Normally, it is great to be in a country which leads the world in welcoming each new day - but Harold Camping, with his prediction of the world ending last Saturday at 6pm, left NZ facing the rapture before anyone else could test his prophetic accuracy. We all know now, as we knew then, that he was wrong. I was saddened by the whole sorry episode, and the way in which it brings the followers of Jesus into disrepute once again - but pleased that most Christians displayed grace and sympathy to his misguided followers, rather than ridicule or condemnation.
Repentance, admitting I got things wrong, asking for forgiveness, and expressing a desire to do better next time - this is all at the centre of the Christian life. How we are perceived as thinking that we are better than everyone else - when the reality is that we know all too well our "sinfulness" and our need for God's mercy and grace, I'm not quite sure.
But then along comes such a brother as Harold Camping. He got it wrong in 1994, and he got it wrong last Saturday. Surely now he will admit his stupidity in doing something Jesus plainly said we would not be able to do? Surely this time round he will slink off into embarrassed oblivion? Sadly - no! Instead he now informs the bemused, irritated world that the rapture will be five months later - I would tell you the actual date, but frankly, I don't care.
To slightly change a very famous prayer -
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things about myself I cannot change;
the courage to face up to and admit and change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
13 hours ago