May 24, 2011 by Nicole
It’s been so much fun getting ready to leave in just over a month; it’s that time where I have been starting to dig through the house, looking for the things I have for my trip and making a list of things that I need to get before I go. I think that the highlight of the week thus far, even though it’s Tuesday, has been the arrival of my new moose tote bag via UPS.
Speaking of getting ready to leave, the whole deal with Harold Camping’s prediction for Judgment Day on May 21st has really gotten me to thinking; listening to the buzz from my friends on Facebook has been pretty funny actually; many of them (me included) have expressed a sense of disappointment over being left behind. No one has said anything inappropriate, mind you, but still, it’s always funny to hear other people’s comments on the matter. Besides, when it comes down to it, I don’t think that anyone really had any real cause for alarm; the beauty about someone saying that a certain date and time of God’s judgement is predicable is that if nothing else, you don’t really have too much to fear; now granted I don’t read my Bible as much as some people do, but last I checked, it says that the day and the hour are unknown to all, except for God the Father. I have to say, I am more than a little curious–in all of Harold Camping’s Biblical study and “proof” for his prediction, did he just decide to ignore this little tidbit?
Harold Camping’s failed prediction aside, observing some of the smug satisfaction that people have in watching May 21st come and go without event really makes me angry. It really discourages me that in the aftermath of this whole situation, people seem to take great pleasure in the fact that there is one more Christian nut case out there who only reaffirms what “Christians” are: people who have lost touch with reality and who are only wasting their time, energy, and resources on trying to “save” people by getting them to buy into superstitious nonsense.
Personally, I feel awful for the countless number of people who gave up their money, careers, and various other resources to follow Harold Camping’s teachings and beliefs. But what really concerns me is what this reaction says about the attitude of people toward Christians in general. Religious extremism aside, if you have the courage openly to profess your love for Christ, your understanding that this life is a temporary transition into the next, that you believe in the value and necessity of suffering now only to be rewarded later, people often treat you with contempt. In short, if you believe in God and accept Christ as your Savior, you’re deluded.
Obviously, I can’t prove that I’m not deluded, can I. No matter what I say or what I profess to believe, the fact remains that there is no measurable, scientific way to prove that what I believe has an ounce of truth, and in an enlightened society like ours that scrutinizes and questions to obtain proof of the things that are worthwhile and “real,” I guess that I’ve been tricked. But, there’s also a larger and more frightening consequence to this attitude toward God. If there is no God, then there is no devil. And, to quote Charles Baudelaire’s words– also echoed in C.S. Lewis’ own work The Screwtape Letters- “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Now that’s frightening.