If Harold Camping and Family Radio are to believed, this will be my last blog post. As, according to them, the “rapture” of all those who believe in Jesus will happen tomorrow and the world will be destroyed sometime in October.
There’s many responses I could give to this (and spend five minutes browsing google and you’ll find many people who already have) but I guess I want to focus on one particular bit.
In fact, I don’t believe that the world is going to end. Certainly not in the way that Camping and other fundamentalists (or as a like to call crazies) think it will. I don’t for one minute believe that God is going to ‘steal’ us all away to some place called Heaven and leave everyone who doesn’t believe in Him to suffer on earth for the next few months until its destroyed.
That’s a science fiction story. And one with a lot of holes in its plot.
There are things I love in this world. The simple pleasure of feeling the sun on my face on a hot day. standing with my (almost) three year old son watching and and listening to the river and sitting chatting for hours with my wife. I believe God also loves these things. I believe God takes joy in the simplest of pleasures. He probably does so, so much more than me. It’s this belief that makes me question the entire understanding of the ‘rapture’.
Revelation is a hard book to understand and grapple with. It’s written in a form of writing that we do not fully understand. It is burst with imagery, allegory and politics. I think it has very little to do with how the world is going to end.
I believe God loves this world. And that he’s not going to destroy it. I don’t believe that christians (however you understand that term) are going to be whisked off to some other realm. I believe that revelation paints this beautiful image of God coming here. Of God dwelling here with us. I believe that this world will be renewed, not destroyed.
And I believe the fundamental message of Jesus is to to reveal to us how we can participate with God in renewing this world. By celebrating life, by treating each other fairly, by loving one another we will live as if this were Heaven. I believe that’s the point. I believe this is what we should be communicating to the young people we work with. Show them that we are not all going somewhere else.
Show them that God has begun a plan to restore and renew this world. And we get to be part of it.
I believe that Saturday will come and go. And I hope that rather than lose faith (or come up with some silly reason as to why we are all still here on Sunday) that Camping and his followers embrace the message of reconciliation and restoration and start trying to save this world rather than celebrating its demise.
- If Judgment Day comes Saturday, what are you doing Friday night? (thestar.com)
- Family Radio Spokesman: May 21 Rapture Is Guaranteed – Christian Post (news.google.com)