"Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads." - Revelation 12:3
As you'll recall from yesterday, the seven angels are blowing their trumpets. This section picks up with the fifth angel blowing his trumpet. This causes yet another star to fall out of the sky. But this isn't a normal star. This "star" is referred to as "he" and "he" is given a key to an abyss.
"The abyss" is described as a giant furnace. I can only assume that this supposed to be hell. When the star opens up the abyss, a swarm of locusts come out. These locusts are given the powers of scorpions, in that they have stingers. These locusts are not actually given the power to kill people, but only to sting and torture them mercilessly.
That's not the only think peculiar about these locusts. They are described as looking like "horses prepared for battle". On their heads they are wearing crowns of gold, and they all have human faces. They also have long, womanlike hair, and breastplates made out of iron. What. The. Fuck. I don't think I actually have anything intelligent to say about this. Anybody who claims John wasn't on drugs when he wrote this needs to rethink their lives.
Next, the sixth angel sounds his trumpet. This causes the four angels who were bound up near the Euphrates to be released, killing one third of humanity. What four angels bound up near the Euphrates? Why is none of this ever mentioned in the other gospels, if this is legit? With these angels come horses with lion heads, that breathe sulfer-fire breath. I guess that seems pretty reasonable at this point.
We now take an almost two chapter long break from blowing trumpets (I suppose they're building the suspense for the final trumpet). In the meantime John sees an angel come out of the heavens. This angel is robed in a cloud with a rainbow over his head, with a face like the sun and fiery legs. So there is a naked, flaming angel coming out of the sky with a big rainbow over his head. I believe this holds the record for the gayest angel of all time.
This angel is holding a "little scroll". The angel plants his feet, one in the ocean and one on the land. He then shouts, and the voices of "seven thunders" speak. John says that he was about to write down what they said, but then an angel told him not to.
The angel voice then tells John to take the little scroll from the angel and eat it. No, that's not a typo. He's supposed to eat the scroll. This has actually happened already in Ezekiel, so I'm not sure why I'm surprised. After John eats the scroll, his stomach turns sour. No shit, eating an entire scroll will probably make you sick. Thanks for the insight, John.
The next story is about a creature from the abyss coming up to earth and killing a bunch of people. Their bodies lay in the streets for three and a half days, until God breathes life back into them. These newly formed zombies then go around terrifying people. They all then go up to heaven. Wait, why do they get to go to heaven? And why do I want to go to heaven if there are zombies up there?
Finally, the seventh trumpet is sounded. This causes the twenty-four elders to start worshiping God with even more vigor. Then heaven opens up, and the ark of the covenant is revealed. The ark of the covenant? I guess God just carries it around for shits and giggles now.
This is where it really gets crazy. I know what you're thinking, "how can it get crazier". That's easy: an enormous dragon!
Yes, along with a woman "clothed with the sun" with a crown of stars on her head, comes an enormous red dragon. This dragon has seven heads, all with crowns, and ten horns. The woman is about to give birth, so he waits near her to devour her child as soon as he comes out. Why doesn't he just eat the woman?
When the woman does eventually give birth, God snatches the child away. The woman then flees into the desert where she is taken care of for 1,260 days. At the same time, the dragon invades heaven, where he has an epic battle with the angel Michael, ending in the dragon (now called Satan) being cast out of heaven. Why did God allow this battle to happen? Why didn't he just snap the dragon out of existence?
The dragon, finding that he's back on earth, decides to go chasing after the woman again. God gives the woman great wings so she can fly away from the dragon. She then flies to a place in the desert where she will be taken care of for "a time, times a half a time". Wait, a time times a half a time (1 * 0.5) is just a half a time. Not that this gives us any clue as to how long she was actually protected for.
Finally, the dragon spews water out of his mouth to try to drown the woman. The earth (yes, the earth) seeing the woman is in trouble, swallows the water coming from the dragon. The dragon, frustrated, decides to go try to kill the woman's offspring. And that marks the end of today's giant clusterfuck of crazy.
What should Christians think about MMA (Mixed martial arts)? They should hate it because it's too violent:
Psalm 11:5 says, "The LORD examines the righteous and the wicked. He hates the lover of violence." This is a hard verse for at least two reasons. First, it does not say that God simply hates violence, but rather, that God hates those who love violence. Second, it confronts our culture's lust for violence, a lust which many Christians indulge rather than reject.
Really? You're really going to try to convince me that God hates violence? The bible is chocked full of instances of God not only committing, but condoning violence from the Israelites. That's not to even mention his orchestration of Jesus's crucifixion. For someone that hates violence, he certainly seems to be the perpetrator of a lot of it.
UFC and MMA amounts to violence porn, a term which has been applied to movies with wanton violence such as "SAW," where violence is not part of the plot, it is the attraction. Violence for violence's sake, as opposed to instrumental or redeeming violence, desensitizes the viewer to the graphic horror of watching two people pummel each other for the sake of entertainment. UFC and MMA offer exactly the kind of violence condemned in Psalm 11:5. Ezekiel 7:23 decries, "the city is full of violence." Why are Christians supporting violence in the city?
Desensitizes people? What the hell does the bible do then? What's killing a few hundred people in the name of defeating terrorism, if God has commanded that thousands be killed. That is being desensitized. In fact, I have witnessed Christians talking, bemusedly, about how much it must have "sucked" to be one of those worshipers of Baal in the Old Testament.
No, it doesn't just "suck", it is genocide. It is an atrocity. That's like laughing about how much it would have sucked to be a Jew in the holocaust. The other major difference is that Hitler, who killed millions, is hated. While God, who has also killed millions (if you believe the bible), is loved.
(via Baptist Press)