Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The End of the World: Grandma Said it Would Happen!

The End of the World: Grandma Said it Would Happen!

I remember the fear that was instilled in me by church leaders while growing up in a Baptist church in Thomasville, North Carolina. The pastor had a way of bluntly informing us that if we sinned we would be doomed to hell. It was almost like he was immune to sinning, but very familiar with the repercussions. Back then, sinning was falling asleep in church while Reverend Thomas huffed and whooped. What else was I supposed to do? Fan myself to death with those handheld fans with images of Martin Luther King, Jr. on them? Back then a sin was not going to Sunday school. Back then your world would end abruptly and tragically if you were a sinner.

When I think of the word sin, I become repulsed by the thought of the ignorance that was and still to this day permeating within our small and mega churches regarding the act of sinning. For some people to sin means their world will come to an end quicker. Sinning either shortens life or leads to an unhappy and disappointing existence. According to Reverend Thomas, both outcomes were an end to one’s world in the spiritual sense. One thing that Reverend Thomas did not consider was the world has ended numerous times for millions of people. Allow me to list a few “End of the World” events:

-The Great Plague of 1918 killed over 600,000 people
-Slavery: 50-60 million Africans killed on the west coast of Africa, on the way to the United States and Caribbean, and while in the United States
-Nazi annihilation of the Jewish population
-Tsunami in Asia killed more than 100,000 people
-Hurricane Katrina
-Indonesia’s big earthquake

While I have listed these as individual “End of the World” events, many people do not agree with me. The Evangelical Christians view the events as unfortunate incidents that serve as examples and support for the End of the World Prediction. However, the ending of the world has different interpretations. To see a massive wave of water engulf land, animals, and people is enough for me and several others to believe the world ended for those who were affected and perished by the wave, to witness your family members being thrown over board the Amistad slave ship because they became ill while on the way to culture destruction, and to be buried alive as the ground trembled ferociously, is sufficient evidence that the world has ended countless times before for those involved.

In the Book of Revelations, or correctly known as The Revelation of Jesus Christ, there is evidence of wars, famines, revolutions, and natural disasters which are used today as scare tactics to convince people to give their life to Jesus Christ before the world ends. Why not do this?: Ask to be saved and become apart of the “select few” who will enter into heaven with a man riding on a horse and carrying a sword to smite the nations. Jerry Farewell, the “select few”, and the 59% of Americans who believe the elements within the Book of Revelations must occur will be on the coattail of Jesus.

The Middle East conflict, properly referred to as Israel’s Ruthless Aggression, is enough for some of us to turn over a new leaf. It fits into the Book of Revelations chain of events. War, death, and destruction: reports of natural disasters and the continuous famine in parts of Africa. The only thing I have not experienced which is referenced in Revelations is a revolution. Maybe Public Enemy was right?? The revolution will/was not televised. Not sure. Did you see it?

For centuries, people have been predicting the year, month, and sometimes the day when:

-A violent and sudden end would terminate all life on earth.
-Major social and political upheavals would occur around the world.
-The war of Armageddon would take place in the Middle East.
-God would pour His wrath on most of humanity.
-Christ would return in the second coming.

I remember my grandmother saying, “Boy, you better get your soul right with God because the world is coming to an end. Jesus is coming back to separate the good from the evil.” She made this statement numerous times back in 1979. Again in 1984, 1986, & 1988. And, to no surprise the world has YET to end on the level the Evangelical Christians have predicted it to every single time the crisis flares up in the land where Jesus supposedly walked.

Isn’t it interesting that man is making the End of the World prediction?

Written by Brian E. Payne. Inspired by Jerry Farewell. He continues to scare the weak into becoming a Christian. His religion should be strong enough to attract those seeking without telling them, “The end of time is here.”



12 comments:

Muata said...

Reader Response and Muata's Response:

As much as you say you don't follow traditional religion you certainly pull a lot of your "blogs" from the Bible and Christianity, specifically.

–AR

Muata's response:

The Bible and Christianity is a great source for me to commentate/speak on. My master's degree is in divinity and I plan to complete the doctorate in religious theology. I am fascinated by the power of religion. It has the capability to "move" people to do unthinkable things. I am amazed at the devotion people express via/for religion. All of this is intriguing! Also, I pride myself on providing information on something that (to me) does not make any sense at all. Religion is that vehicle that I refuse to get in, but want to be close to.

-Muata

Muata said...
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Muata said...

Reader Responses:

I enjoyed this and will share with others. –CS

I finally finished reading the commentary and found it to be very interesting. I even learned a thing or two. -RL

Muata said...

Reader Response and Muata's Response:

You are really on to something here. You need to spend some time fleshing this out a bit. It should be a lengthier piece. I think your correlation to a personal and individual world end is insightful. I can tell that you see a lot more to all of this and I think you need to go there.

