I’ve never been one to go on at length about my beliefs when it comes to a deity, and although I am fully cognizant that I have missed out on opportunities for fellowship, it is after accepting invitations to such that I have experienced divisiveness on the smallest of matters. I find it prudent to keep my own counsel. It is therefore with a great amount of reticence that I even broach the subject now.
DW often sends me links to things that cross her RSS. This morning’s blue type was followed by “Two days after my birthday. I will miss you.” It seems the End Times draw nigh.
I am reminded of an aunt and uncle of XW. Given to justifying whims and ostentation in the name of the Lord, they were perfect candidates for a permanent cloister arranged in the hills of Missouri based upon on a single tenet. One time while visiting, XW asked where she might recycle the bottle she had just emptied. The reply: “We don’t recycle, for the Rapture is coming next year.” That was 1987. Perhaps bankruptcy is a form of Armageddon.
Numerous Millennial predictions prompted me to curate an exhibition at our Chicago gallery just prior to 2000 c.e. called “Watch.” While dealing more with ecumenical than doctrinal or apocryphal representations of faith, it was nevertheless based upon a particular verse from the New Testament, Mathew 25:13.
The disciples ask Jesus about his immanent return. Although there are many places in the New testament that repeat this scenario, his response comes over a couple chapters as he outlines the death and desolation, corruption and deception to come in its wake— basically the history of humankind’s suffering —and in the end gives no solid answer: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
No biblical scholar, and not of a legalist bend, I do wonder how those of that literal persuasion overlook such a remark in order to prepare an inside track. Watch, yes; know, no.
Then again, I understand a need for a deep and abiding faith, one without question when the questions become too complex. Unfortunately, I also tend to think that doubt denied turned to an assertion is what heaps a whole lot of suffering upon folks. The tautology is a conceit, and put into action is hubris. We spin as we see fit.
It is no wonder we “know neither the day nor the hour,” even though at times it seems we’re doing our damnedest to get there. I’ll agree with the doomsayers that much.
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