Hello, dear blogging audience! Just had to comment on what happened, or more specificially, what DIDN'T happen, on Saturday, May 21st. We all heard the hoopla that somebody was predicting that The Rapture would happen on that day. Yes, the day that Jesus comes back for all the believers on earth and takes them away to Heaven.
Harold Camping, the founder of Family Radio, made the prediction. He is an 89 year old engineer/radio personality, and his heart could be in the right place. Not his theoogy, though. (See billboard, above.)
So convinced was he that his
prediction was right that he spent millions to spread the word. /In Anchorage, Alaska, alone, he spent
$44,000 to hire two billboard trucks to drive all over town for a month, proclaiming that Judgment Day would be May 21st. Anchorage Daily News writer Julia O'Malley named it "The Rapturemobile". She rode shotgun one day with driver Sean Smith, and wrote an entertaining piece about people's reaction around town, Sean is a Christian but didn't think the Rapture would happen that day. But hey, it's a job. Julia O'Malley figured she probably wouldn't be going up in the Rapture.
Gary Trudeau created a sharp satire in his Doonesbury cartoon strip last week: A Christian guy gives Zonker the keys to his Mercedes. "I won't need it after Saturday. I'm going to be Raptured," he explains. "Sorry about you." Zonker says, "It's OK! I'll have this sweet ride!" And the Christian guy muses: "I wonder how it handles in lava?"
Lots of joking happened before Saturday, and lots of mocking after. Millions of Tweets and Facebook posts referred to the fiasco. And this cavalier, devil-may-care attitude really saddens me. No, I'm not talking about the non-believers' attitudes, I'm talking about the Christians.
And for the record, I am a born again, Bible-believing Christian, so this critique includes me.
Harold Camping, with his ill-advised campaign, did make it crystal clear that millions of people in our country make a mockery of God. Or they don't believe in Him, As bad as things are, they don't cry out to a creator that they are not even sure exists.
If you ARE a believer, you know that God wants us to love our fellow humans. Divinely. Dangerously. Sacrificially if need be. "They will know we are Christians by our love."
If we saw a trainload of people about to derail over a cliff, and only the last switch could stop their journeyand save them, would we try to help them? Or would we smugly say, "Well, I told them so!"
Would we draw funny cartoons with their mouths all little "o"'s, like Mr., Bill, with them going over the cliff?
I hope not.
When Christians are perceived as loving and giving, rather than judgemental, more people will be attracted to the Light of Jesus's love.
When Jesus does come back, far better that he find us with dirty hands, digging water wells or feeding the poor children, or building a house for the homeless, than arguing theology with somebody who just really needs to know that he is loved and that God is real.
We have five more months to practice this, according to Harold Camping. He now says he got the date wrong: next Rapture prediction is for October 21st. Sheesh. Well, at least it is opening dialogue. Hey, it even got me blogging again.
"And now, dear children, continue in Him, so that when He appears we may be confident and unashamed before Him at His coming." --I John 2:28