Where we are currently heading is disastrous and only a speculative few will be even remotely prepared to deal with the pain of it all.

How will us gaudy Americans fare when the price of gas and electricity make it almost impossible to get the basic necessities? What will happen if a medical emergency such as the bird flu confines us to our homes for periods of time?

When we talk about world end, all of these events are beginning to add up. The entry of an anti-christ...look at the convergence of the world leadership...seven heads of government... you need to take this one all the way. –MP

Muata's response:

I try to keep the commentaries as short as possible. This subject material is WIDE OPEN. It is my hope people will read it and respond. This way I will be able to mention some things that I left out.

America is not ready to face the things our brothers and sisters face around the world. We pride ourselves on being a developed nation. However, we cannot even prepare appropriately for a hurricane, we say we cannot secure the borders, but we can send a man to the moon, and we allowed three planes to be hijacked by men with box cutters and then they flew the planes around in our airspace for extended periods of time without any intervention from the military. We cannot even eradicate homelessness or revamp the healthcare problem. Anytime a retired veteran cannot get a break on medication, that’s enough to let me know what supposedly makes America, is a dream. The America Dream. Yeah, right! Our government is dreaming about the dream. I have said it time and time again: America is not prepared to face the travesties that occur in Africa, Europe, and Asia. We are a nation of arrogant and incompetent leaders with millions of sheep following them. Where are the true leaders? They are told to shut-up, placed in jail, or assassinated. God help us!

By the way, do understand that I do not buy all this End of the World stuff. Satan’s home is a present day condition for millions of people. Jerry Farewell and his friends are masquerading a sham!
-Muata

FREEDOM said...

I enjoyed this piece.

I remember those days in the old wooden frame Primitive Baptist Church in the Deep South. I remember those fans too. We would also get the fans from the funeral homes with the pictures of the dead Founders on them. Funny! I also use to fall asleep when the sermons were being given, and wake up when the choir began singing again. I loved the SANGING part though. We believe in the washing of the feet after communion, just as Jesus washed his disciple’s feet. The Primitive Baptist churches definitely pioneered the teaching of damnation by ones sins. I remember getting my cousin to tell me the truth by telling her, “God is going to get you if don’t tell me the truth”. It still works to this day!!

You are so right about Jesus paying this HUGE price for Christian’s sins, and in return we act like “plum fools”. The world views so many Christians as hypocrites. The Unbeliever is turned away from the idea of being a Christian by the Bible so many of them read, which is the life of a Christian. The only BIBLE some people may ever read is the way, we Christians live our lives.

I am a Christian. I believe that Jesus is God’s only Begotten Son and I have confessed this with my mouth and I believe in my Heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. But, what do my peers have to say about me? Do they see the same LOVE that Jesus had for the poor and needy? Do I take time to help my sisters and brothers? Do I keep it real with myself and others? Do they see the reverence I have for God? When I die, what will people have to say about me? I should hope it is more than I was a Christian. I want them to remember seeing Jesus in ME.

I want God to be proud to call me his Friend, like he did with Abraham. I want God to say that I was a woman after his own Heart, like David was. I want God to say I fought a good Fight; I marched toward the prize of the High Calling, like Paul did.

You are also right about the “Good News” of Jesus Christ is all that is needed to draw men to Christ. When you study Jesus’ teachings for yourself, you see the revolution in his teachings. Jesus was so KOOL about handling his business. Jesus would ask a question or give a parable that would put the High Priest to shame. Numerous times they thought they had Jesus backed up in a corner, and Jesus would ask them a question and send them away mad as "HELL".

No one knows the day nor the hour that Jesus will return or when the World is going to come to an END. Therefore, we must live our lives like tomorrow is not PROMISED. Do all the things that we keep putting OFF. Tell that special someone how much you LOVE and APPRECIATE them. Go on that safari trip that you have been dying to go on. Join that dance class. Be spontaneous. Travel, climb that mountain. Do all the things that you would do if you found out that you only have 24 hours left to live. What would you do? Be responsible though. Remember the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would like done unto you!!!

Muata said...

Response to fellow blogger Freedom:

Freedom-
Have you ever considered that there might not be a heaven or hell? What if we just die? Nothing goes anywhere. Our bodies lie in a coffin and decay and our spirit dies with us. What if this is true? How would have you responded to this commentary with this belief/thought process?

If the Book of Revelations is a depiction of what will happen this means only the Christians are going to heaven. What will happen to those good Muslims, Buddhist, Atheist, Rastafarians, Hinduist, Animist, Jainist, Taoist, Sik's, Zoroastrianist, and the people of the Bahá'í faith? Are they doomed to HELL? They definitely don't think so. Only the Christians do. Isn't that surprising/weird to you that the Christians ALWAYS condemn those who do not believe in their doctrine?

