Discussing
Prepare for the End... but which one?

Andy Rau

Laura Lee
May 21, 2011

I suppose the main difference is that you are comparing secular entertainment and fiction to a theology that its followers believe to be literal truth.  Another difference is that dystopian secular art tends to be in the form of a warning, it is actually urging action to improve the world and prevent the worst case from happening.  Whereas those who anticipate the rapture are not seeking to avoid it.  One could argue though, that it is encouraging action in the here and now in terms of right living and the avoidance of sin.  An interesting aspect of this is that the focus is on personal salvation and leaving the sinners behind, whereas a secular dystopia ideally calls on us to avoid the hell on earth for society as a whole.  Of course, we do tend to kill off the immoral and unlikeable characters in disaster movies.  So there is some similar desire to see the heroes (moral people) survive and the bad (often greedy, rich, selfish people) destroyed.  This suggests that in both cases doomsday scenarios offer the catharsis of having the balance reset so that those who are rewarded unfairly are knocked down and those who are unfairly denied justice, or have their important priorities ignored in life are rewarded.  Don't we all just wish sometimes we could start from scratch on society and do it right?<br><br>I agree that it would be more interesting to explore the appeal of end of the world scenarios regardless of whether they have a religious aspect or not.  That is not what news generally does, however.  News is much more event focused.  If you announce a date for the rapture, that is a news peg.

Keri
May 22, 2011

With secular apocolyptic visions, the purpose is simply escapist entertainment.  And, unfortunately, I think Evangelical Christians have become a part of that entertainment package.  Essentially the media is mocking our faith when it focuses in on those like Harold Camping.  Today, a lot of people are making a mockery out of Harold Camping and lumping him together with mainstream Christianity.  It's a taunt that says, "If you're wrong about Judgement Day, you're wrong about everything else."  It allows them an excuse, a reason, to back away from Christianity and everything associated with it, because it's just for "crazies".  <br><br>That's why we must value relationship with others, rather than simply a convert count.  It's through our sharing the love of Christ to those who do not know Him that we will be able to prove that there really IS something different about Christianity.  Honestly, I've been rather convicted by this whole Judgement Day bruhaha.  Harold Camping and his crew have gone out of their way, making a big deal of telling the world about their supposed Judgement Day.  I think they've done it with more zeal and passion than I've ever had in sharing the love of Christ.  Maybe I don't agree with their approach or their message, but at least they're interested in saving others from eternal death.  It's just caused me to reflect on the question, "What am I doing the spread the Word?"

Keri
May 22, 2011

Laura, I think you hit the nail on the head with this statment:<br><br>This suggests that in both cases doomsday scenarios offer the catharsis of having the balance reset so that those who are rewarded unfairly are knocked down and those who are unfairly denied justice, or have their important priorities ignored in life are rewarded.  <br><br>That is part of the hope that we have as Christians.  That things WILL be restored to order, there will be a new heaven and a new earth.  And, righteousness will reign (II Peter 3).  Even though the secular media may not recognize it, that's what they're longing for too- complete justice and reconciliation.  Difference is, that will only come from Christ.  Not, our earthly efforts at environmentalism, or war, or justice.

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