O Me of Little Faith

O Me of Little Faith


Rapture Orphan Rescue: The Interview (Part 2)

posted by Jason Boyett

Yesterday I introduced Justin, the owner of Rapture Orphan Rescue, a new business that, for a fee, will take care of your children should they be left behind after the Rapture. We discussed how he lost his solidly evangelical faith in his teens, whether or not he’s trying to make a point or make money, and how he’s preparing to follow through on any potential contracts…just in case.

Here’s Part 2 of the interview.

——————

JB: It’s easy to let this be a divisive business and jump on one side or the other, but the biggest problem that occurs to me is connected to the conservative evangelical Christian concept of the “age of accountability.” As in, most believers — especially the kind who believe in the Rapture strongly enough to purchase your services — don’t think their kids will be left behind. They think God’s love is so great that salvation is “automatic” until kids reach that age of accountability, whether life ends via untimely death or Rapture. The only people who would potentially want your business don’t think they need your business. How do you respond to this?

ROR: I really don’t see this as a stumper-question at all. The concept of Original Sin is nearly universal to Christianity, and countless passages specifically mention being born into sin, and inheriting the sins of your parents, and their parents, all the way back to Adam and Eve.

As I quoted on the website,
Romans 5:12: “Therefore, just as sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” Notice, this doesn’t say “All sinned except for 0-5 year olds, who are safe. But the second they understand stuff, they are accountable for Eve’s original sin.”

And Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Notice that once again, you don’t see any back-dating of original sin, after the magic age of accountability is reached, to account for the concept of being ‘born into sin’. And even if you argue from context about these two quotations, deep down you know similar quotes can be found all over the Bible.

Also, to those still unconvinced or those who think that Baptism is the answer to this problem, I would ask this: When does the magic of the Baptism need to be replaced by the magic of accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior? You might start your answer with “When they reach the age of accountability, duh!” But then you just opened up a whole new market for my website. What happens if the Rapture happens two days after your child reaches the age of accountability…but you were out of town? What if you have difficulties with teaching your child about the concepts of sin, and faith, and the importance of accepting Jesus as your Lord and savior, and during this period of difficulty, the Rapture event takes place? What if you don’t realize that your child is already of the age of accountability when the Rapture happens? Do you realize that the concept of ‘the age of accountability’ is not based on any direct Biblical teaching?

The potential scenarios that involve accepting the idea of such an age are numerous enough to still warrant my service — which, after all, is somewhere between a bet and an insurance policy. Upon considering the fact that such an age is not a Biblical concept, then the original question is flawed altogether.

I’m not sure the question IS flawed, though. I understand that the “age of accountability” is more inferred than based on direct biblical teaching, but that doesn’t change the fact that it IS believed by a large number of people — people who also believe in a Rapture. Whether it’s justifiable or not, the belief exists. So it strikes me as significant that you require your customers to believe in one event — the Rapture — that’s not exactly provable from the Bible, but you need them NOT to believe in another unbiblical cultural teaching like the “age of accountability.” See what I mean?

I see what you’re saying. What we have here is just another tautology like the entire Rapture-concept, and especially the concept of salvation through faith (as opposed to an evidence-based world-view.) The fact that most Christians believe in the concept of an age of accountability, and even believe it to be based on the Bible — and are demonstrably wrong — should point out that they believe in nonsense.

I’m hoping logic shines through on any potential customers we may have, but at least I feel better for trying. And who knows, maybe the search for the answers to the questions I proposed will lead some individuals to shed their their thoroughly-debunked eschatology, and stop perpetuating the cycle.

The only thing worse than organized religion is disorganized religion.

[JB update: In response to some of the questions from this interview, ROR has updated a bit of the language at his site.]
 
One big ethical problem with the business is accountability. People who would use your rescue services will pay you lots of money (potentially) in addition to putting their kids’ lives in your hands. You don’t believe you’ll ever have to perform these services, of course. So is there any accountability built-in at all? Are you just asking believers to put your faith in you? How do we know you’ll do what you say you’ll do?


