I wish this were an April Fools Day post. Out on the main thoroughfare through Angelborough, we have a new billboard proclaiming that judgment day is coming on May 21st. “The Bible Guarantees It!”
Alone in the car (well, with Kiddo#4) I exclaimed, “Oh, for pity’s sake!”
Remember that I grew up associating with people who had a bunker for when the UN took over the world right before the endtimes started. And even they didn’t have the audacity to say the Bible guaranteed a specific date.
On behalf of Christians everywhere, I’m sorry. I’m terribly sorry. We appear to have some nutcases in our midst.
Let me tell you what the Bible does guarantee:
Matthew 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24
There we go. How about this, again from Matthew 24:
36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
So the angels and Jesus himself didn’t know the day or the hour that Jesus would return — but these folks know? Right.
Don’t get me wrong. If Jesus returns, I’ll hit my knees and rejoice and pray that He has mercy on me and brings me and my loved ones into His kingdom. We should always be prepared to settle our accounts with God.
But I certainly don’t think the Bible guarantees May 21st, 2011. Saying that just sets up all Christianity to be a laughingstock. Even if someone thought Judgment Day was approaching and cleaned up his act just because of that, when the sun rises on May 22nd, what’s going to happen to that person’s faith? What about the people who never got involved in this but will be mocked because of a few folks who (stuck in first-phase Christian belief) are looking for the easy way out?
In my opinion, although I find some of my bunker-associates’ antics funny, these people aren’t funny: they’re dangerous. In an attempt to lead people to God, they’re going to lead people away.
Can I suggest you google “Failed prophecies end of the world” I started collecting a list of the failed prophecies and was amazed at
1. how come with so many past failures people still flock to these prophets?
2. how come so many still believe in the prophets after the prophecy fails to pan out?
You are quite correct that some of these nut cases are dangerous. Think Jones Town, Branch Davidian, etc My own list which I posted on my site
includes many who committed suicide rather than face the horrors of their favourite prophet’s predictions.
In any case since the 21 December 2012 Mayan Calendar date for the end of the world still has more followers than 21 May 2011 – you may still have a few months to get your affairs in order. I will accept cheques made out to my favourite charity and dated 22 Decemeber 2012
for those who would like to prove they really believe!
The Mayan calendar has ended before. It’s the same as the school year calendar ending. I don’t think the Mayans intended us to believe the world was going to end just because their calendar ran out of pages.
Apparently the folks behind the May 21st thing had a previous prediction in 1994. I guess that one didn’t work out so well either.
It’s all just a struggle to control God. If we know the WHEN then we’ve exerted control on the out-of-control, and we can pride ourselves that we’re in the driver’s seat. Jesus had the right idea: be prepared to stand before God at any time, and don’t worry too much about when all the bad stuff comes down. In the meantime, let’s keep trying to make the world a better place. It’s not like we’ve run out of poverty to ease, homelessness to remedy, hungry people to feed, and communities without clean running water that could make due with a well. (Which is another side effect of this kind of belief system: if you believe the world ends on a certain date, you’re less concerned with helping others or long-term projects that will benefit others.)
Wish we only had to fight the devil trying to blacken God’s name without having to apologize for fools who use it.
I will admit that I’m right up there with folk who’d like to opt out of the bad times…even just the icky days when it’s raining and the computer freezes and too many folk want too much from me and all I want to do is take a nap. Who doesn’t want peace and joy and sunshine? But when I see smug folk telling me they’ll wave as they get raptured out of here (because, of course, I’ll be left behind for not accepting their doctrine), I want to remind them of God’s heart for the lost and God’s penchant for letting His folk walk through the bad times so they can help others. If we could stop worrying about ducking and leaving and start doing those Kingdom works that Jane mentions, we might just win a few to Christ, instead of helping the unbelievers make mockery of us.
Jesus guaranteed His followers that we would suffer. To paraphrase The Princess Bride: Anyone who says otherwise is selling you something.
My mother’s birthday is May 22. I’m sure she’s delighted to know that her next birthday has been cancelled.
I dunno. I hear the Virgin Mary bakes an amazing birthday cake!