Dr. David Jeremiah is the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and I only know this because, when I dropped off one of my daughters at school this morning, I tuned into a Christian radio station and listened in on one of his sermons. The sermon was broadcast at eight o’clock on KBRT in Los Angeles (740 on the AM radio dial). Dr. Jeremiah was preaching on the coming Armageddon—apparently a favorite topic of his—and I was dumbfounded by the leaps of association and logic that he was taking. Here was one of his central claims: Satan is (ironically) using the oil-money produced from the destroyed foliage of the Garden of Eden both to create dissention in the world and to finance his global diabolical plans.
Yes, you read that right. Dr. Jeremiah believes that the lush foliage of the Garden of Eden, which the Bible places in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, having been destroyed and buried by Noah’s flood, is now the oil that the Middle East pumps out of the ground today. When Americans fill up their cars with gasoline, they are filling them with the detritus of the Garden of Eden. I swear that’s a fair and true summary of what he said. I’m not writing an Onion article.
Dr. Jeremiah’s thesis is that the destroyed foliage of the Garden of Eden is—both in its exploitation as oil and in humanity’s competition for it—Satan’s way of bringing us to the End Times. But what Satan means for evil, God means for good: after billions have died horrible deaths there will be a happy ending (if such a thing is possible after so much suffering).
Dr. Jeremiah didn’t quote this verse from the Book of Revelation, but I like it so I’ll quote it myself (Rev. 21:4 KJV):
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.
That’s lovely, isn’t it? But I wonder about all the irrationality, stupidity, and downright craziness in the world. Will they have passed away as well? Would we really want them to?
I notice that there is a brief Wikipedia article on Dr. Jeremiah. It turns out that he is his megachurch’s pastoral successor to Tim LaHaye.
And here’s a bit more craziness. I think the Jesus guy below is kind of interesting, and, if he’s crazy, he’s crazy like a fox. But I wonder what Dr. Jeremiah would say about him. Would he call him a mad man?