The 5-Step Prophet License: A Tor Constantino Guest Post

Today’s guest post is from Tor Constantino. Tor is a former journalist who has worked for CBS Radio and Clear Channel. His first nonfiction book “A Question of Faith” will be available in November 2011. Here’s Tor…

Most states require a licensing process for a host of service providers ranging from hair stylists to mechanics. Those are important services if you’re in the market to touch up your roots or replace your brake pads – but those services don’t come close to predicting the end of the world.

So what exactly do you need to be qualified to foretell the end of days? NOTHING.

Apparently anyone can predict Armageddon without so much as a plastic prophet ring from a box of Corn Pops.

Case in point, an 89-year old Internet pastor-turned-prognosticator believed the end of the world would occur last month on Saturday May 21, 2011.  While I’m sure he’s kind and well intentioned, he was wrong, and his credibility (as well as the people who followed him) is worth as much as those “5/21/11″ bumper stickers.

To avoid this happening in the future, I believe we need to hand out licenses to would-be prophets.

That’s why I’m proposing a 5-Step Licensing Process that looks like this:

5 Steps to Getting Your Prophet License

Step 1 – You must correctly predict heads or tails on a coin flip. We’ll go best of 7 on this one, and if you can’t nail it 4 times in 7 tries, take your crazy billboard ideas and go home. At least we saved you a bunch of money.

Step 2 – You must score 95% or better in blindfolded taste tests between various cola products and must also be able to tell when the good people who make Folgers® Crystals have secretly swapped it out with the $12 cup-of-Joe at their favorite upscale eatery.

In the fine tradition of Elijah and Jonah, we like our prophets to have sophisticated palates.

Step 3 -  You must prove your chops as a local TV meteorologist in upstate New York where the weather changes more frequently than Lady Gaga’s headgear. Bonus points if you can match skills against Punxsutawney Phil as to whether we’ll have six more weeks of winter. Extra bonus points if you kidnap Phil and no one ever hears from him again. Let’s face it: we’re all sick of the “prophetic groundhog” charade.

Step 4 – You must look ahead to the next generation of the iPhone and correctly predict 3 new features it will have as well as the date it will launch. If you can come within 2 weeks of the launch date and figure out the new specs, we’re almost ready for you to tell us when Armageddon is going to start.

Step 5 – The final level of certification will separate the men from the mentalists. At this stage, any doomsday Carnacs will need to demonstrate three straight years of correctly picking the Final Four in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament – with only one mulligan allowed. Pardon the mixing of sport metaphors but no one who’s REALLY honest had Butler in this year’s final bracket, so you’d have to make allowances for that.

Skeptics of my plan will argue, of course, that there’s no reliable way to predict the world’s end – Jesus himself said as much in Matthew 24:36.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

I could be wrong, but I think what he’s trying to convey in that quote is that we should be ready for the end every day whether it’s today, tomorrow or after Peter Jackson finishes his live-action version of The Hobbit.

And honestly, that’s probably the better course of action for a believer to take rather than playing some kind of predictive game of cosmic peek-a-boo which only serves to undermine the credibility of Christianity at best or shipwrecks the faith of believers at worst.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Doppler Radar maps of Syracuse to study. 3 more steps and I’m Certified!

Thanks Tor!

In light of Tor’s post let us know the best prediction you’ve ever made.

PS…For more of Tor, check out his great blog: The Daily Retort

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  • http://www.adjuvancy.com/wordpress Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    I think this is great. You just missed the critical 6th- find a bunch of dittoheads who will declaim your very word, since they are incapable of original – and especially critical- thought!

    • http://www.torconbooks.com Tor Constantino

      Great point Roy! Luckily, we’ve got four months to work on that before Camping’s re-jiggered date of October hits and the world ends for the second time this year!

  • http://www.randomlychad.com ChadJ

    This post is full of win! Great job, Tor!

    • http://www.torconbooks.com Tor Constantino

      Maybe a lot of “wind” – hot wind in particular – not win per se. All the winning belongs to Bryan!! But I appreciate the kind words Chad!

      • http://www.randomlychad.com ChadJ

        Absolutely!

