"People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God."
I don't often speak about religion here on my blog, but something happened last week, during one of President Bush's press conferences, that I found particularly interesting. Since I haven't seen a lot about it, in either the mainstream media or in the blogsphere, I thought I might try to open a dialog about it here. I am interested in what you think about the connection between George Bush, and the Apocalypse.
Now wait before you answer, you should know I haven't gone off the deep end of things, I don't believe George Bush is the Anti-Christ, I do wonder however, about some of the decisions he makes, given that he claims to be a Christian. I am concerned sometimes about the assertion from some members of the far right, that if one is a Liberal and a Democrat then therefore there is no way one could also be a Christian. I am here to tell you, and show you, that I am living proof of such. I have been happily enjoying a relationship with Christ for many years, but not all of the years were as happy and content as they are right now. See, when I was attending regular church services, I came out of those services feeling worse then when I went in.
I couldn't take the sermons, week after week, encouraging me to hate my neighbor. The church I was attending had been robbed of some expensive items, several times, and from the pulpit week after week came the same message, that the people in the area around the church were to be feared and loathed. They were stealing from the church to buy drugs or alcohol. There was no real proof of who had broke into the church, let alone what their motive was, so how could I possibly embrace the thought that I needed to automatically hate whoever did this to my church family? I asked once, "Why are we not going door to door in the neighborhood, to preach and share about our church with local families?" I never really got a good answer to that question. Why do we humans always seem to hate what we don't understand?
How does this apply to President Bush? Well, last week during a visit to Cleveland Ohio to promote the war in Iraq, a women who was in the audience made a reference to a recently published book that says, "members of the Bush administration have reached out to prophetic Christians, who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse." She then asked, "Do you believe that the war in Iraq and rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse?" Bush responded, amid laughter from members of the audience, "The answer is, " he said and paused, "I mean I haven't really thought of it that way. First I've heard of it by the way." I thought about the question for a moment, then considered the rest of his answer, "I guess I think more practical then that." What could be more practical, from a Christian standpoint, then the contemplation of how the world, and it's inhabitants are progressing spiritually?
If you are a Christian or have studied the bible, then you know the signs of the apocalypse are quite clear, and so is the suggestion that we not waste our lives looking for it, because it will come "as a thief in the night." There are however, clear signs we will see which will be leading up to the end of days. War & rumors of wars, the earth will experience "birthpains." Man will turn against man. It won't be a very pleasant time at all.
Now, every generation has speculated about the end of days, it is something to consider. Many a cult has been based on those fears. Personally, I don't fear the end of the world, I mean, what can I do? Can I hold back God when he says, enough is enough? It's the times leading up to those last few moments on earth that concern me. When researching for this entry, I came across all kinds of opinions about whether or not we are in the end times. One particular opinion that struck me was the thought, from a far right web site, that believes we shouldn't care about Global Warming, because we are already at the end of days. I don't know about you, but isn't that when we should care the most? As a Christian, I believe God gave us an amazing gift...THE PLANET EARTH...and because of the toxins we have put into the ozone, we may have begun something that we have no way to reverse.
The United States leads the world in the amount of toxins we put into the air. Recently, the Bush administration tried to stop a top NASA scientist from reporting his findings on the effects of Global Warming. We already know we are facing another year of stronger then average storms, when hurricane season begins in June. Why do you suppose President Bush pays such little attention to our environment? Why has he been so complacent when it comes to having enough medication for all Americans, should our worst fears come to life, and we experience a pandemic in the United States? How can a man, who claims to have a close relationship with God not be concerned about these issues? Why has he ignored the terrible conditions around the world, such as the near genocide happening right now in the Sudan?
I could give you the laundry list of what has changed in our environment in the last 25 years, in the last 10 years, in the last 3 years, but I give you credit for realizing what's happening around you. If you hadn't heard, about the polar bears that are drowning because of the ice melting beneath them, or how much the temperature in the Atlantic ocean risen, or the unprecedented amount of discoveries of new species of animals, then you may want to do some research and decide for yourself what might be happening. Sigh. Tonight on AOL news, is a report about the possibility of a large earthquake occurring here in the East Bay, of the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live. It has some startling facts that we in California tend to not think about, until we have a series of tremblers like we have had recently reminds us of our complacency. We don't have a certain weather to serve as an indicator, or a certain time of year, to shore up for. As a result, our earthquakes come suddenly, like a thief in the night.
I don't worry about the end of the world happening in my lifetime, because I try my best to remember the teachings of God. Not the teachings of ANY mortal man. Our ministers are there to guide us, and I don't make a sweeping generalization that all ministers are missing the mark, but unfortunately, the ones I have met so far left me with the distinct feeling that in order to truly be loved by God, I had to have the approval of the teacher teaching me. I had to be right with God, according to the minister's assessment of me. That meant falling into line, and hating all the right things, and all the right people. Almost as if there was a political correctness that was taking place in church. I can't do it. I can't put that much faith in any one mortal man, be it minister or politician.
So tell me, do you think we are in the end of days? Share with me what you think might be the signs, if you do believe we are there. Do you think today's churches are run more politically then in the past? What do you see as the biggest obstacle facing the world wide Christian community today? If you aren't a believer, I still want to know what your thoughts are. Please feel free to tell me what you think. Your comments are always safe here, as I have said before, all comments are welcome, provided they are made with respect.