On Facebook I just made my profile: “Robert Murphy wants to point out that technically, the rapture people haven’t been proven wrong. There could have been a guy in Malaysia who disappeared yesterday but nobody’s noticed yet.”
After doing so, I felt a twinge of regret because I saw a lot of other people were piling on as well.
I don’t have anything too profound to say in the present post except that I don’t feel smug with respect to these folks, I feel sympathy. I had an experience back in September last year where I was really really sure something was going to happen after a lot of prayer. Then it didn’t happen, and it really shook me.
As readers of this blog know, I still believe in God, but I am a lot more humble since that episode. (I don’t want to describe it because it would make little sense out of context. If and when I write my autobiography it will get a just treatment. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t that I heard a voice say something false, but I definitely had my faith shaken.)
On the one hand, I am more humble in my own confidence in the nature of God and His plan for the world. I thought I understood certain things back then, and no I did not.
On the other hand, I am not at all judgmental when I see other people go way out on a limb and then it blows up in their faces. I can sympathize with them thinking they have access to secret knowledge and in a sense it’s admirable that some of them (I’m talking about the rank and file, not the head honchos) made personal sacrifices and braved the insults because of what they believed. It’s just too bad that they fell for something that to the rest of us seemed patently absurd.
Last point: I am fully aware that the regular atheist/agnostic readers can have a field day now in the comments. Merry Christmas.