Photo Credit: @snipeyhead New York
I liked this little nerdy counter demonstration at a Judgement day demo in the US.
Apparently many people are getting into the mood with rapture parties on the evening of the 20th May. Anyone familiar with The Simpsons episode on rapture parties will know to avoid the punch. Otherwise its the obvious way to respond to such ridiculous predictions.
I am pleased to see many Christians are also heaping on the ridicule. Mind you, it was a bit disconcerting the find that what many of them are ridiculing is not the concept of a rapture but just the fixing of a specific date! For example local blogger Bosco Peters at Liturgy injected a bit of humour with Jesus is coming. But his humour was somewhat spoiled by a commenter who said:
“The simple answer to Harold Camping is from Our Lord’s own words: ’Ye know not the day nor the hour.’ It’s more than a little presumptuous of Mr. Camping to presume that he DOES know, is it not?”
And Donald Perkins at the Prophecy Mission in the USA warns of The Dangers of Date Setting:
“The Word of God is clear on this subject of Date-setting. To set dates on the return of Christ is to err. Because of these recent events, the church has become a laughingstock and many Christian faith were shaken by it; some had their hopes raised to high levels, only to have them come crashing down to the truth. Many even quit their jobs, and still others closed their businesses.”
Its bit of a worry. Criticise Harold Camping because he dares to work out dates! But this whole idea of raptures, destruction of the world and the universe, etc. still seems acceptable to many Christians. I think that’s dangerous.
Seattle Atheists are offering some rapture Relief. Good idea really. They are asking for donations to enable them to help rebuild the lives of all those left behind by the rapture. In the event there is no rapture the proceeds will go to a good secular cause – Camp Quest West.
But isn’t it amazing what crazy ideas we humans can get. Appparently an all female sect in Russia believes that Vladimir Putin, Russian prime minister, is a reincarnation of early Christian missionary Paul the apostle (see Russian sects: from Rasputin to the ‘Jesus of Siberia’)!
Richard Dawkins had the most sensible comment on all this in his Washington Post article Science explains the end of the world:
“Why is a serious newspaper like the Washington Post giving space to a raving loon? I suppose the answer must be that, unlike the average loon, this one has managed to raise enough money to launch a radio station and pay for billboards.”
But he does take the opportunity to get back to the scientific approach to the end of the world. Which takes us back to the photo above.