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Paul Kiser

Christ is coming this Saturday…look pious.

This Saturday (May 21, 2011) is the date of Rapture according to a California Christian church that I won’t dignify by identifying. As a former Christian who has studied the Bible from beginning to end, I am amazed by Christians who seem to lust after predictions of Armageddon, especially those who claim to know when the actual date of Rapture or the end of the world. There are few things that scream, “I’m a fake Christian!” more than someone who is obsessed with the end of the world.

Real Christians know that their owner’s manual for life, the Bible, clearly states that no human can predict the end of the world (Matthew 24:36,) so a ‘Christian’ who states they know that the end is coming this Saturday is claiming they have knowledge which equals that of their God, which is supposed to be heresy. That doesn’t stop people from doing it. Some of the end-of-the-world predictions according to Wikipedia:

  • By March 21, 1844William Miller
  • October 22, 1844 – William Miller’s revised prediction. Miller’s followers began the Seventh-Day Adventist Church after his predictions failed.
  • 1914 – Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • 1918 – Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • 1925 – Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • 1942 – Jehovah’s Witnesses
  • 1981Chuck Smith
  • 1988Edgar C. Whisenant
  • 1989 – Edgar Whisenant
  • 1992 – Edgar Whisenant
  • October 28, 1992 – Mission for the Coming Days
  • 1993 – Multiple groups who predicted the seven-year ‘Time of Tribulation’ to start in 1993 and end in 2000
  • June 4, 1994 – John Hinkle
  • September 6, 1994Harold Camping
  • 1995 – Edgar Whisenant
  • 2000 – Multiple groups
  • May 21, 2011 – Harold Camping

These predictions have caused believers of the mythology to ‘check out’ of the real world and in some cases kill themselves before or after the date. The latest prediction has caused at least one couple to sell everything and move to Florida…I could make guesses about why Florida was their end-of-the-world destination, but I don’t want to offend Floridians who will still be around on Sunday.

These predictions by church leaders illustrate the an inherent problem with mythology, which is the lack of boundaries on ‘having faith.’ Anyone can say anything and insist that it is true because they ‘have faith.’ ‘Faith’ allows people to ignore common sense and often, even the Bible, in their pursuit of teachings that they personally favor and can’t  justify. ‘Faith’ allows people to impose their hate and judgement on other people when the Bible clearly states that their God is to be the only judge over other people.

All of us have faith in something and faith, by itself, is not bad. I can respect anyone who has ‘faith’ providing their ‘faith’ is self-contained, but in the past three decades, ‘faith’ has become cry of racists and misogynists who use it to convince governments to pass laws that reflect their desire to inflict their beliefs on others.  ‘Faith’ is a dangerous concept in civil society where majority-rule is supposed to be guided by common sense, reason, and respect for all.

May 21, 2011 is only significant in showing us the folly of blind faith.