There’s no future in predicting the end of the world because only two things can happen, and both are bad: either the world will end, in which case nobody will care about your prediction, or it won’t, in which case you will become a joke. The world’s latest “drop dead” date, if you will excuse the expression, is one week from today, when the Mayan calendar either does or does not forecast the Apocalypse. I’m not predicting, but (full disclosure) I haven’t done my Christmas shopping.
According to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute, only 2% of Americans believe the Mayan story, which isn’t surprising since the Mayans couldn’t even predict their own demise. But a much larger number believe the end of the world is approaching, although they diverge sharply on the reasons for, the meaning of, and the correctives to such an event.
The evidence is in the weather, which most Americans now believe has grown more extreme of late. Specifically, 75% believe that the globe is warming – although a majority of the Republican Party faithful nevertheless continue to insist that “global warming” is a hoax.
Here’s where things get dicey. If you believe, as most Americans do, that “God is in control of everything that happens in the world,” you are likely to also be among those who believe that the Biblical “end times” are near. If you’re ready, this is very good news.
On the other hand, if our role is to ensure the future wellbeing of the earth, this is not the time to sit back and enjoy the Rapture.