Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Apocalyptic fervor spurs benevolent giving

Thousands of born-again Christians are selling their homes across the United States. They are signing over their bank accounts to non-Christian relatives, and giving away everything they own to their neighbors. This appears to be spurred by an apocalyptic fervor.

Family Radio owner and founder Harold Camping has declared that an event called the rapture will occur on May 21st. On that day faithful followers will suddenly disappear and go to be with God in Heaven. "Billions will be left behind to experience the judgment of God," Camping says, "the Bible guarantees it."

Those faithful followers appear to be giving away all they own to people whom they believe will be left behind.

Christian Johns, a carpenter from Salina, KS sold his home, and is living in a tent on the edge of town, beneath a billboard which carries the message of the May 21st Judgment Day. Johns paid for the billboard with his own money just as thousands have done across the US. The rest of his money he gave to a church in Salina whose pastor was recently accused of having affairs with multiple women in the church.

"Well, I know that pastor ain't gonna to be goin' in the rapture." Johns said, "So I gave him the money so he can preach the Gospel to all those people left behind."

Johns' benevolent activity is being modeled across the country. Televangelists' have experienced as much as a 300% increase in donations. Sources indicate that Benny Hinn's ministry is preparing a special series of Left Behind Crusades this summer, and they are purchasing a private vacation island for Rev. Hinn based upon the over abundance of donations in the last few months.

An itinerant preacher not wanting to be named said, "It is generally agreed among us that this is a great time to be a false prophet. A little rapture frenzy is fantastic when it comes time to pass the plate."

In Grand Rapids, MI Muslim families have been finding anonymous envelopes filled with cash left on their doorsteps. Notes left with the cash say, "This should help you through the days of judgment. Just remember, when God's wrath smites you, and your family has the plague Jesus still loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life."

Marci, whose family moved to the US from Pakistan 7 years ago is secretly thinking of becoming a Christian, "My neighbor was a very mean man. He told me everyday for 7 years that I was going to go to Hell. Now he moved away, and I found all this money on my doorstep. Maybe Jesus does love me. Jesus got rid of my mean neighbor, and gave me lots of money."

Christian author Tim LaHaye's best selling Christian Fiction series Left Behind is having a sales revival and is climbing up the New York Times best seller list. The sales representative on the phone at Christian Book Dealerrs said that most purchases of Left Behind are being sent as gifts to non-Christian friends and family. The Christian Book Dealers website has a special Judgment Day sale page, but currently lists the Left Behind series as "on order" with a 8 week delay in delivery.

Joshua, 37 who lives with his parents in Florida recently checked out of a drug rehab program when his parents signed over all their assets to him. His parents Jan and Paul Breese are traveling the country warning people of the impending day of judgment.

"We are traveling to as many cities as we possibly can," Jan said while passing out pamphlets in New Orleans recently, "because this is the day we have been excitedly waiting for. Billions are going to be left behind with God's wrath sending them earthquakes, and famines, and plagues and all that stuff."

"I don't know anything about this judgment my mom's talking about," says Joshua, "but it doesn't seem so bad being left behind. I'm throwing a really big party on May 22nd."

for more information on this subject see Left Behind: The Party!


Unknown said...

I'm pretty sure this is not what Paul meant when he talks about becoming a fool in order to be made wise. It makes one embarrassed to beknown as a Christian. I'm getting tired of repeating the phrase, "...but I'm not like those Christians" every time a few of them pull something idiotic, so I'm thinking of getting it tattooed on my forehead.

Pastor Phil said...

But if you tattoo 666 on your forehead they will definitely leave you alone...Okay, that might not be the best move for your social life, but it would work.

A-Typical Sociologist said...

How about I am a follower of Christ, not a Christian?

Pastor Phil said...

Hey A-Typical,

Not sure your family and friends would be thrilled with that tattooed on your forehead, but a good tattoo artist might do nice artwork with it - I guess.

Unknown said...

