Friday, December 21, 2012

REPOST from 2009: 2012 and the Coming Apocalypse

Montanus was a former priest of Cybele. A recent convert to Christianity, he began his ministry as a prophet and mouthpiece for God during the late 2nd Century in the small village of Ardabau in Phrygia (Asia Minor-Modern Day Turkey).
He claimed that God came to him and filled Him with His Spirit, causing ecstatic utterances and prophecies. He gathered to himself two others who proclaimed to have the same gift, Maxamillia and Priscilla, and the two of them went about Asia Minor proclaiming that God Himself was speaking through them and the end of the world was nigh. As his message of Apocalypse spread across the world, Montanus commanded his followers to gather together in the city of Pepuza, which (according to his prophecies) would become the New Jerusalem after the global conflagration. His followers obeyed and came to him in this new city of hope and awaited the appointed time. But the end of the world did not happen. Some were dissapointed, but some still 'girded their loins' in determination and continued to believe in the prophecies of Montanus. Later the prophet would be condemned as a heretic for various bizarre teachings, the foremost being that he proclaimed to be God the Father Himself when he made his prophecies, and not just a prophet indwelt with the Spirit of God.

For us today in the early 21st century the dire mystery of the 2012 Apocalypse prediction looms menacingly. I will not go into any of the theory, I am sure most of the readers have heard of it and the multitude of substatiating 'facts' that surround this view that the world will end on December 21st 2012. You do not even have to do any research, you just have to watch the History Channel regularly to get the full rundown. Myan Calander interpretation, planetary and galaxy alignments, solar storms, climate change, economic disaster and an upcoming volitile Presidential election all seem to point to a very rough time is to come near the end of 2012.

It seems as if someone flushed an M80 firecracker down the cosmic toilet and we are all waiting for the big explosion.

Of course when there is fear with potential death and mayhem Hollywood can't but be drawn to the fire and produce an epic movie where all our previous fears pale to the technicolor global holocaust that assaults our eyes in a darkened movie theater. So this weekend as the epic opens we are also bombarded by various news monkeys who have just discovered that the world will end soon. Of course almost all of them do not take the source material for the movie seriously. But with most reports you do see an ominous tension.

I think it is because socially we feel like we are all teetering on the edge of the abyss, and are waiting for something to push us over.

Many are overwhelmingly pessimistic because of the dire straits they find themselves in. Be it economic trouble, environmental worries or social and political disdain, many find themselves gripped by a fear that the worst is yet to come. We are communally holding our breath and waiting for what we feel is inevitable, hoping that we are wrong.

So the end of the world is a natural conclusion, not just because of the substantiating evidence of the 2012 theory, but because of the global angst we all perceive.

But such is the human condition. Since the dawn of civilization mankind has been waiting for the dusk to overwhelm them in darkness.

A clay tablet dated at 2800BC was found that has the inscription "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days. There are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end. Bribery and corruption are common."Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts

Since then humanity has faced the coming apocalypse thousands of times, mostly fired by social or religious motivation. An incredible resource for those who wish to study the history of Doomsday is found on the website A Brief History of the Apocalypse, where you can view each failed prediction chronologically.

Armageddon for good or ill is hardwired into our human consciousness. Prognosticators and those who diligently follow are part of who we are as human beings. It is a means to find order out of the chaos that surrounds us. There will always be a coming apocalypse. And one day there will be an end of the world. How will we know which one is the real end? Christian Scripture can shed some light on that. In the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 24 the Disciples ask Jesus how they will know when the end is near:

Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age? And Jesus answered and said to them- “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.-the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:3b-4a;36;44b.

So safe to say from a Christian perspective is that whenever a 'prophet' or anyone else claims to know the exact date or time that the world is going to end, you can rest assured that that will not be the day or time. There might be incidents of trouble, disaster or tribulation. But such is life on the planet Earth. Looking at the dilemmas brewing worldwide, we may face unprecedented challenges for freedom, liberty and survival on a global scale in the years preceding and following 2012.

The Mayan calendar does stop in December 21 2012; but then it starts all over again.
It has a new beginning.

Like any situation we find ourselves in we can look at the end pessimistically, or in hope we can look at the new beginning with optimism and take advantage of a new opportunity.

Mankind grows and flourishes when faced with trouble, for it is a challenge to overcome which brings with it personal and communal character.
In the words of Captain James T. Kirk, "Man stagnates if he has no ambition...We were meant to fight our way through - struggle, claw our way up, scratch for every inch of the way."

So whatever befalls us on Friday December 21, 2012- Saturday the 22nd will prove to be a most exciting day.

Until Next Time,
Pastor Swope

1 comment:

Shelly said...

Loved this post! Very practical.