Tomorrow is Dec 21st (2012) and for many it marks the end of the world according to an ancient Mayan calendar. Most of us are inclined to find the humour in yet another end times prophecy that most believe won’t amount to anything. The preeminent scripture Matthew 24:36 (“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.) is bandied about showing how it is unbiblical for followers of Jesus Christ to believe in such things.
The problem is this: some Christians do believe and those who suffer from mental illness are particularly susceptible to the hype. I bring this up because I received a call last night that one of my younger congregants, a 20 year old man, has been missing since Sunday (he didn’t come to church). He suffers from OCD and is, I’m told, fixated on the Mayan prophecy and may have run away to find a safe place to hide from the coming apocalypse. Ever since I’ve met him he has been overly fixated on sin, hell, and what does one have to do to be saved. He had been influenced by too much horrible fundamentalist teaching that I tried to counteract, but with limited success. I kept assuring him and answering his questions, but still his obsession remained. I don’t know why I didn’t ask about the Mayan stuff, it just never occurred to me; hindsight is 20/20 I guess.
My point in this rambling post is simply to say this: As the 21st comes and goes and we’re all still alive and life has gone on, please remember that there will be many lost souls out there who have spent a lot of money, perhaps they have quit their jobs, or made other made significant life or financial decisions in an effort to protect themselves and their families. Sadly some may commit suicide. Some of them are suffering from mental illness and may not be able to make sense of the world anymore. Don’t jeer them or make fun of them – help them. Help them by showing them the love of Christ who said “”I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). They need the truth of Christ’s love more than they need the laughter and judgement of Jesus’ supposed followers.
In particular, please pray that my friend stays safe and makes contact with his parents soon and comes home.
Be the Church.