Monday, 16 May 2011

#19 The Bible (Part Two): May 21st 2011, The Actual End of the World

(Deep booming voice) Previously, on Chris Writes About The End of the World

Yes, we’ve covered the Bible before, and the number of zombies and zombie apocalypse type events within its pages. The case for the Bible predicting all our deaths at the hands of animated, cannibalistic corpses is a slim one. Slightly more alarming however, is the apocalypse that is actually predicted in the Bible, which some people are arguing is due this Saturday. So hey, at least it’s a weekend that’s likely to have decent barbecue weather.

Here Comes The Maths
Above there’s a link to an eBible Fellowship tract that explains the thinking behind this date, however, Bible tracts have a pretty dry style, and an absolute dearth of knob gags, so I’ll do my best to summarise here.

It all starts in the book of Genesis when God says to Noah “Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

You might have read about that flood in picture books as a kid, and maybe know songs about animals going onto the ark two by two, because if there’s one thing RE teachers are good at, it’s turning global, apocalyptic level acts of genocide into catchy tunes. However, by skipping forward a few books, you find this quote: 
“Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.”

So, God mentions the flood, then tells us that to him, one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day.

The flood is dated as taking place in 4990 BC (because... Okay, I didn’t look this bit up, those websites are written in a really dry style with absolutely no knob gags). So:

-4990 + 7000 = 2010!

Okay, that doesn’t look impressive, sorry. But, due to a massive oversight on the part of our Gregorian Calendar makers, they forgot to include a year 0 because... Okay, I didn’t find that out either. The point is, the sum is actually:

-4990+7000 = 2011!!!

Then we get May 21st from this passage:

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.”

And then... Okay, then the argument gets kind of hard to follow. It’s all up here though and involves detailed readings of Genesis, Peter, Hebrews, Matthew and others.

Basically, it is one hundred percent clear that, with detailed readings from various books written years apart, and combining that with lots and lots of sums, the beginning of the end of the world is due to start this Saturday. Because if there’s one thing we learn from the Bible, it’s that when God has a really important message to deliver to us, he likes to do it in code.
Pictured: Subtlety
Now, don’t worry, we’re not all going to die on Saturday. The Earth isn’t destroyed in fire and brimstone until October 21st because (Look, just read the damn tract)

However, zombie lovers, May 21st is the day that (I’m quoting the tract, not the Bible here) “God will raise up all the dead that have ever died from their graves. Earthquakes will ravage the whole world as the earth will no longer conceal its dead (Isaiah 26:21). People who died as saved individuals will experience the resurrection of their bodies and immediately leave this world to forever be with the Lord. Those who died unsaved will be raised up as well, but only to have their lifeless bodies scattered about the face of all the earth. Death will be everywhere.”

This is an event commonly known as The Rapture. It’s basically when God filters out all the good people, to leave the rest of us sinners to endure some of the unholy shit that goes on in Revelations.
Basically it'll look like this. I'm so sorry for reminding you of this film.
That, for those of you who mainly get your Bible teaching from the Omens movies, is where huge balls of fire fall from the sky, and the water turns to blood, among a complete host of other fucked up things.

And weirdest of all, there is a certain, very specific kind of Christian (not to confused with regular, non-insane Christians) who has an absolute hard on for this happening. Enough of them to buy 65 million copies of the books in Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’s Left Behind series. It’s a sixteen book series, but with incredible foresight LaHaye and Jenkins got the final book in the series out in 2007. The series also spun off a videogame trilogy, which has the dubious bonus of a multiplayer mode where you get to play on Satan’s side. (Side note, am I the only one who thinks the theme music that website plays is weirdly catchy?)
Sure, you won the game asshole, but now you're definitely not getting Raptured!
One blogger far, far braver than me, has actually been trying to read the book series and pointing out just about everything that’s wrong with the writing, morals and theology of the books. Sadly, he won’t have finished reviewing the series by Saturday, so we’ll never know if it gets good towards the end.

A much better interpretation of the events of the Book of Revelation, the final word on the Biblical Apocalypse, can be found at the Brick Testament, here. I would include a picture the giant, bloodied, seven eyed lamb he build, but the guy who runs the site doesn’t like other people using his images. Which is a shame, because that photo is fucking terrifying.

So, for what will, let’s face it, probably be the final time. Let’s play the drinking game.

Do the dead rise regardless of whether they were “infected”? Ummm, maybe, kind of. Depends who you ask. Infected with God! Yeah, go on, take two shots.

Are the zombies walking dead who move slowly and can only be killed by destroying the brain?
Umm. No. No they are not.  However, what it does have is armoured fucking locusts with fucking human faces and fucking lion teeth and fucking scorpion tails, ruled by Abaddon the Destroyer. Fuck it, I’m taking a drink.

Is mankind the real monster?
No, no it is not. I’m pretty clear that the monsters here are the fucking locusts with human faces. Oh wait! No! There’s a seven headed dragon!
Have a drink anyway.

Has anybody said “They’re coming to get you Barbra!”
They’re coming to get Barbra, they’re coming to Ben, they’re coming to get you, and me, and everyone you care about. Take a drink.

Do the characters spend most of the story under siege in some manner of building?
No, not buildings. People scream to the mountains and the caves to hide them. Christ that’s depressing, I’m having another drink.

Are the people coming to rescue you incompetent or more dangerous than the zombies?
It’s supposed to be an all-loving, benevolent, omnipotent God doing this right? Fuck yes he’s incompetent and dangerous. Finish the bottle.

If you think there's hope in trying to avoid the inevitable, terrifying judgement of your Lord, and you happen to live in Norwich, you could gain a few brownie points this week by going to the charity gig Art Love World Live, where I, and other talented individuals will be trying to raise money for the victims of the Japan quake by performing comedy, poetry and music. Giving to charity is great, right? And it's THE DAY BEFORE THE RAPTURE. Basically, I think God is telling you to buy a ticket to this event.