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The Danger of May 21, 2011 Judgment Day

The Danger of May 21, 2011 Judgment Day

Some Christians think that today is the end of the world as we know it. Taking Bible passages out of context, something that is foolish to do considering the Bible is an ancient book written by many authors, some believe that today is the day that Jesus will return for Christians and take them away to heaven.

At the heart of the problem is fundamentalism. The dictionary definition for fundamentalism is “a form of Protestant Christianity which upholds belief in the strict and literal interpretation of the Bible; and the strict maintenance of the ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion or ideology.” Forget contextualism, with fundamentalism the Bible is “read off the page” with no regard to its historical and cultural context, as I once heard a seminary professor put it.

Fundamentalism is dangerous. It can dupe people into selling everything they have in order to be ready to be taken to heaven, as is the case of what I dub the “May 21, 2011 crap.” Fundamentalism is also spiritually dangerous, for it tends to overlook biblical passages about taking care of the less fortunate.

An antidote for fundamentalism

The website says that fundamentalist Christianity is “popular because it serves up easy, ready-made answers.” Despite what the media portrays, there are alternatives to fundamentalism.

Consider the words of Jesus’ as written down in the Sermon On the Mount by an anonymous author during the last third of the first century, according to modern New Testament scholars:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

(Matthew 5:43-47, New American Standard Bible)

Instead of responding in anger to those who wrong us, Jesus taught us that we are to love them and pray for them. This is completely opposite of human nature, but it is the essence of what it means to live as a follower of Christ. Following Christ means to love as He loved. Or as Dallas Willard puts it in his book, The Divine Conspiracy, “He does not call us to do what he did, but to be as he was, permeated with love.”

Loving as Jesus loved means to practice forgiveness. Brian Zahnd, in his book Unconditional: The Call of Jesus To Radical Forgiveness, says, “to be an authentic follower of Jesus we must embrace the centrality of forgiveness.” Christians who embrace love and forgiveness can drown out the nonsense and heresy (in my opinion) of the May 21, 2011 crap and make a difference in the world.


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Photo from ideacreamanuelaPps via flickr

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6:05PM PST on Dec 15, 2012

How come this ancient posting is still here? and I'm still here to read it!

6:57AM PDT on May 25, 2011

@Jeffrey W.
in fact,
the west is torturing people right now.
Who are we to judge like we're better than that
while our ancestors have been the longest running oppressors in history.

6:53AM PDT on May 25, 2011

@Jeffrey W.
christian fanatics have done their fair share of torturing and murdering throughout history too.

6:52AM PDT on May 25, 2011

how many times do I have to say it...
long hair, sandals, preached about peace and love..
jesus was a hippie and I find it very ironic that christians tend to hate hippies while worshiping one.

8:06PM PDT on May 24, 2011

Christian fanatics make silly spectacles of themselves. Muslim fanatics murder and torture the infidels.

9:19AM PDT on May 22, 2011

Scary people out there...Sorry!

12:29AM PDT on May 22, 2011

Watchtower Jehovah’s Witnesses have little credibility with their own fairy tale primary doctrine of Jesus ‘invisible’ second coming October 1914
Watchtower society false prophets declare end of world in 1874, 1878, 1881,
1910, 1914, 1918, 1925, 1975, and 1984....

Actual news releases on Armageddon 1975 prediction

www (dot)

Danny Haszard been there!

5:41PM PDT on May 21, 2011

There are angels, but they're not as we have been told to imagine;

5:29PM PDT on May 21, 2011

How one Southerner has turned to his Jewish neighbor to help him ascend to heaven.

4:47PM PDT on May 21, 2011

Common people, be smart about all this. Yes, these predictions are silly, but wake up, the world is headed down a certain path. We are running out of resources, we are creating disasters, and did you know they are carving out a mountain to use to dump toxic nuclear waste? Do we really want to wait till one of these predictions actually comes true? We've created two major ecological disasters in the span of 2 months, if past is an indicator of the future and we refuse to learn from it, our future doesn't look too good. Less materialism, less stupidity & ignorance, more love and more peace. If Jesus can bear witness to all of this, I don't think he would actually approve of how we have treated Gods creation, including how Christians have become part of it all.

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