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Published: October 15th 2006
Back in 1984 (sounds sort of 'Orwellian, ehhhh ??) I had a chance to go to Israel, on a 'promo' tour. My buddy Steve and I went, for only $500.00 each. That included flight from LAX, hotels, tour, transportation, and one meal a day. A 7 day tour. I don't usually take the 'organized tour trips, but I couldn't pass this one up. So to the Holy Land we went. Mostly I felt like I was 'just along for the ride', and the last thing I wanted to do was be stereotyped as a 'pillsbury doughboy christian'. But I did it anyway. Thankfully, the tour guide didn't make us all wear orange hats. sheeze.
Now don't get me wrong... I have pretty well sorted out my thoughts about God, and the trip was well worth the experience. But these 'holy sites'... come on. History is clear that 300 years after the apostolic era, Constantine's mother came to re-establish the 'holy' land. Hmmm.. I see some Arab tweeking his beard, as he shows her the 'birthplace' of Jesus. Yeaahh. Most of em say the 'traditional' site. You know what that means? That means they don't really have a clue. 300 years is a long time... let's see... 300 years ago, was 1704... hmmm.. Peter the Great was making the headlines then. And they want me to believe that these are the actual sites.
Well, I guess I am the world's biggest cynic when it comes to things like that. But I went along with it all, as best as I could. Finally, we were at a site in Caesarea, where Cornelius was from (Acts 10). The tour guide was showing us a rock that had an inscription oin it, with Pontius Pilot's name inscibed. FINALLY... I was entralled. I LISTENED. After all... there is was, a genuine piece of real HISTORY, right in front of us. But as the tour guide was giving his speech, I noticed what looked to be re-bar showing through the back part of the 'stone. I pointed it out to my buddy Steve, who brought it to the attention of the tour host. Ohh. It was a replica. The REAL one, was in a museum in London.
Small wonder if they don't sing 'what a friend we have in Jesus' on the way to the bank !!
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