Social media against doomsday predictions

Posted by ntendeni
ntendeni
I am a 4th year Bachelor of Journalism student from Rhodes University. I have do
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on Monday, 21 May 2012
in Digital Blogs

While we patiently wait for 21 December 2012, to see if the Mayan Calendar was right, some are already predicting their own doomsdays… making bums of themselves in the process, failing while the rest of us watch and laugh.

And so the bible warned on Matthew Chapter 24, Verse 24:

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (American King James Version).

It is not only the Mayan Calendar that predicts the end of the world. If you read the whole of Matthew 24, you will realise that, according to the following verses, we are living in the last days since we are seeing all the signs predicted for the last days:

“6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars [ think World War I, World War II and speculations about World War III], but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation [think America-Iraq War], and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines [think Africa, e.g. Ethiopia and Darfur] and earthquakes [think Japan] in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death [e.g. Christians being persecuted in Africa, Asia and South America], and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets [think Harold Camping] will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (New International Version).

We are not the only ones curious and sometimes confused about the last days. According to the bible, even Jesus’ disciples were also curious to know more about the end of the world. They went to him in private and asked him in verse 3:

"Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" (New International Version).

Jesus’ first answer is an advice that is still relevant to us today. On verse 4, he answers:

"Watch out that no one deceives you.”

This bible verse should have been remembered by those who believed in Harold Camping, president of Family Radio, a California-based radio station group that broadcasts to more than 150 markets in the United States.

World Judgement Day 21 May 2011 - Come and Gone!?: by South African cartoonist Zapiro

Camping, a professing Christian, ignored the most important verse in the bible about doomsday, found in Matthew 24, verse 36 where Jesus told his disciples:

"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (New International Version).

Even Jesus, the Son of God himself according to the bible, admitted that he did not know the exact date of doomsday in the verse above (“nor the Son”). If Jesus himself admitted he did not know the date, nor the angels in heaven, what was Camping thinking when he predicted that Jesus Christ would return to Earth on May 21, 2011? Another surprise is the Christians that believed him. Don’t they read the bible themselves?

Even though Camping finally admitted that he was "incorrect and sinful" about the predictions (he should have known it was "incorrect and sinful" before he even predicted right?), he has left unforgiven scars in society that are visible if you search “Harold Camping” on Facebook.

Most of the top results are from those angered by his false predictions than his fan pages. Some pages include: “F**k Harold Camping (where he is described as a fictional character)”, “Harold Camping is a Bullsh**ter”, “Harold Camping has failed today.”, “That awkward moment when Harold Camping wakes up on the 22nd of May 2011” and many more.

Even top pages named “Harold Camping” on Twitter are made by those ridiculing his false prophesies. One of them put under his micro-bio:

“I specialize in making wrong predictions. My most notable one has been predicting that the world would end 5/21/11...”

Human beings have always been as curious about the final apocalypse as they have been about the beginning of the universe. Doomsday predictions have been in existence from as early as 634 BC, when the Romans feared that their city would be destroyed in the 120th year of its founding. There was a myth that 12 eagles had revealed to Romulus a mystical number representing the lifetime of Rome, and some early Romans hypothesized that each eagle represented 10 years.

While we wait to see what will happen on 21 December, some anti-doomsday-prediction groups on Facebook are formed in advance, in case nothing happens and we will have to laugh again at another failed myth.

Im gonna wake up on December 22nd, 2012 and say, "Fail"” has more than 500 000 followers. Others include “At 11:56p on December 20, 2012, I'm Going To Blast "4 Minutes" by Madonna.”, “Being alive on December 22, 2012.”, “When Were All Alive On December 21st 2012 Ill Be Shouting "I TOLD YOU SO!!"” and “On December 20th, 2012 I'm going to get F ** K E D up just in case.

I will leave you with a humorous post by Caleb Keener, one of the followers of “Im gonna wake up on December 22nd, 2012 and say, "Fail"”:

"2012 nor 2011 is [going] to happen... wanna know why? my phone calender goes to 2100..."

Nice one Keener, some iPods go as far as the 4580s.

Related links:

1.      End Of The World 2012: Mayan Calendar Doomsday Prediction Held By 1 In 10: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/03/end-of-the-world-2012_n_1475616.html
2.      Harold Camping Apologizes For Faulty Rapture Predictions And Retires, Report States: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/01/harold-camping-apologizes-rapture-predictions_n_1069520.html
3.      Watch: Watch a 5 Minute Clip from 2012 - In Theaters 11/13: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zcpCUh3djoI
4.      Harold Camping's Heresies EXPOSED!: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Wolves/harold_camping.htm
5.      2012 Apocalypse - Is it really coming?: http://2012apocalypse.net/  

 

I am a 4th year Bachelor of Journalism student from Rhodes University. I have done print writing, radio, digital media and broadcast communication before but I thought that it would be a great idea if I just specialised on new media this last year of my degree. I have always found religion an interesting topic especially in this present time where freedom of speech and a right to choose religion are used to justify deviation away from traditional beliefs. The rise of social media means that people are freer than ever to expose, criticise, point out or scrutinise traditional religious practices. This would not be as easy if we were still living in an era where one had to get permission from legacy media and had to be a professional before getting a voice on television, radio or print. I am excited not only to write about how social media is being used as a tool to spread traditional religious beliefs, but is also being used for counter-action by non-conformists.

Comments

RIC007GP
RIC007GP
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RIC007GP Thursday, 24 May 2012

If Steve Jobs says so...

Then so be it I am planning an end of the world party for 31st Dec 2100 and an advance party for my upcoming 201st birthday. :p

ntendeni
ntendeni
I am a 4th year Bachelor of Journalism student from Rhodes University. I have do
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ntendeni Sunday, 27 May 2012

thanks

it would be a good idea to plan a party for the 22nd at 00:00 just to piss the predictors off

Jude
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Jude Saturday, 26 May 2012

Quotable quotes

We need an easier way to make Biblical quotations readable in a blog. Maybe italicise and indent them or use the quote function if any.

ntendeni
ntendeni
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ntendeni Sunday, 27 May 2012

thanks

thanks quotable quotes. will do so just now

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