Want some twisted “theology” with that early morning steaming latte? You can obtain it at Starbucks, that would-be “Institute of ‘Spiritual’ Instruction,” in which so many take delight en route to their day’s work schedule. As one is tantalized by the aromatic fragrance of freshly brewed coffee, in the Starbuck’s environment he also can inhale the noxious fumes of secularism.
On some of its coffee cups the Starbucks Corporation publishes “cute” little paragraphs of philosophical propaganda. The following represents one such contribution.
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 is going to have to step it up a bit. They’re basically getting by because they only have to be better than Hell (#230).
The foregoing display of contemptible ignorance was the contribution of Joel Stein, a writer for the Los Angeles Times. This and similar diatribes have caused many who reverence the Bible to do their morning coffee-buying elsewhere. Good! Why not put your money where your heart is, instead of into some humanistic-oriented corporation that has an agenda hostile to those who reverence the spiritual?
Sadder still, however, is the fact that many who profess an allegiance to the sacred Scriptures also have an extremely jaded view of heaven, and so have materialized it in order to accommodate their own earth-oriented view of the celestial.
Islam has its bedroom-paradise of dark-eyed maidens that accommodate those who have shed the blood of their earthly fellows. And Mormonism has its own version of celestial “marriage” where polygamy again is the ideal.
Then there is a significant portion of “Christendom” that has crafted a “heaven” after their own earthly interests, and such is as biblically unrealistic as the quirky concepts previously depicted. A young scholar recently wrote that “heaven will be a place of partying . . . with amazing food, fine wine, wonderful company and lots to celebrate . . . music and dancing are likely to be a part of the celebration as well” (Lebhar 2006, 297).
One young minister (the grandson of a deceased, highly-respected gospel preacher) recently preached the same “heaven-on-earth” dogma in the church with which he labors in a university community in Tennessee. How does such slip by a watchful leadership?
The foregoing erroneous images of heaven are the result of two deficiencies.
First, there is the lack of disciplinary training in things spiritual, in contrast to aggressive pursuits of the material. Many Christians truly do not fathom how they will be able to be happy in an environment where there is no golf, Monday Night Football, or shopping malls.
Quite frankly they find worship on earth dull—as obviously reflected in their patterns of church attendance. The thought of serving God continuously (Revelation 7:15) is a frightful nightmare to the “spiritually challenged.”
Second, there is such a void of genuine study on the part of numerous church members (and some ministers) that the biblical symbolism that portrays the eternal home is not appreciated, and seems quite unappealing (cf. Revelation 21-22). They do not understand the nature and significance of the figurative language adorning certain portions of the Scriptures.
A Challenge to Starbucks
Back to Starbucks for a parting word: just how much “guts” does the Seattle-based coffee corporation have? Do the promotional officials have the courage to publish a characterization of Islam in its true historical perspective?
Why not inform early morning coffee-drinkers of the multiplied thousands who died bloody deaths when they refused to convert to the “prophet’s” claims and commands. How about this slogan: “Radical Islam is the real Islam!”? Why not tell of the little girl whom Mohammed took as his “wife” when she was six, consummating the relationship when she was nine—and he was fifty-four? (See: http://www.muslimhope.com/AishaNine.htm.)
These are historical facts you’ll never see on a Starbucks cup!