Friday, July 04, 2008

Messages from beyond

Cashing in on End Times

You've undoubtedly already seen the bumper stickers announcing that irresponsible Christians are ready to abandon their vehicles at a moment's notice, putting the rest of the population at risk. And, of course, there's the stacks of books from the Left Behind series that used to clutter bookstores and now litter the ten-cent table at library sales. (The movie version features Kirk Cameron!) Cashing in on the apocalypse is big business.

Somehow, however, I missed the news item earlier this year that we can now leave messages to our earthbound family and friends after soaring to meet Jesus up in the sky. Mark Heard is a supermarket shelf-stocker from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a region that undoubtedly abounds with the unsaved. According to the Bible in the News segment of today's Southwest Radio Church broadcast, Mark was fiddling with his on-line stock investment portfolio when it occurred to him that his wife would be unable to access his account after the rapture.

Apparently Mark is “unequally yoked” with a nonbeliever, but he still loves her enough to want her to have enough money to survive the tribulation period and the terrors of Satan's seven-year rule over the unraptured. That's when Mark had the idea (undoubtedly put in his head by God, probably by the Holy Spirit third of the Trinity) that he should stash important information where his wife could obtain it. While most people might then go out and buy a fireproof bedroom safe, stuff it with documents, and give the wife a key, Mark was not willing to settle for such a mundane solution. (Besides, his wife is unsaved. She'd open the safe the first time he turned his back and rob him blind. Right?)

Instead Mark cleverly created, a website that promises to sprinkle your loved ones with electronic manna after your rapture departure. It “gives you one last opportunity to reach your lost family and friends For Christ.” (Why the “for” is capitalized is one of God's little mysteries.) You can store up to 250 megabytes of crucial information your loved ones will need after you are snatched from the bosom of your family. Imagine writing long, detailed, I-told-you-so screeds from which they can take spiritual comfort as Satan's minions rampage all about them. You can convey messages to as many as 62 e-mail addresses, which will be delivered approximately six days after the rapture occurs. The triggering mechanism is a kind of dead man's switch. Five members of the team have been scattered about the globe as we await the second coming of Jesus. If three days pass without at least three team members logging in, the clock starts ticking. In the absence of intervention, the messages go out three days later.

I presume that Mark Heard must be one of the five team members and I'm guessing that all of the team members are confident they'll be raptured up. Even if they're wrong, would they be disgruntled enough upon being left behind to continue to log in and thus hold back their clients' archived messages? That would not be a Christian thing to do, would it?

This service is available for only $40 for the first year of enrollment. If the Lord tarries—as he has been wont to do for nearly two thousand years now—renewal fees “will be will be reduced as the number of subscribers increases. Tell your friends about You've Been [sic] left behind.”

But presumably not with a left-behind message.


Dee W said...

This could very easily be a scam. Maybe I'm being too suspicious, but if I were about to store all my financial information in one area, I would need to make sure it's very, very secure.

The Ridger, FCD said...

I think it would be kind of ... interesting ... if this were on the level and something happened to three of the five guys and all the messages got delivered. With no Rapture.

Anonymous said...

Now we only need a site that provides a way our exes can nag us post-divorce. It can send daily emails to remind us to take out the trash, compare us to our superiors in the neighborhood, complain about our relatives, remind us why men are inferior, and why sex with us is a beastly thing.

I bet one could rake in a haul with a site like that, though the bandwidth could get expensive right quick.