Witnesses say that just before he was seen to fly skyward without a rocket pack, he spread out his arms, and then up he went, shouting ‘buy my giant book which is very much like all my other less giant books or the wrath of God will descend onto your unrighteous heads… sinners…’
Witness stories diverge at this point but many swear that as he disappeared out of sight through a giant hole in the ceiling created by the hurling of his new book through it that he was received either by Chuck Norris or Ryan Seacrest.
He promised to return. Oh that we will all still be alive when he does… Meanwhile, many will come in his name, proclaiming his gospel and urging souls to follow Tom’s teachings (also known as TT). If you want to get to heaven, and spend eternity with Tom, you have to embrace TT.
It should be banned. It being ‘Halloween’. Or at least renamed to ‘beggars being trained by beggars to beg for things they don’t need that are only going to go to waste and learning to go through life with their little hands out expecting something for nothing’.
Below are two photos. One of Joel Watts and one of Bryan Lewis. I understand your confusion if you think they’re actually Joel Osteen and Rick Warren. What you don’t realize is that Joel Watts IS Joel Osteen, and Bryan Lewis IS Rick Warren. They go by their screen names online in order to cozy up to actual scholars because they aren’t.
And now you know the rest of the story… When next you speak to Joel Watts, you’re actually speaking to the arch-heretic Joel Osteen. And when you speak to Bryan Lewis, you’re actually conversing with the slightly less heretical Rick Warren. The truth is exposed.
Roman Catholics in New York City will observe what is a called a veneration of a vial of blood drawn from the late Pope John Paul II this weekend, as others are expressing concern about the idolatry of such practices.
The relic tour was recently announced by the Knights of Columbus, which regularly hosts the vial at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.
“There was no greater champion of human rights in our lifetime than St. John Paul, who reminded us that those rights begin with religious liberty and the rights of conscience,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “He did this most memorably in the first year of his papacy when he returned to Poland and brought there the hope of freedom, and again when he spoke so clearly on behalf of religious freedom at the U.N. in New York.”
This Saturday and Sunday, the relic will appear at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where Catholics will be invited to visit the vial following mass both days. Nationally-recognized Cardinal Timothy Dolan will conduct mass for the final service on Sunday. The tour will then move to Philadelphia the following weekend.
Etc. And you thought there wasn’t any need for the Reformation… today… As Calvin insightfully put it-
All the writers of a purer age describe the abuse of images among the Gentiles as not differing from what is seen in the world in the present day; and their observations on the subject are not less applicable to our age than to the persons whom they then censured. As to the charge they bring against us, of discarding images as well as the bones and relics of saints, it is easily answered. For none of these things ought to be assessed at more than the brazen serpent, and the reasons for removing them were not less valid than those of Hezekiah for breaking it. It is certain that the idolomania with which the minds of men are now fascinated, cannot be cured otherwise than by removing the material cause of the infatuation.
We have too much experience of the absolute truth of Augustine’s sentiment (Ep. 49): “No man prays or worships looking on an image without being impressed with the idea that it is listening to him.” Similarly (in Psalm 115:4): “Images are more likely to mislead an unhappy soul having a mouth, eyes, ears and feet than to correct it, because they neither speak, nor see, nor hear, nor walk.” Again: “The effect as it were extorted by the external shape is that the soul living in a body thinks a body which it sees so very like its own must be percipient.”
As to the matter of relics, it is almost incredible how impudently the world has been cheated. I can mention three relics of our Saviour’s circumcision; likewise fourteen nails which are exhibited for the three by which he was fixed to the cross; three robes for that seamless one on which the soldiers cast lots; two inscriptions that were placed over the cross; three blades of the spear by which our Saviour’s side was pierced, and about five sets of linen clothes which wrapped his body in the tomb.
Besides they show all the articles used at the institution of the Lord’s Supper, and endless absurdities of this kind. There is no saint of any celebrity of whom two or three bodies are not in existence. I can name the place where a piece of pumice-stone was long held in high veneration as the skull of Peter. Decency will not permit me to mention fouler exhibitions.*
If you’re following this strange sage of bogus artifacts peddled as the real deal, you must read this essay:
David Elkington, from Gloucestershire, has raised tens of thousands of pounds to support his work proving the authenticity of the Jordan Codices. A BBC investigation found that academics have cast doubt on Mr Elkington’s claims the Codices date back to the 1st Century AD. Mr Elkington insists the Codices are genuine and he will pay back any loans he has received. Among his backers was Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, who funded his work and trips to the Middle East. She now believes the Codices are not authentic and has asked for the return of her funding.
She could have saved her money had she simply asked around. At any rate, read the whole piece. With thanks to Danny McClellan for pointing it out on the twitter.
