Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The End Times Aren't Coming Anytime Soon

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." - Mark 13

Many years ago, when I had another job, I listened to two babbling fools pontificate on the End Times. One told me the government had space stations in orbit that politicians planned to flee to when the bombs fell. You know, like the movie, Elysium. Huge spinning cyclinders which imitate gravity.

And then there was going to be nuclear war and Jesus was going to come back. I just rolled my eyes.

I guess politicians and military officials have given up hiding in mineshafts, like they were supposed to in Dr. Strangelove. With ten women (of a "sexually stimulating nature," as Strangelove suggested) for every man.

What's that quote by Jesus? Something to the effect neither he nor the angels know when the End Times are going to happen, only God? That right there puts a permanent kabosh on all that End Times nonsense.

Yet people have been predicting the End Times for, oh, 2000 years, and have been wrong every time.

Some years ago I read the autobiography of Jim Thompson, a gritty mystery writer and author of The Grifters. When he was little he'd hang out with his grandfather, who'd been in the War Between the States and smoked cigars and drank whiskey all the time.

One day there had been a revival meeting in town, and as Jim and his grandfather were walking around at night they saw on people in their nightclothes on their roof, waiting for God to zip them up to Heaven.

The grandfather yelled at them. "Do you think God can't see you in your house, you morons! Do you think he's going to miss you if you're inside?"

I read one of those "Left Behind" novels. Once. One is all you need. I've never read such gleeful hate and desire for visiting death and destruction on people.

I honestly don't know why people are like this. But I do know that back during the Roman Empire almost no one believed in the gods. What they believed in is astrology. And I'm sure there have been many people using whatever divination method that exists, trying to predict the future and when the world is going to end.

Good luck with that.

I suppose, like always, it's about insecurity about the future. What's going to happen to me?!?!? That's why so many people are looking for "signs in the Heavens." Earthquakes, war, tsunamis. As if that hasn't been the history of the world. I mean, an asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs! I've seen that meteor crater in Arizona! That sumbitch is a mile across!

A few years ago I read an article by a grown man who said as a child he'd been propaganized with the belief in the Rapture. One day when he came home his house was empty (I've forgotten where they went). But he thought the Rapture had happened and he'd been Left Behind. "Oh, no, God hates me!!" He was horrifed and started crying until his parents showed up.

What an insane belief system in which to raise children. Or for adults to believe in, for that matter.

5 comments:

Ingemar said...

>I've never read such gleeful hate and desire for visiting death and destruction on people.

Vox Day's comment section called.

paulmurray said...

I think i was CS Lewis who said that Jesus specifically states that not only will you not know the time of the end, but that that is kinda the whole point. You don't know when the end will come, so be ready always.

Back when I was a fundie, I learned that "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom", and I got taught that this meant the exact opposite of what it actually does mean. I was taught that this event or that happenning was a sure sign the rapture was coming within the decade. What that verse actually means is "Meh: wars happen all the time. Don't look to that for signs of the end."

ray said...

Were you in the habit of sending your cabs to towns that don't exist? Stop yammering about things you don't understand.

Twarog said...

"The Rapture", at least in the common pre-tribulation sense of the term, is a doubly-idiotic idea, because no serious Christian ever believed such a thing until the mid-19th century. For 1,800 years, it was essentially the universal opinion of Christendom that the faithful followers of Christ would endure horrible sufferings and persecution during the reign of Antichrist and the end-times. Any reputable theologian would have scoffed at the idea of the faithful being taken up to heaven before or during the tribulation, and called it pathetically deluded wishful thinking.

This may be one reason why so many people are eager for the end of the world- they really think they have a "Get Out of Suffering Free" card for the final persecutions. Their attitude reminds one of the old joke about a man awaiting a flood on the church-steps saying "God will save me!".

Anonymous said...

A very good case can be made that biblical references to the time of the end all pointed to the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple in 70AD, signaling the end of the first covenant, as prophesized. The first covenant did not abruptly end at the cross. There was a transition period where the old and new covenants overlapped. During the birth pangs of the new covenant, the old was coming to an end. That transition period was between the cross and the destruction of Jerusalem, when the old covenant finally ended. It was “the end of the age”. The new covenant is an "everlasting covenant" without end.