So, Jesus came back.
November 15, 2006 9:26 AM   Subscribe

"Please Stay Tuned For A Message From Your Savior." If yesterday's discussion of the Apocalypse was just not enough for you, consider Stephen Buell's Video. Video was originally published in 2004 as a five-issue mini-series from Lost in the Dark Press. The premise is simple. How might the modern world deal with an actual Second Coming? The trade collection, including improved artwork and concept sketches, will arrive in shops next Wednesday. For your further consideration, a 22-page preview has been provided.
posted by grabbingsand (50 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
What if there wasn't any First Coming to begin with ?
posted by elpapacito at 9:29 AM on November 15, 2006


As a ten year old catholic school boy I would practice spinning out my bike on gravel driveways, trying to land in a kneeling position, just in case Jesus ever appeared to me.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:34 AM on November 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


posted "How might the modern world deal with an actual Second Coming? "

"Jesus, great to see you back! Now rcould You remind us what's most important to You?

"Is it feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, treating the least among us as if they were You, or teaching bad psuedo-science and bashing the gays?"
posted by orthogonality at 9:35 AM on November 15, 2006


How might the modern world deal with an actual Second Coming?

The Saviour would be tarred and feathered as the long haired, homo supporting, terrorist enabling commie-hippie that he is.
posted by uncle harold at 9:36 AM on November 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


Second coming? Rapture style? You mean like when all the judgemental hypocrites and fundies suddenly disappear?


PARRRRRTYYYYY!!!

I'll get the beer bong! WE'RE ALL GONNA GET LAID!!!
posted by stenseng at 9:47 AM on November 15, 2006


It would really depend on what He wanted. From my experience so far on Earth I'd be pretty disinclined to accept Him as my savior even if I was convince He was the true God. He'd have a lot of explaining to do. After all, this is all His fault.

Bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans. Let's start there.
posted by WoWgmr72 at 9:50 AM on November 15, 2006


The movie Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter covers the Second Coming pretty well, for me.
posted by gurple at 9:55 AM on November 15, 2006


Uh, and in our time he would probably an environmentalist, too. That would probably the last straw.
posted by uncle harold at 9:55 AM on November 15, 2006


How might the modern world deal with an actual Second Coming?

Label him a crazy cult leader and move on.
posted by crumbly at 9:56 AM on November 15, 2006


If the real Jesus Christ were to stand up today,
He'd be gunned down cold by the CIA.


- "Armageddon Days Are Here (Again)," The The
posted by grabbingsand at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2006


Sometime ago I saw in Guatemala one of the hundreds of billboards the evangelists have all around. This one said: "Christ will come... Any Minute Now!!!!"

I grabbed the phone and called a friend who worked at a news agency. He was mired in actual work and didn't think it was so funny when I told him all excited:

- Man, dropped everything you are doing, I have the article of your life for you...
posted by micayetoca at 10:00 AM on November 15, 2006


After all, this is all His fault.

Well, by some interpretations, the fault would lie with this guy, the "Prince of this World", not Jesus, who you might think of as the "Prince of the Kingdom of Heaven." IMO, Jesus represents an ideal of perfection that almost by definition can't be realized on Earth. Man, on the other hand, is the one who runs the show down here.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:01 AM on November 15, 2006


How might the modern world deal with an actual Second Coming?


Three picture deal and Barbara Walters primetime interview
posted by poppo at 10:04 AM on November 15, 2006


saulgoodman - Of course I understand that. But I don't buy it. If God wants to blame man or Satan for the horrific disaster in New Orleans, then I don't want to follow Him. Straight up - Either Jesus will take responsibility for causing the nightmare, and explain why He wanted the suffering to happen, or he's not the sort of deity I could worship.
posted by WoWgmr72 at 10:11 AM on November 15, 2006


Well, by some interpretations, the fault would lie with this guy, the "Prince of this World", not Jesus, who you might think of as the "Prince of the Kingdom of Heaven."

Jesus is part of the omniscient gang. He knew how it was going to turn out when he set up the machine. Garbage in, garbage out.
posted by biffa at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2006


Bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans. Let's start there.


