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Well, What Now?

Why not? Every once in a while, it’s fun to jump on the bandwagon. It’s “Rapture +1” and all those ‘camping’ out on “Biblical” numerology are coming into the rain of disillusionment and chagrin.

If you’ve read any of the mainstream commentaries on the doomsday May 21, 2011 predictions, you’ve seen they all pretty much quote Matthew 24:26, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” {There is an interesting post here, but I haven’t studied his point well enough to be able to agree or disagree.}

The real issue for me is how people see Christ in light of lovable (?) goofballs like Camping. In college, I was working late in the chem. building and had about five minutes to get to the dorm cafeteria before I missed dinner. As I’m hurrying over, I see coming towards me another student I’d seen around campus for several years. He was the proverbial geek and could often be seen having emphatic silent conversations with himself. Self-righteously, I started praying for God to send someone to share the Gospel with this kid. And, God actually talked back to me, saying, “Well, you’re here.”

What followed must have made onlookers think I was just as weird as this other guy. I started arguing with God—silently and non-emphatically, but I started literally pacing back and forth—a few steps toward food, then a few steps following the other guy, then back towards the dorm—I don’t remember how many times, but several. Finally, I gave in—after all, I was arguing with God, and He rarely loses.

By this time the guy is a block or two ahead of me, so I’m hustling even more to catch up, and I’m a-prayin’ fervently the whole way. “Lord, You KNOW I’m not into this cold-calling evangelism thing. I hate it. You’d better give me one HECK of a transition.” I didn’t say humble, just fervent.

I finally catch up to him as he got past the chemistry building, and say, “Hi, I’m Robb. I’ve seen you around campus. What’s your name?”

“Christian.” I shot a glance heavenward.

“Cool name.”

“Not really.”

I DON’T know where this next came from, but I replied. “Why? Frustrated with all the hypocrisy in the church?” (or something to that effect.)

“Yes.” I don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but it was short as we soon reached the room where an Anime group he attended was meeting.

When we do dumb things, it reflects poorly on Christ. I wish I could tell everyone like Christian that they need to look to Christ, rather than His followers, to know what it’s really about. However, the only problem with that response is that our stupid words and actions haven’t caught Christ by surprise, nor do they foil ‘His plan,’ but are fully expected, accounted for and factored in.

I still have the urge to plead with folks that most Christians are not like Camping, and Christ certainly isn’t. I feel like folks like Camping are like a crazy relative we hope won’t show up unexpectedly on our doorstep when the boss comes for dinner, but usually does with uncanny timing anyway.

People like Camping bring to mind another passage of Jesus’. Just a short bit before the ‘day and hour’ passage, in verses 23-27, He warns, “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

What most people fail to realize is that just because we’ve accepted Christ doesn’t mean that we instantly become perfect. If we are weird before, chances are we’ll be weird afterwards; though, ideally less so, over time, some faster than others. Christ promises to make us perfect before we enter heaven, but it sure seems a lot of us must be in store for an extreme makeover as we exhale our last breath.

So, if you judge Christ because of His followers, you might want to reconsider. If He’ll take us, then He’ll certainly take you.

Incidentally, somehow, by literally some miracle, I did make it all the way back across campus in time to get dinner. Somehow, fifteen minutes got crammed into five. When people ask me how I know God exists, this episode comes to mind.


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