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Meditation 770
The End is Nigh - Again

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I make no secret of the fact I have a deep disdain for End Times prophecies,[1] not just the various Christian ones, but all such prophecies, including new age nonsense such as 21 December, 2012. Which is why I mocked the idea in Meditation 766.

But no sooner had I published that article than I found a flyer stuffed through my mail slot:

"How can you survive the end of the world?"

Of course that came from our good friends in the Jehovah's Witnesses and was an invitation to attend a convention in Calgary which promised to answer that very question. Some of the subjects to be discussed in answering the question would be:

It seems to me that even though a date is not specified, this flyer provides a clear prophecy that End Times are nearly upon us. I suppose that's why in JW theology Christian families are supposed to lose sleep.

As a matter of interest I went into Ask.com and posed the question "How often have the Jehovah's Witnesses predicted End Times." The first recommended link was from WikiAnswers:

If you are asking 'how many times have Jehovah's Witnesses have given a specific date for Armageddon?' then the answer is ...none. What they have done, is fail to understand the signifcance of the year 1914 and have subsequently adjusted their viewpoint when the date did NOT signal the end of the system.

If you are asking "how many times have they said: 'armageddon is coming!" then the answer is "billions of times". There is no Witnesses that will fail to announce that God intends to destroy the wicked and that this event (Armageddon) is imminent. Jehovah's Witnesses, however are keen to point out that it is not 'their' prediction but they are merely repeating Jesus' prediction in the book of Matthew chapter 24 where it reads " And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come."

Clearly bafflegab written by a JW apologist. To summarize what is being said - we've never predicted Armageddon, but we predict it's coming.

As clarification on the non-prediction-predictions, going further down the links brought up by Google and checking out the Religious Tolerance.org list of a selection of failed end times prophecies, we find the following documented prophecies by the Watchtower Society: 1914; 1915; 1918; 1920; 1925; 1941; 1975; 1994. They may not have given any specific dates (day and month) but the years seem pretty specific to me. And it points to a 100% error rate. Every prediction has been wrong.

In fact the success rate of the Jehovah's Witnesses prophecies of end times is so bad that if every volcano on earth, both active and inactive, were suddenly to erupt; if I were to see a massive comet in the sky heading to earth; if the stars overhead were to start going out one by one; and if I turned on the TV and saw a member of the Watchtower Society state "We now know for sure the end is tomorrow," then I might feel free to make plans for golf tomorrow.

Notes:

  1. See for example Meditation 483 and Meditation 620