Is that who the White House is blaming New Orleans on? I thought it was just Jerry Falwell.
posted by Atreides at 10:12 AM on November 15, 2006


Well, look at how the priests dealt with the first coming and try to figure out why would it be different now?

Here's a thought exercise for you, paraphrased from Dr. Bart Ehrman at UNC: Jesus was a backwater rabbi in a backwater part of the Roman empire, and caused problems for the established Jews. Jewish priests were the lens that the Roman governor experienced and understood the Jewish community, insular as it was. If they said he needed to go, he'd go. Tell other Jews that Jesus was the messiah, and they'd think you were crazy: "That guy who got crucified? What did he do?" He was supposed to be the fulfillment of the Law, and re-establish Israel. That's what the Messiah was supposed to do. Not only did Jesus not do that, he got crucified by the Romans! That was no Messiah to the Jews of the time.

Now imagine David Koresh in the place of Jesus. Christians would say "That guy who got killed in Texas by the government? The messiah? No way!".

If Jesus didn't come down originally with Awesome Zapping Noises and Smoke and Lasers, why is he going to this time? Why won't he be a misunderstood, sincere guy from a backwater?
posted by boo_radley at 10:22 AM on November 15, 2006


Straight up - Either Jesus will take responsibility for causing the nightmare, and explain why He wanted the suffering to happen, or he's not the sort of deity I could worship.

I sympathize. But like I said, what if Jesus was never omniscient or omnipotent at all, and in fact, has never had any power in this world at all except as a messenger--a messenger, in fact, who represents the complete rejection of worldly power systems in general, as the only alternative to the demonic forces that actually do control the world? This isn't just a rhetorical question: It's a fairly accurate characterization of how some early Christians viewed Jesus.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:25 AM on November 15, 2006


(and so, yeah, what the others said: if he did come back, he'd probably be crucified again. didn't mean to veer so far off topic; just wanted to point out that there are other interpretations of what jesus represented.)
posted by saulgoodman at 10:51 AM on November 15, 2006


I hope the rest of the comic is more interesting than the 22-page preview.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:53 AM on November 15, 2006


Jesus: "I'm not mad so much as I am disappointed with you guys, you know that, right?"

Everyone: "Nu-uhn, You don't know me!"

My Rapture is full of sassy snaps.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:07 AM on November 15, 2006


When people talk about Jesus coming back today I can only think of that episode of the Boondocks where Martin Luther King Jr. came back to life. If you missed the episode, basically he gets attacked by Bill O'Reilly for hating America and wanting to coddle terrorists by turning the other cheek. Then he gets fed up and just moves to Canada.

The other thing I imagine is Mark Felt- when we finally found out who Deep Throat was, it was a giant letdown and everyone stopped caring a few days later. And I think it's the understatement of the millenium to point out that Jesus Christ may be just a tad overhyped.

So while I appreciate the intent of the comic, I just don't accept the plotline. The truth is that if the Savior tried to return to the world today, a third of the planet would deny it, a third would chastize it, and a third would ignore it.

The only way Jesus returning would spark global riots was if he annouced that on his return he'd be handing out free cars for one hour only.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:15 AM on November 15, 2006


This whole discussion is an exact analog of arguing about who'd win a fight, The Hulk or Ultimate Hulk.
posted by signal at 11:15 AM on November 15, 2006


Ultimate Hulk, dumbass.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:21 AM on November 15, 2006


I'm holding out for Cthulhu 2: Electric Boogaloo.
posted by meehawl at 11:23 AM on November 15, 2006


Cthulhu vs. Second Coming Jesus in a steel cage match.
posted by owenkun at 12:53 PM on November 15, 2006


If he screws up my video tape collection he's gonna have some explaining to do.

Yeah, I made an obscure Futurama reference. I'm okay with the kind of person that makes me. You got a problem with it?
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:07 PM on November 15, 2006


"If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in His name, He'd never stop throwing up."
posted by kirkaracha at 1:10 PM on November 15, 2006


There was a movie called "The Next Voice You Hear," (1950) that used to be a staple of late night TV. It tells what happens when God begins broadcasting a nightly message over the radio. It was not heavy handed, as I recall. Moving, in its way.
posted by Faze at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2006


We killed him once, we can kill him again.
posted by Human Flesh at 1:49 PM on November 15, 2006 [2 favorites]


Blaming Satan is probably number one of the copouts that caused me to give up on Christianity.

