I was watching comedy videos this morning to start the day off right and got sidetracked onto atheist videos. Christopher Hitchens is a rather witty enemy of religion and since he is more laconic than rabid, he is a bit easier to take than say, Bill Maher, who says such things as:
“I think flying planes into a building was a faith-based initiative.”
I think religion is a neurological disorder.” and “A lot of good has come from drugs. I think ‘Penny Lane’ is worth 10 dead kids. Dark Side of the Moon is worth 100 dead kids. Because a lot of kids wouldn’t even be born if it weren’t for that album, so it evens out.”
Atheist: Meaning of Life
Hitchen’s comments are often funny, and he even got laughter and applause for his statement on the meaning of life:
1). “Mainly gloating over the misfortunes of other people.”
2). “Irony-the cream in the coffee.”
3). “Sex can have diminishing returns, but it’s amazing. That’s pretty much it, and it’s clear to the grave.”
Religion as a Cult of Death?
Hitchens said religion is evil because it’s a cult of death. He said religious people can’t wait to die and can’t wait for the world to end, so they can be snatched to heaven and all the sinners will be left behind to fry. To give the devil his due, so to speak, I admit that I’ve heard something like this from religious people. People who believe that there is an afterlife and that God is good, are more loosely attached to this world. People who get real excited about the end of the world, I believe, haven’t thought it through.
The World Will End
The fact that the world will end is not disputed by anyone, I hope. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the sun’s energy is dissipating; it is burning itself out. This world will end. But that’s not “the end” that he and the religious are talking about. It’s the scenario presented in Revelation, combined with the concept of the rapture.
When is the Rapture?
When I first began studying the Bible, rapture fever was raging. None of us would die, we would all be snatched up alive to heaven and the unbelievers would be left behind for seven years of tribulation and then annihilation. But then I read more and found that different preachers had different takes on the rapture. Most said the Christians leave before the bad times, but some said they leave in the middle and a few said, no, they stay until the bitter end.
Fear of Death
Only those who went with the first option could possibly be happy about the end. Why select that option? It means you don’t die and the fear of death is a prime motivator. Some will argue that, no, that’s what the Bible says, but the Bible could also be interpreted for the other two options, and has been so interpreted by reliable persons.
Not How You Die, But How You Live
To me, the end was always a sobering and sad concept, and not for myself. I know I will die one way or the other, but what about everyone else? And I like the world; I think it’s beautiful and full of wonders, and we should take care of it. “It’s not about the destruction that we are happy,” some will say, “but about being with God.” No worries, you will be with God eventually-guaranteed. But you’re here now. Are you doing what you can be doing now? Are you growing and creating and loving? Because Jesus said no man knows the time of the end-why even concern yourself with it?
Don’t Worry, Be Ready
He said to concern yourself with this, “Be ready.” Always be ready, because if you’re going out in your car today, then your world could end with a traffic accident, like it does for about 33,000 Americans yearly. Be ready. Forgive people who have harmed you, ask forgiveness of those you have harmed. Extend love to other people, laugh, enjoy your dinner, play with your kids, make love to your spouse.
God, who is Life, wants us to have abundant life-even everlasting life. Celebrate the life you have right here and be ready always.