Monday, May 23, 2011


"Don’t have a Rapture joke?
That’s ok…
It’s not the end of the world!"

The Raptor
No the world didn't end over the weekend. I've written about this in the past but its worth repeating: the Bible does not tell when Jesus will return. In fact, it says rather the opposite: nobody knows, nobody will know, it will come as a shock, so be ready.

For Christians, this is motivation to live a better life and work around you to make the world better, because that's what we're told to be doing when Jesus shows up. And that's why predictions like this last one are so disturbing and upsetting to me.

I don't care if some fellow figures Jesus will come on May 21 and gets ready. I care if someone does that then spends millions advertising and pushing this so that misery and sadness result when he's wrong and worse, people spend hours mocking Christians and Christ as a result. Sure, most of it is just having fun but for some reason this really took off.

What's even more disturbing in some ways is that the people who honestly and genuinely believed this prediction - including Camping himself - are so hurt, confused, and in trouble now. Here are a few quick news stories on the topic:
A group of South Africans who expected to ascend to heaven on May 21 have instead found themselves stuck with a massive hotel bill. (hey, maybe you shouldn't have tried to rip off the Hotel by vanishing without paying the bill? Does that really seem Christian to you?)

The Atlantic has a story about various people who were hoping to finally go home and live in paradise with their savior, finding out they won't yet.

And Harold Camping himself, an 89 year-old, is flabbergasted that he's still around.
Camping made the same sort of prediction in 1994, and for some bizarre reason people took him seriously again, but last time not too many people noticed. This time the whole world was talking about it.

But people like Camping should not: nobody talked about it in the context he wanted. I don't know exactly, but I believe he spent his whole fortune on advertising so that people would repent, as an evangelistic endeavor. The idea was to get people thinking "wow, the world is going to end in judgement? I better get right with God!"

But that didn't happen, because let's be reasonable here: if you don't believe in God, why would you believe he's returning? It just didn't make sense. Nobody who is going to become a Christian is sitting around waiting for the right moment to flip the switch, it just doesn't work that way.

So now people are giggling at Christian, deluded into thinking that we all went along with Camping's nonsense. Sure, I wanted it to be true, but I knew it wasn't because of what Jesus specifically and clearly told us. And the Christian church didn't stand up and say "look, we love brother Camping and appreciate his zeal for evangelism but he's just wrong here." I said something but for the most part I let it go because its not like he didn't pull this before and why would anyone pay attention.

This time, for whatever reason, they did. And while I'll take 100 Harold Campings over 1 crazed Muslim radical hacking someone's head off, the damage has still been done, God forgive us.

Incidentally, for the tag line I tried to find good rapture jokes, but most of them weren't funny, just "ha ha F the Christians" stuff.

1 comment:

eric said...

Dont' worry about not being able to find a good rapture joke, it's not the end of the world...