I finally saw one in person. Driving around Indianapolis one of the billboards told me I didn’t have much time.
I have heard quite a bit about this group and even visited their website a couple of times, but I didn’t really get that far into why they are pinpointing next Saturday as “Judgment Day”.
By all accounts this group and their leadership fully believes this is it.
To be honest I am still making plans for the 22nd. People have been predicting Christ’s return since he left, and the Bible is direct in stating that only God knows when the end will happen. The debates and predictions make for lively discussion and media attention, but I don’t see any real value resulting in it. Assuming the world doesn’t end on May 21st I can see two immediate issues that those in the faith are going to need to be aware of.
Consequences of Fear
I can’t imagine how fearful I would be if I was a child and my family had bought into this. I also can’t imagine how damaging all this may be if we are all still here that Sunday morning.
Moving forward in faith will surely be difficult for them, and I would guess that some will walk away due to these experiences. Therefore people who take their faith seriously need to be proactive in reaching out to those around us. As we get closer to the 21st it will be a topic of discussion and people will begin to wonder even faintly about the prediction.
This is an opportunity to point people towards grace, not towards predictions.
Defending the Odd
The media reports I have seen don’t do much to put this group in a positive light (although I don’t know how possible that really is). It will be easy fodder for shots at the local church and the Bible. I know that it will also be very easy for me to sit back and silently agree with some of their assessments.
Sure it is odd and sure the holes are obvious, but clearly they are trying to follow Jesus completely.
They may be weird but they are still family.