Friday, May 20, 2011

The End of the World

According to some Christians, this could be my last post (not that many people would notice) because the rapture is supposed to happen tomorrow. Believing Christians will be taken out of the world as massive earthquakes terrorize those left behind. Over the next five months while Believing Christians enjoy the perks of heaven the rest of the world will endure hell on earth before the earth is destroyed in October. An article in the NY Times today shared the beliefs of a family in Maryland whose parents are committed to be ready for May 21 and the end of the world. The mom quit her job two years ago to go on her mission of spreading the news (good news?). The father kept his job with the federal government at the energy department. They stopped maintaining the house and saving for college for their kids who think their parents have gone slightly loopy. Yet, they go along with it helping their parents pass out tracts in NYC and playing along lightheartedly, like, Mom, do I have to clean my room if the world is going to end.

This doomsday prophecy is the work of self appointed prophet Harold Camping who owns a bunch of radio stations (Family Radio Network) and who has predicted the end of the world a couple other times. Now he says he has it right, exactly 7000 years after the Great Flood in Genesis. Not to spend too much time on Camping's exegesis or theology (dispensational pre-trib rapture which has been around only a short time considering the history of theology), the most interesting phenomenon is the numbers of Christians who are ready to follow Camping's prediction with a radical change of life. Thousands of people across the country according to the Times have spent the past few days making preparations and saying good byes. Tomorrow they will be glued to the tv so they won't miss it.

Now we could begin reflecting on Camping's prophecy and the mini exodus he has created by pointing out Jesus said no one knows when the end will come. Then, we could point out that most Christians throughout history have taught that Jesus is coming back to usher in a new heaven and a new earth, not to destroy the old one and take all the Christians somewhere else. The return of Christ is certain St. Paul said, so we should be ready any time and he exhorted us to be ready by living for Christ daily in the here and now which means you shouldn't have to change what you're doing. There are probably many reasons why some Christians hope to be raptured out of the world tomorrow, high gas prices being one of them, but that is not the way most Christians have read Scripture these past couple thousand years. So, tomorrow, I will be doing some yard work if the rain ever stops and maybe take a bike ride and if the tv is on I will be watching the Yankees - Mets baseball game. If Christ does return, I'll be ready.