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.