Sunday, May 22, 2011

Do Christians Now Have A Perfect Opportunity To Question Their Faith?

So, the rapture prediction of Harold Camping fizzled out yesterday as the hours passed and it became clear, as John Lennon put it, that "there ain't no Jesus gonna come from the sky."-(I Found Out, Lyrics)

Some faithful followers of "Brother Camping" were still keeping their hopes up as the hours passed with nothing even remotely Judgment Dayish being reported by the news channels, stating God was just testing them and they still had until midnight to get their new Superman-like eternal bodies that would allow them to ascend into the air to meet the Lord and be with Jesus forever, while, presumably, they watched in safety and bliss while the earth was devastated by the disasters of God's wrathful judgment, until, oh, along about October, the planet they had called home for all of their lives was completely destroyed and replaced by a new heavens and a new earth (or something like that).

Is this now the perfect opportunity for some of those people, and Christians in general, to rethink things and consider the possibility that the whole Christianity thing is one gigantic, 2000 year-old fraud?

Plenty of Christians were insisting Camping and his followers were "not True Christians" or otherwise "fringe". It wasn't because Camping and friends believed in The Rapture, but because they predicted a specific date for The Rapture, and The Bible says nobody can know the day or time, blah blah blah. Some Christians were getting mighty defensive because the 5/21 crowd was being mocked, and nutty Christian beliefs in general were getting mocked along with them. I can't help but wonder why it is that believing in The Rapture is supposed to be mainstream/normal but merely predicting a specific date for the event makes one cross the line into the lunatic fringe. It's sort of the way one guy saying "invisible green men told me to run naked through town" gets one a trip to the mental hospital while "god told me to pray to a captive crowd at the high school graduation" gets a girl a standing ovation.-"Buffy" (not the Vampire Slayer, I'm assuming) in a comment at the Atheist Revolution post, Failed Rapture Gives Christians Perfect Opportunity to Question Their Faith

From the post itself:

Even before May 21st ran its course without anyone being raptured, most Christians thought that Harold Camping was a nut. They were right to do so. But it wasn't Camping's conviction that he could predict the date and time of the rapture that made him a nut; it was his belief in the rapture itself. And because this is a belief most Christians seem to share, this is the lesson Christians should take from yesterday: rapture-belief is nutty, regardless of when one thinks it will happen.

Do you agree or disagree? I should point out that the majority of Christians around the world don't believe in "the rapture", a relatively late idea introduced into Protestant, fundamentalist style Christianity only in the 19th century. Of course, the second coming of Christ is itself a central belief of all Christians (or should be) that has failed to see fulfillment for the nearly 2000 years since Jesus walked the earth.


  1. My perception is that this just reaffirmed everyone's opinions. What I tend to see from Christians is the Bible quote which states quite clearly that only God (and not even Jesus) knows when the end will be, so having some guy come around claiming to know more than Jesus won't turn the lives of most Christians upside down. Christians are quite used to the concept of people using religion for the wrong reasons.

    If anything, I question society's understanding of Christian eschatology. How things were being described did not line up with my understanding of the end times according to the Bible. The "end" is quite protracted in the book of Revelation, not a singular disaster (the claim was for the rapture to occur, but I heard a lot of "end of the world" talk).

  2. These people don't represent or speak for Christianity anymore terrorists for Islam.

  3. Right, but it's also important to point out that both are wrong. Saying god is going to begin ending the world yesterday is no more crazy than all those who think it's going to happen at some point in the unforeseeable future. Just like Muslims who practice their religion peacefully are no less nuts for what they believe than the ones who kill people for their religion. Yes, the killers are worse people and are doing worse things, but it's not like their faith is any more flawed than those who believe God talks to people and wants us to do certain things.

  4. Dangerously close to the "No True Scotsman" fallacy, there, T.C.


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