Sunday, May 22, 2011

Christianity After May 21st

Well it's the day after "The Rapture" and I'm sure Camping's followers are feeling a bit let down that they're stuck here with the rest of us unworthy sinners. My family and I enjoyed a cool dip in the pool and completely forgot about the impending 6 p.m. deadline. The Mrs. brought it to my attention after we came in for supper, "look honey, it's 7, we missed the Rapture.". We joked about it all day and as comical as it may be, it's really not for hundreds, if not, thousands who gave up their jobs and possessions all based on Harold Camping's predictions. But for them there wasn't suppose to be a May 22nd because the Bible guaranteed it. Even many mainline Christians disregarded Camping's claims by quoting that "nobody knows the day or the hour". But what differentiates believers in the Second Coming with a set date as opposed to those without one? The Second Coming has been an event that's always been just around the corner which always fails to appear. How long will Christianity wait for an event that even Jesus himself thought was imminent? Should Christianity evolve and stop waiting for the Second Coming, and if so how would this reshape Christian's attitudes and relationship with non-believers?

I believe that Christianity is on the bring of reforming itself. Or at least I hope. And it's not just Christianity, humanity as a whole is collectively realizing the deep interconnectedness with itself to itself and to reality. We can no longer afford to continue living in a tribal mindset. We are a part of each other, and the more we struggle to deny our interconnectedness the more pain we cause. There can no longer be a They, since They might be our neighbors, lovers, and family. Instead of hoping for escape maybe Christians might be more willing to live in the here and now instead of up in the clouds. And although I direct this to Christians (mainly because this is a post on the Christian theology of the Rapture) this goes for everyone. People flocked to Haiti after the horrific earthquake and there were many who had mixed emotions after Bin Laden's death. The closer and more interconnected we become with our neighbors the more space we have in our hearts to love them.


Doug B said...

My personal opinion is that Christianity should dissolve rather than evolve. Its bad has always outweighed its good.

rickie.daniel said...

Thats your opinion and I hope you can answer for it when ever you get judged. A foolish man with a prediction of the date and time of the rapture is HIS bad not Christianity. He doesnt speak for every other christian out there. It seems like thats what you believe, dissolve your ignorance and evolve your intelligance. Your just as lost as he is.

Numinous said...


Your response to Doug's statement totally validates what he said. A threat (and it was a threat you made) is not a way a rational person responds to a simple difference of opinion.

Christianity has always been about "us against them" and you believe that everyone who doesn't follow your faith is a sinner (most of you think people should be tortured forever for that 'sin')... despite the fact that you people have never... EVER... had any proof of your views.

Blind faith is a dangerous thing. And the hatred it so often inspires is a disease to humanity. Look at the Middle East. That is what Christianity was like not too long ago. Stoning, and killing, and imprisoning, and the enslavement and foul treatment of women. That's not even going into all the atrocities Christianity, and it's followers, were guilty of.

We had to drag Christianity kicking and screaming into the modern ages, and Christian leaders don't like it one bit. They'd love to go back to those literal dark ages where they had the power stifle humanity where and when they chose. It ensured their power. They wanted control and knowledge, and enlightenment, were threats to that.

Those days are over. This is the 21st century. Learn to live in it.

nath99 said...

Take a look at this special message from the one known as the Comforter in The End Times (John 14:16 and 14:26) to Harold Camping of Family Radio posted at

Sammy said...

I think the ubiquity and speed of media is helping. Before, terrible disasters and wars we only seen by those who lived through them. Even with the invention of the camera, a couple photographs in the weekend newspaper was all most people ever got to see. Even today, photographs published in magazines and newspapers and videos on TV are, in a way, "censored:. They might show you destruction, but rarely do they show you blood, guts, and ripped apart bodies. Rarely do they show you the real human cost. When your government goes to war, you hear about the victories and how quickly you are going to defeat your opponents. You don't hear about all the civilian casualties, or see pictures of bloody children dead on the streets.

Now, especially with the explosion of the internet, where anyone can post "uncensored" photos and videos, people are beginning to truly see what is happening. People were able to see the suffering in Haiti after the earthquake like they were there. People are starting to realize the true cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We aren't being spoon-fed sanitized information anymore. For the first time, the sheer horror of human suffering experienced during war and disaster is available to anyone willing to look for it. And the more and more we see it, the harder and harder it will get to deny our own interconnectedness. At least, I really really hope so.

@Numinous- While I completely agree with your defense of Doug, and greatly appreciate it as well, in my experience, people like rickie aren't going to listen. They see any kind of criticism of Christianity as a personal insult, both towards themselves and God. They honestly cannot comprehend why some of us might have problems with Christianity or religion in general. They assume that anyone who disagrees with them in the slightest way is both foolish and an evil sinner and that they are just angry at God. Arguing with them is like trying to argue with a brick wall. They have no respect for you as a person and so nothing you say will get through. You'll go crazy trying to reason with them.

Don said...

Sam- I fully agree with what you said here. It is a true commentary of our current day. Nothing to me differentiates Camping's followers to mainline Christians. Today's evangelicals scoff at Camping for placing a date on the Rapture, but still believe it's coming soon. I am sick of escapism. The desire to abandon this "sinking ship" for the promises of "heaven" do nothing but further the "us vs them" mentality. Maybe the Preterists are the only Christians who have a decent view of Jesus' predictions in Matt. 24:34, as they believe those predictions of his have already taken place (66-70 CE).

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Eruesso,
You are apocolyptically optimistic. Change is accelerating, that is for sure. I think we will have groups getting worse and some getting better.

@ Doug B,
Lots of animals no longer exist because they evolved out of existence. Let's be optimistic

@ rickie,
Ouch, scary hell boy.

@ Sammy and Don,
Nice analysis

Eruesso said...

Being apocolyptically optimistic is much more exciting and interesting than being doom and gloom. I find the future to be very exciting (even if it's sprinkled with a little danger).

It may be that Christianity as we know it will change to the point that it ceases to exist. In the next 2000 years what emerges from Christianity might be a new and better creature.

@Sammy and Don
I'm all about realizing our interconnectedness and leaving behind and shedding our beliefs in escapism and tribalism.

Sabio Lantz said...

@ Eruesso:

Indeed, optimism is worth nurturing!

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