...are the ones that make the biggest difference
My wife's new job brings her into constant contact with germy little kids, so we've been fighting a running battle with whatever bug is "hot" right now. So, feeling listless and a bit foggy-headed yesterday thanks to some new enemy to stave off, I forewent my normal day-off morning at Border's and sat at home. Watching tv mostly, which I honestly do consider a complete waste of time, though you do find some interesting demographic clues in the commercials. Apparently, the primary audiences of the "People's Court" type judge/legal-dispute shows are the elderly with mobility problems and young women planning their nuptials; I saw at least a dozen adds each for electric wheelchairs and wedding dresses. I flipped around a lot and ended up watching John Hagee for 20 or so minutes on TBN. He was presenting his "exciting new prophecy series" which prophetically included support for President Bush & his policies, decrying our dependence on foreign oil, more than a fair amount of fire & brimstone threats of hell-fire and the Rapture. At one point, Mr. Hagee described the legions of deceased saints standing ready in heaven to wage the final battle depicted in Revelations. Apparently as a measure of encouragement to his audience, he said (as best I can recall) those very same saints were watching them & "this program" right now, wanting the audience to live for Christ in expectation of the end. Wait...what? They're watching us right now? They are in the presence of Christ, aware of what we're doing and wanting to encourage us? If that isn't an argument for the classical understanding of the "communion of the saints" and precisely the reason the traditional church seeks their intercession, I don't know what is. In most of the debates I've seen or participated in, those opposed to the traditional understanding have made claims to no explicit biblical warrant for either the practice or the ability of the departed to "hear" our prayers, suggesting they are completely unaware of what's happening down here. Obviously John Hagee isn't advocating that anyone seek the intercession of the saints, but hearing this from him was just, well, weird.