I was flabbergasted when my husband told me that there was serious press covering the 89 year-old preacher from San Leandro, California who was claiming the rapture was occurring May 21, 2011. Á la our 3 year old granddaughter, “For reals?!? San Leandro?!? Real news agencies?!? Puh-leaze!”
Now I know this is a serious issue for many conservative, fundamentalist Christians. In fact, I had to defend my eschatological (end-times) position during orals and ordination. I’m sure they were some who were not surprised at my departure from the norm. After all, I was pioneering women being allowed in seminary, the ministry, and ordination.
I also understand that sometimes the news needs a relief from the incessant, intense news stories they cover. Why not throw in something out of the ordinary? It certainly worked! The buzz was all over the social web and the media.
But here’s the first part of what’s so disturbing for me: with all of the real crises in our neighborhoods, states, country, and world, why are we talking about a subject that is shrouded in mystery at the very least and not willing to have a serious conversation about, better yet, act on what we can affect?
I may not be able to solve the health care mess, but I can visit with the recently widowered man down the street who feels hopeless in his grief and afraid of burdening his son should something happen to him too. I may feel that my political views are not welcome in my community (and I’m pretty sure they aren’t), but that doesn’t mean I keep silent because I’m worried what people will think of me (I’m sure most who know me know that’s not my issue, but I know it’s a real concern for many). I may not be able to affect world peace or even agree with U.S. military policy, but I can donate blood for the military who are responding to their call to serve.
Here’s the second part that’s so disturbing to me: we’ll mock and joke about something we don’t believe in in the first place, but we won’t talk about the real false prophets in our midst.