So according to a Harold Camping, the 89-year-old doomsday prophet and former engineer, the Rapture will occur on Saturday at 6pm.
What, you may ask, is this ‘Rapture’?
A very good question.
Since I was brought up in the loving bosom of the evangelical church… well, no, it was not the bosom exactly… and neither was it overly loving, come to think of it. It was more like the scary mean periphery of the evangelical church.
My father had some kind of religious awakening after he screwed up his life so badly with booze (and it’s accouterments) in 1977 that god was, at that time, the only one who would take him. So he became a born again Christian to the delight of the other born again Christians in his own family and to the dismay of my mother (I had better preface this by saying that I love my father and am glad he found something in his life that makes him happy. Though I’m not really sure god did make him very happy).
So after his conversion, god (who never really had a seat at the table in our home) become… well… I don’t want to say important… but perhaps a tolerated guest in our home (at least to me). It was then that your humble blogger was packed off to Sunday school with his little red Gideon New Testament (they don’t still hand those things out in school do they?).
But from day one I never bought their bullshit.
The Rapture is a perfect example of their bullshit. It comes from a few lines from that hysteric Paul’s hysterical letters to the Corinthians.
1 Corinthian 15:51-52
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
From these few lines, the evangelicals have made the Rapture cult.
Song after song (your humble blogger could sing you a couple), sermon after sermon, all directed to that lovely day when we in this ‘twinkling of an eye’ won’t have to go through a physical death but instead will suddenly turn immortal with all the other believers and fly up to heaven to be with Jesus forever and ever (a revolting thought to me). Then we have the extra added fun of looking down on the nonbelievers who will be tormented through the great tribulation (an even more revolting thought) until Jesus comes back for the big battle of Armageddon and kicks some devil ass… bla bla bla.
Ridiculous, I know, but a lot of people believe ridiculous things.
And the rest of us, those ‘left behind’ (the theme of a popular Christian book series) get to live through the horrors of a world without the righteous (who have just floated up in the sky) which of course means that the world would go immediately to hell (a la the Book of Revelations). According to this Camping nut, the real end of the world will occur in October.
So the next five months should look something like this:
Experts (Rapture experts?) have said that such ‘end of the world’ movements become more prevalent during specific dates (i.e. the year 2000) and during intervals of increased stress and uncertainty in the world.
So one wonders how these poor stupid believers in Camping will react on Sunday when they wake up not having been raptured (yes, I’ve turned it into a verb). Will they finally start using their mind… and not see the cost of their magical thinking?
From my novel, Shirts and Skins:
Dead and gone. They had all thought they would be raptured into heaven in a glorious white light by the hand of God. But instead they died like his Aunt Peggy, gagging on her own bile in the cancer ward of Hamilton General or Uncle Andy, who they found face down on the cold bathroom tile when he tried to get off the toilet without an attendant. And then there was Aunt Sue, who didn’t even know who God was when she wandered out of the nursing home on a rainy day. They found her, sitting with her legs crossed and her hands folded ladylike on her knee in a bus shelter on King Street the next morning dead, wearing only one slipper and a soiled nightgown.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom