Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts on a failed Rapture

So, May 21, 2011 has come and gone, and the only thing that was "raptured" was the Internet access on my laptop. (Fortunately, my father fixed that, although he's not sure how). Harold Camping, the perpetrator of this failed prophecy, has since skedaddled, taking over a million dollars with him - but not without changing his Rapture prediction to October 21. (Some people just don't know when to quit). His radio station has also been left empty. Thousands of his followers have been left homeless, having sold their possessions and quit their jobs. One woman even slit her and her children's throats out of fear of the end. (Fortunately, they were taken to the hospital before they bled to death.)

This has been a tragedy on so many levels.

Now, I'm a Methodist, and not a big believer in the Rapture concept. There are Bible verses talking about the dead and the living rising up together to Heaven on Judgment Day, as well as Jesus talking about some people being taken and others left behind at the end, but nowhere does it ever give an exact date. In fact, the Bible warns us time and again that mortals won't know the day or the hour that the Lord will come. Camping and his fellow date-setters are fools, decievers, and worst of all, scaremongers. Our religion is supposed to be based off of love, not fear.

I'm going to close this post by giving my fellow Christians some words of advice:

1. Don't quit your day job or sell your possessions just because someone tells you the end is near. Only the Lord knows when the end wil happen, and the rest of us will never see it coming. All Christians can do is make sure their souls are prepared.

2. Don't get taken in by glib-talking false prophets. And that includes many televangelists.

3. Whatever good you can do in this life, do it as soon as you are able. Don't be so heavenly minded that you forget your earthly mission. Live, laugh, cry, work, and play. Appreciate the little things a bit more. Get more involved in church activities. Volunteer at the non-profit of your choice (who knows, it may net you a job). Clean out the pantry and donate something to a local food bank. Set aside some money at the beginning of a month and donate it to charity. If there isn't one in your area, start a Pokemon League (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Just do something other than sit around.

4. Read your Bible a little more than usual. You don't have to read it in one day; a chapter or three a day will suffice. If you don't know what the Good Book says, you won't be well-prepared to counter the teachings of false prophets like Camping.

5. Finally, keep preaching the Good News - and not just with words. The best thing we can do is set a good example. "And they'll know we are Christians by our love."

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