Sunday, May 22, 2011

That would be the beginning

This day pray for the disappointed, that they do not lose their faith. Jared Wilson:
From our dinner table conversation tonight.
Dad: (seeing Mom looking at the clock) Are you seeing if the rapture happened? I think it's past 6 p.m.
Mom: No.
Grace, 7: What's the rapture?
Macy, 9: The rapture isn't happening today.
Grace: What's the rapture?
Macy: It's when Jesus comes back.
Grace: Oh. Yeah, I don't think that's happening today.
Mom: Would you be ready if Jesus did come back today?
Grace: That would be like the end of the world.
Mom: No, that would be the beginning of it!
I love my ladies.
The reporter assigned by the New Republic doesn't like how we are reacting to the disappointment:
.... [T]he more I looked into the story, the more it began to turn my stomach to think of spending my Saturday evening in someone’s living room, waiting for that gotcha moment when they realized it was all a lie—leaving me to file a story the next day, poking fun at their gullibility. I decided I couldn’t do it.

Yet the media coverage has continued, and now to me, the schadenfreude has turned sinister. Based on the high traffic the articles are garnering, it would seem as if many of us are intrigued voyeurs, gleeful in knowing the exact day when these people will experience their life’s greatest disappointment. We feel superior, knowing that even though they told us we were heading for death and destruction, now, they get theirs. ....

.... There’s a cruelty underlying our desire to laugh at this story—a desire to see people humiliated and to revel in our own superiority and rationality—even though the people in question are pretty tragic characters, who either have serious problems themselves or perhaps are being taken advantage of, or both.

Sure, it’s an interesting story when a fringe group decides the world is ending tomorrow. But it’s also a small story. Come Sunday morning, as news articles flood in about the disillusioned end-timers, and those articles instantly become some of the most popular on the web—as they surely will—we might want to ask ourselves not what is wrong with this sad group of apocalyptic believers, but rather what is wrong with a society that takes such pleasure in their dysfunction.
The Gospel-Driven Church: That's What's Up, The Media's Shameful Obsession With The Rapture | The New Republic