I felt I wanted to write and open letter to Family Radio Worldwide in light of this weekend's events. I was prompted by visiting their website and seeing the fruit of this fear campaign - the false declaration that the Bible somehow guarantees a May 21st rapture. You don't have to read far into my blog to know what I think of such proclamations, but it struck me that this just might be a redemptive moment for this ministry. Perhaps they will turn their faces to God and leave behind their fears and join with God's redemptive work in this world. I can hope can I not?
So sorry that you had to experience the pain of failed expectations this past weekend. I can’t imagine how disturbing that could be. Unfortunately the rest of us Christians have had to put up with your scare mongering for a while now, so in a sense there is a sigh of relief that this is finally over and maybe we can get on with what is really important about the life God has given us. Maybe this could be a moment when you not only re-think your website but your whole ministry. It will be a time when I will lend my prayers to seeing your ministry return to the heart of the gospel – which has nothing to do with escaping the world God so loved. Maybe with this behind you God will inspire you to put your hands to the plough and participate in God’s redemptive work amongst the nations – starting with your own communities. This could be just such a redemptive moment for family radio. I would encourage you to take your considerable passion and turn it to praying, reaching out, feeding the poor, loving your enemies, healing the sick and even binding up the broken hearted. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I find that focusing on those things means I don’t have time to get carried away by speculative scenarios and that I’m sure that whenever Jesus does return I will be found labouring in God’s Kingdom work. Isn’t that what you really wanted in the first place?
I would also encourage you to hire Biblical scholars who actually know how to work with the original languages and are not prone to Gnosticism. That might have saved you from this tragedy. It is obvious that your organization has the ear of a decent and readily motivated group of Christians. How about treating them like the worthy daughters and sons of the Kingdom they are and giving them the best you can? How about bringing in a balance of voices into the conversation as well? Let them challenge you from the Word of God so that you might put your hands to tasks that are worthy and not programmes of fear or hate.
I pray that God will surround you as you decide the next steps for your ministry. Much as I was disturbed by the events of this weekend, I wish no ill for any of you. I hope you will find the courage to use the discovery that you were wrong to craft a humble, God-focused new path for your ministry. I pray that God will be glorified as you embrace the plan of redemption that even rescues ministries from the mire and clay.