Unlike my earlier days when I was new to faith, I’m usually a pretty calm guy. I’m comfortable enough in my own skin and beliefs so that there’s plenty of room for other peoples’ opinions without me even batting an eye. That said, this rapture thing has gotten me all worked up in a tizzy. The first and foremost reason it bothers me is I know who started this whole thing. And I hate that it has gained so much attention that even my favorite radio station was talking about it the other morning. Then there’s a flowchart circulating to help you figure out if you’ll need to pick up a white robe today. Finally, this is not even sound practice from an eschatological standpoint—and I’m Jewish, so this is saying a lot about Christian theology.
To my first point… the snapperhead who started this whole damn thing is a radio pastor named Harold Camping. This guy is the biggest blowhard asshat protestant teacher this side of grave. He’s already predicted once that Jesus would return in 1994 and well, here we are still. If you’ve ever listened to him on the radio he’s got a great soothing grandpa voice, but the man can’t stay calm to defend his own positions. He just hangs up. I do give him credit though… he doesn’t believe in hell, but rather a death in which you just aren’t aware of anything. I’m not in the Jesus camp, but if something goes wrong for me, at least this guy doesn’t have Jesus roasting me and all the other Jews on a giant kabob for eternity.
My second point is that 98KUPD was talking about this the other morning. This means this obscure doofus has toilet-papered the rest of us well-meaning folk with his crap theology. If you’re from the Valley you probably know who these guys are. If you don’t know, they’re insanely crass, vulgar, and blow-milk-out-your-nose funny. One of the hosts is Catholic so he always gets picked on about the latest Christian happenings. Very funny stuff. Now to my point, because Camping is the bozo that started this hullabaloo, it drives me absolutely crazy that it’s associated with all Christians. Granted, Christians believe in the rapture, but they don’t go after the whole date-setting thing (which I’ll get to in my final point). I haven’t talked to any Christians about this weekend, but I’m sure that any who are worth their salt in study have not made any changes in their plans.
Third thing that’s driving me crazy is this flowchart. Checking out the site I’ve learned that the author is not a Christian, but the level of ignorance he’s displaying by associating Jewish Torah law as the basis for Christian acceptance into the warm and loving arms of Jebus really gets my goat. Come on, guy… go talk to a pastor. The Christians kicked Jewish law to the curb millenia ago. Don’t go making things harder for us Jews by saying our Torah is going to be the litmus test for their eternity. Which reminds me of this great skit from Rowan Atkinson, by the way…
Finally, date-setting is not a good practice when it comes to eschatology. As far as the Jews are concerned, we determined aloooonnnnngggg time ago not to go about setting any dates for the arrival of the Messiah. I guess we tried it a couple of times and everyone got terribly disappointed and there were suicides and whatnot. Just a big mess really. Christians have done this too.
If you’re familiar with modern Christian history there was this thing in the mid-19th Century where a bunch of well-meaning believers started expecting Jesus to return on Yom Kippur of 1844. We’re here so we know that nothing happened, and what is it with Christians choosing Jewish dates for the leader of their religion to come back on? I mean Jesus is Jewish and all, but according to their own theology he said all that was done for Christians. Or was that Paul? Oh well, another topic anyway. From this event we have Seventh Day Adventists (who have since given up date-setting) and a few other small denominations that are around. My point is that everyone knows better, or has no reason not to know better, except for Harold “I’m batshit-crazy” Camping.
To be fair to everyone, if you’re one of the decent folk waiting for this thing tomorrow please write me. I have a great sale on religious garments. I normally sell these for $70 because the workmanship will last a lifetime, but because your lifetime is getting a lot longer, what’s $500 between friends (cash only)? You’re not going to need that money anyway by end of tomorrow. And if there’s anything else you want to pawn off on me I’m more than happy to oblige, maybe even just barter.
In closing, as one who always, or most always, prefers to err on the side of caution here’s that Rowan Atkinson skit I mentioned earlier. If you know you’re not in the rapture camp this should help you mentally prepare for the event.