Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Christianity Wasn't For Me, Part 2

Truth be told, I didn't know if I was ever going to pen another blog post explaining why Christianity wasn't for me, if there ever was going to be a "part 2." However, there has been one event I've been seeing in various forms (most notably Twitter and its trending topics) that has caused me some anxiety and thus inspired this post. This event I'm referring to is the so-called Rapture - apparently certain Christian churches have been proclaiming that the Rapture is supposed to happen very soon, perhaps as soon as this weekend.

Let me be blunt here, and I do apologize if this causes offense to some people - I don't believe the Rapture, as described in the Bible and/or by evangelicals, is ever going to happen. But the dichotomy, the psychology behind it is part of the reason I've been turned off by Christianity and migrating towards Hinduism. The short explanation I will say for this is that the version of the "end of the world" espoused by Hinduism (I'm not too familiar with it, but I have a general idea) seems to be much more forgiving than the Christian version.

Now, as for the long explanation...this may take a little bit to explain. I hope you like walls of text.

I've always been afraid of the end of the world, and not just in religious form. Sure, the end as described in the Bible is pretty terrifying enough, but the more reality-based versions are ones I don't know if I can ever see without completely losing my mind. Hopefully you know what I'm talking about: Global warming/climate change. The next World War. An upheaval of the current world order caused by racism, classism, and other ism's and problems of the world. These are all versions of reality that I could never bear to see happen around me. Visions of absolute horror I can tolerate in movies, sure, but if it ever happened to me in real life...I don't know how I'd be able to ever cope.

So what does this have to do with the Christian Rapture? Well, as far as I know, the Rapture is generally supposed to be the following: the good people of the Earth, the pure devoted followers of Christ, are all supposed to ascend to Heaven on a specific day, and just disappear...leaving the rest of us to suffer and rot on an abandoned world. It presents a very black-and-white view of the end of the world - if you're a good Christian, you'll be saved, rescued, etc. when the time comes. If you're not, well, you're screwed.

That seems to be how the rest of these reality-based end of the world prophecies appear to be discussed in our present political climate. You're either good and deserve to be saved from them, or you're pure evil and deserve to burn in the living Hell these scenarios say will exist. Climate change and global warming? Either you're producing near-to-zero carbon emissions and consuming next to nothing, or you're evil and deserve to burn. War? Either you're sacrificing everything in your life to oppose it and purify yourself from a warlike state, or you're evil. Racism? Sexism? Poverty? The same thing. Either you're doing everything to stop them, or you're good for nothing. Us or them. Sink or swim.

To me, these polarized views of the issues of the world seem to get their psychology from the basic idea behind the Rapture - either you'll be saved because you're good, or left behind to suffer because you're evil. No in-between. No shades of gray.

There will be more on why Hinduism presented a good alternative for me to this bipolar world view later, but hopefully this is a good start as to an insight as to how I think spiritually. I hope you enjoy reading this in the meantime before the next post.

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