Thinking Out Loud

April 1, 2011

Rapture Could Lower Weekly Church Attendance

Vic the Vicar, if you haven’t guessed, is a pastor in England who has a blog by the same name.   All the talk of the rapture occuring on May 21st has him concerned, because if it happens, it could seriously deplete his church membership.  And we can’t have that.  It’s nice to know that Vic has such a strong vision for a healthy post-rapture church.   Here are some thoughts taken from recent posts at his blog:

May 21st Rapture – Keeping your congregation

Here, in readiness for the 21st of May, we have purchased specially engineered ‘anti-rapture’ seating for our church building. Here’s a  picture of one of the congregation trying one of the seats out for size:

Don’t delay, buy them now before the need (and the congregation) disappears!

Come in a variety of colours and sizes to suit all of your congregation. Just click the seatbelt on and you’re ready to keep on being church when the others have gone.

Making being left behind fun!

Rapture – Camping Equipment

For those of you wondering what you can do to keep your members from leaving on the 21st may, here’s a nifty little design that might just help.

All you need is a handyman in the congregation to knock these up and hopefully, when the 21st [of May] comes, you’ll have enough members left to pay the amount owing.

May 21st Rapture – Be prepared

Looks like the preparations for keeping believers when the rapture comes in May are taking shape. With this clever little modification to the church it should be possible to catch the members in the nets (being also biblical in that we will be ‘fishers of men’).

Needless to say, Vic the Vicar isn’t a fan of people who set rapture dates.  In one post he reminds us of

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” Matt 24: 36.

while in another post, he sees people like this as enemies of the church:

Christians! Who needs enemies?

The main focus of attention this week has been the fact that Christians have no need of enemies or people seeking to pull them down when they have enough people willing to do that from within.

If I had a [dollar] for every mention I have had from people about the end of the world happening in May… “Ho, Ho, Vicar,” They cry, “It’s bad enough that your Jesus geezer isn’t ever coming back without you having people making things worse by announcing his appearing! Won’t come then, won’t come ever – a permanent ‘no show’ your bloke and the prophesies fron nutters will only make more people see that!”

The sad thing is that I can see that they are right about that.

That said, He will come back (at a time no one will predict) and those who sneer, the naysayers and mockers will be wondering what has hits them (and worse still, what will be coming to hit them). Just like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and their abortive expected due date, of which there have been sixteen thus far (if I have counted correctly) we’re going to look like a bunch of lunatics and sad types if the ‘prophets’ keep it up!

Moving on. Those amazingly sad types who have prophesied that Japan was God’s vengeance because of [insert blinking ridiculous reason here] bring the whole of Christendom into disrepute and also demonstrate that they have no understanding of who God is, or how He acts. To criticise a blatantly flawed, secular nation, because of their wrong actions is not to raise a hand against the Lord’s anointed but is to uphold what God calls us to be and to do! To condone evil because of a name is to (once again) subject YHWH and His Son and the Holy Spirit to ridicule.

Staggering forward, we come to those who seek to bleat about the world not being Christian and, as proof of this, look for ways in which we can challenge the ungodly. The problem is that whilst the identification of things contrary to God might be right the manner in which they engage damages the argument and weakens our position as Christians even further. Acting in ways that deny God is something we are called no to do, but why let that stop a good campaign?

So, seems that those opposed to us need do nothing but let those outlined above keep on doing the work for them – after all, they’re doing such a good job without any help from those who wish to see us ridiculed, mocked, marginalised and render ineffective.

To indulgine in a modification of the words of St Thumper of Bambi:

“If you can’t say anything sensible (and biblical), keep your mouth closed!”

But in the end, Vic the Vicar softens his language.  Instead of considering these date-setters — and others of that ilk — enemies, he ends up calling them most “unhelpful Christians.”

Nominate your unhelpful Christian

Following on from the blog yesterday I have had quite an interesting mail bag and so I thought I’d ask you for your opinions.

The categories on offer (thus far, feel free to add more) are :

The issue :

1. The Rapture
2. Pathetic Prophets and wicked utterance brigade
3. Marginalized Christians
4. Young Earth

The Message:

1. Jesus returns on 21st May
2. Japan is God’s enemy because . . . .
3. Look at us, we’re being acted against because . . .
4. You’re not a Christian in you done believe in literal days of creation

The Person:

1. Harold Camping
2. Fred Phelps
3. Nomination vacant
4. Ken Ham

Loads of room for more here – what do you think about the way we portray ourselves and ‘preach’ our subjective, skewed and sometimes contrary ‘truths’ to others?

