Apocolypse Transmissions: Are we in the end times described in the book of Revelations?
VolusiaNews.net / community bloggers / Matthew Wall of Daytona Beach
Confessions: The following is the first in a series of ruminations on the end of the world and the Book of Revelation by a post-Christian, post-atheist, post-hippie, post-intellectual, who thinks he has one or two funny or interesting things to say about the subject.
When I was back there in Baptist elementary school in my wee formative years I was exposed to a great many outrageous and stereotypical caricatures of the classic, southern, fire and brimstone variety.
Being the precious little sponge that I was, I naturally soaked up every last drop of “truth “that oozed out the mouths of my teachers and never had I a moment of doubt or questioning whilst digesting the contents of their holy excrements. Such doubt and questioning would come much later… but when I was a child, the adults would speak and the preachers would preach, and on my good days when I was well behaved, I would listen intently to every word they said.
The critical, skeptical, sardonic cynicism that wafts in waves of heavy stink off the Western intellectual tradition did indeed, I now most humbly confess, succeed in mesmerizing me with its potent fragrance.
And really, what could better serve a late teenaged rebellious know-it-all with misanthropic tendencies than that glorious vehicle of self-infatuation and cruel condescension provided by Academia and the pursuit of higher learning?
It is widely agreed upon by most psychologists that the youth/early adult must differentiate or seek individuation by rebelling against all that is traditional to him or her.
This teenage quest for identity usually manifests itself in green hair and exotic facial piercings accompanied by periodic trips to the mall, specifically Hot Topic, where all the best angst merchandise is distributed to a hungry market of angry-for-no-reason youngsters across America.
I mean, let me just come clean and say that I went through a number of these rebellious phases in rapid succession, each one torturing my parents more, building upon the other.
Yes, my poor mother only wished for the days when a weird, angular hair cut was the extent of her son’s rebellion; after high school, I declared war upon both God and Christianity. Those fool-on-the-hill blowhards from my early youth at the Baptist school became easy prey for my carnivore mind and I devoured them whole.
I would laugh at the absurdity of these small-minded townsfolk with their Disney doe eyes always fixed on the sky or some future moment dangling like a carrot perpetually drifting just beyond arms length. Yes, I was smarter than these adults now.
The student had surpassed his masters.
From this high rise cliff of condescension, I would launch my clever assaults on the villagers below. I even invented the term Apocalust to describe that characteristic thrust of evangelicals to always be desiring the end.
How they barely concealed their frothing salivations when slipping into day gaze ruminations of death and destruction, war and famine, fear and trembling, all included with horn blast clouds parting at the cameo entrance of J.C. descending, gaily upon nuclear Armageddon all a swirl with human headed locust copters and anti-Christ dystopian thought police operation guillotines and well, it is easy to get caught up in it, I must confess... One of the great follies of every new generation, is the shared assumption that the previous generation(s) are(were) so much dumber and in the dark than the illuminated current one.
It’s of the same kind of stuff that the common joke about archeologists arises from where it is said to be basic practice upon discovering an item or artifact that has no ready explanation as to its function to assume some ritual-superstitious purpose and move on the next piece.
The rational-scientific eyes of the West gaze up the great pyramids and assume these works of tremendous labor and mystery to be simply the result of superstitious cosmologies. It is here where the next generation must be scolded… yes there are a great many things that you know now that they didn’t know then, but might it also be possible, that there just might have, could have been a few things they knew about then of which you have no clue.
The first time I started to think twice again about those Baptists was while watching the online anarchist documentary Zeitgeist (A film series now that I still highly recommend that can be found and watched for free at www.zeitgeistmovie.com).
Anyone who has seen the first installment might note the irony of this while recalling that the first third of the movie effectively dissembles the myth of Christianity so terrifyingly well that I have even gone so far as to steer many a happy Christian away from watching the film for fear of the damage it may cause to their faith and mental equilibrium.
In short, the Zeitgeist movie employs the usual histrionic emotive tricks that are in the propagandist playbook, but it’s main appeal is in the fact that it is a film made by my generation for my generation.
Regardless of the validity of all the facts presented, the movie reflected the spirit of the times. The tone of conspiracy and distrust of the government is the timbre of my generation‘s voice.
Much of the concepts however did fall like hammers on my psyche, each hit either striking a chord or effectively shattering my mind into new paradigms. The film was transformative for me and many of my peers.
So now, imagine the jarring whiplash I felt, when at the end of a movie that systematically dismantled my faith in religion, history, media, war, money, capitalism, patriotism, nationalism, ism, ism, ism, I was confronted with the terrifying cold statement supposedly made by one of the Rockefeller heirs when asked what he and his consorts could possibly still desire from the world when they already had everything and all the riches imaginable.
His response, “The ultimate goal is to get everyone chipped with an RFID chip, and have all money be on those chips, and everything on those chips, and if anyone wants to protest what we do or violate what we want, we just turn off their chip.” Well, where in the 666 hell have I heard that before?
What does it mean when a singular myth emerges separately from one subculture that stands in complete protest and opposition to another culture, and yet is shared by both?
This last little scene confounded me and made me feel incredibly uneasy. Could the Christians have been right in part about something or some part of something?
The thought would not leave my mind. In 2006 I read a book by the psychedelic head, Daniel Pinchbeck called 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. This was a book coming from the drugged-out hippie fringe that cared nothing for tradition or Christianity.
Again, I was faced with multicultural parallels of immanent apocalypse stories along with other strange parallels that reminded me of much of what I had learned growing up in the church about the spirit realm, heaven and hell, demons and angels.
The book also talked about prophesies of a coming economic collapse somewhere around 2008. Well, we all know how that went down. I tried my best to forget about these parallels, I didn’t like the paths they took my mind down.
After all, most of my young adult identity was based upon my rightness in the face of Christianity’s wrongness. However, time after time I was forced to face it again, while even at work at Denny’s, I began to notice a new kind of customer that was growing in number and frequency.
These people usually came alone with their laptops and would occupy a table for hours lapping up coffee while rattling off frantic doom-speak as they clutched my arm to show me evidence on youtube of FEMA concentration camps and websites describing the dreaded REX-84 document (short for Readiness Exercise 1984). (More on that last Rex-84 here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_84)
In time I decided to take a more nuanced and openminded view of both Christianity and the terrible Book of Revelations.
Perhaps nothing can be all wrong or all right. We’re only ever seeing through a glass darkly right?
That is perhaps the best anyone can do. Sometimes I can still hear those Baptist teachers saying ridiculous things like, “Any minute now I can walk outside and Jesus could snatch me right up and leave my clothes behind.”
The man who said this was morbidly obese and one would hope that God would have mercy on all remaining sinners and keep His word in making this sort of an instantaneous, “blink of an eye” transition.
There is another thing those teachers used say, a number of them in fact, would say this very same thing. ‘When you begin to hear of wars and rumors of wars… watch out. When you begin seeing earthquakes happening all over the world… the end is getting close.”
And if anyone still had their doubts about this whole end of world thing, let me ask them to look no further…
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About the Blogger
Strike A Chord
By Matthew Wall
Matthew Wall, 27, is the pup culture blogger for NSBNews.net. He lives in Daytona Beach and works in Ormond Beach. He received a B.S. degree in language arts education from the University of Central Florida in 2007. He plays bass guitar in his rock band "Radon Moon." Besides music, his interests include reading, writing, philosophy and spirituality.