Are We There Yet?

Many Christians believe in the Rapture, an event that involves the simultaneous bodily ascension into Heaven of all those who believe in Jesus Christ as their savior. This happens at the end of the Earth, or I suppose, of the universe, as we know it. After the Rapture, give or take a few years and depending on who you listen to, we’ll all be in either Heaven or Hell. I don’t know what this means for Purgatory, since I’m not sure if it’s been covered in any of the End Times literature and besides, I hear the Catholics may be getting rid of it anyway.

I talked about this with God, but she wouldn’t commit to the idea of the Rapture one way or another. She said it was an interesting idea, but wasn’t particularly old. In fact, in the form that it’s known as today, it’s a little younger than Mormonism. I think the point about it’s age goes two ways. The first is that as a young belief it comes from a time when God had mostly stopped messing directly in the affairs of man. But the second is that it hasn’t had as much time to be reinterpreted and misinterpreted by generation after generation of religious control freaks with their own agendas. So I’m not really sure why God pointed out how young it was and she wouldn’t explain it any further. I don’t want to say that she can be less than helpful sometimes, but, well, just look around.

Anyway, what she did have to say about the Rapture is that what she really hates is people using it as an excuse to not plan for the future. See, a lot of Christians are convinced that the Rapture will happen in their lifetimes. If that’s what you think, then why worry about saving endangered species? Why worry about preserving natural parks for future generations if there aren’t going to be any future generations? Why do any worrying about the future?

In fact, it’s worse than that. There are so-called Christians out there that think we should actively make certain things worse because some of the prophecies that have been interpreted to be about the rapture suggests that things get pretty bad right before it happens.

One of the things God has been pretty clear on is that she made us the shepherds of the Earth. We’re supposed to take care of things. So if the Rapture comes, we’ll be judged not just on how we treated each other but on how we treated the whole universe, and in particular, our little corner of it.

She didn’t come right out and say it, but she hinted to me that if she were planning on something like the Rapture, our deliberately trying to bring it about would just make her want to postpone it even longer, or maybe cancel it altogether. It’s like she was saying that if we don’t settle down back here she’ll turn this car around right now and just go back home.

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