Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Well, the world is slated to end on Saturday.  No specific time zone is denoted in the doomsaying, so I guess that means we could see the end here in Colorado sometime between Friday evening and very early Sunday morning. We're hoping it's actually Saturday, because we're going to be camping and we figure that's a pretty good way to go.

"Are we there yet??" 
In all seriousness, a lot of people have denounced these doomsayers as whackos, and I can see why. There's been a whole lot of end-of-the-world predictions so far in our history, and none of them have panned out. In fact, shortly after the death of Christ there were those who believed the end was coming within their generation. So, by their calculations, we are about 1,900 years late.

I'm not calling them crazy yet, though. I figure we can't tell if they're crazy until May 22nd. Until then, there's a chance they could very well be right. What I will say is that I highly doubt it. Why?

I'm sure most people would point right at the Bible. "It clearly states, " they would argues, "that we cannot know the date and time of the end of days. " They are referring to Mark 13:32, which quotes Jesus himself as saying "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." in reference to the end of times. This would seem pretty clear cut, right? Well, hold on there... see, the doomsayers are also referencing the Bible. And they are saying it gives them the authority to make these predictions, that it says they can know. They point to 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6, which starts with the statement that the day will come like a thief in the night *except* to the brethren who live in the light. They point to various other texts that warn believers to watch, and imply that if they are watching the date and time will not sneak up on them. They also remind us that the Lord sent warning of the timing of other catastrophes he sent upon the world, telling Noah when to build his ark, Jonah when Ninevah would be destroyed, Lot about the coming destruction of Sodom and Gemorrah, and Moses about the timing of the scourging of Egypt. It's in God's M.O., they argue, to tell someone when bad stuff is coming so they can warn others to repent. 

So their claims of having the authority or ability to know are sketchy, but not entirely disproven. See, the Bible is not some step-by-step owner's manual for the world and reality. There's a lot of room for interpretation. Parts of it are literal, parts are figurative and still other parts are simply illustrative, and the various parts are not labeled for easy reference. Therefore, my problem with their claims is not their authority or lack thereof. I'll leave that issue completely aside, thanks. 

My problem is that they really don't tell us where they get May 21st from. There's some hand-waving about a Biblical timeline using genealogies and historical events as reference, but that timeline is never given clearly. One of their longer tracts, about 70 pages, called We Are Almost There!" gives more detail about their methods, but it is severely lacking in true explanation. At points, it actually contradicts itself! In one place the author claims that the reference in Revelations to Satan being bound for a 1,000 years was not literal, but representative and that the true number is 1,995 years. (No explanation of how that new number was arrived at, of course) Later the same author states that "Each and every number recorded in the Bible is accurate." Wait a sec... which is it? if each and every number is accurate then shouldn't 1,000 years be 1,000 years and not this random 1,995 number your just pulled out of thin air? Spurious claims and shady logic abound in this tract, which is an interesting read but not technically or logically feasible. 

To boot, it's loaded with false theology about salvation. It talks about how the Lord's salvation won't apply to those who have not accepted Christ "correctly." Those who are not reading the Bible properly won't be saved. Ummmm.... what?? Jesus said that all who come to Him will find salvation, without placing any contingency on how one reads or interprets the Bible. But these people want to limit His salvation, and the grace and mercy of His death on the cross, to those who agree with them on details of interpretation! I am always wary of people who would claim to be able to impose restrictions on salvation, as if they can usurp God and pick and choose His sons and daughters for Him. 

Do I think we'll all still be here on the 22nd? Yeah, I do. I can't say it for certain, because I really can't tell you if we'll still be here tomorrow, but I sincerely doubt the ability of this rag-tag group of Biblical analysts to crack the code. So I guess I'll see you on Monday, when we'll all just laugh about this. Well, almost everyone. 

For your reading enjoyment, some fuzzy logic and shady conclusions. Enjoy. Try to read it by Friday night, though, ok? We Are Almost There!

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