Sunday, May 22, 2011

Particular Judgment, Last Judgment, and Weekend Grilling

My household's had two breaks in routine this weekend: I didn't grill burgers; and today my oldest daughter and I went to watch Thor. We enjoyed the movie, by the way.

But we didn't have an earthquake, major or otherwise, over the weekend.1

Apparently nobody experienced a big earthquake yesterday. Which probably surprised quite a few folks who took Mr. Harold Camping, and Mr. Camping's 'May 21, 2011 is Judgment Day' prediction, seriously.

The latest 'End Times prophecy' gave me a reason to post about serious matters, like particular judgment, and the Last Judgment. I also wrote a little about the 'Rapture,' a 19th-century notion that's part of American culture: but which is very much not Catholic teaching.

Rapture Lite

I started running into 'End Times' predictions in my early teens, long before I became a Catholic. By the time I was in college, I recognized them as a sort of recurring silliness.

I'll grant the the notion of 'good Christians' being swept up to Heaven, followed by Jesus coming and making folks who didn't go to the 'right' church suffer, is dramatic. But being dramatic doesn't make something true: as the Terminator movies show.

When folks 'really believe' something that's overtly bogus, it's hard to keep a straight face. For me, at least. Which helps explain something I said during my college days:
"...Then, as now, End Times were nigh. There were signs and portents, and all that. During one rehearsal, when the topic came up again, I suggested that maybe the Rapture had already happened.

"And we were the ones left.

"My fellow-singers didn't like that too much...."
(May 20, 2011)
Quite a few folks made jokes about the latest Camping/Family Radio 'Rapture'/Judgment Day prediction. One of my favorites is a prank I wouldn't recommend actually doing:
"Rapture prank: On Sat. take your unwanted clothes, shoes, them on sidewalks/lawns around town. RT @webvixn"
(Steve Farnsworth, @Stevology, on Twitter (May 21, 2011))
Then there was a short list I found on another fellow's blog:Some of the jokes reminded me of the old "Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company" crack.2 And that's almost another topic.

I'm about as sure as I can be, that Heaven won't be filled with preachy, humorless, members of some exclusive club. And, although you may have run into a humor-deficient Catholic, the Church doesn't seem to have a problem with humor. St. Philip Neri, and all that. (March 15, 2011)

Moving on.

Particular Judgment, Last Judgment: They're Real

I've opined about the particular judgment - the serious face time with God we get at our death - and the Last Judgment. Much more to the point, I've posted links to discussions of each in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Plus supporting verses from the Bible:Bottom line, for me? I take the Bible seriously. I have to, I'm a Catholic. I also take Tradition and the Magisterium seriously, for the same reason. (October 2, 2008)

I'm a Catholic because I decided to join the Church my Lord established. And that's another topic.

Related posts:Post in another fellow's blog:
In the news:
1 There was an earthquake in (under, actually) Alexandria, Minnesota, a few weeks ago. Earthquakes in Minnesota are infrequent, but not unheard-of. See:2 The "Hell for the company" quote's connected with Mark Twain and Sir James Barrie. And a collection by Barrie. (September 11, 2010)


Max said...

Camping’s calculations were wrong and his assumptions naive, but Rapture and Judgment Day are still relevant! Humanity needs to know the truth. Listen to this very compelling recording from a new spiritual group that is making waves and getting the word out to be spiritually prepared with more than a simple prayer and some bible verses.

Brian Gill said...


I grew up in America, and understand how deeply rooted the stories about 'Rapture' are in our culture. On the other hand, I don't think it's sensible to swap out a 19th century notion for what's been passed down through two millennia, from my Lord. (May 22, 2011)

As for particular judgment and the Last Judgment - to the extent that Mr. Camping made people aware of their personal responsibilities, he did some good.

For the silliness he's spread - that's something else.

Finally, about religious freedom - I've mentioned that, earlier today, and on April 27, 2011.

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.