Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Great Snatch

You have to get close to a theory to see the cracks.

Hello Alborg, Denmark
The Bible is a wonderful document, filled with wisdom and practical truth. But unfortunately it is also a document upon which to hang theories about things that have nothing to do with wisdom and truth. One can put this verse with that verse and a few other verses and in the process prove almost anything.

From my own curiosity I read everything I could find on the Internet about the theory of the Great Rapture, the event coming this Saturday when there will be a worldwide earthquake and the elect and true believes will be taken up to the air along with Jesus Christ who will then shut the door on salvation, as God shut the door to Noah's Ark which then floated for 150 days while the Earth was destroyed, or rather those who lived here. Then those of us who are left behind will suffer torments of scorpion like creatures and beg for death for another 150 days until the End Of The World comes in October.

This theory is so full of cracks it's almost impossible to list them all. But it falls apart at the very beginning when Camping basis his findings on a myth. He traces the creation back to the year 11,013 BC and identifies Adam and Eve as part of that creation. In fact creation was well up and running before the patriarchs came up with the myth of the Garden of Eden to explain hubris, right and wrong, the true and the false. If one actually believes there was such a garden, with Adam and Eve and a talking snake one might as well believe there was once a race between a tortoise and a hare.

At best this canard is an exercise in trying to measure the cosmos by simple arithmetic. At worst it is a dogmatic claim of divine reward and punishment which does nothing but frighten a lot of innocent, gullible people.

The final crack in this theory is that the Creator is going to destroy His own creation. Simple arithmetical reason takes over here. If the creator has to destroy part of his creation he is an imperfect creator, he has destroyed part of himself. And where does that leave the people who are up in the air? Up in the air.

There will be no worldwide earthquake on Saturday. The local forecast is for scattered showers. But there may be a great shake up of some people's religious beliefs.

The way I see it is that goodness is the only rational way to define godliness. On one side I want to dissuade the so-called godly, pious hypocrites from the idea that they are going to heaven while everyone else is going to hell. Someday I may even inform them that their hypocritical ways puts them already in hell. Human behavior can be improved, the evil in it can be jettisoned. I believe that everyone is redeemable from even the worst kind of badness (ungodliness, ungoodness) and there is endemic rightness (righteousness) in people, however and in whatever ways one can discover it.

My own brand of bible thumping has to do with trying to get rid of an anthropomorphic god in people's thinking, to accept an inherent natural god with spiritual power and love, a kingdom of heaven within us as stated by Jesus. My religion, if you can call it that, does not come out of some fragrant field of flowers, or from some rosy cheeked pastor with flashing teeth. It comes from striving and grappling with years of poverty and pain, and having witnessed the healing of the desperate through strong faith in themselves.

On Saturday, May 21 when the Rapture, The Great Snatch, comes or doesn't come, I think I'll join my good friends in the bar.

Dana Bate
The Vagabond

Never Give Up


pacifica62 said...

Gosh, where have I been. This is the first time I am hearing this news. Good thing you mentioned it or I might have missed it. Here I was trying to plan an outing for Saturday of our long weekend, and perhaps I should just hold off on that. Perhaps you can share the name of the bar you will be at db, and a few of us can join you.

Geo. said...

I'm glad to see Harold Camping is involved in tempering young Armageddonists. I've tuned in to his open forum show, off and on, for well over 20 years and always learned something interesting about the Bible. But mainly I've admired his unfailing courtesy to every caller on his show, even those who are antagonistic or insulting --and he always cautions people away from religious extremism, especially in politics. I am, however, surprised to learn Camping is only 89 years old. His impressive scholarship and knowledge of the Bible led me to assume he'd written it.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I find the whole theory laughable. Thanks for filling in some of the details.

Beth said...

Loved loved loved this post. Nicely done, DB, and I believe I'll join you for that beer! :)