Who owns God’s voice?

22 10 2011

OK I am going to go out on a limb here, but since we have just survived yet another predicted date of the rapture, I am going to say that possibly Harold Camping is neither in close contact with God, nor able to correctly interpret biblical prophecy.

Yes, this is written on the 22nd of October 2011. The author is proud (but perhaps somewhat confused) to have survived both the 21st of May 2011 and the 21st of October 2011. Unless of course the rapture occurred while I wasn’t paying attention (I did have a few glasses of wine last night) and I am in fact one of those left behind. In which case everyone I know has also been left behind, and you, dear reader, are left behind as well.

There is of course one more major problem with any predicted date of the end of the world. And I quote myself on Twitter:

“It is Saturday here in Australia. Guess we all survived the #rapture. Good luck to the US for the next few hours!”

Yes, that’s right. Even if (and that is a big IF) Harold Camping had been able to correctly predict a date of the rapture (and assuming God is conveniently working on the same calendar that we are), at no time is the entire earth in the same day at the same time. So we have a couple of options here:

1. the rapture would start at the international date line as the day clicked over to the correct date and time (5.59PM), and would progressively work itself around the world . Therefore the US would essentially get almost 24hours warning it was coming. This hardly seems fair.

2. Camping (and therefore according to him, God) didn’t specify which time zone this was in (sloppy work on the part of God to not specify this – or perhaps our correspondent, Camping, doesn’t understand about time zones). This would mean that while part of the earth would be raptured at the predicted date / time, another part would either be early (cheated – I was just about to confess! I thought I had until 5.59pm!) or up to 18 hours late – and on the next date.

So perhaps this is just the latest version of the televangelist “God wants you to send all your money to the PO Box that you see on your screen now”. Have we not moved on from this? This was not a victimless crime – in May 2011 it was reported that a number of people had in fact quit their jobs and sold all their possessions to fund and work for the campaign to spread the word of the coming apocalypse. I can only hope that this hasn’t happened again.

I think it is time for Harold Camping to quietly fade into history, and not keep coming up with new dates.

Perhaps I am over-thinking this.

Like some more over-thinking on the religion questions? Try Is hell exothermic or endothermic?

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2 responses

23 10 2011
cristycoates

All of these prophecies, interpretations, Mayan calendar predictions etc really seem to hold people in the fear they already experience- probably causing more fear for many….particularly because many events these things predicted have ‘come to pass’, according to many researchers of such things. (Lets just say hindsight is a great thing- we can find all kinds of examples to match what we want things to mean).

I’m not even necessarily a skeptic. By this, I mean there could be quite legitimate truths found within these ancient writings. I just don’t think we can claim to know exactly what abstract concepts described by a people from times long past actually mean…and then market them in a very fearful way. Particularly, as you say, for profit. (Maybe a case of ‘profit-cising’!)

Perhaps one of the saving graces of these increasingly frequent claims is that people might start to become immune to doomsday headlines and actually decrease the fear & hype surrounding it. For many, it all seems to be pretty passe. For others, fear seems to grip their minds with potentially devastating effects. Perhaps these headlines really show the fearful state of mind of the person creating the headline holds themselves within.

Ultimately, all we can really do is love our lives, live them well and do our best to uplift and love each other. Fear just gets in the way of all that.

23 10 2011
Mudmap

ooh – I might steal “profit-cising” – I like that!

However you are absolutely right, it plays on people’s fears. I have an instant distrust of anything that tried to feed off a primal emotion rather than logic, intellect and common sense. If they have to try that hard to get around your “bullshit detector” then they are up to no good.

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