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"Fidei respondet non quaestiones, tantum prohibet interrogans eos."
"Faith does not answer questions; it prevents us from asking them."
Darrel W. Ray, Ed.D. "THE GOD VIRUS;
"How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture"
Thoughts on Waiting for Godot
Einstein once remarked that it is a form of insanity to keep doing the same thing and expecting a
different result. Most of Christendom has been waiting for thirteen hundred or two thousand
years–whatever the true case may be–for "the Lord" to come, rescue his people, clean up this mess of a
world, and to inaugurate the "Kingdom" of Heaven. Despite some clear
statements by Jesus that should preclude this thinking, the majority of
believers–in the face of so much confusion–have defaulted to "Waiting for Godot".
The wait from circa 35 C.E. begins to
make those waiting for the "Lord" to come back look like Vladimir and
Estragon in Samuel Beckett's play. This seriously
troubles some theologians but the alternative to holding this view is
equally or more troubling for them because it would put the blame for the delay
squarely on OUR shoulders and introduce an agonizing examination of what is wrong
and a RE-EXAMINATION of the ccurrent thinking. That is
a place that most Christian thinkers don't want to go BECAUSE they think two things:
1. The disciples
had the benefit of seeing and hearing Jesus first hand, and the other apostles
had the benefit of knowing and talking with the eyewitness disciples.
They MUST have gotten it right because they are the NT writers,
otherwise NO ONE got it right, and that is seemingly unacceptable, a too
2. It is all in God's hands
anyway so let's just believe harder and have more faith.
To challenge these two positions would involve the almost
complete dismantling and revision of Christendom and its dogma and doctrine, and who
wants to do that? Nevertheless, that is the premise that is being suggested.
See: Premise Regarding
But, who has the temerity to stand up against the whole
Christian movement of the last more than a dozen centuries, all those grave and
learned theologians, including the disciples and the Bible, and challenge the general
consensus? Only Godless atheists and agnostics do that! Right?
A VERY important question to ask: If Jesus knew or expected his
followers to live out their normal lifetimes for centuries or millennia in
the future, why did he NOT say ANYTHING about the more than a hundred
important aspects of life? In the face of him advising his followers to
Preparing for Trouble
at that time after his departure, couldn't
he have forestalled much confusion, angst and
disagreement in the community of his followers by giving us his insightful
advice on many more such matters that affect the quality of life?
What Jesus Didn't Say
The capstone to this issue is settled in the Gospel of Thomas 113:
113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingship come?"
Jesus said, "It will not come by waiting for it. It will not
be a matter of saying, 'here it is' or 'there it is.' Rather, the kingship of
the father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it."
See: Thomas 3,51, Mt 12:28, 16:28, Mk 1:15, 9:1, Lk 9:27, 17:20,21, 21:29-33
Commentary: A clear statement that we
should NOT be waiting for it! It is here to be harvested by following the
instructions. The Kingship is available for those that understand the
importance of coming into the unity for which Jesus asked. How much clearer
can it be? The disciples were locked into their paradigm of the messiah and
thus more interested in their status than they were in opening their minds
to their wretched plight in the human condition, and understanding that the
Father has something better for us, and that imminently!
See: 2nd Coming Study
See: Why God Waits