry you had to PAY to see Fever Pitch.

The novel is written by Nick Hornby (of High Fidelity and About a Boy fame) and it has to do with his life-long love of Chelsea football (read: soccer) team. What in the fuck are they doing making this a baseball film with Drew Barrymore and that other bozo from SNL???