Rapture Ready is a website for those Christians who think we are living in the end times/really can't wait to escape the Earth and be beamed up to Heaven. It is highly disturbing stuff in which pretty much any bad news is picked up as cause to believe the end of the world is nigh!
My current "favourite" thread is about how God is using current disasters to get the word about Jesus out to people... before the end times of course. They suggest we are living in especially strange and uncertain times.
This kind of comment always amuses me. The times we live in now are strange and uncertain, just as every period of time there has ever been. The Victoria age of colonisation was a strange and uncertain time. The Roman expansion was a very strange and uncertain time. And the mysterious events that "ended" the Bronze Age? I can only imagine they might have been some of the strangest and most uncertain times man has ever known.
Guys... natural disasters are incredibly tragic, if sometimes awe inspiring in scale, events that have no meaning and can cause create fear and pain to many thousands. And the disasters we are currently seeing in the world are no more unusual than any disasters to befall this planet any time in last hundred years (let alone across the billions of years since the Earth was created). They cannot be taken as a sign of the, supposed, End Times.
Just look at the list of KNOWN (and I must stress that word... there is a high amount of "recent" disasters listed but that's because news wasn't a high priority hundreds of years ago) disasters by death toll.
Surely the thirties were more likely to be "the end times" what with the worst disaster known to man (floods in China), the Great Depression, the beginnings of the Second World War in the Pacific and the beginnings of the Nazi regime in Europe. But we survived. I hardly think this decade can even begin to compete in terms of horror and suffering with that blighted time (the 9/11 attacks were tragic but hardly on the same scale, even the horrors of the 2004 tsunami are in the little league compared to that time).
Then we can look further back... to the Black Death... a third of the population of Europe died. Or the Spanish Flu? The whole world suffered. Surely those were far worse than anything we have known in my lifetime?
Those who seek to turn people's tragedy into some form of evidence for a messed up fantasy world view are disgusting. There was no reason for the cyclone in Burma nor the earthquake in China. They just happened (and science can explain HOW they happened...there is no "why" however). And the effects (the loss of face for Burma and the kudos for China) are not "divinely" inspired. They are simply based on very real, very human, factors.
I wish that Christian fundamentalists would study this world, and it's fascinating history. They would see that the times we live in are eclipsed in strangeness by some truly intriguing moments in our history. And no God had nothing to do with them... which just goes to make them even more interesting (and sometimes terrifying).