28 March, 2007

Church Stages Mock Rapture to "Scare the Devil" out of Kids


The First Assembly of God in Kissimmee, Florida had a problem. Many of the church's youth had been having behavioral problems at home and at school. Children were rebelling against their parents, and many were getting suspended for fights and the use of foul language. The parents were becoming discouraged and turned to the church's pastor, Adrian Jackson, for help.

"In all my years of ministry I've never seen such a bad youth group." Said Jackson. "A church always has its problem kids that come and go, but over the
past two years we've just seen a consistent string of problems from our kids in this church. Out of some 30 kids in our church's youth program about 25 of them just stay in trouble either at home or at school."

To resolve the problem Jackson came up with an idea that he felt certain would work.

"These kids needed a 'reality check.'" He said. "They needed to have the Devil literally scared out of them."

The solution; hold a 'mock rapture' and make the kids think they've all been 'left behind.'

"The plan was great." Said Karen Henderson, who had a daughter in the youth group. "While the youth were in Sunday School almost every member of the congregation arranged a set of empty clothes in the church's worship center to make it look like we'd been raptured. A couple of us agreed to play the part of those 'left behind.' I got to do that, which was great."

"My part was to excuse myself from Sunday School a few minutes early and meet the rest of the congregation down at Starbucks around the corner." Said youth
Sunday School teacher, Brian Parks. "I made up some excuse about having to 'take care of a few things' before worship."

After Brian left the classroom the kids waited in the room for about 10 minutes until they heard screaming in the distance. Running into the church's worship center they found aisle after aisle of empty clothes with Henderson and a few others running hysterically around the room screaming "They're gone! They're gone! We're left behind!"

"I just burst into tears." Said 13-year-old Susan Raymond. "We all did. It was, like, the scariest thing I have ever been in. We thought all of us had been left behind."

Thinking that they had all been 'left behind,' all of the kids got down on their knees and began praying. About fifteen minutes later the
congregation returned from Starbucks to see the sobbing, terrified faces of their youth group.

"I flung open the back doors of the worship center
and yelled out 'Surprise!'" Said Jackson. "We all started coming back in, and, I tell you, those kids looked shocked."

The results of the mock rapture have been varied. While about three of the
church's youth have become more devout, several have had to begin going to therapy citing intense nightmares and panic attacks. A number of the kids have even gotten worse in their behavior.

"Overall, I had hoped for better results." Said Jackson. "Perhaps next time we'll try something a little stronger, like a mock Day of Judgment, or something where one of us will dress up like Jesus and cast people into the Lake of Fire."


Shep Shepherd said...

"Scare the Devil" - is that some new modern sort of exorcism?

Pretty funny stuff...

Kevin Sorensen said...

As usual, Tommy, right on the money. In fact, the parody of this type of thing is so real that, with the exception of the final paragraph, I could imagine the entire event happening at several churches nearby.

brent said...

I had staged the rapture back in '88 in college. You may have heard of the book, "88 Reasons the Rapture Will Occur in 1988." The guy had picked the date and everything. So we all got raptured at the time he said we would and the guy in the dorm that went to bed early got left behind. We had the trumpet sound and another student that everybody figured wasn't saved to provide the dramatics. It was quite a production.

It's amazing how presentations of fear and manipulation is refraimed as preaching the Word.

B Nettles said...

Those kids are so stupid! Why would they think that Jesus would want to rapture us naked? Or was it just the outer clothes left and we'll get to keep our underwear. Maybe we should invest in one of those neat Mormon tunics.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I guess I'm just too reformed... um, I never thought of doing a mock rapture! I'll hide behind doors and scare my siblings silly when they can't find me, but I don't think they even know what the rapture is!

~Some one who has been left behind by Left Behind.

Anonymous said...

Where did this story come from? I'm not sure whether to believe it or not.

Anonymous said...

Very funny stuff. I cried a little inside when I read it. I could totally see something like this happening in a church nearby where believing in a pre-trib rapture is a test of orthodoxy. Yet, they are health and wealth preachers and newly modalistic in their definition of the nature of God. Go figure.