Thursday, May 29, 2008

Maybe I Should Be Preaching More About The End Times

A couple of odd things happened yesterday.
A lady who attends another church stopped by my office & asked me for help. She apologized for bothering me when I was busy... but wanted to know if I could "real short explain the book of Revelation." Hmmm....
I managed to keep it down to 5 minutes, which definitely isn't time for much in the way of detail:
  • letters to churches {chapters 1-3}
  • things are gonna get worse before they better... and everybody & his brother has an opinion on how that's going to work - some are more detailed (read: specific charts, timelines & battle plans) than others... and I'm one of those "less details, more big picture" kind of guys when it comes to this subject {chapters 4-19}
  • things will get better {chapters 20-22}
Then Shari comes home and says she's been hearing ads on one of our local Christian radio stations for a service that will e-mail your pagan friends who are not raptured when the rapture comes. I googled and found - seriously, that's the name of it. (I figure Larry Norman is spinning in his grave at someone profiting off his song in such a cheeseball way.)  

After perusing the site, I just want to say - and with as much feeling as I can possibly communicate in text format - "blech." These folks have read the Left Behind series way too many times... this kind of thing comes off as smug & rude right now - I don't expect it play a whole lot better if the Rapture plays out according to their pre-trib LaHaye-loving expectations.
And, according to Ken Magill, it's unlikely to work anyway:
For an initial fee of $40 for one year—the following years’ fees will be determined by the number of members—You’ve Been Left Behind’s after-the-rapture e-mail service allows subscribers to set up documents that can be sent to up to 62 e-mail addresses automatically just after they disappear to explain what happened. According to a press release, employs a “dead-man’s switch” so that when the presumably saved operators of the Web site disappear, they will fail to take some sort of regularly scheduled action and the after-the-rapture e-mails will begin to go out. OK, so let’s think about this for a moment, shall we? First, it’s not really a dead man’s switch, is it? It’s more like a “saved man’s” switch. Also, let’s say the service gets 10,000 subscribers. That’s 620,000 messages coming all at once from IP addresses that previously have shown little to no activity. As a result, Internet service providers’ anti-spam filters will most certainly block or divert them into recipients’ spam folders. Who’s going to be around at You’ve Been Left Behind to conduct ISP relations? Maybe the group should employ a staff of the damned to make sure things go smoothly after all those who are saved disappear. Some Unitarians would probably be up for the job—they’re such an amenable bunch, after all.
I realize he's being funny - but I was actually composing an ad out loud for this thing to Shari: "Hey, don't worry about problems - we've got five hardened pagans on the payroll who are ready & willing to help you out after you've 'taken off'... granted, they may just loot all of this highly secure information, but what do you care?! You're outta here..."
And at the heart of the matter, that's the problem - if we love people who don't follow Jesus so darn much, why not do something about it now rather than spamming them from heaven?


Anonymous said...

My inaugural address at the Great White Throne Judgment of the Dead, after I have raptured out billions! The Secret Rapture soon, by my hand!
Read My Inaugural Address
At =

Mark said...

There has been a great deal of buzz in the secular media about my website. Unless the comments were just religious bigotry, I noted them as constructive criticism. I have made changes already to the site, eliminating references to passwords and powers of atty. I was never our intention to scam people out of the private information.
This site began with a thought of how to send an email to someone after the Rapture. We have come up with a way to deliver just that. I you don’t believe in the Rapture then this is not the site for you. I actually developed the idea for my own personal situation and made it available to others like me. I am a user of the site. Programming, tech support and security are not free. I am not trying to get rich. I do need to maintain a system.
I fully support everybody’s right to a difference of opinion and express it. Tolerate mine too. If God ceases to exist in America, then all “inalienable rights” and “all men created equal” cease to exist also.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Mark - your opinion is tolerated. In other words, you have the right to run your company, set up your software & servers, whatever... I in no way want to infringe on your right to free enterprise and/or free expression.

At the same time, my tolerance of you does not in any way obligate me to agree with your and/or to stop expressing my own opinion of what you are doing.

Look, I don't think this is a "get rich" scheme... my concern is that we are hardening people's hearts to the grace of Jesus Christ by our obsession with a particular interpretation of Scripture (the exact timeline of the 2nd coming) that is not required to have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

What I (or anyone) believes about the specifics of the end times will not affect their eternal destiny; what they believe about the death & resurrection of the Son of God will.

Let's keep our eyes on the ball.