I’m still here!
Reverend Kelly pointed out to me that my post on the Rapture was pretty angry. Yes it was, and I have a few reasons for that. I’d like to explain why revelation theology gets me a little hot under the collar.
First of all, we’ve had almost two hundred years of this and every single prediction of the ‘end of times’ has been false. Not once, from the Great Disappointment of the 1840’s to May 21 2011, has any of these self-declared prophets been even a little bit right. With a track record like that, you would think that an announcement of this type would be greeted with a discreet call to the local mental health association.
Second, threatening people with an apocalypse seems an awful lot like blackmail. Many of the groups that espouse this view also make a great deal of money from books, videos and classes on the subject. The “Left Behind” books and movies are a prime example of this ideology-as-fundraiser. I am also told there are apocalyptic Christian-themed video games on the subject. I can’t even begin to express my feelings on that.
Thirdly, I feel sorry for the people who believed these guys with their whole heart and now have to deal with the embarrassment of having been had. Does anybody take their emotions into account? They weren’t taken by God, will they now believe they weren’t good enough? That they weren’t Christian enough or didn’t tithe enough to the church? Abandonment, fear, unworthiness, loss of faith, doubt, anger, and a slew of negative reactions are going to plague these people. I’m not making fun of them, it’s a sad thing to realize something you supported so publicly was utterly wrong and now you have to live with that.
I just hope none of these people hurt themselves or anyone else because of this.
Lastly, I am going to have to wait while the “prophets’ explain that they made a mistake, that the time wasn’t calculated correctly, that a new date has been set or that the extreme piety of their group so touched God that he has changed his mind. For a while, anyway.
Not once has any of these guys ever manned-up and just flat out admitted they were wrong.
Human civilizations rise and fall, we know that from our histories. Times change, cultures change and nothing lasts forever: change is the only constant in the universe. This is not something to be feared. This is something to be excited about. This is a source of constant renewal in our lives, a theme of ever-growing lives and a world that always surprises us with its stark contrasts and sublime beauty.
Not to be all Gordon Gekko, but Change works; change is good. It may not always be pleasant, but it will happen with far more inevitability than the rapture will. My world has not ended and I can hardly wait to see what happens next; I’m sure it will be interesting at the very least.
Find your peace friends.