Apparently a Christian organisation called “We Can Know” assures us that the Rapture will take place on May 21st of this year, as reported by BBC Radio London broadcaster Jumoke Fashola, in a recent Inspirit programme. Those not invited to rise as faithful Christians in the Rapture will experience the “end of the world” on 21st October – there will no October 22nd – and those remaining unrisen can expect a fairly miserable time between those two dates…
“We Can Know” won’t be the first group to have proved that they really didn’t know as much as they thought they did on this point, come May 21st – and October 22nd! Over the centuries, Armageddon-prophesying has been one of the negative side effects of interpreting the Bible too literally, rather than grasping its core, life-transforming, spiritual meaning as evidenced by the healing mission of Jesus.
Jesus did not come to menace masses of the population with the threat of material annihilation, but to point all humankind to freedom from the full range of materialism’s limitations, including ill health. He offered, and proved, the understanding of God as impartial Love – ready, willing, and able to redeem one and all, by awakening each individual to that unyielding love of His/Hers for all.
Most people – believers and non-believers – aren’t taken in by the kind of fears that are spread through religious pronouncements of impending destruction. Sometimes, however, it can seem that an echo of that expectancy of inevitable doom is taken more to heart as the world considers the challenging issues of the day such as economy, environment, and health.
So it is helpful to take a step back occasionally and get a broader, historical view of what has been going on. Take health and wealth, for instance. The snippets of information presented on nightly news broadcasts would often seem to suggest that both these elements are in constant jeopardy. But what happens if you take an overview of the past two centuries?
Continuing in the vein of our New Years’s blog Media perspectives: Have we just left “the best decade ever”…without even knowing it?! a US colleague - Roger Whiteway from Virginia, USA - has alerted me to a British video of a (Swedish) Professor, Hans Rosling, taking a wonderfully refreshing visual look at statistics over the past 200 years….suggesting that just maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem!
Individual and collective human history can be a bit of a roller-coaster ride at times – as we are currently seeing in the Middle East! So we celebrate the discerning journalism and scholarship that also identifies the positive as well as the negative strands of news – as important as the latter are – to balance both religious doom-saying and secular doom-saying alike.
These can also be challenged in the light of the power of prayer to make a difference to humankind’s evolving history as we go forward. I love the following spiritual perspective, from Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science: “Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)