In case you didn’t know, the world is ending next Saturday. Actually, it will end October 21 of this year, what’s going to happen next Saturday is, I suppose, the beginning of the end. According to Harold Camping and his followers, the Rapture is going to occur next Saturday. If you’re not in the know about this event, the Rapture is when Christians all over the world will be taken up into heaven and the 7 years of tribulation will begin. At least that’s always the way I heard it, this business that Camping is putting out about Judgment Day and the end of the world happening 5 months after the Rapture is news to me. In fact, it sounds rather fishy to me. I’m not the only one who thinks so either. William Tapley, Third Eagle of the Apocalypse and Co-Prophet of the End Times, says that Camping is a false teacher:
Don’t get me wrong, Tapley is just as “out there” as Camping, he just has a better job title. Eagle of the Apocalypse? That’s so much cooler than Christian broadcaster. I’m not sure who wins the title of “Nuttiest Prophet”, though. Both come off as a little bit crazy and their respective prophecies are so weird as to defy description. I’m thinking this can only be resolved by a Texas Cage Match.
Both these guys are totally convinced that they’re working from the Bible with all this stuff. And, if you told them it really wasn’t in there, you’d have one helluva of a fight on your hands. But, it’s true. In fact, the doctrine being espoused here (premillenial dispensationalism ) was arrived at through some impressive mental gymnastics. I’m not going to go into all that here; it would take too long. If you’re interested in alternative explanation of the eschatological literature included in the Bible, Dr. James M. Efird has several very good books on the subject; seeing as he taught at Duke Divinity School for around 40 years and his interpretation is one that has been vetted by thorough scholarship over several centuries, I think I’ll go with his version.
I grew up hearing the dispensational interpretation of the Book of Revelation and it scared the living shit out of me. The whole tribulation thing, the moon turning to blood, horsemen riding across the land spreading disease and death; most of the time it was more than a kid could handle. Jason Boyett tells of a similar experience when he was growing up. I have to admit, I kinda felt bad for the guy. I only lost a few nights sleep to this madness, he lost an entire summer worrying about it. He doesn’t mention it, but if I’d been him, I’d have been looking for some payback (what can I say, as a kid I wasn’t as enlightened as I am now). Reading this article, you can feel Jason’s distaste for End Times theology. I don’t blame him, it pisses me off too.
I’m pissed because nut jobs like these two spend their lives scaring the crap out of decent people who trust them. And, because they believe the idiocy that people like this spew, those people don’t do the things that Jesus wanted us to do. Things like helping those less fortunate, working to end oppressive systems and making sure everyone has an equal shot at life. They don’t do this stuff because they’re too busy getting ready for the Rapture on May 21st. I’ll give Tapley credit for pointing out that we don’t know when Jesus is coming back, Jesus plainly says that numerous times. But, in my opinion, he’s just as much a false teacher as he accuses Camping of being. And, personally, I wouldn’t want to be in either of their shoes when the Man does come back.