Friday, 2 October 2009

Has the world ended yet?

Preachers continue to predict the world's end and it keeps not happening. Family Radio founder, Herald Camping, is one of the latest ministers to claim that the Bible has given him an exact date for Judgement day. He reasons that from the flood during the time of Noah to 2111 is exactly 7,000 years. Camping figures that Noah entered the ark on May 21st, so the wrath of God will be poured out on that date in 2111. In view of his failed September 6, 1994 prognostication, this one also is unbelievable.

Back in 1970, I fell victim to this end-times prediction addiction. Here's an excerpt of my next book, How I Was Razed, that shows how gullible I was regarding those prophets of doom. Its still in need of revision and editing so I apologize for any mistakes in the text.

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The entire nation was shocked on October fifth when the Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ), a group dedicated to violently removing the province from confederation, kidnapped British trade commissioner, James Cross and Quebec Minister of Labour and Immigration, Pierre Laporte, five days later. These events troubled me deeply. Was this one of the end time signs? Would Christ come and take us to be with him before the nation broke up? "I'm worried, Stephen," I confessed that evening. "What are we going to do when Canada is no more?" "Don't be such a moron," he scorned. "Canada's not gonna break up. The government will deal with the FLQ and that will be the end of it. You're so naive," he added. Though I made no reply, I still felt that the country was in peril.

Prime Minister Trudeau seemed to have the same opinion. The War Measures Act was enacted on October sixteenth. It drastically curtailed personal freedoms and gave the police powers to enter homes without a warrant. Most Canadians applauded this action but some felt it was an unjustified intrusion into personal freedoms. Though some innocent people were arrested and a barn, used as an FLQ meeting place, was burned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Federal Government of Canada had valid reasons for concern. During the years 1963 to 1967, the FLQ planted 35 devices in a systematic programme of bombings of government and English Canadian business establishments. From 1968 to 1970, they planted over 50 bombs. Having armed soldiers patrolling the streets of Montreal upset Canadians accustomed to the blessings of a peaceful country. the body of Pierre Laporte was found in the trunk of a car on October seventeenth and James Cross was freed on the third of December. Some FLQ members were arrested, some fled the country, and the group was disbanded. I thanked God for his intervention in the crisis, though I wished that nobody had been killed.
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On the thirty-ninth anniversary of the FLQ's heinous crime spree, My fears of that day seem ridiculous. I now know that Christ said nobody knew the time of his coming except for his father in heaven. These phony end-time prophets have cried "wolf" so often throughout history that few folks believe them. When Christ does return, it will be as sudden and unexpected as a thief in the night. I, for one, won't waste a moment trying to guess when that will happen. I'll keep on giving to the poor and studying the Bible as God meant it to be read, not through the theological lenses of publicity-seeking preachers.