A short manifesto on belief in times of fake-rapture.

Christianity made the news again. Fantastic.

Yesterday came and went like so many have previously and I didn’t even get out of my shift at work. I have balanced trying to be funny about this “rapture” nonsense with being utterly infuriated about how this continues the status quo of society in general.

I think the thing I hate the most is that this episode (re)confirms non-religious folk’s worst fears and thoughts on religion. For the people who will never think about entering a church this just dug the hole that much deeper.

I have talked to a reasonably large amount of people about faith, Christianity and religion. People tyipcally have a wide array of reasons why “organized religion” just doesn’t do it for them. But the thing that I see as a pattern is that while they are intrigued by this Jesus fellow they are unequivocally disgusted with his followers. They have a point. However I also feel that the nonreligious people I have talked to take great pleasure in building up straw men versions of what they think religious people are and take great pleasure in knocking them down. I hope this next part dispels this behavior, if only a little.

It can be difficult to explain what my faith is without devolving into cliché or stereotype but here goes. I believe some very specific things for very specific reasons. I like to think most of my beliefs (and the behaviors that derive from those beliefs) are wholly rooted in the Bible. The troubling thing about this rapture business is that is a actual belief all mainstream Christians have. We don’t predict it and I don’t know what it will look like but all agree: Jesus is coming back. This may seem utterly absurd to many but again the point is that this isn’t some nice story or hoax. It’s a world view rooted in a scripture of great importance to billions.

Perhaps the thing that is most depressing is that what gets lost in all this talk of this or that religion is the person of Jesus. A holy man, the son of god, perfect; sent to earth not to conquer empires or wealth, but to die, all for the souls of people, billions of which utterly reject him today.

If you hate church you probably have a good reason. If a Christian has judged you or treated you wrongly you have good reason to be suspicious. But that doesn’t change what Jesus did. For you and for all of us. I invite you if possible to ignore the rapture predictors of the world and to seriously consider Jesus. Read the New Testament, its not that long I promise. Think about it, process it and then perhaps make a decision. My faith and belief are indeed real and true for me and my hope and prayer is that others would seriously consider the claims of Jesus above anything else.

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Done. 33% to be exact.

I finished my first semester of graduate school.

Looking back I did a lot of work. My folders on the computer for my classes are filled with documents and assignments. That being said it doesn’t appear like the grading is particularly stringent. I’m hoping for straight As (or at least an A-) in my four classes.

When I signed up for my classes in December and got the syllabi I was mildly terrified. I have to buy all these books, read them and do ALL this other stuff? Three years away from academia does not ease the mental transition back to school. That being said after a couple months at school I made the following observations.

1)Undergraduates in my classes work way too hard and are terrified of bad grades. Kids relax, you’re doing better than 99.9% of the human race ever just by being here. If you get a B the world won’t end.

2) People (including myself) let academics play with their minds and emotions way too much. We get all mental and stressed and then (eventually and magically) we sit down do the work and “HEY” everything is still OK in the world.

3) I don’t understand why we learn about being engaging teachers if our own education professors cannot lead an engaging class themselves.

4) I don’t care about grades anymore. I want to pass, get my money’s worth and start teaching. If that means I have to make a few (or many) sarcastic, humorous comments to get everyone’s mind off how boring this class is so be it.

So I’m done till next fall. 12 credits down, whatever twice that number is to go (I’m going to teach history, not math, deal with it). Bring it on grad school.