Yes, someone predicted the Rapture was happening this past weekend, and in no great shock to most people, nothing happened.
I made fun of it several times, as did others, but sadly many people were sucked into this nonsense and spent all their money, spent their kid’s college funds, and even tried to euthanize their pets so they wouldn’t be “left behind”. This is the sad, dark part of Family Radio’s predictions. People and families are ruined because they followed this nonsense.
To me, the most horrible thing isn’t this particular Rapture-Gone-Wrong, but the underlying views behind it.
You’re not that special
First, that individual people believe they are so incredibly important that the end of all things is going to happen during their lifetime. People have been predicting the end of all things (eschatology) since we first learned to write, and probably before. In Christianity alone, the first predictions of the Second Coming came around 30 CE, which is almost right after Jesus was crucified. They couldn’t believe the Messiah would wait a decade to return let along 2,000+ years. Every time someone predicts the Apocalypse and it doesn’t happen, others point and laugh. Yet there are millions of people out there who are still convinced the end times are coming any day now. Next up, people are worried the Mayans predict the end of the world on December 21st, 2012. Get over yourselves.
Worry more about living; less about dying
The second, and larger problem for me is that so many people worry about the end of things at all. They find the world so horrible and stark that the solace of The End is greater than all the amazing things around them. So scary is their reality that it isn’t enough that they no longer live, but that all of creation ends with them. This little universe of ours is a great, mysterious, and fascinating thing. Appreciate what you already have, because it is glorious.
I understand both of these aspects of human psychology from an intellectual sense, but they still depress me. How much better would the world be if we paid more attention to how we live rather than how we all might die? How much richer would we be if we worried less about aggrandizing this particular tick of the clock, and simply worked hard to make our own contributions matter?
Do what you can with the time you have, and make the world a better place. Otherwise I fear that if there really is to be an End to humanity, it is not going to come at the hand of a Divine Being but at our own.
I think a distinct separation needs to be made between those who put their faith in this man to predict the second coming/rapture and those who believe that there will be a second coming/rapture – period.
I believe there will be a second coming, as I believe in the Word of God written in the bible – that’s not asking for debate or argument, it’s what I believe and have faith in – but as I have those beliefs and follow God’s word and teaching, I also know that it cannot be predicted nor can it truly be prepared for in any other way than to follow God’s commandments which are to love/respect one another/thy neighbor and to work my ass off in this life to demonstrate I’ve been extraordinary – live as Christ would have lived.
I believe. I have faith. I follow Christ.
These people followed man – key element to any major disappointment, tragic mistake, downfall…
It is truly unfortunate, but shouldn’t generalize all who do believe in rapture as prophesized biblically.
Jeff Moriarty says
Leslie, the point I am trying to make is that even if you believe there will be a Biblical end to the world, don’t count on it happening in your lifetime. People have been doing that since almost the very moment Jesus died, and they’ve all been wrong. If there is a Second Coming, it may be another two thousand years in the future.
Instead of focusing on how things will end, people should focus more on how they live.
Shane Sanchez says
I believe that what Harold Camping did was deceiving and volatile. I think in the drive of his arrogance he allowed his followers to completely lose their livelihood in the name of donating money to his “doomsday” campaign.
I also believe in the rapture wholeheartedly. I believe that Christ is coming again, but do not claim to know when. There are many of the “signs” that proceed Christ coming in scripture that are occurring now. War, rumors of war, natural disasters, earth wide instability. The truth is that these things have been occurring on and off for centuries. Yes the rate seems to be increasingly high in recent months but to predict the end is insane. Jesus even states in scripture that know one knows the day or the hour and that He will come like a thief in the night. Something that we cannot predict.
So…what that means to me is that I will spend every moment of my life trying to make this world a better place and helping fight injustice. I don’t think the proper Christian response to the end is to sulk and frighten the rest of the world. I believe that we should do everything we can to serve others with the time we have. Could Christ come tomorrow? Sure, but I have no way of knowing and due to this I must not worrying about that day but instead do justice today.
This may sound a bit cooky, but I just wanted to share this perspective. Not all people who believe in the rapture are worried and using scare tactics to prepare others. We simply have no idea when it will happen or if it will even happen in our lifetime. That’s why it’s important to focus on helping the needs in this world rather than waiting for it to be destroyed.
Jeff Moriarty says
Thanks for the post, Shane. I think you got the crux of my post – that living is far more important than worrying about how the world is going to die.
Chris Lee says
I didn’t even think of people spending their money and such. Euthanizing pets? That is crazy. I definitely do feel bad for those folks.
I’m definitely with you on now spending any time worrying about the end!
I have already returned and decided that humanity isn’t worth saving 🙂