Now that last post was funny, Phil.
As for tattooing 666 on my forehead, it's not a bad idea, but one of the other, MANY things I'm tired of is Christians trying to fix me. Now, you would think that, with 666 on my forehead, that would make me a hopeless case, but I suspect that the Christian tendency toward believing for the impossible would make me the ministry target du jour for the rest of my "jour"s--or at least until May 21st.

Kendra said...

Just curious...What happens to these people on May 22nd when their prediction proves to be false? Do they lose faith or just pick another day for the rapture?(By the way, the last four digits of my cell are 1666. I always tell people I am one devil.) I can't help but think that things were much easier when I was Wiccan. It's hard to follow a faith that is supposed to be so meaningful in making you a better person, when you see its followers are more evil than in many other faiths. Jesus has done so much for my life, but Christians are destroying it. It's sad! These days I prefer to worship alone. No rapture worries either!

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Kendra,

I do think we been sold a bill of goods on the issue of the promise of change. Not that the promise is not there, but that it should somehow just be happening without the co-laboring to make it happen. In this issue of personal responsibility the Wiccans somewhat are correct.

As far as this gang: some will be discouraged and hide away, some will reset the date, and some could possibly give up their faith I suppose. Welcome to the wild world of false prophecies, and their ramifications in people's lives.

KenTexts said...

Your concepts are somewhat mixed-up and inexact. Harold Camping preaches a bizarre version of the Christian Gospel by which, to the question, "How can I be saved?", the answer goes: "I don't know!" (I have heard this, verbatim, from him over the radio). The best the Campingites can advise is "Hope that God will save you!" Camping is so hyper-Calvinistic that, to him, there is no way of having any assurance in the least concerning that which God in his sovereign will has preordained. This is why your opening, about the "born again Christians", is rather off the mark. Agree with it or not, the term "born-again Christian" relates to a particular body of teaching that is fundamentally at odds with Camping's entire premise.

Pastor Phil said...

Dear Ken,

Did you realize that the above story is satire, and is not meant to be exact, because most of the people are fictitious. But, thank you for a lesson on Camping - which I did realize by the way, but that is for another satirical post.

Mike said...

Phil. Great post and I have RSVP'd myself a spot at the party. No worries here about going anywhere soon. On the other hand, suppose that Fred Phelps disappears. That will be a good day!!

Ellen Haroutunian Haroutunian said...

While I know this addresses a serious issue, this made me laugh. Thanks, I really needed that. Otherwise the insanity of it all just makes me crazy.

Pastor Phil said...

Thanks Mike, Time to party on indeed. I do have a concern that we as Christians are presenting an eschatology which is counter-intuitive to grace. Doesn't it seem problematic that we emphasize being "left behind?"

Peace and God Parties to You,

Pastor Phil said...

Thanks Ellen,

The Laugh is what I was hoping to create.

Too bad the Wittenburg Door isn't publishing anymore. We need to satirize ourselves a bit more.

Liz said...

Phil - This is absolutely hilarious!!!! It is the first post I have read from the synchroblog list and it has my day off to a great start (laughter is good medicine!).

If you get a chance I would appreciate you letting your readers know about the synchroblog and adding the list of links.

Thanks again for this post!

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Liz, Thanks. I've already added a second post with all the links at

Thanks for doing this.


Cern said...

Good stuff. Nice to see the synchroblogs up and running. :)



Pastor Phil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pastor Phil said...

and good to see you! Thanks bro.

Jarred said...

I think you've just demonstrated the accuracy of Poe's Law, Phil. ;)

Good blog post.

Pastor Phil said...

Ha! Thanks Jarred. I wasn't familiar with Poe's law. Nice.

kathyescobar said...

good way to start the morning :) thanks, phil.

Dave Gerard said...

I guess folks should have read those tiny blue tags, n'es pas?

Pastor Phil said...

Indeed David, but I guess it is excessively fun that they did not. :-)

Adam Gonnerman said...

This reads like something from The Onion. Wow. There are going to be a lot of very disappointed, very broke people on May 22.

Pastor Phil said...

Hey Adam,

I wrote it with Wittenburg Door and the Onion in mind. A lot of satire to go with the insanity of dating the return of Christ.