Friday, August 29, 2014

Joan Rivers, Death, and the Hamptons

It was sad to hear that Joan Rivers suffered a heart attack while undergoing a medical procedure, and is now in critical condition at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. The eighty-one year old comedian is known for her biting sarcasm and verbal scorching of other famous people through comedic quips and barbs. She says that comedians should never apologize for their jokes, because they’re here on Earth to make people laugh. I'm not sure if the targets of her jokes actually laugh, but that's another story.

Joan Rivers says that she reads the New York Times obituaries every day. She's looking for people she
can't date any more. She carries her humor over to the funerals she attends. "My friends are all dropping like flies," says Joan. "I go to the funerals of my girlfriends and I hear the minister say, 'She’s in a better place.' What?  Are you kidding me? No, she’s not. She had a house in the Hamptons!"

I've long thought that many Americans have lost all sense of the eternal by being sucked into the spinning whirlpool of temporal comfort and pleasure. It's an extraordinary privilege to live in American prosperity, but if the Kingdom of God seems stagnated and useless in America, it could be because Americans are satisfied and comfortable in their affluence.

What most forget is that the treasures of this life don't last. The proverbial 'moth and rust' of ancient days has become the 'debt and decay' of modern stuff. Nothing is forever. Skin sags. Investments go bust. Homes decay. Life on earth always ends. Americans fight hard to keep temporal things looking new, shiny and fresh. It's a losing battle, but affluence whispers its lie that the temporal can last. As long as affluence abounds, heaven seems an appropriate target for a comedian's joke.

It's one of the reasons that no Christian with a concern for the eternal welfare of others should ever fear economic disaster, world war, or major catastrophes in this life, such as cancer, heart attacks, or other serious illnesses. When bad thing happen to people, it always makes the eternal come into sharper focus. If America is in for a very rough time in the near future, it simply means people might become more aware of the truth that death can be the door to a better place. It requires Jesus to transform a person's life from the inside out. Isaac Watts, a Jesus follower and a man who understood the futility of lusting after the temporal, once wrote:
Cheerful in death I close my eyes, 
To part with every lust;
And charge my flesh whene'er it rise
To leave them in the dust.  
Or to put it in pictorial language: "When America's distended affluence bubble bursts,  heaven will no longer be the butt of a joke about the Hamptons."


LoddieR said...

Wade, you write “I've long thought that many Americans have lost all sense of the eternal by being sucked into the spinning whirlpool of temporal comfort and pleasure.” If you had not inserted the word “Americans” in your blog I would have definitely thought you were speaking of many churches and most television ministries in this country today. Your blog is apropos for the end time Laodicea spirit that pervades the Christian church world of this nation. But thanks to our Lord and Savior for those pastors and teachers that have their eyes and heart set on Jesus and not the temporal comforts and pleasures of this world.

Aussie John said...


Not just Americans!

Wade Burleson said...

Agreed! :)

New BBC Open Forum said...

Just curious why the August 23rd article was removed.

Anonymous said...


  Pastors should never apologize for their sermons, because they’re here on Earth to get people 'saved'. I'm not sure if the targets of your sermon(s) actually get 'saved', but that's another story.

IMHO Your current post is in somewhat poor taste. Getting religious milage trafficking Joan's misfortune, negates any hope of the emission of sympathy, or concern for her present condition, possibly her eternal soul, as well.

עוד בדיחה אחת לדרך, ג'ואן?

תבריא במהרה!

Lehaim !




Wade Burleson said...


Taste is a matter of personal opinion. I accept your view that my post is in poor taste I would ask you to extend the same courtesy and accept my view that it is not.

Sopwith said...


"We Care?"




Thank You for your kind response.


IMHO It is not about 'taste', its about 'caring' about this wonderful person.

Why did you drop the ball?


How do you expect people to listen, if they don't see you care, especially those in harm's way?

Think of the greater audience, please.

You Matter.



P.S. I am alwayz prepared ta give you the benefit of the doubt, savvy?
Intermission: Mozart, best of...



Wade Burleson said...


Christiane said...

Sad news:
Joan Rivers has passed away.

New BBC Open Forum said...

RIP, Joan. There's a little less laughter in the world tonight.