The Apocalypse in real time

It seems there is a growing awareness amongst the people I speak with of the 2012 view of the end of days. Most have seen the movie 2012, and many are now aware of the ancient Mayan calendar that suggests some planetary event of historical significance looms on the horizon. The movie itself did not spend a lot of time educating the audience on the subject. Its loose reference to Mayan prophecy was anecdotal and not intended as a reference on the subject. So, the audience was not left with any sort of deep understanding of the implications to our generation.

You and I should do better however. We ought to be aware that the prophesied tumultuous days are not merely on the edge of the horizon, but are already at the gate. I could list planetary catastrophes engulfing the globe that would fill several pages, but here I will list two obvious examples. Those who are capable of a bit of rational thought should be able to see that we as a species are at the edge of a precipice.

  1. The Gulf of Mexico is now a toxic soup – a dead zone. As a consequence, toxic rain is falling over much of Eastern, Southern and Mid America. Plants, animals and insects are being poisoned every time it rains. This is a catastrophe beyond compare. I don’t think it will be very long before the sleeping masses awaken to the realization that the poison in the rain is now seeping into their drinking water, and in the air they are breathing. Seeing the growing number of youtube videos highlighting the emerging effects of toxic rain, I shudder to think of what the American grain harvest might look like this fall. What will the American people do when they realize that not only can they not eat seafood anymore, but they cannot even eat the vegetables grown in their own gardens?
  2. Thanks to two never-ending Iraq wars, a seemingly endless Afghanistan war, and the Balkan war, most of the Middle East practically glows in the dark now, it is so full of Depleted Uranium. With a half-life of millions of years, there is no way to avoid the death of pretty much everyone in the region over the next generation unless God in His mercy shares with us a way to rid the environment of this insane WMD that just keeps on giving.

I could continue listing examples of our predicament, but this post is not about convincing you that we are at the end of an era. This post is about the meaning of the time we live in, our responsibility and our fate. If you still don’t realize where we are as a species, I’m not sure I can help you.

Is this the long awaited Apocalypse? Yes. Of course it is. Even the not-so-bright amongst us should be able to see that our species has but a few years left, unless we radically change our collective path. Unfortunately, there are many amongst us who take delight in such catastrophe. They see such things as catastrophic earthquakes and Middle Eastern wars as proof that God will soon send Jesus back in some miraculous fashion. Regrettably, these people missed the point in Sunday school.

The majority of the world’s Christian population is wrong on several points, but, imo, their biggest collective mistake is the belief that they are saved by professing to believe in Jesus. In fact to be “saved” by believing in Jesus is only partly true. We are “saved” only if we believe in Jesus enough to actually live as he suggested and demonstrated. He made it very clear by words and example how men are meant to live. If one says he/she believes in Jesus, but is not living as he instructed and demonstrated, I am confident that in the eyes of the Divine, such “belief” is quite transparent. It’s just lip service which is not likely to receive the expected rewards in the end. The point here is that if the world’s Christians were actually living as Jesus instructed, we would not be in the mess we are in. But I digress, again.

What then are we being called to do in this age of the Apocalypse? We’ve got to find a new way to live, a new way to love, a new way to care, and a new way to share. We’ve got to re-design our institutions, our education, our business models and plans. We have to institutionalize the very heart of the two commandments of loving God with all our hearts and our brothers as ourselves. We’ve got to do this at every level of our society. But here’s the rub. How can we change our society and our economy in such a fashion? It’s too big for most of us to even imagine changing our hometowns. Ultimately, we have no choice but to start small and change ourselves and our families. Unfortunately, that often seems at least as difficult as changing the world.

Because changing ourselves and our families is so difficult, and changing our society seems impossible, most give up altogether and relegate the task to a future messiah. They convince themselves that the messiah is coming on the clouds of heaven. He will snap his fingers and in the twinkling of an eye will take full responsibility for cleaning up the mess we’ve created. Anticipating such a messiah is like expecting a rich uncle to come to bail us out of jail and bequeath us a big fat trust fund to live off of for the rest of time. No need for us to do anything in the meantime. There’s certainly no need to change our behavior, or anything difficult like that.

That seems rather silly doesn’t it? Yet that is the prevalent view of the prophesied second coming, simplified to the Cliff Notes.

I suggest to you that such a childish view of Providence is a mistake. We are indeed living in the Apocalypse, but the era is awaiting the men and women who, armed with faith and love for humanity will work together to put the future on a different path than the one we have been walking. The “messiah” is already here, but only those who are making the effort to “believe” in Jesus enough to attempt to live as he lived, have any hope of hearing his voice.

2012 is not very far off. We don’t have a lot of time to dilly dally, do we? The world is a big place. There are too many problems for you to tackle but a very few. Looking around your backyard, what areas can you help clean up, in some way?

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