Christianity is set-up for the believer to be a hypocrite. Think about it. The Christian sins. Then he or she asks for forgiveness. This dynamic breeds hypocrisy. A person can sin all day and all of their life, and still make it into heaven. For example, I can actually murder someone and make it into heaven. I can live a life of lying, cheating, and stealing, and still walk around with some of my ancestors who are supposedly in heaven. This "do one thing and do and say another" mentality that Christianity has created is dangerous!

I heard a radio report where the Chaplin of the prison where Jeffrey Dahmer was imprisoned say, “Jeffrey is in heaven with his Godly Father because he asked for forgiveness before he was killed."

I am not interested in going to a place where Jeffrey is walking around freely!

-Muata

FREEDOM said...

Muata-

I am so glad that God is GOD. He is the only ONE that knows the heart of every Man.

Muata said...

Freedom-

It is evident by your response that you are a believer. That is fine, and I RESPECT it. However, you refuse to address the questions I have posed. Why? Dialogue and reason with me. This is the only way to continue with a conversation that will lend itself to be fruitful. Stating "God is God" ends the conversation. Where are we to go with that? This is exactly what has occurred in the Middle East, Africa, America, and other places throughout the world where adamant belief diminishes the process of Understanding.

People do not reason anymore. We stay away from the challenge of debating/talking to understand, and one of the major culprits of this "shut down the creativity of reason and understanding" is the faith you wholeheartedly believe in: Christianity. This is what region does. It has no tolerance for a difference of opinion. It is either you believe it or not. Questioning is a “no-no”.

I remember reading in the bible about your Savior communicating with people. Jesus sat and talked with numerous people who did not agree with him. Makes me wonder why many of us say we live by “What would Jesus Do”. He would reason with me.

Stating “God is God” is the typical response from a Christian who has no where to go. Go there with me. We can be the example.

-Muata

FREEDOM said...
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FREEDOM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
FREEDOM said...

Muata-

GOD is GOD does not end the conversation. When we FULLY realize that GOD is GOD, and stop acting like he is someone that can be put in a box, then the revelation/revolution begins. GOD is all knowing. He knew you would write this sermon; in fact he inspired you to write this sermon. The conversation will NEVER end by stating, “GOD is GOD,” because when you really think about GOD is GOD, I don't know about you, but I get happy inside. My world brightens up!! I feel like shouting and crying, thanking GOD for HIS goodness. I start thanking God for being a REAL Father to me. By disciplining me when I needed to be disciplined. He created me in his image and he LOVES me unconditional, unlike man.

GOD is GOD is a fruitful discussion. By people knowing GOD is God; will break chains that had someone bond? Knowing that GOD is GOD lets me know that there is NOTHING in this world too hard for GOD to handle, NOTHING!! The heaven and hell issue is irrelevant, because GOD is GOD. The reason being is that if you know God for YOURSELF, nothing that mama, grandma, daddy told you, but you know GOD for YOURSELF. Then you know wherever GOD is, YOU will be also. The only thing on this earth that I worship is GOD. He is my Everything.

GOD is GOD lets me know when I am sinning or doing wrong GOD sees ME. I don't care if I can fool Man. But God, HE sees it ALL. By his HOLY Spirit dwelling in me, I cannot be comfortable in sin or wrong doing; my Spirit is convicted every time. And I do know there are consequences behind these actions.

So my brutha, the conversation will never end by stating, “GOD is GOD.” When you just take a moment and look over your life and SEE how far GOD has brought you, me, and others, you begin to become overwhelmed with joy. Personally my heart is pounding right now typing this; thinking about how BLESSED I am to have survived some of life's episodes. I have much work to do, but I thank GOD, I am not in the same place I use to be.

The fact there is other religions is just that, a FACT. I am not caught up in religion. I am caught up in doing GOD’s work. GOD created me, Freedom M. Taylor, for a purpose. There is no other ME (Freedom), in this world. My purpose is to have a willing Spirit that GOD can use at the drop of a dime: anytime, anyplace, anywhere. I have to be ready at all times to do the work that GOD has for ME to do, whatever it is that he has for ME to do.


Just like Solomon in the Book of Kings I Chapter 3, I ask God for “an understanding mind/heart to discern between good and bad/right and wrong. I seek wisdom from GOD so that I may have understanding to discern judgment.” Paraphrased for my life.

Muata said...

Reader Response:

I realy enjoyed this commentary. I am so against the term "sin" and making people feel guilty for just being human. We all make mistakes and will continue to do so. We should focus on learning from our mistakes and not so much on guilt. I was told once of a village in Africa that takes a person who has done "wrong" and places them in the middle of the village. The village members come up to them one by one and tells them of a time that person did something good for them. The community's role is to help that person remember who they are and the good they are capable of. I wish religion as we know it honored this tradition. It should help us find our way versus shaming us for loosing it.

-SB