Apocalypse

Hollywood and science fiction have long convinced us that ‘post-apocalyptic’ is a dark and dreary adjective, but it doesn’t have to be.


The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC minister Katherine Fielder. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to sermons@themonastery.org.

End Times

The coming Apocalypse will be televised. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here me out.

If you, like me, feel the world has taken a sharp nosedive toward uncertain oblivion, I’m here to tell you this might be for the best. Our society is struggling with palpable fears about global warming, mass migration, tyranny, terrorism, gross inequality and the numbing technological disconnectedness of our once-shared humanity. It almost feels like the end has been nigh for way too long now, and that we might just be past the expiration date to do anything about it.

But what if the end of the world is exactly what we need? What if it’s the calamitous event that turns us around. There is a doomsday scenario where humanity rebounds afterward, and future generations will look back on it as the moment we, as a species, came back from the brink.

The Apocalypse Won’t Be So Bad

Hollywood and science fiction have long convinced us that ‘post-apocalyptic’ is a dark and dreary adjective. However, not all doomsday literature is like that. The stories that were popular around the time of Jesus offered worried citizens a different message: the uplifting idea that the dominant powers of the day were not ultimate ones. And so, it’s worth remembering that what is here today – the despots with bad haircuts and even worse intentions, the men who seek to dominate women and the religious leaders who hide behind their gods – will be gone tomorrow. 

What Does “Apocalypse” Mean?

Before we delve any further, let’s get our facts straight.

In Greek, the word apocalypse means to uncover, to peel away and to expose what lies underneath the surface. Humanity has always known suffering, but the world we live in today stings like an open sore because misery has become all too accessible.

And while vile revelations about humanity (like those uncovered in the #MeToo movement) have provided one facet of this great reveal, the general malaise that seems to have gripped our collective conscience is closely tied to the fact that we are suddenly living in interconnected world where we’re constantly bombarded by every evil that ails humanity.

The world has become the junkie with the track marks you can no longer ignore on the street; the racist uncle who embarrasses your new girlfriend over Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe the oceans have been getting warmer, the corals disappearing and entire species of animals going extinct for decades, but we’re only coming to terms with it now.

Social media has made it so that every last human atrocity can now be instantly captured, publicized, shared and confronted. Again, there’s nothing new with death and destruction, except our newfound ability to witness the undoing of the global human experiment in real time, to stare deep into the mirror and see just how ugly we all can be.

Heresy and Hypocrisy

What we find when we stare long enough is true heresy – and not just the kind that Nineteenth-century theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher defined as “that which preserves the appearance of Christianity, and yet contradicts its essence.”

Today, the NRA justifies mass murders as unfortunate consequences of a God-given right to own guns. Churches discriminate against gays and religious minorities and hide behind antiquated lines of scripture, then play the victim when they receive public criticism.

To be clear, these are just a few examples of the mind-numbing hypocrisy inherent in the world today. It’s nothing new – but now that it’s being exposed to the masses, the inevitable result will be war, destruction, and an end to life on earth as we know it.

A New World

So, think of this impending Apocalypse as humanity’s rock bottom: that last hit that makes you so helpless you drag yourself to rehab; that natural disaster that forces climate-change deniers to face the facts when it’s their house burning down or getting swallowed by the sea. Hold on to this truth: when there’s nowhere left to go but up, we will indeed rise again.

And when that happens, this period will feel like a blessing in disguise.

 

17 comments

  1. William Waugh says:

    I get the logic of this piece. Summed up as; humanity’s “rock bottom”. ……..is it possible, everytime we hear about “unthinkable” acts; that it is individuals acting out their “rock bottom”? Actually, after typing this I realize it is all too true. ……anyone familiar with Star Trek lore would recognize this comparison. Imagine the galaxy teaming with intelligent life, yet incredibly we appear to be all alone. Perhaps it is because we have been deemed not ready yet. Not ready to join a common sense collection of Milky Way residents. Why, because we haven’t had our collective “wake up dumbass slap in the face”. Perhaps, our current political climate is a “slow roll apocalypse”. I hope we “break on thru to the other side” without destroying too much of what’s left. Didn’t the experts calculate (a while back) that free people will eventually vote themselves to be socialist. I rather resist that notion but when elected leaders don’t address critical issues and would rather peddle petty issues, it is revealing that a significant portion of the population (electorate) thinks that is just fine and dandy……..stupid is as stupid does!…….. If this seems a little jumpy, read it again…………..did down several cups of coffee while reading and responding.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Didn’t I read something like this in The National Enquirer?

