I hope that you are as sick of hearing about Nostradamus as I am, but for those of you who find him and his fellow false prophets compelling, and/or their "prophecies" disturbing, I have written this editorial.
There have been at least two T.V. documentaries this year regarding the Millennium, the End of the World, Nostradamus, and other false prophets. Much of it is simple regurgitation of often failed predictions.
In 1981, a film called The Man Who Saw Tomorrow was released. The film stated that Nostradamus, a medieval sage, had predicted a major earthquake that would devastate "the new city" one May when certain planets and stars moved into a precise alignment. The alignment was due to occur on May 10, 1988. The film interpreted the city to be San Francisco or Los Angeles. Nothing happened.
Nostradamus also supposedly predicted that World War III will start around 1994, and that Ted Kennedy would become President of the United States in 1984. Again, none of these predictions came true.
The most recent documentary, Nostradamus: Millennium Alert (screened 16 October, 1999), reinterpreted most of the above-mentioned predictions. Now, according to this film, the catastrophic planetary alignments are to occur soon after the year 2000 - including, also, World War III. And, instead of San Francisco or Los Angeles, New York is now the preferred site for a devastating earthquake.
"The truth is that all of Nostradamus prophecies are ambiguous enough to interpret a number of different ways. It seems that the only prophecies of Nostradamus that come true are discovered after the events take place - and this means that his followers are manipulating his predictions. When Nostradamus-interpreters stick their necks out by predicting an event in the future, the predictions fail. Furthermore, in 103 cases in which Nostradamus specifically mentions persons, dates or other falsifiable data, he was wrong 100 percent of the time....
"Other so-called evidence shown in the recent films are the pyramids and calendars of other cultures. Doomsday dates are sometimes derived by calculating the lengths of the chambers within a pyramid. Like all mathematical calculations supposedly pointing to the end, the numbers can be manipulated by anyone to defend virtually any date. Any date is fair game, since pyramidologists can calculate by inches, feet, cubits, yards or any such measurement in order to arrive at a presumed date.
"New Age author Jose Arguelles, in his book called The Mayan Factor, claims that according to the ancient Mayan cultures calendar, the present era will end in 2012 AD.
"Date-setters often exploit ancient calendars. Robert W. Faid claims that archaeologists have recently discovered an Egyptian calendar dating back to 4000 BC. This calendar, based on solar years, allegedly runs out in 2001 AD. This is the same year, Faid asserts, that the Mayan calendar ends.
"Now Faid and Arguelles cannot both be right about the Mayan calendar. There is obviously some manipulation of the calendar dates. But why should we accept the Mayan or Egyptian calendar? Why not accept the Hindu calendar that gives us at least another forty million years before the world is recycled? The reason is self-evident: the Hindu calendar suggests that the world will not end in our life-time (Oropeza, 1994)".
Do not let yourselves be fooled. As Christ warned us:
"Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, I am the Christ, and will deceive many...
"If anyone says to you, Look, here is the Christ! or There! do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect." (Matt 24: 4-5, 23-24).
No one can predict the date of Christs Second Coming or the End of the World. These things have been withheld from us for our own good, so that we may be spurred on to works of faith, love, and virtue. For "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night" (2 Peter 3:10) - suddenly and without warning.
Nevertheless, let us with joy and longing cry out with St. John the Theologian:
"Even so, come, Lord Jesus!" (Rev 22:20).
Oropeza, B.J., 1994, 99 Reasons Why No One Knows When Christ Will Return: InterVarsity Press, p. 127-131.
from Voice in the Wilderness,
published by Greek Orthodox Church of Saint George, Brisbane QLD