Sunday, May 22, 2011

Looking at the Rapture thing from a different angle

You know, we've all had a lot of fun laughing at Harold Camping and his obviously crackpot ideas about the Rapture and the upcoming End of the World. He has gone incommunicado today, and for good reason: he is a laughingstock.

But Mr. Camping doesn't deserve all that ridicule. He went through the Bible looking for clues, thought he'd found them all (though he missed the most important one), and came up with a reasonable (to him) date for the Rapture and the EOW. He spent months spreading his message to the world, not with a "nyah nyah, you're all gonna burn" attitude, but with a "repent so you don't burn, pleeeaaase" attitude.

This episode reminds me of another Biblical story, the story of Noah. Noah spent forty years building his ark and warning the people about the impending flood. They mocked him and laughed at him and had a lot of fun at his expense - right up until the moment that the rain started falling.

Noah never faltered or turned aside from his message, even though he knew people were laughing at him and nobody believed him. Mr. Camping pursued his mission with the same faith and vigor as Noah.

I'm not saying Mr. Camping was a prophet, or even that we should have believed him. I have also participated in the mockery, and I firmly believe he was wrong. But he acted on the strength of his convictions, and he acted with integrity. Very few people act that way in today's world, and the world is poorer as a result. I honor Harold Camping for his convictions and his integrity.

Maybe I should buy him a T-shirt.

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