Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rapture, revival, Rob Bell and why God isn't fair

The good thing - or bad depending on your viewpoint - about walking Georgie is that it gives me time to think. Do philosophers get paid? How do you get a job as one? I could do thinking well. As long as I was walking; sitting down I might fall asleep.

Wasn't it amazing that the crazy prediction of a fundamentalist American preacher made the news all over the world and, even more incredible, people believed him and gave him away their possessions? A quick glance in the bible would have told anyone in any doubt that only God knows when the end is nigh.

My favourite story to come out was about the entrepreneurs who set up a website offering, for a fee, to look after pets when the owner had been raptured away. Apparently quite a few pet-owning fools took them up on the offer.

And everyone knows that before the rapture there will be revival (or did I make that up?) One of the Swansea churches is currently hosting regular long-into-the-night weekend meetings featuring American (there's that word again) preachers. The words outpouring and fire feature heavily. My favourite quote is from Sean who when told about these fabulous revival meetings, said, 'And does their revival include tending the poor?'

That probably comes a long way down the list after personal drenching in the Holy Spirit, much arm-raising, shaking, laughing and crying hysterically. I'm sorry, do I sound cynical?

Jesus, in his first and possibly most significant sermon, put the emphasis on love, humility and caring for others. That's what Zac's is about and why I love it so much. However I have failed and will continue to fail so often to live up to the standard set that were it dependent on me I wouldn't stand a hope of getting to heaven.

And heaven and who will be there is a subject that is dividing the church at the moment, all because of a book, Love Wins, by Rob Bell. I haven't read it but I've read that what people object to in it is its apparent belief that everybody goes to heaven regardless.

I know I'm going to heaven but as for who else will be there, well, I'm sure I'll have some surprises. And I know there'll be some there about whom I'll say, 'What's he doing here? That's not fair!'

But God isn't fair, not by the world's standards. God's idea of fairness is to let his son die to take our punishment. When all we have to do is be sorry. And while I like that idea when it applies to me, I'm not so sure about it being okay for others.

But that's grace for you. Amazing grace.


12 comments:

ShirleyDavisCrafts said...

ab fab piece Ms Hinds! Idea = an anthology of your musings about faith...collect and send to suitable agents/publishers or self-publish even...I'm buying! And I still think your little cartoons should be made into cards! So there.

Your #1 ex-GOT fan!

Ole Phat Stu said...

There is a labrynth on Crete with a minotaur in it.

A maze in Greece ;-)

Liz said...

Thanks, shirl! Encouraging as always.

Liz said...

Oh dear, stu ...

Swirling Calum (aka CalumCarr) said...

See you there, Liz, but not for a while, I hope.

Anonymous said...

@Ole Phat Stu,

My favourite snack is a corn-on-the-cob in melted butter :-)
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A maize in grease ;-)

MaryB said...

So true. The pet-sitting idea was a good one. I also liked the Post-Rapture Looting Facebook page. Goofy.

katney said...

Grace is amazing!

And the part about Love God and Love your neighbor sums it up.

Suburbia said...

Loved reading that Liz, thank you :-)

NitWit1 said...

Most mainstream and even conservative fundamental churches in US ridiculed this prediction of end of time. "A thief in the night"does no dial you up and say I'll be at your house at 7 p.m."

One commentator on Fox News, a conservative leaning cable news channel, had this nut on and said he was invited to re-appear the day after, to explain why theory failed. He had previously made the prediction and it also was false. He bases his predictions on some numbers of years when events allegedly happened. One concerns 7000 years which I could not find, but some numbers are allegorical, and some are real. He mixed Revelation with a lot of other stuff.

He was ridiculed more than believed among the larger population. I say that with some caution; so was Jesus.

I prefer Life is not fair, but God is perfect and has provided everything we need to endure, grace being the greatest gift.

The US will continue to flounder, until we return to the principles of our founding fathers.

Rose said...

A great post, Liz! Apparently the rapture-predictor decided he miscalculated and now has proclaimed the end of the world to be this October. I suppose God will allow even nuts like him into heaven.

Liz said...

I hope not too, calum!

Yes, the looting page was good too, mary.

Yes, so simple, katney, and yet sometimes made to sound so difficult.

Thanks, suburbia.

Very true, nitwit.

I heard that, rose. I think he said the process was starting now but wouldn't actually finish until October!