Yet another end of the world

This time the prediction of doom comes from one Ronald Weinland who claims he “is the pastor of God’s Church on earth, has also been appointed by the God of Abraham to be His end-time prophet and one of the two end-time witnesses (and spokesman of both), preceding the return of Jesus Christ on May 27, 2012.”

Here’s the link I got that quote from, and here’s Weinland’s own home page.

I’ve seen some people express dismay that these end days guys get so much press now, but personally I’m glad they get so much attention. I figure the more of these predictions we see in the public sphere, the less credible they’ll be and the fewer people they’ll be able to scam into handing over their life savings.

The money isn’t trival either. I found this in the comments of that goddiscussion.com link, by the author of the article:

If he is following the teachings of Armstrong, then his church members are paying 30% of their gross income in tithes to his church every third year, and 20% in all the other years. I remember sitting in Worldwide Church of God services, listening to sermons about how tithes must be made on gross income as opposed to net.

Deborah

I shudder to think of poor families trying to survive while giving away a quarter of their income. The insistence on gross instead of net especially ticks me off, not only is it really going to hurt people with lots of expenses (like anyone with children) but he’s effectively prioritizing himself at the top of their budget.

Of course, this not only makes the church a lot of money, but it also feeds into the sunk-cost fallacy. When the proposed end date comes and goes, most of the congregation will stay with the church. A few will leave, and there will probably be a sermon about how awful those quitters were. But most will stay, and be even more invested in it. After all they’ve been putting all this money into it, and all this time, and now they’ve endured public ridicule over the failed prophecy. They have to stick with it, or all that sacrifice was for nothing.

So I say publicize it. Public scorn heaped on these charlatans may do little to help those already under their influence, but it will make joining them seem less appealing to others, sparing them this fate. And it may well help some that are already in cults like this, and that’s worthwhile.

About Leo Tarvi

Mostly fictional.

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Daily Post and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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