Now that May 21 is now past us with the world once again not ending, that Christian radio magnate Harold Camping refuses to give up and now says he got the date wrong: not May 21, saith he, but October 21. Just ten days before Halloween. One can easily guess what the wags will be wearing when they go trick-or-treating this year.
Like I said last post, these Christian end-of-the-world predictors keep insisting on ignoring those Bible verses which have Jesus plainly stating that not even he knows when he's returning, but only God. And yet they persist. I assume that those of them who are Pentecostal or Charismatic get a "word of knowledge" direct from God that tells them that the world is going to end on such-and-such a date. Mr. Camping felt he didn't need even that, apparently; he relied on numerology. No doubt this attracted cries of heresy from many other Evangelicals.
A personal disclosure is in order here. As a kid, I used to love reading those Jehovah's Witnesses books which spelled out exactly how the world is going to end. I found them lying around the house. Later I would find out that, according to the Jehovah's Witnesses, the world was supposed to end in 1914 and then 1976. But I didn't read those books to know the future. They were the tract versions of Bible-movie special-effects extravaganzas such as The Ten Commandments, only about the end of the world according to the Jehovah's Witnesses. You know that scene where Charlton Heston as Moses parts the Red Sea? Yeah. Like that.
It was these kinds of books, and not just from the Jehovah's Witnesses, that eventually soured me on the whole end-of-the-world thing. The world was supposed to end just like it says in the books, but it never, ever does. The dates always turn out to be wrong, and the predicted events never happen. So I leave that kind of thing to the movies.
Movies like 2012. Speaking of which, the world will not end on December 21, 2012, either. You bet I'll be posting about that non-apocalypse, too.