Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sucked Up To Heaven

Your father was a good man, which is why he got sucked up to Heaven.
See, 'cause of Dukakis and... and all those people, we're finally living through that Bible thing that predicted this was gonna happen.
- Paper Girls #2
by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang

Nearly thirty years ago, a famous book came out proclaiming 88 reasons why Christ would return and the End Times would occur in 1988. Clearly, that didn't happen, which is rather perplexing. Eighty-eight reasons is a lot of reasons!

You would think we would have learned from that. You would think we would have learned not to jump onto the bandwagon of each passing apocalypse fad. We have not. Just look at the recent Blood Moon phenomena that ballooned into a marketing empire of books, movies, and presumably little Blood Moon jewelry trinkets. If not, I'm going to start making and selling those. Surely some chumps will buy them!

Anyway, like the 88 reasons in 1988, the Blood Moon hysteria has amounted to nothing. Did we learn anything? I highly doubt it. We haven't learned from all the previous apocalyptic pronouncements of the last decades, centuries, or millennia. So, shortly after we've all moved on past this Blood Moon nonsense, some new cockamamie notion that the End Of It All is imminent will gather popularity. But this time, oh man, you guys, this time it is really going to happen! Until it doesn't. And instead of feeling like idiots (again) we all jump on the next new prophecy that will, inevitably, remain unfulfilled.

“No, no, don't you see, this time it will really happen! There are all these signs!” Yup. However, may I point out, that those signs are incredibly similar to all the signs people were pointing out back in the '80s? In fact, they are pretty much the same signs people have been pointing out in the three decades since. We're saying the same thing. We are saying the same thing that we said thirty years ago, fifty years ago, a thousand years ago, even, wait for it, two thousand years ago. Is there a pattern emerging for anyone else here?

“God will not be mocked!” You faithful believers will exclaim to me. And I will respond, “Yes he will.” God will be mocked. God has been mocked throughout time without consequence. God is big enough that he can handle it. God is not as hopelessly vain, insecure, and temperamental as you make him out to be. And yes, God will be mocked because your enthusiastic belief, propagation, and promotion of this Blood Moon shit makes a greater mockery of God than anything I could write right here.

Some may balk at the employment of vulgarity here, but I stand by my choice of words. Blood Moons, 88 Reasons, Late Great Planet Earths, and all the like are waste. They are wastes of time, energy, financial resources, ecclesiastical attention, and so much more. It is utter and crude waste.  And I feel colloquial language might best serve to present the intensity of my emotions concerning this matter.

I grew up listening to sermons in church that took the dimensions of Heaven as literal and tried to explain how all the saved people throughout Christianity could fit into that space. (I always wondered, though, why Heaven, an incorporeal, spiritual place, was so concerned with physical space and fitting physical bodies (wait I thought our spirits went to Heaven?) inside it. Further, why is a spiritual space so preoccupied with mansions and streets of gold? Why is heavenly treasure comprised of the material wealth we have here on Earth?) I also spent much time pouring over charts and timelines explaining exactly how and when the End Times would occur and what sequence of events would take place. This would have been in the '90s, so, oddly enough, no one ever mentioned those 88 reasons. Just like I suppose no one in the next few years will say much about Blood Moons and how they factor into their new predictions for the end of the world.

But this time they will be right! “Or, at least, eventually, one of these crackpot theories will be right,” comes another argument. “And we have to be ready for that! We have to prepare!” Well, maybe? But how are you going to differentiate what (might) be right from all the waste? Do you just believe in and cling to all the waste until you find a nugget of gold inside one? Is that what Christianity has come to?

I think we can do better than that. I think Christianity can do better than that. I think we deserve better than that. I think Jesus deserves better than that. I think the least of these, of whom we are supposed to be servants to, deserve better than that. So how about this, instead of spending our hard earned money on books or movies about Blood Moons or whatever else comes next, or on crappy Blood Moon trinkets (unless you buy them from me!), we take that money and spend it on feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, and liberating the oppressed? What if we spent our time and energies on doing the work of God on this Earth instead of daydreaming of escapists fantasies about someday getting off this stupid planet?

Maybe then we might find that there would be less of these crappy apocalyptic predictions to shift through. Because if we stop buying their books and movies about the waste they're spewing, they might be less inclined to waste their time with it.

Plus, I mean, how is anyone going to do better than 88 reason? Come on! There are 88 reasons! That's a lot! Clearly, Christ is coming in 1988 and you should be careful, for saying otherwise would be mocking God.

Unless you want to buy some of my Blood Moon junk. Then screw 1988. Blood Moon all the way!

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