|by Barbara Early|
Well, May 21st has come and gone, and surprise! We’re still here. Or maybe, like me, you weren’t so surprised.
If anyone is wondering what I’m talking about, a few folks had been buying billboards and advertising space, spreading the word that the Rapture, an event where Christ would return in the clouds and all Christians would be taken up to meet him in the air, would occur on May 21, 2011. Apparently it hasn’t. Yet.
I’m trying not to be a wise guy here. (For me, that’s a challenge.) I imagine a number of well-meaning Christians are still scratching their heads wondering what happened. And that has to be a painful thing. I too await his return. But it’s time to add Saturday to the increasing list of false alarms people have raised.
Despite those who say all publicity is a good thing, the predictions and their failure to perform can generate ridicule from the non-Christian community. Snarky comments come from all quarters, like “The Rapture is coming, and I have nothing to wear,” as heard on The View. A Seattle atheist group even created a Rapture Relief Fund and blood drive, to sustain the loss during all the floods, earthquakes, plagues and famine leading up to Armageddon. I do have to say, I like this quote a facebook friend of mine posted on his wall, "False prophets being wrong about eschatology is a sign of the End Times."
While it will take time for this to blow over—probably until someone sets the next date, Christians aren’t the only ones showing their gullibility. A certain group of vegetarians are a bit red-raced too. VegNews.com was recently discovered to be photo-shopping pictures of their food. While digital enhancement is not new or uncommon, vegetarians of every stripe were horrified to find out that those pictures of veggie burgers and other meat alternatives they were drooling over were (O the humanity!) stock photos of real meat.
Another addition to the photo-enhanced debate is the controversy surrounding President Obama’s birth certificate. Someone has been duped. Without taking sides in the controversy, it’s clear someone has taken time to stage an elaborate hoax. Some say the birth certificate has been photo-shopped. But if it is genuine, then the You-tube videos displaying the supposed layers are false.
Meanwhile the debate goes on in many places: Can we be certain Bin Laden is dead? Was pornography really found in his compound? Some still doubt we landed on the moon and Elvis is dead. While proofs swirl in every direction, one of the most elusive things in our society is truth. In a day where stories are spun to further agendas and pictures can be altered, how can one really know the truth?
Consider any bias. Demosthenes said, "A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." It's natural for Christians to look for the Lord's return, and it’s no odd coincidence that Democrats tend to believe that Obama’s birth certificate is genuine while Republicans tend to doubt. And I’m sure those vegans wanted to believe those meat substitutes looked and tasted just like the real thing.
Consider the source. In this day and age, a wise person is not going to believe everything he hears. (Proverbs 25:2) Regardless of political affiliation, a news report from any major affiliate is going to be more credible than that tidbit that arrives in your inbox prefaced by 27 forwards—even if the person who sent it guarantees he checked the story in SNOPES. And if the news is currently breaking, keep in mind that the story may change once all the details are known.
But there is one source we can rely on. Jesus said, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life.” (John 14:6) And we can count on all his promises, including his promise to return again.
Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not. (Luke 12:40)
I also enjoyed this post from a friend's wall:
The world is not ending today. It is just being rebooted. Please be sure your security software is up to date. Run a full scan of your life and remove any malicious files which may be damaging your joy, stealing your hope, or slowing down your blessings. If you need more instructions, please refer to the users manual, readily available or put your hands together, bow your head and contact tech support.
Question of the Day: Have you ever fallen for a false report or a scam? Or maybe you’ve found one of God’s promises particularly comforting. Care to share?
Barbara Early grew up buried in the snowy suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where she developed a love for all things sedentary: reading, writing, classic movies, and facebook scrabble. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, but her penchant for the creative caused her to run away screaming from the pocket-protector set. She taught secondary English and science for several years in a Christian school before home schooling her daughter successfully through high school. Barbara cooks up cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy, and was a double finalist in the 2010 ACFW Genesis competition. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her husband and daughter.