Over Sunday lunch one day, my brother and I found ourselves sitting with two or three other men with horrified looks on their faces. The reason for their discomfort wasn’t the delicious food my aunt had just made, but rather the conversation occuring. Matt (my brother) started describing his idea of going to Heaven, only to find a caged-off area for us to do battle, you know, for fun.
Like this, but with a Jumbtron, and without the obvious plot holes
Before my friends crucify me, you should know that I realize none of this is found in the Bible. For all I know, male aggression and desires to fight were constructed by our Creator to help us deal with the harsh reality of a fallen world. In all likelihood, the new Heaven and new Earth described in the scriptures will have no need for warriors sounding their “barbaric yawps” or brandishing weapons. My reading of Revelations seems to point to an epic battle of good vs. evil, but fought by God’s angels rather than us. Heaven is described as an ideal place of beauty where we are given perfect bodies made for immortality and an eternity with Jesus. Despite the wonderful nature of this, my imperfect understanding of an infinite concept led me to think the following,
Seems a bit of a waste of a perfect body if there’s not a good-natured brawl or two.
With a battle axe.
To the face.
I’m picturing stepping through the pearly gates as a new arrival. The rest of my family won’t get here for a few decades, so I’ll go on a sight-seeing tour. As I walk the golden streets, I see church history buffs seated around Josephus and Paul, listening to detailed accounts of the past. Hipsters are sitting in a coffee house (seriously, there’s a Starbucks everywhere) talking to C.S. Lewis. I think there’s a grammaphone playing next to them, and one of them is absent-mindedly waxing his mustache. A group of preachers stand on a street corner having a friendly debate with B.W. Stone and Martin Luther.
“I read your books, Mr. Lewis, and here’s where you’re wrong and out of touch with postmodernism…”
I stop to listen, when in the distance I hear clashes of metal, muffled explosions, cheers, and laughter. I say a quick respectful greeting to Queen Esther and Mother Teresa, then sprint to a large fenced off area. It looks like the pen for a T-Rex in “Jurassic Park.” At the entrance, a large steel contraption that looks like it would give King Kong a hernia, Joan of Arc argues large unit tactics with Robert E. Lee while William Wallace instructs Saint Patrick on the use of the Claymore sword.
“Use a WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDER stance, Patrick!!!”
I look for a familiar sight, and when I see another Marine standing there in full battle-rattle, I ask him what this place is. He explains to me that this is Heaven’s version of The Thunderdome, and God does in fact run Bartertown.
Author’s note: If you don’t get that joke, punch yourself in the face, the watch all of the “Mad Max” movies
“Picture ‘Call of Duty,’ but in real life, where there are melees, team battles, and one-on-one competitions. No one gets hurt, even if you get a 40mm grenade to the face. You just get back up, dust yourself off, and walk out to wait for whatever round you want to fight in next.”
I look over and see George Washington prepare some of his old army to face a group of Knights Templar, and behind them Joshua stretches out before going up against one of the first Christian Vikings. Naturally, there is a Jumbotron showing multiple angles of the action. I watch a group of ancient Tuetonic Knights armed with shields, swords, and AK-47’s drop one by one from some unseen gunfire. They get up, rub their foreheads, and as they walk out I hear them muttering in Hebrew. I don’t speak the language, but I think I hear the words “Chris Kyle” mentioned.
Eventually, the time comes for the melee and the entire crowd empties into the caged arena. Why not try myself against the greatest warriors in the history of the Kingdom of God? It’s not like I can die, anyway. I grab a plate carrier, magazines, a suppressed M4, and a tomahawk that suddenly materialize at my feet, and step through the gate.
On a grassy hilltop, a group of about twenty armored men unsuccessfully try to attack a half-naked giant with dreadlocks, a jawbone in his hands, and a crazy look in his eyes. This may all be in good fun, and we may all be immortal, but at this point I don’t feel up to taking on Sampson. Before I finish that though, Sampson picks up a guy and hits another guy with him into another guy.
Yeah, that’s a big tall glass of “I don’t think so.”
I see an open field with a large crowd, and I can hear steel on steel, battle cries, and even some laughter. I sling my rifle behind me and start sprinting with my tomahawk in my hand. Strangely, I don’t feel breathless from the running, nor the terrible throat-cracking thirst that usually accompanies the battles I’ve been in. There is only the joy of the fight.
I’m closing in on a Celtic-looking dude with blue paint all over his body when a freaking rock hits me in the temple and goes right through my head. There’s no pain, but I drop immediately. Should have worn the helmet.
I look up and see a fierce bearded man standing over me with tree trunks for arms, a bronze sword in his belt, and a sling in his hand.
“King David?!” I say incredulously.
“That was a nice shot.”
“Thanks! I’ve had a while to work on it.”
“Dude, are…are you wearing 5.11 pants?”
“I know, right?! These things are so much more comfortable for fighting than my old dishdasha!”
“5.11 Tactical: Contractor tested, Biblically approved!”