The House of Yahweh
I got an interesting newsletter on my door today. It's from the House of Yahweh. The headline reads: "Nuclear War to Start September 12, 2006." They're serious, too. The first sentence reads, "My Dear friends, we must warn the world of nuclear wars that will start no later than September 12, 2006."
I always find these sorts of things interesting. When I lived in Austin and went to UT, I used to ride my bike to school and back, and I'd pass this Baptist church on the way. One day I was riding home from school, and there was a guy on the steps who hollered at me, "Jesus is coming soon!" which didn't seem too odd to me. People have been saying that for 2000 years, and it's quite normal in Austin to see street preachers. What really got my attention, though, was what he said next. Without pausing, he followed it with, "He'll be here in about seven days!" Woah!
I rode the rest of the way home having conversations with him in my mind. Finally, curiosity got the best of me, and I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to find out if he was crazy or why he thought Jesus would be here in seven days and what he'd do if it didn't happen. I got back on my bike and rode over there, but he was gone. After the seven days were over, I wondered about him. What was his reaction? I guess I'll never know.
People have been setting dates and making end-time predictions for a long time, so it's nothing new really. I never take any of these things seriously. But every time it happens, I always think, "But what if???" I mean it's possible, right?
I have the same attitude toward the lottery. I don't actually think I'm going to win, but whenever I buy a lottery ticket, I think, "What if??? After all, it's possible. That's part of the fun of buying a lottery ticket.
I've heard of the House of Yahweh before, but I really know nothing about them. I want to say something to anybody who is a member of this organization/church/whatever. This kind of stuff is bad PR. Take me for example. I know nothing about the House of Yahweh. My first impression of you is this newsletter in which nuclear war is predicted on September 12. You really shouldn't spread these newsletters around like this because people will think you're a kook. If it turns out that nuclear war starts by September 12, I'll be the first to say, "Wow!" But what do you think my impression ought to be if nuclear war does not start? Don't you think I'd be justified in lumping you right in with the rest of the kooks out there making predictions and setting dates? The truth is, I've already done so. Unless you want everybody in the world to think you're a bunch of kooks, you really shouldn't even take the gamble. If you think your message is important and that it will save lives as you claim in this newsletter, then you really ought to leave these wild speculations out of it. It will do nothing but cause you to lose credibility, and then nobody will listen to the rest of your message.