Posted by: nimbu | January 17, 2007

The End is Coming!

Every generation after Jesus’ death, people have been claiming the end is near. In fact, you can hear it from most Muslims as well. This notion that there is an Armageddon makes me quite ill. Most people think of these things as harmless belief; but I would argue that it causes people to make silly decisions.

Take for example this analogy: If you’re working at a company and one day you decide that you’re going to work elsewhere. You go about searching for the perfect job and eventually find it. You go through the interviewing process and finally, one day, receive the offer letter. You sign it eagerly and send it back. Once you’ve confirmed that you actually have the job, your current job no longer means anything. In fact, all of your assignments and tasks go “out the window”. No longer are you responsible for them, so why bother. You give your boss notice, and now they expect nothing less than total neglect from you.

I wonder if our world leaders make decisions such as these based on Armageddon?

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Responses

  1. Only a person of exceedingly poor character would neglect his or her work responsibilities simply because he or she was offered a new job. That certainly runs contrariwise to the “Protestant Ethic” that Max Weber describes. Furthermore, since perseverance is a primary Christian virtue, it doesn’t follow at all that if one believes that the return of Christ is at hand that one will, “drop everything” in anticipation. If anything, the crux of Jesus’ teaching in parables and exhortations is that there’s far too much to do in the way of alleviating human suffering and fulfilling existential and spiritual need to merely sit idle.

    You’re either writing out of a profound misunderstanding of the basic tenets of Christian faith or out of a profound disappointment at how little those who would call themselves Christians actually succeed in conforming to the faith that they profess.

    In either case, what you are describing has nothing to do with Christian belief.

    The problem of engaging in these kind of polemics is that the Truth gets pushed by the wayside in a flurry of empty rhetoric designed to generalize, set up straw-men, and so dehumanize the opposition. Now, I’ll willingly grant you that those on the extreme right of the spectrum who tend to dominate the media spotlight and whose brand of religion bears more in common with neo-conservative political orthodoxy than with Christian orthodoxy are to be questioned, but to say that they are suitable representatives of Christianity is like saying that anyone who memorizes “Gray’s Anatomy” but who has never performed a surgery can rightly represent the medical establishment. Like in most things, Christianity exists in the doing.

    Anyway, just ran across your blog and felt compelled to respond on behalf of those who take their Christian beliefs seriously and who will no malice toward those who do not, nor harbor any desire for a nuclear holocaust. There are more of us than you care to acknowledge. Best of luck, mate.

    Cheers;


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