I’m betting not, but I’m a believer in “no one knows the day or the hour,” so I’ll acknowledge the possibility. But, in case you’ve missed it, the Christian radio network Family Radio “guarantees” that May 21 is Judgment Day. You can read their considered, extensive, and convoluted arguments (well, gatherings of “evidence”) at the site linked above. Apparently, millions of people are expecting that this will occur. I mean, it’s guaranteed, right?
As you might imagine, this has launched all kinds of mockery. If you are on Facebook, you can sign up for the Post-rapture looting party. Their info line reads “When everyone is gone and god’s not looking, we need to pick up some sweet stereo equipment and maybe some new furniture for the mansion we’re going to squat in.” Someone else came up with a pretty funny list of 50 reasons why the world is definitely ending on Saturday (my personal favorite is #2: Snooki is a NY Times bestselling author). Of course, the Huffington Post has 21 reasons to believe the contrary.
#Rapture is trending on Twitter, though, and I would encourage anyone so inclined to watch a few of the tweets going by. You’ll probably notice that many of them are mocking the idea of rapture, some are mocking the people who believe it, some actually read like people making real plans for the rapture, but many of those are probably sarcastic. However, a disturbing number of them (mirrored, by the way, on the Facebook page about the looting party), mock all religious belief and all religious believers.
I found myself in a couple of conversations today trying to walk the fine line between expressing my disdain over the idea that a Christian group would “guarantee” that May 21 is Judgment Day and reminding my conversation partners that Christians do believe that a Judgment Day is coming. We even believe in the Second Coming of Christ. We have different images for that–will it come “like a thief in the night” (1 Thes 5:2) or will he descend from heaven on a cloud (as Acts 1 seems to suggest)? But the return of Christ and the coming judgment are things that we Christians profess in our most basic creeds. Perhaps the coming days, both before and after the apocalyptic deadline, will offer us the opportunity both to reflect upon our own readiness for that Judgment (whenever it might come) and to encourage our friends and neighbors to do the same.