Judgment Day

Well, I guess the Rapture didn’t come after all. Or maybe it did and I’m unsurprisingly not among the chosen few to be saved? I studiously avoided try to make fun of the whole thing, despite the fact that yesterday everyone seemed to be posting rapture jokes like there was no tomorrow.

Anyway, for those who were disappointed by the poor turnout for the Apocalypse here is another poem by R.S. Thomas; this one is called called Judgment Day

Yes, that’s how I was,
I know that face,
That bony figure
Without grace
Of flesh or limb;
In health happy,
Careless of the claim
Of the world’s sick
Or the world’s poor;
In pain craven –
Lord breathe once more
On that sad mirror
Let me be lost
In mist for ever
Rather than own
Such bleak reflections,
Let me go back
On my two knees
Slowly to undo
The knot of life
That was tied there.

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20 Responses to “Judgment Day”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    I would have gone to one of those skeptics parties held last night had I been in the USA. Christians believe on the basis of the Bible that there will be a ‘rapture’. They disagree on when it will be relative to other prophesied events; and even those of us who (unlike me) believe in the “pre-tribulation rapture” – which yesterday would have been – can doubt the basis on which yesterday’s date was chosen. The atheists’ parties were a rare chance to talk theology to atheists – you bet!
    Anton

  2. telescoper Says:

    Of course everyone knows that Judgment Day was really today. Goodbye Blackpool. Goodbye Birmingham City!

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      The top 8 teams in the premiership are all from either London or Lancashire. The bottom 7 all begin with either B or W.

    • telescoper Says:

      But Manchester is not in Lancashire…it’s in Greater Manchester … and Liverpool is in Merseyside!

      Still, I hope we can clear out the remaining Bs and Ws next year…

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      I don’t recognise Ted Heath’s reorganisation. Look at the pre-1973 county boundaries, which were good enough for several centuries.

    • telescoper Says:

      Ted Heath’s reorganisation could be The Death…

    • Rhodri Evans Says:

      Let’s hope the Swans (Swansea City) go up and add to the geographic diversity.

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    On looking more closely at Harold Camping – the man at the centre of it – he did in fact claim that the rapture would take place as Jesus returns to the earth. That’s my understanding of the relevant scriptures too. But the sequence of events leading up to this joint event is fairly clear, involving a several-year worldwide mortal persecution of Christians (that’s the ‘tribulation’), which obviously hasn’t happened yet. Only Christians with poor biblical knowledge would have heeded Camping.

    • telescoper Says:

      Such a Carry on Camping was responsible for…

    • Rhodri Evans Says:

      Wouldn’t some people claim that the Al Qaeda threats and actions of the last decade or so are evidence of a persecution of Christians? (although I’m not a Christian myself I do find it difficult to believe that a so-called born again Christian like George W Bush can authorise the murder of tens of thousands of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan – remarkably “un Christian behaviour in my book).

      What is a pre-tribulation rapture?

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      Rhodri: I (and the bible) are referring to a universal persecution pursued at the individual level by the authorities, cf when all Roman citizens had to burn annually a pinch of incense to the Emperor as a living god in the era of the early church. Many Christians were martyred for refusing to do that. Al-Qaeda merely threatens indiscriminate acts of terror on the West, which it mistakenly thinks is Christian (the West is secular in its culture, and anyway it is individuals who are or are not Christian). The close persecution that leads up to Jesus’ return lasts 3.5 years. That’s the ‘great tribulation’. It will be enacted by a world government led by an evil dictator. Already there is a genuine world financial system; and globalisation, unthinkable before the Industrial Revolution, is proceeding apace…

      The ‘rapture’ is the whisking of the few Christians still alive on the earth to heaven. I believe scripture is clear that this happens as Jesus returns: the Christians go up, he comes down, they meet halfway and carry on down together. Since Jesus’ return ends the tribulation, this scenario is described as the ‘post-tribulation rapture’. Some Christians, particularly in the USA, distort the scriptures to argue for a ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ (of which the meaning is fairly clear). I believe that this mistake could only have come out of a church movement which has forgotten that persecution for standing up is the authentic calling of the church.

      Anton

  4. Rhodri Evans Says:

    Anton

    Fascinating. Is there any indication how long a period there will be between Jesus’ return and Armageddon? What are the non-believers doing during this time? What about the believers?

  5. Rhodri Evans Says:

    Anton – what do you feel about sites like this?

    http://www.countdown.org/

  6. Anton Garrett Says:

    Rhodri,

    The event that triggers Jesus’ return is the world dictator sending a huge multinational army – obviously of nonbelievers – against the State of Israel and specifically Jerusalem. (That’s why it couldn’t have happened before 1948 when there was no State of Israel.) The Jews at last twig that Jesus is their true king and call for his help. The leaders of this army, shortly before the final assault, take counsel at Har Megiddo – the hill at Megiddo – which is on a plain distantly overlooked by Nazareth. “Armageddon” is a corruption of “Har Megiddo”. The famous number 666 is a clue to the name (or title) of the world dictator. Wiser Christians will be able to recognise him from this clue when he comes on the scene – for he will come to prominence as a promiser of peace, if he is let rule and reconstruct the world after a cataclysmic war. Think of Hitler in the interwar period, but on a far larger scale.

    There are many websites about the endtime scriptures and the state of the world today. They vary from the nutty to the excellent.

    • Rhodri Evans Says:

      Is the link I posted in the nutty or excellent camp?

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      At a quick look Rhodri it’s one of the better sites. If you would like my take on these things (in a 20 page essay) then send me your email address via Peter. In these politically correct times I would not post it on the Web.

    • Anton Garrett Says:

      That’s the essay I would not post (I was not referring to email addresses).

  7. Rhodri Evans Says:

    One of the better ones? That’s good, because I did read it all so I had a better idea of what (they claimed) the Bible says.

  8. Anton Garrett Says:

    Camping is now saying it will happen in October. Not unless a world government comes into being and persecutes Christians for 3.5 years in the five months between now and then. It is important for evangelical Christians to discredit his arguments before then, so that he will not discredit the Christian faith when it does not happen…

  9. Rhodri Evans Says:

    Oh dear, is he? So he clearly wasn’t spirited away to Heaven in the Raptur.

    You would have thought he’d have learnt. Cynically, I can’t help thinking it’s all a publicity and money raising stunt for his church.

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