Article one - you have an omniscient, omnipotent God.

Article two - therefore NOTHING CAN HAPPEN THAT HE DOES NOT ALLOW.

Period, end if story. If just one single, solitary thing can happen against God's wishes, then he is NOT omnipotent and his Godiness is greatly reduced.

And if we take that one step further and say that SATAN (a creature, I must point out, of God's own creation and who, if you believe in the omnipotence part, had a *predestined* role in things) has the power to subvert the Will of God, even once, then Satan is potentially an ACTUAL rival for God's throne.

So is that your theology? A world where God is not all-powerful and, just maybe, Satan is going to win in the end?

If not, then you have to accept that it is God that allows bad things to happen in the world, and deal with your faith with that in mind.

Anyway.

This book looks cool.
posted by InnocentBystander at 2:09 PM on November 15, 2006


Hmm... not an American Citizen, we can just waterboard him and send him to Guantanamo, or better yet, extraordinary rendition.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:14 PM on November 15, 2006


Three picture deal and Barbara Walters primetime interview

Why would the Lamb of God want to put up with the Hollywood BS machine?

I'd rather see Sir David Frost interview him -- or even Jon Stewart -- than Barb.
posted by pax digita at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2006


Period, end if story. If just one single, solitary thing can happen against God's wishes, then he is NOT omnipotent and his Godiness is greatly reduced.

sorry in advance this is gonna run a little long, but...

the gnostic belief systems deviate from the prevailing views of christianity so radically, they hardly even resemble them. in the view of many christian gnostics, the true god isn't omniscient or omnipotent--or even present--in this world at all, because the true god hails from the world of light (as opposed to the world of darkness in which we presently find ourselves trapped, according to the gnostics). In this view, christ enters the world twice: the first time, he's more or less an innocent victim who just gets trapped here by accident. until this event (christ's initial entry into the world), those living in the world of light basically didn't even know the world of darkness existed. once christ realizes what's happened to him, he becomes the messenger, which is more or less the jesus of the new testament, preaching about the truth of the absolute reality of the world of light (the kingdom of heaven), before ultimately being crucified for it (in the gnostic version, he's crucified precisely because he preaches of an alternative to the world of darkness, which pisses off the resident ruler diety, the blind demiurge illabadoth(sp?), who's identified with the vengeful yahweh of the old testament, and who has near absolute power in the world of darkness). then for a while illabadoth torments christ and ultimately devours him. but there's a catch: according to the gnostic version, christ actually lets himself be devoured without really dying, and he does so in effect to poison illabadoth, who ends up being drastically weakened because the light that christ's spiritual body is made of is a poisonous substance to the darkness. and all this, according to the gnostics, happened just to set to stage for Christ's eventual reentry (this time fully-aware right from the get-go) into the world of darkness for the sole purpose of killing off the weakened illabadoth once and for all, in the process, replacing the world of darkness with the world of light.

so in the gnostic version (which i find a compelling allegory for the spread of rationalism), it's all a little more complicated than the god-made-the-world-and-can-do-anything picture preferred by modern christians.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:51 PM on November 15, 2006 [3 favorites]


How might the modern world deal with an actual Second Coming?

Hmmm...let's see. Anti-establishment hippie troublemaker speaks out against the degeneracy and hypocrisy of powerful leaders in religion and government?

This could end well. Really.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:06 PM on November 15, 2006


BTW, Bono told me he is the second coming.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:07 PM on November 15, 2006


Didn't Dostoyevsky pretty much knock this one out of the park with "The Grand Inquisitor"?
posted by hwestiii at 3:12 PM on November 15, 2006


He already came back.
posted by WCityMike at 4:41 PM on November 15, 2006 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman, I would just point out that the "gnostic" tradition, as the word tends to be thrown around, refers to a hugely diverse group of early Christians and others with wildly varying traditions, which is just to say there is no "the gnostic version".

