A Hateful God Fails
Well, it’s Wednesday, May 25th, and we’re all still here. No rapture, no calamitous earthquake, nothing. Harold Camping, the predictor of our impending doom, has rescheduled for six months, apparently God doesn’t give accurate numbers or information to Harold Camping (story here). \
Harold Camping predicted that the world would end on 5/21, and in that only 200 million people would be raptured (a mere 3% of those on earth). The remaining people will be destroyed and subjected to eternal suffering and annihilation. This to me demonstrates a vision of a God that is ultimately hateful, angry, jealous, combative and immature. It reflects the hatred that fundamentalism imbues in its followers. They might cloak it in a desire to save others, but the consequences for not agreeing with them, in their worldview, are dire.
Granted, I don’t really believe in a creator God anymore, but the vision of God that I see that does the most good for the world is one of a loving God. It is the God that upon learning his mistake in the mythological flood promised to Noah: ““Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.” (Gen. 8:21). Or what of John’s statement: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 Jh. 4:8)? The latter Bible quotation is very apropos here. I would venture that Harold Camping does not know God anymore (or perhaps he never did). He knows his Bible, but that is no substitute for knowing God.
A vision of a loving God has inspired countless numbers of Christians, Jews, and Muslims to reach out in love to their communities with no hidden agenda of proselytization or evangelism. They provide food to the hungry, shelter to the homeless, courage to the fearful, and love for the unloved. The God of Love succeeds, again and again, person by person, and this God never fails. Showing love to another shows the other the divinity of all existence. Divinity, is above all, ordinary. God is not found in miracles, cataclysm, or apocalypse. God is found in us, in our relationships, in our compassion, in our individual and collective efforts to make our world a better place.
I’m glad to say that Harold Camping’s hateful God failed, miserably, twice (once in 1994, and again just this last weekend). Hopefully we will be looking for a third failure in six months when the “revised” date for the apocalypse has been set. The hateful god always fails. Always.