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Don’t believe every article the ULC posts. It will drive you batty, if you weren’t already that way.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      If it seems like there’s more criminals and crazies in this world to some that’s only because there are more people, but percentage- wise it’ s probably about the same. The reason for more people can only be because people are having more sex, and using fewer condoms. The reason people are having more sex is they are hornier, and have fewer inhibitions because of the sexual revolution that’s been going on since the sixties. People are hornier now because of advances in nutrition, and sexual stimulants, like Viagra. With more people naturally there are more paranoid schizophrenics with delusions about doomsday. I almost never come across anyone who expresses such feelings. Of course, I’m careful about who I associate with, and the places I go to. We reap what we sow.

  2. William Waugh says:

    After reading my response I’ll add this food for thought …….did the electorate “allow” this administratration…as a public demonstration of slowroll apocalypse!………..it would be preferable to a “hard ball” collapse of civilization as we know it.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      And don’t forget about the Celistine Prophecy. If that’s not good enough William, you might try A Course In Miracles, or just watchLost In Space.

  3. William Waugh says:

    My aplogies for being more politically pointed than the sermon. That’s just where it took me……after reading earlier today about the petty golf courses, bankrupt hotels and the like spread over the planet like cookie crumbs.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I bet there’s even more cookie crumbs spread all over the planet. What a waste! They could all be gathered up, reshaped, and mixed in with Girl Scout cookies. The profit from them would be more than enough to pay to reopen those hotels and golf courses, William. Also, don’t forget to take your meds, or they won’t let you come out to play anymore.

    2. Carl Elfstrom says:

      You’re very apologetic. Guilty Christians are like that. Have you ever thought about apologizing for simply being, and then suddenly cease to exist. Just keep repeating “I think I can” until you spontaneously combust.

  4. William Waugh says:

    My original response got cancelled by ULC. Most have used a bad word somewhere.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Or maybe your wording was just too thrown, or bewildering. Don’t forget about One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. And are you cuckoo for cocoa puffs, the food of the apocalypse?!

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Furthermore, It happens, even to the best of us. Would you like me to get out my violin and play you some sad music? Just take it in stride, “Carry on my wayward son. There will be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest, and don’t you cry no more.”

  5. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Sorry I can’t agree with you William, but she really sounds like a drama queen to me. By far most of the problems and corruption in this world she spoke of have always gone on.Separate from that, according to Ruth Montgomery in her book Strangers Among Us, the world is about to shift on its axis like it does every ten thousand years. The last time it happened Noah built an ark. I don’t think that happened nearly ten thousand years ago, so we have absolutely nothing to worry about, despite the influx of walk-ins at the dawning of the Aquarian age, according to Montgomery, in her book that was published around 1979 or 1980. I had a copy of it back then, and studied it quite diligently. Nevertheless, it was a great song by the Fifth Dimension, and I have their greatest hits CD.
    .

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      Talk about Star trek, what if the galaxy was smothered by tribbles? Those little critters really multiply fast. And if we can’t find Harry Mudd to stop them… Talk about an apocalypse.

  6. Carl Elfstrom says:

    William, can you tell me exactly how many pecks of pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick, and then sing Mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread while simultaneously rubbing the top of your head and your belly?

  7. Carl Elfstrom says:

    Being a minister certainly has turned me into a spiritual giant, considering the way I’m always seeking to extend words of encouragement to my fellow ministers in need.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      We will, we will, rock you ! We will, we will, rock you !

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