“That guy’s a total whackjob” said one of my coworkers. “He believes some crazy s[tuff].”
I smiled, and had a brief internal argument with myself. I too believe some crazy excrement, now that you mention it.
Should I lead with the culturally appropriate stuff that I believe, and go the “Jesus loves the environment, and is most likely OK with beer and at least 75% of all forms of dancing” route? Or should I ‘fess up to the “I’m down with the whole raised from the dead aspect of this story, and actually take the really uncomfortable parts of the Bible as God’s word, too” stuff that is going on in my head?
Because let’s be honest, conservative Christians believe some pretty jacked up stuff. God (the Son, not the Father, who is also God, and there’s only one) became a man (!!), and then was brutally murdered, raised from the dead, appeared to hundreds of people, and then ascended into heaven as if on a cosmic elevator, and is coming back “in the same manner”–except on a horse and with a robe dipped in blood (with or without a tattoo on his leg)–some day. And there are trumpets and a dragon involved.
Yup, that about sums it up. Please don’t ask me about predestination.
My first inclination when this whole rapture thing blew up on the internet was to distance myself from the guy. That guy is a freak, I thought. Then I started to draw the similarities between him and I.
Apart from the whole “save the date” aspect of this guy’s ministry, how different is my theology*? Sure, I’m far too savvy to use tracts with “May 21st” written on the top of them. See, when I share my faith, its…
…well, come to think of it, it has been a while since I explicitly shared my faith, and brought someone to a point of decision regarding these pretty important truths.
So there I stood, smiling like a creepy bobble-head doll while my coworker talked about spiritual things. It’s a new form of evangelism: Creepy bobble-head evangelism. I should write a book. Or maybe just a pamphlet.
If you are going to rebuke Harold Camping and his ministry, do it by sharing your faith lovingly, winsomely, and effectively with your coworkers.
Tell them about the Jesus who has changed your life. Try this line (I think I will, if I get the chance in the next few days as this story continues to unfold):
Yeah, Harold Camping does passionately believe some crazy stuff. I’ll be honest; I’m not really familiar with what he has to say. But I do love talking about spiritual things. We should get together sometime off the clock and talk through some of this stuff. I’ll buy the coffee.
*everything I know about the guy I learned from the Huffington Post about 6 minutes ago. Imagine if all of us were judged by what the Huffington Post said about us. I’m sure we are way different theologically, but as far as the basics go (written above in overly dramatic form), we’re likely pretty similar.