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St. Peter Seems A Little Testy Today

July 10, 2013

Do cartoonists ever get funny ideas in church? Absolutely.

Are the ones they get in church divinely inspired? That’s highly debatable… : )

I got this particular idea after hearing a reading from the Book of Revelation.

Christian man with suitcase has died and gone to heaven, meeting St. Peter at Pearly Gates as described in bible in Book of Revelation which states heaven has 12 gates made of pearl

Chapter 21 describes heaven as having 12 gates, with three gates facing north, south, east, and west, respectively (Rev 21: 12-13). Verse 25 says that the gates will never be closed. I love the idea of heaven being open to all.

I also love the idea of twelve gates. Some of us get lost and wander around, and we all walk very different paths– good to know there’s more than one way to get it!BlankVertSpace.8pixels

We’ve all heard the entrance to heaven described as the Pearly Gates. In case you’ve
ever wondered, Revelation is where that amusing idea comes from: “The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each of the gates made from a single pearl…” (Rev 21:21).

Does Revelation mention St. Peter with a set of keys, checking people in? No– cartoonists make that part up… : )BlankVertSpace.8pixels

I think Revelation is easily the most difficult book in the Bible. It’s written in a kind of code, and is filled with fantastic imagery that is not meant to be taken literally. You can read more about it here.

Here’s the cartoon again. Hmm. I wonder if that guy’s an illustrator trying to sneak in some pads and pencils…Christian man with suitcase has died and gone to heaven, meeting St. Peter at Pearly Gates as described in bible in Book of Revelation which states heaven has 12 gates made of pearl

Are you familiar with the Book of Revelation?

Do you think Bill Gates’ friends ever call him “Pearly”?

Hope you’ll leave a comment.blank vertical space, 24 pixels high

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2013 11:56 AM

    I sure am familiar with the book of Revelation, and you’re right, amazing imagery and symbolism about what is soon to be revealed! I think when you get to the pearly gates God is going to say “well done” to you for the amazing use you’ve put to the talents He’s given you:-)


    • July 11, 2013 11:08 AM


      Wow!– a little halo appeared over my head when I read that comment!– same thing that used to happen to Roger Moore in his old tv series, The Saint— cool!! : )

      Thank you, Tracey, for that heavenly comment. If I ever make it to the Big Pearlies, I’m gonna drop your name, and stroll in on a red carpet!! : )


  2. July 10, 2013 5:32 PM

    Pearly gates? Hmmm … interesting facts here. I’m going to have to re-read Revelations. But that particular chapter of the Bible was pretty scary.


    • July 11, 2013 11:13 AM

      You’re absolutely right, Judy. There are a lot of nasty horned beasts and other unsavory characters in Revelations. They’re never actually referred to as “illustrators,” but one can’t help but suspect… : P

      Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks as ever for all your support! : )


  3. July 10, 2013 6:28 PM

    LUV it, Mark. And thanks for a little ‘bible study’ — always wondered about all those pearls. πŸ˜‰


    • July 11, 2013 11:33 AM

      Thanks, Vanessa, always delightful to see you here. Yes, I guess that was my “Summer Bible School post…” : )

      It was only very recently that I learned of the Pearly Gates-Revelation connection. One of those things that makes you slap your forehead and say, “You gotta be kiddin’ me!!”

      One funny thing: a section of Revelation Chapter 21 was one of the liturgical readings earlier this year– and verse 21 (which is the verse that says the gates are made of pearl) was omitted. I find myself wondering if that was deliberate, to prevent everyone in church from slapping their foreheads and crying, “Arrgghh– the pearly gates!!” : )


      • July 13, 2013 6:28 PM

        I’m delighted you’re delighted — always love your work & humour. πŸ˜‰ Funny about the church reading without the ‘gates of pearl’ — if this was medieval times, I’d say they were definitely keeping something from ya, but . . . modern church? No way, right? Beyond me — I’m a diehard United Church because we’re the ‘least religious of the religions’, hee hee. I’ll go with Louis Armstrong — ‘Love, Baby, Love”. Take care & have even more fun than you already are. πŸ™‚


        • July 16, 2013 7:21 AM

          Thanks so much for that lovely, cheery reply, Vanessa. Yes, Cousin Louis was a great preacher– love, and all that jazz! : )

          Wishing you the best, and thanks so much for all your support!!


  4. July 10, 2013 10:47 PM

    Reblogged this on fileksiusgulo.


  5. July 11, 2013 1:51 AM

    I am familiar with Revelation. I have some thoughts about it, but would better be served elsewhere, in another venue.

