Monday, May 23, 2011

The Rapture Ideation

Just as I suspected, I was left behind.
And so was everybody else.

As Pastor Harold Camping, founder of Family Radio, had determined, and many more believed, the Rapture, as Christians call it, was supposed to have happened on Saturday, May 21st. That it did not happen comes as a big surprise to no one outside of that particular bubble. It is a bubble that has reached across the globe to encompass many hundreds of thousands of people, but it is a bubble nevertheless.

I am not going to make fun of Pastor Camping, as many have been doing, but I am going to put his feeble, and self-misguided faith into some context.

So, what causes a man to espouse a belief system that puts his own credibility so directly at risk? Well, mental illness comes to mind. But clothe mental illness in religious doctrine and it becomes legitimized in the minds of many, as we have seen over the past few weeks.

Suicidal ideation is a concept that also begs to be examined in the context of such a persons predetermined, and hoped for, exit from this earth. Because Pastor Camping can no longer make his own life work, that is, that he can no longer reconcile his feeble faith with the realities of real life, he prefers, instead, to make a grand exit, one that will solve all of those problems for him. And not only solve them, but ensure that he ends up being right as well. After all, being right is more important to some people than actually being well. The things the mind will do to justify one’s own psychosis.
I also suspect, in the Pastor’s case, that there is a pompous, and self-aggrandizing, need to lead, a need to be right in the eyes of many, rather than in just his own. When one, however, does not actually have any credible thoughts worth following, you can see why that person would appeal so strongly to those whose own faith is equally feeble.

The problem with the kind of suicidal ideation that Pastor Camping entertains is that he does not have the moral courage to actually carry it out himself. Instead, he spiritualizes it, trusting God to remove him from his own inadequacies, from his own failures, and from his own disappointing, probably guilt-ridden, life here on this earth.

Don’t be misled into thinking that I believe suicide is a courageous act. I don’t. I just think it’s more courageous than hoping God will do it for you.
I heard interviews with several May 21st, Rapture doctrine inductees who stood in their back yards waiting, hoping to be taken. I heard them express heartfelt grief, and disappointment, at being left, pained beyond words that they would have to remain here on this earth even a little while longer.
Says more about our world, than it does about their faith.
Don’t you think?

One could argue that the fact that these people believed so strongly in the May 21st Rapture, is evidence of their faith being unusually strong, rather than feeble. Yes, one could argue that perspective.
And one would be wrong about it as well.
I think these people have faith and hope confused with each other.
Faith is not the hope that all your problems will be solved, absolved, dissolved, or mitigated, in the swoop of a divine hand.
That is wishful thinking, at best.

Faith is something you have to find on your own.
And it will not require you to follow someone else’s lead.

By the way, the Pastor is now in seclusion, where I happen to believe he should remain since he was not supposed to be here today anyway.

My thoughts. I’m sure you have your own.