A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Crazy Book of Revelation Letters

Pastors will understand this.  About once a year, we receive a crazy Book of Revelation letter sent indiscriminately to various churches across the country. 

Last year, my annual crazy Book of Revelation letter didn't come in the mail.  Somebody placed it on our sanctuary altar so I would find it there. You can't blame people for wanting to save on postage. Last week, my annual crazy Book of Revelation letter came in the mail at the church which is the more typical choice of delivery system.

Here are the common threads that are found in each crazy Book of Revelation letter:
  • The sender is obsessed with the Book of Revelation and likes to list several verses that include the most graphic symbols from that book of the Bible. And yes, these are always taken out of context.
  • The Book of Revelation letter always include verses that refer to "women of ill repute" (I'm struggling with the politically correct way to refer to these verses.) The sender of the letter points out in many different ways that my church is destined for the same fate as "the women of ill repute."
  • The letter will often include a list of the religious denominations that are destined for hell. It will state, "Methodist" but technically, I'm "United Methodist" so I'm hoping that makes me exempt from the wrath to come.
  • Rarely will this crazy letter identify the religious affiliation of the sender. Hmmmmmm...
  • The persons who writes/types such letters have terrible grammar.  I mean, really horrific grammar.
  • To their credit, they will often personally address the envelope.  This is impressive since that takes a lot of time and improves the chances that unsuspecting pastors will actually open them.
  • To their discredit, the letter is not only filled with grammatical and spelling errors, but there are also lines struck through printed words, arrows redirecting you to lines where the sender meant to include that particular point and so on and so forth.
  • The senders have an atrocious understanding of the Book of Revelation.  The biblical author, John would not be pleased that these crazy Book of Revelation letter writers are basing their interpretation of this concluding book of the Bible solely on their understanding of the 1970's book, The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsey.
  • Once in a while, these crazy Book of Revelation letters will also include selected verses from the Book of Isaiah which also has references to "women of ill repute."
This past week, I received my annual crazy Book of Revelation letter. It came in the mail and even included a personalized name and return address. I was tempted to send a reply to this person who feels the need to warn me that my church (and many others) are being damned to hell.  This was to no avail as my church secretary and I could not decipher the initials of the state that was included in the return address.  Ah! These crazy Book of Revelation letter writers are market savvy!

So, I will continue to receive these letters about once a year, open them up, see if there is anything new in them from previous letters, and then place them in that container that will eventually send them to that place where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

No comments: