Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The End Times

Where I grew up, people were big on talking about the Rapture, the blood running from the fountains kind of bullshit, the left behind, you'll be all alone while your "saved" relatives will be lifted up and taken to Heaven. While many of my friends were terrified by this prospect, it didn't have much of an effect on me. After all, I lived in a house where there were diaper pails of rattlesnakes from time to time, where we had a pet bat named Andrea until it became rabid and died, (ie, I think Andrea has taken a turn for the worse, my mother said, when her sickly head drooped and she began hissing), where people regularly performed seances and talked about astral projection. Blood from the water faucet wasn't much of stretch and in fact, sounded kind of cool. As for being "left behind," hell, that happened with some regularity on the playground, not being a popular or easy child, I found that I often couldn't keep up with the next cool thing. So big whoop, as we used to say. Some of those assholes could leave the earth as far as I was concerned, and if they were pulled up into Heaven, well, I could only hope that Heaven was a place that wasn't that interesting and the whole streets of gold thing would bore them after a while.

Preachers in my youth were always vague on Heaven -- Hell they had done to a fine art. I admired how well-crafted the sermons on Hell were -- you would burn in eternal fire, your skin would fall off, and then you'd reburn. They'd really warm their hands to the subject, and pretty soon, several people would come up during the altar call to get "saved" or "rededicate" their lives. Even though you were saved by grace, nobody ever felt good enough to trust it. And Heaven, well, that was a scary thought as well-- the clearest picture I ever got was that you'd have to play the harp in a white outfit. I still know lots of people, rational, lovely people who talk about the Rapture and fear it. I don't. I believe in C.S. Lewis' definition of Hell -- separation from God. That can happen on earth or in death or merely standing in the shower. The water doesn't have to turn to blood -- we all have plenty of that on our hands, whether we can see it or not.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Healing is a small and ordinary and very burnt thing. And it's one thing and one thing only: it's doing what you have to do." Cheryl Strayed
Cocktail Hour
Drinking essay suggestion: The Love of My Life Cheryl Strayed (published in Best American Essays 2003)
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Fat Tuesday!
48 Days until The Sopranos airs!


H. Marx said...

I've never had blood on my hands and enjoy playing the harp. I think that "Even though you were saved by grace, nobody ever felt good enough to trust it" is a mighty fine line, quite as heavenly as my brothers' humor.

Rev. Jim Jones said...

I always felt saved by grace and I just didn't think to play "Amazing Grace" when we lined up for refreshments.

Tony Soprano said...

My ancestors both in Italy and here in America built churches and the religious music was one of joyous grace.

the walking man said...

First off brothers and sisters, can I get an amen? Are you feeling the spirit in you? Are you feeling it enough to dig deep into your pocket and give, amen, give that the windows of heaven may be opened unto you. If you have nothing to give then you are in sin because Jeeeeeeesus provides for them that give so even if it's your last nickel give so Jeeesus brothers and sisters can return to you a quarter. Amen Brothers and sisters and if you fail to give then hell bound you are, destined for the FIERY PIT OF ETERNAL DAMNATION because when JEESUS needed from you like that wounded soul on the road you walked right on by bretheren and when the rapture comes you faithless worthless sinners will all be left behind to suffer a thousand year reign of the anti christ, that demon come to flesh to run rampant and ruin and bring you to your knees before him. AMEN and hell to all you apostates who have turned your back on God! NOW DIG INTO THOSE WALLETS AND GIVE GODDAMNIT!

You mean those kinds of sermons? I love 'em, that's why i can't go to pentecostal churches or any other temple anymore because The last time I laughed out loud at the foolishness of it all I pee'd my pants and that was Jesus' retribution for my scorning of the holy words from the mouth of a holy man. But i truly loved the smacking on the forehead and people keeling over fainting in the spirit and the speaking in tongues that was cool too, unless of course you actually studied what had been written then it just became more satire of the truth.

Now on to todays lesson for them of the Christian persuasion but not of a religious bent...take out your Bibles and turn to Romans chapter 10 V9 and look particularly at the word "saved" this word in the greek manuscripts is sozo the correct translaton of this word is whole as in complete, which then makes perfectly logical sense. If through whatever way you want to take the second chapter of Genesis the part where God says on the day you eat the fruit of that tree dubass you will die...what died in man was their spiritual connection to God, in the third chapter of Genesis you will see where they could no longer directly communicate with god through anything but their senses they had to hear him with the ears andd see him with the eyes and talk to him with the mouth, quite simply put Romans 10:9 is when man again gains the ability to be recipient of spiritual connection to God, who created him. Take it through seven days or seven hundred million mellienia and the primordial soup makes no difference.

