Saturday, May 28, 2011

and I feel fine

So, maybe you've been surprised that I haven't posted about the whole Rapture thing last weekend.  and I did have a post half-written in my head.  But I couldn't make myself sit down and do it.  partly because I've pretty much said what I had to say on that topic.  The Rapture, the moment of Christ's return when true believers will be "caught up in the sky" to be with Him, has always been a little scary to me.  And it's used that way--as a scare tactic-- by evangelists.  The people who are left behind will suffer unimaginable tribulations (in fact, this predicted time is called "The Tribulation").

So ensuring that you would be spared those trials by being whisked off to heaven can be a pretty major selling point for the Christian faith.  Let's see.... eternal bliss while being reunited with the dear departed vs. plague, famine, war and slaughter.  (I know, I know.  The choice itself, the fact that any theology would even present such a choice, is horrendous.  You don't have to tell me.  I'm just telling you what I believed, and what I thought the people around me believed.  I can't speak for anyone else, this is just the way it came across.)

Nostalgic moment for life in the 70s:  there was even an eerie, emotional, extremely popular* song about it.  "A man in wife asleep in bed, he hears a noise and turns his head. she's gone.  I wish we'd all been ready.... two men walking up a hill, one man goes and one's left standing still.  I wish we'd all been ready."  (Ha, funny-- I did that from memory, then googled the lyrics, and in the real lyrics, it's the man who goes and the wife that's left behind. telling, yes?)  Here is another good line:  "There's no time to change your mind, the Son has come and you've been left behind..."  I knew that song by heart, and we sang it pretty often.  Ah, the old days.  There was also a movie-- I don't remember the name or anything about it except that there was a shot of a kitchen with the stand mixer running on the counter and no one there.  
*popular among Evangelicals, anyway.

But this morning something entirely different occurred to me.  Rather than seeing it as an apocalyptic moment, it occurred to me that the original germ of the idea probably came from Jesus's followers who were longing for his return, the moment of being reunited with their friend and beloved leader.  After all, their last view of him was his own Ascension ("he was taken up before their very eyes and a cloud hid him from their sight," goes the story in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles).  Maybe originally the idea was not so much a selling point so that they could convert people through fear (as it often seems to be used now), but just a longing to see him again-- and since the sky was where they watched him go, that is where they looked for his return.  They weren't concerned about escaping future horrors since they were literally in the midst of persecution right then.

which requires taking the story of Jesus' ascension literally.  Nothing is ever simple.  The ascension has always fascinated me.  I read so much science fiction when I was a kid, I couldn't help but wonder if there was a spaceship up there and it was a "beam me up" kind of thing-- which makes me laugh now, but I was entirely serious about it as a 12-year-old.  I even wrote part of a short story about it once.

anyway.  just a thought.  or several of them.  As many have pointed out, no one can predict the Rapture, even if you believe in it.  The New Testament professor I had while I was still at an evangelical school told us that anyone who tries to predict Christ's return is already wrong, because the Gospel of Matthew says that no one knows the time.  The King James translates this as "no man," automatically cuing in my head Eowyn pulling off her helmet and saying "I am no man!"

I digress. I don't really have a point.  But I'm posting this anyway because I shiver with horror at the idea of someone happening across my blog for the first time and finding a post about dieting.  I need one on top of that, and this is what I was thinking about this morning.

(and p.s., you probably knew this, but the title comes from the REM song:  It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine....)


  1. I'm glad the world didn't end & you feel fine. Me, too.

  2. Lol, I adore it when you do things like this... can't leave a diet post on top. Wow we better carve out that date in August now because if I miss another chance to sit down and chat with you my brain will explode from the frustration.
    Great mind ramblings, I love your ideas and theories so much.

  3. I'm trying to talk madmax into going to camp, and then I'd have FIVE DAYS. Unsuccessful so far, because he can't find a friend to go with him and he doesn't want to go by himself.