Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doomsday, Foiled Again

When I was a kid my Mum and her husband joined a so-called "Non-Denominational" church, which many Christians will understand to mean "Charismatic". The charismatic movement is a neo-Pentecostal movement that sprung onto the scene in the 1960's and had influence on many denominations within the sphere of Christendom. Belief in the Rapture is a common element in Pentecostal and neo-Pentecostal churches. I recall that some of the people at my Mum's church had scared the crap out of me with talk about the Rapture and the End Times when I was 12 and 13.
I spent a great deal of time reading through the Bible and the Book of Revelations trying to suss up what I was reading with what they were saying. I came to the conclusion in my early teens that there was no such thing as the Rapture and that I disagreed with a great many of their other doctrines. Over the years I had heard many discussions on eschatology and nothing has been able to disuade me that the Rapture just isn't real. Needless to say I wasn't sweating when Harold Camping and Family Radio made their announcement about Doomsday falling on this day, 21 may 2011. (6pm local time)
I wasn't worried about the Rapture, but I did worry all Christians being painted with the same brush. People are turning away from the Faith, not a big deal if you don't believe but not so great if you do. Much of this is the fault of Christians themselves and their callous politics the run counter to the Faith they swear to serve. Rather than behaving more like disciples of Christ we have become more like the Pharisees and Sadducees. And then there are the people like Harold Camping and the Rapture crowd.
The notion the Rapture didn't exist in Christianity before sometime in the 18th Century. I am not going to get into the arguments between Dispensationalists, Pre/Mid/Post/A-Millennialists, Pre-Tribulationists, simply because I divorced myself from these concerns and found them to be counterproductive. I have often found that the people who desire Rapture and Judgement are the people who are so terribly insecure in their own salvation and Faith, people who (deep down inside) need something to save them from themselves. There is nothing in the Bible that states there will be a "Rapture" let alone the day or the hour. People will, are and have been hardened against my Faith. There are people who will be disillusioned and many who will glad for it.
Of course if you don't believe in God, then I am just another looney primitive minded individual who can't move past primordial superstition and clap-trap. Whatever. I don't celebrate Camping's folly, I pity it. I won't gloat either. It's a sad day for me: significant damage has been done and Judgement draws even closer.

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