Rapture in the Sky with Diamonds
(author’s aside: I’m not Christian, but I was raised an American WASP, so Christianity has been impossible for me to avoid. Like most things I can’t avoid, especially the things that don’t make sense, I’ve thought about it a lot. I think Christianity is an important thing to examine regardless of whether or not you believe in it.)
I feel bad for anyone who lost faith today because no one is going to be or has been grabbed up into the clouds. Must be a tough time for them. But really if you thought that was going to happen, your faith wasn’t true faith to begin with, so I guess it’s good that you had this wake-up call. As near as I can figure, the Christian notion of the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t external, and many people forget that, which is why there were so many people who were hanging out with welcome signs for Jesus today. It’s important to know or remember that if there is a Kingdom of Heaven at all, each person who was going to experience the Kingdom of Heaven would experience it internally and while they were still alive. So now everyone who’s been super mixed up about their Christianity will remember that.
I’m just kinda bullshitting that idea, though. Let’s be honest, those of us who’ve perused the Gospels: there’s plenty of contradiction and vagueness. If you haven’t perused it, it’s a good thing to peruse, just like it’d be good to peruse most other religious texts that enough people think are worth perusing. The Gospels have some straight-forward parts, but there aren’t many of them. Jesus got crucified, none of them say otherwise. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s is another pretty clear part. The Pharisees are a bunch of dipshit hypocrites is also agreed upon by everyone. And somehow Jesus was divine but also not but also he was and also not but at the same time he was. That’s what every Gospel can agree on. The Rapture is something that there seems to be some disagreement on. Matthew says there’s gonna be angels and trumpets and some fucking mind-blowing special effects when the Kingdom of Heaven arrives, but others have the sense that it isn’t going to be anything physical at all. Or maybe they do. I don’t know, it’s all pretty vague and wrapped in parables. I like it best when it’s being sung, like in Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion or in Jesus Christ Super Star.
Doesn’t seem cohesive that a religion about your internals would involve anything external, though. If there is part of Christianity that becomes external, it could be taken as a part or whole of a proof, and you can’t prove anything about Christianity because Christianity is based on faith, and the definition of faith precludes any proofs of or about it. Therefore, there can’t be anything external about Christianity. And also therefore, there will never be angels and explosions and trumpets and shit that are DIRECTLY a result of anything to do with Christianity, because then Christianity would be external. There could be trumpets and special effects that are just happening on their own, and then somehow that’s the kicker that finally and absurdly allows even just one person to make the movement of faith, but still the trumpets and special effects weren’t the cause of any of that one person’s faith. It’d be just like how Pascal thought he saw a miracle and then he felt the movement of faith. There’s no way that it was really an external proof, in the way that Pascal or anybody could justify Christianity to anyone else because of the supposed miracle, but he felt that it was a miracle and through it he felt that connection with the divine whose absence had been ripping him to shreds for far too long. So if the special effects cause you to feel faith, not because of anything to do with them as something external but wholly as a movement of your own soul, then you do feel faith. That or you’re tricking yourself. There’s no way to be sure. And if there were a way, then Christianity wouldn’t really be religion, it’d just be some weird shitty version of ethics. So for Christianity to be a religion, you gotta take the paradoxes whole hog, which I respect but admit and assert that it makes no fucking sense. If you can make sense of it, either you didn’t understand something in the argument or you’re not really a Christian.
Anyway, my point is that if there’s angels and trumpets and laser shows and giant pigs flying across the sky, it only means that Pink Floyd is back in town, not that the Rapture is starting, because there will never be a Rapture.