This morning I went to iTunes and bought Knocking on Heaven's Door, the Guns N Roses version not Bob Dylan's or Avril Lavigne's. The version I downloaded was by the original band members (before they kicked out Izzy) and was on the Days of Thunder Soundtrack. Now as much as I love Days of Thunder, and as many times as I saw it both in the theater and out, I never once heard the song in the movie. I did hear the Dylan version in Lethal Weapon 2, but that's not the point.
The point is, like most Dylan songs the remakes are as good or better than the original and this one is no exception. It speaks to the subject of the song as well as the musical era it was recorded in. While the song is on point, someone on the radio this morning played a clip of it thinking it funny in light of Harold Camping's apocalyptic prediction.
Camping proclaims to have uncovered the "key" to the Bible, and has mathematically described how The Flood was the first apocalypse and the exact number of years between Apocalypse 1 and Apocalypse Redux. It's elaborate and depends on counting years in both BC and AD, without any regard to the time period between Christ's birth and death (that one has long bugged me). He does take into account that there was no Year 0, which of course is why the 21st Century didn't start until 2001. Among other things he ignored is the fact that it was the 6th or 7th century before BC and AD were invented and that the calculator was anywhere from 4 to 400 years off, depending on whom you believe.
Another pesky fact that is overlooked is the fact that after Apocalypse 1 God said he wouldn't do it again. But why ignore the little verses?
There is no "key" to the Bible. It is a book to be taken in its whole, not split up, dissected and used in pieces to explain whatever happens to be the decision du jour at the time. The Bible is a work of literature, in fact it is THE work of literature. All other works of literature are based on the literary principles included in it. This is not to say that it is a work of fiction, but metaphors, parables, parallel concepts, allusions to past and future events are all used in literature because it was used in the Bible. But what Camping has done is to slice it up, read his own interpretation into it and come up with a date he believes will be the end of the world.
This degrades the integrity and character of not only Camping's work, but of all Christians. Here's a newsflash for you Harold, unless you take the Marshall Applewhite ticket, your mortgage comes due again next month. You do not know the date or time of the Rapture. You are not knocking on heaven's door, and it won't be answered according to your time frame.
Besides, the door is open. The path is narrow, but the door is always open.
Update: Who doesn't like a C.S. Lewis quote,? This one works on many levels, but it at least works on this level.
"God, in the end, gives people what they most want, including freedom from himself. What could be more fair?"-CSLewis