    I can’t help but think of a particular Frank and Ernest comic strip about St. Peter asking Frank a very particular question: “Oh dear, you don’t know the secret handshake, do you?”


    • July 11, 2013 11:42 AM

      Ha. Thanks, Jak. Yes, one thing you can say about the Book of Revelation: it’s certainly thought-provoking!

      Loved the “secret handshake” gag. I find myself wondering how many “pearly gates” cartoons have been done over the years. Must be up in the millions. I suppose “desert island” cartoons must be the all-time leader, but pearly gates toons can’t be far behind!! : )

      Many thanks for checking in, sir!


  6. July 13, 2013 5:17 PM

    It’s a great post with some useful references. No, I am not familiar with Revelations, indeed my knowledge of the Bible is weak. It probably explains why I had difficulty studying 16th to 18th century English lit. at university because the literary canon of works deemed “great”, have biblical allusions. And one needs to understand the Bible as both a religious text and a work of literature.

    I appreciate the linked reference.

    (As for time of crisis, well our city just had a major flood 2 wks. ago, that caused 100,000 people to be evacuated, destroyed several thousand homes. Then later there was a flood in Toronto where my family lives… Followed by a tragic train derailment in Quebec. And oh yea, that airline crash in San Francisco all within 3 wks…. Natural and man-made disasters cause people crises for those directly affected.)


    • July 16, 2013 8:00 AM

      Your comments are always thoughtful, Jean– thanks very much. It’s hard to imagine you struggling with anything at university, if I may say so. On the other hand, 16th to 18th century English literature sounds more than a little intimidating!! : )

      Your point about the Bible being literature (in addition to a sacred text or religious work) is an excellent one. Its influence on other works is enormous. It’s a shame that public schools ban its study for fear someone’s sensibilities will be offended.

      I feel so bad about the flooding in Canada, and the other disasters you mentioned. I do hope your family’s safe, and that they weren’t impacted too badly. Such events can fill us with despair. Regardless of one’s religious persuasion, the Bible does provide important perspective at such times, by making it clear that such tragedies have been a part of life throughout human history. I’ll never believe such disasters are “good,” but it is interesting how they often bring out the best in people, both the afflicted and those who rush in to help.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Jean, and thanks so much for all your support.


  7. July 16, 2013 3:14 PM

    Oh, hahaha, is the Bill Gates question an MA original? Classic! Love the cartoon – he’s a Jehova’s Witness with a case full of tracts. St Peter’s sending him to the Happy Clapper’s Gate … you gotta have a sense of humour in that job, just like those people who work at the airport! πŸ™‚
    Brilliant post, much enjoyed here.


    • July 20, 2013 12:44 PM

      Ha! Had that goofy ring to it, and that tipped you off, eh?? Well, it’s original as far as I know, tho it’s kinda hard to believe someone hadn’t jumped on it before now… : )

      It seems a stretch to think they might let cartoonists into heaven, but I’m kinda hoping I make it– I’m curious to know if St. Pete looks anything like he does in cartoons… : )

      Always a pleasure, thanks so much for your comment and support!!


  8. SingingTuna permalink
    July 16, 2013 3:27 PM

    “Pearly” Gates!!!! If they didn’t, they should have!

    So…I have to ask (but you don’t have to reply): Were you still in church this inspiration hit you? Did you whip out a pen and sketch it right away?

    Wonderful! As always.


    • July 20, 2013 1:08 PM

      Ha! Well, I’ve been to many of Bill’s dinner parties, but I’ve never had the nerve to call him “Pearly.” Probably because I was working there as a busboy to earn some extra cash. I think I called him “Mr. Gates, Your Royal Eminence– sir!!” : P

      I’m a little fuzzy on the sequence of events here. I knew I was going to do a cartoon on the Pearly Gates after hearing the aforementioned reading in church. I don’t think I actually scratched out the idea at that point, tho I always carry a pen and scrap paper with me, just in case inspiration strikes.

      Probably the wackiest art-related thing I ever did in church was to sketch a caricature of the priest who said mass. We had a wonderful guy who filled in for 6 months when our regular pastor was on sabbatical. The “sub” turned out to be a fine artist, who had his own agent and sold his work in galleries. Amazing. It was his last Sunday with us, and people were circulating and signing a going-away card for him during his homily (it was a very unusual parish). So when it got to me, I did a caricature of him (during the homily, not during mass!!). That was over 20 years ago, and I still exchange notes and silly postcards with him to this day. I should do a post about him sometime!

      Thanks as always, Sweet Tuna, for your lovely comment and steadfast support!! : )



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