I watched both the Louis Theroux program (which you mentioned in your missive) and "Keith Allen will burn in hell". Frankly, you came out of both much more impressively than I anticipated. You won hands down on the Keith Allen encounter. He broke before you did and you maintained your dignity and poise extremely impressively when he struck his deliberate and unjustifiable blow below the belt. And you came out even, in my opinion, in your bout with Louie. You didn't master the subtlety of his approach, but you did much better than most of his other victims. I still think you're a bunch of harmless religious obsessives but I have to respect your determination and sheer commitment as well as your articulate defence of your position.
You, of course, will see me as a tool or disciple of Satan because I'm responsible for stuff like this:
Nevertheless, I'd like to put a hypothetical question to you. You might wish to answer individually or collectively.
You've very kindly warned us that
"Very shortly Christ is going to come through the clouds, in power and glory, with his holy angels, taking vengeance on them who knew not God and obeyed not the gospel"It's the "very shortly" that grabbed my attention.
Clearly if it doesn't happen by this time tomorrow, it wouldn't prove you wrong. Even this time next year doesn't discredit your prediction. But suppose your descendants are still making this prediction, to our descendants, in, say, a hundred years time, does that still fit with "very shortly"? I suppose, in historical terms, one could make the case that a century isn't that long. But suppose he still hasn't arrived in another thousand years, or a million? We'd have to start talking about stretches of time which, though still geologically brief, are way beyond what your own paradigm believes to have been possible so far and thus cannot be what you meant by "very shortly".
So I'd like you to define or put a limit on what constitutes "very shortly". I'd suggest, for example, that a reasonable limit would be the next fifty years or so. I'm not going to quibble if you say twice as long, but more than that and it gets a bit too woolly. And one thing no one can accuse you of is being woolly!
Whatever that limit is, what I then want to know is what your contingency plans are for a no-show.
I've always been fascinated by doom-mongers. The rabid batch we had in the run up to the Millennium were absolutely fascinating. What really irked me, however, was that while the media spent months showing us all the weird beliefs, predictions and preparations these people made to meet the end of the world in their own special ways, the bastards didn't follow any of the stories up after the non-event! I want to know what happened to that guy who booked himself into a bed and breakfast in Brighton on New Years Eve 1999 expecting not to wake up in 2000. Did he? What did he have to say about it? I want to know how all those end of the world mountain-top vigils reconciled themselves to their continued existence.
So, with you guys, I want to know how you're going to deal with it IF you turn out to be wrong. I can answer that question for myself. If I turned out to be wrong and there was a God and he or it was even remotely like you imagine him to be, I know exactly what I would think, do and say (if he gave me the chance). I have actually considered the possibility of my paradigm being wrong. I consider it a very low probability, so it doesn't keep me awake at nights, but I have at least considered it.
Yet unlike many prominent religious leaders who have admitted various levels of doubt, I don't get the impression that any of you have ever allowed yourselves to peer into the abyss of uncertainty. I recommend it. It's the most liberating and enlightening thing you can do for your mind.