I have to say that I was amazed at the response to this issue which I assumed was one of those ‘just me’ things. Once we’re done with this (if it flies) I will post a poll and we can see who wins the awards and hopefully I’ll have a better understanding of what’s going on outside my own space as well.

Pax

8 Comments »

  1. I enjoyed (if I can even use this word in this context) the tongue in cheek humor in relation to the May 21st date….it cut through the dread I am feeling. Three weeks ago, as our congregation left church, we found flyers on every car stating “Christ is Returning on May 21st” and the world will end shortly thereafter. My husband, who attends church weekly but is not a Christian, thought it was very funny. Although he never mocks my genuine faith, this flyer made for a joke almost all the way home. He said “You know that side by side fridge with all the bells and whistles you have been wanting? Well you may as well buy it on that ‘6 months no payment” plan” As he made several remarks like that I grew more and more uncomfortable. In the end I said “This flyer mocks what is true. Christ is returning for His own. And I will be gone in a moment” Suddenly the mood grew somber because my husband, a self proclaimed agnostic, knows that if I am right, he is not going with me. This end-of-the-world cult is disturbing but expected as the return of Christ is ever closer. No specific day or time can be given, but the season is upon us.

    Comment by Cynthia — April 1, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    • “This flyer mocks what is true.”  An excellent summation of the two very different aspects of this.  Thanks, Cynthia.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — April 1, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  2. I have been amazed by the number of unchurched people who have taken notice of the 21st May Rapture.

    I would be happy if this provided an opportunity for us to engaged in an apologetic (1 Peter 3;15) but the reality is that many are seeing in this nothing more than a source of ridicule (‘he won’t be back on the 21st May, and never will be back!’) and some are fearful that he will.

    Much as I’d love the Boss to return, think it will happen when I haven’t got my bags packed and hopefully have preached the Gospel to more people too!

    Thanks for the mention – think you can see why I’ll never make bishop (Hallelujah!) – it’s nice to know someone reads the blog :)

    Pax

    Comment by Vic the Vicar — April 2, 2011 @ 2:51 am

  3. Normally, I would be quiet in these matters but foolishness has far surpassed anything I could have imagined in my life. God’s word has been so corrupted by the enemy with all of these “new” versions of God’s true word, of which I am so shocked that a child of God would even consider a compromise to his foundation on which the body should have been established as one body. But division is your reward for changing one period or adding one comma to His word. And I promise you from His word, a house divided shall not stand. We should be ashamed of ourselves for looking for a rapture when you have people out there who are lost and don’t know the Lord. I suggest that this nation fall on their knees and ask God for forgiveness for their pride and arrogance which is a deadly sin. I would pray that God would delay His coming until my loved ones and those that are lost can be brought into the fold as we supposedly were. That God would deliver us from the enemy’s leadership that has deceived the body to where it no longer has any power on this earth. Pray that you will have the strength to go through the time of sorrow that is now upon us. Don’t rejoice but repent for His coming is drawing near. Pray that you have enough Word in you to have the faith to stand in time of trouble. Again, I say repent.

    Comment by Phillip Bushong — April 12, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

    • I did like your line:

      We should be ashamed of ourselves for looking for a rapture when you have people out there who are lost and don’t know the Lord.

      Agree totally. But you did indeed take matters seriously responding to a blog post that was, after all, posted on April Fools Day.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — April 12, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

  4. It really isnt so much the blog that i am taking serious,its the calloused nature of these people that just seem to be waiting on an escape rout,or should I say “Hopeing” for a rapture,Here we have churches on every corner, and each believing there the only one today that is worthy,and all others are decieved,.To me, its just another church tradition to scare or keep them under subjection for the purpose of membership and control,believe this,there killing christians every day in the middle east,Rapture is not there top priority word,obeying God is,I love Gods people, but we have got to grow up and mature in him, to see our calling,and fulfill his plan in our lives.to be one body,Unity,thats what he coming for.

    Comment by Phillip Bushong — April 13, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  5. I believe the Rapture is coming, but how can man predict it? The Lord said “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
    -Matthew 24:36

    Comment by Vince — May 16, 2011 @ 8:25 am

  6. […] weekend, a series of eschatological fiction books became an object of ridicule online. In a way, the op-ed sentiment was always there: Stories based on a premise that took hold with the American Christian populace in […]

    Pingback by Left Behind as Object of Mockery | Thinking Out Loud — October 6, 2014 @ 7:11 am


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