How many of you used to believe we were in the end times? Do your SDA friends and family still believe this?
I used to believe it. Even after I'd been out of the church for many years I still believed it. I remember being concerned about wars and the way our rights seem to be diminishing here in the US. But I just kept telling myself that God wouldn't allow it to get too bad and that he'd just come rescue us anyhow. Wow, way to make the world a better place, just convince yourself that the magic man will make it all better.
Recently my SDA aunt found out that I'm an Atheist. She kept telling me that this was the worst time possible to make that "decision" because we really are in the end times now.
Yup, just like we have been for thousands of years.
I love being freed from that "gloom and doom" view. Not that I don't get frustrated with what I consider to be setbacks with our human race, from time to time, or how slow progress is, but I no longer believe that things are getting progressively worse across the board, in all areas of our existence. This is the least violent time to be alive in earth's history. More people have more rights then ever before.
I have a friend who believes that the passing of the same sex marriage laws is a sign of the end. It's seems to be more than just Adventists who think the current situation in America is a sign of the end. The Adventists are just a bit more psychotic about it maybe. :)
My dad (retired SDA minister) sent me a link to a series of sermons by Dwight Nelson about the fiscal cliff looming on the horizon. The message appears to be that when the shit hits the fan, they're going to need a scape goat, and guess who that'll be? Could it be..........Sabbath Keepers? :)
The mentality that "everything is getting worse and worse" annoys me. It even bothered me a little bit then, especially the inevitable badmouthing of the "younger generation." Clearly things aren't getting worse and worse, except that there is less regard for the iron age purity codes adhered to by SDAs and similar groups.
Yes, that younger generation with their sex, drugs and music.
I think that an understanding of the nature of time (and its enormity) is absolutely fundmental to education, and being a Sevvie raised to believe the world is probably 6000 years old you don't really have any perspective on how long "evil" has actually existed for. Mankind has been raping its daughters and burning down their neighbour's homes for hundreds of thousands of years but when you have such a short view of history the bad things that happen seem to stand out in contrast as though they are different. Of course after you become an atheist you come to understand suffering as an inbuilt facet of reality itself and learn to simply try to generally prevent it, instead of hoping the magic man comes and fixes it :P
I personally feel that history is probably on the edge of a significant moment, hopefully the end of the economic system from my (irrelevant) perspective, but .... so what, you know, it's all just part of the cyclical nature of everything, there is a time for things to be fucked up and a time for things to be pretty sweet, and the significance of "when" it happens flies out the window when viewed in perspective of the true relevance the earth itself holds, suspended in space among countless other equally irrelevant "accidents".
To me this whole "end time" ideology is just based on a simple overestimation of the importance of intelligent primates in the grand scheme of things. For some reason we seem to be able to draw meaningful symbolic significance pertaining to us out of aaaanything, anything at all.
I think mainly this whole thing just serves to me as a thing that makes me so sorry for and disrespectful of my parents. How could they ever have been so stupid as to be duped by this. My dad's alleged interest in science and past "achievements" in biology in highschool that he claims all come into question in light of the fact that he can somehow still not believe in evolution. It is completely possible that my parents have lied to me about many things (possibly even about how good they were at biology in highschool..), just to mke me faithful, I won't get started on any specifics, but because of how stupid they apparently seem to be and / or think I am, I simply do not trust them anymore.
Every time they watch the news, they shake their heads at the tv and make annoying little "tsk-tsk" noises and say it all goes to show the world is coming to an end. It makes me uncomfortable enough to leave the room.
Another thing I always hated about end time ideology is how it colours people's perspective on my generation. If these are indeed the end times, then we gen Y's are all doomed, all evil to the bone, for it is written. Not very good for your self-esteem.
I feel like I've lost my parents in a lot of ways. I'm constantly editing myself when I e-mail them our news. Highlighting this past week for example, as I'm typing, I backspace "Friday night, we....." and just say "Last weekend, we......". Rather than mention how fun and informative the wine class was that I attended, I just generically say that I'm enjoying the free foods classes that my local food co-op offers. I decide not to comment on how much I enjoyed the Grammys knowing they would consider that all heathen music. By the time I get to the part where my daughter has been accepted as a member of the ballroom dance competition team at her university, I think "What the hell? I can't hide EVERYTHING from them!" and just say it, figuring that'll just be one area of concern for them in the letter, rather than several. And it goes on.....I can't discuss most politics, economics, films, books, I read, etc., because it's all "worldly", and they live in a Review and Herald/Three Angels Network bubble.
If I were still an Adventist, my letter would be full of comments about our local church activities, a new vegan recipe I'd tried, or shared memories of Morris Venden (who sadly died this week, he WAS a nice guy.)
My husband is having to work today, and it's their sabbath, so I won't mention that. He had a root canal this week - no editing there. Of course, also no mention of how well Loma Linda educated the dentist was, who coinciDENTALLY is the head elder of the local congregation, and a radiant witness for Adventism in the community. (Our previous dentist, and literally ALL dentists I've ever had, have been Adventist up until now. We just moved a few months ago - our first move since leaving Adventism - and took a recommendation from a co-worker of my husbands, rather than automatically choosing the resident "church" dentist, because we wanted to support a fellow member.)
But I digress/rant....
I probably bought quite a bit into the "end times" crap. I remember some pretty scary dreams when I was a little kid. :/ But so much of what actually denies that. Things have been getting better for quite some time, as far as human violence goes. Its just more reported and instantaneous now so it can seem contrary to that, which only fuels "end timers." Did anyone ever read "Project Sunlight"? Yikes.
"Project Sunlight"; "The Appearing". We were so fucked up!
I so agree that it is wonderful not to view the world through the gloomy' terrible place' lenses. I recently went on holiday with my conservative SDA brother, sister in law and mother. Seven hours in a car listening to conversations about what an awful place the world is, it's not like the 'good old days' and it all being a sign of the times etc and I'd nearly bitten off my tongue. Gentle interjections like 'so what was good about the good old days?' or 'when has there been a time with no war, famine, earthquakes, oppression, crime etc?' or 'dont you think it might just seem worse because we hear about everything that happens in the world almost instantly now?' or any other argument I might make fell on deaf ears.
This very depressing view of life prevents any true action to make the world a better place. My familes view of making the world better is to 'spread the word'. I'm so relieved not to share these views any more. I suffered from depression in my youth both before and after leaving Adventism and I'm not surprised. Such negativity, both world view and all the guilt about trivial things!
I used to have a very pessimistic view of the world and would swear things were just getting worse and worse especially since I lived in Brooklyn during the 1980's. In the 90's and the 00's things got better as far as less crime and this caused me to rethink things that I had been taught. I started really thinking about the National Sunday Law idea and how it didn't make sense given the great influence of Jewish people over American politics. Maintaining these conspiracy-type ideas of a Sunday law and also an unseen battle for my soul was very stressful and had me very paranoid. I think these ideas were detrimental for my mental health and I'm glad I got out when I did.