Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mysteries of the Second Coming

Alternate titles: Radical Second Coming, Second Coming Re-Conceived

The first coming was not what the remnant thought it would be. Why does the second coming have to be what the remnant people are so dead sure it will be? The prophecies were misinterpreted the first time. How can you rule out that the same thing won't happen a second time?

What if Christ comes and, somehow, those who are looking for his coming miss it altogether?

The first time Christ didn't come to free the Jews from Roman bondage, but rather from bondage to sin. What if Christ comes not to Earth, but leaves from Earth? What if Christ has been here living among us for 2,000 years. Then it could be said that he "comes quickly" because he never left us?

When he leaves it will be with those who, mistakenly, have awaited his coming from the skies. The first time he came from the Earth. Why can't he also come from the Earth the second time?

Reinterpret all the prophecies of the last 2,000 years and see how this new way of looking at Christ's second coming fits into the picture.

Disclaimer: This is only meant as a "what if" scenario. I am not suggesting that Christ will not come in the clouds and that every-eye-shall-see-him, will not take place.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Million-Year Sabbath

As a child I once had a nightmare that all the days of the week were Sabbaths. The Sabbath was not so bad, but it wasn't as fun as, say, Sunday morning. Sundays seemed to last forever.

These days, however, I look forward to the Sabbath and wish that every day was a Sabbath. Yes, there are things I miss doing on the Sabbath, but I'm realizing that they are becoming less and less important.

The only two things that I would miss if the Sabbath were an everyday thing would be working and buying. You can't very well live without those two activities.

During the past four years I have toyed with different names for my interest in a longer Sabbath day. Originally I thought of a conceptual Sabbath which would last from sunset on Friday and not end until Sunday sunrise. The busy nature of living in the material world suggested another approach, the Seven Minute Sabbath which could be observed at any point throughout the week. The Eternal Sabbath was a term for a Sabbath day that never started or ended. It simply was.

Even a good thing has to end sometime so it can begin again. For this reason I've come up with the concept of the million-year Sabbath. The only place we can keep such an impossibly long Sabbath is in the New Earth where, in theory, we wouldn't need to buy or earn a living and no activity would be inappropriate to engage in during the million-year-long Sabbath.

In the meantime enjoy the Sabbath and imagine it's going to last a million years.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Evolution of God?

My God is not a God of death; he is a God of life. However, since the creators of sophisticated robotic medical equipment are responsible for faulty product if something disastrous should occur, can our God be held liable for the death we see all around us since time began?

Yes, it is true that our God created all things perfect, but since he allows--for a variety of complicated reasons--for things to go on as they do, then, in a way, he has to take responsibility for the imperfections of our otherwise perfect world.

Let's face it, if God wanted to stop all pain and death right now, he could. God's hands are not tied. There must be valid reasons why so many negative realities continue to exist. Let's try to analyze what some of them might be.

Some conservative Christians believe that God allows the controversy between good and evil to continue to protect man's free will. Conservatively speaking, you have to admit that 6,000 years is ample time to show that God offers humankind his way or the other fellow's way.

Progressively speaking, however, we are not talking about 6,000 but millions of years for this cosmic struggle between good and evil to have been resolved.

This brings us to the subject that the title hints at. Does God bring about life, humankind's life specifically, through the death that is essential for natural selection and the survival of the species? It is, after all, only the strong that survive to procreate and pass on their genes to the next generation. How can a God of love possibly be responsible for a system that uses death in order to bring about life and complex organisms?

The Bible account is very simple: God creates all of our reality in six days and rests on the seventh day. For those who have a problem with such simplicity, then the only other option is that God used evolution, and before that--the Big Bang--to create our world and the cosmos. Because this would make God the author of death--and life--such a paradigm is not consistent with a God of love.

The third possibility we will not focus on very much other than to state, for the occasional agnostic who may wander in by chance, that evolution, life, death, etc., have nothing whatsoever to do with God, only with humankind.

So where does that leave us? Perplexed? Frustrated? Despairing? Not at all; there is a fourth explanation. We all think this is all happening to us. This dream called life, death, rebirth. The incredible reality is that we are dreamers twisting and turning--sometimes smiling and laughing--through a long dreamlike state called life and death. One day we will awaken and learn who God really is and why all this death and life and rebirth were necessary.

Until then, look to God and worship him for the hour of his judgment has come.