May 22, 2011

Failed Rapture Gives Christians Perfect Opportunity to Question Their Faith

rapture billboardRegardless of whether they believed that the rapture would occur yesterday, Christians now have a perfect opportunity to question their faith. It is an opportunity that many will squander, but it could be a giant step in the right direction for those willing to ask some difficult questions. Perhaps it could even be a time to learn about atheism.

Even before May 21st ran its course without anyone being raptured, most Christians thought that Harold Camping was a nut. They were right to do so. But it wasn't Camping's conviction that he could predict the date and time of the rapture that made him a nut; it was his belief in the rapture itself. And because this is a belief most Christians seem to share, this is the lesson Christians should take from yesterday: rapture-belief is nutty, regardless of when one thinks it will happen.

Most Christians will cringe when they see the man on the street corner yelling about "end times." Most will laugh at the cars covered with signs proclaiming that the end of the world is just around the corner. But before they mock these individuals, I encourage Christians to examine their own beliefs. Do they think there will be a rapture? Do they actually believe in a "holy ghost" or similar phenomena? Perhaps they are every bit as wrong as the guy on the corner.

None of us likes to admit we might be wrong, and this is especially true for those who have been taught from an early age that their beliefs are praiseworthy. And yet, there are far worse things than being wrong. I'd argue that sweeping away one's doubts and refusing to face reality is probably one of them. The good news is that it is never too late to give reality a try.

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