Sunday, May 15, 2011

The End of The World

Outside Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, there were several people handing out pamphlets about 'the end of the world' on May 21. The Rapture, they believe, will be on that day, beginning East of Jerusalem somewhere at 8 am in the morning and spreading West. Seems to me that Jesus could either find the International Date Line and make this work out in an orderly fashion or else come everywhere at the same hour. But who am I to say, I don't believe the Rapture will happen on May 21.

I've thought a bit about 'what if I am wrong' and 'they are right'?

It seems to me that the mark of a 'free thinker' and a 'liberal' and someone with an ego that is as large as Montana it this: you can imagine that what you definitely DON'T BELIEVE might just possibly BE POSSIBLE. So I wonder. What if they're right and on the 21st of May Jesus comes in clouds of Glory and takes those with him who he wishes and leaves the rest to go through the horrible days of the Great Tribulation. What if they are right?

Here's a thought to ponder: what if what you absolutely 'don't BELIEVE' is possible?

I ponder often whether the Tea Party is 'right' or not. I certainly don't 'believe' they are, but then I don't think 'belief' is 'certainty'. So I ponder.

I tried to engage some Tea Party folk who have a little demonstration in front of Cheshire Town hall a day or two a week during drive time so I could ponder further what they 'believe' and wonder if, as much as I don't 'believe' it, they might be right. I talked to four folks. The first three told me to go away when I tried to engage them (in order) about health care, Obama's citizenship and the value of 'government'. The fourth guy called me a 'faggot' and got people around him to chant "faggot, faggot, faggot" until I left.

I'd be proud to be a homosexual, if I was, but those chants caused me to ponder how cruel the words would have been if I was, in fact, gay.

I still ponder, but Tea Party folks want a monologue, not a dialog.

Same with the Christians who are ending the world on May 21--actually, that is the Rapture and the real destruction will come in October. There have been one group or another claiming the end of the world would come on a date certain 220 times in the last 300 years.

I don't know about their Bible, but in mine Jesus and Paul say clearly that no one will know the day or the time, that the End will come like a thief in the night.

All this brings up, again, the question of what 'belief' means, really.

Tea Party folks and the End of the World folks thing "belief" and "faith" mean certainty I prefer another possible translation of the New Testament Greek word "Pistus"....Another way of translating it is "Trust".

I "Trust" in God. Nothing I trust in about God is "certain". Trust isn't 'certain', it's trust.

So, mostly I ponder, Trusting but having no Certainty, none at all. And always wondering if those so different from me--the Tea Party and the End of the World people--ever ponder, as I do about them, "if I am right and they are wrong?

I know they answer--NO, they don't ponder than.

But I do even though I 'trust' that what I 'believe' is true...or at least more possible....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.