A man in California says the world will end tonight at 6:00 PM.
As a card-carrying member of Generation X, the official generation of skepticism, snark, and relentless doubt, I feel compelled to say:
I know I’ve written about this the last couple of days, but it’s the predominant topic on everyone’s mind. Personally, I say no. One wingnut with a Bible radio network and a need for attention does not a prophet make. Historically, the kind of people God called to the role of prophet were a little more humble and a lot more credible. (Harold Camping, as we know, is 0-for-1 on the doomsday predictions. He also had Duke in his NCAA brackets, so there you go.) But thanks to massive billboards, Twitter, and the general Christian illiteracy in this nation, what should be a molehill has been backbuilt into a mountain. People, it seems, are in a bit of a panic.
In my own community, I’ve noticed “End of the World” inspired garage sales, an inordinate number of them to be honest. And driving by I’m thinking a couple of things:
1. If you’re a Christian having a yard sale, what’s the point? Where you gonna spend that cash – at the arcade in Heaven?
2. If you’re not a Christian, why would you shop at an end-of-the-world yard sale? If you’re patient, the same crap will be free tomorrow.
Suffice it to say, these questions have prompted more questions, questions that – if we do go meet Jesus in the air tonight – I’d like to ask God when I get a minute. And yes, I think there will be questions in Heaven; if there weren’t, it’d get awfully boring. The good thing will be that there will also be answers.
So, 30 questions that I’d like to ask God if I go to Heaven tonight:
1. Southern Baptists: were we even close to being right?
2. Who shot JFK?
3. The Middle East: what the heck was the problem there?
4. How did my Thermos know to keep hot things hot and cold things cold? Was it witchcraft?
5. Given the self-assurance of most people when making decisions for their life, did you, as the Supreme Omnipotent Being, spend most of the time laughing your butt off at our stupidity?
6. Why just the one World Series title for the Braves? Was it because of Rocker?
7. Please settle this ages-old dilemma: tastes great or less filling?
8. Why did I have to go through high school looking like a stick figure?
9. What would my kids have grown up to be like?
10. Did Pluto cry when it was downgraded from planet to orb?
11. On a scale from 1 to 10, how stupid was the battle between science and faith?
12. David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar?
13. How did Jesus manage to live 33 years without sinning? Even with his divine nature, the temptation to smoke a couple of turkeys had to be strong.
14. Just how much did The Fall screw everything up? Can we blame it for earthquakes and hurricanes? What about genocide? The Jersey Shore cast?
15. Other than the Bible, what was the best book ever written? Best song? Best movie?
16. Since we never got to see, who was the mother on “How I Met Your Mother”?
17. Who was the funniest of Jesus’ 12 disciples?
18. Did Judas Iscariot go to Heaven or Hell? This was a big issue when I was in seminary.
19. Favorite superhero of all time?
20. Since it’s Heaven, this really doesn’t matter, but just for me: which was cooler – Star Wars or Star Trek?
21. Which team has the fewest fans here: the Yankees, Lakers, or Raiders?
22. My daughter Ruthanne got here way before me; will she know who I am?
23. Is there fishing in Heaven? Cause, if so, I know where to find about half of my relatives.
24. Which book of the Bible was the most misinterpreted? I’m guessing the Revelation of John.
25. Christianity as a faith lasted over 2,000 years; were there any doctrines that got fundamentally changed over the years? In the latter decades, what things did we over-emphasize or under-emphasize?
26. I’ve been assuming that there is a Heaven and Hell; but for argument’s sake, did all paths really lead here? If so, I’m guessing some folks will have a duck when they see Osama, Hitler and Pol Pot playing croquet.
27. Was it ever possible for human beings to NOT turn your instructions into a strictly enforced code?
28. Which Pope was your favorite? How about which preacher?
29. How delusional were we to think that America was your favorite nation of all time?
30. I’m glad to be here, but just out of curiosity: of all people in the world, why did Harold Camping have to be right?