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As Long as We Remember...

May 23, 2011

Forget The Rapture Help Others

Michael Kurtianyk

This is the article I wasn’t going to write. I wasn’t going to write about the end of the world; I also wasn’t going to write about “The Rapture.” Nor was I going to lend credence to that side of the religious debate.


Why should I? There is no upside to writing about this topic. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.


Besides, if you’re reading this, then you’ve survived the event anyway.


How did all this start?


It seems that it’s a numbers game. In Genesis 7:4, God said to Noah:


"Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made."


Well, in God’s world, according to scholars, one day equals one thousand years; so seven thousand years after 4990 BC (when the Great Flood occurred) is 2011.


Furthermore, the earthquakes were to start around 6 P.M. (I suppose EST). The earthquakes were to be the beginning of a five-month time of judgment for all.


Me? I’d like to think that I’m a good Catholic, and my faith holds that no one knows the time or date Judgment Day will occur. This specificity is not part of my belief. So, I wanted the earthquakes to occur after The Preakness.


How many people around the world turned to their spouse, lover, etc., last Friday and said: “Uh, you know, the world is supposed to end tomorrow. Let’s spend some quality time tonight….”


I didn’t buy into this stuff, and that’s why I wasn’t going to write about it, but I was thinking about it during a recent luncheon.


The Religious Coalition for Emergency Human Needs celebrated its 30th anniversary by hosting a luncheon last Wednesday. For those who don’t know, the Religious Coalition was formed in 1981 by people from local churches, who came together to coordinate donations of time, talent, money, food and other resources to meet the needs of people in Frederick County. The organization has provided short term emergency financial assistance to thousands of families, individuals and the elderly.


The Bible says we should help those in need, and this is what the Religious Coalition does – and does well. It is a nonprofit, 501(C)(3) organization and is the largest provider of emergency financial assistance, outside the government, in Frederick County.


In 2006 for example, almost 18,000 clients, including families, received some type of assistance. They were served through housing assistance and eviction prevention, health care assistance, aid with energy costs and a network of eight food banks. More than 60% of the clients are single women with children.


One of its projects is The Alan P. Linton Jr. Emergency Shelter which opened in November 2002. This cold weather shelter provided a warm, safe haven for nearly 300 individuals in 2006. It has become the largest shelter in Frederick and is open from November through March.


This is what our true ministry is: helping others. Don’t buy into the claptrap of “end-of-the-world” and “Rapture” stuff. We have enough to worry about – like finding ways to help others.


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