A priest is asked “How does the Rapture figure into your faith?” and very patiently explains that Left Behind is not actually part of the canon. Industrial pollution turns a river in China blood red — just like when Moses raised his staff and flooded the Nile with industrial pollution in the Bible! And for a one-time donation of $4.95, WorldNetDaily promises to tell you exactly when Jesus is coming back.
• Newsday’s “Ask the Clergy” feature bewilders local pastors this week with the question “How does the Rapture figure into your faith?” Kudos to Fr. William Brisotti for finding a quick, gentle way to say “It doesn’t,” and then redeeming the question and the article with a longer response:
Essentially all of this can be a great distraction from what believers should really be concerned about: bringing hope, mercy and compassion to human history, and participating in the struggle to transform the world and its systems toward fairness and equity for all God’s children. Matthew 25 says it all: the Final Judgment will be based on how we have cared for the least among us.
• “China’s Wenzou River Turns Red.” This is obviously either: A) Another example of the same lax environmental regulation that makes the air in Beijing unbreathable, or B) A sign from God that the world is about to end. (I suppose those options are not necessarily exclusive, but most people will probably choose to believe only one or the other.)
Water turning to blood is a biblical thing. It’s one of the plagues of Egypt that John of Patmos later re-imagines in his apocalyptic denunciation of the Pharaoh of his day. But those biblical passages about water turning to blood say exactly that — water turning into blood, not just turning a reddish shade due to industrial pollution or algae blooms.
So AIDS-denying racist “Christian” radio host Bryan Fischer’s claim that the ruddy pollution of the Wenzhou is “exactly what you read in the Old Testament account” bears double-checking. Here’s the “Old Testament account” he’s referring to, from Exodus 7:
The Lord said to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt — over its rivers, its canals, and its ponds, and all its pools of water — so that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout the whole land of Egypt, even in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.’”
When all the bottled water in Wenzhou turns to blood, then I’ll concede that Fischer has a point.
• “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven,” the Gospel of Matthew says. Pish, says Joseph Farah, head grifter at the right-wing website WorldNetDaily. Just give him $4.95, and he’ll tell you:
Pastor Mark Biltz, an expert in the Hebrew roots of Christianity, believes he knows when Jesus will return – the exact day, if not the specific year. And today only, WND readers can get this acclaimed teaching in the 2-DVD set, “The Feasts of the Lord,” for only $4.95 – an unprecedented $35 discount off the regular $39.95 price!
Obviously, you can’t afford not to save $35. The downside of this offer, alas, is that once Farah and WND have your email address, you’ll be receiving tons of spam from them every day until kingdom come.