This is what it means to be saved, to be born again and on and on and the only condition is that you truly believe that jesus was the first human to be given this eternal spirit and that God raised him from the dead to do it.

It is not something one can lose again, like happened the first time. Why you say, give me an amen first and then i'll tell you...because through the death of a sinless perfect sacrafice all sin debt was paid for, for all time. Therefore all of you of this persuasion can remove yourself from the guilt of sin because it is paid for already.

yeah I can hear you out there "OK then asshole why do people still do wrong things" Lots of reason but the simplest of them is this they commit sin and separate themselves from God right now, not in the eternal, you must make amends now acheive peace with your brother to restore peace with God, you are not the creatures of genesis but the creation of the resurrection.

The whole point is that death has been defeated and in order for you to not fear it human or eternal you must have faith that God now has power to reverse death and by acquiring that power through the death of a perfect sacrifice the law of Moses was fulfilled and a new law was instituted. The law of freedom from fear. Thus sayeth the Lord...oh yeah and the christians who belong to the cult of Jesus worship you all got a long way to go because jesus came to return man to God and Jesus is not God. You who are saved are the word become flesh and in closing in no place in any part of that scripture from genesis to Revelation is the word rapture used in the way mis-guided unlearned ignorant boobs who promote themselves over God use it. It's called the gathering together of the saints, I do believe that would include Ghandi and Malcolm X and a few others of the non born again persuasion.

But fuck it what do i know i am just an asshole who heard the words of the spirit within me and believed them above all others.

No one gets left behind but all get judged and hell is a prison for Satan and his tribe to spend eternity, them found not to be even the smallest part of kind are consumed once like a dried leaf in the fire.

And this concludes todays sermon to all of Texas and them that are there.

Charles Gramlich said...

One of my favorite bumper stickers is: "In case of rapture, can I have your car?" I think the preachers didn't talk much about heaven because it's hard to imagine a perfect place where you're not allowed to do things like eat too much, drink too much, and have sex.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

That Strayed broad is a real cuckoo-woockoo, if you know what I mean. Where do you find these loons, Michelle? Strayed's name is perfect. She has strayed from reality. Her mother did her college homework for her. No wonder Strayed couldn't hack her mom's death. I liked the names of all her sex partners, though. It's all kind of kinky.

Wichita-Lineman said...

I love the blood on your hands line "if you can see it or not." Well said. It's getting warmer, spring is near. Soon the snow will melt, showing us all what’s been hiding the past few months.

The Rapture - Often a topic of many songs:
"Whoever is unjust, let him be unjust still
Whoever is righteous, let him be righteous still
Whoever is wicked, let him be wicked still
Listen to the words long written down,
when the man comes around."

J.R. Cash

I can also think of “The Rapture” by Blondie, and by Sioxie and the Banshees.
Must be a fun topic for songwriters.

paul said...


JR's Thumbprints said...

I'm sure Andrea, who probably was a vampire, loved the Rapture. Drink up!

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

great photo and intersting post, michelle. i thought my friend charles gramlich's post was funny. lots of good insight in your post. stay well.

Anonymous said...

Anything can be taken to extremes. I don't know much about bats, and snakes, except they get a bad rap. Sorry Brooks, I'm a rapture guy.

Susan Miller said...

In 5th grade I was mesmerized by Revelations. Had my own little notebook that I used to rewrite it so I could better understand every word of it. Hellfire and brimstone is the way of most Southern Baptists. Sometimes I think it is because they like to think they were right and watch as all the naysayers are tortured for not believing.

Oh, sweet rapture.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Miss M!
Key line for me: "Even though you were saved by grace, nobody ever felt good enough to trust it." Amen, Sister! If Jesus died as a sacrifice for all of humanity's sins over 2,000 years ago, wouldn't that mean that anyone born after that was already saved? No, that's not what I learned in church. We still had to say a certain kind of prayer, follow a certain set of rules...etc. I'm glad my days of religiosity have ended. I was extremely miserable when I was a born-again Christian.

Here's a link to my new R's Musings blog. Wordpress just wasn't working out for me... Cheers!

Anonymous said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon, by my hand!
Read My Inaugural Address
My Site=http://www.angelfire.com/crazy/spaceman
Your jaw will drop!

Anonymous said...

Nobody did Strayed's college homework for her, you idiot "Rodney." Read the essay, dumbo. It's brilliant.