Friday, May 20, 2011

See Y'all Tomorrow!

That is, I assume if you’re reading this you’re a Christian. In which case I’ll wave to you as we’re passing through the clouds. And if you’re not, well it sucks to be you.

In case you haven’t heard, the world is ending tomorrow. I couldn’t quite figure out why tomorrow, but Matt at The Church of No People ran the math and it now makes perfect sense. Comforting to me, is seeing who’s behind this. No, tomorrow’s series finale isn’t news to me, but this article was the first I’ve seen that connected tomorrow’s big event to the same prediction back in 1994. I vividly remember that day. Some friends and I were in our school’s library at the prescribed hour watching the news for something, anything, to indicate there might be a hint of truth to that prediction. There wasn't any. Of course, like most predictions of this kind, when the end of the world does not come the reason is usually some kind of math error: “I forgot to carry the one.” (Or “I forgot to check Jesus’ words that I wouldn’t know the day or the hour. That’s what I get for only reading Revelation and Tim LeHaye.”)

There is legitimate reason for concern, of course. This article from Slate sums up all the disasters around the world that could give us pause, or at least remind us of our own mortality and fragility. These are called “Black Swan” events, where the consequence is so high it would be catastrophic, yet the probability is so low that it shouldn’t keep us from getting out of bed in the morning.

At least that article is based on good science. I got home yesterday with a flier in my door warning me of the end of the world. Not tomorrow, necessarily, but sometime in the near future. Their reasoning isn’t global warming which was dismissed as being a political distraction from the real issue- Solar Flares. Yep. All the earthquakes, flooding, and tornados recently are because of solar flares. And the solar panels being installed all around town, especially at our local schools, are to protect those facilities from the oncoming devastation. I didn’t know that’s what solar panels were. I thought they were for, like, producing electricity or something. I also didn’t know that there were shadows on the moon that cause explosions that could destroy the Earth and that they just started happening, like last week!

If you look at my Twitter profile, I describe myself as a “space geek”. That’s not in an amateur astronomer kind of way, but in a I-do-this-for-a-living kind of way. I couldn’t believe the bad-science this church was promoting. Of course the motivation of it all was to get right with Jesus. I guess if solar flares motivate your relationship with Christ, more solar power to you.

When faced with the end of the world, or our impending death, many consider what they’d do if they only had a couple hours, days, weeks to live. A “bucket list” so to speak. Recently when putting together notes for my Crazy Love small group, I turned the question around into a personal gut-punch. The question isn’t what you’d do if you only had one day to live (spend more time with family, tell my boss what I really think, etc) but rather what would you do if you knew that in one day you would be face to face with the Creator of the Universe. Different question entirely. And the reality is, good or bad science, end-times theology or not, we all have to face that question because that moment could come at any

time. (Made you think I raptured, didn’t I)

(One final note. In the NYT article above, a few say they'll be waiting for Jesus' return by being "glued to our TV sets, waiting for the Resurrection and earthquake from nation to nation." Yep, nothing looks more like following Jesus than watching TV. If I really believed the world was going to end tomorrow, I'd be out sharing the Gospel until the moment Jesus comes back. I wouldn't be watching the news for reasons to gloat. I'm sorry, but that attitude ticks me off.)

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