Okay, I tried and tried to not write this particular post. But like the nightmare of the movie Ground Hog Day, it kept coming back to me, over and over. I didn’t want to write it because by implication it says that some Christians have been just plane stupid and I didn’t want to be seen as airing the families dirty laundry. But since no one who performed this particular stupid Christian trick is named, I decided I had to go for it. Oh and by the way, the Stupid Christian Trick comes from the Stupid Pet Tricks that we often see on variety shows. They are pathetic and you know you shouldn’t watch but some how you just can’t turn away or change the channel. This story is like that for me.
Here is the gist of the thing as reported in the Orlando Sentinel recently (After the Rapture: Man Will Deliver Messages) It seems that one enterprising atheist decided that since he was clearly not going to be taken to Heaven when Jesus returns, that he would make some money off the event. For a small fee you can give him a message, that he promises to deliver to any of your loved ones who are “Left Behind” when Jesus comes back. I have got to give the guy credit for for his entrepreneurial spirit. It is a rather brilliant idea.
I have no problem with an atheist coming up with such a plan and implementing it. My problem is with the response of Christians. The pathetic thing is, people are actually giving the guy money and messages to deliver. Are you kidding me? Folks, when Jesus comes back I am pretty sure that everyone will know about it. Let’s even assume a theological position that says there will be some left behind when Christians suddenly disappear. If in an instant, a billion or so Christians suddenly vanish, do you think anyone is going to need a note passed on to them from an atheist messenger service to explain to them what happened? I am pretty sure that if this particular scenario is what ends up happening, people will figure it out.
But lets assume for a minute that it actually happens that way. What do you suppose our Atheistic Messenger will be doing. My guess is that suddenly confronted by the reality of the Rapture and the Lordship of Jesus, the last thing on his mind will be delivering your message to your loved one. He will be neck deep in his own problems at that point. Not the least of which is that his plan has gone terribly wrong. He was banking on there being no God and no Rapture. Now his whole belief system and world view has come crashing down. Sorry but your message is not getting delivered under those conditions.
Your better bet would be to make sure that you have been a Christ-like servant to the people who you think will be left behind while you were still here. Why not make sure that you personally let them know of their need for Jesus? Why not love them with such a provocative love that they ask you about Jesus and how to be saved? Wouldn’t that be better than trusting in the good graces of a left behind atheist? I suspect that in some ways it is easier to pay the atheist. But I am sure it is not more effective. If nothing else why not just give them a note yourself? Put it in a sealed envelope titled, “Only To Be Opened If I and A Billion Other Christians Suddenly Disappear”. At least you would know that they have it and you would have saved yourself the messenger fee.
Of course there is the whole other issue that the theology of a left behind group is itself suspect. There is a complete other scenario that you can get from the Bible. Simply put it is that once Jesus returns and those who believe in Him are caught up into the air to greet Him that will be it. The end of the age will have come. It’s time to turn out the lights Irene, the Fat Lady is Singing. There is a pretty strong case from God’s Word that when Jesus returns in the clouds it is to return for good, not just to whisk his followers away for a time. But that does not make for a good book series. One volume and the story is over.
Clearly we need to get a lot more of our theology from God’s Word and not fiction. I can only hope!