Sunday, 22 May 2011

Rapture: don't be silly

Bishop Alan Wilson was interviewed last night on Channel 4 News about the Rapture.
You can see and hear what he said via this page: World fails to end.

The US evangelist who said the world would end on 21 May stands by his prediction, as the Bishop of Buckingham tells Channel 4 News Saint Paul would have said “don’t be silly”.

But the best explanation of why it didn’t happen is undoubtedly this.

A less amusing but very sensible analysis is by Paul Roberts and is titled Life after the rapture – on grabbing the microphone.

The biggest “Christian” internet event of the year so far was the prediction that the world was going to end on 21st May 2011 at 6pm in each time-zone. The reaction by Christians has been either to ignore it, to join in lampooning it as extremely stupid, to protest loudly that they have nothing to do with the speculations of Harold Camping or to grow increasingly depressed at the amount of media interest that such an example of a group of Christians being extremely (and publicly) foolish has generated…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 22 May 2011 at 10:19am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

"HA HA! LIFE GOES ON!" These numbskulls are truly giving Christianity a bad name. Now crawl back into your trailer parks and go back to soap operas. And "stop being SILLY!"

Posted by: evensongjunkie on Sunday, 22 May 2011 at 11:41am BST

Fundamentalist religion and millennial preachers have always attracted the poorest and most deprived sections of society who need some hope of deliverance from their difficulties. While the preachers are fair game for ridicule, I think their followers are not. There is no shame in living in a trailer. Poor and ill-educated people do not crawl. Shame on you, evensongjunkie. And shame on you, Thinking Anglicans.

Posted by: toby forward on Sunday, 22 May 2011 at 6:22pm BST

We prayed this morning, in the intercessions, for Camping and his followers.

Posted by: Nat on Sunday, 22 May 2011 at 7:06pm BST

So much for the fundamentalists - of any ilk - but especially those who seem obsessed the the 'sins' of the present generation. We human beings are prone to sin. But God has provided a remedy, as only God could have. Deo Gratias.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 12:09am BST

What a travesty of a stereotype. Many fundamentalists are intelligent, educated and prosperous. Religion ( of most varieties, Christians and non Christian) in peoples lives invariably brings discipline and order.

The sad fact is that religion which elevated many British people and now many young people
( with no religion ) are lost in a culture of hedonism and drinking. I see this amongst the children I teach.Religious people invariably have a purpose in life, feel an accountability and do not follow the crowd.

For instance in 20 years of teaching I have never encounterd a badly behaved Jehovah's Witness or Sikh child.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 7:38am BST

I agree with Robert (I think for the first time). Many fundamentalists are as he describes, but there are others who are not, and they deserve to be spoken of with respect and understanding, not as evensongjunkie did. TA needs to review its moderation policy.

Posted by: toby forward on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 9:56am BST

I think Bishop Wilson should have used the occasion for more illuminating comments on biblical eschatology.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 11:08am BST

I have actually lived in a trailer park and some my relatives still do. In my experience, most people who live in TPs don't go to church because they know they will be subjected to the same classism shown by evensongjunkie in his remarks. Actually, such classism is prevalent in every Christian denomination. The only places free of it are probably the little store front churches in the poorest neighborhoods, and then not for long. Too often the prosperous are convinced that they are morally and spiritually superior to those with less, and have no understanding at all of the spiritual strength it takes to live in poverty and remain a decent human being. What amazes me is the large number of the American poor who maintain their decency in the face of the relentless onslaught from the "superior" proponents of capitalism who loudly proclaim their faith in Jesus Christ as they busily destroy the hope of people who never had much to begin with. Those people in trailer parks are often maintaining faith in God without anything you might recognize as Christian community. They pray and they try to do the right thing with their extremely limited resources. I wonder which of TA's many posters have every tried to do the same?

Posted by: Susan on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 2:15pm BST

Of course, St Pauls comments of "dont be silly" may have been because St Paul hadn't been raptured. Or perhaps he realised that the Lord's salvation plan was going to be much much bigger than what must have been 10s or 100,000's of believers. He certainly seems to see a lifting up to the heavens, whether physically or in the Spirit, ahead of or as part of the return of the Lord. People argue whether it is before, during or after the Great Tribulation. It seems more in keeping with the Christian experience of suffering, of picking up your cross, and the continued need to evangelise and tell the nations of the Lord's love for people, that the "rapture" wouldnt happen whilst leaving people behind who have yet to respond to the gospel. We must continue to pray for the evangelisation of the nations and a turning to God in those nations where the gospel is already present, for a softening of hearts, allowing us to pull people out of the fire.

Posted by: david WIlson on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 6:26pm BST

Susan,

Your comment is prophetically relevant. James 2:2-4 and 1 Cor. 1:26 say much the same.

Posted by: David Shepherd on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 8:09pm BST

This week we will be remembering John and Charles Wesley who got the strange idea that the Christian faith was for everyone ... and last Sunday we had the martyrdom of Stephen - read that, and dream yourself a rapture!

Posted by: Mark Bennet on Monday, 23 May 2011 at 11:25pm BST

Nat: We prayed this morning, in the intercessions, for Camping and his followers.

What a wonderful, Christian thing to do. I wish we had thought of that.

Posted by: Old Father William on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 at 6:27pm BST
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