    • http://www.torconbooks.com Tor Constantino

      BTW, great to see you excerpted today on Jason Boyett’s blog. That was really cool, here’s the link.
      http://blog.beliefnet.com/dadequate/2011/06/introvert-parenting.html

      • http://www.randomlychad.com ChadJ

        Yeah, I saw that. Didn’t know he was gonna do that, but I got no complaints. :-) Thanks for linking it here!

  • http://motorcopblog.com Motorcop

    BlogRocket represent!

    Great post, Tor. Wit and wisdom in one post? You must be dizzy, sir.

    Thanks to Bryan for hooking you up with a great platfrom from which to shout some truth. I predict big doings. *I’m not licensed to predict squat…so, you know…grain of sand on that one.

    • http://www.torconbooks.com Tor Constantino

      MC, thanks for the kind words. Bryan is a great collaborator who really helped sharpen the post.

  • http://thewholedangthing.wordpress.com JBen

    I was trying to pull a “Maverick” and guess the exact card I was going to cut from a deck. I guessed the 9 of clubs and hit it. Then I got up, ran around the room screaming, and never did it again. 100%!

    Nice post Tor!

    • http://www.torconbooks.com Tor Constantino

      Thanks Bro. BTW, I loved your uber-funny guest post today over on Sheradith Smith’s blog http://tinyurl.com/3j942ts. BlogRocketeers Unite!

  • http://freelancingparents.blogspot.com Carrie

    I love this! There are many things I think people need to be licensed to do, and predicting the end of the world is definitely one of them!

    • http://www.torconbooks.com Tor Constantino

      Thanks for your kind words! I predict you’re gonna have a great weekend ;-)

  • http://redeemedstory.com Ernie

    Great post, Tor – that was a fun read! My latest prediction is that the Heat win in seven. I said it, along with probably 250,000 other fans, at the beginning of the series…and it’s looking like it’s heading that direction. I guess we’ll see!

    • http://www.torconbooks.com Tor Constantino

      Thanks Ernie! In keeping with your NBA theme, I predict that the only way the Heat win the series is if LeBron stops giving $0.75 on every dollar he gives change for – in other words he needs to have a fourth quarter! That was a bit of a stretch…regardless thanks again!

  • Jack P.

    I’m a newbie here and I don’t mean to be a bucket of wet cement because I enjoy humor as much as the next guy. I’m not a prude and I do believe that God has a sense of humor!

    But, with all due respect and sincerity, this post doesn’t sit well in my spirit. True Christians knew the rapture wasn’t going to happen on the predicted day. Some may argue that mocking Harold Camping is fine because Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal. Ok, I can live with that, although I prefer to refrain and pray for Him. Not out of piety on my part but because God loves Harold Camping.

    What doesn’t sit right in my spirit is the lack of reverence for the things of God, namely prophets and prophecy. Forgive me, brother, for my boldness, but are the things of God a joking matter for the sake of a humorous blog post? This post reads like an old, irreverent Saturday Night Live skit.

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  • http://lesdossey.com Les Dossey

    Hey Tor,

    I was not aware of Bryan Allain, so thanks for leaving a trail in your most recent email invitation to guest post on your blog. BTW – I plan on submitting my Pièce de résistance as soon as I finish writing it.

    I’m undecided about this post. I wanted to laugh and in truth my mouth turned upward when I read “plastic prophet ring from a box of Corn Pops. You could have a lot of fun with that by imprinting it on a t-shirt.

    My indecision stems from the following line of thought….

    Recently, I made a decision that all of my choices and responses would be filtered through my overwhelming desire to hear God say to me – Well Done Son, well done.

    Now, I’m pretty sure that if we were sitting in the living room with God, laughing it up over some of the preposterous things we had done, the many predictions that had been made over the centuries, would be fair game and the source of snot coming out everyones nose kinds of laughs.

    However, we live in a world in desperate need of truth. Truth over opinion, over doctrine, over religion, over tradition and yes, even truth over humor.

    Christ is the truth and his instruction to us “follow me” literally means “model me” or be like me.

    When I referenced that very cool instruction book that God wrote for us, what do you think I found?

    :) or :(

    Love you Tor!