You gotta have faith, brother! Kidding aside, what other option do you have? And I’d like to mention the fact that I would immediately convert to Christian theology given the evidence of a Rapture event. I would be a thousand times more certain and evangelical because, as at that point, I would be armed with proof. I am the doubting Thomas who didn’t have the benefit of being shown undeniable evidence. Doubting Thomas was afterwards known as Thomas the Believer. Food for thought.

My team has also made this commitment to convert, and they each have an understanding of this particular eschatology — it is specifically mentioned in my application to team members.

If anyone actually puts up a large sum of money for us to prepare for the Rapture as outlined in my ‘Omega Program,’ we will freeze the money for the entire length of the five-year contract. We would only spend on actual Rapture-preparedness before the expiration, which would likely be food storage, shelter construction, and the like. Which is, of course, dependent on the dollar amount we had to work with.

This would be a good time to point out that the length of a Rapture Orphan Rescue contract is five years. Eventually, your service period can expire if the Rapture doesn’t occur.  

Yes. And I would like to clarify that as far as the ‘Omega Program’ goes, we promise to not take a single bit of profit until the contract expires, and we would maintain full transparent financial disclosure to any potential customers on this tier, even tailoring the specifics to their requests. If a Rapture event occurred, we would still not consider the money profit. We would act as quickly as possible to work towards the (expensive) goals of the program. If the contract expires, then 100% of remaining money would be considered profit.

There is an important distinction between the ‘Omega Program’ and the other services we offer. The ‘Omega Program’ is the upper-tier of an imaginary market, so Rapture Orphan Rescue decided to go full-on with the logical conclusions that are reached by the implications of orphanage, including meeting daily basic needs like food, water, shelter, clothing etc. Not only that, but having a team in place ready to kick down doors and save the orphans from starvation, dehydration, or any other health threat. One of our team members, the Colorado team leader, has offered her military experience and her motorcycle skills up for ‘a daring motorcycle mission.’ She was mostly kidding, but honestly these skills really would be genuinely useful.
The other services are much lower-priced — the basic package is $195 — and only guarantee that our team members will ‘witness’ to the customer’s child and ensure the child’s soul’s salvation.

That’s the ultimate goal of our potential customers, isn’t it? To be sure that they are re-united with their loved ones? So we try really hard to discourage people from giving us large sums of money to build compounds and food-banks, as you noted in your initial post.

Why did you pick a 5-year service period?

It’s an arbitrary well-rounded number, meant to be somewhat
symbolic of the age you learn wrong from right. Basically it’s the
so-called “age of accountability,” which we previously noted was arbitrary
to begin with. There were too many variations of the number to pick
one, so we decided to pick our own. This number is also somewhat
plastic, as is the current ridiculous price tag ($1,000,000) for the
‘Omega Program,’ which has increased from only $5,000 at the time of your initial post.

That’s good. The more ridiculous, I think, the better. So have you had any paying customers yet?


No. Not a single customer or donor. I’ve had a very large
amount of email response which I really appreciate, and many people all
over the country volunteering to be a team member with Rapture Orphan
Rescue in their area. A while back I added a tiny advertisement at the
very bottom of the website, powered by Google ads, and I have earned 82
cents from it. I’ll try not to spend it all in one place. 

Do you and your wife have any parenting experience?


Personally, the two of us are about to get plenty of parenting experience. We are not just parents-to-be, but really do care about human life in general. We would risk our lives to save a child, if we were aware of any imminent danger. Despite what your readers might believe about atheists, we have a lot in common.

Keep in mind the old saying: “Christians are atheist towards Zeus, Thor, Mithra, Ra, Allah (and so on). We just take it one god further.”

