In honor of December 21, 2012, I have extracted this from an old post on benjf.com. Please enjoy my “best practices” for predicting the end of the world. See you on December 22.
I would like to lay out some rules for predicting the end of the world. This will be kind of like a “best practices” list that may be modified from time-to-time.
- First and foremost, give a way out. Don’t ever say that the world will end definitely on day “x”. That’s just not smart. Instead, say that “the word of the Lord came to me and said there would be judgement on day “x” unless we turn from our evil ways”, or something like that. That way when day “x” turns out to be just another day, you don’t look stupid. You can follow it up by saying “the Lord has held His hand of judgement from us because of our prayers”, and other various clever things. This just makes sense, right?
- Don’t say the Bible tells you the day of judgement day. Most believers of the Bible know that it cannot be used to predict the time frame of the end of the world. You may be better off leaving the Bible out of the equation altogether. Maybe say that a spirit or ghost came to you and told you Earth is undergoing a major transformation on May 21, 2011 and mankind will never be the same. This tactic serves two-fold because the Bible believers will wonder if it was an evil spirit planning evil for that day so they may be on-board, the non-Bible-believers may think you’re crazy but some will actually believe you, and everyone else will have the “who am I to say” attitude. You know, the one where they say, “Sure, it sounds crazy but who am I to say if it happened or not?” At least you retain a little bit of the appearance of sanity.
- If using the Bible then make it a date range, like over the course of a month. ”No man knows the day or the hour” but maybe we know the month! So try this: “judgement day is happening this month! Sometime in May, 2011, judgement day is going to arrive! I don’t know the day or the hour but the Lord has told me the time is upon us! Judgement is at hand!” That’s better because you’re acknowledging Jesus’ words as truth but you make it sound like God the Father has revealed a little bit more information without contradicting Himself. It sells better. Of course, May 31 will be a bit uncomfortable, but if you leave a way out, like point-1 says above, then you’re all set. And as an added bonus, you have pretty good odds that some war will start somewhere in the world in a given month, or at least the preparatory events that lead to a war, and you can point to it and say “See, it’s happening now!” If the war fizzles then you can just claim that the Lord showed mercy to give us longer to repent.
So if we can all follow these rules then our time on Earth will be much better. Oh no, I just looked outside and it looks like the sky is falling!!!