It is easy to mock Harold Camping and his crew for insisting the rapture will take place tomorrow. Mockery is without question a valid biblical response to false teaching, as Isaiah and many of the other prophets will attest. I’m pleased to see on Facebook and in my feed reader this morning some posts that go beyond mockery to address the issues surrounding the current hysteria with appropriate biblical and theological astuteness. If nothing else, Camping has provided an opportunity to teach people what the Bible actually says about these matters.
But I can’t help thinking about the pastoral needs of people whose worldview is going to come crashing down when, as the overwhelming majority of Christians believe, nothing particularly eschatological happens on May 21. It’s hard to idly mock after reading stories of real-live people who have been caught up in the hysteria. When their foundations crumble, I would prefer that they embrace historic Christianity rather than feel driven into even weirder or more dangerous cult-like groups.
In that spirit, let me share a half-baked idea I’ve had. James 4:13-17 warns us against being too arrogant in our plans because we honestly don’t know what tomorrow may bring. But barring any unforeseen circumstances I’ll be posting a sort of pastoral letter on May 22 for those few who may be prepared to read it.