The following is a commentary in an ongoing series of “Reflections” by John Mill. John Mill is the radio persona of Ronald Bruce Meyer and can be heard on “American Heathen.” “The American Heathen” Internet radio broadcast is aired, live, on Friday nights from 7:00pm-10:00pm Central time on ShockNetRadio.com
When Jesus Comes: My Rapture
A Reflection by Ronald Bruce Meyer
You’ve seen the billboards, or maybe the bus signs, or the park bench signs: Pastor Harold Camping and WeCanKnow.com and Family Radio, they want you to save the date: May 21st – tomorrow! – is the date when Jesus returns to earth.
“We are living at a time when mankind seems to sense that the end of all things is very near,” says their website. “Just about everyone has a theory as to how the world is threatened and when that end might come. The media and the Internet are full of doomsday speculations concerning the New Age ‘Mayan Calendar’ and the year 2012. Some scientists predict that Global Warming could wipe out life on Planet Earth within a certain number of years.”
They go on: “the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011” and “God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011… He will close the door to salvation on May 21, 2011, when He returns to take his elect children to heaven and begins the day of Judgment on earth for all of those left behind until October 21, 2011, when He will destroy the world and all that is therein.”
WeCanKnow.com is not joking. And they don’t seem to be in it for the money – at least, I haven’t seen them asking for donations. Which makes sense: how would they use the money when they’re all raptured to heaven?
But we’ve seen all this before, haven’t we? WeCanKnow.com comes 167 years after another prediction of the end of the world: Baptist preacher William Miller made meticulous calculations from the Bible predicting that Christ would return and the world would end on 22 October 1844.
And Harold Camping himself also predicted THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT for September 6, 1994. Oops!
OK, they were all wrong before. But… what if, you know, Camping’s Family Radio and WeCanKnow.com are right THIS TIME?
If Jesus is coming tomorrow, we gotta be ready. But there are 34,000 different sects of Protestant religion alone – not to mention the Catholics, the Mormons, the Muslims and all the others. What if you choose the wrong one?
Just in case those of us listening right now don’t get raptured tomorrow, are all the money and the property – is that all up for grabs for nonbelievers?
What about people who are scared of heights? Do they still get raptured?
I worry about all those nuns married to Jesus – he’s going to have more than 72 virgins, but they’re all over 72.
Does the return of Jesus mean all the Republican Christian Nationalists will be raptured? And if they don’t disappear tomorrow, does that mean they’ll all shut up about God?
Does the return of Jesus mean I can turn on the TV and not be assaulted with televangelists begging for money? Turn on the radio and not hear preachers screaming at me?
Will all the unbaptized, unborn fetuses be raptured, too? Or do they have to be born first? And if they have to be born, what about their right to life? And what if the mother was an unbeliever? Will she still be raptured if her fetus is raptured?
This end-times stuff has me really worried.
Here I am doing this rinky-dink Internet radio show. I mean, God can’t do this to me! I’m the Great, the Legendary, John Mill! I coulda done better than this!
“You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been somebody. Instead of a bum. I coulda been a contender.” (Brando, On the Waterfront, 1954, mixed up a bit)
Je pourrais avoir été un compétiteur.
Habría podido ser un competidor.
Potrei essere un concorrente.
Ich könnte ein Kämpfer gewesen sein.
Oh, sweet Jesus! I’m speaking in tongues! But they’re real tongues… does that count?
If I’m left behind, what happens to my right behind? You know, the cheek where I have the mark of the beast?
And all those billboards that Camping and Family Radio put up… I hope they were prepaid!
Although he was agnostic, the Catholic-born Moore he preferred to be regarded as a Protestant – even though Protestants, too, found his ideas about Jesus troublesome.