Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Christ Returns... to Delaware. One Raptured.

The disappearance of Steven J. Hastings in late 2008 was understandably not reported in the Newark Post, but it turns out that this humble short-haul trucker was the Christian for whom Jesus returned to earth. Hastings' employer, Old Dominion Freight Lines, considered him a simple no-call/no-show on January 3, 2009, and after a week of no response, they updated his status as "voluntary termination." Repeated messages went unanswered, and the matter was forgotten.

Hastings wasn't actually reported missing until last week, when the manager of his apartment entered his home, in Felton, Delaware, on the assumption that he had vacated without notice. To his surprise, however, everything in Hastings' apartment was exactly as one would have expected if the man was sitting at his breakfast table... well, if he was sitting at his breakfast table four months ago. His television was on, and tuned to KYW, the local CBS affiliate. His cereal (Wheaties) was poured, with milk, and partially consumed -- though quite obviously long since expired. His uniform was lying on a table, and his computer was on, with a partially composed email opened. The apartment manager promptly alerted the authorities, but with no known relatives, little was immediately done, other than a cursory Missing Persons report.

When officials interviewed Hastings' co-workers, few were able to tell much about the man. Hastings drove various regional routes, servicing Old Dominion's Northeast region, but spent little time actually engaged with his peers. The only direct interaction Hastings seemed to have with his fellow drivers was his propensity to proselytize -- several current and former drivers mentioned this annoying quirk, with one, Jon Semperly, describing Hastings' approach as, "dumb and stupid" (emphasis Semperly's).

Further investigation found that Hastings was a member of the Church of God of Prophecy, in Felton, DE, where he practiced an Evangelical form of Christianity. The church teaches that the Bible is the true and literal Word of God, and that on Jesus' return, all true believers will be "raptured" -- they will disappear, taking on a spiritual form, and be whisked away with Jesus to heaven, while the Tribulation begins. Although the official Church of God of Prophecy doctrine remains intentionally ambiguous with respect to eschatology, church members who were familiar with Hastings noted that he was a Pre-tribulational (dispensational) Premillennialist -- a point on which he was quick to debate.

Investigators took note, then, when the bizarre circumstances of his disappearance (which took place at approximately 3pm local time on December 28, 2008, according to the time at which the incomplete email message was initialized), coupled with his evident faith and eschatological convictions, seemed to undeniably point to the Second Coming of Christ as having passed, with Hastings alone being raptured. The only conclusion which can be drawn is that all other religions, including the various extant forms of Christianity, are incorrect on one or more key points. It is unfortunate, authorities say, that Christ's return did not include a detailed orthodoxy, so that the remaining people may yet convert to the appropriate version of Christianity.

For those who take issue with the Return being so obscure, we must realize that Revelation 1:7 has been fulfilled -- all were witness to His return -- but with the apparent lone exception of Steven Hastings, we all suppressed the Truth before us.

The best course of action, then, is for humans across the globe to seek to identify Hastings' specific beliefs, and to emulate them. All we know at present is that he was a member of the Church of God of Prophecy, and that he was a staunch Pre-tribulational (dispensational) Premillennialist. Join the effort to determine the rest of Hastings' beliefs, and with the Grace of God, perhaps we can increase heaven's eventual population.


PersonalFailure said...

Well, he was eating Wheaties, let's start there.

FrodoSaves said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FrodoSaves said...

It's a sad day when your church has a far better website than the TV station you watch for entertainment.

January 3 '09 was a Saturday, which is a peculiar day to be going to work. Although perhaps the "dumb and stupid" element could explain that. The day he disappeared on the other hand was a Sunday, which seems sufficiently sabbathy enough for a Rapture.

Hmm... Maybe Jesus just loves a man in uniform?

ImtheRabbit said...


The Great Bunny says he fell of a cliff but that's all he'll tell me, he won't tell me if he died or was in fact 'raptured' but his nose is twitching an awfully lot...

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

January 3 '09 was a Saturday 

He was a truck driver -- it's not exactly 9-to-5... But then, if I may quote a sage I know:

It's all in the details. 

As to PersonalFailure's comment:

Well, he was eating Wheaties... 

The curious thing is that the forensics team determined the Wheaties were at least a week older than the unfinished email -- either he likes his Wheaties curdled, he's really forgetful, or he was unraptured long enough to start the email, but enraptured by the notion that he was being raptured, and therefore reraptured.


FrodoSaves said...

The curious thing is that the forensics team determined the Wheaties were at least a week older than the unfinished email Is that something forensics teams can do these days? Incredible.

Who was the email to?

Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

The email's contents and intended recipient have not been released, but I know a guy who has a dog, that hangs out at the dog park with another dog, who is owned by a different guy, who works in the regional FBI office's missing persons (Baltimore). He says that the email was to the representative of the Alhaji Ishmalia Gwarzo estate, concerning a large inheritance from a recently deceased distant relative from Nigeria.

Although the message was incomplete, it seems that Hastings was working with the estate's representative by providing his bank account information, so that a fund transfer could be tested.

Is that something forensics teams can do these days? 

I may have misspoke -- the forensics team determined that the milk in the cereal was at least a week past the expiration date printed on the carton, based on the stage of its transformation to cheese. I understand that one of their member, coincidentally, is a member of the American Dairy Science Association, and an animal husbander to boot...


FrodoSaves said...

So based on the fact he was sending his bank details to Nigeria, we can at least conclude that he was stupid.

God raptures stupid people.


Stan, the Half-Truth Teller said...

So based on the fact he was sending his bank details to Nigeria, we can at least conclude that he was stupid. 

I'm afraid you're guilty of begging the question. You're also guilty of capitalizing the word "god." Your attention to my attention to detail is duly noted, and perhaps in the future you'll note that I will go to great lengths to avoid starting a sentence with the word "god," and only capitalize it when quoting someone who has made that mistake. In fact, in the past, I even post-scripted "God" with "God [sic]."

In any case, all we can glean from Mr. Hastings' offer of bank details to the representative of Mr. Gwarzo's estate -- who may or may not be physically located in Nigeria -- is that he is an avid family man, even if oblivious to the occupants of his family tree.

Sure, god raptures stupid people, but I would guess that to be due to god's amazing mercy. More to the point, I expect, stupid people believe god raptures.

(Sorry for the delayed response -- finals week is approaching, and I recognize it is a pitiful excuse in the face of the clearly more important maintenance of one's blog. I beg Frodo's forgiveness, and I vow to perform autofellatio as penance. Full release.)