The junk-religion merchants, especially on YouTube, are at it again. This time, they are proclaiming the end of the world and the “rapture” for 18th April, only five days from now. The Americans are rattling the sabre against the Syrians and the Russians acting as a kind of “anti-aggression” police. Who knows, World War III and we might hear some big bangs and see mushroom clouds. Most of us would die from radiation poisoning and starvation, not very pleasant. Nothing is impossible, but I’m not going to believe it from purveyors of “Armageddon pornography” as some cynics call it.
Those people, like flat-earthers (about an astounding 2% of the American population), portray the Rapture as what some witty cynics call “Got raptured, left clothes but took wallet“. What is this famous rapture, on which I have already written? A lot of the Bible is metaphor and poetry, not to be taken literally. I can add the philosophical notion I have been studying, that of having to have a foundational truth from which it is possible to abstract meaning. One thing I notice about fundamentalist Protestants is that they are materialists, in order to appropriate the truth for themselves. If life were anything but materialist, there would be more ways of “being saved” than in their particular lucrative business.
St Paul constantly referred to mysteries. There are cases in this world where persons other than Christ have experienced a kind of transfiguration and manifested an extremely bright light. St Seraphim of Zarov and the Curé d’Ars come to mind in the lives of the Saints. Paul’s words cannot be interpreted to mean what John Darby and the Dispensationalists concocted. The end of the world is a mystery, and our own death will be an end of a world – before we enter the next. I had nightmares in the 1960’s about a nuclear war with the Soviets, and it never happened. It is not impossible now, and man is free to sin, but on such a large scale? There are other “planet killers” like comets and meteorites, super volcanos and global warming. We could worry about all this – or go on with life and a healthy relationship with God and our fellow humans and the natural world. I prefer the latter, because I am more likely to die of some cause than be around when the end does happened, whether caused by man or God.
We don’t know the day or the hour. It is better like that. Yes, we do need to be ready and be aware of our mortality, even welcome it as our pilgrimage beyond this world when we are judged to be ready. Some of those “fundies” spend so much time with all these worries that they no longer function as human beings and do their ordinary duties of life.
I often pray, “Lord let me die, but not before having done thy will and my mission on this earth”. I am not satisfied that I have done God’s will, and there is so much more calling me… This is the way it is for us all.