You should by now know as our friends at Family Radio ministry – an Oklahoma based Christian fundamentalist group – have informed us and gotten the web to buzz about, Saturday the 21st of May is the start of the end of days; The Rapture.
For those not too versed in fundamentalist Christian thought, Family Radio’s 89-year old leader Harold Camping “guarantees” and has taken to warning those from his native Oklahama — where his ministry is based — to Tanzania with thousands of billboards is that the much awaited Rapture will finally arrive on Saturday.
Whilst much fuss has been made recently of the Mayans having predicted that the end of the world would be in 2012, Pastor Camping’s camp contradicts those predictions and informs us that the end of days will begin in 2011.
According to Wikipedia, the Rapture is a reference to the “being caught up” in the Biblical passage from Thessalonians one, chapter four, verse 17, which apparently says that in the end of times Christians will fly up into the air to meet Christ.
According to Christian fundamentalist interpretation, once this occurs, there will follow a few months of general mayhem and disorder after which God will destroy the world by fire.
Whilst most have shied away from setting a specific date for this occurence, Pastor Camping has definitively told us that on the 21 of May, at 7pm – or thereabouts – there will be a “world-ending earthquake” which heralds this period of unhappiness which precedes Armaggedon.
This is has understandably gotten the web abuzz –”end of the world may 21st” is already the third most Googled topic.
As such we will now provide you with four social media and online tools and tips for the Rapture:
“Follow” and “Like” in Preparation
It is said that to be party to the Rapture (be one of those taken up), and escape the Tribulation (the time of death, destruction and strife for those left behind) one needs to accept “the Lord as their one true saviour”. I should say rather that this is what I was taught in Sunday School classes.
However, as our online lives have come to become as important as important as our “real lives”, it should stand to reason that we show our acceptance of “the Lord as our one true saviour”, in an online manner as well. As such I advise that you go to your social-network of choice and “follow” or “like” accordingly.
As in real life there are a number of choices from which to make your pick as to whom you feel is “the Lord”. I do not endorse any particular account, however, seeing as this is a Christian event, I would advise following a Christian “God” or “Jesus” account. These generally can be recognised by their use of an avatar or profile picture of a white male.
Be innovative with your use of social-media
From “tools to help prevent late-night drunken Facebook messages” to “crowdsourcing: a new kind of social media campaign“, Memeburn in its year-long existence (who knew it’d be so short) has given you a number of new, innovative and “out of the box ways” in which to get the most out of your social-networks.
This is the kind of thinking you will need to employ should you be unlucky enough to be left behind to face the Tribulation. For instance, to get the best results of what is happening in this time of earthquakes, floods, general death and destruction, use the search function on sites such as Twitter which have real-time postings from other unfortunate souls such as yourself who have been left behind (should you be reading this post-Rapture).
However, be careful as some feel, “This ‘Image of the Beast’, also described in Bible prophecy as the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, is likely to be some kind of incredibly high-tech supercomputer, linked to the New World Order’s telecommunications network”. This to me sounds like a description of social-networking sites…
Widen Your Social-media networks
Sadly, whilst Pastor Camping does say that the Rapture will be at 7pm, he sadly does not say 7pm in which time-zone. However, most articles and buzz around this “7pm” take for granted that “7pm” means his time — US “Mountain Time” (GMT -6hrs). Furthermore the Pastor does warn of “world-ending earthquakes” which one would expect to be felt around the world. However, this being the Rapture, one cannot be sure of these things.
In this case, I would advise you widen your social-networks to include those who would experience 6pm May 21st 2011 first. In aims of helping I did an exhaustive search of social-networks but sadly could not find anyone from the Island nation of Kiribati which in 1995 repositioned itself with regards to the international date line – in then what was a smart move to be the first nation to be in the 21st century.
However, just as there was someone live-tweeting the death of Osama Bin Laden from the Afghan village of Abbottabad, we cannot take for granted there won’t be someone doing the same from Kiribati 7pm, May 21, Kiribati time.
Make Preparations for those left behind
The excitement many certain of their holiness may feel towards Saturday’s monumentous occasion, understandably may lead to them to not think of those who may be left behind to face the Tribulation.
Whilst most will be thinking of the faithless hordes, one must remember that as far as Pastor Campings’ interpretation of the gospel goes, only humans will be ascending to the heavens come Saturday. According to the old Testament, when last God did an action of this magnitude, only two of each non-human creature was taken on the Ark. This time we have no such assurances. Therefore I would advise you use yourself of some of the tools that have been made available to you.
As one who probably has led a life that will ensure that they head up to the heavens you do not know any people who are going to be left behind. Therefore make use of tools such as this, which will ensure there is an atheist who will look after your pets after you have ascended.
Furthermore, to ensure that anyone whom you may have known on your social-networks — in the months of the Tribulations — knows why you deserved to ascend, use tools to create a online “will,” or schedule updates on applications such as TweetDeck which will update you account for you after your ascension.
These are four tools and tips which you can use in both your preparation to ensure you ascend come Saturday or failing that, to make life easier during the period of the Tribulation. However, as reports show that — before he made the correct calculation he has explained — Pastor Camping had predicted the Rapture to occur in 1994 and that not all Christian Fundamentalist groups agree, you can expect more articles on Monday from Memeburn.
If not, again we would stress, be innovative, the next couple of months will be tough for you.