Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Got Rapture?

Very few people actually read my rants, just a few friends I notify now and then, so I guess I mainly write for me. Sometimes I write for people like me who were totally unaware of really big things, until the elephant comes into view. Then, wow, how come I didn't know before?

I was recently sent a link to an excellent speech by Bill Moyers, on receiving Harvard Med's Global Environment Citizen Award. It was an excellent speech, and I think most of you know Bill Moyers is truly one of the good guys in the world of TV journalism. His series with Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth, is one of the best things ever seen, and has a deep and lasting effect on me.

One of the most interesting observations Bill makes is that many of the people who don't care about the environment are quite aware they are harming it, but since they are going to be called soon to the Rapture, it doesn't really matter. I had never heard of the Rapture Index before, but yes, it's real. Actually, it seems like one of those fake news sites, where someone is pretending to be really serious about a topic, but the tongue is always firmly in cheek. Not so this time. There are some pretty funny pages about guessing who the antichrist is, but it's funny to me, not sure how funny it is to the 'true believers.' The New Covenant Christian Ministries has a page, full of flow charts and diagrams showing different scenarios about when the true believers will fly into the air, the unworthy going to hell, the length of the 'tribulation, ' and the final scene, the "New Heavens and New Earth."

Apparently, a huge number of Americans believe in some form of Rapture dogma, and this alone I found quite disconcerting. The worldwide scourge of fundamentalism is clearly not limited to Islam. In America, we have a large movement, some very close to the seat of power in the White House, who are looking forward to the end of the world.

Just the other day, at the Christmas Pageant at our church, someone read these lines from Isaiah:

"Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it."

Isaiah 40:4, 5

Now, I don't normally quote the Bible, I'm pretty Bible-illiterate, but the reason I bring this up relates to the concept of taking the Bible as literal truth. Does anyone really believe that the valleys and the mountains will end up at the same elevation? Is the earth destined to be smooth as a marble? Of course not. This is clearly allegorical prose. What a drab world we would live in, if there was no allegory, no allusions, only literal statements of verifiable fact. Then why do people try to force literal sense out of one of the most clearly hallucinatory (I don't mean that in a bad way!) books of the Bible, Revelations?

So, all I'm trying to say here is that there are lots of people walking around today who believe in the literal version of the Rapture, as told to them by others of course, and you might be surprised to find out who these people are. You might even be related to them.

1 comment:

princessofcairo said...

what if i run into some allegorical people commenting literally on the bible? what should i do then?