And in a related bit of fun-ness, just the other day Jim Aitken related on facebook-
From the Jordan Codices page. Intriguing:
It is with considerable regret that we must inform you that we will be shutting down the Jordan Codices Facebook Community page for the foreseeable future. We have appreciated your support and interest more than you can know in our earnest quest to protect these sacred artefacts against smuggling and being sold on the black market. We have done our utmost; however, we cannot go further without public support from Jordan herself. The British Team has been compromised in its efforts by the lack of an announcement revealing the nature of the scientific data. Out of respect for the Kingdom of Jordan, we are not at liberty to reveal these results ourselves. The British Team has made significant progress in both translation and scientific and historical analysis; however, we cannot continue to subject this discovery, nor its defenders, to biased media reports with hidden agendas and malicious allegations via internet and twitter trolls, whose reprehensible behaviour would see this hoard disappear into private hands or even destroyed. Again, our most sincere thanks for your support, from our large Coast-to-Coast radio followers to local support from Jordan and the Middle East – please do not give up hope.
Evidently the Lead people knew that the BBC was on their trail and they wanted to do damage control before the report aired. Too late. No one, except those with a particular financial interest in promoting the bogus pieces, will stand by them (in much the same way that certain people CONTINUE to insist the ‘James Ossuary’ is as advertised). Show me the money, and 9 times out of 10, I can show you the motive.
Today I snatched from the jaws of hell and death both my 300th Academia.edu follower and my 500th twiiter disciple (what a ghastly thing to say but there it is). Add to that bit of happy self-promotional rub it in your face you sad loserly trollop news the fact that it was another pretty good week on ye ole blog and it all adds up to me being in a moderately good mood for 3.5839242 seconds! Behold!
[I]n the Church we must always be upon our guard, lest we pay too great a deference to men. For it is all over with her, when a single individual, be he whosoever you please, has more authority than all the rest, especially where this very person does not scruple to try how far he may go.
Such is also true in the Academy, where hero worship is too common and where, if ‘Professor Dr. Hillbillicus of Yale, who has published with Brill’ offers an opinion all are expected and urged to agree; and indeed – if all don’t comply they are reminded that ‘Professor Hillbillicus is a SENIOR SCHOLAR and hence you must NEVER have the temerity to call him to account!’
What’s true for the Church is also true for the Academy: idolatry has no place.
And I can say that without hesitation because there’s NO WAY they could – short of an inscription in an undisturbed grave- know who’s bones they are. It’s just another overblown silly claim appearing in the press because with its 24 hour news cycle they have to ‘report’ something.
A small handful of bones found in an ancient church in Bulgaria may belong to John the Baptist, the biblical figure said to have baptized Jesus.
There’s no way to be sure, of course, as there are no confirmed pieces of John the Baptist to compare to the fragments of bone. But the sarcophagus holding the bones was found near a second box bearing the name of St. John and his feast date (also called a holy day) of June 24. Now, new radiocarbon dating of the collagen in one of the bones pegs its age to the early first century, consistent with the New Testament and Jewish histories of John the Baptist’s life.
“We got some dates that are very interesting indeed,” study researcher Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford told LiveScience. “They suggest that the human bone is all from the same person, it’s from a male, and it has a very high likelihood of an origin in the Near East,” or Middle East where John the Baptist would have lived.
‘No way to be sure of course’… Well good grief if you recognize that why would you even hint that they ‘may’ be? After more explanations of the ‘discovery’ of the relic box which contained the bones we get to the real reason the story is coming out now…
None of this proves that the bones belonged to a historical figure named John the Baptist, but researchers haven’t been able to rule out the possibility, Higham said. Their study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but a program detailing the research will be aired on the United Kingdom National Geographic Channel on Sunday. National Geographic funded the research.
Their study hasn’t been published but that won’t stop NatGeo from airing a special on it. Ah, the glories of relic-pimping for the sake of corporate profit. If you want to know what drives so much ‘archaeology’ today just look at the money trail.
Matthew Kalman has a brilliant report in the Daily Mail which features the complete debunking of the Shroud of Turin lunacy. I hope this is the final nail in the Shroud-ers coffin. It most decidedly should be.
It has been venerated for centuries as the burial shroud of Jesus and has attracted thousands to the chapel where it lies. But an eminent Church historian says the Turin Shroud is probably a medieval fake and just one of 40 similar cloths circulating in Europe until the 18th century. In a new study, Antonio Lombatti, a Church historian at the Universita Popolare in Parma, Italy, says the shroud appears to have originated in Turkey some 1,300 years after the crucifixion of Jesus in the Holy Land.
In a research paper to be published later this month in the scholarly journal ‘Studi Medievali,’ Lombatti says the shroud was most likely given to a French knight as a memento from a crusade to Smyrna, Turkey in the 14th century.
‘The Turin Shroud is only one of the many burial cloths which were circulating in the Christian world during the Middle Ages. There were at least 40,’ said Lombatti, citing research by the 19th-century French historian Francois de Mely, who had studied surviving medieval documents. ‘Most of them were destroyed during the French revolution. Some had images, others had blood-like stains, and others were completely white,’ Lombatti told the Daily Mail. Based on unpublished manuscripts at the National Library of Paris, Lombatti reveals that the shroud was obtained by the French knight, Geoffroy de Charny, during a crusade to liberate the Turkish city of Smyrna from Muslim rule in 1346.
There’s a lot more which you will want to read and pass along.