My wife and I (with our daughter) were driving back from Thanksgiving break on I-10 and saw two billboards announcing the end of the world on May 21st, 2011. Since the trip took us four hours more than we thought (because of road construction and lane closures during the busiest travel time of the year) we had time to look up the website for the prediction. It was a bunch of jibberish about how most Christians were underinformed and God pre-selected those that went to heaven. Predestination was bunk when I was learning World History and its still bunk now.
All this being said, it sparked a conversation about the role that religion should play in our lives and in society at large. Two things hit me. First, I remembered a time when our pastor told us that the Democrats and Republicans will not solve the ills of our world. I remember taking umbrage at the time, but the more I see the more I think he's right. He seemed to intimate that we could band together to solve society's problems. Obviously, organized religion would be a key springboard for that.
I've never been much for evangalization, so I focus inward. I haven't had the pleasure of living in any other generation of my own. The 1970s were labeled the "Me Generation" which makes the 1980s the "Me Me Me Me Generation." You have get rich quick schemes, yuppies, and it became chic to be conservative. In other words, we live in selfish times. All I'm saying is that I don't have the years to know whether this has always been true or whether this is a new phenomenom.
I suppose the fringe of religion doesn't help with these doomsday scenarios. If I only have until May, I better get cracking on getting that 3D television I've been hearing about. Reaction to a shortened timeline is personal indeed which bring us back to religion. I suppose for some it feels better to pray over Portland (as the doomsday group is currently doing) and every other city on the tour. Others may feel better getting their fill of the McRib Sandwich while it is still available.
What I do know is that our world is not a better place when the masses result to selfishness. Maybe religion can help us out there and maybe it can't. Maybe we have to wage this battle on our own. If May 21st is the last day, you will either find me in the pews or in Bush's seats behind home plate at Minute Maid Park. I haven't decided yet.