Yes, someone predicted the Rapture was happening this past weekend, and in no great shock to most people, nothing happened.
I made fun of it several times, as did others, but sadly many people were sucked into this nonsense and spent all their money, spent their kid’s college funds, and even tried to euthanize their pets so they wouldn’t be “left behind”. This is the sad, dark part of Family Radio’s predictions. People and families are ruined because they followed this nonsense.
To me, the most horrible thing isn’t this particular Rapture-Gone-Wrong, but the underlying views behind it.
You’re not that special
First, that individual people believe they are so incredibly important that the end of all things is going to happen during their lifetime. People have been predicting the end of all things (eschatology) since we first learned to write, and probably before. In Christianity alone, the first predictions of the Second Coming came around 30 CE, which is almost right after Jesus was crucified. They couldn’t believe the Messiah would wait a decade to return let along 2,000+ years. Every time someone predicts the Apocalypse and it doesn’t happen, others point and laugh. Yet there are millions of people out there who are still convinced the end times are coming any day now. Next up, people are worried the Mayans predict the end of the world on December 21st, 2012. Get over yourselves.
Worry more about living; less about dying
The second, and larger problem for me is that so many people worry about the end of things at all. They find the world so horrible and stark that the solace of The End is greater than all the amazing things around them. So scary is their reality that it isn’t enough that they no longer live, but that all of creation ends with them. This little universe of ours is a great, mysterious, and fascinating thing. Appreciate what you already have, because it is glorious.
I understand both of these aspects of human psychology from an intellectual sense, but they still depress me. How much better would the world be if we paid more attention to how we live rather than how we all might die? How much richer would we be if we worried less about aggrandizing this particular tick of the clock, and simply worked hard to make our own contributions matter?
Do what you can with the time you have, and make the world a better place. Otherwise I fear that if there really is to be an End to humanity, it is not going to come at the hand of a Divine Being but at our own.