I’ve received some feedback for my first Ratpuregate post so I wanted to clarify my thinking on this issue. I also learned an important lesson: you should try to avoid heavier topics when looking out over San Francisco Bay from your executive suite at the Hilton – sometimes there is a time and a place for deeper thought. : )
Before I clarify my point it’s important to point something out. First – Mr. Camping should be pitied and also feared for his ability to mobilize the campaign he did. Pitied because he has squandered quite a bit of his fortune on such a foolish pursuit; feared because he was able to take so many other people with him, many of whom risked much more than he did.
The point I wanted to drive home which, upon further reading, I missed the mark on is this: why was the whole world so fascinated with this? Facebook, Twitter, Google News, TV news, print news have been frenzied over this prediction. Why?
There are some who think it was like watching a train wreck with Mr. Camping and his followers being the ill-fated train. Others who think this was a way for anti-religion to run amok.
My thesis is simple, different (and I strongly desire to restate it): we are hardwired for God, and this event – to me – proves it. Now this is not just some whimsical and romantic notion, it’s also a sobering one as well. There are parts of us – deep down in places that we don’t quite understand – that recognize our separateness from God and our need to reconcile ourselves back to Him (groaning, as it were, for redemption). How many times have you been in a conversation, heard someone make an off-colored remark, and say “Man you’re totally going to hell for that!” Judgement Day, our day of reckoning before God, has a way of subconsciously being in the midst of our culture.This prediction took that innate, subconscious thought and brought it to the forefront of our national (and even international) conversation unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. For me I see this as opportunity. I see this entire episode as something that confirms that the harvest is plentiful – that people are still thirsty for God, and that we should not give up hope in our evangelical efforts. That, no matter how far our culture tries to run away from God, it is so very quick to bring our separateness to the front pages of our newspapers. Certainly there have been many jokes, some of them vicious, about Christianity in general about this whole thing. But I also think it’s a natural human tendency to joke and even vilify that which makes us the most uncomfortable. Yet, beyond all of this lies the fact that news editors everywhere spent considerable resources to report this story. I just can’t quite accept that this has had so much attention just as a means to hate on Christianity.
I genuinely believe there is a “good” spiritual aspect to this entire situation. For me, I hear the groaning of creation crying out for redemption. And I hear it as a drum beat to be called to the battle of New Evangelization (because frankly we need to not let the Mr. Campings of the world guide the national discourse). This is my thesis and my argument, and I wanted to clarify it. This also helps you, dear readers, to engage in disagreement. This is my argument – feel free to agree or disagree, but at least (and I HOPE) it has been now well stated.
I hope this clears things up. And Josh, don’t give up yet….