Facing the End, Without Fear

Photo: Kelly Wilson, 2011

Photo: Kelly Wilson, 2011

[Originally posted on another blog, May 15, 2011, right after minister Harold Camping announced the end of the world was approaching.]

As you may have heard, there's a splinter religious group claiming that the world is going to end on May 21 (6 days from now).

In light of that, I saw this on Twitter this morning:

"Resolved, never to do anything which I should be afraid to do if it were the last hour of my life."-Jonathan Edwards

Sure, it's a safe way to live in a dangerous world (although not many novels get written this way.) It's like John Lennon's "Imagine" in reverse: "Imagine there is religion, and really live it."

But this attitude also assumes the primary attitude toward God should be fear, and that somehow our behavior can keep us on the right side of God's favor.

But fear is only the beginning of wisdom. Beyond that is love, which casts out fear.

In the story of the Good Shepherd, the shepherd (somewhat foolishly) leaves his flock of 99 sheep to their own devices, while he runs off to save the one that is lost. That's how love-sick he is.

Does this sound like a God who is in a hurry to bring about the end of the world, so he can finally throw out sinners like the trash that needs to be burned?