I know it's posted a few days after I wrote it in the car in a notebook, but here it is.
May 21, 2011
I'm writing this in the car on the ride home from a family gathering (a celebration of three anniversaries and half a dozen birthdays) in Winnsboro. I've seen at least three billboards proclaiming the rapture today and countless church signs. I must confess- I didn't even know we were supposed to have one today! I know! How silly of me to forget the rapture, especially when they finally figured out the date! (dripping with sarcasm) Yeah, something about coming like a thief in the night, and OH YEAH- "but about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Matthew 24.36. If I have a billboard telling me the exact date, is Jesus coming? The Bible says probably not. Matthew chapter 24 if you want to know what Jesus said- the Olivet discourse. You know, if I was planning the whole Rapture thing, I would think it'd be better if it came as a surprise. Well, as much of a surprise as it could be considering it's proclaimed in the Bible and all.
Personally, I'd rather the rapture not happen in my lifetime. Let's think about this rationally. Do we really want to stand in line with 7 billion other people? All awaiting judgement? No way. Now you know, just because I said this, the Rapture is going to happen in my lifetime just because I wrote that. Just to spite me. God does that a lot. And why not? He is GOD after all. I accept that I point out the silly bits of Christianity; that I point out the obvious or raise questions that some people take for granted. Just to make you (and me) think.
I try not to offend or judge people too much, but my religious views can't make everyone happy. So I was wondering, what are all of the pastors who were preaching the Rapture happening today going to say in the pulpit tomorrow? I mean, according to EST, it still has an hour and 46 minutes to happen, so it could at any second. But assuming that it doesn't happen, what will those pastors say? Hummmmmmm. Shoulda thought about that before giving the Rapture a specific date! You know they're just sitting at home right now, staring at the clock, going "hurry up!" I don't mean to mock those who thought/think the day to end all days is today. And I have enough sense to know that if I get whisked from this Volvo in the next few minutes, I'll be right there with them. I just like to look at religion and how people factor into it. That's all... and then put my quirky and sarcastic sense of humor into it as well. Such is life.
Haha, I even met a nice PCA (Presbyterian Church in America, the more conservative branch of the Presbys) man tonight who basically said he didn't think women should be allowed to be pastors when I told him that I might go to seminary and become a pastor. He just started getting this stern look on his face. I just smiled and said, "God told me so." Not specifically about pastoring, but about seminary- but one thing can lead to another. Yeah, I admit that I kind of said that to bait him. He is an engineer and we were talking about what I was going to do with a religion degree. So yeah, it irks me when people get uppity about liberal arts majors being "not specific enough to find a job"- but that's another rant. And I was just thinking "try and snag me on being a woman and wanting to join the ministry. JUST TRY ME. I've been defending that argument for six years. I get better every time." I know I shouldn't bait people, but he started it! We didn't come to blows or anything, but I made my position clear and firm with laughter and smiles. That's just the way I am.
"When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, the gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 'Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?' He said to him, '"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'"
I think that a lot of people view the Rapture as a sort of huge "I told you so!" moment. A chance to prove to others that your position was right. But it's not your moment. It's God's moment. In which HE judges. Not YOU. We're a quick bunch who rushes to say "you're wrong and I'm right" to others in religious matters. Christianity is not an "I told you so" religion. We have this huge Bible so full of rules that we rush to apply them to everyone else. You know my position on things. I strive for those two rules: 1. Love the Lord your God above all others. 2. Love your neighbor as the Lord loves you. And it's my position that those are the two most important laws that Jesus gave us, and so those are my priorities. When I perfect those two rules- to get them absolutely right all the time, then I'll go about worrying about the other things and wonder if what other people are doing is right. Until then, that's my most important consideration. Just loving. I don't know if that's the right way, but it's got a solid Biblical backing. I'm trying my hardest and it's my way. Less inclined to judge, more to love. And share my love. Give my love. So I try to do what's right, even though I constantly and consistently fail through my frustration, impatience, judgement, stubbornness, and general willingness to follow my own will with only minor consultation with/from God. But that last thing usually results in me getting a Gibbes'* slap on the back of my head and a stern "my will, Lauren, not yours" reminder.
"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angers, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8.38-39
"If you don't believe in God, how can you believe in love?"
-Noah and the Whale; "Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down"