October 12, 2006

bitter medicine/david

We're stumbling into Hal Lindsey territory.


Hal Lindsey, for those who slept or drank their way through the 70s -- or just plain ignored the paranoid tenor evangelicalism in that decade, was this guy who sold mega-sales of books claiming that he could find point by point correspondences between Revelation and contemporary society -- especially warfare and geo-political situations. Coincidentally all the evil guys just happened to be folks who were political or economic competitors of the good old US of A.

Flaming mountains falling into the sea looks just a tad like underwater nuclear tests or naplaming of fishing villages. Wormwood poisoning the water afterwards. And once you get these images into your brain-box its hard to get them out.

For John, wormwood was a medicine designed to ease severe stomach cramps but which tasted awful. The stomach cramps were attributed to tapeworms (hence the name) and likely the recipient was not expected to survive anyway.

A medicine that kills off a third of the planet is a bitter one indeed.

Back at my earlier posting about the cosmic balance -- we're here a preserving salt -- preventing this kind of disaster -- a radically different position than the Hal Lindsey groupies who look forward to the disaster -- because they'll be safely raptured. But what if that is the whole point? What if while we're in this body,as long as it is today, our role is to be Abraham, and call on the HaShem to not obliterate the human race, to recall his covenant with Noah, to be the last ten righteous people and keep this horror-show from happening?

5 Comments:

At 3:32 AM, Blogger crystal said...

David, I don't remember Hal Lindsey, but I do remember Edgar Cayce and his interpretation of Revelation :-)

 
At 5:02 AM, Blogger david said...

I only glanced at that link. Seriously weisrd stuff that. But then so is Hal Lindsey -- just in a totally opposite direction.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger forrest said...

I had a friend, a some-time yogi and a some-time beer drinker, who said he was finding Revelation comprehensible as an account of a physical/spiritual transformation he was going through. (Since I wasn't going through it, we drifted out of tune and I dunno how it all turned out. But even though I find Edgar Cayce a bit weird, that mode of interpretation evidently can be applied in a way that a reasonable person can find illuminating.

The Lindsay stuff... I know it's been used to underwrite the harm that certain people wanted to commit for their own reasons. It's based on a misundertanding, that what we're reading here sequentially has to be about a predestined sequence of historical events. Not inherently absurd; I'd be drifting that direction myself except 1) People in every historical period have seen their own times fitting right into the story, only not compatibly with the other interpreters and 2)It's hard to find a plausible reason why God would give us a preview of events we can't alter.

Harold Bloom: "The influence of Revelation is out of all proportion to its literary strength or spiritual value. Not only has it engrossed the quacks and cranks of all ages down to the present moment, but it has haunted the greatest poets, from Dante and Spenser through Milton to Blake and Shelley." Well, then, rather than dig up what the quacks and cranks have made of it, can we ask instead for a sense of what horrifies and inspires the poets?

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger Vicoprofen said...

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At 8:40 PM, Blogger david said...

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