The End of Times in the Age of Technology

You heard the buzz this week? According to Family Radio, the world was about to end on May 21, 2011.

Family Radio
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The viral world was buzzing with the predictions of a Protestant minister. I’ve followed the story on ABC News. Yet I couldn’t get into the family radio website, when the news was spreading.

Ellen Gould White vor 1900
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And guess what happened when I could finally get in? My Web of Trust  browser plug-ins flags it as an untrustworthy website. Check it out for yourself.

You see, these predictions are based upon accepting a rapture theology. Now I won’t make a theological statement. But some evangelical writers have gotten rich from the Left Behind book series. These books get a good, overall user rating on Amazon.

Now the problem of making end-time predictions occurs historically in groups like Seventh Day Adventist. They had a leader named Ellen G. White. It would probably be a fair statement to say that contemporary Seventh Day Adventists distance themselves from White.

It should be noted that neither Roman Catholic nor Eastern Orthodox theology would side with the rapture theology. There is a detailed Eastern Orthodox position on the rapture at Eastern Orthodox on the Rapture. It should also be noted that many Protestant denominations don’t endorse it either.

c. 1400
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While the rapture is one thing, making predictions on end-time events is quite another. They probably never read Mathew 24:36: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (NIV).

We criticize Islamic extremists and tend to group all followers of Islam with extremist position. Yet when someone predicts when the world ends…or that we should burn Korans in the Christian churches…nobody would group all of Christianity with these Christian extremists.

What about the follower who lost all his money?

ABC news reports that the Family Radio show grosses about 22 million a year. They also did a blurb on a retiree who spend 140 thousand on build-boards to promo this end of times event.

Only one problem. It was his life savings. ABC News found two things in the follow-up interviews:

  • The founder was despondent that his predictions were wrong
  • The retiree follower had renewed faith, after a day or two.

But here’s the question. Will the founder reimburse the poor retiree who lost his life savings? What do you think?

Technology in the mix

It took a while for Ellen G. White to get the word out. There was no media, social media or any way to getting the word around the world.

Now when someone predicts the end of the world – especially when they have a radio show grossing 22 million a year – it gets picked up worldwide in seconds.

Maybe this chap can sell a course on end time prediction. Perhaps he can share what went wrong and how to correct it. It might be as popular as the Da Vinci Code or Left Behind series.

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