Do we have a date with Armageddon – or with “new views of divine goodness and love”?

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)

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Categories: Christianity

Author:Tony Lobl

I write on spirituality and health for a diversity of online media outlets, from my perspective as a Christian Science practitioner. I have been published by the Independent, the Washington Post, the Guardian, E-Hospice, MindBodyGreen and The Christian Science Monitor and I post regularly on the Huffington Post UK and BuzzFeed. In addition to writing and broadcast appearances I enjoy engaging with journalists, academics, health professionals and government officials about the possibilities for improving health outcomes through a greater emphasis on spirituality in healthcare and social care. I've also greatly valued the many opportunities I have had to travel globally for my church and to meet people around the world. My wife Jenny and I spent 10 years in Boston, USA, before returning to London in 2002, to take on a role as the media and legislative liaison for Christian Science in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. I studied at the University of Surrey earning a BSc Hons Degree in Modern Mathematics before the impact of spirituality on health caught my attention and re-shaped my career.

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4 Comments on “Do we have a date with Armageddon – or with “new views of divine goodness and love”?”

  1. sandi
    March 1, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Tony, thanks for tackling Rapture fascination.
    I ran into a “literal Bible” friend about a year ago on FB, from high school days. At first FB and email conversations were pleasant and thoughtful until recently when he lambasted Christian Science as “rubbish” and worse, according to a German Lutheran theologian, whose book my friend regards highly. His email tone was pretty harsh.
    So I am learning even more of Love’s limitless embrace, and that no one is left out, and a bit of what Jesus meant when he said to love those who hate you. Or in the case of Armageddon, love those who expect to leave you behind.

  2. March 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    In claiming “We Can Know” when Jesus comes back this group unfortunately show that they don’t know the scriptures as well as they claim to. Jesus said “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:32) If even Jesus doesn’t know, then how can someone here on Earth expect to know?

  3. Romee Hindle
    March 2, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Thank you for the Armageddon blog. In The Netherlands too someone is predicting that this will happen in 30 years or a bit less. Everything is going as it says in the Bible and so he knows. This blog and the latest Sentinel editorial as well will go to my aunt.She keeps ringing me and telling me.
    And of course thanks for all the previous blogs. A shopkeeper is quite upset that the speech therapist did not win the oscar. She went straight to the computer to find out who this man was and of course learned that he was a CStist….and knew where our church was. :-)
    Love from Romee.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Faith 21C: A prophecy about May 21 that did come true…! | "Oh, Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - July 3, 2011

    [...] about May 21 that did come true…! On March 1 this blog featured the article “Do we have a date with Armageddon – or with “new views of divine goodness and love”? before the subject of this year’s rapture prediction became [...]

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