Starbucks based in Seattle Washington has been responding to reaction about their cups with relative indifference. They don’t seem to be ready to pull the cups anytime soon even though they are creating a stir on both sides of the cultural and social fence. Christians are offended with what is seen as anti-God messages and unbelievers say they don’t want to be witnessed to by a coffee cup.
No one is admitting anything even in the face of calls to boycott the coffee magnate’s product but almost everyone knows that even controversy is free publicity. No one may know for sure what the result of the controversy will be until the next Starbucks corporate earnings report is in and filed under “who cares” but them.
In the mean time I still prefer Dunkin Doughnuts coffee or the thick, harsh, tongue accosting black gunk I make every morning in my own house and have considered using in my car to save money on motor oil.
What I never imagined could come from a cup of Joe is the inspiration to write an article. I have heard views of what heaven must be like from hundreds of different sources for decades now and the only one I find satisfying comes from the Bible not a message on a coffee cup. Sorry Starbucks but keep trying.
Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein is a boyish faced Op-Ed writer who said on March 23, 2007 in a latimes.com article, “As a writer, it's very difficult to reach people because it requires them to read. So, in this splintered world of headline skimmers, I had to change my goals. I no longer dreamed of writing a bestselling literary novel or syndicating my column nationwide. I wanted to be on a Starbucks cup.”
In the realization of his dream Joel wrote the following message that did in fact make it to the Starbucks coffee cups and has created no small stir along with other controversial messages by other various writers now blazoned on Starbucks cups.
Joel said, “Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring. Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can’t wait to go, like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but Heaven has to step it up a bit. They're basically getting by because they only have to be better than Hell.”
Having read more than a few of Mr. Stein’s articles I find myself picturing his face popping up out of a tent full of plastic play balls like those found in the children’s area of a Mc Donald’s restaurant. The balls are symbolic of the words Mr. Stein likes to play and roll round in but doesn’t take all too seriously. I’m not sure if he is aiming at comic relief in his articles or if it is unintended but all too often he doesn’t seem too serious. I can thank him for finally driving me to write a piece I’m sure is serious that I have been putting off for years.
Like most people who have never read the Bible or have read it and filed it under allegorical tripe in their thinking Joel’s view of heaven is typically ignorant, not as in dumb but as in incomplete.
According to the Bible heaven is noted for what is there and not for what seems to be missing. The world view is “drink all the beer you can now because there isn’t any in heaven.” The Biblical view is “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor 2:9.” Perhaps the “no beer in heaven” crowd should be warned that there is no beer in hell either.
What is referred to as “heaven” has to wait for Christ’s 1000 year rule of the earth during the “Millennial Kingdom” but after reading the last two chapters of the Bible anyone with an ounce of discernment would agree it is well worth the wait.
Having endured years of struggling with notions of heaven as possibly a far off unknown dimension, in which no one knows much of anything including them selves, I was shocked when I read the last chapters of the book of Revelation. The Holy City is a place prepared completely by God and it consists of a great deal more than harps and clouds and lazy days with nothing to do.
It is a city of unimaginable beauty that rests on a new planet where there are no oceans to separate men from one another by means of continents or nations. Unlike anything known on earth this city rises 1500 hundred miles upward (probably pyramidical) and has equal length and breadth to its height. A city of this size would knock the entire earth off its axis if it were built here. Outer space begins a mere sixty miles above this earth.
God makes his abode in that city obviously at the top of it and his presence casts his uncreated light down on it and there is no need of sunlight there. In fact there is no sun there at all. It is a light without heat or cold. Men carry on a life there with what’s known as glorified bodies. Put simply it is the same body they had on earth but with all the kinks worked out like disease, death and discomfort.
If a case could be made for what is not in heaven it would be a strong one. It is perhaps the most attractive element to the entire idea of heaven and it cannot be reduced to something as base as a bottle of booze. What isn’t there is altogether what we all wish wasn’t here. Check it out.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
On the side of what will be there the greatest argument of all is that God himself is there. Not that I think anyone must be reminded but just in case, God will not be in hell. If all heaven has to do is compete with hell as Mr. Stein has said then the competition is already won hands down by Gods presence in heaven. In fact whatever writers and theologians may describe about hell is all second fiddle to this one important difference. He is there!
Rev Bresciani is a Christian author and a columnist for several online sites and magazines. His articles are now read in every country in the world. For articles and news from around the world visit “The Website for Insight” http://www.americanprophet.org