Becoming Rapture-Ready

Disclaimer: I am perfectly aware that if, by some very, very, odd chance, this does all go down as the fine people over at Family Radio believe, I’m going to feel very, very, stupid.

Nevertheless!

Folks, there is just one week until the apocalypse is coming! You know what that means: it’s time to lose that weight and work on that tan, because how you look when you’re “raptured” is how you will look forever! You don’t want to be so pale because you’ll be wearing a white robe; the wings are also white and I’m pretty sure that everyone just hangs out on white clouds. Get some color or you’ll just fade into the background and God may not even notice you.

While I will be hitting the gym and tanning salon, others are selling everything and giving up everything in anticipation that the end is upon us.

What commitment!

Especially to a man that has already been around the block when it comes to predicting the end of the world.

Yes, Harold Camping has already predicted that the end of the world was to come – and, to my knowledge, he was wrong. Camping predicted that the apocalypse was coming in 1994.

But before you start to ridicule the man for building a business (worth $100 million) on false ideas and fear-mongering among the faithful, hear him out.

“It was based on incomplete research and I was quite aware that the research was incomplete,” he says. “So it was just like a first announcement that we’re almost there.”

See?

He just needed more research.

Now, he has concluded that:

Several years ago we had learned that the silence in Heaven for about half an hour referred to the 2,300 days that were the first part of the 23-year (exactly 8,400 days) Great Tribulation period. This period began on May 21, 1988. It was during this 2,300-day period that, both in the churches and throughout the world, very few, if any, were saved. Revelation 8:1 reports that there was silence in Heaven. This would have been the situation beginning on May 21, 1988, because joy in Heaven occurs as sinners repent. In Luke 15:4-32 the Bible reports this joy in Heaven, a joy that was not in silence.

We had learned that May 21, 1988 was the last day of the church age and was also the first day of the 23-year period of Great Tribulation, during which Satan has been employed by God to officially rule all of the churches as well as the whole world. During the first 2,300 days of this 8,400-day period the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from all of the churches as well as the entire world. This produced silence in Heaven.

It makes perfect sense.

Now that I read that, I do remember noticing a disturbing absence of God in our churches shortly after that day. Weird…

But the good news in all of this, is that:

beginning 2,300 days after May 21, 1988 (the end of the church age), the Holy Spirit was again poured out, producing what the Bible calls the “latter rain” (Zechariah 10:1; James 5:7) throughout the world (but not in any church), and God began a final great harvest of salvation, bringing great joy in Heaven.

So if there were any churches after May 21st (which there won’t because all of the Christians will be beamed up), they would be filled with the Holy Spirit.

But wait a minute here.

If Satan has been “ruling all of the churches” since May 21, 1988, wouldn’t that mean that anyone who went to Church was embracing the rule of Satan?

And if so, then wouldn’t that mean that all of the people who have been going to Church and who believe they are going to be “saved” from all of this, are actually just embracing the work of satan?!? Wouldn’t that mean that all of the people who didn’t go to Church be in a better position than everyone that did go to Church?!?

WHAT THE HELL!?!? WE ARE SCREWED!!!

I shouldn’t be working on my tan! I should work on attending as little Church as possible since it is all satan-approved! I should do the exact opposite of what I learned in Church so as to deny the satan-approved gospel and pick up the Jesus-approved gospel!

Holy Geez!

Only one week to get right with the Lord by denying the Body of Christ and everything it stands for.

This is going to make work really, really difficult…

But I can do it. We can all do it.

All we need to do is do the opposite of what we have been doing for the last 22 years and 51 weeks.

Instead of giving money to the poor, let’s give it to the rich (perhaps a special someone who’s network is worth around $100 million???).

Instead of welcoming in the stranger, let’s request documentation for everyone and kick the illegals out.

Instead of passing rules that would allow GLBT folks to be ordained in the PCUSA, we need to go back to the time before 1988 when we were more scared and ignorant about sexual orientation.

It’s going to be difficult to undo so much of what has been learned and adopted in the last 22 years and 51 weeks, but I believe we are up to the task.

Just remember, whatever you have learned in the Church has been wrong. You must renounce your ideas of God as a God of Love; renounce your ideas that God’s Grace is more powerful that even death; renounce your ideas that God cares about each and every single person and creature.

Because when you turn away from all of these crazy ideas that have been taught to you by clergy under the authority of Satan, it makes it so much easier to believe that God is really pissed off at a bunch of people for getting the wrong answer to a trick question. It makes it easier to focus on the end rather than the journey. And it makes it easier to cope with all of the crap and injustice that goes on in our world – to simply hope that it’s all a matter of God’s or Satan’s doing, rather than our own.

To hope that there is a “reason” for war; to hope that the devastation from earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods is part of a “plan;” to hope that poverty and injustice are part of some “divine test” rather than the result of our actions and indifference.

I would love to believe all of that. It would explain a lot.

But it doesn’t account for the fact that we crave power and control and are willing to use violence to secure it, or the fact that we have done tremendous damage to our planet and may be reaping some of what we have sown, or the fact that greed plays a huge part in our economic inequality and injustice.

A “divine plan” with an ultimate conclusion offers some sense of catharsis and relief.

But I don’t believe the divine plan concludes with the “Return of Jesus” as envisioned in the “Rapture” and “Apocalypse.” I believe the “divine plan” begins when we embrace the gospel of Love, Justice, and Peace, and when the Church recognizes the power and responsibility that we have – not to focus on the end of times, but to live in the midst of our days. “To live fully and to Love wastefully” as Bishop John Shelby Spong says so beautifully.

This may not be as sexy of a plan when compared to some divine shock and awe, but it seems to be more in line with my image of God and my understanding of faith and Church.

Of course, that could all be because I have been taught false teachings by Satan, but I think for the next week or so, I’ll stick with it. But if an earthquake begins at 6:00pm on May 21st, all bets are off.

Peace.

p.s. See you on the 22nd???

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