There's some talk online about whether those of us poking gentle fun at the whole “Rapture” business today are being unkind and unChristian. Jesus, they say, wouldn't mock the Rapture. Well, actually, I think that, had he a twitter account, Jesus would. And here's seven reasons why.
1) Gentle Jesus, not so meek and mild. The Victorians may have wanted to believe that Jesus was Tewwibly Nice, but we need to remember that this is the man who attacked the money changers in the temple with a whip of cords (John 2:15). A quick reread of his words in Matthew 23 might help to remind people of this rather less than meek aspect of his divine nature. Jesus didn't like self-righteous religious leaders who claimed to know the mind of God.
2) Jesus specifically said we wouldn't know the hour nor the day (Matthew 25:13). Don't you think he'd be a bit miffed at some pastor in the USA claiming to know the mind of God better than he did? (Disclaimer, Jesus didn't have modern computers on which to do his calculations: maybe he'd have been able to give us a date if he'd had more fingers and toes?)
3) Dateline God: according to the prediction, the “Rapture” will role around the world based on a time set by human clocks and human calculations. Err... since when was God (that's God Almighty, Creator, Lord of heaven and earth) bound by the international dateline? What does he do about daylight savings time zones? What happens to people who live too close to a time zone change?
4) Noah. Revd Camping has calculated his date as 7000 years since Noah's flood. Which is set as exactly when? I can't find Noah's Online Blog to give me an exact date for the start of the flood. Besides, is the exact moment when the rain started? When the ark first floated, probably several hours after the first raindrops? When the whole earth was covered? When the flood ended? (which was exactly when?) Seems a bit too uncertain a date to max out your credit cards on.
5) Noah (part 2). What's it got to do with Noah anyway? The end of the Noah story is the delightful assurance by God that he won't repeat the flood. While the earth remaineth and all that. So whatever happens at the end of the world (whenever it happens) it won't be a repeat of the flood. Sorry Revd Camping: unlike the BBC, God doesn't do repeats. (Genesis 8:21-22)
6) Waste of resource: Looking at all the millions suffering and dying in our world from unnecessary wars, curable diseases, lack of basics like clean water and enough to eat, I somehow feel Jesus would be a tad uncomfortable with the huge waste of resources which has been put into promoting this upcoming “Rapture”. Revd Camping's radio station is valued at $86 million. How much nearer could he make the Kingdom of God by using that to relieve suffering – and encouraging his followers to do the same? (Matthew 25:31-46)
7) The final reason I believe Jesus would mock the “Rapture” is this. I know I'm going out on a limb here, and probably setting myself against the whole of the world church. But I can't help believing that Jesus has a sense of humour.