——————

Thanks, Justin. I’d wish you the best with this venture, but that would be dishonest of me, because I really hope no one takes you up on your services. Instead I’ll wish you the best as you prepare for parenthood. Either way, I appreciate your transparency and willingness to discuss your beliefs in a potentially unfriendly environment.

That said, everyone, let’s not be unfriendly. If you’d like to comment — regardless of your beliefs (or lack thereof) — just don’t be mean about it.




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Headless Unicorn Guy

posted August 10, 2010 at 10:18 am


But then you just opened up a whole new market for my website. What happens if the Rapture happens two days after your child reaches the age of accountability…but you were out of town?
“But then, what if he crosses the International Date Line?”
– George Carlin



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Kenny Johnson

posted August 10, 2010 at 10:37 am


“The fact that most Christians believe in the concept of an age of accountability, and even believe it to be based on the Bible — and are demonstrably wrong — should point out that they believe in nonsense.”
I thought his arguments against the age of accountability were interesting. He still seems to have a very black and white look at the Bible and he’s certainly doing a bit of “proof-texting.” As far as I know, the reason people accept the idea of “the age of accountability” is because of the revelation of God through the person of Jesus Christ is one of mercy and love. This is why C.S. Lewis suggested that it’s possible that even those who never heard of Jesus could still be saved by the blood of Jesus. But there are verses that seems to suggest a person needs to be aware of their guilt to be judged. See: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByDate/2006/1622_What_happens_to_infants_who_die/
Whether you agree with Piper’s arguments or not, he’s at least using specific verses to make his point. Others, I believe are just using the entire Bible and especially the person of Jesus to support their view of a fair, just, and merciful God.
But also there are a variety of views in this regard. Some Christians don’t believe in original sin (Eastern Orthodox), some believe in purgatory (Catholics), some believe that saved were all elected prior to creation (Calvinists), etc. Some are hard-exclusivists some are universalists (Origen is an example of a church father who was).
Of course, I imagine nearly all who believe in the rapture are not: EO, RCC, or universalists.



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BabiesRCool

posted August 10, 2010 at 10:55 am


I have a few questions for this Justin Guy.
1. “Often overlooked is the possibility that children (infants, babies and even those still in the womb) will be orphaned by the rapture.” – If you are contacted by someone who is pregnant and wishes to use your services, does the contract take effect while baby is in the womb? IF the unborn child is left behind, surely it cannot even survive?
2. Your website implies, with each package description, that immediately after the rapture the child can be easily found at home. How will you know if the child is visiting family in another state at the time of the rapture? Maybe he/she is at Disney World (first place the Beast will probably go to). I assume with the chaos of the rapture, internet capabilities will be non-existent. What efforts are you willing and planning to go through if the child is not at home?
3. What are you going to do with $1,000,000 post-rapture? Will money even be of value?
4. Are your parents still on the airplane?



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Charlie's Church of Christ

posted August 10, 2010 at 11:18 am


I appreciate that he tries to dissuade people from his service. I’m doubtful he will get a customer, but I love to be wrong.
I stopped believing in the rapture years ago so I’m stunned that the idea still floats around, it’s by far the most cult-ish belief that some Christians hold onto.



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Headless Unicorn Guy

posted August 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm


I thought his arguments against the age of accountability were interesting. He still seems to have a very black and white look at the Bible and he’s certainly doing a bit of “proof-texting.” — Kenny Johnson
If you’re talking Justin, remember (from what he said about his background) the type of church he was raised in before his deconversion. Those types of churches quote chapter-and-verse proof-texts like Calormenes quoting the Poets early on in A Horse and His Boy.



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Ashley

posted August 10, 2010 at 6:31 pm


BabiesRus brings up a good point. It might be difficult to find the child the older they are. Also is this good for any child up to age 18? Perhaps there are Christians that have already tried to persuade their child into salvation but haven’t yet. Will this contract cover their 16 year old? And if so, can they still promise to convert them? Hmm lots of angles to consider…Really enjoyed the article though. Very interesting idea and conversation.



