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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Of Quacks and Quatrains

Unpurturbed by the great “Nostradamic flop” of 1999, Michel de Nostradame’s devotees are at it again painting apocalyptic snostradamus2.jpgcenarios at the dawn of the new year.


One of these cranks is a certain Dr. Michael Rathford who came up with a doomsday book, The Nostradamic Code: World War III 2008-2012 (see online advertisement @ http://www.nostradamusonline.com/).


I predict that five years from now his hair-raising prognostications will be on the garbage heap of failed predictions.


As most everybody knows, Rathford and his ilk are not the only quacks around. For one, there’s these “Left Behind” folks who have made quite a fortune with their “Text-twisting” ventures (see an interview with Barbara Rossing, author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation @ http://www.rutherford.org/; see also www.religioustolerance.org/ rapture.htm). No doubt, their mangling of sacred texts – their “quatrains” – have given ignorant fears and false hopes to multitudes of gullible readers, but at the same time have given more reasons for some other folks to leave Christianity behind.


Then there’s this religious group that screams THE END OF FALSE RELIGION IS NEAR! which is the title of their flyer a copy of which I recently found at my door. At the bottom-right section of the said page are three questions that the propaganda material purportedly seeks to answer:


What is false religion?


How will it end?


How will you be affected?


The inside and back pages unswervingly answer the questions with a hodge-podge of Bible verses and current facts designed to lead the reader to the “truth” that this particular sect is the One, True Church to which all religionists must seek refuge from the imminent destruction of false religion. It was clever for the publishers though not to have specified how near is “Near!” as they had mistakenly done in the past.


Frankly, having been familiar with the literature of this religious group and having recently forsaken an advocacy of certain sectarian causes, I took the headline with a ho-hum attitude. Their message of bold exclusivism and sensational prognostication is all too familiar and simplistic.


But no matter how loud we cry against these deluded book writers and religious lpicture_49_1_1.jpgeaders and institutions, there will surely be many more who will choose to be fascinated with or glued to these “high-octane” speculations on a mish-mash of obscure Scriptural passages; the cut-and-paste type of hemeneutics using various proverbial crystal balls and divine calendars drawn straight from the throne of God together with current newspaper headlines will continue to fascinate the gullible ones. And their method of proselyting that capitalizes on the fears and naivete of people will continue to serve as live ammunitions for those who oppose Christianity.


So let me just say to these self-assured seers:




Cry
the duped to the duped:

“God’s crystal ball we hold!


We see ‘tis mighty clear,


The world’s set end is near!”


 


Near is now and never;


Someday, soon and later;


Past, present, and future –


Our seers are all sure.


 


The world has indeed met


Its final, fiery fate


A hundred times over


Their mangled Texts declare.


 


Earth turns as torchbearers


Reveal there’s more beyond,


While quacks hide in chambers


And fault those “Left Behind”!


- smsaboy


Recommended readings:


Erdoes, Richard. 1988. AD 1000: Living on the Brink of Apocalypse. New York: Barnes and Noble Books.


Lapham, Lewis H. & Peter T. Struck. 1997. The End of the World. New York: St. Martin's Press.


2 comments:

Bruce Rockwell said...

To see some other text-twisters, Google "Famous Rapture Watchers" and "Pretrib Rapture Desperados." Bruce

scott saboy said...

thank you sir! will share it with others