I don't doubt there was a community we would now refer to as a group of gnostics who had stories which you were paraphrasing .. I'm just pointing out that many accessible treatments of gnosticism available today are vast oversimplifications of what was going on through that time and the adoption of the term "gnostic" as an umbrella for these groups is an unfortunate corruption and distortion. The main evil-doer in this regard is Elaine Pagels.
posted by psmith at 5:04 PM on November 15, 2006


It's like that bumper sticker: Jesus is Coming! (Everybody look busy!)
posted by champthom at 6:21 PM on November 15, 2006


If God wants to blame man or Satan for the horrific disaster in New Orleans, then I don't want to follow Him. Straight up - Either Jesus will take responsibility for causing the nightmare, and explain why He wanted the suffering to happen

There are plenty of philosophers and theologians and spiritualists of all stripes who've considered potential uses of suffering and adversity, many in conjunction with why God might consider allowing it more important than banishing suffering altogether.

I'm not directly privy to Jesus's personal position on the matter, but if the stories are right and example's a true indicator, it would seem the appropriate personal path would be to embrace one's own suffering where it's necessary, but attempt to relieve suffering where one finds it.
posted by namespan at 7:30 PM on November 15, 2006


I don't doubt there was a community we would now refer to as a group of gnostics who had stories which you were paraphrasing .. I'm just pointing out that many accessible treatments of gnosticism available today are vast oversimplifications of what was going on through that time and the adoption of the term "gnostic" as an umbrella for these groups is an unfortunate corruption and distortion.

Completely right on all points. I meant for the following bit (emphasis added) to sort of cover all that, but on review, I didn't follow through very well on the impulse:

in the view of many christian gnostics,

...And I also meant to refer only to the Christian "gnostics" (as opposed to the gnostics who worshipped Isis, for instance). It might have been more accurate just to say "Some early Christians believed..."

the appropriate personal path would be to embrace one's own suffering where it's necessary, but attempt to relieve suffering where one finds it.

Sounds like Buddhism to me, pal. No apocalypse in that religion (well, unless you count Nirvana).
posted by saulgoodman at 7:57 PM on November 15, 2006


He already came back.

Sadly, not in a phone booth.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:17 PM on November 15, 2006


Sounds like Buddhism to me, pal. No apocalypse in that religion

No apocalypse to me. ;) My own post isn't meant as a general defense of Christianity or Theism. I just think that "OMNG evil/suffering!" is a poor argument against the existence of God, even in particular a Christian God, since Christianity (gnostic or not) has in fact taken some pains to come to grips with the problem beyond shifting responsibility from God, and no less so for the fact that their ideas may not be totally original.
posted by namespan at 8:52 PM on November 15, 2006


Sounds like Buddhism to me, pal. No apocalypse in that religion

No apocalypse to me. ;) My own post isn't meant as a general defense of Christianity or Theism. I just think that "OMNG evil/suffering!" is a poor argument against the existence of God, even in particular a Christian God, since Christianity (gnostic or not) has in fact taken some pains to come to grips with the problem beyond shifting responsibility from God, and no less so for the fact that their ideas may not be totally original.
posted by namespan at 8:59 PM on November 15, 2006


How might the modern world deal with an actual Second Coming?

Double tap to the back of the head.

Sorry Jesus, but we have Interests, you know?
posted by dreamsign at 10:42 PM on November 15, 2006


which pisses off the resident ruler diety, the blind demiurge illabadoth... and who has near absolute power in the world of darkness).

Fuck, do ALL religions sounds like paperback fantasy novels, or is it just me?
posted by dreamsign at 10:44 PM on November 15, 2006


Hey J., could you sign this? It'd mean a lot to the girlfriend...
posted by homunculus at 1:21 AM on November 16, 2006


One could easily suppose that an omnicient god could get very bored. But by creating a race of beings with free will, it made things unpredictable and unknowable--Kind of like the thing in Dune, where the future is blury around another person with prescience.

I easily see the idea that God diminished himself by making humans in his own 'image'. It is clear that 'image' at least included a spark of godness in us all. But you all realize that infinty - x = infinity. But consider also, x + infinty = infinity.

Thou art God.


As for the Second Coming: Either He comes back and is in fact the Messiah, the Vengeful Lord of Hosts, or he'll be done much the same as before.
posted by Goofyy at 4:31 AM on November 16, 2006


I'd get him to say all of John Turturro's lines from The Big Lebowski.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:34 AM on November 16, 2006


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