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Justin

posted August 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm


@Headless Unicorn
Thanks for once again being right on, and your reply to Kenny pretty much approximates what I would have typed. I should have expected as much from an anon. I left that pool years ago, you should probably check out 7c, you might like it. (:
@Babies
1. “Often overlooked is the possibility that children (infants, babies and even those still in the womb) will be orphaned by the rapture.” – If you are contacted by someone who is pregnant and wishes to use your services, does the contract take effect while baby is in the womb? IF the unborn child is left behind, surely it cannot even survive?
||Wrong. Fetus are shown to be technically viable in the late second trimester and onwards. The later in the pregnancy, the more chance for survival, obviously. But I imagine that 36-40 week (fully developed) rapture event’s would effectively be ‘birth’. The dispensationalist rapture theology has not yet co-opted a Bible verse to say otherwise. Another thing, nearly half of the applications I have received so far are from RN’s, military medics, CPR trained individuals, etc. (I specifically ask for these types of things on the application). My newest team member from Colorado is an OB/GYN RN. Colorado Rapture Orphans, rejoice!||
2. Your website implies, with each package description, that immediately after the rapture the child can be easily found at home.
||You do make an excellent point though, and I will adjust my ‘omega program’ slightly to include ‘picking your child up from daycare / school / family member’s house who provides daycare. I wouldn’t have any problem having a time-sensitive address. That’s the same idea as ‘daytime phone # / evening phone #’. ||
How will you know if the child is visiting family in another state at the time of the rapture?
||S.O.L. Sorry, would have to draw the line at the more fluid variables and what-if’s right there. Will update the policy shortly.||
Maybe he/she is at Disney World (first place the Beast will probably go to).
||The Beast isn’t supposed to be all scary until halfway through the the ‘trials and tribulation’ period (varies by interpretation how long and how many, but usually this is 7 years.)||
I assume with the chaos of the rapture, internet capabilities will be non-existent.
||I do not rely on the internet at all for my any of my services. Team members will have addresses as soon as customer signs up (hopefully never). I actually was just toying with the idea to use the internet as a de-facto meetup place on how to re-build and link back up with each other, via IRC so that webcaching like Google’s way-back-machine wont accidentally be spying on us for The Beast.||
What efforts are you willing and planning to go through if the child is not at home?
||Attempt normal methods of communication first (phoning the list of contacts…) We actually advise our (non existent) customers to make friends with as many non-christians as possible, one benefit being a Rapture-proof network of communication. If those methods all fail, try and try again. Remember ROR team members would be ‘the New Christians’, in this circumstance. We would feel a genuine need to fulfill our obligations, and even to evangelize and spread the word in a manner that doesn’t undermine any secret locations etc. A lot of the specifics will NOT be published, as publishing would be self-defeating.||
3. What are you going to do with $1,000,000 post-rapture? Will money even be of value?
||We would spend the money on exactly what we said. Food, water, shelter etc… Rapture Theology seems to express a belief that people will ‘need a mark of the beast’ to purchase food and goods, but only after the first 3.5 years. This seems to indicate that money will be of value. Secondly, I specifically mentioned that much of the money would be spent BEFORE the rapture event (well, unless it happens in 3, 2, 1…. ahhh!!!) just to stockpile Meals Ready to Eat (long shelf life), and to build a permanent shelter, amongst other things. After the contract expires, I get a building to play with, not a bad thing.||
4. Are your parents still on the airplane?
|| Yes but the pilot took the blasphemy challenge, so everything should be cool. Why don’t you email my website with more of your thoughts? I’d just love to hear from you.||
@Ashley COMING SOON! (:



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BabiesRCool

posted August 12, 2010 at 7:00 am


@Justin
Your parents are still on the airplane. LOL.



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Justin

posted August 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm


@Babies
Read above…



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