Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Rapture?


Life was filled with guns and war
And all of us got trampled on the floor
I wish we'd all been ready
Children died the days grew cold
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold
I wish we'd all been ready
There's no time to change your mind
The Son has come and you've been left behind

I remember that song well
When I was about twenty, I had a "born again" experience
I was Catholic, attending church, believing, but my evangelical friends persuaded me along to a mission
I went, daily, listened, unmoved.
On the last day the story was that of Jesus and the Woman at the well
"Give me that water always"

At the end, the preacher said for those who wanted to give their lives to Christ- it could be their last chance, maybe they would not get this opportunity again.
To gain Christ in their life, they should look at him and say the prayer of salvation.
And I was overwhelmed
And looked
And prayed

Thus my introduction to evangelical Christianity began
Anti Catholic rhetoric bombarded me at all times
Jack Chick tracts were given in the hope that I would see the errors of my ways

And the Rapture taught to me as what might happen if I continued in this wrong path

What a fine story
God removes the faithful leaving behind those who do not believe
And for them, life becomes hell on earth.

My friends loved that song
They would get their guitars out and sing it, enthusiastically
Thinking of how those who hear would be drawn to believe to avoid the horror they would soon have to face

I disappointed them though, despite being "born again" now in their eyes, I would not stop being a Catholic
Even after reading about Jack Chick's Albert...
And thinking about the Rapture

Today I thought about it again
What if, came the question, what if God was to take them all away
You'd know then, wouldn't you, when you are left behind
And, implicitly, you'd know what you were about to face
Torture, war, starvation, that very hell on earth

And I thought:
Why would this make me turn and worship the god who was doing this to so many of his creation?
Turn in fear, in horror, maybe even in hatred, but in worship?
In love?
And thinking on this some more, Rapture or not, my faith taught me that hell was real
In Fatima, the children saw tortured souls, crying out for mercy
None would come
Eternal anguish

What a strange doctrine I have followed for so many years
How could I have been so blind?
One thing is for sure
I cannot put the blinkers back on
I cannot now see the god of love I once followed
So sad...

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