I don't usually get here very often into this level of cynicism. I think what drove me here today is groups of people all over the U.S. and possible beyond that tomorrow is judgement day and that there will be a big earthquake and then Jesus is coming back.
From my point of view Jesus never left nor did any of the spiritual and religious figures on earth. They live on in all our spirits forever as long as we remember any of them.
But whenever in my life people say the world is going to end on a specific day many of those people either die, go crazy, sell all their stuff, and become homeless ever after sometimes walking down the street and talking to themselves. So, I guess I'm upset at all the wasted lives that likely will come from this belief of the world ending tomorrow. Could there also be good consequences? Sure. That could happen too.
So, here goes. Religion is like an 18 year old girl who says, "If you believe as I do you can touch me here." And all the 18 year old boys lie through their teeth to touch her there. And whether they marry or not the babies get raised in whatever religion it is because mothers want their children not to die. So, generation after generation the children are told whatever the religious stories are from their tradition. Because if they didn't tell those stories maybe the kids would all jump off a cliff and die the first time their pets or people they loved were killed, murdered, or died. So all those religious stories are, "Trying to keep your kid from killing himself or herself stories." Are any of them true? I don't know what do you think?
When I was young I was indoctrinated into a Christian Mystic Cult by my parents. At the time I was born and growing up so what did I know? I just wanted my parents to love me and take care of me and stay together and play with me and take me cool places and, "Would you please buy a TV?" So, when I was 6 years old they bought our first 17 inch black and white TV in 1954. (color wasn't perfected yet) and so cost a fortune for basically nothing but a few lines around things in color.
So, my parents were also put in charge of their church's Los Angeles Church. So, people started giving me things because I was the preacher's (both of them were lay ministers) son. So, I got a lot of things from church members and a whole lot of attention and stuff like that. Then the head of the church came from Chicago and stayed at Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel (she had stayed there since it had been built at that time probably since the 1930s). I preferred the Statler Hilton nearby because their chocolate eclairs were to die for. But what did I know I was only 6 to 9 years old. Then the head of the church was showing us her Blue circular cut sapphire ring (about 1 inch across and set with little diamonds all around it in a circle. She always seemed like a move star to me somehow. Her staff always wore the best clothes and they always traveled around in a Cadillac limousine. They even had a big yellow Semi truck that often traveled with them bringing all the stuff they liked from town to town. So in some ways they reminded me of movie stars or rock stars in this sense.
But by the time I was 9 I started to see through all the glitz and glamour. I noticed not everyone in the church was rich. Just a few here and there. And though I knew them all because my parents were lay ministers I began to see and hear more about the politics of the "Heart Center" which is what people called those in the know in the church. So, I found myself standing further and further back from all this. And then I got Epilepsy one morning after delivering my newspapers on my newspaper route. So, then the first time I went from a nightmare into a seizure my mother didn't tell me. I woke up with her holding my head while she was sitting on the floor next to me. I was 10 and wondered why she was there. She said I had had a nightmare and wound up on the floor. She told me to get back into bed. I guess she hoped this was the end of it. But a year later she told me I had had a seizure only when she and Dad took me to a doctor. So, it happened again and again about once every six months or so. But only at night so I could pretend at school that everything was fine. But I knew it wasn't. I just had to pretend everything was okay. But it wasn't.
I remember when I was 18 and I thought it would be fun to be a telephone lineman. So I went in and took the test and passed and then because I was ignorant of the real world I wrote down I had had epilepsy. The doctor just said, "You can't work for us." I was real surprised." After that because of the ignorance of the average person I decided not to speak about it with non-family or friends ever again. That was probably a good thing. It's pretty dangerous climbing power poles all the time. I just thought it would be fun. Now I just think God was protecting me. Same with Viet Nam. I was classified 4F which meant I could only be called up into the draft if the nation was attacked by a foreign army which is when everyone grabs their guns in the U.S.
But what this mostly meant is that I watched my friends and acquaintances go to Viet Nam as soldiers, sometimes dessert and go to Canada, sometimes go AWOL and pretend to be civilians. Most of the time you didn't know what was going on with people until much later or never. But you always knew when someone you knew came back from Viet Nam. The looks in their eyes were like a wounded or dead child. Most were never the same again. So, life went on with us all or without us.
So, what do I think of people who think the world is going to end tomorrow and that Jesus and the rapture will come tomorrow? I think these are very emotionally wounded people and they are doing whatever it takes to try to survive whatever thing(s) really hurt them in their lives. But the problem is in these situations is that life tends to be very unforgiving. So I pray to God to help these people so their suffering will be short. And I pray that God Brings Grace into their lives for their faithfulness. Because in the end "God helps those who help themselves" (and each other).