Friday, August 1, 2014

Solomon's Temple Rebuilt! In Brazil with a Helipad?

Usually one would expect such a headline to announce that a replica of Solomon's temple had been built somewhere in the United States. 

This is the kind of thing that normally happens in the Mecca of cheap entertainment; A place like Las Vegas or Orlando's Holy Land Experience.

But this is in Brazil, host of the recent World Cup and the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics. So on the one hand, I was relieved that the USA must have reached it's quota of bizarre religious sites for the year and allowed another country to have the spot light for a while.

But as I read the article about the temple I was surprised by the details, including the installment of a helipad. Here's part of the article

A vast replica of Solomon's Temple opened this week in Sao Paulo, with the capacity to seat 10,000 followers of the evangelical Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
The temple, which engulfs an entire city block and cost about £176 million to build, has polarised opinion, particularly among the Jewish community from which it borrows much of its most eye-catching symbolism.
The temple was built using stone from Israel and contains a number of conspicuous menorahs and an altar imitating the Ark of the Covenant.
Bishop Edir Macedo, who founded the Universal Church 35 years ago and masterminded the new temple, has a flowing beard and wears a yarmulke. A helicopter landing pad on the 11-storey complex will allow Mr Macedo to drop in for sermons.
Alongside the temple is a garden of olive trees similar to the garden of Gethsemane, and the flag of Israel flies nearby, next to those of the Universal Church, Brazil and the United States, among dozens of other countries.

I suppose having stone from Israel helps to make the temple "feel" more authentic. I'm not so sure about the helipad, however. At first I thought this was part of some type of rapture practice. Perhaps people hang-on and experience what it's like to be taken up. But then I see it's so that the pastor can drop-by for a sermon. Wow, not even Jesus had a helicopter! I mean, he had to walk everywhere when he wanted to give a sermon. Imagine the all of the places he could have preached the Sermon on the Mount if he only had a helicopter? And don't get me started about Paul's missionary journeys! 

Well, if there is a silver-lining to the story it's that this is one of the few times people can't shake their heads and say "only in America."