Tsunamis and the End of Days

Been watching the compelling news coverage of the Pacific tsunami that ravaged Japan? Amazing, isn’t it? Thursday’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake was the fifth largest quake in recorded history, a history that only dates back to the late 1800s, but history nonetheless. The earth’s rotation was affected by the quake, scientists say, speeding up the earth’s rotation for the second time in little more than a year. Last February’s 8.1 quake in Chile did the same thing. The tsunami-causing quake in SE Asia in December 2004 also sped up the earth. And tonight we celebrate daylight savings time by moving our clocks forward.

Seems pointless now, doesn’t it?

For the last three months it seems I’ve held my nose to the television as first one world crisis, then another, then another takes place. It was Egypt in January, Libya in February (and now), and now Japan. My heart goes out to those people devastated by the quake and tsunami. I’ve never lived on a coast before but I imagine one of the strangest experiences must be a wall of water 30-feet high rushing at you 500 miles per hour. Hurricane? Expected. Afternoon storms? Expected. Wind? Expected. Wall of water? Not so much. The Japanese tsunami came in as a series of waves that pushed six miles inland. Six miles! Suddenly, more than just coastal homes are threatened. Entire city centers are destroyed.

There’s a wacky group in Florida (are they ALL in Florida???) that believes the end of the world is coming on October 31st this year. The beginning of the end will come on May 31st, when the elect church of God is raptured to heaven while the earth starts getting wiped out. Why May 31st? Why, complex calculations, of course! I saw this story on CNN.com about a week ago and just shook my head in disbelief. Go ahead and give it a read. For those that actually know the Bible it might be funny. For those who don’t know the Bible, it sounds utterly insane. For those in the group, it makes perfect, if incoherent, sense.


The fact that these folks have completely ignored the word of Jesus, Peter and the other apostles in favor of the word of Daniel is absurd. Add to that their “F” in Bible interpretation. But I’ll let them have their delusions of mathematical genius. Give them a “C+” carry a 1, divide by 3 and square it.

I think the end of the world has been coming since the creation of the world. And I think the “end times” have been happening since 33 A.D. And I think the tsunami caused by the collapse of Mt Etna in the Mediterranean in 3,000 BC, the eruption of Santorini volcano near Greece in 1,000 BC and the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in 69 AD were all just as — if not greater in devastation — than what we’ve experienced in the past 14 months. We just live in the age of electronic media that alert us to the worldwide catastrophes in minutes.

Speaking of which, CNN has special coverage of the quake-tsunami all day today. I’d better get back to it.

— John