Friday, July 8, 2011

My Love Affair For the Crystal Cathedral and The Hour Of Power

Get Religion has a good post on how some media does not get the theology on what went on at the Crystal Cathedral and includes the Catholic twist to this story.

See Catholic Crystal Cathedral?

I used to love this Preacher TV show and could not understand why my mother would not let it substitute for the local Southern Baptist Sunday school and Church service.

Looking back I have to think it offered a needed refuge from the messages I was hearing in religious circles and the secular press about current affairs.

People forget that the 80's was not all wild eye optimism at least to a young child. This was not helped by perhaps a well meaning grandmother who was raised in a Seventh Day Adventist tradition talking about how the end of the world was at hand. Too her it was normal to just throw this stuff out in daily conversation with me around. To my parents credit, I think they understood this anxiety of mine and tried to calm me about it. However that was hard to do with the book the Late Great Planet Earth so popular and other related things in that climate that the Church picked up on and preached in various venues.

No child could hide from the headlines and the cultural themes. This was the time of the TV movie show The Day After which showed the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the USA. If I recall correctly I think my parents made sure I did not watch it but of course it was all talked about.

Phil Donahue and other were talking about nuclear winter and there were other constant similar themes. The now sort of fun campy movie RED DAWN we see on cable TV was so popular because it was sort of a release. WE WON!!

It amazes me that there is a whole generation that has no idea how HOT the Cold War was in reality. When one lived so close a major Air Force Base like I did it was a constant reality.

In essence I was a child obsessed about nuclear war, war in the Middle East , and the big final nasty battle of Armageddon. I did not view the book of Revelation and Daniel as some great good news from God ,but as a horror show I was likely going to have to endure in my lifetime. In fact I was likely to have to endure in the next five years!! We were not these odd rapture people so even that was not a avenue of hope.

The Hour of Power and it's "positive atmosphere" seemed like a great Church to me in this climate.

As a child of course I could not wrap my head around why we should look forward to the Second Coming if it meant all this horrible death and radiation sickness was a prelude to it. Of course being a child I feared it ,but I also feared not knowing about it so I was trying to pick up on all the "Signs" people were talking about. The signs were very much related too all these those current events. For a person of my generation , despite what Reagan was on the road to doing, a Soviet Union with their finger on the button was going to be part of life forever. Add to this the scary Iran folks that had come on the scene ,and images of Troops getting blown up and Lebanon and well oh boy.,

This was also a time where I must have made like ten or twenty sinner prayers because I feared getting vaporized and going to hell. The fact that I never felt this mysterious change come over me that I saw people getting on the TV , a super born again emotional moment, scared the dickens out of me.

In many ways this might have set me on the road to the Catholic Church. I became very interested in how this "salvation thing" happened at a very young age. I was asking questions about it many of my peers were not asking or at least not publicly.

All this I suppose played a part in loving the "Hour of Power". No talk of the Late Great Planet Earth there that was for sure.

Now I am not bashing the religion of my youth. I was a child who was exposing himself to much media on the subject , and that did not have the spiritual maturity or in fact life experience to have balance and see the big picture. Further in fairness my former Faith community might not have been so one themed as I recall. It is sort of like when a person gets a cancer scare. You never think about it but when it happens you notice all this talk about cancer and death in the media. It seems to happen on the hour every hour whether on the news, in the media, in advertising, or among friends. It's not as if it has really increased but you are just tuned in more to a small part of the information we are bombarded with a lot more.

It is though a reminder to me that children think about these things and other religious questions a lot more than parents realized.

On a Catholic note I cannot fail to see the irony. I left a Faith community that during that time MAYBE talked too much about the end of days to a Catholic community in it's current state seems to have total ignorance or on the whole a lack of interest in the topic. So from one extreme to another it appears.


Andy said...

Sounds like we are about the same age. I was not baptist, but grew up presbyterian and attended a very conservative evangelical school in the early 80s. I got the impression the commies were almost to Mexico and were just a few years away from an all out war. I almost remember having a keen interest in MIRVs and blast radiuses (radii?). Probably more than would be considered healthy today.

BTW - Loved Red Dawn. Cuban paratroopers invade Colorado without warning. I also believed that was possible in the mid 80s.

James H said...

RED DAWN was awesome. Its a weird time to think on now. Everyone holding their breath when a new Soviet Guy came on the scene because they were all dying. It's strange to think that was not that all long ago