To mock or not to mock

21 05 2011

So today is judgment day, and I have mixed feelings. Not about whether the Rapture might happen or not, but about how I should conduct myself in the run up to 6pm, and what I should do and say at 6.01.

To Mock

I truly think that the guys who think they’ve calculated the rapture, and the thousands who have given up their homes, jobs, and wasted thousands of dollars on this are a few sandwiches short of a picnic. And I very much want myself, my church, my faith and my Lord to be disassociated from their fruitloop theology!

So on the one hand, I think mild mockery is probably the best way. I’ve enjoyed reading some of the #rapture tweets, particularly by some Christian friends. I’ve laughed at a bit of satire and have joked about it a little. I’ll be at a wedding this evening, and think it might be kind of amusing to leave little piles of clothes and shoes out in the corridors for people to stumble across… or play a trumpet fanfare from my iPhone in the middle of the speeches. (Of course, I won’t do either…)

And I hope that my friends who aren’t Christians will look at those things and realise that Mr Camping does not speak for all Christians. I hope that they will appreciate that many Christians think this is as silly as they do, and I hope that as a result they will be able to differentiate between oddball fanatics and the real deal.

However…

Not to Mock

… I do wonder if mockery may do more harm than good. In passing Camping and his theories off as a laughable fiction, we may well give people the impression we don’t take the second coming seriously. And that could be a serious hindrance for the gospel.

Already I’ve noticed that early comments on the Camping phenomenon labelled May 21st ‘Judgment Day’ whereas more recent ones tend to say ‘Rapture Day.’ In creating a mockery of it, have we removed the fear of judgment? By mocking and joking, I do hope that we can strip away some of the nonsense, but in so doing, I hope we don’t cause people to take judgment less seriously.

Paul’s words to the Athenians are still as true and urgent as ever:

‘The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.’
(Acts 17:30-31)

I do slightly fear that in telling people it’s not going to happen at 6pm we may end up making them think it’s not going to happen at all. In so caricaturing Camping’s vision of judgment day so as to seem unthinkably foolish, do we run the risk of making judgment itself seem unbelievable?

Tomorrow I shall, God willing (!), be preaching on Ephesians 2:1-10. It’s a bold and striking passage with some hard truths to hear. I shall make no mention of the rapture, Harold, or the end of the world, but I hope to preach a message that is faithful to the difficult truths, and yet still full of hope, inviting and urging people to make a decision…

Judgment is coming. Probably not at 6pm this evening. It could happen sooner… Either way, are you ready?

Advertisements

Actions

Information

3 responses

21 05 2011
To mock or not to mock (via Liam’s Blog) « adamabdelkarim

[…] So today is judgment day, and I have mixed feelings. Not about whether the Rapture might happen or not, but about how I should conduct myself in the run up to 6pm, and what I should do and say at 6.01. To Mock I truly think that the guys who think they’ve calculated the rapture, and the thousands who have given up their homes, jobs, and wasted thousands of dollars on this are a few sandwiches short of a picnic. And I very much want myself, my chu … Read More […]

21 05 2011
The #RaptureFail

[…] (Matthew 24:36)?! Remember John 10:10, and take a few (of those extra) minutes to check out this interesting blog about how far we should […]

26 03 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: