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.

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9 Responses to Rapture?

  1. “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.”

    Or the Consecration of Russia and the Three days of darkness folks…

    • I agree just as much with the cranky section in Roman Catholicism or anything involving fixed beliefs.

      Umberto Eco is an interesting author to read, both for his philosophical works and novels. There had to be the Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries, but there also has to be the theory of knowledge that makes truth something to seek for and not something to possess, whether that “truth” is materialism or belief. Faith is not the same thing as belief!

      The “consecration of Russia” is a strange thing from Fatima, and above all the notion of Russia “spreading its errors”. Communism didn’t come from Russia, but from Marx. Nihilism didn’t either, but these were movements seething under the surface in the whole of Europe in the 19th century in the wake of the French Revolution and the perpetual state of war and revolution. France would have better qualified for “spreading” errors than Russia. Of course, don’t get me going on the current situation involving Syria, Trump’s missiles and accusations of nerve gas poisoning! I don’t believe the “mainstream” accounts.

      There may be something symbolic in the Fatima secrets, but they are essentially what you read into them.

  2. Speaking of France and reading into things, there was also a certain prophecy of a monarch who would usher a time of peace for the Church and he would supposedly come from France … that was popular for a time…

    I am not beyond anyone, and certainly not beyond myself, but the human inclination to superstitions is certainly fascinating. But that might be connected to the human desire to know, or as you put it, to seek truth.

    • The Grand Monarch idea seems to have come from Nostradamus and popularised by Marquis de la Franquerie. I don’t see any candidates here.

      Attempting a psychological analysis of “end-of-the-world-porno” seems risky. Some psychologists link it with belief in the afterlife, which is simplistic and assumes “materialist realism”. This is quite an interesting article – https://www.csicop.org/si/show/the_psychology_of_december_21_2012 – though I am unsure of the conclusions.

      The article recommends rational scepticism, which in itself can be selective – screen out the metaphysics and attribute foundational truth only to matter and sensory experience. This is one reason why I am researching into Romantic epistemology and the openness to metaphysical and mystical truth. Otherwise we’ll be farting out of our mouths like Richard Dawkins, the late Stephen Hawking and others – building that spacecraft to get to Planet Zozo before global warming gets us here. Yeah…

      • David Llewellyn Dodds says:

        Norman Cohn has very interesting accounts of earlier expected Monarchs in The Pursuit of the Millennium : Revolutionary Millenarians and Mystical Anarchists of the Middle Ages (1970 ed. 3).

        Meanwhile, 18 April having passed, the latest prediction I’ve seen is for 23 April – the report I saw did not mention St. George or Shakespeare’s reputed birthday…

      • Linus says:

        Ah, the “Marquis de la Franquerie”! The Traddies’ very own Pierre Plantard. I think the Romantic spirit is alive is well in all these social phenomena, which someone, who moved in such circles in London, once characterised so well as “the demi-monde of phoney nobility and fake knights with louche monsignori in tow”.

      • I don’t think that shenanigans of false nobility and fake knights and prelates are characteristic of Romanticism, at least how I understand the word and concept. Some of the Romantics like Byron and Shelley were dissolute individuals, but at another level. De la Franquerie and Plantard among others reflected the mood of French Romanticism and the yearning for absolute Papal authority. Quite a paradox. I prefer the German variety…

  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    If I understand it correctly, it will be some 12 hours and more yet until all earthings have joined some of us in 24 April, so I wish those for whom it is still the Feast of St. George joy of it, while our Georgian

    revels now are ended. These our actors,
    As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
    Are melted into air, into thin air:
    And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
    The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
    And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
    Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
    As dreams are made on; and our little life
    Is rounded with a sleep.

    And, for your further enjoyment:

    • It’s 7.36 am here in England, and the hours are winnowing down in the western USA (23.36) and the only ones are now on islands or in boats within the distance to the date line. I think it is safe to say that the fundies will have to arrange a new date for their rapture. Good luck, gentlemen!

      Update: time’s up and I still haven’t seen any flying humans (unless they were in planes)! 🙂

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