I really struggled with whether or not to give any publicity to the whole “Judgment Day” thing that’s been going on for the past week or so, but finally decided that I should.
First, since these “prophets” always claim they get their information from the Bible, I think this verse should have been enough to at least give the guy reason to keep his prediction on the “down low”, lest he be wrong (which he was) and alienate even more atheists and non-christians who already have plenty of reasons to mock Christianity:
“But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”
(Matthew 24:36) (RSV)
I actually heard that there were people who were claiming that the word “Son” was not actually capitalized in the original, and therefore, it actually meant “sun”, as in solar. Really??? I don’t know the original Aramaic words for “son” or “sun”, but I’m gonna just bet they were very different, and not likely to be confused until some uneducated, self-proclaimed ‘theologian’ got ahold of them. Not that it matters. The whole debate should have been cleared up by the “Father alone” phrase! My reading on that is that only God knows, and unless you’re God, you don’t know. Pretty cut and dried.
But there are some other things that really, really concern me. I am very concerned about all of the people who actually believed in this prediction. They were misled, and a lot of time, money and resources were wasted. I am also concerned for the guy that made the misleading prediction. Clearly, he needs a lot of prayer. This is not his first inaccurate prediction. Apparently he made a similar one in 1994. But what bothers me most is how much damage this guy and his followers have done to the image of Christianity! It’s bad enough that we have those horrid people running around protesting funerals of soldiers! Now we have to contend with this “End Times” hype.
Now, please understand, I am trying very, very hard to be charitable! So I am trying to remember that, even though he did a lot of damage in the PR department, he did remind a lot of us to take a closer look at ourselves, and make sure that we are living like we should. And that is always a good thing. I am a firm believer that we should try to live every day as if it were our last, and treat everyone we meet as though they were Jesus Himself.
However, I guess I should go ahead and make it clear that I do not believe in the “Rapture”. In fact, I’d never even heard of such a thing until I left the Catholic church, years ago, and folks in Sunday School were all excited about it. They explained it to me. I didn’t buy it. I read the “Left Behind” books, which I consider bad fiction and utter nonsense. I still didn’t buy it. When I finally went back to the Catholic Church, I discovered that they consider the notion of a “Rapture” heresy! (It was good to be home, where things made sense.) Rather than go into all the pre-trib, mid-trib and post-trib stuff, I am going to just post a couple of links that discuss the subject better than I could.
So, I’m sorry that so many people were disappointed by another false prophet. But Jesus said that would happen. (See Matthew 7).